Great Expecations

Okay, so last night I went on the most-dreadful date ever!! And It wasn’t so much that it was the most horrible date, but I am declaring it to be the worst one because of how it made me FEEL! Late Tuesday a friend of mine sent me a dinner-date invitation. Yes, that’s what I said: A DINNER-DATE INVITATION.  Me being the reluctant date that I am—I tell him “No, lets keep this professional. No dates!!” (And to give a bit of background to this friendship without putting too much information out there: I had asked him to do me a very improbable favor about a year ago, to which he said he’d consider. Yes, it was a very unlikely favor and only a crazyman would say “Yes” to my offer, but  a girl of my circumstance sometimes takes risks that she has deemed worthwhile.) Anyway, here I am back at work a few days after my birthday and he invites me to have dinner. I am adamant about denying his request because I know that we’re merely friends. Just friends, no more, no less. Why even do dinner? Maybe we should go to a light lunch, grab a dessert, or just rent a REDBOX movie and call it a night. My goal is to maintain the plutonic nature of our relationship. Keep it simple. I make appropriate considerations:  if he’s planning on accepting my request for a favor maybe I should be extra nice–see where his head is at regarding my request, But he doesn’t want to talk about that. Forget keeping it simple—that  doesn’t happen. His final answer: we’re going on a date for my birthday!! His words, not mine.

Okay, cool. I’m game. I’ve accepted the offer. We’re going out. My problem: I’m wondering what in the world do I wear to this “date” of ours. Shoot, he’s just a friend, but he IS a man. I don’t typically date guy friends, so what do I do since there’s no protocol established? What should I expect? I have no idea, so, I send him a text message explaining what my intentions are! Yep, that’s me: Straight to the point, no hidden motives. I let him know via text that in most cases, if I’m going on a date, then I’d wear something sexy. [In a nutshell, while on a date it’s my intention to appeal to that person; to give him the best of me and have him respond with appreciation of what he’s been offered. And no, I don’t want you to think that I walk around like a tease, I’ve been celibate for almost 4 years and everyone that knows me understand I’d like to keep it that way. But it’s important that any man know that I’m a woman and I like being a woman. There’s POWER in my femininity.] I take pride in my appearance and want the one I’m with to appreciate the same!  It’s not often that I go on dates or often that I’m “dressed up” but when I am in the presence of a male suitor and it’s dinner, I’ll heel-it-up, gloss my lips down, and make sure before I leave the house that I like what I look like! Hopefully ensuring that he will too!

So anyway, I tell him that because I intend to keep things strictly plutonic between us two, I’d rather go comfortable and casual—as usual. [It’s pretty typical that when I’m in his presence I have on jeans, leggings, or some pajama pants. Casual is pretty standard between us. I mean, he’s my homie, so what else am I supposed to wear?] 🙂

I emphasize via text that I’ve been single too long. My hormones sometimes get the best of me and to keep it clear on what supposed to happen on this date, as an ever-present reminder of what I am, what he is in my life, and what both our intentions should be  as we partake of dinner: I tell him we can go, but on my part there will be NO SEXY! Dates get sexy, but as my friend he won’t get that!

He sarcastically replies (as I fully expected him to–) that he didn’t know I did sexy. With the implication that I don’t know what sexiness really is, and if I did, I wouldn’t know how to pull it off—well, of course, it has me heated!  He then says: [well] Show me sexy. Against my better judgment, because I know him and I know me, well, I accept the challenge and let him know, It’s on! I’ve got something for his behind! Being his ever doubtful self, he shakes off my acceptance with ambivalence by saying: yeah, we’ll see!

I know he thinks I’ll flop. I’m the girl in leggings all the time, or Jeans and a tank. I don’t think he’s probably ever seen the flesh above my calves. Probably thinks I don’t own anything but sports bras and tennis shoes. Well, this time will be different. I’ll show my ever-doubtful, ever-underestimating, plutonic associate. He’ll see!

