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My Michelles Found Their Baracks

Long story short, I got my Baracks. As my dad would say, "God is good, all the time."

I would be lying if I said I didn't have doubts. But I never gave up hope. Never.

My prayers were answered in the form of a speed dater who will remain anonymous. When I explained to him the kind of event this was and the kind of women who would be attending, he embraced this event and brought not only his enthusiasm, but his friends: A whole posse of Baracks. They were well-read, well-mannered, well-groomed, and, I'll just say it -- Fine. I couldn't have dreamt up a better group of men if I had gotten them from Central Casting.

They were worthy of my Michelles. These women, many of whom were goaded into coming (like my niece, Single Parent Goddess), were jaded and, I don't think it's hyperbole to say, bitter. One, who shall remain anonymous, told me she had thrown in the towel on love and wouldn't participate after having RSVP'd. Instead, she worked as a hostess at the event and eventually joined in.

But you wouldn't have known these ladies were jaded by the way they dressed and carried themselves. These women were the epitome of grace, class, beauty, intelligence and style -- the kind of black women who aren't written about because they don't fit the mainstream media's idea of who we black women are. They truly were a room full of Michelles. As they streamed in, I was feeling the pressure -- I needed to deliver men worthy of them. But God heard my prayer and sent Baracks to me, or rather, to my Michelles.

All throughout planning this event, my mantra was, "If the women are comfortable, the men will be happy." I spared no expense paying attention to details that I knew women would notice and would put them at ease -- printed speed dating cards on linen card stock; starched and ironed white tablecloths (which I ironed and starched myself -- I highly recommend heavy starch for tablecloths), white chairs (courtesy of the 40 Acres Art Gallery next door); cherry-scented votive candles; and the one thing that seemed to make all the lady speed daters stop and take notice:

Purple tulips.

Every table had at least one or two vases of deep purple tulips.

As I imagined, the women were comfortable, and the men were happy. So happy, they oftentimes would overstay their three-minute dates and had the hostesses have to scoot them along.

The hostesses, members of the underground books Book Club, were happy to see the excitement in the air -- that intelligent, book-loving single African Americans (and people of other races, too) had found each other and were overflowing with enthusiasm to share their love of books with someone of the opposite sex. The hostesses beamed with pride at these singles with their bright eyes and beautiful smiles, chatting away.

At the end, every speed dater and all the hostesses (and the one host -- BMNB) gave his or her speed dating number or name and his or her favorite author or book. This list was wide and deep -- Robert Persig, Jane Austen, J. California Cooper, Sun Tzu, Toni Morrison, Stephen King --and folks oohed and ahhed at their fellow speed daters' choices. Many compiled a reading list of books suggested by their fellow speed daters and purchased books on the spot, some in preparation for and in hopes of a match with the speed dater who recommended the book they were purchasing.

My Michelles found their Baracks. And I couldn't be happier.


eponymous said…
yeah! so happy to hear it worked out. intellectual passion and compatibility are so important.

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