Author’s Note: This is what I would call literary sampling. The following post is inspired and influenced by Junot Diaz’s “How To Date A Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)” from his collection of short stories, Drown.
If you’re staying in a hotel room with one of your boys, make sure to let him know how you plan to end the night. If he’s like you, he’s talking to a pretty young lady too, and trying to use the room for the same reasons you are. If he has a girl back home he doesn’t want to cheat on, but down for you like a good brother should be, he will find a way to stay out of your way. If he’s a hater, he will tell you to point her out, assess how pretty he thinks she is, and then from there determine whether or not he will find other sleeping arrangements. Once it’s been determined she meets the criteria, he will dap you up, and tell you to get back to her. Time is short and you still don’t know what the girl is thinking.
Make sure when you go back to her, you have a drink in your hand, but make sure it’s something with a low alcohol content, like a beer. At this point, you’re trying to sober up, because your natural game is better than your drunken, sloppy one. Hand her the bottled water you offered to buy her, because you saw all the other guys in the place buying her drinks earlier in the night and knew she didn’t need another. When you hand her the big, $4.00 bottle of water, try not to say under your breath, “You better drink every drop of that expensive water I just bought.”
Keep talking, comment on the music, the clothes she’s wearing, the people who can’t seem to pass by either of you without grazing a shoulder. If you’re real creative, make up a game on the spot. She’s going to think it’s corny, but she will appreciate your efforts to be original.
In the midst of the soft ball questions and observations, work on getting vital information like what hotel she’s staying at, what friends did she come with, when is she leaving. If she’s from the city you are visiting, ask her if she lives with her parents, by herself, or with roommates. Never ask if she is in a relationship or married. If she is in either of those situations, and they are important to her, she will let you know immediately. If she isn’t in a relationship or married, your question only serves as a reminder, and what single woman wants to be reminded they’re not in a relationship or they’re not married?
Once all the formalities have been taken care of, and you find out she is leaving tomorrow afternoon, she came here with one of her best friends, and her hotel is down the street and around the corner from the one you’re staying at, wait for a smile. Not the smile that comes with one of your jokes, but a smile without guard, one that she gives just by looking at you. You’ll be able to tell this smile by how many teeth she shows, assuming she’s not insecure about such things.
Proposition her gently and with charm. Don’t offer anything more than an opportunity to continue the good thing you two have going, because that’s what it’s halfway really about. You like her right now, you like her more than the promise of tomorrow. As a matter of fact, right now, you hate tomorrow, because you know that’s what’s coming whether she comes home with you or not.
If she’s a lady, she will tell you she doesn’t get down like that, and you will tell her you don’t usually drink like this, but it’s a special occasion. When she asks, “What’s the special occasion?” the question will be rhetorical and you will chuckle because you know you have a smart one on your hands.
When you say, “Let’s get out of here” she won’t say yes or no, she will repeat what you just said: “Let’s get out of here.” You will wait by the door while she goes to tell her friend where she’s going, and you will watch their conversation, trying to read the lips of her and her friend. At one point, she will point to you, her friend will then look at you, you will smile, wave, and while the friend will smile back, the friend’s smile won’t have any teeth in it. When the girl you’re leaving with comes back to you, she asks for your number so she can text it to her friend. You will oblige, and ask if there’s any other necessary precautions she will want to take because you want to make her feel her safe, comfortable.
On your way back to your hotel room, she will get a little nervous and say things like how she just met you and emphasize for the 100th time, she does not go to the rooms of strangers. And you will look her dead in the eyes, on the elevator up to your room and tell her, “All that stuff doesn’t really matter, just be cool. Nothing is going to happen that you don’t want to happen.” As your walking down the hall, you will tell her the difference between this time and all the other times, that this time is limited, and has been counting down from the moment you met.
All of this, you will add, is not game. All of this is true.
You will slide your key in the door, open it for her and let her in the room first so you can study for a moment how she walks. Then, she will sit on the bed and you will walk up to her and kiss her. Whether she kisses you back or not, steal a moment to text your boy with the following message: “I got the room tonight.”
Click here to read a sampling of Junot Diaz’s “How To Date A Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie)”
Click here to hear a podcast of Diaz reading the story