Monday, March 30, 2009

Dating Adventures

It's been a minute since I posted about any dating scenarious so I guess I will present one. I have been talking on the phone to a guy who lives in a different city. I will call him Distant One. I met this guy at a party about two years ago evidently we spoke briefly, but according to him, he was "too shy" to approach me. I have zero recollection of this meeting. In December I hosted a Christmas party at my house and a young lady I know brought Distant Ones friend to my house. Evidently there was some discussion via cell phone as to where they were & they put me on the phone. Distant One advised that he had met me previously & inquired as to whether he could get my phone number & call me the next week. We began talking on the phone a few times per week. He seemed like a nice guy. He began to inquire about me sending pictures & I agreed to email him some to his cell phone. He forwarded me a few cell phone pics as he does not have a computer nor a digital camera. The photos were all pretty dark but from what I could tell he looked decent. January was a busy month for me. He had couple of deaths in his family in February and in the first half of March I was busy preparing for my nieces & nephew to visit for Spring Break ! We finally managed to meet this past weekend because he invited me to a Crawfish Boil being hosted by some relatives and friends that live in my city.

Now we have been talking consistently but not as much as I am accustomed to. He is an early bird and I am a night owl. I have more flexibility in my work schedule, so this limited some of our interactions and ability to have longer conversations. One of the things that I look for in conversation is what path a man is on in his life. Distant One made it clear early on that he is looking for a wife, which is fine, but what seemed to bother me was his futuristic talk well before we had even met face to face ! I made my ultimate desire to be married again someday known, but I tend to approach this pretty openly & definitely don't get into that type of talk too deeply until I have determined whether there is a sincere mutual interest between both parties.

This guy is a Christian & has been in church for about 3 years now. He is solidly blue collar, yet he is a home owner. He is family oriented. His went to college for about a year. He is not dumb, but honestly the conversations have been limited because it does not appear that he has any real interests beyond sports. One of the things about him is that he is a jokester. He is always making a joke & sometimes its hard to know when he is "kidding" or serious. Sometimes I have to say, "OK can you be serious for just a second". He asked me well over a month ago to commit to another family event over Easter Weekend. I tried to stall him because I wanted to wait until we had at least met first. This event will involve some travel but I ultimately agreed to attend with him. Last week we agreed that even if after we met if there was no connection, we would still proceed with the event& go our seperate ways after that. It seems to me that he wants to save face with his family. I was OK with that plan initially.

So we met this past weekend. Friday was supposed to be the night that we spent together & then Saturday I was to be at the Crawfish Boil/Domino Turnament with his family & friends. He insisted after picking me up for dinner an HOUR late that we go by his brothers house so that I could meet him and his sister-in-law. First thing I noticed was that he had lied about his height. I am 5'10 ( which means 6' in heels). He made it obvious by calling me "shorty" after the first few minutes in my home. I called him on it & told him there was no way he was 6'. The other thing that I immediately noticed was his teeth. I will attempt to be respectful and just say they were not very appealing to me. What I realized instantly was that in none of the four pictures that he sent me was he smiling. I had no way of knowing. I was a bit dissappointed but trying to be open minded, after all I had been talking with this person for a few months.

The men were in the garage & the women were in the house. They guys were drinking and a bit rowdy, there were some unneccesary comments about my appearance that Distant One should not have subjected me to, as it was very uncomfortable. I realized that I was being paraded for their approval. This was waaaay to premature. We went in to meet the sister-in-law and her friends whom were all very nice. They greeted me very warmly and were very hospitable.The problem I had was when they insisted that we stay there at the house with them because they had "plenty of food if you guys are hungry". I'm thinking," do you people not realize this is our first time meeting and our first date ? "I was gracious and polite but was going to let him handle it. I think for a moment he considered that we would just stay but at some point he got the message.

