Dating has significantly changed since the 90’s when I initially started. It is not as simple as being set up with your best friend’s brother ,someone you meet at church or the mall. We now have the infamous online dating. You are able to meet people from anywhere at anytime and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. When you are in high school, dating was as simple as writing a note to a boy asking him if he likes you check yes and if he didn’t check no. It was definitely not that easy in college, especially if you had a class with the person you were interested in. There was an entire plan that had to be implemented. Your breath had to be right, you had to always look your best for that class and you have to be very knowledgeable, just in case the professor called upon you. One of the most important things was you had to be paired with him for all of the group assignments and that meant positioning yourself close to him at all times. It really made going to an 8 o’clock class fun. College provided its own topics of conversation. I have had to deal with HS since I was 16, but is was not chronic at the time. I would get a cyst on my back or leg and my mommy would tell me how to fix it and make it better. I did not have to explain it to anyone. You could always find a class or professor to complain about. I was really nervous about disclosing to my date that I was already a mother to the most beautiful boy in the world. I had already been dumped in high school because a guy told me he did not want a “ready made” family. During that time, it was one of the most hurtful things a man could have said to me.
Fast forward to the present dating world and it is unrecognizable and there is much more stress and anxiety surrounding dating. Mind you most of it is self imposed, but it’s still there. Now the elephant in the room is not the fact I am a young mother, but whether or not I should say something about my HS. If I decide to share it, when is the right time? On top of all of that, I still have to be stunning, have good breath, have a car, a great job and a laundry list of requirements men have. Gone are the days when all you had to be was a kind, ambitious and come from a good family. Should I date or just continue to get more puppies? I decided to take a stab at dating after almost talking myself out of it. My mind was swimming with thoughts of what if I have a flare up on the day of our date? What if one of my bandages come off? What if I don’t feel well? What if I have a visible cyst and he thinks I have it because I have questionable hygiene? What am I going to wear because I have to be comfortable as well as cute? What if we vibe and I tell him and then he leaves? I had worked myself up in a tizzy to the point of dread and just wanted to get it over with. This was my first date after my divorce. I even called my ex-husband because I was so nervous. He was so supportive and told me to just be my beautiful self.
On the day of my date, I felt okay. I did have a flare up, but I was able to manage it enough to go on the date. I did not want to waste this outfit I had put together and I did not want to cancel at this point. This is Atlanta and traffic sucks, so I was running a tad bit late and decided to valet park since he had made it to the restaurant before I did. We recognized each other from photos. He waited for me at the door and greeted me with a hug. He was much shorter than I expected, but that was fine. We were seated and that’s when it all went downhill. After he showered me with compliments he asked me if I would be able to “spot him some cash” in case he wanted to order a steak. Was he joking? I could not get a read on him. We ordered and I advised him to get a salad. We laughed and continued to order. I asked him what he liked to do for fun? He said and I quote ” fun? What is that? I work all the time and I can’t get ahead. Listen, can you help me buy a transmission for my car because you look like you can afford it?” I thought I heard wrong so I asked him to say it again. I started to laugh and when I noticed he was not laughing I got upset. I stopped our waiter and cancelled my order, politely grabbed my purse and left. He had the nerve to follow me to the door and ask me for a ride. I looked at him and said ” if you don’t get away from me, I am going to scream!” I went to Five Guys, got a burger and went home. I could not believe what happened. Of course you know I laughed and immediately called my girls. The funny thing is I was so worried about HS I forgot how wonderful I was. I forgot I was beautiful, smart, kind and had overcome so many things in my life. In the end, he was cute…………….. and that was it. There was definitely not a love connection so I tried again. Stay tuned!
In its purest form, dating is auditioning for mating (and auditioning means we may or may not get the part).
JOY BROWNE, Dating for Dummies