You know how you have those moments where you have to sit back in your seat and think to yourself, “That did not just happen to me.” I had one of those moments on a date not too long ago.
This post is belated as it happened well over a month ago, and wasn’t going to write about it but it has bothered me SO MUCH since. Because he seemed so normal. Because it was so easy and fun. Because I thought I was the woman. I just wonder if this type of thing is happening to anyone else or if the universe is trying to steer me down a clear path of celibacy.
This is what happened…
Seemingly Normal Guy and I met at a gas station one Saturday afternoon when I got off work. It is exactly as unglamorous as it sounds. Usually I meet people in wonderfully charming and off beat ways but this is not that. I was filling up my truck and he was filling up his Maxima when he made a crack about my car in desperate need of a wash and then my school. When I saw his TSU plates I took pity on his obvious lack of good judgment, assured him that we all make mistakes, and that if he actually used the number he was asking me for, he could start to turn his life around.
The rest of the weekend and the early part of the following week was filled with the pre-first date prerequisites: the getting to know you conversations (I found someone who actually uses a phone. I want to put him in a museum), the cute and flirty texts, the random funny emails and jokes. He was funny. He was charming as all hell. He wasn’t Republican. He didn’t hit me with the pervert laugh and ask if he could join in when I told him about my ex. He asked me on Tuesday if he could take me out on Friday. He had an ACTUAL date planned and didn’t leave it up to me. In short, he was kinda perfect.
We go to dinner Friday (he picked a sushi restaurant. SUSHI. A BLACK MAN WITH NO KIDS AND NO DIVORCES WHO EATS SUSHI. Where the hell is Ashton Kutcher?!) and he is every bit as amazing, if not more so, than he was through all the annals of technology. Plus, he smells amazing. I keep inhaling so deeply I am pretty sure he thinks I am having an asthma attack. But whatever, he smells all masculine and woodsy I am having a hard time keeping my panties to myself.
Over passing our rolls back and forth and sipping sake, the talk turns personal. But not on-a-date-fresh-out-of-college personal; why you don’t got a man? Have you ever done it outside? You wanna split the check on this hot wing order with me and come back to my place to “watch a movie”? It’s that kind of grown up personal.
By the way, when did I start dating like a grown up? I am getting older at a pace that is alarming to me and I am NOT happy about it.
“So,” he says, sipping sake, “why have you chosen to be single?” His phrasing is impeccable. “Chosen” sounds neither patronizing like he is lowkey asking what’s wrong with you? nor is it setting me up for juvenile game: “You’re wifey material. Why ain’t nobody put a ring on it yet?” As though I have no say so in the matter.
“I just haven’t found someone worth being with in the long term yet I suppose.”
This is a lie. Clearly. I have neither been looking nor entertaining the keepers that find me. But it is a nice way to say that you are too lazy to be committed and can’t decide if you want a boyfriend that lets you have a girlfriend or a girlfriend that lets you have a boyfriend so in the meantime you keep two jump offs that keep you happy.
I turn the question back on him and he gives the standard first date answer; just enough info to show me he is human and sane but not so much that I am turned off by how often he stalks his ex-girlfriend’s place for signs that she is sleeping with someone new.
So far, this is all just perfect.
And then he ruins it.
“It’s really a shame it all fell apart, too.”
“Oh, really? Why is that?”
“Because I am SO ready to have a family.”
*cue record scratch*
There is a large consortium of women for whom this would be the part of the date where it felt as though the heavens opened up and Jesus himself reached down to give their uterus a little thump.
I am not one of those women.
“Oh. Ok. Had you guys been discussing marriage and kids?”
“Not necessarily marriage. She wasn’t ready for that. But I convinced her to have kids.”
Sir. SIR. You CONVINCED HER? You, being a grown ass, fine ass, successful man with no kids and no ex-wives had to CONVINCE any half sane woman with a uterus who is not me to have a kid with you?
“So, you want to have kids like, soon?”
“Oh, yes. I want at least five but probably six or seven, and since I am 33 I really need to get started. I have always wanted to have kids. And I see my homeboys with their sons and daughters and it just makes me wish I had one.”
Seven? SEVEN? SEVEN WHOLE CHILDREN?! Do you want a reality show or something? By now I am fidgeting in my seat but I try to laugh it off.
“Wow! Seven! That’s a lot of children. Do they even make a minivan big enough for nine people?”
“Well that was part of the reason I got the car I have now. I figured it could last me through at least three children and then we could upgrade. But it’s large enough to fit five comfortably and it has an amazing safety record.”
“So, do you want children?”
“Um, I am not completely sure yet.”
This is where you can see the record scratch happen for him. But as my own occurred about 4 minutes and 37 seconds ago, I am barely concerned.
“You mean, like, you don’t know if you want to have children AT ALL?”
“I just haven’t made up my mind yet.”
“Well, you’re 27. When exactly did you plan on deciding?”
Did this man just clock my uterus?
“27 is still young! I haven’t put a timeline on myself. If I am with someone and it happens then ok. And if I don’t have kids then I will still have a great life.”
“Wow. I don’t think I have ever met a woman who didn’t want to have kids.” He stares at me for awhile like I just told him I prefer to eat the heads of chickens, beaks and all, rather than the actual edible parts. I think he keeps waiting for me to say I am joking.
“I mean, like, wow. I thought everyone our age had thought about it. And decided. I mean, when you see your friends with their children, and see their little fingers and toes and hear their little baby giggles and smell their baby smell it doesn’t make you want to have them? At all?”
I don’t have the heart to tell him that most of my friends are without child, and quite a few of them are epically committed to single shenanigans that having a child would really get in the way.
Instead I grunt out something indiscernible and noncommittal.
And so he spends the next 20 minutes waxing philosophically about just how badly he wants children.
His monologue, while heartfelt, is like cold water to my libido. I get it. I do. We aren’t 21 anymore. We can’t just go out for the sake of a free meal (women) or on the off chance we will get laid (men) anymore. We are (somewhat) too old to be dating without purpose. There are biological clocks and tax incentives and mortgages to consider. But seriously. It is our FIRST DATE. Do I need to hear about how you already have a room picked out in the house you bought last year for your “future family” that you think would be just perfect for a nursery?
By the end of the date, we were both staring at each other like we were sitting across from a dog that can do taxes. Not really sure what was going on, but certain we don’t trust it. I have NEVER been so glad that I strictly never ride with a man on a first date. Getting back to my car after the check was paid felt like finding an American embassy after being lost in a hostile, foreign land for months. I was SAFE.
This is probably gonna happen to me more the older I get. Conversations about where we want to travel and what we want to do in our careers will be inevitable replaced by what city we want to raise kids in and what religion we think they should be. I get it. But can it wait until the third date? Or hell at the VERY LEAST the third date. I will likely be inebriated enough by then not to be so disturbed by it
Men, next time you go on a date, bring your wallets. Leave your biological clocks AT HOME.