So I was over at New Dude's house chilling when the doorbell rang. We'll call New Dude Derrick. Derrick looked at his watch then at me and I looked back like – um, this is your house. He swung open the door and it was one of his friends. I'll call him Vince. Derrick looked at Vince and said one word: "Bruh." Translation – "Why you at my front door at this time of night without calling first?" Vince looked past him to me, "Hey, Michele wasn't it?" I waved. Vince said, "What ya'll doing? Nothing? Good, let me talk to both of you for a minute. I need a man and a woman's opinion." With that he rolled in the house as if invited and settled on the loveseat across from me. Derrick and I exchanged a look. I smiled and shrugged to indicate it was okay. He shot Vince a look and then came to sit down.
Vince hung his head down and said, "Leslie's gone." I met Leslie ever so briefly at the barbecue; she and Vince had been dating for a little over a year. She seemed nice. Not wanting to overstep, I looked at Derrick. He looked appalled. "What do you mean she's gone? What did you do? She was a good woman!" Interesting. My eyes swung back to Vince. "She was trying to hem me up, gave me one of those ultimatums, I couldn't have that." Vince looked up before I could fix the dismayed look that came across my face. "What?" He asked me.
I looked at Derrick. I wasn't about to be schooling his boy on relationships without a co-sign. Especially not while in the oh-so-delicate getting to know you phase. Derrick said, "Go ahead, I know you're dying to say something." I thought about it and then dove in, "So yeah, ultimatums are bad but I'm assuming that this is a woman over the age of 35 who has already invested more than a year of her life into you?"
"Yeah." Vince shrugged.
"So what? She demanded a commitment, a timeline, a plan?"
He nodded, "Can you believe that?"
I frowned, "How can you not?"
"Wait, I'm wrong?" He held his hands out in a "who me" gesture?
I sent the seriously silent side-eye to Derrick. He jumped in, "Well what are you waiting on? She's got the look, the personality, the job, she loves your dirty drawers and appears to be treating you right – you gotta either pull the trigger or cut her loose. Ladies have expectations, time clocks, futures to get to." I refrained from hopping up to applaud. I don't know if he meant it but it was a damn good answer.
Vince said, "Well what if there's someone better and I'm stuck with her?"
Again, the dismayed look spread across my face.
Vince sighed, "What now?"
I paused because I was about to go IN but again…. Derrick's boy, Derrick's house, I'm just the new chick. All of a sudden Derrick started laughing, "Michele, do not give yourself an aneurysm holding it in. Vince bust in my house, broke up our evening, please tell this man what he needs to hear so he can go."
I raised an eyebrow like really? Derrick said, "Go head girl, get him."
I exhaled, "So here's the deal… what are you even dating someone seriously with that grass is greener attitude? The fact that you used the words 'stuck with her' to describe a commitment tells me you're not the marrying kind right now. You still think there's plenty of time to find someone better. Maybe there is for you, I don't know. But it's damn near inexcusable to string a woman like that along for this long knowing you only had half a foot in. That's something you do with a 22-year old girl who's just in it for the benefits. What you did is straight shiggity. I hope she's not the type to turn crazy or you have slashed tires in your future. You just can't toy with people like that, son!"
Vince leaned back, "Whoa! I'm just not sure she's The One, that's all. Does that make me the bad guy?"
"Did you tell her that or did you tell her she was the only one for you, best thing that ever happened to you, you never wanted to let her go?"
They both just looked at me. Um-hmm.
I followed up, "I'll tell you something else. A woman of her age and in her position? She doesn't issue an ultimatum unless she's 1) prepared to walk 2) expecting a yes or 3) already got a backup plan lined up if you don't act right. You have a choice. If you're ready to start talking rings and destination weddings, go get her otherwise just let it go. But either way be prepared for the fact that she might not be coming back."
Derrick leaned back and crossed his arms, "Is that how it works? You speak with the voice of experience."
Oops. Got so wrapped up in my preaching I forgot about what I might have revealed to the New Dude so soon. It was out there now. All I could say was, "I'm just sayin'…"
"I see." He said nodding his head in a "to be discussed later" fashion.
Meanwhile Vince is getting all maudlin, "I just wanted a little more time, I didn't want to lose her."
Derrick rolled his eyes, clapped his hands together and got up, "That's what I would lead with when you call her to beg forgiveness. I would leave out the 'stuck' part." He started herding him towards the front door. "Good luck, let me know how it goes." He had Vince out and the door locked in no time. He turned back to me, "You said something about commitments, timelines and plans. Is there a conversation in your head that I need to be a part of or are we cool?"
I blinked twice. "We cool."
We went back to watching the movie. Found out tonight that Leslie wasn't taking Vince's calls. She had in fact disappeared right after their failed ultimatum discussion and no one seemed to know where she was. Vince, now denied the thing he wasn't sure he wanted, really wanted to have her back and try the "forever thing" <- his words, not mine.
There's a moral to this story if anybody cares to look. So what've you got? You think he still has a chance? Shouldn't he have indicated at some point in 15 months that he didn't think she was his forever thing? Or should she have pressed harder for his "intentions" earlier? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours.