Okay. First order of business, no one was rejected. Now that you’re here, I want to tell you the story about an unknown man I met at the hood Wal-Mart by my house that forever changed my perspective on dating.
A few weeks ago, I made a quick run to the hood Wal-Mart by my house. It was kinda late, so I was definitely trying to get in and get out without having to witness the crimes committed by the retail store goons. As I approach the entrance, I am running my mouth a mile a minute on the phone with a close girlfriend, catching up on life and filling each other in on current news. I enter the store through the door marked “exit” because I am that person. Why does that door even open from the opposite side? Like I just utilize it for the hell of it and to confuse the people actually exiting the store.
Anyways, I’m walking with my head down at a rather brisk pace nearly running into a shopping cart with a child passenger. I look up quickly and see a man standing behind the buggy. At first glance, I couldn’t tell you if he was attractive or held any distinct physical features other than this man was bald and medium height. I was too concerned with finishing my conversation and making a clear path to the hygiene section for toothpaste to study his appearance. Seriously, I have a huge fascination with oral care and was super excited to pick out new toothpaste.
Trying my best not to be rude, I make brief eye contact with the man saying “excuse me” and went around his cart, not even giving him time to respond.
Me walking by.
Once I turn the corner, I hear him respond in the distance with a flirtatious, “No, excuse ME.” Extra emphasis on the me. He sounded like the pleasure would have been all his for me to knock him and the child over. I hear him, but really pay his words no mind because I am still immersed in my phone conversation and again, I barely knew what this man looked like.
Moments later, I end my phone conversation because I am face-to-face with the beaucoups of toothpaste options.
Exclusive image of me when I go toothpaste shopping.
Once my eyes scan the large selection, I pick up my go-to Colgate spearmint and head to the food section. In the back of my head, I’m thinking “Girl, hurry up so you can get home.” I really do not like being away from my home at night, so I am truly walking at a rapid pace. Then, it happened. I see the man and the child from the entrance yet again. This time, the man is looking through a rack of shirts and the little boy is looking up at me from the shopping cart with the most innocent beautiful, brown eyes. As with any cute kid, my ovaries begin to dance. I instantly smile at the child and say “hey there sweetie!”. The kid smiles back. I keep walking and smiling, then the man looks up at me and I say “He is such a cutie!”, then I keep on my merry way.
Back to my mission, or so I thought. I inch a little farther away, then I hear the man say ,”So are you.”
Me turning around.
Pause. Let’s unpack this. Normally, when a man compliments me, I simply smile back, say “thank you” and keep it moving. All connections aren’t love connections and shouldn’t be treated as such. I’m not the type of woman who falls in love with every man that finds satisfaction with my looks. I’m good on that. But for some reason, this was different. The spirit told me to turn around for more. I obey.
If you’re a regular Girl Tyler reader, then you know what happens when I disobey the spirit.
I turn around and there he is smiling at me. I smile a little more and walk closer to him saying, “Hi, my name is Tyler, what’s yours?”. He responds, “Hey there. My name is Marcel. Nice to meet you.” We shake hands and stand there smiling at one another for another 5 seconds. Shit was weird. Our frozen moment in time was like a scene from a rom-com where two strangers have this instant attraction and gaze into each other’s eyes while managing to travel off into some distant universe never to return to their previous lives. I have a short attention span, so I didn’t travel too far before I realize that this was an uncomfortable length of time to stare at a stranger. So during this time I begin to think, “Tyler, are you going to carry the rest of this convo?”.
Once I realize how silly we look staring at each other like buffoons, I say “Welp, nice meeting you,” then proceed to walk away.
That was weird. I leave him and the child there as I walk away to my next mission; find seltzer water. A few minutes pass by and I’m partly baffled by our ocular exchange. My eyes danced with this strange man. I wasn’t about to stand in Wal-Mart interviewing a stranger on whether or not he was just being nice or took a genuine interest in wanting to get to know me. While Thanksgiving is on the horizon, I hadn’t reached levels of desperation to bring home a stray from Wal-Mart.
Back to reality. I get my water, pick up a few more items and head for the self-check out. As I got closer to the front of the store, I see Marcel pushing the cart toward the exit and he faded off into the distance.
I wait in line, fight with the machine per usual saying aloud “No dummy there isn’t an unexpected item in the bagging area” and patiently wait for an employee to override the error. I walk out the door, headed to my car then I hear a deep voice say, “Bye, Tyler.”
Now, I’m annoyed.
We had time to say an official goodbye in the store, but instead you choose to yell my government name across the dark Wal-Mart parking lot. What’s up with that?
I go investigate.
In my most brazen tone, I cross the busy intersection and approach Marcel saying “What’s up? This is our third interaction. You keep smiling at me, what’s up? You got a girlfriend or what? Why do you keep staring at me and not have three words to say? What are we doing?”.
Now that I have typed out a transcript of this, I see why men call me aggressive.
Back to Marcel. He finally opens his mouth issuing a rather surprising response.
He says, “Yes Tyler, when I first saw you I wanted to talk to you. I think that you are a beautiful young lady. I really like your energy and you seem like a great woman to be around but I can’t. I have a mess in my personal life right now and it wouldn’t be right to put you in the middle of it. I want to ask for your phone number so bad, but I just know with what I”m dealing with right now, it wouldn’t be right.”
After I process this information I say, “Thank you. Seriously, thank you for your truth. I wish every man that I wasted my 20’s on were as honest as you. Thank you for not wasting my time. I’m doing well these days and do not need anything or anyone to throw me off my game.”
Me on the inside.
I am truly overjoyed at the candidness of this man. I say, “Is that your child”. He says, “Yes, that is my son.”
I’m good on that.
The kid is cute, but that’s not my jam right now, men with children that is. Another day’s post. Marcel goes on to tell me that parenting is part of his issue, raising his son with his ex. Where there’s a baby, there is a mama. Again, I’m good on that. So here we are again, staring at each other and this time he ties up the loose ends. Marcel looks at me and says, “I hope we see each other again. I really want things to be different the next time I see you. Maybe our paths will cross again.”
With the greatest doubt in my mind, I convincingly respond, “Yep. Later,” and walk away.
Something told me inside that we won’t be running into each other again. Marcel has been on my mind ever since, though. While I wish the men I’ve dealt with in the past were this open as he, especially the one I dated for months who had a pregnant girlfriend that I knew nothing about, but that’s another blog topic. Much of my dating downfalls come from an issue where we all tend to fall short…intent. We often fail to make our intentions clear. We routinely connect with another individual and have the “go with the flow” mantra with no clear idea or care for the other person’s time. Our lives are all on a short time table, don’t buy into someone else’s if you don’t intend to make the best of it for their benefit.
If you’re just wanting to have fun with no long term commitments..make that clear.
If you’re wanting long term commitments .. make that clear.
After my encounter with Marcel, I’ve met several men and felt extremely comfortable telling them what I do and don’t want, where my head is at the moment and if I see any space for them. Just yesterday, I told a guy “I’m in a transition mode, one that is selfish, your feelings could potentially get hurt. Save yourself.”
Sweet liberation. Death to situationships. I don’t want to string anyone along. If I’m not right with me, we can’t be. What I put into the atmosphere, I expect nothing less in return.
I’m really into me and what I have going on right now. I like the woman I’m growing into and I don’t need anything to veer me off of this course. That is my truth..the Marcel-effect.
Thank you, sir.