Ugh, where has Danielle been?! At least that’s what I hope you’re saying. I’ve been out here sipping on a concoction of Iyanla to get my life, Beyoncé to keep my life, and Oprah to enjoy my life. In short, I’m living. And with living comes dates. I’m out here gathering stories for y’all..Scratch that, that’s not how any of this works. I don’t go on dates because I need something to write about. I go on dates because I’ve got #RelationshipGoals and I just so happen to write. OK, I’m kidding, I write because it helps me sort out the messes I make on my way to my goals. And then the plan is to learn from these mistakes. Right. Right? Right!
And trust me, I’ve been learning.
I’ve learned that this has been the coldest summer ever. A dateless summer. I’ve already given up on Internet dating and I mean all types–Tinder, Plenty of Fish, mystery adds and DM’s on Instagram, friend requests with men I have no connection to–all of it, no thank you. I prefer to meet my men the old-fashioned way–well honestly, I don’t care how I meet them, I just rather meet them in person first.
And I’ve met a couple (in my time away), so now it’s time you meet one.
I was in New Orleans for work during the most steamy part of the summer. I was backstage at a concert when I spotted him. Me and my girls were headed to the production catering hall for dinner and he walked right by us with all our giggles and excitement to see Mariah Carey later that night.
I saw his beard first and then followed it up his face and smiled right into his eyes. He smiled back and before I knew it, I let him know, “You’re so fine.” My girls giggled and kept walking. They peeped over their shoulders as they kept walking. He was still walking in the opposite direction, but slowed down and I walked toward him, “Hi.”
“Hi,” he smiled at me. He looked over his shoulder and back at me. “I’m on the clock, but I want to see you again.” he smiled.
I giggled, “OK.” I had just noticed the uniform he was wearing. Yellow silky vest, black pants and shoes and a white button up.
He tugged at his beard, “Take my number.” He recited his number and watched me type it in. “I’m Langston.”
“Nice to meet you Langston. I’m Danielle,” I stuck out my hand for him to shake it.
“Can I get yours?” Langston asked still holding on to my hand.
I gave Langston my number.
“I’ll hit you up. I gotta get back to work,” Langston slowly backed away from me, still smiling. “Yeah, I will.”
I smiled back at him, “Hope so.” I jogged to meet my girls, who were already at production catering.
“What was that?” They all seemed to gush together.
“Oh, that’s just gonna be my NOLA bae,” I said pleased with myself.
“You’re bold girl,” one of the girls, Tiffany, said.
“Right? She just ran up on dude like, ‘you cute’!” Lisa laughed. “You’re a good flirt.”
I laughed, “Girl, closed mouths don’t get fed. I’m just trying to eat!” We all sat down to have dinner and each girl complained about a dude in her life who wasn’t acting right. I just don’t know how seven different women could meet seven different men and still have the same shared experience of f-ckboy f-ckery?
I looked down at my phone to see a text from Langston, “It was nice meeting you. You’re a special girl.”
I smiled. “Ooooh, is that stadium bae?” Tiffany asked.
“Rude!” I laughed. “But yeah, it’s him.”
“He sent you a d-ck pic, didn’t he?” Tiffany laughed.
“Not this time!” We all laughed. “He actually called me special and said it was nice to meet me.”
“Awww!” They all chimed.
“How he know you special though? He’s trying too hard,” One of the girls, Alex, said.
“Because I am special!” I threw the paper from my drinking straw at her.
Langston and I kept texting back and forth for another hour.
“Should you be on your phone like this at work?” I asked.
“You’re right. Are you coming down to watch the show? I work on the floor, in section E. Come by,” Langston text me back.
“I’m coming down. I’ll see you in a bit.” When I got down to the floor, I couldn’t find Langston, so I chose to go in my actual seat and jam out to Mariah’s questionable high notes. Right after I sang along with Mariah’s final note, I felt a squeeze on my arm.
There Langston was smiling at me, “Hey,” he mouthed as he backed away.
I waved at him. He pointed down to his phone and texted me.
“Lets go grab a bite?” Langston’s text asked.
I let my girls know I was heading out with Langston instead of going out to get ratchet with them after the show. Their responses ranged from wanting pictures and Snapchats from the date to being scared he was trying to get me alone so he could kill me. I assured them I’d be fine. And I was…and so was Langston.
I met him in the lobby of my hotel about an hour after he asked me to grab a bite with him. Langston was out of his work uniform and in his regular clothes–sneakers, T-shirt and jean shorts. He was casual, but smelled and looked luxurious. He was tugging at his beard when I walked up. I walked right into his hug and let his arms wrap around me. I breathed his scent in.
Langston took my hand and didn’t let it go all night long. I followed him through the sultry streets of New Orleans as he pointed out history, his favorite spot for beignets, where he would take his high school girlfriends and we ended up at a hole in the wall with a whimsical garden that he swore had the best po’ boys.
We flirted bite after bite and the conversation rolled off our tongues. It was beautiful to be able to connect with a man beyond physical attraction, even though both of us were fighting the urge to lean into a kiss. I knew if I did, I probably wouldn’t stop. And then he leaned in and kissed me and I heard Maxwell, Barry White and Marvin Gaye singing in chorus.
Find out what happens after the kiss in next week’s column!