Monday, September 29, 2008

Confessions of a Textaholoic (Part 1)

So I kept pretty low key this weekend. Besides the hilarious Speed Dating adventure of Saturday, my weekend was pretty calm. Dallas was out of town with the family so I had no male attention planned for the weekend. I spent yesterday travelling though Inglewood with Bria and Antonio in search of something to do on a Sunday night. We acted like tourist the entire night; we had no real final destination and a car full of gas, ready to burn. The afternoon began with us watching Sunday night football at my house. Well, myself and Antonio watched, Bria mostly talked. She really isn’t that into sports. At some point we decide to watch a movie but never quite make it there.

By the end of the night we have journeyed to LA to Antonio’s cousins house, WingStop, back to my house, halfway to Lucky Strike Bowling Alley and finally to Bria’s house. We chilled there for a while before heading to Club Friday’s later that night.

Now Friday’s isn’t really a club, it’s a chain of restaurants. But this Friday’s is not your ordinary Friday’s. At night time it’s a flat out meat market, with poor customer service and over cooked food. The women come to find guys to buy them drinks and the guys come hoping they can impress a girl with the little money they just saved from their last pay check. Normally, I wouldn’t be caught dead in this place, but Antonio had a craving for their Jack Daniels chicken breast and his harem (myself, Bria and Melanie who we kidnapped) was willing to oblige. This is not to be confused with Club 24 Hour Fitness, which happens to be owned by the same famous ex-basketball player and has the exact same atmosphere.

Before we left, I had gotten a text from Dallas asking me how I was. This was the first time I had heard from him since he left for home. I didn’t have time to reply since I was on my way out the door and I was the driver for the evening. Before 10 minutes had passed, he was asking if I was alive. I laughed as we walked in. Why was he all of a sudden so concerned with my well being? I hadn’t heard from him all weekend and it didn’t phase me.

When we are finally settled I respond. “I’m good, how was the weekend with the family?” We begin a conversation through text just catching up on the days missed. In every message there is a compliment, which I don’t really take notice of. I know guys say exactly what a girl wants so I pay him no mind, but at the same time I am enjoying the attention. Somehow our nice texts turn into R-rated messages. I am completely caught off guard and I stop replying. He asks if something is wrong…

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Product of my environment?

Last night, I let a friend of mine take me; I won’t say drag because I really had nothing better to do, to a Speed Dating fundraiser. My intentions were not to find the man of my dreams; really it was to have an interesting story to tell if I were ever asked about it.

On the way up there, I was not the least bit nervous. This was just something to do to pass the time. I walk in to the room, filled with people who I believe, in different circumstances, would never give me the time of day. But I will also say, I would probably also never notice and might laugh if they ever did. With me standing at 6 foot 3 at this point, I never go anywhere after 7 pm without heels on, and these men averaging 5 foot 8, it would never work. I also noticed that 100% of these men can be classified as White, Asian or some other non African ethnicities. I don’t count the 2 black men in the room because I already knew them. But hey I can’t run out the door screaming and yelling, especially since I didn’t drive. And I have never ruled out dating outside my race, I’ve just never been approached by anyone other than black men.

We are told that we have 4 minutes to get to know the potential mate of our dreams, before we hear a whistle and have to move on to the next victim, I mean date. The whistle blows and we all begin. The first guy tries to break the ice with the typical ice breaker question, “Where are you from?” “I am from Inglewood,” I reply. He looks as if he has never known anyone from that area which is actually a relief for me at that moment because people usually say a lot of weird things to me after finding out where I am from. We continue our banter until the whistle blows and we move on.

The next guy is from Chicago so he didn’t even know where Inglewood was so we didn’t stay on that subject too long. We mostly talked about if I would ever publish my art for other people to see. I do sketch sometimes but my portfolio is off limits to everyone. Not even my own little sister knows about it. She has seen my work from when I was younger but I have never talked about it since then. I shouldn’t be afraid to share something that I love to do but it’s really something I do for me. I don’t do it for profit or for praise and I like to keep it to myself for now. The whistle blows in the middle of his reasoning for sharing and the fun continues.

