Grow Up Gotdammit!

Steve Harvey’s happily married, but some of his best friends are single. And when I interviewed him about relationships and sex, his overarching observation as an outsider to the dating game was summed up succinctly as “grow up, gotdammit!!”
The delivery doesn’t come across in print, but it was hilarious in context and ever since, I’ve been throwing out that phrase whenever a situation arises that warrants it… And sadly, I find myself saying it often.Awhile back, I attended a 30th birthday celebration for some friends. I met a guy- nice, not my type- and we exchanged numbers. Over the next couple weeks, he text a few times just to say ‘hey’ or ‘what you up to?,’ i.e. general check-ins that had nothing to do with business. Once he asked me to dinner.
Yes, via text.

Um, texts are not stand-ins for phone calls, just like phone calls are not stand-ins for face-to-face communication. Texting a potential interest as a main form of communication is the passive-aggressive equivalent of saying, “I’m too busy or not interested enough to call. Get back at me when you can and if you don’t? Eh…” It says either that or, “I’m married and can’t talk.”

I erased his number.

Two weeks later, I get a phone call from a number I don’t recognize.

Me: Hello?
Him: Why you been ducking me? (No greeting, nothing.)
Me: Um, who is this?
Him: Midnight (ie, his corny hood alias. He’s 30+ by the way.)
Me: (Blank stare) Oh.
Him: So you can’t call?
Me: Uh, I’m sorry. Have you called me before?
Him: You got my number.
Me: Um, you’re the one that wants something.
Him: Why it gotta be like that? Why you gotta be a-
Me: Dude! Don’t!

Now, I don’t wanna sound like a b-i-t-c-h and I would never be so bold as to tell a man how to be a man. But I will be as bold as to offer some advice for texting mofos using hood aliases and nicknames at 30+: Grow up, gotdammit!!

Somewhere along the way, a whole lot of men (but not all) forgot the art of coming correct. Sometimes it seems like long gone are the days when a man spotted a woman, headed over, introduced himself (by his real name,) dropped a line (that didn’t sound like one), and said something that kept him on a woman’s mind and anticipating that first call.

No, no, dudes-alleged grown men– have become real content with standing against a wall, waving a woman over, and opening the conversation with, “so what’s up?” when she arrives like the woman is supposed to carry the conversation.

Mofo, you tell me what’s up!! You flagged me down!!! (FTR: It’s been years since I responded to a wave over. When it happens now, I usually give a baffled face and turn away.)

And then these same men, have the nerve to act like women are in the wrong when they get dissed. Like dude, you’re giving me half-assed game and now you’re mad when you get a half-assed response? What part of the game is that?

A couple months later, I’m out with the girls one Saturday night at Sugarcane after we leave the Brooklyn Museum (pause: it was raining men! Wowzers!) Now this place is an over-populated West Indian spot with great food, strong drinks, and (fine) men who by genetics or culture tend to be aggressive when they see something they like.

So my girl is sitting at our corner table when a grown-looking guy walks up and gives her a folded note (sideye) and walks away. It reads something like, “You’re cute, didn’t want to interrupt you. Call or text me sometime.” He leaves two numbers for her to get in touch with him.

She laughs, loud, as she should at his approach, then folds up the note and puts it under her plate.



No lines, no charm, no personality, but a third grade note to get a woman’s attention?

In an effort to save men from themselves (and convince every man reading this who thinks I’m asking too much from him that I’m not) I’d like to share a little about the benefits of coming correct.

When that happens, we hope he asks for the number before he does, and when we give up the number, we then really hope he calls. We think about him at odd times. We ride the train (or drive our car) and smile randomly about whatever witty thing he said. And when he calls, a big grin appears when the new number appears on the phone screen. We answer with an unusually expectant “hello?”

Even if we’re busy, we’ll want to hear the man-bass on the other end of the line. If we’re in crowded room, we’ll step outside or go in a corner. You’re not even in the room, but you just took us away from whatever we were doing and have our undivided attention.

That’s a reaction that every man wants from any woman. And that’s why it’s worth coming correct-and growing up, gotdammit.

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