Oh Donovan, say it ain’t so.

I have meet the man I am going to marry.  O.K. well I haven’t actually met him yet but I am going to marry him nonetheless.  We have been talking on the phone for two months and I haven’t meet him yet?  He calls me every few days and we text all the time or at least a few times a day. He is, after all, very busy running a company.  Yep, I am going to marry him, even though I am not sure I really want to get married and I don’t really want some strange man parenting my children.  Who cares about those minor details right now; I certainly do not. I am getting married, I get to wear a white frilly dress and have a party centered around me! Oh and him, I guess.  I convince myself that once we finally do meet, he will instantly fall in love with me and ask me to be his betrothed on the spot.  He is everything I am looking for. He is gainfully employed, he takes care of his kids and he has a beard. What more could I ask for?  He makes me laugh and understands my sense of humor, which is very delicate and high class.

We become Facebook friends and I quickly begin the ritual of stalking him on Facebook, desperately trying to determine if he is sleeping with any one of his “friends”.  I scour over pictures of his small children and hope that when they met me, they like me enough to beg their dad to “never let me go”.   During our phone conversations I ask him  question after question and at one point he tells me to stop asking him “why”.  In fact he tells me I should eliminate the word “why” from my vocabulary.  I make mental note.  Do not ask Donovan why, ever!  We continue to speak via the phone and text and still no date. I begin to drop hints to him that I am available on this date or this restaurant is having a special night etc.  Still no date.  I finally beg him to ask me out.  I BEG HIM.  I push another red flag out of sight and relish the fact that he has finally asked me out.

The morning of our date, I woke up shaking and couldn’t decide what to wear. I was so excited. I was certain that he was going to fall in love with this newly crafted Tanisha.  The Tanisha that he wanted.  Now, if I could just remember everything he has told me. First, stop asking so many questions.  Second, never ask him why about anything.  Third, laugh at the jokes or quips he says or thinks are clever, even if they are pedestrian, uneducated or overused.

We meet at a bar that also serves food.  He stands up to greet me and I am instantly disappointed.  Not to worry, just push that red flag aside like so many others.  At this point I have so many red flags behind my back it’s as if every NFL coach has challenged a play at the exact same moment.  We sit down on the couch that is in the bar, he has already had one beer and I wonder exactly how long he has been here as I am right on time.  See newly crafted me.  During our date, Donovan never really looks at me. Whatever. He’s just nervous.  Come to think of it he never really turns his body towards mine. It’s probably because he doesn’t want to intimidate me with his manliness(these are the thoughts of the newly crafted Tanisha).  I casually laugh (a laugh that I have toned down because he thinks my laugh is too loud) and brush his forearm with my hand, trying to see if we have any chemistry.  I feel nothing.  Another red flag on the play.  We decide to blow the popsicle stand, the bar, and go for a drive.  Now even I, with my limited dating history, know what going for a drive means.  I’m going to get to kiss him and maybe other, juicy, dirty things.  I am elated at the thought of a drive that will lead to other things.  I am desperate for a man’s attention, desperate for that romantic spark. Since my car is bigger than his, we take my car and we drive to a secluded area of my town.  I quickly throw the car into park and hop into the back seat.  I move so quickly that Donovan looks stunned. He is still in the front seat of my car.  I tell him to come sit by me.  He tells me I am bossy and I should really work on that part of my personality.  I make another mental check on my checklist of “don’ts” about myself.  Wow, I’m getting married, now if only I can…Stop being so bossy, stop asking so many questions, especially why, fix my laugh and finally get him to look at me when he’s talking.  

Donovan gets in the back seat and slides next to me, I lunge toward him and throw my body on top of his.  Our lips meet and soon our tongues.  It was the worst kiss I have ever had in my life.  I make another mental check on the list in my head, work on kissing.  His tongue is like a razor blade, sharp and pointing, darting in and out of my mouth, making little bloody slashes along the way.  I hate every second of his kiss but since we are getting married, I convince myself of my enjoyment.

The date ends with his promise to call me and, as it does, I am pinning wedding paraphernalia on Pinterest in my head.  I drove home from this date ignoring my disappointment, sadness and self-loathing that I have developed in my short term relationship with Donovan.  The closer I get to home, the sadder I become.

It is at this point in my story where I wish I would have gone home and erased Donovan from my contacts as well as my feeble mind.  But I did not. Not only did I not erase him from my life, my phone and my memory, but the next day, I texted him that I missed him.  I MISSED HIM!  Yep, I missed his disastrous kisses. I missed his over inflated ego. I missed his tired puns, that he thought were genius and original.  The truth is I did not miss all of those things, even though I willed myself to miss him.  I missed the attention of a boy, a boy that loves me.  A boy that, not only likes my laugh but relishes it when it happens.  I want a boy that appreciates my inquisitive nature (inquisitive in my case is a polite word for nosey).  I want a boy who can read my moods and knows when to kiss me softly and sweetly or hard and fierce.  I cling to Donovan the idea, not the man, and as much as I cling to him or maybe because I clung to him, he dumped me after my “I miss you text”.  I deserve it. I deserve to be dumped, not in the manner in which he dumped me, but deserve it nonetheless.  I turned myself into something I did not even recognize.

The wonderful thing about dating when you are young and invincible is that you don’t care what a boy thinks about you.  You don’t know to be ashamed of your nosiness or your obnoxious laugh, that echoes through any room. You are free to be who you are, good, bad, or anything in between.   I have to wonder if that is what attracted Peter to me in the first place.  Somewhere in the last two years, I have lost myself.  I have lost the desire to be myself if it means being without the attention of a boy.  I suppose everything I am experiencing is to be expected.  Having a grenade explode in the middle of your life, does what a grenade does, destroy its surroundings.  In this case, Peter’s death has destroyed my confidence. However I am incredibly thankful for my time with Donovan because I realized, after he dumped me, that I didn’t really like him from the start.  I also have accepted that this process will be a lifelong journey, despite the fact that I want the journey to go away.  I suppose something along the lines of a phoenix, blah blah blah, ashes, blah blah blah.

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