Coming to America- 1st Date with Prince

October 25th, 2018

My time dating “Prince” reminded me a lot of the movie “Coming to America”. The rotation of men I dated on Tinder at the time started to resemble the movie

It happened almost 3 years ago, but I still compare my first date with Prince with all subsequent first dates. He was the master of first impressions. I can still visualize the way he was sitting at the table of the romantically-lit restaurant while he was waiting for me. He couldn’t see me when I was walking up, but he was leaning forward, the sleeves of his sweaters rolled up- like he was anxious and ready to dive into something. It was something good while it lasted. It was crazy how a cast of characters started to emerge while I was dating him. There was a Soul Glo and my mom, like Lisa’s dad, tried to interfere and fix me up with another man.

Haha! I am really trippin’ now. This was how I looked like back in 2015! I was a bougie-boho girl who wore her hair in a twist out and always had a hat or beret on her head. This is an actual photo from my Tinder profile back then. I look like Lisa…a little.

Prince first appeared on my Humans of Tinder posts on Facebook almost by accident. You see, on our first date, I mentioned that I liked to go salsa dancing. He said he did not know how to salsa dance, but that he knew of a place that night we could go to if I was willing to teach him. I thought that was brave because many men I have dated hated the idea of going out of their comfort zone and potentially being embarrassed. I really do not like the idea of getting into a stranger’s car, but he said I could take a picture and send it to my mom saying I am going with this man. He said it jokingly, but I did take a picture. My mom lives in a different time zone (plus, I have better luck getting in touch with her via Facebook than text, so I posted his picture on Facebook with a message to my mom that I was going out with him and have his pic up in case something happens to me. I am blurring out his face because I never asked him permission to post publically.

During dinner, I told him I liked to go salsa dancing. That is where I really become myself. He said he did not know how to dance, but he would drive us to a place so he could dance with me. “Take a picture of me and tell your mother I am taking you”

Friends started commenting like mad about his good looks, his romantic date planning, and that he was a good catch! I posted about him during and after the date and about our subsequent dates. My friends really liked him and asked about him often- even when I was dating other men at the same time lol!

As you can see, we had a good time! You can also see, I was very “plain Jane” on my date and looking back I have no idea why I did not put on any makeup lol! I was really impressed with his immediate date planning skills after I told him I do not exchange numbers until after I meet up so I was looking forward to the date. He liked how I looked anway!

Prince was from an African country. No, not Nigeria! He was from a country in Southern Africa. African men have a bad reputation in the United States when it comes to dating American women. With shows like 90- Day Fiance (my guilty pleasure), there is even more suspicion around them just wanting a green card. From “friends” to the lady at the nail shop- people warned me that he probably had a whole other family or wife somewhere else.

It was sometime after we started dating that he told me a close relative was the prime minister back in his home country. It did not surprise me, there were several cues that I picked up on that told me he had a relatively privileged life. I was more amused at how accurate my nickname for him was. Like Lisa, I did not find out just how privileged he was well into dating him.

Here is how the first date went according to my Facebook post:

December 2, 2015

This is why I get along so well with foreign men:  American men 0, Foreign men a million points! We met on tinder and he asked for my number. I said I only give out my number after meeting in person. He immediately chose a restaurant and made reservations for the next day. As you can see, this is not Sonics or a coffee shop. He ordered a nice bottle of wine to start. I ordered the best food I’ve had in awhile. I told him I liked to Salsa dance and he said he did not know how , but asked if I would teach him. So after dinner we went to a Wednesday night salsa club. Not many men would ever go for fear of looking stupid. Anyway, I wanted to share positivity after my other frustrating “dates” because if you think you’re single because you are a “nice guy” , it’s probably because you’re too lazy to plan a date and take a risk. If you want a lady, you have to show her she is one and make an effort

—————

Looking back at the short post of our first date, I am cracking up at how similar I sound to the Americans who find lovers abroad on 90-day Fiance! I had just gotten out of a slew of bad dates with men who happened to be American. One, took me to the Sonics drive through in his luxury car and told me “you can have ANYTHING on the menu”. To be honest, I think I do have a bias because I first started dating while I was living in Mexico. I have noticed that non-American men are more romantic and desire to have a relationship leading to marriage than American men. However, in the three years since the date, I am no longer sure I can generalize groups of men into categories. I have dated men around the world of different races and ethnicities and I do not have a preference. I am an equal opportunity lover. It is interesting to look back on my posts and see some things that I would not say today. Shows how much I have grown.

Coming to America Story- The “Prince” (pre-part 1)

October 23, 2018

Why do we only allow some women to princesses?

