I Hate dating. Now ah day’s people romanticize how good it was back in the day but whatever! They watch too many movies. See in movies dating looked cool, some respectable clean-cut man’s eyes met yours and BOOM! That was it he was perusing you and did whatever it took to persuade you to become his happily ever after. Romantic movies in the 80s would have some drama that would befall the leading lovers but almost always ended supper perfectly. Like Pretty In Pink for example after all the drama Andie (Molly Ringwald’s character) still ends up with Blane (Andrew McCarthy). What makes it even more perfect is that Duckie (Jon Cryer), who had been in love with Andie forever, is able to process his feelings and be mature enough to recognize true love and insist that she go to him. He knew she was right he (Blane) wasn’t like the rest of the rich snobby kids. What made it even more perfect is that as she walks away Duckie lifts his head to look out at the dance floor. What does he see you ask? A beautiful teenage girl staring at him of course! He plays coy with the whole who me look on his face and her with the, yes you look. Then they all lived happily ever after! In a movie they take two hours or so and convince you that the story lasted forever. None of us question it. It looks so easy I mean it could even work for hookers. Don’t believe me? Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pretty Woman! Both are stories of women of the “dark arts” who somehow manage to find true love. Meanwhile, I am over here walking up to my barracks being greeted by a guy who is pissed (literally yelling in front of everyone) because I would not sleep with him. Of course, he didn’t say that was why he was pissed in front of everyone. He was going on about how I thought I was too good and that I actually wasn’t that cute in the first place. I didn’t get loud, but I was kinda cocky because my tribe lived here. This was my turf and I knew they would kick his ass if he tried it. I simply asked him “Why then? if I’m not cute and I’m uppity why are you standing outside MY place yelling?” I said, “I must be something.” His response was golden. He yelled for everyone to hear, “I just thought I’d try to hit cause my boy said it was good.” I was hot with embarrassment and one of my tribe members tried pull me away signaling defeat. I managed to say “It is just too bad YOU will never know how good I am, with yo bitch ass!! Standing out here screaming about my pussy…” I said so many more words, but I will save you the colorful language. Just know that I was not defeated that day lmao!!!
I may not have been defeated but I did learn a valuable lesson. Do not date guys on base! Keep all my personal stuff as far away from others as possible. Kinda like my Larry Rice incident. I handled it a little better this time, but I would still be adjusting the way I interacted with others going forward. Just like I did back then. I made the mistake of meeting and dating a Marine that worked on base. He was cool but after a while, I ended things. The reason I ended it was kind of embarrassing. He was nice but when we got to the point where we were about to do the deed I chickened out. The reason I chickened out was because his dangle was tooooo damn BIG! He took off his clothes and it hung from the bottom of his boxers like a firehose!! Like really, seriously, for real! I don’t know exactly what I said but he just kept saying don’t be scared. It was too late! I was out!! I never saw him again and didn’t give him a real reason but I’m sure he knew why. I would just tell him I was busy all the time when he called. Eventually he stopped calling. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it, and that’s why he talked trash about me to his friends. The fact that I didn’t sleep with him didn’t matter. No matter what I would have said no one would really believe it. What was I gonna say? Perhaps I could have yelled “His ding-a-ling was too big and so we didn’t even do it!” Nope there would be no happily ever after in this one. No cool music or outfits or dance moves. This was not a movie.
I didn’t know how to date. Honestly, I am not that good at it even now. I just wanted to meet the ONE and be together. #Neo on a side tangent. It’s silly but every time I hear the phrase “the one” I think of Neo from the matrix! Back to my point though, I didn’t want the process of dating this guy or the next guy. Didn’t want to spend time trying to figure out who they were and getting past their representative. You know the representative is the person people pretend to be when you first meet. The representative is usually who you fall for, only to be introduced to the real person a few months later and realize that you kinda don’t actually like them. I just wanted things to be simple (and still kinda do). Just wanted folk to be who they pretended to be at the beginning. Sad part is they never are. Not even me!
I have always believed that I was an open book. That I was my most authentic self at all times, but that’s not really true. You can’t be an open book but not be comfortable being vulnerable and letting people see the parts of you that you keep hidden. It was like I was dating while wearing a mask that concealed half of who I was. I only shared the good half and saw no need to burden anyone with knowing who I really was. Additionally, you can’t be authentic if you are not comfortable enough to ask for what you need. In essence you are pretending and just going along. At that point I didn’t really believe I deserved to have what I wanted so why would I bother asking. I already knew what the outcome would be. I was not interested in letting anyone know me unless he was the one! Now I know that to be impossible to achieve. I did not know this back in 1996 though.
I would go on to date a couple of guys during my stay in Millington but never more than one or two dates. My heart was literally not in it. Besides I had developed a bit of a crush on Adrian. Problem was that he didn’t know, and I had no plans to tell him. I had over heard him, and another guy talking once and found out he had a girl back home. Ugh! We were just friends but secretly, I wanted more. Logically, it made no sense for us to even try to date we were only in Tennessee for six months and we had no idea where we would be heading after that. Besides all that I had my new no dating guys on base rule. With all that in mind I decided to just not date at all. Life was much simpler that way.
A few months after the coochie crusade, that was what I named the battle with that guy in front of the barracks that day. I was in my room when the airman on watch came to my room to deliver a letter that had been written by Adrian. I was shocked and excited and giddy!! What was going on? Had he broken up with his girlfriend? Had he been harboring feelings for me all this time? I was such a typical girl! We would spend the night sending letters back and forth. In my mind this was it! He was gonna be the ONE! My no dating on base rule didn’t even cross my mind!! I didn’t fall asleep until well after midnight. When I did, I sincerely believed that when the sun rose that next morning, Adrian and I would be on the precipice of our usness!
The next morning, I was all smiles and whatnot, chatting and being my normal goofy self. I went about my day with an extra feeling of calmness in my spirit. I had met a nice guy who I knew was really into me that I was into. Life was good, everything was coming together. By noon that day I was wondering what Adrian was doing. It was a Saturday, I knew we were up late writing letters but not sleeping past noon late. I asked one of the guys to go get him for me. That’s when I was informed that Adrian had transferred out that morning. I lost my breath for a moment. I could hear my inner voice laughing hysterically. She was laughing like Def Comedy Jam ghetto stomping her feet going “I told you! I told you! Don’t know body want cho ass! Don’t know body want cho ass!!” It was more of a singsong stomping and laughing trifecta. Yes, she was stomping on each syllable!
The darkness only got to be free for a few minutes for this one. Then, I quickly put on my mask and continued my performance.