The white guy was the size of my thigh, but that didn’t stop him from being cute. He talked too much, and I believed him when he said he had major ADD. In the middle of our riveting conversation, I realized that he had laughed at all of my jokes; I had, in turn, encouraged him to talk about himself.
I had an internal pause.
Did I like this man?
I squinted my eyes, sizing him up; I knew just how to play it, if I wanted to date him. A few conversations about a mix of sports, fiction and history, a well placed invitation to some out of the way, unheard of band, a house party with red cups and too much alcohol, and we’d be dating, just like that. Jeans, t-shirts, brightly colored high heels, red lipstick with fake hair would be my low-key costume.
It would be a quick 3 month affair, and we’d part amicably and hang out from time to time with no problems, no recriminations, just friends.
But first, I had to decide whether or not I liked him. I liked him enough to talk to him; hearing his voice didn’t make me want to punch a wall. He was lively and interesting, and always made sure to bring the conversation back to me, which is challenging when I am playing Detective Barbie.
In this mode, I ruthlessly ask questions like soldiers throw grenades. I smile, laugh, flirt and file away information like the KGB.
But I still didn’t know if I liked him. All that conversation, all that grinning, and I still couldn’t tell. I panicked slightly. How could I not know my own heart? Did some essential thing dry up within me? Have I been heartbroken so often that, when I meet cute guys, I don’t feel anything at all?
I hid my internal crisis with another gale of laughter at one of his jokes. I honestly could not figure myself out. He was cute, smart, funny. He was perfect for carrying to parties with preppy scholars who talk more about Foucault than Beyonce,
and with close friends who talk more about Beyonce than Foucault.
But I still couldn’t figure out how I felt about him.
Perhaps, I thought, this manbattical was a good idea. A few months ago, I decided to take a break from dating for a while, so I could focus on my research, heal from past relationships, get closer to the Lord. This hasn’t, however, stopped a small coterie of determined man friends from spending time with me. I appreciate their attention, which always makes me feel pretty + smart on days when I am neither.
Could I add this cute white boy to my group of man friends? I could still enjoy his company without the stress of a relationship. Yes, I decided, a friendship would be great.
As if coming to the same conclusion, cute white boy asked me to drop by his bar this weekend.
“Sure, why not?” I responded. And I gave him my best Detective Barbie smile.