So now, I’m a bit excited. Truthfully, I am. I’m wondering what I have in my closet that will make him eat his words. What could be worthy of me revealing myself in a new way? Yeah, this may be me getting carried away, but truth-be-told I felt like he was baiting me! And who would I be to not fulfill the challenge that was made? I have to step my game up! He doesn’t know who he’s playing with! We’ll see who has the last laugh!  I request the assistance and opinions of three people that I trust: my co-worker, my friend, and my darling sister! All three date wayyyy more than I do.  And I trust their opinion! Okay, here we go, we’re on a mission!

So I’m shopping for a dress! I’m kinda worried. I don’t know what message I want to send. Again he’s just a friend, but why would a friend-guy asked for sexy? What was the point of that? Was he looking just to mock my style approach or were his intentions in this relationship changing from friend to something else? Do I go femme-fatale or cute and flirty? Do I go flashy or simple and clean? Too many questions that I don’t have the answers to, but I’m shopping still. As I look from rack to rack I think about our history. I’ve known him for years, and we’ve only ever been friends. He drives me nuts, I get on his nerves, but he’s always been there when I need him. He’s never left me hanging even if I have to hear his mouth about how much he disagrees with whatever it is that I’m asking him to do–He comes to my assistance nevertheless..however reluctant he really may be to do so.

So now I’m in Coco Mari ( a retail store in the mall) and he calls me and asked what I’m doing. I explain that I’m in the mall shopping for sexy! He laughs, I’m not hurt, its typical of his personality to laugh at me! And since as friends we  typically laugh at each other, it’s no big deal, I’ll take it! We’ll see who’s laughing this weekend when all this sexy is standing too close for comfort and he’s unable to do anything about it! I smile haughtily to myself at the thought of him eating his words! Minutes later I get off the phone because I’m on a mission. Again, he thinks that I will bomb. He knows that I’ll fail, but he humors me by letting me get back to my shopping.

All week, I can’t decide on a dress. I have to have shoes. Will I put on eye lashes? Are they necessary? The whole thing has transformed from one birthday dinner date to my intentions being to straight-up seduce the brother without really seducing him! Yeah, that’s what I said: SEDUCE! And it’s not so much that I want him. No that’s not the case here. Now,  don’t get me wrong—the dude is attractive. Every 72 inches of him, but he’s not really my taste when it comes to personality. He’s not the most-caring, sweet, or charming dude I know. If it makes sense to say, I feel like he’s always too much of himself. Whenever I see him it never fails that he’s always the same guy that I’ve known for years. Nothing ever shocks or surprises me. When we’re together—he’s always himself, however crass and unkind he dares to be, and I can always be the quick-witted, yet quicker-tongued Krystal that he finds too critical to ever be a fun-loving guys’ girl. Its just not me! He knows this and it’s the same of me towards him;  the man that I’d be attracted to is just not him. I think because of this truth, its why we clash so well. Nevertheless our love-hate friendship has endured throughout the years, maintaining an odd-status-quo that I’d like to think only the two of us really understand. Now as I get closer to the weekend, I settle on the dress that I was wearing when he called me via telephone late afternoon. I mean, why not? It could have been a sign that it was the perfect dress. Yep, I bought it!

As I go through my circle, I get advice on the dress that I chose. Some like, it some don’t. Some feel that its sending the wrong message.. well h*ll I’m not sure what message I’m supposed to be sending anyway, but I’m wearing it! I bought a new dress and I’m wearing it! I think its sexy and will do the trick! My co-worker worries aloud. She says: “How do you know what appropriate dress to wear if you don’t know where you’re going? You could be overdoing it or the dress could be perfect. You just don’t know.” And now after she says this, I start worrying. He better not be taking me to Chili’s. We can’t go to a sports bar. I know I didn’t buy a new dress to go grab a pizza or get some chili-cheese fries from FATZ! No way! So the next day, I text him to explain that since I bought a new dress, I’d like to go someplace worthy of what I intended to wear. Places like Fatz/Chilis are not worthy of me being sexy. And again, being more himself than anything else, he says to me: Well, I was thinking Longhorn! LOL!

