On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Six Skirts A-Dropping,
Four Snowboarding Yanks
Three Taco Bobs
Partridge in a Greek Salad
Let me just leap RIGHT into the inappropriate and scandalous discussion.
I don’t normally date black guys.
[Audience gasps in horror and disgust]
Ok – before you go freaking out, let me explain. And let me also say that there are PLENTY of people out there who, while they have tons of friends of different races, only prefer to date within their own. I’m not the only one, but maybe I’m one of the few who will own it.
I HAVE dated black men. Wonderful men who had big hearts, were kind and thoughtful… but just weren’t for me. Partly it’s that there isn’t the same level of attraction for me (let the record show that I WILL make an exception for Taye Diggs), but mostly… and here comes the controversy… I don’t like the way they kiss.
I said it.
Black men kiss differently and I’m not a fan.
Some of you are sitting there with your brows furrowed, thinking, “girrrrl….you cray.” But, I’m telling you. It’s a thing.
At first, I just thought it was a personal difference between me and the guy I was seeing, but as I smooched more of the brothers, I realized there was a style, across the board, that I didn’t like. I’ve talked with some of my black friends (girls, gay and straight guys) and they agree with me.
If you still think I’m weird – Oprah did a show on JUST this subject!
The point of going into this is to set the backdrop for date #6……..which was with a deliciously handsome black man.
I made an exception because he’s such a solid guy – sweet, smart, loves God and thinks I’m great (that’s a pretty good quality in any dating candidate, I have to admit).
Mike, as we’ll call him, is a friend of my little brother’s and a stand-up guy. We flirt every time we see each other and we went out for a quick lunch date last spring. Did I mention he lives in Florida? Oh. Yeah. He lives in Florida. Sigh…
So, when I was in Florida for a friend’s wedding, and Mike asked me to go out, (this would be, officially, date #2 for us), I said, “yes. Aaaaand….. do you read my blog?” 😉
I asked him about the 12 Dates of Christmas idea, and he was in.
He agreed to meet up with me in Orlando, Florida where our adventure began at Cafe Tu Tu Tango, an artsy Tapas restaurant with tons of energy and the ocasional Flamenco dancer whirling past you while you sip your Dragonfruit Mojito.
Since I didn’t know what the night would entail (Mike had a “plan”), I wore a sparkly mini-skirt with a black top, tights, tall boots and a pink sweater.
We met at the restaurant, each having driven two hours for this date. That’s commitment.
Immediately, we were in the zone, chatting and laughing. We talked about all kinds of things from families to church to the way different races are funny about subcultures within their race (he’s felt ostracized by southern black people for having a “white” voice (he’s from New York and to me, sounds like he has NO accent)) to the fact that I haven’t been a huge fan of the way black men smooch…oh yes, I told him.
Conversation was easy.
I kept catching Mike just looking at me while I talked and really paying attention to my thoughts on a given subject.
And, throughout the night, he would tell me, “you’re fantastic.” 🙂
Mike is easy to talk with and I totally enjoyed our time together. We were so embroiled in conversation that two hours (and at least 4 “Happy Birthdays” (which are a whole-restaurant event)) passed at the restaurant before we figured it was time to go.
Like I always do, I offered to split the bill, but Mike insisted on taking care of it (and y’all know how much I like when a guy does that). And we were off. We left my car at Cafe Tu Tu Tango and Mike drove us to our next destination.
A Salsa dancing club!
1. Mike doesn’t salsa. He’d been once before, but doesn’t know how, though he was totally game for learning (and afterwards TOTALLY had the itch… was even talking about taking lessons). So, the fact that he brought me here was especially brave, since it’s not like he thought he was gonna whip me around the dance floor.
2. He chose this spot because he remembered that I love salsa dancing. What?? I don’t even REMEMBER telling him that!? But, he paid attention and chose it ….for me. SO sweet.
We started out just watching the existing dancers do their art on the dance floor, and sipped our drinks. I told Mike we should start with the Bachata, because it’s an easy one to learn and be able to do without much practice. Anyone who can count to four and poke out their hip has a fighting chance at this one. So, when a Bachata began, we ventured onto the dance floor.
