After a long day at work I stopped into a local restaurant that sold cheap wraps. I do cook, every once in a while, but this while was not that time. As soon as I walk in I feel all eyes on me. Now, this tiny, hole in the wall establishment was being occupied by two male patrons. I won't call them men, because after my experience in the store there's no way I'd classify them as such.
I pull out my earphones, which at this point are a staple of my wardrobe. I never leave home without them.
The gentlemen behind the counter began to take my order and would end up putting together one of thee most delicious wraps I had ever had. While I was focused on making my time in the restaurant an efficient one, I could tell the two males behind me were looking me up and down. They sat quietly as I placed my order, waiting for a chance to get my attention.
While I was waiting for my wrap to be pressed to perfection, I hear one of the males say, "Are you a model?" I quickly surveyed the restaurant and confirmed the comment was meant for me seeing as though there were no other patrons present.
I turn his direction and find he and his young male friend looking me in the eye. I was pleased by their ability to make eye contact instead of continuing the eye survey they had been practicing moments prior. Being the kind person that I am, I responded to his inquiry.
"No, I am not a model. I am just tall."
Shocked and appalled by my failure to profit from my modelesque height and stature he exclaims, "You don't model! You're way too beautiful not to be a model!"
Let's put this statement in context: I was in Harlem, a place I am constantly verbally attacked and talked to in a way that make me like I am a nudist walking around the streets of Manhattan. This guys approach was refreshing so I took the statement as a compliment. There were no vulgar comments and he seemed genuinely surprised that I was in fact, not a model. So, I entertained additional comments and a conversation began.
"Where are you coming from?"
Hmm, I glance down at my clearly business casual attire and reply with a confused face, "I'm coming from work." I scrunch my face and turn away back to important matters, the aroma coming from my chicken wrap is making my stomach scream.
We exchange a few more sentences and my wrap is almost ready so the time is now or never for him to make his move.
"Can I get to know you?" he says noticing that my wrap is being brought to the register. "Ummm, how do you plan on doing that?" I reply.
"Can I get your Instagram?" he says in the most matter of fact way. He really thought to himself, self, you'd like to get to know this attractive young lady. You should ask for her number in a method that will facilitate getting to know her on another level. Instagram it is!
I asked, "How are you going to get to know me by following me on Instagram?" His quick reply, "I'm going to go through your account and like some pictures for a while and then ask for your number."
My face! MY FACE!! I scratched my head and for some reason continued the conversation, "Why didn't you just ask for my phone number?"
Now he's confused. He's wondering why the weak game that had worked on so many other young women was not getting him the response he desired. His voice got lower as he responds. "I want to crawl before I walk, ya know."
I tilt my head and reply to him, "Sweetheart, at this rate, you're still gestating." I had to school this young male, so I continue. "I know its 2013 but a phone number is the way to go."
But I wasn't done there. "Can I ask how old you are?" I ask.
I was relieved to pick up on his body language and determine he was a confident young male and was not offended by my questioning. He looked intrigued by my push back.
Hold the front, back and side door. This male was a man by age. This twenty-eight year old male asked for my Instagram.
Moral of the story: When you walk into a restaurant in Harlem, keep your headphones in.