|| Tall, Strong && Black ||

I met him on OkCupid...

That's how all good stories start, right?

His profile name had “Poet” trailed on the end of it and he ranted about how he owned and serviced his own typewriters. A week later we were thirty minutes from meeting each other for a date. He wore a white button up long sleeve with a sleek grey vest tucked into matching grey slacks. He was tall and had the prettiest blue eyes sitting behind black-rimmed rectangle glasses.

My initial thought here goes nothing.

Oh the ironies in that little word…“nothing”.

He went to shake my hand and I automatically went to hug him, obviously the chemistry was just screaming between us already. He opened the door to the sushi restaurant and I walked in. Sushi is never really my go-to but he made the choice and I didn’t hate it so there we were, sitting at the bar staring at the menu so intently I think we were both trying to see if they would whisper any talking points. I ordered one roll and this is when the worst one-liners I’ve ever heard began to tumble out of his mouth.

 “You’re only ordering one roll?”

“Yeah, I don’t really eat a lot of sushi, I kind of get full fast.”

(This of course was very wrong because the moment the date was over I talked so much about it; I worked up an appetite for curly fries.

I probably could have destroyed about TWO whole rolls…anyway I digress)

“Wow. Cool, well you’re a cheap date. Glad I agreed to pay.”

Insert awkward laugh and just keep that in your mind because it replayed over and over like a broken record for the next two hours and forty-eight minutes.

He casually went into conversation about how he makes his own sushi at home, however he lost his bamboo roll so he hasn’t made any in awhile and then the conversation slowly trickled into owning a Crème-Brule blow torch that he uses for fish and chicken and then his favorite meal, Steak and Kraft Mac and cheese. He ranted about this meal and his proud face reminded me of a little kid excited to accomplish a big boy task and it was pretty adorable. We talked about his favorite foods, what he enjoys making…basically we talked about him all night long.

If it had ended with sushi, I think it would have been fine. I probably wouldn’t blog about it, maybe tell the story to a few friends and that would be it. However it didn’t end at sushi, it kept going and the conversations just kept getting worse. Granted, yes maybe I could have left…. according to some I SHOULD have left but the wonder and newness of it all kept me there like a classic I just want to see what could happen next.

The night went on and food seemed to be the trend of our conversation which quickly led into coffee and Starbucks. We talked about drinks and how Starbucks is pretty much known for its flavors, to which he chimed in,

 “Oh yeah when I go into Starbucks, I tell them, ‘I want my coffee the way I want my women; Tall, Strong (Oh no…here it co-) and Black.”

And that’s when I started looking for Ashton. Trying to find the cameras underneath my seat, maybe in the rim of his glasses, ANYWHERE. It could have been a really good line, if I wasn’t completely offended. Also, if you were trying to describe me in that endearing little statement you just made, you would definitely have to add SOME cream to that tall, strong black coffee of yours my friend.

The night ended with more conversation that I swear was scripted, like running into exes and purposely bringing new girlfriends to places where they work and when I thanked him again for paying and he casually slipped a, “Yeah, I’m a gentleman…in that way at least.” I didn’t even WANT to try and give that one a response.

So you’re probably asking.

Why did you go?

Why do you have OKCupid?

What did you think would happen?

I felt like I was suffocating in my tight little Christian girl box and I wanted to get out. I wanted to do something completely out of my comfort zone like meet a guy I knew for a week and figure out what this whole “dating” thing is even about/ what does that even mean. Sometimes within our Christian bubble “dating” is not something we talk about unless we’re “dating Jesus” or kissing it goodbye and quoting Joshua Harris. And nothing is wrong with these things… but there’s this whole world of getting to know people that we don’t allow ourselves to engage in because if the very first and only one you find isn’t THE ONE, then it must be a sin or something.

No one ever tells you how much you learn about yourself in moments like this.

Considering I had a lot of time to be in my own head...I walked away knowing so much more about myself and tucked new lessons in the back of my favorite jeans. Little lessons about what outfit makes you feel confident, what conversation makes you feel like finally someone understands you or how not only are you on completely different pages but entirely different novels. You learn that you are deserving of being treated. I learned that my friends care a lot about my heart and the reckless things I may get into sometimes,

“Don’t you dare kiss him. You can’t give your first kiss to some random OKCupid Guy, you’ll hate yourself.”

I learned, that the whole point of interracial couples is to not feel the way I felt all night, that I a Black Woman was on a date with him a White Male. I learned that up until that point I found myself in a lot of situations where I told myself “I don’t deserve this guy” and without any apology at all for the first time, I thought the opposite. It was that very rare moment where you realize,

It’s okay to believe you’re worth more.

It’s okay to look in the mirror and think GOOD GOD WOMAN (or MAN) YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL TODAY.

Yeah, it was that moment.

It was that date and that cringe worthy conversation that made me realize.

How often do we settle?

We settle for pretty eyes and well dressed human beings.

We settle for doors being opened and food being paid for.

We settle because we think, this is as good as it gets right?

Wrong. Don’t settle.

Dare to believe that you deserve conversation that challenges, wrecks and ignites you all at once.

Dare to believe that you deserve more than sweet words and dinner paid for.

Dare to believe that you are not just a tall, strong cup of anything.

You are a freaking V E N T I, sometimes even a Trenta if you want to be.

 So, I guess it all comes down to this.

Don’t miss the opportunity to let yourself experience something so new that it makes you giggle because of how ridiculous it was. Tell the story over and over and let the laugh nestle deep inside of you and then let it remind you settling, was never an option.

Understand that the marvelous part of chemistry is realizing that who you are and who they are will clash and mesh and that’s the beautiful thing about people. Sometimes we orbit around one another, crash into each other like brilliant storms or the messiest and unbalanced of events and then sometimes we simply just pass each other by.

That’s how life works, sometimes you clash, crash or pass (rhyme not intended) and there will always be a story to tell, maybe it’ll give you butterflies or quite the opposite, maybe it’ll make you laugh with tears in your eyes all over again. Hold onto those moments as ridiculous, consequential or fleeting. Let them thread into your story and find the grace tucked in them somewhere.

Needless to say, I deleted my OKCupid. It’s not for me, maybe for other people and I can’t say I won’t get bored again and download it in a momentary lapse of forgetting what happened last time. And I know that my quirky date will find someone who clashes into a wonderfully flurry with his story and it'll be good, but in order to do that we had to crash horribly but I'm okay with that and considering he hasn't tried to contact me since then, so is he.

It’s funny, because the blog before this is about singleness and nestling in it and it’s because of this date that I am so comfortably lounging in my one-person seat and I have very little desire to get back up anytime soon. So cheers to that and maybe cheers to another story somewhere later down the line.

UncategorizedArielle Estoria