Thursday

Fairweather Facebook Friends, or The Only Black Man in Toronto

About six months ago I was on Facebook and came across some pictures of a guy we'll call Paul. I was intrigued; besides being devastatingly gorgeous, we had a ton of mutual friends and he looked really familiar to me. So I added him as a friend.

A few weeks went by and nothing happened. I would occasionally check out his profile and look at his pictures but I left it at that. Then one day he posted a picture of his closet. This may sound weird but seeing that he was a clotheshorse just sent me over the edge. I posted a comment under the photo: "this picture just made me fall a little bit in love with you"; to which he replied "ha!".

Then that was it for a few more weeks. I was taking a break from the dating scene and hadn't really intended to pursue anything with anyone at that time. Then I happened to mention to a friend of mine that I had a crush on Paul and she started gushing about how he's such a nice guy and such a gentleman etc. etc. and that I was being a punk by not at least attempting to get to know him. Even more intrigued, I let that marinate for a week or so. Then I told my friend Mary who is a good friend of Paul's that I was crushing on him and she said I should write him a note on Facebook. She said be witty – he likes witty.

So I wrote a note. My friend Mary was on the phone with him while he read it. He said I was witty but wasn't I so and so's girl? She said no that it was long over between me and so and so. He asked what part of the city I lived in and she told him. He wrote me back that day.

Over the next couple of weeks we wrote back and forth a few times. But each time the conversation would end because he would stop replying. I was ready to put an end to things right there (bad communication habits is kind of a turnoff for me) but my friends told me I was being overly harsh and should just go with the flow – not everyone is an email person.

Then summer came and with it a flurry of events. We started bumping into each other fairly often. He was always very flirty, very solicitous, spent a lot of time talking to me each time I saw him. But it never translated into what I really wanted – a real live date. Being a liberated woman I decided to take matters into my own hands and ask him out. So I called him up one evening and asked him if he wanted to have drinks on the weekend. He said drinks would be cool but he had his son that weekend so he wasn't sure when exactly he could be free. We agreed to touch base closer to the weekend to firm up plans.

The weekend came and went and…nothing. I never called him and he never called me. The next time we saw each other neither of us mentioned it. And although he was just as flirty and attentive as he'd ever been, the crush was starting to wear thin. It was becoming tiresome to try to get (and maintain) his attention so I decided to relegate him from PNB (potential next boyfriend) status down to GILF (should be self-explanatory).

Summer came to an end and with it the endless stream of parties that defines summer in Toronto died down. So it was a couple of weeks before I ran into him again on a random Thursday night as I was on my way to a friend's house. We said just a quick hello before I went about my business. Upstairs I moaned to my friends about how tired I was of having a crush on him and that I just needed something to happen so I could get him out of my system. I said "maybe I should just ___ him? Yeah Mary tell him don't worry I don't want to wife him I just want to ____ him. That ought to do it". Mary just rolled her eyes at me.

But guess what happened? The very next night I scored a last minute all-access pass to a film festival party and whom should I bump into but Paul himself? He was drunk, I was looking hot, we were both there alone - it was an orgy of mutual admiration which culminated in a ride home and an incident in my driveway that can best be described as "parking lot pimping". When it was over, I strolled inside thinking "okay that's it. I got what I wanted and I can move on with my life". By this point I had already set my sights on my next "victim" and barely noticed or cared when two months went by and I hadn't seen or heard from Paul. I figured we both got what we wanted and could move on.

Well two days ago I had the opportunity to spend the day working for Paul's company at an event. I knew he would be there and was mildly concerned about whether it would be awkward, but it wasn't at all. He was just as flirty, attentive, and interested as ever. And I was just as smitten. After a blissful day of working together he paid me and told me how good it was to have me there. And then we both left.

Since then my crush on him as come back with a vengeance. I just cannot seem to get this man out of my system and to be honest I don't really blame myself; he's handsome, charming, funny, smart, articulate, cultured, and polite. And single. Granted, not to toot my own horn but I am all those things as well. But that is an extremely rare package to find in a black man in Toronto. But of course, being all those things he has no shortage of offers from women and I feel like I just haven't yet had the chance to distinguish myself from the pack. Chit chatting and flirting in clubs and Facebook messages only go so far to convey my wonderfulness; when I see him in person my nerves kick in and I'm always a less-fabulous version of myself. I just feel like if I could somehow get two good hours of his undivided attention for us to talk and get to know each other, he would see what a good match we make.

So my question for you oh wise men is this: do I even bother to try to make something out of this or do I just drop the pebble? Being that it's winter and we don't normally tend to frequent the same spots (and I no longer have his phone number), the chances of me bumping into him organically are virtually nil. His birthday is next week so I was thinking that I'd drop him a little happy birthday note on Facebook but I already know he's "not really a facebook guy" by his own admission so that will only get me so far. I do know where he'll be celebrating next weekend, so I could just show up there being my fabulous self and hope something comes out of it…

What do you guys think?


GARLAND: I think you should move on and leave both Paul and Facebook alone. You've wasted a lot of time on both from the sound of it and it doesn't sound like you've gained anything aside from a driveway hookup from either one.

I hate to sound crass, but the whole "Facebook" / "MySpace" thing is a cruel joke on dating. Folks read some blurbs online and check out some photos and suddenly they start filling in the rest of the blanks and start "pretending" they know the people they're hunting online. They start filling in blanks with little perfect snippets of data that makes Jimmy, Johnny, Janie or June that PERFECT PERSON that they want in their life. Frankly this is what it sounds like you've done with your Boy here. I don't think you REALLY have a relationship or a potential relationship or ANYTHING real with this guy "Paul."

I think you need to move on and find someone real that you can sit down with and talk to and not have to chase after online. I hate to sound like a dick, but you're giving off a bit of a NetStalker vibe here. This Paul is probably not all that you make him out to be and you're really doing yourself an injustice sweatin' him so hard.

The woman in the mirror deserves more than you're giving her by chasing after this dude .

CHUCK: This guy's behavior strikes me as typical for the kind of man who thinks that he has more options than any woman he runs across. And the reason for that is because the talk going around says there's supposed to be a three-to-one female-to-male ratio where you're from, or Paul is "the only Black Man in Toronto."I don't like to hear about these measuring standards, because they always seem to favor men. And if there's a kind of man who is lacking in character, he may try to take advantage of the "fact" that there are more available women around than men.

I'm not suggesting that Paul is out to take advantage of you. You have offered him any number of opportunities to do that if he wanted to. But as you seem to believe yourself, this guy's got too much going on to pay you any long-term attention. Is that bad? I don't necessarily think so. He's not acting as though you mean the world to him one minute, and neglecting you the next. When you're near him, you're cool, but out of sight, out of mind.

A crush is fun, but a real relationship is more fulfilling in the long term. This man, barring some epiphany out of a Sandra Bullock romantic comedy, is not going to suddenly change and realize that you are bright, witty, and beautiful enough to be the woman he focuses all his love and attention on. If you've got a "next victim," see what's up with him. Paul's a non-starter.

2 comments:

TJ said...

I'm thinking about those famous and profound relationship experts, En Vogue.

Give it up. Turn it loose.

Happy Holidays All!!!

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