“What did you think the other night when I said I’d still love you unconditionally, even if you decided to have a baby with him.”
Wait, what?! What happened? That’s the text message that I received while sitting at my desk, sipping my water and minding my business (as recommended by Sarah Jakes Roberts).
Let’s rewind to Saturday. It was a beautiful summer day and I was throwing back shots of whiskey with the modern Joe Clark on my second first “date.” He’d taken me to a spot I’d never been. One of those gentrified restaurants where the ambiance was better than the food. I forked around the grilled fish and forced down the overpriced mixed drink. Despite my resistance to “date” again, I was enjoying his conversation. Then he asked me to pick a whiskey. Sigh.
My relationship with whiskey was sacred. It was my ex’s drink of choice and slowly became mine. Remember in Love Jones when Nina takes Darius’ cigarette and pulls it as if she’d been doing it her entire life? That’s how whiskey entered my life.
So it was easy for me to pick a whiskey. Shot one. Shot two. I impressed myself. I’ve never been much of a shot taker and combined with very little food typically resulted in my hanging over a toilet while someone held my hair up. But this day, I felt invincible.
We left the restaurant and journeyed over to listen to a live band. Shot three. Double shot (I only did half, don’t judge me). Joe Clark was a good speed and good company. But I’m not ready. So I wrapped it up like a BET PSA. Time to go home. (Although it wasn’t a “date,” it was a meet up. I’m only calling it a date for your sake).
Note: I wasn’t drunk. I actually barely felt intoxicated.
As I’m heading out, a friend of mine, “Grad School,” texts me to swing by his place on my way home. So I did. It’s completely platonic.
The moment I walked in, he handed me a shot of whiskey. Which I found interesting because he knew me to be a vodka drinker. (Men study you while they wait for their turn. Predators.). I take it with him out of respect. No one likes a party pooper.
We chop it up. And sure, at this point, I’m probably a bit intoxicated. He asks me how I’m managing since the breakup. It’s at that moment that I reveal – “if he were to come back, I wouldn’t date or marry him, but I’d have a baby with him.”
Now, to my closest circle, I don’t this is news breaking. I think I’ve reached that modern woman chapter where a failed relationship that results in a baby is a win to me. I’ve always wanted to be a mom more than I’ve ever wanted to be a wife. And as we know, I’m thirty-plus and ticking. Think about Kenya Moore, Porsha Williams, Keyshia Cole. I think they would agree with me.
As I’m sharing this with Grad School, I realize he probably thinks I’m a dummy. I have it “all,” why would I settle?! Yet to my surprise, he says “I get it, but even then I’d love you and support you, no matter what. That’s how much I love you.”
Once I processed what he was saying, I jumped ship. Quicker than a muh-f*cker. “Wow, look at the time, I gotta get back home and watch paint dry.” You know, whatever can get you out of there.
Now it’s Monday and I either completely forgot about the conversation or pushed it so far back into my dementia forming brain that I was shocked when that text message came through.
Who said that?!
“I said I’d have a baby with my cheating-ass-no-good-lying-ass-ex? You said you’d be down to ride and support me and another man’s baby?! Really? Damn, was I that drunk? Were you that drunk?”
“Wow, that’s crazy.” (Shout out to Wale’s forthcoming album.)
I set at my desk and thought about that entire conversation.
The part that freaked me out, is that he’d be willing to date or marry me even if I decided to dial up my ex and ask him to fill up a cup. Who does that? Grad School is successful and educated and he had a slip up in his twenties, so it’s clear that his his swimmers works. Why wouldn’t I just take my chances with him and avoid the ex altogether? But he didn’t care that I didn’t chose him first.
He was presenting me with some modern unconventional solution that turned me off more than it turned me on.
As much as I want a man to love me unconditionally, I don’t want him to accept any bullshit from me. Because I’ll out-slick an oil can if he let me. And I can’t have that much power. Ever.
It’s hard for some men to accept when a woman is being honest. I am not, nor ever will be attracted to a man who allows me to make decisions like that. A man should challenge you to be your best self, not enable you to settle for anything less.
So while my ex may not be the one, neither is Grad School.
I said that.
P.S. I am going to be pissed if I marry Grad School in ten years and have to come back and redact this story.