Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
So on this special Valentine’s Day edition of the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, I want to talk to you all about a summer crush gone wrong. Generally, I am a private person so I would not normally make a blog post about my own love life. Today I’ll make an exception… but don’t get used to it. They always say things that start in the summer normally don’t make it. This was no different. So anyway, you didn’t come here for my preference for privacy. You came for some tea. Sigh… Let’s get your cups ready then…
So like most families, my parents want grand kids. Well my brother gave them two beautiful boys but of course that’s not good enough. They want me to have kids too. Although I want kids too, now isn’t the right time. I am really trying to advance in my career. With having a book out, working on a second book, having a radio show, working a full time job, serving as a brand ambassador, blogging, developing my own Youtube channel, and developing my own business, when in the world do I have time to even have a child, let alone raise this child? It won’t always be like this. I will slow down at some point. My parents are right about one thing, just because I work on my goals doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun and date.
So the story actually doesn’t begin in the summer, it begins in the spring. It’s May 2016 and I am at my book launch party. It is one of the best days of my life. I am launching my book in front of my friends and family and I couldn’t be more excited. At my book launch party, I give a speech about my journey to becoming an author and my plans moving forward in life. I talk about never giving up and being appreciative of the lessons you learned along the way because that’s who you are as a person. After my speech was done, my family and friends applauded which made me smile. I can’t tell anyone I actually wrote that speech 15 minutes before I left the house to come to my party...oops! Still killed it though…
So as I am wrapping up from my speech, my dad pulls me aside and wants to introduce me to someone. Most of the people at my book party were friends and family but my parents invited some of their coworkers to celebrate the moment with us. So from across the way, I see this woman; nice shape, seems confident, and a nice height to her. Now you have my attention…I walk over with my dad and he goes “this is A….” for the sake of this blog, we are just going to call her Karla. After my dad introduces me to “Karla”, we talk for about a minute. Then I am asked to sign books by my family and friends so I gotta stop talking and start signing. We are at a book signing after all so the people want their books darnit!
When Karla comes to get her book signed, she tells me that she really loved my tips I put in my speech and she wants to get a copy to share with her brother. Who I am to deny a pretty lady of some motivation? Except I forgot to get her phone number and email address. Kinda bummed I forgot to get her contact info, the night progresses and I wonder what’s next for us if anything at all.
A few days later, my father contacts me and gives me Karla’s email address. I guess he forgot it’s 2016 and not 1998 so young people prefer text over email. I email Karla the tips from my speech and guess what? Nothing!!! That’s right, nothing!. No “thank you”, no “received”, no “got it”, nothing. I am really on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram trying to find this girl and to no luck. Of course she has one of the most common names in America so I’m like dang apparently I’m just out of luck. A few weeks go by and still nothing…
So I am watching this Joel Osteen episode and he told me that this was my season to try again. Meaning anything I tried in the past wasn’t necessarily bad for me, maybe it just wasn’t the right timing. So I decide to try again. I had a book signing coming up at a local mall so I decide to invite her. Guess what? She replies. Ok so now I’m getting somewhere, I am waiting and waiting for this book signing so I can talk to her more. Sadly, I am more excited for this interaction between her and I than I am for the darn book signing. Priorities, right…
So it’s Saturday and the day is here, I finally get to talk to Karla some more. I figured after the book signing, we could even go get something to eat. I get to my book signing and I am beaming with joy. It’s almost been a month since my book launch party so the anticipation is building. And then surprise surprise, I get an email. Tell me #Jontourage, who is the email from? Yep it’s from Karla and she can’t make it to my book signing. You can imagine my face at the time. Okay so I am thinking of the words from Joel Osteen and I decide to try again and reach out to her via email. I ask her can we hang out sometime and Karla agrees. I finally get her cell number. Of course when I run to the restroom, she FaceTimes me and I don’t answer. This game of tag we played was off to a funny start.
So when I ask her out, we decide that bowling would be fun. We decide to go out on Wednesday. I am excited and because I wanted to make a good impression, I actually go out and buy a new shirt. Now normally I wouldn’t do stuff like this but it was a while since I went out like that so I figured let’s try something different. I also just happened to really like the shirt.
So the day comes, it’s Wednesday. I’m fresh, I’m clean, I am ready to go. I’m driving to meet Karla and not ten minutes into my trip, I get a text message from Karla asking to reschedule because she had a long day. I almost crashed the darn car. You can imagine the disappointment. All hope is not lost, as we decide to just go tomorrow (Thursday).
