“Yeah girl, I want something different,” I said to my girlfriend Del as we walked down Madison Avenue.
I was telling her about my dating struggles and I’d come up with the conclusion that it was the men who chose me and it was time for me to start choosing.
“I’m old school, so I don’t believe in approaching a man,” Del said laughing at my decision.
“People kill me with that, ‘old school.’ So a woman can’t approach a man?” I asked.
“Oh, she can, but she’ll never know what it’s like to be chosen by that man,” Del said, like some old African proverb.
“Yes, ‘she’ will because he chooses her right back!” And at that moment, I spotted a man inside The Art Of Shaving store.
He was immaculately dressed. I’m talking, a sharp suit and tie, complete with a silky pocket square. This brother was debonair enough to make Billy Dee Williams insecure. I stopped in my tracks, walked back to the store with my girl hot on my heels, calling my name, “Danielle!”
“Girl, did you see him?” I asked strutting back to the store. “I’m just gonna go say hi. No better time to start than now!”
She laughed, “Ok, ok. I support this movement,” my friend said as she walked in the store behind me.
His smile lit up the entire store, “Hi, my name is Jayson. Welcome to The Art of Shaving. How may I help you?”
It took everything in me not to say a corny line you’d hear in a silly romantic comedy. Instead, I said, “I’m looking for a gift for my dad.” I lied and grinned from ear to ear. My homegirl shot me a look of approval and kept pretending to browse the store.
“What are you looking for in particular?” Jayson asked, fully invested in helping me find the perfect fake gift.
“I have no idea. Can you just show me some of your best gift sets, Jayson?” I said, placing my hand on his forearm and lingering just long enough to give him clues that I was into him.
He smiled. “Of course.” After that confirmation, I basically didn’t hear any other word as he described shaving kits, gels, potions and lotions and I just nodded, making it up in my mind that I wasn’t leaving without his number. Jayson turned his face in my direction and said, “See anything you like?” I swear to you that man licked his lips in slow motion.
I was stuck there with my mouth open. Again, I had to fight myself so that I wouldn’t use a corny one-liner, but I lost the fight, “As a matter of fact, I do,” I smiled. I managed to quickly save myself from my pickup line, “But I have no idea if this is going to be something he’s going to like. Let me get your card and I’ll come back and commit to something once I have a better idea.”
“Not a problem at all,” Jayson smiled, handing me his card. “Call me when you’re ready.”
Del and I left the store, giddy like school girls.
“I can’t believe you did that!” she laughed.
“Really Del, it’s me! Of course I did that!” We continued down the street.
Jayson wasn’t stupid. I’m sure he knew there was no gift for no dad. So when I called him the following day and he said, “I was hoping you would call me,” I was relieved. I didn’t make a fool out of myself approaching this man.
“Were you now?” I cooed back at Jayson.
“Of course. Gorgeous girl walks into my store, wanting my help, putting her hands on me,” he laughed a hearty laugh at his own joke.
“Well, thank you for the compliment. But I wasn’t putting my hands on you!”
Jayson laughed, raised his voice an octave and said, “I need a gift for my dad.” He was mocking me.
“Very funny. I do.” I said with a smile on my lips.
“You don’t,” Jayson told me.
“I don’t,” We both laughed. “I saw something I liked and I wanted to know more.”
“I like that. You’re different,” Jayson said before asking me out on a date.
We met at a restaurant tucked away in the East Village. Candlelight was literally the only thing keeping up from being completely in the dark. We shared our meals with each other, and when our fingers would touch each other’s, we’d blush.
After the meal, we walked and talked and I learned that Jayson has two children–both of them live with their mother in South Carolina and he hated that the kids are there and he’s here but the mother was adamant about living down south and he wasn’t.
“They don’t want for anything because I’ve got them,” Jayson said to me, almost reassuring me that despite the family structure and location, he was still a good man.
I put my hand on Jayson’s chiseled jaw and let me fingertips trace it down to his lips. Jayson kissed my thumb. I couldn’t help myself from leaning in and placing my lips on his. There I was again–taking the lead. Jayson was all the way into it because his lips melted onto mine.
We couldn’t keep our hands off each other for the next couple of months. Our flirting felt like home. We were under each other’s skin.
We were on a Netflix & Chill date at his apartment when he asked me, “Danielle?”
“Jayson?” I said kissing him on the lips and handing him the popcorn with peanut M&Ms sprinkled inside. (This was one of our favorite snacks and something Jayson taught me that he liked.)
“Do you want, uhm…” Jayson hesitated and watched me fixing our drinks in the kitchen.
I looked back at him, “Do I want what babe?”
Jayson stood up and walked over to me. I stood at the counter getting ice and he walked behind me, pushing his pelvis into my butt. I smiled. “Yes Jayson, you can get some tonight!” I laughed, assuming him poking me in the back was his request.
“Oh, I know I’m getting some!” Jayson smacked my butt. “Especially after I ask you this…”
“Ask me what?”
“Danielle, I want you to be my girlfriend. Will you?” Jayson kissed my shoulder.
I turned around with Jayson’s arms still around me. I kissed the corner of his mouth. “Of course!” I said with so much excitement it shocked me.
We kissed and kissed and kissed. There was no Netflix, no chill, no popcorn with peanut M&M’s in it. Jayson and I devoured each other that night and laid in our official afterglow.
He broke the silence, “I’m glad you approached me that day. I saw you walking by and I said to myself, ‘Damn, I hope she comes in,’ so when you did, I knew I had to have you.”
My smile could have been an exhibit at a museum, “I knew I had to have you too.” I rolled over into him, smelling his neck.
“We chose each other,” Jayson said before initiating round two.
Ladies, have you ever approached a man? What was the result?