Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WE Relationships - Rules of Engagement: What a tangled web we weave…

By Niama S. Sandy

Because of human nature, boredom, morbid (and sometimes other types) curiosity, we indulge in things we have absolutely no business being involved in. Examples you say? How many times have you given someone yuh know yuh eh have no business looking at yuh number and then when he/she calls and becomes a stalker yuh want to kick yuhself? Two? Three? Twenty?
Yuh already know ah have a story fuh yuh…

One night I was out with a girlfriend of mine. We'd been at the spot for awhile, when a gentleman - whom we shall call Jack- begins talking to my friend. Holding big conversation about his twin daughters and all kinna ting. He bought us both a drink each, and still he hasn't said more than three words to me - not that I minded as I didn't find him particularly engaging or handsome.

Eventually we say our goodbyes and hit a next spot. By chance or the misguided hand of fate, of all people who could be parked in front of us…it's Jack. He asked for my number. Yes, I said my number. I didn't understand it but he "explained" that he was shy and didn't know how to approach me (no, that doesn't make any sense to me either). So out of curiosity, and because at this point I'd probably had way more to drink than I should have, God help me, I give the man my number.

He calls the next day, and the day after, and the day after. Finally, the following week he catches me. Though I knew I was to meet up with someone for a drink later that night, I let Jack convince me into dropping in to his friend's house - this friend's father just passed away. I explain that I had a long day (which was true), an even longer one the following day, and that I thought it vaguely inappropriate for me to be visiting at such a time. He said "Just come by! I will take you home when you're ready. Just tell me when."

I arrived at Jack's friend's house at about 9:30. Jack and his friends are all from Africa and they're all speaking English and a little of their languages. The friend whose father passed is the host and is preparing fish for us- his guests. It's now 10:45. I am beyond tired, Jack has just said that we should go to Africa in December, and that he has the aforementioned twins' names tattooed over his heart and (supposedly jokingly) that he is going to put mine on the other side of his chest. It's time for de I to go HOME! I tell him so. He is gracious, or so he had me think. "You can't leave! In our culture, if you leave before allowing the host to serve you, it's basically like saying @%&$ you!" says my host. The others echo his sentiments and Jack stays quiet and does not move an inch. If I wasn't convinced before that moment that Jack was not the chap for me, then that comment acted as the mortar to cement my decision to officially give jack back he jacket!

Our rules for the month…

1. Go with your gut. Enough said…

2. "May be he/she'll grow on me."
This is not the framework to be working in. If you aren't interested right at the beginning there's a 98% chance you won't be. Why browbeat yourself into liking someone? You know what you like, use that as your compass.

3. "Does this person have a backbone?"
There is a difference between being reasonable, being a pushover, and pretending to be nice. Feigning "niceness" is a sure fire way to get someone into a faux comfort zone. Beware of all potential chain-ups

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