What? Longhorn? No Sir! Not going to work. He asked me for sexy! I could wear jeans or leggings to Longhorn! I wish that joker would! This is not funny! 😦 And I of course let him know my dissatisfaction with his answer! He explains that its not really up to me where we go. So as a respectable young lady, I get my bearings and let him know that he’s absolutely correct and wherever we go I’ll be appreciative, but I will be rather hurt if it’s not some place kinda nice.

Okay, so its Saturday, I’m done getting dressed! I’d say I look rather good. Nice. Attractive. I mean, I am too comfortable at times and its exciting to get “girlied up” and go some place. I’ve got my nails done. My dress is perfect. Shoes are good. Hair is laid. I couldn’t be more satisfied! But he’s running late—and calls to explain. Of course he can’t find his I.D! That’s just my luck! Whatever, I’m still cool! Its so him for goodness sake! I’m not worried because 10-15 mins later he’s downstairs telling me that I should have been ready by now. I’m joking with him, yelling from my bedroom–Hey dude, don’t rush me, you’re the one who said you’d be late.

Okay, so here’s the moment of truth. I come downstairs, looking however lovely and walk to the middle of the living room to stand in front of him. I’m less than 3 feet away and dare I say quite S-E-X-Y.  He looks up at me and at the moment I’m expecting the twinkle in his eyes to show a look of appreciation, attraction, interest, and gratitude for a woman looking like a woman ought… he laughs, yes laughs, and says : Dang, somebody’s a bit over-dressed!

I take a deep breath. Don’t trip Krystal, tonight is supposed to be fun, right? I think to myself. Its my birthday dinner and I’m overdressed? I look at him, and he’s got on jeans and loafers!! Yes, that’s what I said: Jeans & Loafers, not even some hard-bottoms! I’m too cute to be pissed off, but I let my feelings come flying out of my mouth! Its my friend, why hold back. We’re always honest with each other! Now I’m going on and on about the fact that I could have worn jeans if that’s what he’d intended to wear. He stands up and walks toward the door. He’s smiling at me, not in nice way, but mockingly.  I’m sure he’s thinking in his head—girl if you don’t come on!

Again, I take a deep breath and look at my sister. I walk outside. By the time I get to his passenger door he’s still laughing to himself and I look back at Shayla. She knows that this isn’t going to be pleasant. I tell her to be on standby incase I need her to come pick me up from Longhorn! I say it laughingly, but am deathly serious. Dude makes a joke about something and I roll  my eyes and think: Dang Krystal, you really expected too much.

I’m in the car and he’s going on about my legs being out. He’s telling me its too cold to have on what I’m wearing. I’m biting my lip because my conscience has me feeling bad about my new dress. I look good, but now without the reaction that I expected, I don’t feel like a PHAT (Pretty Hot and Tempting) young woman should feel. I am getting upset.  By the time we get to the first traffic light I’m rubbing my temples thinking: Girl, you really played yourself and he’s never going let you live this down. Its just not his character to give you a pass on this one. He’s going to be a pain in your neck about you dressing up.  Of course, up until now, it has only been about 45 seconds that I’ve been in the car, I haven’t said anything. I look down at his jeans and my blood is anything but tepid. I’m getting upset because he wants to laugh, he’s trying not to, and is failing miserbly at his attempt. My eyes are downward, but he knows that I keep looking at his jeans… and of course he does laugh. While he’s chuckling to himself, I’m rolling my eyes and without thinking I blurt out.. “Hell, if I say that I was coming casual and you ask for sexy, I’d expect that you not be wearing jeans!” and I straight charlie-horse him in his right thigh.   Immediately regretful, I gage his reaction. I’ve never hit a dude before! EVER! I’ve lived 27 years and have never hit anyone until now. He laughs for about 5 seconds and then gives me the serious look. I know him well enough. It went as a warning that I’d best watch it. I took heed to it. I don’t ever want to be the woman that didn’t know how to keep her hands to herself. I wallow in my own embarrassment. Yeah, tonight’s going to be  weird. Why would I hit him? Why am I tripping so hard that I’m lashing out? Do I desire physical contact so much that the desire is now being revealed in an unhealthy manner? Whats really going on?

