Would you believe me if I told you that my very first date with a black dude in this city of 15 jillion people (that wasn’t because of a dating app) happened a smooth eight years into living here?
This girl couldn’t get a date (text, DM, follow) in NYC for eight years. Look at this f-cking work of art, people!
It was a super nice July afternoon and I was heading home after an appointment at this temp agency. I quit my corporate job in 2013 for a life of poverty and begging my mom for money, so I was back and forth to these appointments a lot. I must’ve cleaned up nice that day because as I was leaving the train station to walk home, another train rider stopped me to let me know that. As a girl who had never been told she looked nice before by a man, I was taken aback to say the least. I only understood StreetHarrassmentese, so I honestly had no clue what to say. I was still unsure if the voice was actually even talking to me, so I didn’t look to see who it was coming from. I mumbled “thanks” super low and kept walking.
“Dates of Our Lives: In the Key of Rihanna” Episode 1
The voice spoke to me again and I eventually slowed my pace. To keep it 3hunna, dude was not my type (see type here), but beggars can’t be choosy, ya’know? I was 29, not due for vacation for a few months, and my nethers was in a constant state of near combustion thanks to women’s sexual peak cycle. He lived a block away from me, so we essentially walked home together from the train. He was nice and polite, but did that annoying NYC local thing of asking a million questions back to back instead of letting convo flow. We got to the corner of my block, exchanged numbers, and he said he would hit me up with date plans. Dude was by no means my IBM in any shape/form/fashion, but I was excited to actually know what it feels like to go on a date in this city.
Then the red flags started waving.
Red Flag One
He tried to convince me to come to his house the next night.
I settled for his stoop. The convo was pretty bleh. He had somehow found me on WhatsApp and asked me questions about my avi (me on the beach in Tanzania) and started bragging about all of his trips to Miami. Then it turned into him talking about all of the “crazy” music he’s been listening to. He was saying how out there it was, so I’m getting excited thinking that he might inch closer to being a guy I could actually like. I asked him what artists. He giggled and said Young Thug.
Red Flag Two
He texts me the following day with the date plans. Again, I was stilllllll going with it because I wanted this experience. He tells me the name of the place…and it’s a chain restaurant in downtown Brooklyn. Look, I’m no snob, but in a place like NYC with dope restaurants on every corner, it’s no reason we should be going to a chain. Not only is that silly, you’ll wind up spending more than you could at a more authentic dining spot.
Red Flag Three
We get to the spot. It’s a long wait, so I’m already feeling the hangries rising. We finally get a table and order our food. Then out of no where, the convo goes as follows:
Date: Have you ever thought you were pregnant before?
Date: shrugs I mean sh-t, it happens.
We basically ate in silence after that.
Red Flag Four aka Guinness World Record for Biggest Red Flag
We finish dinner and he has to go to the bathroom. One of my college friends who had just moved to the city and I randomly bumped into each other at the restaurant. So while dude was in the bathroom, I’m talking to my people. After about 10 minutes, we realize he never came back to the group. He walked right by my friends on his way to the bathroom as if he was allergic to being introduced, but I assumed it was because he was rushing to el baño.
“Dates of Our Lives: In the Key of Rihanna” Episode 2
Ten minutes turn into twenty, so I’m praying he isn’t dropping bombs all over the bathroom. I say bye to my friends and go outside to call him. He answers the phone and lets me know that he was already back in our hood. I was, according to him, talking to my friends too long and so…he left. I say that he could’ve come back to the group and got me or participated. He responded bitingly with “I don’t know them, so why would I talk to them?”
Needless to say, I’ve never spoken to him again. Shockingly, I haven’t seen him in the neighborhood either. That experience is what ignited this journey.
It was a looooooooong 10 months and I didn’t meet my goal of hanging out regularly with a black dude by the May 22 deadline. BUT I GOT FREE MOLE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS AND TWO MARGARITAS OUT OF IT, SO WIN!
Steph Watts lives in Brooklyn and chronicles her hilarious struggles trying to find black hippie love in this still-evolving saga. She also, obviously, loves Rihanna, Queen Heartbreaker. Read Episode 1 here and Episode 2 here.