Fast forward, so now it’s Thursday. I actually just put the same shirt on because since we didn’t go out Wednesday, I changed my clothes (don’t judge) when I got back home. So I am driving to the bowling alley and I go inside. Again, I don’t know why I am so nervous. I am a confident fella. I have a lot to offer the world but I guess I’m nervous because I want this to go well. You all will NEVER guess what happens next, the bowling alley doesn’t have any available lanes because it’s during the time they have bowling leagues. I know I know. You can imagine my level of annoyance. It doesn’t help the bowling alley was a 45 minute drive. We talk for a little bit at the bowling alley but we never actually got to bowl. Plus she says she had food at home so she didn’t want to go get food instead of bowl. I think I was so annoyed, I went to bed early that night. I know some of you are thinking “why get so bothered?”. It’s the principle of the matter. What makes matters worse is we live in different states so our next time meeting up was not going to be for another month. I felt like my opportunity for this situation to work in my favor was slowly going down the drain.
A few weeks go by, we continue to text. Throughout that time, I notice the texting delays are getting slower and slower on Karla’s end. I’m now starting to question what Karla thinks about me. My friends tell me she doesn’t see me like that so cut my loses now. I decide to still pursue further. It’s now my birthday week (#TeamLeo) and Karla and I decide to go dinner. After the bowling night disaster, I’m worried if the restaurant I chose isn’t gonna catch on fire and we have to evacuate the place. We have a nice conversation at dinner and I see a little bit more why my pops sees us being a good fit. Since it’s my birthday we, she offers to pay for the meal which was nice but I wanted to pay for it. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. She’s a tough cookie. I actually prefer assertive women but the catch is sometimes, they come off as a not needing a man for anything.
The text messages are getting slower and slower between Karla and I. At this point, I don’t know what to think. Am I moving too fast considering technically we only went out one and a half times (the bowling night somewhat counts for a half a point)? So a few more days go by and in August, my schedule gets busier because my students return. Especially with this long-distance friendship, I decide I should plan one more outing before my students get back. I’m researched fun things for us to do and I come up with the great idea, a comedy show! I pitched the idea to Karla about a comedy show and let her know it’s in Baltimore which is halfway for both of us. Karla is down for a comedy show. So I ordered the tickets and the countdown is on.
It’s the day of the comedy show and surprise surprise, there is a situation. Yup you guessed it, Karla had something come up. I can’t catch a break. The Lord sees I’m trying, faithful texting, showing initiative, patient, understand, no inappropriate or offensive gestures. I am really trying to make this work. Karla’s situation this time was a little different in the sense that she had a family emergency regarding her brother going to the hospital. I have a brother so I get it completely and I do preach family comes first. I text Karla and let her know that I understand if she can’t make it tonight. In an interesting turn of events, Karla lets me know her brother’s condition despite being in the hospital is not life-threatening and this happens more than I would expect. With that being said, Karla plans to come tonight to the comedy show.
So it’s almost time for the show, Karla and I are texting. I’m sending my prayers for her brother. She ask where the place is for the show, I remind her the show is in Baltimore and she responds “Whattttt? That’s so far”. I’m confused why she is confused. Are there other Baltimore locations I didn’t know about or something because I meant Baltimore, Maryland. I didn’t know people put cities and states when they are discussing locations. Especially if you are talking to someone from the same place you are. Did she not realize the show is in Baltimore before she agreed to go out with me? I tell her since her brother is sick, it’s cool and we don’t have to go but she insists it’s fine. I get to the place first and while I wait for Karla, my father calls.
Interestingly enough, my dad finds out Karla and I had actually met up since the book party. He frequently asks about Karla and I’s interactions but I just let him know we have spoken since the party. I never actually told him because I didn’t want him to get his hopes up. I don’t think your parents need to know about every single person you talk to. It complicates things. Especially when your parents want to have a family one day.
