Intuition: Instinctive knowledge or belief; a hunch
Intuition is a funny thing. We all have it, but sometimes we don’t listen to it. Other voices get into our heads, challenging our intuition or gut feeling.
This happened to me last week.
In early November, I was busy swiping left and right to countless pictures of New York singles, in hopes to find my soul mate on Tinder, because that’s a possibility, right?
Among my many matches that evening, one stood out. His name was Steve and he is a therapist and a writer – my two favorite professions in one person! I figured I could receive some helpful edits and advice for my writing while also lying on his couch talking to him about the issues with my mother.
Perfect dating situation, right?
We quickly did the normal Tinder-thing and exchanged our phone numbers to make the texting all that easier. But, I could tell from the first message he sent me that I wasn’t going to like him, mostly because after every message he sent me, he added “Sexy” to it, a word I only want to hear from Jake Gyllenhaal, my personal shopper, or the cashier at Chipotle.
He said that we should meet up after work and I said yes, but quickly regretted my decision. I told my friends about meeting him and expressed my concerns and they all told me to just “shut up” “go with it” and “stop eating at Chipotle every day.” So, I listened to them and decided to go. Who knows, he may be my soul mate. I stopped listening to my gut and gave him a chance.
He works and lives in Harlem, so he suggested grabbing a few drinks up in that area. He then mentioned the place we were going to is “just minutes from his apartment.” If he thought I was going to get drunk and hook up with him, he was kind of right.
Having never been to Harlem, I obliged his request and told him that I would be there at 6:30, the time he was getting off work.
I missed the train and had to wait, making me 15 minutes late – something I very rarely do, and a trait I find extremely disrespectful. Luckily, I got service for a few minutes on the train and told him I would be there a little late and he replied that he works across the street from the bar we were meeting at and to just text him when I got off the train and he would meet me.
Once off the train I texted and he said, “On my way.”
I stood outside of the bar with my arms folded, waiting for him to appear. I looked left, right and behind me, and he was nowhere to be found. A 6’2’’ white male would stick out like a sore thumb in Harlem, I thought.
I ended up standing outside the place for 15 minutes until he arrived, which made me a little annoyed, but I figured it wasn’t the end of the world.
The end of the world, however, was the way he acted and spoke. Now, I am not into the flamboyant type – you know the guy who talks with his hands, wears more than one bracelet on his arm, and says the word “Yaaaaaaas!”
I noticed that he was extremely flamboyant from 100 yards away. One, he walked like he was on the catwalk in Rupal’s Drag Race. Secondly, he had a tan tote bag around his shoulder, only holding his cell phone. Isn’t that what pockets are for?
He greeted me, kissed me on the cheek, and grabbed the front door to the bar. We ended up sitting down at a table, in-between two couples having a much better time than I would.
The waitress approached us and asked for our drink order. I asked for a glass of the Cabernet while my date smacked his lips, rolled his eyes and said, “I’ll take a Makers Mark on the rocks because I’ve had a daaayyyyyy.”
It was my first time ever hearing someone say the word “Day” with more than 1 syllable.
When the waitress left us, I wanted to grab her arm and plead, “Stay just a little bit longer. Please don’t leave me alone with her.” But she walked away before I could even take a reach, so I inhaled and said to myself, You’re already here, so just have the best time you can.“Do you want to get a plate of nachos?” I asked, thinking this could at least help.
We sat at the table, looking at each other for a few seconds (which seemed like 10 minutes) when I finally asked, “Where did you grow up?”
“How many times are you going to ask me that?” he replied. “This is like, I don’t know, the fourth or fifth time.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but I was waiting for him to laugh or say “Just kidding” but both never came. So then I figured I would change the subject to work.
He told me that he works at a health clinic for HIV testing and that he is a writer on the side. Being more comfortable with the latter, I asked him what he liked to write about. He told me that he had a Dating column at a newspaper in Chicago, something I actually found fascinating.
“That’s my dream job,” I told him. “Tell me more about that!”
“Well, I don’t know what you want me to say. It was a lot of work.”
It appeared that I was not going to be able to have any semblance of a normal conversation with this guy. Thankfully, the nachos arrived and I devoted all of my time and attention to the heaping dollop of sour cream lying on top.
I looked at my watch and it wasn’t even 8 o’clock yet. I could not sit at this table without having any type of conversation, so I took a deep breath and asked what he watches on TV – a conversation I could have with a deaf monkey.
He mentioned a few shows I never really heard of or watched, and of coursed he was “obsessed with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” He then went on to say that he was a closeted Pretty Little Liars fan. FINALLY, something I could work with. I, too, am a closeted PLL fan and had just watched the season finale the night before, so finding someone who wasn’t 12 to talk about it with has been quite a challenge.
We spent the rest of the evening talking about the possibilities of who “A” could be and I was finally starting to enjoy the conversation.
When the waitress came by to pick up the empty plates off our table she asked if we wanted another drink, to which he replied, “No thanks, just the check” and then took a huge yawn. “Is that cool? I had a really long day and I’m exhausted.”
Although I was extremely happy he asked for the check (which meant I could be home before 9pm and eat the rest of my Oreo milkshake sitting in my freezer) I was actually kind of bothered by this. HE was the one fake-yawning and saying HE had a long day? HE was the one ditching ME? Oh, I don’t think so.
I wanted to say something right then and there that I was the one who was cutting the date short. That I was the one who was not interested. That I was the one who was exhausted! But, I just smiled and said, “Of course.”
The best part was when the check came, he didn’t seem to be in that much of a hurry to leave. He just let the checkbook sitting there in the middle of the table, waiting for me to pull out my credit card.
I don’t think so, buddy. I had to take a train to Harlem, wait 15 minutes for you to get here, and talk about an ABC Family television show for thirty-five minutes. If anything, we are splitting it.
So, I waited the ten minutes it took him to get the point and reach for his wallet and I threw in my card, too.
He walked me to the train, apologized again for being “such a bore” and hugged me goodbye. Once on the train, I was ecstatic that it was over, but still really angry. I started thinking, “Why doesn’t he like me? He should be begging for me to date him. I’m handsome, smart, funny, and don’t get me started on my eyes. How is he the one who blew me off?”
I shrugged my shoulders and just laughed it off. I knew that I wasn’t going to have a good time and I wish I would have ignored my friends, co-workers, and the guy who toasted my bagel and just trusted my gut. Because my intuition is never wrong.
Except when I thought eating a 4 day old Milkshake was a good idea.