Please…please, calm down! Try not to get too
nauseated excited ladies but, yeah, that would be me in the featured image for this rather lengthy blog post. Future Word Press blogger extraordinaire and more than likely a future janitor King of Wakanda. It just so happens that I was drunk resting after my Vivica’s Black Magic male revue debut that you can watch here…though, full disclosure, I’m not in it. But if I was it would probably be more like this:
Also, in the featured image, you’re not able to see my six-pack abs from that angle (or any angle for that matter) mainly because they don’t exist just like my so-called Black Magic debut, though I’d like to believe I would’ve killed it in some alternate universe where women are either blind or have absolutely no standards whatsoever.
Anyway, that picture was taken in 2013 after a night of being pimp-slapped by seemingly endless shots of Jame-O and other spirits towards the end of a little research project I was conducting at the time that I like to refer to as being single again. The
reality idea suddenly hit me two years prior in 2011 when my ex-wife moved out as we legally separated and began the process of divorcing.
At the time she left, my weight was fast approaching 300 pounds and my already fragile ego was flatlining. I mean, I was at a very lonely place in my life, feeling unattractive, insecure, and very self-conscious. Plus, I was getting older–like closer-to-mid-life-crisis older where places on my body had become a lot hairier, less defined, and let’s just say…less visible.
And. Leave. It. There.
But I told myself I wouldn’t rush into another relationship just because I was feeling lonely. I first had to learn to live alone, to be alone, and get to know myself better which turned out to be total bullshit once I started to lose weight.
But before I started to slim down I briefly went through an online dating phase. I truly believed that being a single Black man with a job, no children, and pursuing a college degree would somehow give me an edge, enhance my appeal in a country that continues to stereotype African American males as basically criminals which is wypipo’s code for nigger.
(*For more info on wypipo codes just watch Fox News–a “fair and balanced” Klan rally)
Still, I felt sort of special, mythical even, in that Will-Smith-Bagger–Vance-magical-Negro kind of way. And so I joined online dating websites like OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish, Zoosk, and Christian Mingle. (Until CM being the bunch of online-dating-Nazis that they are blocked me for apparently not being single enough since I was only “legally separated” and even asked me to send them a copy of my divorce papers after they were finalized–true story).
I quickly learned that online dating wasn’t for me because I also realized that people lie on their dating profiles. And, yes, I was one of them. But you have to understand that the internet gifted men like me–men without vast amounts of wealth, who don’t possess Danny Glover good looks (yes, Danny not Donald)–with an anonymous platform to totally reinvent ourselves.
My dating profiles were epic, filled with that extra! I’m talkin’ about some of the greatest works of fiction ever created because the world of online dating never seemed real to me. So there was no way I could take it seriously. You can be anybody you want to be online–photo-shopped, filtered and earning ridiculous sums of money as a former ghostwriter for Vanilla Ice and Young MC (which I would never admit even if it were true). But my point is that you can be anybody it seems…except yourself.
The closest I ever came to actually going on a date is when a woman with a very attractive profile pic messaged me that she had been kidnapped by her uncle who was holding her captive in a closet. Realizing the severity of the situation, I naturally replied by asking her out…but strangely enough, I received no reply in return. Still, I felt I was oh so close. I blame her uncle. (Also a true story…well some of it anyway.)
Though, once the weight came off, I felt like a younger man–slimmer and more confident. But, my “game” was a little rusty and my wardrobe was in dire need of an upgrade; and by an upgrade, I mean a complete overhaul. I needed a more contemporary look that didn’t involve my collection of cargo pants with the elastic waistband and the drawstring option, plus-size crew neck t-shirts, and several pairs of Sketchers. I wanted to look the part of a bachelor reborn, as I started to hear that old school, Mark Morrison R&B jam in my head, Return of the Mack.
And I don’t mean to brag (because I can’t) but back in the day, I used to have a way with the ladies…the wrong way. I’ve been threatened with mace, a restraining order, and police involvement which is why I no longer go to church and none of that’s true though it’s still believable.
So after more than a decades-long absence, I started to frequent El Paso’s local bars and clubs, observing the nightlife from the shadows. I had to peep game. And what I saw was a tech-savvy wasteland filled with strangers lost in the glow of their cell phones and social media apps in a trending world that threatened to go viral at any moment. So, of course, I tried to fit in as best I could–kind of like an aging Black hipster using outdated cultural references and trying to decode acronyms in my text messages.
But I did meet plenty of women of varying ages, races, and from different walks of life. Mostly, divorced single mothers feeling empowered in that I-don’t-need-a-man sort of way. Two of whom I befriended and we became an impromptu party crew.
They helped me navigate the modern social scene and to whom I am forever grateful. Though, I could’ve gone the rest of my life without knowing the reason behind wearing granny panties.
Overall, women seemed to be more take-charge than I remember, randomly pulling me onto the dance floor, buying me drinks, being more assertive. Most were educated, professional women, some with degrees and deep pockets. And I’m their biggest cheerleader when it comes to women’s equality. But there was one woman who took it too far. A woman whose breath smelled like a loaded baby diaper that was set on fire and left inside the only Porta-Potty at a free Wine and Chili cook-off loudly demanded that I buy her a drink. It took me a couple of weeks to grow back my facial hair and my hairline receded so far back that I decided to just go bald. (Just kidding…sort of).
I soon came to the conclusion that I was too old to be trying to hook up or to go looking for friends with bennies to have emotionally detached, consequence-free, casual, meaningless sex with. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of sex but I also have this ridiculous notion (which is almost unheard of nowadays) of getting to know a woman first.
Call me old-fashioned…please!
So I took the entire experience as a reality check that I’m not young anymore. All I can do is reminisce about a simpler time before the internet, cell phones, and reality TV. (You were right Dolce Speaks.) I mean, people I graduated high school with are grandparents now but there’s still no way in hell I would want to trade places with them. On the bright side, I have a lot more time to pursue my dream of becoming a successful writer. For me, it’s dream big and sleep little. I had a good run and I’m okay with that.