By Isis Nezbeth
Isis is a first-time mother, author, and free-spirited freelancer.
This was the first time I acknowledged the difference between sex, love, and romance…
I use the word acknowledge because clearly, we understand that there is a difference, but we never like to point out the one without the other. I’m familiar with sex, acquainted with love, and a virgin to romance–until I met Mr. R. Here’s the story of my first dance with Romance.
I’m at a Harlem Nightclub (looking great, feeling better) standing in line for the ladies’ room and I’m ¬getting the normal aggressive stare-down, brush of the hand, corny pick-ups a woman normally encounters after the midnight hour and one too many drinks. I leave the powder room and as I’m walking back to where my friends have congregated, a very finely dressed, mature man approaches me and tells me how much he admires my beauty. I kindly thank him, but keep on in my travels. I try to take this debonair man’s compliment the same way I would any other guy’s, but for some reason the sincerity in his voice and eyes let me do nothing of the sort. I make it back to the bar only to find the same gentleman is standing right near my friends. He approaches me again and asks if I’d like something to drink. “I’ll have what you’re having,” I reply. Even though my friends were ready to leave, there was something about him I just couldn’t walk away from. We get as acquainted as our drinks and the loud music will allow and as the night ends he invites me to lunch the next day. I couldn’t wait.
I wake up the next day feeling yesterday’s party, but still anticipating whether or not he’d keep his promise. Time passed and time passed then finally I got a text requesting my presence that evening and I won’t lie–I was elated. I jumped up and quickly got my life together and headed into the city to meet my new friend. Seeing as how I was new to the city and the subway system, I arrived about an hour and a half after he had requested (and his friends had already left as well), but still I found him waiting just as kind and patient as ever. When I saw him again and he kissed both of my cheeks to greet me, I couldn’t wait to know more about him. Hand in hand, we walked the streets of Harlem chatting and looking for a restaurant that was a choice as I knew his taste would be. We came upon a quaint place with an intimate, candlelit ambiance and as we walked in (of course, the first thing I’m thinking to myself is, “This looks really expensive…”), but it was of no matter to him. He gave me a smile and with the most sincerity said, “You may have whatever you’d like.” I was at a loss for words. I had never been treated with such enchantment in all my life.
As we enjoyed our meal and conversed over a bottle of wine, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear from his romanticism and charm. He was like the real-life version of that book character, Christian Grey, without all the crazy dominant stuff. His words were so eloquent and his spirit so free and kind; it made me only hope to live as happily as he when I reach his age. After dinner, our night continued at a few other spots in Harlem and the whole time we were out we kept getting these stares from people like, “How’d the hell did you two meet?” but neither of us had a care in the world for what others thought. It was like there was no one there but the two of us in every place we had went. What’s better is that even the people serving us handled us with such care and respect. I’m telling you… just the way he carries himself leaves you wanting to experience more of him. No exaggeration.
I could go on and on about his character and how many great experiences I’ve already had with him, but the significance of sharing this story is this… To us ladies, treat yourself like the queen you know you are because that someone who is worthy of your companionship won’t let you get away when you finally grace their presence. Don’t look for your ‘Mr. Right’ because it’s not for you to know who is supposed to sweep you off of your feet. Just take care of you. Be genuine. “Pour coconut oil on your spirit” if you will. To you men, although Mr. R was in the position to treat me to a bunch of fancy experiences, that wasn’t what made the experience for me. It was his charm, his charisma, his ability to steal away all the attention in a room of practically any size. He was genuine and confident, not cocky and egotistical. You take care of you, too. That way while us women are coconut oiling our soul, you’ll be preparing yourself to show us the romance we forgot we deserved. We often get caught up in thinking that the equation for a perfect relationship is a combination of friendship, commitment, and sex, but we keep failing to acknowledge that we deserve (and should expect) to be romanced before most of that. Not in a million years did I think I’d be Mr. R’s type, but I believe the more we saw of each other the more we realized how lucky we were to have met each other. We learned so much. Bottom line? When you do finally have that dance with Romance, don’t listen to anything but her song and dance for as long as you possibly can. If the music just so happens to stop… at least you got to hear her sing.
To Mr. R,
Thank you for treating me like the Queen I am. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for believing in my confidence. And most importantly, thank you for this dance.