A few years ago, I was stranded in my apartment during a blizzard when I received a phone call from my frat brother. I figured this was something important since we typically text. Sure enough, he was calling to tell me about this singer he had met. She had performed at his university earlier in the night and he was responsible for taking her and her friends to dinner before bringing them back to their hotel. He seemed very excited and suggested that I look her up on Youtube and buy her EP over iTunes. I was immediately suspicious. There was something in his tone of voice that led me to believe that he was up to something. After all, he would never find it necessary to call me over a singer he had met unless he had just finished having a private singing lesson with Kim Burrell.
When we got off the phone, I looked her up on Youtube and found her intriguing. I immediately figured out what my frat brother was up to. Her music was beautiful (and so was her appearance). Everything about her adhered to the typical profile of the kind of girl that piques my interest. At least that’s what I thought until she said her age. The gap between us wasn’t horrible. She was about five years younger than me. Still, I noted the impracticality of the two of us getting together. She was a rising star who was likely insulated by a lot of men in her community. In contrast, I was a struggling PhD student and Executive Pastor of a small church. I decided that I was better off not thinking about it because girls like her tend to end up with guys who are already in their circle. Then, I decided to torture myself by buying her EP a few months later anyway.
I had assumed that I wouldn’t hear anything about her again, but I was wrong. Last summer, my frat brother was staying in the Philadelphia area for an internship. At that point, he finally revealed his plan. He was on a mission to get the two of us to meet. They had exchanged info during that night when she performed at his university and he had managed to keep in contract with her. He had constructed a fantasy where the two of us would manage to get into an amazing conversation and become pretty much inseparable. Although I acknowledged the impossibility of his fantasy becoming reality, a part of me started becoming excited. I ended up telling him that if he managed to make it happen, he would be the best man at the wedding (as if he wasn’t already on my best man short list). There was only one problem–another one of our friends had noticed her.
Without going into too many details, I’ll just say that the situation caused a lot of strife between my frat brother and our other friend. I attempted to remedy the situation by claiming that I wasn’t incredibly interested. My frat brother had managed to introduce us, but the magical conversation did not happen partly because the meeting occurred on a rare night when I was starving. At one point, I mysteriously disappeared and returned with a cupcake that I devoured in seconds. Needless to say, I did not make much of an impression and I decided that I wasn’t really in a position where I actually felt like pursuing anybody. Unfortunately, my attempt at bowing out didn’t make things any better.
In spite of the strife, our friend was still in active pursuit. At times, his level of aggression concerned us, but I did admire his persistence. After meeting her, he started making the rounds and getting to know her friends and family. He was determined to break through the wall of protection that had been built around her, and for a moment it looked like he would succeed. Then, one afternoon everything came to a crashing halt. My friend and I were at a barbecue when he pulled me aside to point out a guy who had been giving him dirty looks. The guy also appeared to be hovering around the singer. “That guy doesn’t like me,” he said. Being the bold man that he is, he decided to go introduce himself.
A few minutes later, I remember my friend returning and telling me, “That situation is a no go.” I didn’t understand what he meant so he ended up spelling it out for me. “That guy is her boyfriend,” he continued. They had apparently just gotten together sometime recently. My friend was crushed and feeling like he hurt his chances by moving too slowly. I was more amused than anything else. From the beginning, I had already assumed that a girl like her would likely end up with a guy who was around her all along. It was just funny that I was right. I ended up texting my frat brother who had already returned to his campus a week earlier and letting him know that his dream was not going to come true. The singer and I were not going to end up in a enchanted relationship. However, I had to applaud him for his choice. Apparently, he knew me a lot better than I thought he did. It’s just too bad that girls like that don’t come around too often. Hopefully, I’ll be ready next time I meet one (and hopefully, the age gap will be smaller). As for our friend, he was upset for a bit, but he moved on pretty quickly. I guess that’s just the nature of being a single man. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose.