When I sit back and think about some of the men that I’ve dated I shake my head. I remember this one particular disaster date as clear as day.
I was in my senior year of high school and my girlfriend *Nicole was going to hook me up with her boyfriends, friend. Nicole told me that he was a little older, around 22 or 23 and that I was sure to like him. So, being young, semi-fresh and naive, I was completely game. I didn’t even ask her what he looked like, just her telling me that he was older and willing to take me out on a date, I jumped at the chance (what did I know). So Nicole set up the date and it was on. He would pick me up at my mom’s apartment that Friday and we would go hang out…whatever that meant.
I recall wearing this cute, short, red dress with red sandals that laced around my ankles. I took my time getting dressed and fixing my hair because I just knew this older man was going to be worth it. I wanted to make a lasting impression.
I remember pushing open the door to the apartment building and stepping outside right into some straight up disappoinment. There he was, the older guy, sitting in this old, dusty, cream (it should have been white) ford taurus. He wasn’t exactly my type..a tad overweight (I’m being nice) and a bit ummm sweaty. I was a little hesitant but I said “no Paige, you got ready and you’re looking cute so go ahead and have a good time.” Little did I know that the good time would be on me.
I got in the car and we exchanged a hello. I smiled, he winked, I hurled in my mouth and he pulled out of the parking spot. Off we went to hang out…whatever that meant.
We drove around for about 15 minutes when he pulled over to the side of the road. I got a little nervous because I didn’t know him and wasn’t sure why we were pulling over. He looked over at me and politely asked “Hey, I was wondering if you could drive. The police are kind of hot in this area and I don’t have papers right now.” I nodded my head and went along with the plan. Under most circumstances I wouldn’t have minded driving. I was 17 and had just gotten my license. My mother never let me drive her car so this was a treat however; I was hesitant about the beat up Taurus and confused about the no papers situation (naive…big time).
I ended up driving us to a restaurant that wasn’t to far away. As we made our way inside I realized that he happened to be pleasant enough so I thought maybe this wouldn’t be so bad. That was until he told me he had a crazy baby mother that followed him around and he hoped she didn’t follow us there…say what? I really thought this “date” couldn’t get any worse but I said hey, it’s a free meal, I may as well enjoy it.
After we ate, he decided that him not having papers wasn’t an issue anymore so we left and drove around for a bit…and then it came.
Just as cool as you can imaging he said “Paige, I had a really nice time with you today so I have something to ask you.” I’m not thinking anything of it so I urge him to go on. “I was wondering, since we had a good time today, I’m trying to buy a car and I wanted to know would you put it in your name?” I looked at him with the most confused look I could muster at 17 and told him what my mother told me to tell men that wanted my cookies. “Uhhh hell no.”
Let’s just say mama didn’t raise no fool.
I told you this story because it’s a perfect example of knowing a relationship or situation isn’t right but you stay there because you’ve put to much time or effort into it, or because you’re trying to get something out of it. I should have turned around when I saw the beat up taurus and the sweaty, overweight guy. Not because I was bourgeois but because I had standards and having standards is okay. When did it come to a point where having standards was wrong? There were multiple times throughout the date that I should have said enough is enough but I stayed and the situation just got worse and worse.
Realize that grown women have standards and they also know that having standards is the norm. They know how to tastefully articulate when someone is not meeting their standards and how to gracefully let them go.
How many times have you assessed a situation and told yourself that this person does not meet your standards but you continue dealing with them because of X,Y and Z? It doesn’t have to be a man, it could be any relationship. Your mother, father, sister, girlfriend, hair dresser, banker, doctor..whatever.
Stop going along with the plan and speak up. You deserve to be heard and you have a voice of your own.
Don’t waste your time. Know that time is precious and wasted time equals wasted opportunities.
The best thing about being a grown woman is being confident in the skin you’re in, possessing that feeling of control and making decisions on your behalf. Don’t hold on to a situation just because you think it will be a hassle to get rid of. You aren’t a charity case, you’re a grown woman.
*Name changed to protect privacy