In 2005 I was 23. Having spent ages 19-21 out of my mother’s house in a different town, I had come home. I was looking to go to school, and have a better future rather than living paycheck to paycheck as I had been. I wasn’t born with a silver (or mother of pearl) spoon in my mouth, so I knew the only way this was going to happen was if I went to school.
There were a few problems with this. The main one being my lack of transportation: I come from a small city that had no public transportation. If you wanted a cab, you better know to call a day ahead; otherwise you would spend a good portion of your day waiting on one. In order to get a car, I needed a job. I had a job, working for a popular clothing company, whom I love to this day. I was not full time, so I needed a second job.
Because I was depending on my family to get me back and forth to work, I had to be careful about where I found another job. Because the clothing store was in the mall, I applied to other jobs within the mall. I briefly worked at a bookstore. I was so excited. Being a bookworm, I figured that working at a bookstore would be in my top 10 jobs. This job was not for me. Everyone who worked in the store was depressed, and it had a way of dragging my mood down as well. The manager that seemed to be on duty every time I worked did not have a car, yet would have to take a deposit to the bank daily. The final straw was the day she belittled me for not having a car to take her to do the deposit. I asked her if she could hear herself. She sputtered and huffed off. I was done. The general manager thanked me for my honesty as I left.
While I kept the clothing store job, I found another job at a daycare center. It was a 20-minute walk from my house, so it was perfect.
In the midst of working two jobs, and saving up for a car, I was lonely. I had friends, but my friends were off doing their own thing. By that age, most of my friends were engaged, had been engaged, and had popped out a kid or two. I spent a lot of time on my own.
Growing up in a typical black family, your geeky experiences are few and far between unless you seek them out. I was a bit of a black sheep in my family (still am), so I was hesitant to let my geek flag fly. One thing my family did not know is that quite often, I used to Internet to talk to and meet people. If my mother would have known, she would have clutched her pearls and screamed about Internet predators. Plus the Internet let you open up to people that you rarely would have. It’s how I slept with my school mascot 6 years after high school (don’t ask). With the loneliness and boredom, I decided to dip my toe into online dating.
After putting up a profile on OkCupid, I browsed the profiles. And that is how I met Dax*. Dax and I hit it off instantly online and decided to meet up for a date. The problem was I was in the middle of moving the rest of my belongings home, and accidentally stood him up. I felt horrible, and composed a long heartfelt apology. Dax accepted and we were going to try again. As a gesture of good faith, I was going to him. I borrowed my mother’s car and headed that way. It was a decent date, one of the better ones that I had been on at that time. As a result, we fell into a relationship with one another. We spent as much time as we could together. That was primarily weekends as he had a full time job, and lived in Indianapolis, and I had two part time jobs and lived an hour away. I also didn’t have a car, so he was gracious and would pick me up on the weekends.
Things were going really well, until I met his family.
(…To Be Continued)
*Dax is not his real name.