Basketball Boy

It’s always sunny with Philly Matt

June 2005

I left NYC a day early to stop off in Philadelphia to go out with Philly Matt. We hadn't seen each other since my Girls' Weekend in Philadelphia in late April. I got off the train and took the escalator up to the main level of the station. There Matt was…looking as fine as ever in his jean jacket and French Connection t-shirt. We gave each other a long, close hug, and I sighed to myself. It felt good to (finally) choose a nice guy!

Philly Matt had less than 24 hours to plan our date, but he still put some thought into it. We drove off to a restaurant in Olde City. There was a fireplace inside with a lot of warm wood and European beers on tap. The restaurant was casual, but romantic. We grabbed a drink at the bar, while we waited for a table. He turned to me and said,

"It's already 8. I'm happy to bring you back to the station after dinner so you can get a train back to DC tonight. But, on the chance that you wanted to stay over, I reserved a room for you at the Westin. I don't mean to be presumptuous, and I'm happy to go home tonight or sleep on the couch in the hotel room. I just wanted to spend as much time with you as I could, and I didn't want to worry about you on the train at midnight."

I looked at him and smiled, "That was really thoughtful, Matt. I would love to stay over. I'm sure the couch will work, too."

In less than an hour, Philly Matt had exhibited several qualities that I wasn't used to seeing in the guy that I was dating. (Thoughtful and communicative guys might be the norm for some girls, but not me.) I could tell that I was ready for a nicer guy because his comments and actions didn't scare me off in the slightest.

Matt sat at the bar for over an hour, talking about his children, my job and how we met. When we finally got to a table, I realized that I hadn't stopped smiling since he picked me up from the station. Philly Matt made me laugh and feel safe all at the same time.

I could tell that I liked him when I showed him my dorky side. He excused himself to go to the bathroom, and I took one of my business cards out of my purse and wrote a little note on the back about how fine he was. When he returned to our table, he saw the card on his chair, read it and laughed out loud.

After dinner, we went over to Club 27 where we met. We danced a bit. And, then, that part of me that can over-think relationships with men kicked into gear. For over two years, my world revolved around Basketball Boy. Even when I was seeing other guys, I just viewed them as temporary companionship and would drop everything for Basketball Boy. Now, I was looking at Philly Matt and only thinking about him. Did he have boyfriend potential?

We didn't stay long at the club since it was packed. We headed back to the Westin, and I set some ground rules: I didn't want to do anything south of the border. If he was okay with that, I was fine with him sleeping in the bed with me.

Philly Matt wasn't just fine with that, but he thought that it was smart to take things slow and get to know each other. Wow! Now, that was refreshing!

Our time together in the hotel room reminded me of the second night that we spent together in April. His mouth was so warm. His tongue was engaging and passionate without being sloppy. When he kissed me, I felt weak in the knees – no matter whether we were standing up or lying down.

In the morning, we woke up and just picked up where we left off. We made out for over an hour like we were in high school. At noon, he realized that he didn't know when checkout time was. He picked up the phone and called the front desk.

"Yes, I was wondering what time checkout is? [Pause.] Noon, huh? [Pause.] As in, right now? [Pause. He laughs.] Well, would it be possible to have a later checkout? [Pause.] Thank you!"

We had another two hours. Oh, in case you're wondering how we spent that time, we used 15 minutes to get ready and the rest of the time to kiss each other some more. I know that we had brunch afterward, but couldn't tell you where or what we talked about. I just remember boarding the train that afternoon to DC and thinking that I would be spending much more time in Philadelphia. *Sigh*

City of Brotherly Love


For the last weekend in April, my friends and I headed to Philly to join our girl, Nizzle, for her birthday. The plan was for eight of the guys and girls from our group to spend the weekend up in Philadelphia with the Birthday Girl, but work and health stuff brought the number down to three girls (me, Barla and AP). I obviously don't wish ankle sprains, merger negotiations, and the flu on my friends, but this Girls' Weekend was one of my favorite getaways ever. You know those times when you laugh so hard that your stomach hurts. Well, that happened the entire weekend.