So back to the original story, it’s now time for the comedy show so Karla and I both meet up. Karla doesn’t seem to be in the best mood. I can imagine because her brother is in the hospital. I am a flexible guy so I get it. I saw both sides of the spectrum, she came because I paid for tickets plus she said was going to be there. At the same time, once you show up, I personally feel attitudes should be checked at the door. I have never been one to throw my problems onto others because I don’t like people feeling bad for me. It doesn’t help on the way to the place, she got a ticket for going through the EZ Pass toll without having an EZ Pass. The whole time we are together at this show, her vibe is pretty much “I don’t wanna be here”. While we are ordering food and drinks, she is asking me “am I sure I have money enough to pay?” Lady why would I bring you here if I didn’t have enough money?
I don’t know about y’all but by now, my mood is a little over this night too. You try to be flexible considering the circumstances but still, can we drop this attitude please? I’m trying to make this work. Then the ultimate destroyer comes up. I am talking about my book and how blessed everything was going with my author process considering it was only about three months in at that point. I mentioned how although everything it’s a blessing as an author, it can be a little much at times since I’m still getting familiar with everything. Karla’s response is “well isn’t that what you wanted?” and then made another reference to my “little book thing”. Ladies, let me tell you something if you want to keep a man. Never and I mean NEVER bash, make fun of, or belittle a man’s passion, hobbies, or friends. It is the fastest way to get left. 9 times out of 10, men will always choose that hobby or friend over you so don’t make us choose. You won’t like the outcome. Now if the hobby or friend is a bad influence, that is a different story. Nothing about my book is a “little book thing”. The book is not little, my book has a name so get it right, and it’s definitely not a thing. Three strikes and you’re out!
The comedy was actually good but afterwards, I walk her to her car. My parents raised a gentleman even though I was annoyed, I have responsibilities as man. So as I mentioned early, she went through the EZ Pass and got a ticket. I offer to give her the cost to get home which is only $4 so she doesn’t get another EZ Pass ticket. She refuses. Now I’m really annoyed and I’m dumbfounded. You can’t take four dollars from me? Is my money no good? Do you have the perception of me that I’m poor? Who put this idea in your head I don’t make a lot of money? Why do you have a hard time accepting gifts from men? Somebody help me understand. So now I’m insisting that she does take the $4 and she’s refusing. We really go back and forth in a parking lot for three minutes over this $4. I am not even one to argue with people. I’m sitting here trying to figure what is the big deal in accepting the $4. After three minutes of an unsuccessful attempt, I stop trying. At this point, you can just get the ticket. I wish her well getting home and give my regards to her brother in the hospital. She drives off then I leave as well. We go our separate ways.
So after that night, we never spoke again. Literally, no text, no calls, no emails, no visits, no nothing. We also never followed each other on social media and we have zero mutual friends. It was like a big secret that died with the people. Somedays I think about reaching out to her, not necessarily because I want to pick up where we left off (and that’s not even a good place to pick up from) but I don’t feel right about how I ended things. Usually when you don’t see a friendship, relationship, or situationship going anywhere, you talk about your feelings and either give it time to work or formally end it. Neither one of us just ever spoke again which is odd. How does she know I ever even made it home from our night at the comedy show? How do I even know she made it home? As a person who now does a lot of work with respect for yourself and other people, I realize I should have done things better the moment I felt uneasiness. Would I get on my students for ending things the same way with a girl. If I run into her the next time I am visiting my family, how will that go? It’s kinda embarrassing to say your last interaction with someone was going back and forth in a parking lot over $4. I think we are both better this but that day we weren’t…
At this point, a text message comes off as weird considering it’s been about six months since our last interaction. In a world where intentions get mixed up, I think about how she will perceive things if I did reach back out at this point. How would you feel if you got a message from someone you hadn’t talked to in six months? What would you assume their intentions were? Honestly, the point of me reaching out would be to apologize for my role in how things ended. I just feel like it’s the gentleman thing to do…
Moral of the story: If you were me, what would you have done? If you were her, what would you have done? Should I call her?
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland in Prince George’s County, Mr. Jonathan C. Harris has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being manager of the school store in elementary school to president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to president of the National Honor Society in high school. During his time studying statistics at the University of Delaware, he also served as a Resident Assistant, Freshman Year Experience Peer Mentor, and Tour Guide to help students feel at home. Jonathan currently works at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania as a Residence Hall Coordinator, where he oversees two residence halls. He has planned and presented at numerous seminars and conferences related to issues on college campuses. He has received several honors and awards including High School Valedictorian, Residence Hall Coordinator of the Year, Dean's List, Residence Life's People’s Choice Award, Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award, and the Excellence in Service to Students Award.