I do not believe in Divorce Parties. Divorce is nothing to celebrate. It’s the ending of a dream and the realization of reality. However, I do believe in new beginnings. I also believe in celebrating the fact that I made it through the process without losing my mind… Entirely. My divorce became final 2 ½ years ago and my friends and I headed out to celebrate my new beginning. We ended up at the Viceroy Hotel pool side bar. I was in such great spirits. The two year load I was carrying on my shoulders while battling it out with my ex through our attorneys had finally reached a conclusion without any casualties. Well… at least no visible causalities. The Viceroy seemed to be unusually crowded. Of course I didn’t mind. I was having a glass of Fat Bastard Pinot Noir (no pun intended) and laughing it up with my girls. As I finished my 1st glass the waitress came up to me with another one. As she handed it to me she said, “The gentleman to the far left asked that I bring this to you.” I looked over to that side of the pool and there was a man standing there having a beer. He had on a pair of white linen slacks, a fitted t-shirt that outlined his beautiful well sculpted body. He had a bald head, and a pair of shades. He had a vanilla latte coloring. He lifted his beer and toasted to me and smiled. I was impressed but at that time I really wasn’t ready to start dating again. I wanted to take some time and be by myself and heal my wounded heart. I was about to send it back but my friend tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Bitch, don’t be a fool. It’s just a glass of wine, not a marriage proposal.” She was right. I had never turned down a free glass up to this point and I sure as hell wasn’t about to start. I appreciated that he didn’t run up to me and want to start a conversation right away. He saw I was out with my girls having a good time with them and allowed me to chill. Later on that night I was headed to the ladies room and I bumped into him. “Isaiah” was a 33 year old guidance counselor at one of the schools in the area and he and his friends were celebrating a bachelor party and had gotten rooms at the Viceroy.
Isaiah: What brings you all here?
I had no plans on going out with him and I wasn’t in the mood. I was also a little tipsy so my filter was no longer in existence.
Me: We are celebrating my divorce.
Isaiah: Well congrats to you. How long were you married?
Me: Not long, but long enough.
Isaiah: I see. Well you look like you made out just fine.
Me: I did.
Isaiah: Do you mind if I give you a call sometime.
Me: To be honest, I’m really not ready to start dating again. I’m really taking time to myself right now.
Isaiah: I understand. No pressure at all. But I really would like to take you out to dinner sometime. You can say no. But I wouldn’t feel right if I left without getting your number.
I looked over his shoulder and saw a couple coming into the lobby of the hotel to check in. They were in their late 50’s and really into each other. As they waited to be called to the front desk, I saw the man gently pull a hair out of the woman’s face look her in the eyes and give her a tender kiss on the forehead. They looked like they were truly in love. Then I looked back at this man standing in front of me asking for my number and thought. What the hell? What did I have to lose? My ex was already in a serious relationship with a woman he allegedly met after I moved out although our divorce papers ink hadn’t even fully dried. I digressed… I was 33 years old at the time and figured there was no reason to delay the inevitable. Not to mention, I needed to get some practice dating again. So I grabbed “Isaiah’s” phone and put my number in it. Clearly, my Master Men Cleanse didn’t last long.
The next day I got a phone call from “Isaiah” asking if I was free to meet him for coffee. Coffee? What about wine? But I met up with him at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Hollywood. I got to the coffee shop walked in and there was “Isaiah.” He had on a pair of Prada Loafers, rolled up khaki’s, a fitted lavender tee. As I got close up on him I noticed his eyebrows were perfectly arched. I thought to myself did this man get his eyebrow threaded or waxed? WTF? That’s the beautiful thing about meeting someone for coffee. It’s a quick date. I sat across from him and his eyebrows and we had a great conversation. I found out that “Isaiah” had a 10 year old daughter from a one night stand he had in college. He loved his job because he liked making a difference in the community. He took pride in being one of the few black male guidance counselors and making a difference in young highschoolers. He was really a nice guy. So I agreed to meet up with him two nights later for an official dinner date. We met up at Koi. When I arrived to the restaurant he greeted me with a bouquet of roses. When he ordered the wine, I noticed his wrist went a little limp as he handed over the menu to the waiter. I gave him a side eyed look. I was a little thrown off. In my dating past I was known to date men who were very masculine. They also weren’t in touch with their feelings and lacked a sympathy gene. So I was very specific in what I was looking for. I wanted a man who was sensitive and was in touch with his soft side. But shit, not too much in touch with the soft side. So I decided to shake off my apprehension and engage in some great conversation. So I asked him about his daughter.
Me: Are you and your daughter close?
Isaiah: We are very close. Although her mother and I aren’t together she is my heart. She is my everything. From the time she was born and I held her in my arms, I had such a sense of joy and pride. I knew I would do anything for her. She is….. I’m sorry. I always get choked up when I talk about my daughter.
