What’s the plan?

What do you want? What are you looking for? What are you willing to do to get there?

Nothing else haphazard. 

Before I start any more relationship journeys, I need to know where this is headed. 

Point blank. Period. 

Everyone has a general plan. We all have an end game. It may not be easily satisfied or obtained, but it exists. 

Name it. 

Because I want forever. I want commitment and love, in natural progression. 

Oh…I’m your home girl?

New guy. My guy. The met his mama and his whole family guy. The met my dad and my son guy. The drop off lunch guy. The flowers delivered for an apology guy. The drive me, my son, and his friend to camp two hours away guy. The pick my son up from the same damn camp a week later guy. The late for work to ensure I’m okay guy. The fix my tire in the dark guy. The let’s vacation overseas together guy. The “don’t you wanna marry me one day” guy. The stay at his house, eat most meals with, talk about building an empire together guy. Yep, that guy. 

That guy just referred to me as his home girl. 

Huh? Excuse me? 

Me? You can’t possibly be referring to me. 

I almost went scary movie off. I mean run for your life type shit. Your home girl? Me? Really?

“First and foremost, I am too f*cking old to be anyone’s home girl. Too. F*cking. Old.”

Excuse my French. Inserted for both dramatic effect, and because it’s exactly what I said. 

And, for the romantics, I heard it with my own two ears, sitting beside him, on the couch, in silence. Please don’t tell me there could be a misunderstanding. 

He referred to me as his home girl, while talking to his home boy…I guess. I can only imagine we all get that title. This friend of his, was an associate of mine before I knew him. He’s the man I was talking to when I met my guy back in So there’s this guy… So, if he doesn’t know that we are dating (that’s its own issue), he would at least know my name. 

Use my name. If in doubt, say my name. No title. No confusion. Just my name. 

Never refer to me as your home girl. Maybe this was because we just saw the Tupac movie. Maybe he’s all hyped up on the 90s. IDK. IDC. 

I sat there. Stunned. Looked at him, equal parts hurt and confused. He looked at me. He didn’t correct the bullshit. He asked me what he was supposed to say. 

If you don’t know. I don’t know. 

I stayed a little while. Hung around. Waiting for the air to be cleared. Nope. He made small talk. He called me over to him. I didn’t move from my seat across the room. He dozed off. Woke up. Came to me. Made more small talk. Finished off the dinner in my to-go container. I sat there perfectly still. Continued watching Hulu on my cellphone. 

The cell phone with the tempered glass screen he bought me when I scratched my screen and in the Mophie case he got because I was always complaining about my battery life. 

He never mentioned home girl. So I got up, got my stuff, and left. I have a bed at home that I can lay in knowing full well who I am. And, he let me leave. 

The next morning he called. He typically calls. He said good morning and asked if I was still mad. I’m not mad. I’m good. He asked if I was annoyed. Yep, I am. Disappointed, too. 

“Why? This isn’t a big deal.”

“Because, I AM NOT YOUR HOME GIRL!” I’m not signing up for that title. It’s bogus. It’s young and dismissive. I’m not young. I’m not going to be dismissed. Because, we should have a damn plan at this stage in life. You obviously don’t have a plan for us. So, let’s be friends.

And, I’ll go back to waiting for the man who has a plan. And, you can do whatever it was you were doing before I was your home girl

Cool. 

I’m not interested in making anymore useless investments. I’m not going to play relationship with someone who doesn’t see me that way. This is insane. 

Too. F’ing. Old. 

Side note: I did stuff for him, too. Spent money, time, and resources. I wrote this to show how I misconstrued the direction of the relationship based on his actions. I thought we were working on something. 

It’s just a kick in the teeth. Wondering what you refer to me as when I’m not there and the person doesn’t already know me. Can’t imagine I’d be proud. 

It’s so important that you know what you want and be able to communicate it. It’s not weak. It’s grown. And, it’s keeps people from wasting each other’s time and breaking hearts. 

Update: As my mother says, “Nothing beats an understanding.” And, we got one…I think. Turns out home girl wasn’t the direction he wanted to go in. Hashed it out. Maybe we’re beginning to get this communication thing. 

So there’s this guy…

There’s a new guy. He’s a big f’ing deal, too. 

So we met in a haphazard way. I was enjoying a late dinner and marg with a friend. Sitting in a bar booth at On the Border, and minding my own business. We were set to close the place, or get really close. This was our first opportunity to catch up in a minute, and we had a lot to cover. 

As the bar patrons thinned out, I heard this loud voice booming over all the left over conversations, blenders, and televisions. He was playing commentator to some sporting event, out talking his friends, and standing up at the bar. 

WTH?!

I told my friend a couple times how annoyed I was. He was too loud. He was too hype. He was too intoxicated. Someone should take his drunk ass home. And if he chauffeured himself, let me get home before you hit the road. Geez. 