We arrived in Philly long after the sun had set. After checking into our hotel in Olde City, we barhopped for a bit until we decided that we wanted to dance. As we walked down an alley toward a club, I saw a fine black man outside and said to my girls, "Talk about the City of Brotherly Love!"

We headed inside Club 27. Even though the music was good, there was barely anyone there. We weren't sure if we should stay, but we figured that we would get a table and have at least one round.

Nizzle had quite a few shots in her by this point and jumped up on the seat to start dancing. It was her birthday weekend, though. Who were we to stop her?

The handsome black man from outside approached our table and said,

"Hi ladies. Welcome to Club 27. Are you having a good time tonight?"

"Yes! Definitely!" Barla replied.

We all talked for a few minutes and learned that his name was Matt. Philly Matt worked at Club 27 on Thursdays and Saturdays when the club was packed and the upstairs was opened up for dancing.

"I'll give you a tour later if you'd like. Tonight's not the best night to come here for dancing, but some more people will show up in an hour or so," Philly Matt explained. "Have you been here before?"

"No. It's our friend's birthday so we came up from DC to celebrate with her," I replied as I pointed to Nizzle.

"Oh, Happy Birthday! Well if it's your birthday, then let me by you all a round of shots! I'll be right back with some buttery nipples," he kindly offered.

I tried to stop him to tell him that I don't drink and order a soda in lieu of a shot, but he was already off to the bar. I followed him in the hopes of saving his money and the club's alcohol supply.

"Hey! I just wanted to let you know that I don't drink, but I hope that you'll do my shot for me since I would hate for a buttery nipple to go to waste," I informed him, as I put my arms around him from behind and rubbed his nipples over his shirt until they became hard.

(Yes, folks, I had met this man less than 10 minutes ago and I was already rubbing his nipples! This is still something that Philly Matt and I joke about to this day. He said that he knew from that moment that he had "a live one on his hands!")

The drinks continued to flow, and our groups merged on the dance floor. Because the place wasn't that packed, we had a lot of the floor all to ourselves. There were a lot of moments when my girlfriends' heads were between my boobs, legs were in the air, and booties were getting slapped. We had a blast!

Before the club closed for the night, Philly Matt gave us the grand tour. As he was talking, I couldn't stop staring at his smile. It could light up a room! He also had an amazing body. I wasn't looking to meet a guy in Philly (especially since Basketball Boy was moving back to DC in June), but I couldn't deny that I was attracted to Matt.

After seeing the upstairs dance floor with a platform overhead, Nizzle decided to add Club 27 to her official Birthday Party itinerary the following night. As we walked out of the club, Philly Matt and I gave each other a big hug and I kissed him on the cheek.

"I'll see you tomorrow."

"I'm counting on it," he replied.

Do nice guys finish last?

I had met Austin on eHarmony in the fall of 2004, and he did everything right. I don't normally go for the nice guys, but Austin exhibited compassion and thoughtfulness in a way that didn't leave me running for the hills. He and I continued to get to know each other, going out about once a week.

On our fourth date, Austin came over and we ordered dinner. As always, we had a lot to talk about when we were together. Austin remembered my stories about my friends, and said that he wanted to meet them. I tend to keep my dating world and my non-dating world separate, but with Austin, I wondered if it would be okay if my two worlds collided.

We were lying on the couch, and I made some joke about his moves with the honeys. He laughed and replied,

"I don't have any game at all."

"Really?" I wondered out loud. "I bet you do."

Austin slept over that night. As we got into bed, he gave me a sweet kiss goodnight and then snuggled me until morning. No more…no less. Spooning without forking was just what I needed, especially since I got enough forking from Lawyer Boy and Baseball Boy.

When Austin and I said goodbye in the morning, we made plans to see each other a few nights later. I had class that evening so we decided to grab dinner and a movie at my place.