The 1988 film “Coming to America” became a real part of my life when I was dating “Prince” a few years ago. He was a fan favorite of my  Facebook Tinder date posts. We dated for some time and everyone kept asking me about him. It’s the only black film I can recall where the female lead has a wealthy, charming love interest. Damn shame

A few weeks ago, I posted on my Facebook and Instagram this viral tweet.

This is a trend I have seen in black films and in the way black women are shamed for having certain standards in dating men. It bothers me to no end

I have noticed the same trend: for some reason, Hollywood cannot see a black woman be a happy woman with a prince. Movies depict her as the corporate career woman who has a lot going for her. She is the ultimate boss lady- making major moves as the CEO, has a great sense of fashion, yet her romantic lead is the struggling man. He is broke, maybe even younger, sometimes even homeless, and needs a handout to get him off his feet. She is expected to lift him up, to invest in him, to help him see his potential- to provide for him. Her happiness is never the focus of these films. It’s more of you’re single because you have high standards- lower them and you’ll find a man, you can dust off. YES! This IS a trend. Frankly, it’s enraging to me!

Taraji plays “Lauren” in “Think Like a Man” a film based on a relationship book by Steve Harvey. She’s the COO of a successful company and depicted as being too independent. Of course, she falls in love with a man who has dreams of becoming a chef. He is no where near where she is financially.

Black women are expected to save the day damn near in every aspect of life- in voting rights, fighting for civil rights, in being the office mother, nurturing students, being the matriarch of her family, take care of other people’s children AND BUILD UP A GROWN ASS MAN?? Tuh! When does she ever get a reprieve from constantly working to help others? Who is investing in her? Why can’t even Hollywood even let her dream about being swept up by a handsome man who is wealthy, a gentleman who treats her like a princess?

In this Korean drama, the CEO with a bad memory falls in love with the poor job-seeking girl with an amazing memory

This is no anti-feminist *ish! All around the world there are romantic stories that make the big screen in Hollywood, Bollywood, Korean Drama where their women are the love interest of charming, handsome, wealthy men who treat them wonderfully and give them outward displays of affection and most importantly can provide for them a better life that relieves them of their everyday struggles.  After all, isn’t that what entertainment is about- an escape from your reality? A short time to fantasize? Why is this not seen in Black films?

Bobby is a 1973 Bollywood film that has been re-made several times. The son of a wealthy man falls in love with the daughter of a poor fisherman

This is not only a phenomenon seen in black films, black women often tell me that their friends and family shame them when they say they want a man who is at least as equally educated as her and can contribute financially more than her to their household. They are called gold diggers and told they will remain single for holding these rather simple standards that are universal anywhere else in the world. Go to another country and see if parents don’t threaten their daughter should she dare to bring home a man who could not provide for her.

In my  Facebook and Instagram post, I said I wanted to start blogging about the wealthy men I dated (well almost all of the men posted would fall into that category even though I don’t mention it). I want to show that despite what films show and what people might say, there are good men who have successful careers and may even be wealthy who want to be with a black woman. These Tyler Perry & movies and such may be telling us subconsciously that we are less than and deserve less, but that is not the case! I am about truth-telling so I am starting a series of posts with a Facebook fan favorite- “Prince”. He was a Tinder that I dated for some time.

It ends up being perfect to follow this conversation because Coming to America is honestly the only “black film” where a wealthy man desires a more humble black woman and gives her a good life. Lisa’s father in the film, like damn near every other father in Korean drama, Bollywood, or whatever wants the best for his daughter. He wants her to marry a man who can take care of her when he’s gone. (Ugh, makes me mad just thinking how this basic concept is rare in black films)

Lisa’s father wants what every father wants for his daughter- for her to have the best! For someone to love and spoil her like he has done. For her to have a better life than he had

Although Prince Akeem, like the common trope in black films plays the janitor in most of the film, surprise b*tch! He’s a real prince with his portrait on the currency.  

Akeem went undercover as a janitor and never told Lisa he was a prince. That still pisses me off! He was dishonest with her from the beginning. (Picture from Paramount Pictures).

While I was dating Prince, I laughed with my sister about the similarities between my life and Coming to America. I told her that when I was little, I never understood why Lisa was so angry Prince Akeem hid the fact that he was a prince from her. Now, I totally understand and when I watch the movie I get so angry that I am not sure if I would have forgiven him or married him. Why? she asked. Because, I don’t like when men lie and he lied with an undertone of distrust or testing her. He lied assuming that she was a gold digger, that the only reason she would ever like him was for his money. Don’t go into dating a woman if you are suspicious enough to have to “test” her. This is like men who plan on coffee dates or go half because they are scared of being used. Also, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. That is playing with someone’s emotions.

Anyway, enjoy the next posts about “Prince”. You are allowed to dream about being treated like a princess!

I need to have a word with Tyler Perry, Steve Harvey and these other writers.