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Thursday, June 21, 2012

KeeK's Dating Adventures: Episode 2

Every big city has its own personality. 

From the people to the restaurants to the attractions and mash up of cultures, no two big cities are the same. I haven't decided what DC's personality is like. In some circles, DC is considered New York City's younger sister. People who have lived in both claim DC has everything New York City has except it is "slower." Their words, not mine. Then again, some people say DC isn't a big city at all. I don't listen to those people. 

Dating in a big city is good and bad. Its good because there is a plethora of people to choose from when you decide you're ready to spread your social butterfly wings. Its bad because you never know what you're really getting.  Dating a complete stranger is a big risk. That is why people are more comfortable dating someone they're familiar with. You can chat with mutual friends about their personality and get a good idea of what to expect. I grew up in a small town where "everybody knows everybody." Before you decided to date someone you could ask around town and get  their dating resume. Everyone uses that system as opposed to branching out and dating people from a different city. 

In case you missed it, peep episode 1 HERE. 
Anywho, enough lead-in its time for Episode 2. 

"The Green-Eyed Brotha" 
Where we Met: At DC's Union Station. I worked part time at the Ann Taylor location there for a brief period and I was happy to have just ended a long day. I decided to go have a drink at B. Smith's before heading home. When I saw him sitting alone at the bar,  I hesitated.  He looked like the type who would want to chat. I sat at the opposite end of the bar taking special care not to make eye contact. I was being rude on purpose. 

The Number Exchange:
After 2 drinks and an appetizer I looked up from my phone to find him leering at me. We made eye contact and I smiled a half-way smile. I really did not want to be bothered. He didn't get that read. I figured I was sending mixed signals. He walked over and complimented my smile and my eyes. I let my guard down. He was gorgeous. His skin was flawless. His suit was tailored to a "T" and his smile was perfect. His eyes were a beautiful hue of green and his hair had a bit of a curl. He was tall and I could tell he was younger but he had the confidence of an older man. We chatted for about an hour. When I asked why he was single, he griped about his ex-girlfriend's struggle to understand his ambition; a struggle that drove them to break up. Eventually, he shared his affinity for white women and admitted he hasn't dated "that many black women." He was still dealing with the breakup but he made it very clear he wanted to get to know me better. I decided I enjoyed our conversation so I gave up my digits.  

The First Date: 
We texted and emailed back and forth for a few days before we agreed to return to B. Smith's. He called it "our spot." Dinner was on a Tuesday night at 7pm. I decided to wear a dress and ballet flats. We hugged and he complimented my Marc Jacobs Lola perfume and Isaac Mizrahi dress by name. He said he was really into fashion. He expressed strong interests in getting to know me and (in hindsight) was strangely interested in figuring out how "sexually open minded" I was. Throughout the date he made it clear how badly he wanted to kiss me. It made me uncomfortable. The conversation was stimulating but I left the date on the fence about whether I wanted to see him again. My gut was telling me something wasn't right. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I told him to give me time to ponder meeting up again. After he asked a few times, I told him I was not interested in seeing him again. He said he was ok with that and wished me the best. 

The Big TWIST: 
Two months had passed since our B. Smith's rendezvous when I found myself overdressed in cowgirl boots and a trendy dress in Georgetown. I was sent there on a random mission to recoup a Movado from a jewelry repair shop. It usually takes me 7 minutes to drive to Georgetown. There were some street closures that day so my drive was more like 15 minutes. It took me another 15 minutes to find a space but my park was right in front of the shop. All of this timing is going to make sense. The jeweler turned out to be more chatty than I expected but I didn't worry about getting ticketed (anyone who has ever lived in DC knows the fear of getting a ticket is REAL) because I could see my car and I was three steps away from the door. I chatted with the jeweler for 20 minutes before I was finally able to get away. She complimented my style on my way out and I heard the bells go off as I walked through the door. *Ding Ding* No sooner than the door closed behind me did I turn to my right and see Brandon. He was wearing short shorts and a racer back tee that was so loose I could see both of his nipples. He was wearing silver glitter Toms. He was trying to convince his friend to skip with him. His voice was higher pitched and he was giggling. My heart dropped into my stomach. "Thats not Brandon" is what I said to myself. Indeed, it was Brandon. He was holding hands with a younger white man and I reached the bottom of the jeweler's steps just in time to see the two share a kiss on the cheek. I threw up a little in my mouth. 

"Hi Brandon. How are you?" I said with a sneer. I made eye contact with him and he looked like he had seen a ghost. "Hi KeeKs. I wasn't expecting to see you here" he responded. "Oh I can tell" I said mockingly. The look on his face said so many things: He was caught and he knew it. He knew he had never mentioned this lifestyle.  He introduced his cutesy friend to me. The friend winked at me. "Is your number still the same?" Brandon asked. "Yes, its still the same. I don't see a reason you would want to use it tho. Anyway I don't wanna hold you two up from skipping enjoy your day fellas." I walked away sick to my stomach and overjoyed that I never let his lips touch my body. In that order. 

I started my drive home unsure of how I felt about what I saw. I thought about the timing of it all. I exited the jeweler's shop at the perfect time. I didn't have to go snooping around. I never even thought to ask. My phone started vibrating indicating the receipt of a text message. I knew it was Brandon. I knew he would want to explain. 

"Let me explain" the message read. 
"Explain what sweetheart?" I asked. 
"I am not gay. I want you to know that" he responded. 
"I never said you were darling, but apparently your heart is guilty. You don't owe me an explanation" I shared. 
"I know what it looked like and its not like that. I am not gay. I just started identifying as bi[sexual]. I'm sorry I never got around to telling you. I was going to tell you on our second date." he wrote. 

My heart was beating through my chest. OMG I was Terry McMillian! I was disappointed in myself. I'm still not sure if I felt betrayed. 

How could I have missed the signs?
How could I have missed seeing that he is the type of guy who has sex with other men? 
How could I have been so naive? 

After 10 messages or so he called. I hit the ignore button. The last thing I wanted to do was talk to him. I assured Brandon via text I was not upset with him and I was not. I felt pity for him. I never got serious with him so I wouldn't allow myself to get upset. Shocked. That is the only emotion I could feel. In one fell swoop I had gone from a woman who thought she could peg a gay man with a once-over to a woman who almost dated one without knowing. Brandon insisted he didn't consider himself gay and that is why he decided to pursue me. He said the real reason his girlfriend left him was because he came clean (after a year) about his strong desire to go back to sleeping with both men and women. She wasn't "open" to that. Brandon said he was hopeful that he would find a woman who could accept the fact that he also enjoys sleeping with men. I wished him the best. 

What I learned: 
You can never be too careful when you're dating. When I told my friends back in Florida I was going to law school in DC one of the first things they warned me about was "Down low brothas." They would say things like "Chile you know its an epidemic up there. & you gotta be careful because some of em 'look regular'." I wasn't worried because I thought I had a state-of-the-art gaydar. My naïveté allowed me to think I could peg a guy for gay 100 yards away. I thought I could look at the way a man walked, talked and dressed to determine whether he was gay. Boyyyyy was I wrong.  The main thing I learned was not to put anything past anyone. Before my interaction with Brandon I never thought to come out and ask a man if he's ever had sex with another man. Some men are offended by it, but I can't go on dating in DC assuming they will all say no. I don't have any qualms with homosexual people. I still don't know if there ever would have been a good time for Brandon to reveal his bisexuality to me. 

By the way, go HEAT! 

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