I look amazing. I know I do, and up until about  15 minutes ago I felt amazing too! But suddenly  I feel like a chickenhead because I’ve done too much. Clearly I was trying too hard. I’ve gone over the top and am quite embarrassed about it.

He’s sitting there keeping his eyes on the road, singing to the radio, but I can’t explain to him that a decent guy wouldn’t laugh in my face about my attempt tonight… a decent man would have told me that I was gorgeous while I was standing within his arm’s reach. A decent man would say he liked what he saw.. told me that I smelled nice; he wouldn’t dare mock my intentions. But its not a decent man that I’m going to dinner with; its not his intentions to make me feel good about myself. He’s not a charmer by far.  Above all else, the dude I’m going to dinner with is my friend who since day 1 has always been honest with me no matter if it hurts my feelings. He’s always been himself. And tonight, though I was looking for something different, he’s decided that he’s not going to let my blunder get past him. He’s going to exploit my vulnerability. And I will be honest and say that it hurt much worse since I was all dressed up. Something about heels made me feel too sensitive. The woman in me didn’t know how to properly play it out. Especially since, it was on purpose that I chose to wear what I wore. It was on purpose that I got all dolled up and fancy for him. Now, I really don’t know how to feel about my mistake.

As I rode in the car, my thoughts were all over. In our usual quarrels I’d go toe-to-toe with him because that’s just how we do, but last night, I just wasn’t in the mood. I let him have his laughs. He knocked himself out as we drove all over Charlotte trying to find someplace to eat. Unfortunately for us, it was prom night so after stopping at 3 different restaurants, we finally settled on the 4th spot. We park and as I’m getting out he explains: You’ll probably get messy in here.  He smiles down at my dress! I mean-really, my new dress and you’re taking me someplace where I might get messy! Uggh! But I don’t say anything. My mind is soooo far from seduction. I don’t even walk close to him. I’m hungry and really wished that I had on flip-flops instead of my heels! We get out with light chatter and walk directly over to Shane’s Rib Shack! Yes, that’s right a Rib Shack!! Now, I’m not a saddity chick…not even close! I love good food and am not opposed to pork at all, but when I’m in an amazingly gorgeous dress with heels on feeling sexy to the upmost, I don’t really want to be leaning over a basket of BBQ covered ribs! I quickly think—I should call my sister to come get me! But after a 45 minute drive, by the time she gets here, we would have finished eating anyway! So I order my food. A girl’s gotta eat, right?

Everyone in the place has on jeans, even the cashiers!!! (we won’t even call them waitresses since it wasn’t a place that required him to tip!!) At this point I’m thinking: so what, its not a date! I’m here, lets get this going.  I commit to being polite and try to erase my surly disposition. I mean, at the end of the day, this is my homie! I don’t hate the guy, but he’s so much himself tonight that its maddening. Whose fault is it that I was looking for something that he never said he was giving? It could have only been my imagination to think that he was going to respond accordingly to my grown & sexy look. I’m always honest so, as we sit, I tell him that he has made me mad because he’s yet to say anything about how I look. He gives me an inquisitive glance. He knows what I’m fishing for, and I’m a little peeved that I have to fish for it to be honest. I tell him—“whatever, don’t even trip because even though you haven’t said it, you know that I look good”. He looks up in my face and says “yes, Krystal, you look good”. Nothing more. I take a deep breath. Whatever good that’ll do since I had to pull the compliment out of him.  Even still, no need to be upset when faced with a basket of ribs, pulled chicken, and lightly-battered chicken tenders. Keeping the conversation light, I eat away, loving the fact that right now, as I stuff my face and demand him to bring me some more dipping sauce for my tenders, he’s not laughing with his eyes!