When we got up to leave, we had to walk right past him. I put my head down, and decided to breeze past. I’d already had enough. 

But, one of his friend was a guy I was friendly with. I felt compelled to speak. Just a quick half hug and the highlights on life since we’d seen each other last. 

I made the mistake of commenting about his “drunk friend.” As an aware citizen trying to ensure this man wasn’t going to be out and about on the roadways. Something like, “you’re friend is drunk af.” I whispered it during our half hug. It went directly into his ear. I was trying to keep my concern secret. 

He announces, “he’s not drunk.” 

“What?!” I said in disbelief. 

“Nah.” 

“You sure?”

And, we called too much attention to ourselves. Now the topic of “we’re talking about you not to you,” was turned around staring directly at me. 

“She thinks you’re drunk.” The guy says. Who is she? You probably don’t even remember my name. So, you shouldn’t be outing me. Damn. Really?

“I’m not drunk. I haven’t even had one drink.”

“Oh…” I had more to say, but I was choking down the foot in my mouth. I mustered up something charming. Laughed the whole thing off. Engaged them both a little more. And, then got the hell away before I said anything else I’d have to apologize for. Apologizing isn’t my favorite. 

Spring forward…I guess I was just charming enough. 

The next time we saw each other, we were having date night dinner at Olive Garden. Then we saw each other every day for over a week. Then we cooked dinner together at his house. Then we watched excessive amounts of TV. Then we had more Olive Garden, talked about going to Cuba, he learned how I liked my coffee, and he even met my son. 

We even had a spat. The honeymoon is over. We’re living real shit. Some days it feels like it would be easier to cut and run, but I don’t want to miss the journey. I don’t want this to end. 

Funny thing, I’d just realized I was done with relationships. I wasn’t ready. The thought was too much. I just wanted to build me. I just wanted to figure out my life. I need to carve the path to success for me and my kid. 

I was good on my own. That’s the way it was

And, I told the people closest to me, I’m not interested in a relationship. I’m just gonna date and have fun until I meet the guy that makes me not want to date anyone else. 

Something about opening his pantry and seeing a stock of my favorite Powerades, the ones he hates, and a little jar holding all my Splenda packets, that makes me wonder if I’ve met the guy that makes me not want to date anyone else. 

Side note: Those are just a few of the things he does. I’m writing this while eating the lunch he packed me. He’s a good guy. 

Speak up, loud and clear. 

I recently started dating someone. It’s new, but it’s going well. He’s attentive and warm, encourages me, supports me, and we laugh A LOT. This is going really well. 

And, we’re nearing the exclusive stages. So, I needed to reach out to past gents and let them know I’m taking myself off the market to invest in this new venture. 

Wow. 

Just the other day, I was making declarations about being single. Enjoying my freedoms. Not looking or expecting anything more than a few dates, a few cocktails, and a few laughs. I was finally enjoying being a single girl. I was invested in me. I was focused. 

Then he came along. And, he’s screwed up everything.

I’m happy. 

So, I start the conversations. And, 2/3 confessed that they wanted more. They’d been thinking about more. They’d been considering more. They’d realized their feelings for me were stronger than they’d thought. The other one saw this coming. Wanted me to be happy. Wished me well. Promised we’d be friends. 

Okay then. 

If you knew you wanted me, why didn’t you speak up? What’s wrong with you? 

Wait…did you think I was gonna stand in this space forever? Did you believe our non-relationship was so strong it would last forever?

No. NO. NO!!!

I was open to the man who would change my plan. You didn’t. 

I’m okay with that. But, as a woman who cares about you, I’m telling you don’t let another woman pass you by. Live in the moment. Love honestly. Don’t be afraid. And, tell her. She might be the woman that changes your life.  

Speak up. 

I haven’t been spontaneous since 2004. 

I am not spontaneous. Seriously, I’m not. I don’t absolutely hate surprises or spontaneity. They just don’t really fit in my life, and haven’t since 2004. Because I found out I was pregnant in January of 2005, and it’s been downhill since. 

I’m a mom, a daughter, a sister, all while having a full-time job, a business, this blog, and social and community responsibilities. I am busy. I feel like I say that all the time. 

I am juggling a lot of balls. As many as many others, I know. But, I’m just talking about me. 

So if we make plans, there’s a lot I have to do behind the scenes of that “yes”. I have to make sure my son is taken care of. I have to coordinate with someone else’s schedule, ask them nicely, and hope they say yes with no strings attached. I have to make sure he has everything he needs for that timeframe and any other timeframe it may impact. (If it’s a school night, did he get his homework done, have dinner, get his bath, brush his teeth, take his medicine, feed his fish, put everything away, get his schoolwork and backpack ready for the next day, pick out his clothes, pack his lunch, get his snack, say prayers, and get to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s not the responsibility of the person who agreed to help me to do ALL of that. He’s my son.) 

