Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Shoot your shot

The other night I was catching up on the show Ballers on HBO onDemand and I realized my toes were freezing cold. All I wanted to do in that moment was hop under the covers and rub my subzero phalanges against the warm legs of my (non-existent) boyfriend. Instead I went to my room and as I pulled some fuzzy socks over my feet, I got a little nostalgic.

90% of the time I'm fine with being single, but that 10% can hit you hard and fast. Like when you're at Costco and you really want another free sample of swedish meatballs but you've already had three and the demo lady is giving you serious side eye and already said you can't have any more.

No more free samples for you
You really feel the weight of not having a significant other to take a swedish meatball as their own but give it to you instead when you're in line for a rotisserie chicken and out of view from the demo lady. Thats love 

Anyway, one evening while I was at my parents house, in an effort to warm up my feet, I climbed into bed with my mom while she was watching the news and yelling at Bill O'Reilly. She booted me from her bed and when the commercials came on she looked down to where she had just pushed me on the floor.

"I know you've been single for a while and you probably need someone to touch you. Why don't you make plans with that nice guy you recently met?"

I shook my head no. I'm not bold enough to ask a guy out.

"You dont have to ask him out, but make yourself available. You never know what could happen if you put yourself out there. Before you were born, my friends and I would take the train from Long Island to New York and have all types of fun. Sometimes your dad would sneak me into Studio 54 because I was underage. Once, when I was about 18 my friends and I went to watch an off-Broadway play..."

Her friends were the popular "you can't sit with us" type of girls so they knew everyone and hung out backstage with the actors after the show was over. According to my mom a tall brown skinned man came over and started chatting with her. He was witty, handsome, and stylish in his leather jacket. They talked the entire time my mom and her friends were backstage. Right before her friends were about to leave, he asked if he could take her out sometime, but she turned him down. She was already dating my dad.

That man was Denzel Washington. The off-Broadway guy, not my dad. Obviously.

DENZEL WASHINGTON asked my mom out and I can't even get a text back

When my mom told me this story I went through the 5 stages of grief.

Denial — For real not for play play? I don't even believe you. That did not happen.

Anger — Do you know how rich we could be right now?! You always tell me to dream big and there you were, not even DTF.

Bargaining — Do you have a way to contact him? Do you know a friend of a friend that can contact him? Maybe he remembers you?

Depression — I will never be inducted into the Illuminati or island hop off the Amalfi Coast with Bey and Jay. I'll be forever relegated to see movies when they are released at local theaters with my other middle class friends and its all your fault.

Acceptance — I guess I'll never know what its like to wake up in a new Bugatti but thats okay. There's more to life than money, power and respect. I love you anyway Mom.
I told my mom this could have been her, but she was playing

Months later when I had developed a huge crush on a butcher at my local Whole Foods I thought about my mom's Denzel Washington story.

Full disclosure, I was mildly obsessed with this guy. Sometimes I'd even take my friends to the store with me so they could see the cute guy I had a crush on in his element. I loosely knew his work schedule and what times the store wouldn't be busy so I'd have a better chance of talking to him. I know that sounds crazy but remember what my mom said; You have to make yourself available. Plus the meat counter at Whole Foods can be a competitive place. Business men on cellphones and J. Crew clad moms with strollers vying for attention, aggressively shouting for 7 ounces of organic grass fed gluten free rib-eye steaks with the excess fat off. Its chaos

Since I was way too shy to ask The Butcher out, or as people say nowadays "shoot your shot," I did the next best thing. I made a missed connections ad on Craigslist.

I got a few responses but they were from weirdos asking for my unlaundered panties or Nigerian money scams. I figured The Butcher didn't see the ad and never would so I deleted it and went about my business. I'd see him behind the meat counter at least twice a week and sometimes we'd chat a bit.

Ya'll, 7 months later on a Monday night my best friend and I went to the Whole Foods meat counter. I asked The Butcher for a Sante Fe turkey burger, 3 slices of maple bacon and one blueberry breakfast sausage. And then I asked him how old he was...

The Butcher: 22

Me: Ooohhh. Tries my hardest not to make a face. He did not look 22! I thought he was at least 28!

The Butcher: Can I ask you a question?

I thought he was going to ask me how old I was, and my heart started racing because I didn't wan't to say 30, but I didn't want to lie either. 


"Do you ever go on craigslist?"

My face is deadpan but I'm thinking OH SHIT. I start stuttering.

"Ummm yea, who doesn't?"

"I mean like, the section called Missed Connections."

FUCK! "Uhh..."

"Its just that I heard from a coworker that someone was on there looking..."

Points to self. "Are you asking me if I made a missed connections ad for you on the internet?"

He smiles and almost drops the turkey burger on the floor. "No no, I'm not accusing you of that. Just trying to put a face with a name."

I continue to try and be cool. "Well if I were going to ask you out, I'd probably just ask you out." 

The Butcher is still smiling as he puts the wrapped meat on the counter. "I see."

I grab the meat."Well have a good night. Thanks. Bye." RUNS AWAY

My best friend grabs me by the arm and threatens me. "If you don't go back there and ask him out, I will go do it for you."

I reluctantly go back to the meat counter alone.

The Butcher: "Hey I'm sorry for asking you about Craigslist. That was unprofessional of me."

"No problem. I was actually thinking that if you're interested in going out sometime, I'd like that."

He smiles again. "I would love that. But actually I have a girlfriend and today is our 4 year anniversary. We're going out after my shift is over."

With every sentence it was like my heart was ripped down the middle, just a little more.

I would love that but...

Have a girlfriend...


I slowly approach the meat counter and squeak out, "I don't want your meat anymore." Sits turkey burger, bacon and breakfast sausage on the counter and walks away in defeat. Comes back and grabs the bacon and then leaves again.

I left wondering why The Butcher waited SEVEN MONTHS to ask me about my missed connections ad. And further, why would he even bring it up if he had a girlfriend? Do you have any idea how many overpriced air chilled chicken breasts I had bought in seven months? I wanted my money back.

I ain't about that friendzone life, so I never saw The Butcher again and came to my own conclusion. It's lovely to feel wanted so I think he brought up the missed connections ad because he genuinely wanted to know if I was interested in him. I mean I did lowkey stalk the guy for a few months and jump in front of baby strollers to order breakfast sausages from him.

If you remember, a while back I wrote about a guy friend of mine who called me up and confessed that he had always liked me. He then asked me out to a costume party and later ghosted me the night of that party. Refresh your memory here.

I ended up going to that party alone. I went as Diana Ross, wearing a vintage dress I found at a thrift shop in Toronto and rocking a huge afro wig. I don't have any pictures because drunkenness but I did have an amazing time. I ended up hitting it off with this guy that was too cool to dress up at a costume party. He thought the wig was my real hair and kept running his fingers through it while we were kissing on the balcony. I thought he was going to accidentally pull it off and I had to keep moving his hands down to my waist.

Turns out he also worked the meat counter at Whole Foods and was friends with The Butcher. That night my life came full circle.

I mentioned earlier that I was watching the TV show Ballers. While watching the show I thought one of the main characters was really cute so I looked him up on IMDB. Turns out he's Denzel Washington's son. I don't know how to feel about that since in another life he could have been my brother. Half of me says you can't miss what you've never had. The other half, the petty half, wishes my mom would have went out with Denzel and explored her options. #WasteHisTime1982.  

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