So I met a guy this weekend at a lounge in D.C. I was meeting a friend there and when I walked in he offered to buy me a drink. After hanging with my friend for awhile, I took him up on his offer and we sat down and talked a little.
He was tall, slim, brown. Nice-looking. I learned that he was 42, divorced with a 9-year-old daughter.
"So, do you have an advanced degree?" he asked me.
I was taken aback. I don't remember anyone ever asking me that on a first encounter. What do you mean? I asked.
And he explained: "I'm working on a Ph.D. in mathematics," he said.
Oh, okay, I said. Are you a full-time student?
"No, I work for the federal government," he said.
Really? What do you do? I asked.
"I can't tell you that," he said. Then he pulled out his cell phone and showed me a photo of him playing pool with President Obama.
"Let's just say I'm in telecommunications," he said with a little smirk.
"What about you? What do you do?" he asked.
I told him I was a journalist, a writer.
"Well this conversation is off the record," he said and ordered another drink.
What was up with this dude?
"You ever been married?" he asked.
No, I said.
"You have children?" he asked.
No, I said.
What about you? I asked him. How long have you been divorced?
"Five years," he said.
"What happened?" I asked.
"Well, let me explain something," he said, leaning toward me. "You know, when men get married it's not about you know, love."
"What?" I was confused. What was he talking about?
"When men get married, it's because we think the lady is a nice person, you know, that she is caring and that she'll be a good mother. It's not really about love. Marriage is a business transaction."
Now, yall know I'm a hopeless romantic. One of my favorite movies is The Notebook. I want the forever, the til death do us part. And here he was saying that didn't really exist. It was all some kind of fantasy of women.
So you didn't love your wife when you married her, when you said your vows? I asked him.
"What is love?" he asked with that smirk again.
Love is, I said. Love is. I couldn't believe I was having this conversation trying to explain what love was - in a lounge.
I thought about it. Well, it's more of a feeling. It's action, I said. I know it when I see it. And I've felt it before, I told him. I know what it is to love and to be loved.
He shook his head. "See, no one can define love," he said. "You Cared about someone and maybe someone Cared about you. I cared about my ex-wife. I treated her well and supported her wholeheartedly. She had it real good. She didn't have to lift a finger. All she had to do was pursue her dreams."
Then he told me a story about how his grandparents had been married for more than 50 years. When his grandfather died, a few folks showed up at the funeral who claimed to be his children. He said even though his grandparents had been married a long time, his grandfather stepped out on his wife.
I didn't get the point. Just because his grandfather may have cheated means that love doesn't exist?
This dude was jaded. And I was done with this conversation. My friend came over just in time to tell me she was getting ready to leave. Hold on, I'm walking out with you, I told her.
"Wait a minute," he said and handed me his cell. "Put your number in my phone."
Huh? I asked as I stood up.
"Put your number in my phone, you making me dinner tomorrow night," he said.
This guy had to be drunk. So I blamed it on the alcohol and left.
But I have to admit: Dude really had me thinking for a minute. What is love? So I want you to complete this statement: Love is __________________.
Have you ever been in love? How do you know it was love?
holla at me...