He arrived at my door, and I had a big smile on my face. He took off his coat, and handed me a card.

"What's this for?" I asked.

"Just read it," he said.

The front of the card had a picture of the Beatles with the words, "Rubber Soul," in the corner. (I guess that's one of their albums, but I didn't know that until he told me. I like a few of the Beatles' songs, but wouldn't call myself a fan.)

The card was blank inside and he wrote (paraphrased from memory):

Rubber Soul is one of my favorite albums. That phrase reminds me of you. No matter what life throws at you, you bounce back and always have a smile on your face. You are one of the strongest, most inspirational people I've ever met. I love you. Austin.

[Holy Shit. Exhale. He loves me? How can he love me when we've only hung out five times? Try not to show him that I'm so not there yet. That really was a beautiful note! And, he sees a side of me that only my closest friends really know. He's such a nice guy. Don't crush him.]

"Thanks," I said, as I gave him a kiss. "That was very sweet."

We watched a movie as we ate dinner, and then headed into the bedroom. I had an idea — that was far from brilliant — but worth a shot. If we had physical chemistry, then maybe…just maybe…the emotions would follow. Austin wouldn't need to be as sexually gifted as Lawyer Boy or Baseball Boy, but I was looking for something (anything?) to keep me interested.

I realized then as I realize now that was not a smart move. We had only made out up until that point so to jump from kissing to sex in one fell swoop wasn't logical. And, if he loved me and I was so far from loving him, sex shouldn't be added to the mix. But, I went there…

The kissing was sloppy, and the foreplay almost nonexistent. He had a great body (from head to toe to everything in between), but he wasn't lying when he told me that he had no game. I almost felt as though I was back in college when most guys didn't have a clue what they were doing. It was so bad that it was sad.

I decided to take matters into my own (ahem) hands, and flipped us over so I was on top, facing him. I started to get in a groove a little bit. I could tell he was enjoying it, but he didn't know what to do with his hands and his face. I put one of my hands on his chest to try to keep him from moving his body, but he didn't get that I wanted him to sit back and enjoy the ride. Austin proceeded to take his arm and…

"Owww!" I screamed.

"Oh My God! Are you okay?"

"That hurt," I said, holding my nose in pain.

He had just clocked me with the side of his hand on my nose. I knew that it wasn't broken (been there, done that before), but whatever mood had barely been there before was gone! Gone!

When I came back to bed, he apologized and then held me. I was thankful that he didn't try to have sex with me again. I heard his light snoring as I started to fall asleep.

I awoke to the phone ringing. The clock read 2:00am. Austin was still snoring, as I answered the call with a whisper and quickly walked into the kitchen. (What was I thinking to even answer the phone?)

Who was on the other line? Basketball Boy.

My dating world is too small yet again

So, in May of 2003, I learned from a mutual friend that Lawyer Boy had a live-in girlfriend (Darby), and ended my relationship with him. I missed Lawyer Boy, but a significant other was a deal-breaker for me after I had worked so hard to leave my tumultuous affair with Married Matt.

Six weeks later, I reconnected with my ex-boyfriend, Basketball Boy. We were dating again, but it didn't feel as though we were as close as we had been before.

Basketball Boy's company had transferred him to Pennsylvania that November. He promised that he would be back down in DC on a regular basis, and he was. I saw him one or two nights a month, which was enough to keep me coming back for more. But, the timing of his move with our unsettled dating mode took our relationship to a new — and not necessarily good — level.

Basketball Boy and I talked on the phone and texted less. Once in a while, we would get in a sexting marathon, but those sessions weren't the norm. And, when he was coming down to DC, he had this knack for not giving me a heads up or making plans in advance. The result? My phone would ring at 1 in the morning (or 2…or 3), and Basketball Boy would be downstairs in the lobby of my building or asking me to meet him at a friend's house. I could have told him, "no," but I didn't. The sex was great, and I always loved spending time with him. I was like puddy in his hands.