After dinner things seem more normal. I’m not talking as much because I all I want to do is grab a drink. I’m not a drinker by far, but I’d like to soothe my hurt feelings and I know a drink will put me to sleep. He’s wondering what I want to drink. Should he go to the liquor store? Am I really up for drinking? I’d mentioned dessert before, but I now don’t really want to endure sitting there like a crazy girl. I really want to get out of my wasted dress.  Not that I spent loads money on it, but I did buy it for my date—I bought it for him to see. And did so to no avail because it seemed that he could care less. During the ride home I’m thinking: this whole thing is for the birds. I was too ready to lay down and call it a night. He’d explain to me earlier that the favor we’d been discussing for over a year now was never going to happen because well, he’s just not comfortable with it. It’s okay. I’m understanding in that regard because it would have been a lot to ask of anyone. I asked him because I know his take on certain situations and to be honest, of all the guys I know, he’s the only one I’d trust enough to ask. And now that he’s definitely denied my request, I let him know that my use of him for my own personal gain is officially over. I jokingly remark that I’ve lost all use of him! He laughs it off; fully knowing that I’d never tire of our bantering. Things seem back to normal as we joke, but my conscience is still nagging me. I want to take my shoes off. Get comfortable. I pick my teeth with a toothpick from the Rib shack. Yep, its unattractive, of poor etiquette, and probably something that no woman in her right mind would do on a date, but hey, this obviously is not a date regardless of what I was thinking. And if I can walk into a rib shack all dressed up and still laugh at myself, then I should be able to clean chicken out of my teeth in front of him and not feel bad about it. The sex-i-ness was gone we walked into the rib shack; actually it should have been shot-to-hell when I walked down the stairs and he laughed at me!

Nevertheless at the end of the night—he does walk me to the door. He comes inside and takes a picture with his cell. I think to myself—yeah, take a picture buddy because you’ll NEVER, ever get to see this again. Leggings and long jeans from here on out! I look up at him and shake my head. He does the same thing. I’m sure he’s thinking: this girl is a mess. I start fussing.. I don’t even remember why, but it’s a safety net when I’m with him—it seems to put us both at ease, so thats what I do, I fuss. He gives me a quick hug and doesn’t dare stay pressed to me for long. The hug is too brief to even remember. He smiles at me again, but it doesn’t make me feel good. It’s a look and smile that says—yeah, you’ve over done it. My hurt and embarrassment is back and I’m not used to regulating those two emotions. I don’t know what to do. Immediately I get peeved again. For no good reason, I go from 0 to 60. I shove him back against my screen door and tell him to get out of my house. I tell him I’ll let him  know when [if] he can come back. He laughs, throws his hands up and just walks out. I’m standing there asking myself, what is wrong with me? When did I get so physical? The answer is too close for comfort,  so I shift and waddle in  regret and disappointment.  As he approaches his car door I say a pitiful “thank you” through the door. He says something resembling “whatever”. I get my bearings and assert my tone to seriousness. “Seriously, thank you.” He looks up from his car and says “You’re welcome”. I  stand in the doorway, ensuring that as he backs out of the parking space he can still see my silhouette in the door of the apartment. Humph, a lot of good it did me, I think to myself. Silhouette or not, this was terrible. I shut the door, grab my heels up off the floor and make my way upstairs to my bedroom.

I note the clock. A mere two and a half hours since we left and I feel worn. Far from satisfied with the events of the evening, I pull off my dress and pull on a barely-there nightshirt. I thank God for life, health, strength, my job, my car, my abilities, my family and friends… and for my homie that has always been true since the day we met. We argued then, and we argue now. Can’t be mad at his consistency even though my expectations for my bday dinner date were far greater than they should have been.

Who knew that I’d be the caught up with the one all these years who I’ve been saying was just a friend. Went to sleep with Biz Markie on the brain. Who knew?

****Pics of my dress shown below: [have no idea how this dress could have no pulling effect].. even on most the de-sensitized man!! The girl was still kinda flyyyy…..

Amazingly he was not at all phased….

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