The next guy is from Redondo Beach. His first question after what is your name is “Where are you from?” I reply, “Inglewood.” He looks at me a bit surprised and yells out “INGLEWOOD always up to no good.” I think he expected me to join in on the debauchery but I was busy trying not to show my repulsion. I knew at this point the rest of our conversation was going to be pretty interesting. Our conversation progresses but not far enough for him to move back to the topic of Inglewood.

“Is what they say true about Inglewood?” There was no way I was going to make this little white man, anything under 6 ‘2’ is little to me by the way, feel comfortable, so I simply replied with, “What do they say?” His obviously uncomfortable reply, “You know,” he pauses for a second. “Have you seen the movie ‘THE WOOD’?” “Yes,” I reply. At this point I don’t know if I should be offended or applaud his balls. I know what some people say and some of it is true, but how can I handle this conversation and not feel like a sell out tomorrow. I tell him that things are never as they seem in the movies. But I don’t go into any further detail, and the bell rings. Time to move on.

After “dating” several more pretty interesting gentlemen, it’s my friend Ted’s turn. I ask Ted who dragged him there, already knowing it must have been our mutual friend, Ira. He confirms and we get right to it. First question, “Where are you from?” I scold him for not remembering the answer to that question. I had actually just met him one week prior and we were more like acquaintances than friends. Finally, I reply with “Inglewood.” He looks a bit caught off guard by my answer, but I can tell he is intrigued. “I don’t know how to say this.” Ted says. I can tell he wants to say something but doesn’t know if it is politically correct to say. I quickly interrupt him and let him know that there is not way he can offend me because I have heard it all before so to spit it out. “You seem too reserved to be from Inglewood,” Ted says.

This is not the first time I have heard this type of comment. I explain that I am not insulted or offended but that I am just me and that’s all there is to it. I know what people say about Inglewood and I don’t feel insulted when people tell me that I don’t act like I am from there. The week before, Dallas had made the same comment; “You don’t act like you’re from Inglewood.” I wasn’t phased at all. I knew what he meant and there was nothing more to it. But should I be offended when they do? Should I say something in defense of Inglewood and the people who “act” like they are from there? What does it really mean to 'act' like you are from somewhere?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Drinks Anyone???

After one bad experience in high school (where I drank til I vomitted and had to be thrown in a cold shower) and reflecting on what I want for myself, I decided at age 18 not to be a drinker. There may have been 4 times in the past 6 years where I have either taken a sip or have almost passed out from alcohol, but drinking has never been MY thing. This means that whenever I go out with a group of friends, I am usually the designated driver, which I don't mind, sometimes.

Sunday, I met this cute guy from Dallas and we set a date for the following night. I told him to meet me at Lucky Strike Bowling Alley for drinks. I hate movies on a first date and I don't think you can really get to know someone that way, so this seemed like a good idea.

Dallas walks in at 9:20, late by the way, to find me intensely watching the ESPN Recap of Monday Night Football. I must admit that I am quite a football fan, basically I am any kind of vicious contact sport fan. But please don't label me as a violent person, although I can be if the situation called for it.

I scold him for a while for being late and then we begin our journey of getting to know each other. The conversation is going pretty well early on, we are both laughing and the chemistry is definitely there. Dallas asks me if I want a drink and I say I am fine with the glass of water I have been baby sitting for the past half hour. (I by the way was 10 minutes early, and nervous as heck.)

He looks at me in astonishment and asks, "You don't drink?" I reply no and he decides to break something down for me. (Dallas was very kind and not condescending at all in his tone.) "Next time you invite a guy out, for future references, let him know you don't drink," I understood where he was coming from, kind of. But why does it matter? I am happy with my water (or cranberry juice if I'm in a good mood) and what better way to get to know someone on a first date then at a bar.

At some point I change the subject, but not before mentioning that he is not the first guy to suggest that idea. And I'm sure Dallas won't be the last. Our date continues, and the subject somehow comes up again over our late dinner. He wants to know why I decided not to drink. I told Dallas a quick synopsis about my traumatic high school experience, but insisted that it was not the only reason I chose not to. We continued talking and flirting for the remainder of our time together we go our separate ways. On the way home, I started reflecting about the night and our conversation and it really got me thinking.

How important is it to a man, or woman, that their partner drinks? Do you feel a person is less fun to be with if they choose not to partake in the college ritual of drunken debauchery or in the occasional glass of wine?
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