Nonetheless, I knew that things had changed and our connection was different. Basketball Boy and I would go out on dates, but those dates were never lengthy affairs (breakfast, movie, quick dinner, etc.). And, some of his visits just consisted of a few hours of sex, a few hours of sleep and me driving him wherever he needed to go in the morning.

It was clear that work came first, coaching baseball and his best friends came in at second, and I was a distant third. What's that old saying? If it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck, then it is a duck? Well, our "dates" seemed liked booty calls and felt like booty calls so they must have been booty calls, right?

"This is starting to feel like I'm a booty call," I told Basketball Boy. "When you're coming to town next, would you mind letting me know as you are driving down? "

"You aren't a booty call. We've known each other forever. I always make time for you, but I can't stop working on the ride down to call you," he said.

"Well, then text me…or something. I love seeing you, but the 2am calls after you've been out drinking with your friends are getting old," I explained.

That pattern didn't change much, but by August of 2004, I had…a little. I wasn't sure if I was ready to date someone else, yet I knew that I wanted a more defined relationship. At that time, the dating website, eHarmony, was taking off and I fell prey to the company's great television marketing techniques. I set up a profile and began e-mail exchanges with a few guys.

I didn't feel pressured to find anyone or go out on dates so I waited until I found a guy with whom I thought I could connect. Calvin was black, Christian, athletic, optimistic and doing well in the tech field. After two weeks of e-mails, we decided to meet for drinks on the Georgetown Waterfront.

The weather was perfect, and the Waterfront is one of my favorite spots in DC. Calvin made me smile and laugh. Conversation was easy with him, and not surprisingly, we knew some of the same people in town. (I had met Calvin's business partner several years prior at The Palm, and he ended up designing the website for my first law firm.) After an hour or so of an enjoyable first date, I excused myself to the bathroom.

As I was walking inside, I wondered if I was ready to move on and date someone else. I also was trying to decide if height was a deal breaker for me. See, Calvin was 5'8", and I'm 5'9 1/2". I know that's not much, and I have dated shorter guys before, but it's not my preference.

I headed back outside from the 'loo and realized that I didn't have to figure that all out right then and there. This was just drinks and calamari. I wasn't marrying the guy, and he hadn't even moved in to hold my hand yet. Why over-think things?

I walked up the four steps from the patio to the bar level. Calvin saw me from the other end of the bar, and we smiled at each other. Then, I turned and found myself face-to-face with…

Lawyer Boy.

All the single (and proud of it) ladies…now put your hands up!

When I meet someone for the first time, I'm often asked, "Are you single, City Girl?"


I gaze into the person's eyes and notice his or her surprise and concern on my behalf. Any of the following questions might be uttered next:

"How old are you?"


"A girl like you? You're a catch!"

"Isn't your biological clock ticking?"

"Aww. The right guy is out there. You'll find him."

"You're not getting any younger. Don't you want to get married?"

If I actually answer the follow-up questions honestly, it would catch most people off-guard. Yes, I'm single, but I'm not necessarily looking to get married. It amazes me that in 2009, that's not a choice that garners as much respect as the other options out there.

My friend, Ash, and I got into a discussion about this recently. She and I are the same age, have made smart career choices, would be deemed "a catch" by conventional standards, and aren't sure if we see marriage in our future.

We weren't raised with marriage as the end goal or even a major life goal. We are both only children and value our independence. Our families emphasized our education and doing well in whatever profession we chose. We happily take trips, go to restaurants, and head to the movies on our own. We have an active social life with wonderful girlfriends. We don't go to sleep at night, feeling that our lives are incomplete because there's an empty pillow in the bed next to us.

"We don't need a man," Ash said, summing it up perfectly!

"And, a lot of the time, we don't even want one," I replied, as we both laughed.

I've admitted to being commitment-phobic in the past, but that's very different from where I am now. To provide some clarification, here's the back-story:

At 16, I broke up with my high school boyfriend, Boston Christian. My Mom thought that was a smart move, and told me that I shouldn't have a boyfriend in college. She also informed me that she didn't want me to bring any guy home unless we were getting engaged. (Keep in mind that this was coming from a woman who defied Irish-Catholic norms by focusing on her career and not getting married until she was 34 years old.)