Let me say this – Mike was a great study – not only a quick learner, but such a fun attitude about it all. Soon we were salsa-ing and merengue-ing, and he had learned to keep the top part of his body still while letting his hips carry most of the movement (a tricky piece of salsa dancing for a lot of guys who want to just bounce around).
We took turns dancing and standing on the sidelines watching. Mike made me promise that I’d include “sweater guy” in my blog post. There was a handsome, but odd sort of fellow there with a thick cable-knit sweater with leather elbow patches. And the longer we were there (and sweating like barnyard creatures), the more enigmatic “sweater guy” was. This was not a chilly night, by any stretch, and people were shedding clothes faster than Taylor Swift can come up with a new way to say “life’s not fair.” But not sweater guy… he would go out on the dance floor and dance (awkwardly), never thinking to remove it. At one point, Mike just turned to me and said, with this shocked and indignant tone, “Dude! Sweater guy! It’s FLORIDA!” I don’t know why we were so amused by him, but he became a character in our night… we’d check in on him, track his luck with the ladies, and imagine what the rationale was for willingly dancing in the middle of a hot salsa club in eskimo-wear.
But, while sweater guy refused to shed clothing, my ensemble apparently had other ideas… malfunctioning ideas.
Mike and I had just finished a rousing couple of salsa songs… by this time, he’d learned the basic steps and we’ve even thrown in a couple of spins.
And as we’re walking off the dance floor, I feel it.
That awful moment where your body is aware that something horrifically mortifying is happening, but you’re noticing it just one milisecond too late to keep it from happening… and, as if in slow motion, I felt the sensation of my skirt…sliding down my legs into a humiliating pool of sparkly fabric on the ground around my ankles. A puddle of shame…
Yup – my skirt fell off. FELL. OFF.
Technically, I suppose I danced it off. All that hip action in the salsa/merengue was too much for my skirt, so it just abandoned ship.
Now, I’ve danced off an earring or two (at least 12, actually…it’s a problem) in my day, but I’ve never lost an item of clothing… not one that separates my unmentionables from the cold outside world. Until this night.
And the worst part isn’t even the skirt falling down, but that shameful motion of having to pull it back up in public — like I’d just finished up in the bathroom or something. It was unebelievably embarrassing.
And here I was on a date!
But, Mike was a total gentleman. He laughed with me and convinced me it was no big deal (riiiiiggghhhht….), and then, for the rest of the night, as we danced, he kept a finger or two near the small of my back, holding my skirt tight. Ha ha! I kept checking to be sure it wasn’t making another slow descent into shameville, and he’d say in this sweetly reassuring voice, “I’ve got ya!”
Toward the end of our dancing time, another string of Bachata songs came on, and by now, Mike was practically a pro at this one.
So, as we were dancing closely (my skirt firmly held in place), he kissed me.
Now…there are two things to be impressed by in this moment.
1 – a man who had JUST learned this dance was able (for a moment) to multi-task and remember the steps to continue dancing and smooching at the same time. That takes skill, friends.
2 – he MAY just have broken the ‘I don’t like the way black men kiss’ stereotype I held.
Yep… it was a mighty fine kiss, I’m here to report.
SO fine, in fact, that when we finally left the club and were waiting outside for the valet to bring his car around, we smooched some more. And it was nice. Really nice.
So nice, that the poor valet had to park the car at the curb and wait a minute for us to return to the land of the non-smoochers.
Mike drove me back to my car and we said goodbye.
What a night! Skirts dropping, salsa dancing, opinion-changing kisses, flamenco dancers, AND sweater guy. Not shabby.
Mike said that if he lived in Houston, he’d “put a clamp down” (is that the phrase? I keep getting it wrong…)… but basically – that he’d pursue dates #3+ with me.
I’d like to think it was my sparkling wit and amazing dance-teaching abilities that impressed him, and not seeing me skirt-less…
But either way, a fun night was had by all.
Cafe Tu Tu Tango is offering my readers a 10% discount!
So, for any central Florida readers,
go get your Tapas on
and think of me when the lower-than-usual bill comes. 🙂