We went to a restaurant of my choice since we were in my stomping grounds. I should also point out that he does not seem to be much of a restaurant person & his diet consists of bar food, etc. He said that he enjoyed the seafood at Goode Company in Katy. When we walked into the restaurant & were waiting to be seated, he walked away from me to the bar to check the score on the game. I was seated alone & then he looked up to realize that I was already seated. The food was wonderful but the conversation just OK. I think he may use jokes, to alleviate him of nervousness or to hide his limited social skills. During dinner both his sister in law & brother called to find out when we were coming back. I decided to say nothing. I was just going to see how far he would take it. He did ask if I minded if we went back over to their house. He made a comment about them wanting to get to know me. We returned after dinner & basically just sat around watching TV & talking. It was a bit akward for me because again, this is my first time being in the prescence of this person & I am with family members too ? There were alot of inside jokes. I was able to be somewhat involved in the conversation but still this was not what I had expected, especially since the following day there was a scheduled event with these same people. We finally left so that he could take me home. He tried to make it seem as if he was waiting for me to say I was ready to go. I could not understand how he would put me in that position & did not understand why we needed to go back to their house since I had already met them earlier in the evening. We should have taken this time to get better acquainted.

The following day we only had about an hour 1/2 together before going to the event. Conversation was ok, but he made one too many comments about my appearance in my jeans. I was flattered the first time. After that, it seemed juvenile. We arrived at the event. He participated in and won the Domino tournament with a friend of his. I was able to make conversation with the ladies there at the park and later, a friend of mine showed up with her boyfriend. Aftewards we went back to his sisters house & he invited my friend and her boyfriend to come. Distant One was busy playing cards with his relatives and did not really engage me or my friends. My friend attempted to talk with him and her summation to her boyfriend was "BC is not going to like him he doesn't have enough conversation".

He took me home later that night. We were both tired. I invited him in & we sat on the sofa, both falling asleep, limited conversation. I was feeling like I had spent a weekend and did not really know this person any more than before he came & he was leaving first thing in the morning. He stayed for about 30 minutes. When he got back to his brothers house, he called me to let me know that his family was clowning him saying " BC must really not like you, she didn't let you stay at her house not one night!" I had no comment. Now I am trying to figure out if I want to suffer through the event in two weeks or not. I am inclined to try to give him another shot and also keep my word since we did discuss what would happen if we didn't really connect this weekend.

What would you do ? How long should you wait before introducing dating partners to family and friends ?

Monday, March 9, 2009

All That Jazz

This past weekend I had the wonderful experience of hearing a couple of my favorite musicians perform live. On Saturday night I went to see Joe Carmouche a popular Jazz Guitarist. He has a very nice and intimate place in downtown Houston called Le.gends Jazz Cafe. I went to listen to him and his trio play on a first date with a new guy that I actually met last week at of all places. (Details in another blog post). I really enjoyed it. The have some really nice artwork everywhere. It's very simple and cozy spot and the music was amazing ! I was able to talk with him personally after the set as he seemed to be quite familiar with my date. I have seen him perform opening for lots of Jazz artists that come through Houston. In person he was very gracious and made me feel really welcome. They also serve some very good Cajun Cuisine too. We shared an appetizer platter which consisted of some Boudain Balls, some type of Seafood Egg Rolls, Chicken Wings and some Seafood Beignets that were really good. Since I gave up alcohol for Lent, and my date does not imbibe, I'm not sure about whether or not the drinks are good. This is definitely a very nice place to take a date or even friends. The crowd was extremely diverse and really responsive to the music. I will definitely return.

On Friday night, a girlfriend and I went to one of my favorite spots in Houston, The R.ed Cat Ja.zz Cafe to hear Frank McComb who is more like a Jazz vocalist. He plays keyboard and has a voice as smooth as silk. I should also mention he is fine as wine ! My mom is a huge fan so I managed to get a photo with him after the show. She was so excited to open up her email. Frank sounds like a cross between Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder and has smile that lights up the room. The Red Cat is a larger venue that the other place and has quite a bit of local talent like Kyle Turner a saxophone player that plays pretty regularly. This is a great place for people who really appreciate real music and is not even close to being a meat market or pickup spot. Now the food at the Red Cat is not recommended. I have been disappointed many times so I try to always come after dinner. I make a point to get out to this place at least every other month or whenever a national artist comes through.

I love to go and hear artists that I know perform well live. Some of my absolute favorites are Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Jill Scott, Mint Condition, Anthony Hamilton and Kem.

Who are some of your favorite live performers ? Where in your city can you go to hear truly talented artists and musicians ?