Can I leave after he goes to bed? When you’ve showcased yourself as single to your child his entire life, leaving him to spend a few hours “with some stranger” can be difficult to process…right before bedtime. 

I need to coordinate my work schedule. For me to have a late dinner and movie with you, I need to ensure I’m not going to be the closer at my retail job and miss any time with my son that evening. I need to go home and wrangle stuff, get things for both of us done, and ensure that I’m ready to see you. Plus I want to go ahead and have my shower, to keep from disrupting the house when I make it in. And because work attire and date attire are different, I have to put a lot of work into looking like I put in little effort. 

If I have to leave town for you or with you, I need to do all that times 1000.  Is my son staying with one of my parents or going to his dad’s for the weekend? Is my work schedule covered? Have I made any commitments to my friends, family, or social contacts that need to be changed? Is there anything I’m forgetting? Wait…who’s going to feed the fish?

There’s no room for spontaneity in this phase of my life. 

There’s also no room for missed plans or shitty excuses. If we make plans, and I do all of those things, you flaking in the 11th hour is unacceptable. It’s also inexcusable unless you’ve had some emergency situation or work thing that couldn’t be altered. 

And, it’s disrespectful. Because if my only responsibility in life was to sit still and wait for your attention, that’s funny to even type, it’s only courteous to follow through with what you have agreed too. It’s basic. It’s one of the things we were taught in grade school, at church, and at home. Honor your commitments. Respect other people’s time. Be a man or woman of your word. Integrity. Respect. Grown folks shit! 

Because, we are grown people. We know how to interact and engage with one another. We know how to do what’s right. Especially…ESPECIALLY, when you want to date me, sleep with me, and possibly give me your last name some day. 

And if you happen to screw this up, human nature and shit happens, apologize. Just apologize. Sincerely, apologize. Tell me the minute you know, try to lessen the impact, fix what you can, and apologize. Acknowledge the gazillion things I had to do to make myself available to you, the other people who were involved, and my hurt feelings. Own that you just messed up. Stand up like a grown up and accept responsibility, and NEVER let it happen again. 

I know emergency situations arise. I know, and this is separate from that. If you have an emergency or work thing out of left field, I get it. And if I get upset, I’m unreasonable. I would owe the apology. But only for the unforeseen, not the oops I forgot. 

I hope this provides some clarity to the man I went left on, the man I should have gone left on, and anyone else who’s immature shit isn’t recent enough to recognize.

Instructions on dating. 

I’ve been seeing someone, but we hit some rocky patches this summer. We dialed it way back, and now we’re dating each other. Trying to fix what’s broken. And, I’m dating  a healthy handful of other people too. This is good for me. Commitment and love don’t really work in this phase of my life. I need to see and be seen for a while. 

I went on the driest date of all. Mini date, coffee and conversation. Nice first step. Let’s break the ice. Let’s try something. Cool. 

Not cool. 

When you invite someone for coffee and conversation, you should be prepared to pay for the coffee and participate in conversation. IJS. 

1. Be prepared to pay, if you invited me. 

Because, I expect the person who asked to pay. 

I have my own funds, because I see everyone didn’t learn that. But, it says a lot about a man who A. didn’t meet me online and already knows what he’s getting himself into, B. isn’t broke AF, and C. has some manners. In his defense he offered to pay, but he used the phrase, “do you want me to get that?” Really?! I responded, “nah bro, I got it.” I literally said “bro” or more like “brah” in an attempt to show him this date just died. Then I pulled out my frequent coffee card and started this madness.

2. Conversation!!! 

Why don’t you, grown man, know how to have a conversation? Why don’t grown people know how to carry on a conversation? Why is this hard? It’s a tennis match. I say something, and then you say something. Nope. Silence. 

Then I took out my phone, checked Instagram, sent a text, and faked an emergency situation I had to leave for. Snatched up my coffee and my bag, and I was out. He was still asking questions in the back ground. This was super dry! You asking questions about where I was going, what I just said, and to please hit you up later was more than you’d mustered in the 5-10 minutes we’d been sitting there. 

It was only 5-10 minutes? Geez, it felt longer…much longer. 

3. What do you want? The reason why I’m still playing the field is because the boys on the field aren’t sure what they are playing for. 

Huh? What do you want, sir? 

The first guy, had me. I was his. We were trying the committed thing. He was hinting at loving me. I was feeling all the feelings. We were good. Until he started letting his actions and his words do drastically different things. Then when he was questioned, he was too tough to just apologize and put things back on track. He was too hard to be vunerable. So I left. I packed up my emotions and fled the scene. And, he realized that wasn’t the outcome he wanted. He realized he wanted me. He wanted this. He wanted to live the life we were in route too. 

Because you always want what you can’t have…human nature. 

I’m not ready to take him back the way we were before. I can’t keep investing with no return. Nope. Not me. Not again. So, I’m playing the field. I know exactly what I want, but I’m not giving it away for compliments and dinners. Work for me.