The "no-boyfriend" mode worked for me since I viewed my family and girlfriends as the most important things in my life. School and work came in at the second tier. And, guys were "other" — for sex. Granted, I had a lot of sex so I won't devalue one of my favorite hobbies. But, it was just that to me… a hobby!

At around 25, shortly after my Mom died and my relationship with my Dad changed significantly, I entered a phase of being fearful of commitment. That lasted for quite a while, and I'm sure was a huge reason why I ended up in serious relationships with married men (Married Matt and Lawyer Boy) and fellow commitment-phobes (Basketball Boy).

Now, though, I'm in a new phase. I'm open to finding someone in my life to spend time with, but I realize that I LOVE my life as it is. I don't know that I want to share it with someone. The thought of coming home to the same person every night is just not that appealing to me. The only child in me craves her alone time, the Type A girl in me wants to keep my place immaculate, and the independent woman in me doesn't need help with her bills nor anyone to question how much time she spends with her girlfriends.

On the sex front, I used a line in college that "I like pizza, but I wouldn't want it everyday." There's a large part of me that still feels that way. Only sleeping with one person for the rest of my life? I might not perish the thought, but monogamy doesn't exactly have me jumping up and down.

Am I adverse to love or marriage? Not at all! I do have a sappy, Hallmark side to my personality. And, I respect the idea of marriage, but I'm not going to get married for the sake of it. If I can look into a guy's eyes and know that I'm going to be faithful to him forever, then yes, I'd consider getting married. But, the thought of "'til death do us part" seems like quite a stretch for me at a time when I don't really care to spend more than one or two nights a week with any guy.

And, since marriage and children are related subjects (pun intended), I'll address the question of kids. I see myself adopting one of the millions of children in the world who is in need of love, a home and a family. I don't need a man to do that biologically or financially.

In addition, when it comes to child-rearing, I worked as a nanny or babysitter during high school, college and law school. I have very definitive ideas about raising a child, and am disappointed at the fact that the majority of my girlfriends with children work outside of the home, yet are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the workload inside the home. I would much rather pay for a nanny who has experience with child care and will follow my instructions than have a man who is supposed to be my partner in parenting not doing his share.

I also have quite a few friends my age who don't care to have children…ever. Some are married, some are in relationships, and some are single. And, I've met a couple of women in their 30s who are starting to use men the way that men have traditionally used women. These women want some male companionship for dates and sex, but don't want to be in a relationship. Women's choices might not fit neatly into little boxes like they used to, but that doesn't have to be regarded as a bad thing!

Why did I write this post? I wanted to explain where I was coming from at this point of my life and show respect for the many choices out there that women in their 30s are making.

I'm 36, single and happy! If I want to get married someday, I will. And, if I don't, I won't be sitting at home crying about it. I define my life, not a man or my marital status.

Oh, and the next time you meet a 30-something single woman, try to leave the judgment and "aww, that's too bad" remarks out of the conversation. Some of us actually are single and proud of that fact!

Laughing at a comic isn’t always a good thing


In 2002, Basketball Boy and I went out on our first date to dinner and a comedy show at the DC Improv. We saw a comic who had found success in TV and film in the 1990s, but was now doing stand-up at a small venue. He still put on a great show, though, and a few of his bits made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurt.

Three years later, Funny Boy returned to DC, and a group of us went to see him perform. I got up in the middle of the show to stretch. While in the lobby, a large, handsome man approached me. It turned out that he was Funny Boy's bodyguard, Greg. I was surprised that Funny Boy needed a bodyguard, and Greg agreed with me that he didn't. He thought that Funny Boy just liked the attention that a bodyguard attracted. Interesting. Greg and I talked during much of the show, and he asked if I wanted to go out for a drink afterward. I had plans with my friends that night, but I told Greg that I would call him before he left town.

