A Cautionary BougieTale... it's long but there's a moral: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Read on...
So Tuesday I was rolling through Target minding my own damn business (how many of my BougieTales start like this?) when someone called out my name. Loudly. I looked around and didn't know where the voice was coming from so I kept rolling. There is more than one Michele in the world (despite my username).
The voice called out two more times with a "Girl, I know you see me!" Side-winding down the aisle was a dude I went out with exactly three times about two years ago. We'll call him Tom. Tom is good-looking,
overconfident, good on paper. Tom is a dentist from Chicago. His ex-wife is a dentist also and they shared a practice. After the divorce, she bought him out of his half of the practice and off to Texas he went. (Should have been a sign. When a woman is willing to pay a man to leave... something ain't right)
To say I was unhappy to see him = vast understatement. He reached my side and stepped forward with his arms open to give me a hug. I sent him the death ray side-eye and slid back two steps.
"Still uptight about your personal space, I see."
"How have you been, Tom?"
"You would know if you answered any of my calls and texts for the past year and a half."
Since I had long since blocked his numbers, I had no knowledge of any recent outreach. I shrugged unapologetically and went to move around him.
I gave him the double-blink for an answer.
"Fine. Enjoy your life." He snarled and walked off.
Before you start, allow me to explain. Tom and I met at a Starbuck's. I was fresh off the implosion of a ten year on-again, off-again relationship. I most assuredly wasn't trying to meet anybody. Tom sat down at my table, flashed his perfect pearly whites and ran game... well. In ten minutes time, I had agreed to go to a play with him. The play was good, but he was way too touchy feely. I'm deadset against people grabbing things on me without my permission. His hand found it's way to my thigh during the play. The first time I shifted my leg away. The second time, I playfully swatted his hand. The third time, I lifted his hand away with significant force bending a few of his fingers in the process. He didn't know me like that.
When I confronted him about it, he gave me some line about how soft my skin looked and how he couldn't resist touching. We got through the (brief) rest of the night without incident. When he called a few days later and invited me to watch his softball game, I agreed. Decent date but the good night kiss was weird. Sloppy and Snoopy-like with some octopus arms thrown in for good measure. [Yick!] Third and final date was dinner. [Yes, I should have quit at first date. Hindsight is 20/20. I can only say in my defense that I was in my "give a brother a break" phase. I'm over it now.]
Anyway. All I really recall is that we sat in a circular booth at a nice restaurant. At some point he took my hand and started licking it all the way up my arm... making slurping sounds along the way. So, Not. Sexy. Who DOES that?! I yanked my arm back and scooted away (taking my lobster bisque with me - priorities). This ninja got loud. "Why you playing games? It's date three!"
"Stop being a tease. You know you WANT this!" Even louder.
It was like in an old EF Hutton commercial in that piece. Whole restaurant came to screeching halt and all eyes on me. I sat with my mouth open and my soup spoon suspended in mid-air. I distinctly remember contemplating flinging said soup at Sir Licks-A-Lot. I made eye contact with the waitress and she nodded acknowledging that she knew I planned to flee.
"You know what? I think you have me confused with someone else." I said, reaching down for my purse. I pulled out my wallet when he grabbed my arm.
"Quit tripping. You're old enough to know what's what. Just sit back and let the evening happen."
He said that with enough confidence that I knew it had worked for him before. I flung money on the table. "I don't think so. Let me go." I slid out of the booth and met up with the waitress near the front of the restaurant. She gave me a to go bag with my dinner and told me there was a cab waiting outside in case I didn't have my car. I didn't so I was appreciative. Walked out of the restaurant and never looked back.
Fast forward to Target. I was perusing angus beef to get my pot roast on when this ninja rolled back up. "So what is it with you? You're all look but don't touch?"
"Tom, let my two years of silence speak volumes."
"This thing is, I only wanted you for the sex. I figure a woman like you is giving it up to somebody, it might as well be me."
A woman like me?! What did he mean by... And right then, I completely caught on to his game. Dr. Jayme calls them Mind-Game-Predators. They are all about the stalk and capture but to do this they try and keep you off-balance by any means necessary. Sort of "shock and awe" stalking of unsuspecting prey. And it's all just a game that he feels he has to win.
I didn't plan to play. "Okay Tom. You take care now." I swerved the cart and wheeled furiously in the opposite direction. By the time I was standing in the seasonings aisle, he walked up again.
"Seriously, can you just leave me alone?" I asked without looking at him. He stood there and started flipping through my cart.
"Why can't you just tell me what the problem is? I would think after all this time, you could do me that solid. I mean, you're clearly a woman who speaks her mind. Speak woman." He was picking up items from my cart, reading them and putting them back.
Now, I was moving beyond irritated and into uneasy. I looked around to weigh my options and saw an older black woman standing there giving Tom the stink-eye. She turned toward the aisle and yelled out, "Jamal!" A huge guy in his late teens/early twenties came around the corner. "Yes Grandma?" She pointed at Tom and said, "Watch him. He's bothering the lady." Get it, Grammy.
Tom started loud talking. Grandma and Jamal started loud talking back. Jamal had a hand on Tom's shoulder and it looked like it was about to turn ugly. I grabbed beef stock and bourbon brown sugar marinade and eased on down the aisle. A nervous Target worker was standing there and asked me, "Is everything alright?"
Tom's crazy behind yelled, "I'm just trying to talk to my girlfriend and this guy got in the middle!" This caused me to roll my eyes and race for the checkout. Of course, someone had spilled something in the aisle and I almost slipped and fell out but I wanted out of that store immediately. Tom came running after me, Jamal came after him and both of them slipped on whatever was in the aisle. They tumbled to the ground. Grandma started talking about lawsuits, the store manager was paged but Jamal to his credit held on to Tom and kept him from following me. I wanted to thank him but I was hurrying the chick in the express lane.
Can I tell you I fled the Target like the hounds of hell were on my tail? Can anybody (besides Jayme) tell me what the hell was wrong with Tom? Have you met people (girls or guys) like him who are just SO out of pocket, you can do nothing but run the other direction? Do we really still have to tell folks "No Means No"? Is it me or are folks getting real comfy with the crazy these days? Should I have thrown the lobster bisque at Tom back in the day? Comments, thoughts, prayers?