Chapter 1: Hello, How Are You?

“Better This Way” is a segment of the blog that is a bit more personal than the other insights we have written about. This segment was inspired by Big Krit’s recent mixtape of the same name. In the title song of the project he addresses a different path he took as an artist and describes why that was better for him instead of following what others had told him to do. We too decided to deviate slightly from others’ expectations. Each “Better This Way” post is aimed at dissecting the expectation that was imposed on us either from our family, friends, media, or other understood truths that go unchallenged. We challenged the paradigm. Because, it’s better this way.

We met at a bar called Solas on the night of May 4, 2012 in Raleigh, NC. G was there with a friend simply because it was the weekend following his birthday and he saw online that it was “ladies night.” K was there with a group of college friends to help celebrate her sorority sister’s birthday. G and K had never met, nor had they heard of each other before the first time they locked eyes. G and K don’t agree on exactly what happened when they met, so let’s go over both sides. You can assume that the truth falls somewhere in between.

G and his homeboy were bar hopping in the area that night just to kill time before going to Solas. Everything about that night was disappointing for a single man looking to mingle. The entire night was underwhelming to say the least. Each club was packed with dudes acting like hyenas circling the same piece of meat. Solas was no different. The music selection was questionable at best, and it was full of predators on the prowl looking to bag their latest victim. It turned out that more men ended up hearing about it being “ladies night” than ladies. Just when the night looked as if it had nothing good to offer, G decided to head over to the bar to cash out. He just wanted to pay for his drinks and leave.

When he steps to the bar to close his tab, he notices a girl to his right who appears to be getting annoyed with some dude. She was engaged in a verbal conversation with this guy but her body language was screaming to G “come rescue me G!”All of a sudden she turns and faces G and that was the moment where G and K first locked eyes. At the time, G was trying to figure out if this other guy was her man or if she was maybe rejecting him. It didn’t take long for G to realize that he didn’t care who the guy was. Being the smooth gentleman that he is, G simply said to the gorgeous creature “Hello, how are you?” K looked into his eyes and replied “I like your glasses.” That compliment is what opened the door for G to make his move. G and K continued to get acquainted with each other while the other guy walked away with the look of bitter disgust on his face. The initial conversation was brief and lasted all of about five minutes, and ended with G asking K for her phone number. She asked to hold his phone, entered her contact information, and when G walked away he told her “Stay beautiful,” Yes, very playa like, indeed.

On the night of May 4, 2012 K found herself pre-gaming at a friend of a friend’s apartment with the intention of going out in honor of her sorority sister’s birthday. She was one of the few that still lived in the area where they went to college and K wanted to show up for her. The pregame consisted of some friends, some college peers, and some strangers. K was living in Durham, NC at the time and she hardly ever went to Raleigh. She was on the verge of finishing an intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually draining graduate program at a Durham university. Going out was a good plan regardless of how futile and uneventful going out typically was at that time. After a few rounds of whisky mixed with whatever, laughing, and joking, everyone felt it was time to go to Solas. Solas was boring. The techno/top 40’s playlist was uninspiring. But there was always the bar. After failed attempts to vibe to overplayed Jason Derulo techno remixes, she decided to get another drink.

K saw one of her male friends at the bar and they started talking and joking about something. She doesn’t remember what they were talking about. She asked the bartender for another drink. G walks up during her exchange with the bartender. He asked her how she was doing and appeared genuinely interested in conversing. So she smiled and said she was doing fine. A simple “hello, how are you” never hurt anybody. Then, she tells him she likes his glasses. From K’s memory G was in need of a haircut and his beard was slightly on the overgrown side. She doesn’t remember him being that tall, but his glasses were cool and for some reason he was giving her a Kid Cudi circa Man on the Moon vibe. And K likes Kid Cudi. His lackadaisical “I’m going to wear distressed jeans, sneakers, and a red v-neck Ralph Lauren t-shirt in the midst of all these sport coat, bowtie, jeans, with loafers wearing men, and dare not to have a fresh cut on top of all that” attitude caught her attention. They exchanged more conversation but she doesn’t remember what it was about. Then he asked for her number. K remembers taking G’s phone and putting her number in and typing in her first name because she knew he would never get it right on his own. She told him that if he really wants to talk to her he should call her. K doesn’t know why she did this. She lectured him about something else regarding courtship etiquette. Then he said he had to leave. He sent her a text message minutes later asking her to text him when she got home and to “stay beautiful.” K found that weird and creepy. She managed to stay beautiful, but she did not alert him when arrived at home.

We all meet and interact with new and old faces each and every day. It is impossible to say with true certainty that one situation will always work out better than another when it comes to meeting people. However, when it comes to meeting a significant other there always seems to be an answer. One of the most common things you hear is the idea of “looking for love in all the wrong places.” Somehow people have this uncanny ability to tell you everything wrong without telling you how to make it right. Where are the so-called right places to find love?

If you are out here looking for love, the truth is that you are looking for it in all the wrong places, but that’s because the “right place” doesn’t exist. “Finding love” in general is a  questionable concept. People do not simply find love; they cultivate the potential of love with someone else. They work hard to create it and work even harder to maintain it. Love is not always at first sight, it has no rules, and it has so many forms of expression. Love is limitless but humans have found a way to give it limits. Being the ignorant mortals that we are, we impose our own ideas and preconceptions of what love should be and what love should look like. People can get so wrapped up with chasing an idea or a dream that they inadvertently run away from what is right in front of them. It doesn’t matter where you meet or how you meet, what matters is being open to the possibilities, while staying true to yourself.

Many would agree that clubs or bars are not an ideal place to meet someone that you would take seriously, let alone marry. The majority of people in this setting are looking to have a good time, have a few drinks, and release their inhibitions. G and K were two complete strangers who changed each other’s lives because they were both open to having a conversation. What are the odds of meeting your future spouse in the club? Are we lucky? Who knows if we are lucky but we are married and regardless of the odds things are just better this way.

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3 Comments

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  1. I loved this. Our stories are so similar. You guys are so right about being open…it’s a shame that people miss out because of preconceived nonsense and ridiculous standards.

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