Two nights later, I was driving back from an Orioles game and decided to see what Greg was up to. Funny Boy was starting his show soon, and Greg suggested that I come by the Improv to grab a drink. I arrived at the club and was glad that I did. I spent most of the night hanging out with the opening comic and Greg in the back of the venue, and we had a blast.

After Funny Boy was done, he came to the back and looked at me. He asked if I would come out with him and some friends to a nearby lounge. I wanted to spend more time with Greg, and thought Funny Boy would be well, funny, so I said sure.

Funny Boy had also invited some other girls to the lounge. From their outfits, it appeared as though they were in the entertainment industry. I don't mean that with judgment behind it, but it's not that tough to spot strippers in an Ann Taylor/Banana Republic/J Crew town like DC.

We arrived at the lounge and one of Funny Boy's friends from high school joined us. He also had asked a pretty, petite Indian girl to meet him there. She seemed very sweet and brought along two of her friends. So, there we were at the table: Funny Boy, the bodyguard, three petite Indian girls, the high school friend, two strippers and me. Remember that game on Sesame Street — which one of these is not like the other? Well, at this table, I definitely didn't blend, but that didn't phase me.

The strippers kept going to the bathroom to powder their noses. The powder was not the type that you could purchase at a cosmetic counter. The sweet girl that Funny Boy had invited seemed uncomfortable, but at least she had her friends with her. I talked a lot with Greg and the high school friend, and the mood lightened (and livened) up when we all started dancing.

I took a break from the dance floor, and Funny Boy and I started talking one-on-one. He said that he was attracted to me. I responded,

"Thanks. That surprises me, though, since I'm not your type."

"Why would you say that?" he asked.

"Because I'm not a petite Indian girl or a stripper."

"Well, you are the girl I want to leave with."

I was flattered, but I also tried not to think too much of it. I felt as though he was attracted to me because I seemed like a challenge. And, I wasn't sure if I was even attracted to him.

We left the lounge, and one of the strippers was so out of it that she could barely walk. Funny Boy told Greg to make sure that they were okay and take them home. (I realize that Funny Boy was paying Greg, but I would hope that my friends wouldn't task someone else with helping me out if I wasn't feeling well.)

Funny Boy and I walked to his hotel around the corner, and he invited me up to his suite in The Mayflower for a drink. I told him that I would be happy to join him for a drink, but that I wasn't going to sleep with him. He was fine with that, and suggested that I meet him upstairs in ten minutes.

In ten minutes, Funny Boy had turned on light jazz, lit candles in both rooms and changed into a t-shirt and flannels. He became very intense, very quickly. I was talking about how I hoped that the girls were ok. I asked if the drinks were very strong at the lounge, and Funny Boy got very defensive, insisting that he doesn't drink alcohol. (OK. Fine. Calm down, buddy.) He was heading to New York City after DC, and I made some silly comment with a Brooklyn accent. Then, he got very offended.

"Why are you doing impressions?" Funny Boy inquired.

"Umm…because it's funny. I say things in different accents all the time," I replied.

"You are not a comedian. You are not supposed to make jokes. I am a comedian. That's what I do."


I wasn't sure if I was interested in Funny Boy before I went up to his room, but now I knew that I wasn't attracted to him. Within a minute, he got on top of me and started kissing me. He was one of those kissers who just sticks his tongue down your throat with no skill, direction or passion. I sensed by the movement in his flannel pants that he was excited, but each second with his tongue so far down my throat was one too many. I felt as though I was at the doctor's office and he was checking to see if I had strep. Eww!

I excused myself soon after that. As I exited the hotel, Greg called and we had a nice talk. Greg was articulate, caring and fun. If he didn't live in LA, I would have gone out with him again. Funny Boy, by contrast, gave me his number, and I promptly deleted it. It's a good thing when a guy makes me laugh because of his humor and personality. It's not a good thing when a guy makes me laugh because of how he kisses.