One night my girlfriend and I went to a popular event in Atlanta called “Old School Saturday.” (Old School music from the 80’s & 90’s – loved it!) At the event I met a man (let’s call him “Lamar”) that was very handsome! Lamar was tall with a muscular build, confident and well-dressed. We talked for quite a while, which during our conversation I asked very important questions. “Are you married?” “Do you have a girlfriend?” “Do you have children and how many?” “Are you gay or bisexual?” (Did I mention I was in Atlanta? Lol.) Of course I worked these questions into the conversation to be a little discreet, but for personal reasons of my own, I made sure to ask each question. We continued talking for a while, then we danced (he had rhythm too – ✓) and eventually we exchanged phone numbers. That night was the beginning of about a 2 month courtship with a man who I thought was pretty decent.
Lamar didn’t give me the impression he had anything to hide and I was very careful to look for the signs. He was consistent with phone calls and outings, which showed me he was really interested. He called or sent nice text messages during the day. He took me out 3-4 times a week; lunch, dinner, drinks, dancing. More importantly he took me out on the day that really matters – Saturday. My mother taught me that when a man takes you out on Saturdays it displays his level of interest. Why? Although Friday is the more relaxed day of the work week, it is still a work day and limits the time for various activities. Saturday is a leisure day, so it allows the opportunity to explore options other than the typical dinner and a movie and you have more time to spend together. On Saturday you can have breakfast, brunch, visit a museum, go to a concert, have a picnic, etc. Sunday is for religious observation, mental relaxation or preparation for the work week; not a great day for a date (unless it’s football season and you like football – football and dinner sounds good to me). Anyway, Lamar took me out often, we had a great time together and after dating for some time we discussed a date at his place where he would cook me dinner. He was from New Orleans, so I was confident he could throw down in the kitchen and I started to get excited about this dinner. I had to prepare of course.
That Saturday he was supposed to cook, early in the day I decided to go to the mall to pick up a few items. Honestly I wanted to find a blouse that said “I look jazzy, but not overdone” since the dinner was at his house. On my way to the mall Lamar called and said he was about to feed his dog (which by the way he recently found the dog, a Yorkie, roaming in his yard. The dog had no tags and he reported it to the local shelter, but he eventually kept the dog since the owner never claimed it.). After he feeds the dog, he said he was going to Kroger (local grocery store) to pick up the ingredients for the dinner. I was smiling as big as I can smile because it was nice to date a considerate man that wanted to prepare something nice for me. The conversation ended and I was approaching the mall. About five minutes later Lamar calls my phone again. This time, however, it wasn’t Lamar on the line, instead it was woman. Aside from her jacking my name up with the wrong pronunciation, her tone sounded quite pleasant. She asked me who I was since she often saw my name in Lamar’s call log. Without giving a response, I then asked her who she was and how could I help her? The woman said she was Lamar’s girlfriend of 5 (yes 5) years and they moved to Atlanta from New Orleans about a year prior. My jaw dropped and I almost couldn’t park in the parking space at the mall. I was discombobulated! I was pissed!
I explained to the woman how Lamar and I met, how long we were dating, and how I had no idea he was in a relationship. The woman was very polite and I respected that she realized neither of us were at fault. But here’s the kicker…they lived literally 5 minutes from my apartment. Yes they lived together! I told her about his plans to cook dinner for me that night at their house and she went livid. Not at me, but she was clearly upset about his lack of respect. So I asked her if she had plans that night or if she was going out-of-town? I was trying to wrap my finger around how Lamar thought he was going to get away with this dinner at their house! She explained that she’s a nurse and she works evenings. She leaves for the hospital at about 6:00pm and doesn’t return until the next morning. It all started to make sense. She admitted that their relationship had taken a turn since her shifts at the hospital changed, but she thought they were trying to work things out. She asked me a few questions about Lamar and I, I asked her a few questions also, and in the midst of our conversation I heard a dog barking. I asked her about the dog. I told her what Lamar told me about the dog and she said “He gave me the damn dog! The dog is mine!” I just laughed because I had never experienced such a bizarre situation. And it was about to get better!
Lamar’s girlfriend told me that she broke up with him prior to leaving New Orleans for Atlanta because the relationship was stagnant and she wanted more. She said Lamar begged and pleaded for her to stay and when he realized she was really moving to Atlanta, he decided to go with her. He said he wanted to marry her and move forward in their relationship. She even went on to tell me that the house was HER house that she bought with HER money. That man had the nerve! Suddenly I hear “Lamar guess who’s on the phone?” Normally I don’t entertain drama when it comes to men. I don’t fight for or about men, I don’t make a fuss over men, and I certainly try my best to stay away from drama such as this. With this particular situation, however, I could not contain myself from cursing his ass out! The woman put me on speaker phone apparently and Lamar acts oblivious to who I am or what’s going on. His girlfriend repeats most of what I told her about the dates Lamar and I had and the plans for that evening. Lamar then calls me a “crazy bitch.” He doesn’t know where I came from or why I am trying to ruin their relationship. So of course I let his stupid ass know that I did not call his girlfriend because I didn’t know she existed, but rather she called me! With that said I told her that I was truly sorry the situation and as a woman I can understand her pain, but I didn’t know and the signs were definitely not there. I told Lamar to stop being a bitch and hung up from the madness. I just sat in the mall parking lot stunned and confused.
Should I have known? Were there signs that maybe I missed? Was I a target for this stupidity? Was I being naive? HELL NO!!! I had to reassure myself that I did absolutely nothing wrong in this situation. I couldn’t have known, there were no signs, I wasn’t a target and I certainly wasn’t naive. I realized that there are some occurrences in life that we have no control over. I often prepare myself for the worst by looking for clues, keeping my eyes and ears open, and I don’t expect more than what is obvious. This experience is proof that the dating game is rough. There are no rules, but at least I walked away from this knowing I played my position right. I asked questions, I observed, and I took my time. Now I just laugh!