When did we get to the point where a woman has to be threatened into giving a guy her phone number??
The other day I was in downtown Baltimore, Federal Hill to be exact, about to start SHOPPING! I got out of my mother’s luxury whip (lol, she let me hold it for a couple weeks while my sick car gets taken care of), clicked the alarm and proceeded to cross the street. I barely get to the other side of the road when I hear “EY MISS! MISS, YOOO!!” I try to keep it moving and hurry up into the store, cuz maybe he wasn’t speaking to me... “EEYYYY NEW YORK! You got a few minutes to spare?”, I quickly glance back and slightly nod to acknowledge that I heard, because clearly he was referring to my license plates, quickly notice who was yelling so rudely at me and slip into the store. Whew! Made it inside without having to play polite and give ol’ boy the brush off.
Next thing I know, I’m walking down the aisle right by the bras and panties and I hear “Yo Miss! You ain’t hear me calling you out there, asking if you had some time to spare??”
I’m thinking, “oh no this dude is bold... yeah of course I heard you. . . the rest of Baltimore did too! And I just thought it would be obvious that I didn’t have the time or the interest when I kept on minding my business and carrying on to my destination!” but I turned to him and said “Oh! No. . . I didn’t hear that part. . .” I look up and this dude is a BIG guy, with giant headphones and a black scully cap on, gotta be like 40 years old (or maybe these Be-More-Careful streets have just gotten the best of him), gold caps on a couple of his teeth, and wearing a giant red and black bubble jacket. I didn’t make it all the way down to his shoes, because I had already decided from the top half of him that I wasn’t interested. At all. Not one bit. Nothing. LoL, I think you get the point.
“Well I was calling you! I saw you get out the car and you had a cute lil sexy walk going, then I looked at the car and saw the NY plates and I had to holla”
“Yeah, you know my last girlfriend I had from New York died on me”
“Oh my God!”
“Yeah I never found another one like her”, already he’s way too personal in the first 30 seconds of conversation. . . what the hell do you say to something like that?!? “I’m on my way to school”
“Oh, really?” I’m thinking he’s going to say one of the local colleges, you know going back to school at his age to get his degree in something is always good to see form a black man.
“It’s around the corner. I’m going to classes at night to get my GED so I can go ahead and start this business”
“Oh. . .”
“ Yeah I do cook, I do hair, do tattoos” as he unzips his jacket and lifts up his shirt to SHOW ME his many tattoos on his chest that hie did himself. . .
“You did that yourself?” at this point I’m getting nervous that his dude is taking off his clothes in the middle of the store and I’m hoping that those two blonde chicks chatting it up at the register about 15 feet away would try to help me out. Or maybe the security guard at the door will notice that I’m REALLY uncomfortable with this man who obviously followed me into the store!
I’m trying to look around at the shelves to show my lack of interest and show him that I’m trying to shop. I was getting nervous because he seemed intent on holding a conversation.
“Yeah and to prove that I do hair I got the scissors and comb on my arm” lifts his sleeve up to in fact, prove it to me by showing me another tattoo.
“I’m Brad. So what store is this?”
“Uh. . . American Apparel”
He looks over at the two girls at the counter
“Oh. Yeah, in this area there’s a lot of white people over here” the word ‘white’ rolled off of his tongue in the same manner a four letter curse word would. I chuckled. “yeah. . . I guess. . .”
“Yeah I miss Tamera.” (puzzled face from me) “that was my girlfriend’s name, she was from Harlem. What part of New York are you from?”
“The suburbs, Westchester County”
“Oh Worcester, that’s over in Eastern Shore, I thought you were form New York!”
“No. . . WEST-CHESTER, New York. . . well, I’m gonna continue my shopping” I walk to another aisle that he follows me to, closer to the counter so maybe those chicks would see my face!
“Oh, yeah I like to travel. I can come visit you. But I haven’t been traveling lately cuz I don’t have a car right now. I ride the bus. My car got tooken from me”
“Yeah last place I went was up in Connecticut, this casino Mohegan Sun”
“Heard of it. Never been there.”
“You like to gamble”
“No.” I’m still looking around for help and an escape route . . .
“I want to get your number, cuz you so pretty. Now don’t even fake on me if you not gonna give me the real number yo! Usually when I roll up on a girl she be ackin’ like she not interested. She wanna be all stuck up and shit. give me wrong numbers and play games and give me the brush off. They always wanna say they’re involved with someone, like they can’t even have a friend! You know what I’m saying?!” I’m thinking sorta like what I was trying to do with my awkward facial expressions and lack of polysyllabic words. . . “So you gonna give me your number? Actually let me give you my number”
“Uh. . .” he’s pulling out his phone and as he takes it out, the back of the battery case falls to the floor. Brad tried to turn his phone on but it won’t turn on. I’m thinking YES! Saved my technology...
“Oh shit. yeah I dropped my phone in the toilet earlier and it didn’t dry out yet. I gotta get the blow dryer when I get home and dry it out. You see the it’s still wet back there, that’s why the back fell off” and he pushes his broken, nasty, dirty toilet water phone towards me so I can get a closer look at the water drops he’s pointing to in the case of it. . . YUCK!
“Oh. . . yeah. . . I see. Well uh it was nice meeting you Brad”
“I can get a pen, and write it down. Take my number. I’m gonna call you later aight?”
“Well I’m gonna be busy. . .” this may seem like I could’ve come up with a lame excuse or just have said I’m not interested. But I think you should understand how imposing this man was. And he just seemed unbalanced. The story of his dead NY girlfriend, and how upset he got when talking about the women who won’t let him “roll up on ‘em” and holla really made me feel super uncomfortable and like I had no choice. Like if I gave him the wrong number he’d try to call it right then and go nuts on me or something.
“Well that’s aight, I’m about to go to class but let me get your number and I’ll call you when I get out. Yo, save your number.”
“Well when u call me I can just save it later . . .”
“No, you can just put it in your phone now”, “fine”
He goes to interrupt the conversation of the babbling blondes who couldn’t even just give me an escape by coming over to ask if I needed help finding anything, to ask for a pen and write my number down.
I sooooooooo did not want to give this man my number! But in a city like this I’ve come to realize that you never know what a guy might do. I’ve seen women be straight disrespected and accosted for expressing their disinterest in a man. I don’t understand my some men take it as a personal injury to their manhood when a woman just is not attracted to you, or when she just doesn’t feel like giving you a way to contact her. Just keep it moving. That one rejection will not scar you for life. It won’t even effect the next 10 minutes of your life! There is no need to make a woman feel like she has no choice but to give you the digits, in fear of what you might do to her if she doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not basing this fear theory on this incident alone, but PLENTY of instances where I or a friend even politely says no thank you to the offer of getting to know the dude standing on the corner better and he turns around and raises his voice to call us out of our names in 10 different ways and 3 languages! It’s all craziness. But “Oh you ain’t that pretty anyway, bitch!” Well thank you sir... have a nice day.
Oh and Brad called me from a different number and I made the mistake of answering. . . got off the phone with him, and he called again THREE more times back to back . . . sir, I’m just not that into you!