Was this man crying at the table? As he took his napkin off his lap to dry his eyes, I looked around the restaurant to make sure there wasn’t a camera crew present. I thought I was being Punked. And then I started to second guess myself. “Okay now. You said you always wanted a man who was sensitive and showed more emotion. This is what you have now. Stop being the Goldilocks of dating! One man is too insensitive, another man is too sensitive. Give this guy a chance. Don’t jump to conclusions. Your ex didn’t have emotions and look where that got you. Just feel this one out.” As I gave my pep talk to myself about giving him a chance he excused himself and went to the bathroom. I watched him walk off and I could have sworn he switched! It was a settle switch but there was a definitive hip movement from side to side as he walked off. I took a long sip of my wine and leaned back in the chair. My mind was going a million miles a minute. There was a huge possibility I was out with a guy on the DL!!!! I didn’t want to jump to conclusions but my intuition was certainly speaking to me and telling me to “Proceed with caution.” We finished our meal and he walked me to my car. When he attempted to give me a kiss I played up my recent divorce status.
Me: I’m sorry Isaiah. I really want to take things slow. I hope you understand.
Well, well, well, there were some advantages to being divorced! I now had an entire suite of bullshit excuses I could pull from. I guess I owed my ex husband a thank you note. Anyway, I digressed… I drove home and immediately called my best friend. She had me recount every single detail of our last two dates. I told her about his clothing, the arched eyebrows, the limp wrist, and the switch to the bathroom. I even sent her a picture of him. In the picture he had the slight gay man twinkle. Now, let me first say this, gay men are some of the most attractive men on the planet. They have immaculate taste in clothing, they have the best bodies since the gym is typically their oasis, they have the best dating advice, I have often been called a Hag because I love me some gay men! As a matter of fact every woman should have a GBF (Gay Boyfriend). The gay man who is your best friend who you can call on for anything and vice versa. The issue here is a man who is possibly on the DL fooling himself and the women he dates. I believe everyone should love who they love, but don’t lie to yourself about who you are. My best friend and I decided our best bet would be a double date. This way, it enabled us to meet a friend of his and see how they interacted with each other while at the same time there would be 2 sets of eyes on“Isaiah” and we could come to an educated hypothesis.
Two nights later my best friend and I walked into Nobu and were greeted by “Isaiah” and his friend. His friend was in his mid to late 40’s. They were about the same height and complexion, except his friend had salt and pepper hair that was in a low fade. His friend was wearing a custom European fit suit. And “Isaiah” had on a pair of slacks with a fitted sweater. “Isaiah” once again had a bouquet of flowers for me. My inner diva rolled her eyes. At this point the novelty had worn off, simply because I Had no clue what the hell his deal was. If I were an outsider looking in, I would have assumed him and his friend were on a date together. Before we got to the table my best friend whispered in my ear and said. “Yes! Gay and gayer…” We sat through the meal and observed the two men interact with each other like an old married couple. After that dinner I cut things off with “Isaiah.” I used me other Divorce B.S. excuse that I just wasn’t ready to date again. Four or five months later I went out with my GBF (gay boyfriend) to The Abbey in West Hollywood. I was having one of those post divorce days where my confidence was down and I needed a serious ego booster. There’s nothing better for the ego than being told you are fierce by a gay man. There’s also something so freeing about going out with a group of men and dancing and knowing they aren’t going to try to sleep with you. While there, I went to get a drink from the bar. As I waited for my drink to arrive I was looking around at the rock hard abs of the shirtless party goers at The Abbey. The house music was blaring and I was having a good time with the boys. I looked over to the far right of the club and saw a familiar face. I squinted and suddenly in clear view was “Isaiah” dancing with another man with his shirt off and sipping on a cocktail! He looked at peace and very comfortable. He never saw me and to this day I don’t think he knows I know his secret. A part of me felt sorry for him. It must be hard to fight who you really are and not feel like you can be who you really and truly are. I truly had a deep compassion for him.
You see, at the end of the day, women have this thing called inner intuition. We already know the answers to most questions before asking it. But lots of times we have a constant battle with what we know is the truth and what we want to be true. We tell ourselves, “He was raised around nothing but women so he is a little feminine… the sex is so good there is no way he is gay… The best friend of his that was in our wedding that cried a little too hard as I walked down the aisle is just so happy for his friend…” I knew the second I met “Isaiah” for coffee that he was on the DL. But I attempted to talk myself out of it. I remember watching Terry McMillan on the Oprah Winfrey show after she went through her divorce. And I found myself screaming at the TV set. How in the fuck did she not know that man was gay?! Was she deaf, dumb, and blind? Or was she lonely, desperate, and longing for companionship and wanting a relationship so bad she was willing to completely ignore here intuition? Then on the flip side, there are woman who are dating or married to a man and have absolutely no clue that their man is on the DL. Some men can mask this and you have no idea. There is also a group of woman who dated a man back in the day while they were in college and had no idea they were gay. Now that guy is completely out of the closet and being true to themselves. Some of them are married to other men and have adopted children and are living a happy life being true to who they are. Meanwhile, the woman is left scratching her head wondering how she had no idea that was the case. When we as women have to even question the sexuality of our mate then we should really second guess if you should go out with him in the first place.