So on Tuesday after a particularly full day at work, I hopped the subway to this hotel in Times Square (ugh, as a newly established NYC snob, I hate Times Square) and strolled into the fancy lounge/lobby to wait for this R&B singer that I was interviewing for a magazine freelance gig. Let’s call him L.
He was only a half-hour late, so when he arrived and we finally sat back on the white leather couches to get started, I wasn’t too disgruntled, but I did look kind of frazzled. My hair had started out bone straight and then transformed into a nest of frizzy 5-year-old curls in the light of the soft drizzle of the day. I had unapologetically traded stilettos for some rain boots, too. Hey, I was there strictly for journalistic purposes, not to mack it to some lanky B-list singer.
To my surprise, he was pretty charming. I really shouldn't have been surprised though since R&B guys usually are disarmingly smooth. He gave me a great interview, complete with complaints about how the music that young people are exposed to these days is too sexed up. There’s nothing that grabs my attention more than a positive role model/a dude with morals.
After about an hour, I had wrapped it up and was getting up to leave when…
“Hey, I’m having fun…do you want to chill for a bit?” L asked me, as his publicist shot him a look.
“I’m leaving,” she said, looking at her watch. It was nearing 8:30 and the rain was starting to come down harder against the window next to us. “But you guys have fun!”
L raised an eyebrow at me. He was cute. There was something about his humble demeanor, his southern drawl and those innocent eyes. I also liked the fact that he put his Blackberry away in his bag and stayed focused on me. I don’t care of you’re freakin’ Oprah, when you’re doing the interview thing or even at dinner, the phone should be out of sight.
“Just for a bit, I know you haven’t eaten yet…” he pushed.
I smiled. Food, the way to my heart. “Yea, I can stay for a little bit. I want to hear your new album anyway,” I said.
“Ooooh you’re going to love it,” he grinned, motioned for the waiter and slid next to me on the couch, just close enough so that we could share iPod buds, but not still not invading my kindergarten personal space rule. “You said you liked that old soul and blues stuff right? Check out this track.”
The first song he played was amazing. I nodded to the beat-heavy track, impressed that he’s stepped out of his comfort zone on it.
So we hung out for a bit, I drank only water (sticking to my professionalism bit for fear that I would flirt back with this guy) and we talked about everything from our families to broadening our choices in music. It was that conversation one would hope to have on a really great date. But since I have been lacking in the really great dates department, I decided to take what I could get.
So after schooling him on my favorite jazz lounges in the city, I looked at my phone and decided I needed to get my tired ass home, so I told L just that.
“I know you probably don’t give guys your phone number, but I’d love to catch a set with you when I’m back in the city. I mean, if you want.”
I nodded and laughed a little bit. And said nothing.
“Okay, so can I give you mine?” He bit his lower lip and squinted at me, testing the waters, which I found kind of adorable.
“Yea,” I said. “You know what? Take mine. I doubt you have the time to stalk me anyway.”
This time he laughed. So we did the number exchange thing, and then walked out the entrance, where his chauffeur-driven Benz was calmly waiting.
“Hop in, I can take you home,” he offered.
I politely declined. He then offered to hail me a cab, at which I informed him that normal people in the city did the subway thing. Then he insisted on walking me to the subway, which would have been cute except teenage girls kept stopping him and humping his leg (not literally, but you know what I mean).
I rode home deep in thought about what L and I had discussed in regards of relationships. He was single and intended on being single until he could find a woman who emulates the spirit of the strong, smart and soulful women (mother and sisters) who raised him. It made me realize that I am that woman, and if I was as comfortable in my personal skin as I am in my professional, I could very possibly find a man who I could really stand still with.
And in the wise sentiment of Bob Marley, I’d rather stand in love than fall any day.