Demetria Lucas has been my writing role model for about four years now. I have followed her blog A Belle in Brooklyn, kept up with her weekly column, Real Talk on essence.com and stalked the mailbox every month for the hard copy of the magazine so I could read everything with her name on it inside. It was her position as the Relationships Editor for Essence that brought her to the forefront of the public eye, namely young, black women like myself. Months later, she is basking in her own star power, traveling the country, promoting her first book and meeting up with her fans, affectionately known as "Belles" of their respective cities.
Her honestly raw relationship advice has catapulted her to the top of all of our favorite persons list. What is even more refreshing is her spirit. I was not sure what to expect while in her presence but I was very pleased to find she was the most down to earth person for someone of her caliber. Listening to her talk reminded me of conversations with my own best friend.
Her book, A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life is one year and one month old, having recently been re-released in paperback. I remember sitting in my dorm room, placing my pre-sale order, knowing full well that I would have to wait months before I could read it.
ABIB is not your typical self-help/relationship book. It reads like a memoir where the advice is subtly sprinkled through the author's experiences. She opens up a great deal, giving us all a look into her personal life, making her susceptible to meaningless criticism from judgmental people. I appreciate and admire her willingness to share very personal accounts of her life as a means of teaching.
The elevator whisked me and my two friends to the 33rd floor of the W Hotel and I stood on the far left side, trying to suppress a smile that was growing by the second, them on the other side trying to capture it all. The doors opened and I took a deep breath. Putting on my big girl face, I stepped off, heart pumping ferociously in my chest. I couldn't believe what was happening.
Proceeding with caution, I peeked inside the room, panning it for her. I noticed the wildly tamed 'fro first and once I realized she was staring directly at me, my heart stopped. On the inside, I turned into a complete groupie for her. I'm sure my face and eyes lit up, translating into me looking like a star struck child but I didn't care. Regaining composure, I found my book in my bag and she signed it. I'll never forget the way she looked me up & down, complimenting my flirty pink dress and nude wedge sandals.
"I love your dress. You look fabulous..." I beamed, returning her pleasantries.
|was mad nervous right here...lol|
For the rest of the night, she drew us all in with some bonafide girl talk. No holds barred as the drinks loosened up everyone's nerve (surprisingly, I was completely sober). Questions flowed endlessly and I was soaking it all in. I did not have many questions for her because for one, I knew what her answer would be to any potential ones I may have had. Secondly, I didn't want to say anything stupid so I just listened as she repeated advice I've seen her tweet or write about.
Although she and I had shared words and established that we are birthday twins (her words, not mine lol), I did not want this night to pass without asking her something.
Me: "Is it too forward for a woman to ask a man out?"
Her: "I wouldn't. Men respect what they have to work for and I've found that men who claim to admire a woman who approaches them first are typically looking to f*ck. If he is interested, he will ask you out."
For a few weeks, I've been going back and forth with myself on whether I should take the initiative and ask this crush of mine out. Numbers have long since been exchanged and interests expressed but conflicting work schedules will not allow us to be great. He works for the city so his hours are long, crazy and often unpredictable.
My best friend and I call him Pitter Patter because that's exactly what my heart does whenever I see him or his name on my phone. Definitely too old to be having my breath snatched like that! Of course, he doesn't know he has me open like this but the attraction is crazy. He has told me during one of our many conversations that he will take me out once there was a break in his schedule and while I've been anticipating spending time with him, I have been occupying my time.
Lucas could not stress to us enough how important it is for us NOT to put all our eggs in one cliched basket. "Please believe that while you're dating him, he's out dating someone else. You should too." She made it clear that that doesn't mean sleeping with every man you come to be involved with but get to know more than one person at a time, until a conversation on exclusivity comes into play.
That night, I learned that dreams do come true. I have been replaying the accounts of that evening nonstop since my eyes adjusted from the flash of the camera that captured my role model and I. Shout out to both Elizabeth and Shequeta for being ride or die chicks, accommodating me in all of my groupie glory.
This was, hands down, the best night of my life and an even better birthday week.
|Is my excitement showing??|