Bringing My Milkshake Back to the Yard

It’s been six weeks now since I bid adieu to my Ghanaian Prince. It was an amicable, peaceful ending, and it has been quite an eye-opening journey to put myself back out there in the dating arena.

Arriving to a new city in a committed relationship was like having male blinders on. And then suddenly I’m like Rip Van Winkle waking up in a new dating scene that looked nothing like any dating experience I’d ever had before. I don’t know why dating was so painfully excruciating for me in the DC Metro (DMV) area, but apparently smart, chocolate, fluffy girls, especially those with pink hair, are very welcome in the New York dating world, and the boys were liking what they were seeing. But before I got too excited with this new and improved male attention, exactly what was in my milkshake now and who was I letting into my yard to sample my creamy goodness?

After 35 years of living, I know that my milkshake comes with compassionate listening, generous giving, thoughtful conversations, and soulful insight. My recipe also includes an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Stevie Wonder, an affinity for bright colors, loud exclamations of joy, and an insatiable appetite for adventure. My milkshake is best enjoyed with men who appreciate my desire to enjoy the best of Broadway or a night at Jazz at Lincoln Center. My milkshake also goes well with the amazing brother who managed to find me some authentic Baltimore house music in Brooklyn. (That was a GOOD night!).

I’m now know that my milkshake doesn’t hold up well from a distance. The Leah goodness is best enjoyed live, fresh, and in person. My milkshake is also best enjoyed by males who have done the work to stand tall as MEN. I’m not holding back my milkshake for a perfect man or a long, impossible list of non-negotiables that even Jesus Christ himself couldn’t meet. But I’m looking for milkshake lovers who aren’t afraid to DO THE WORK to be the highest and fullest expression of who God destined each and every one of us to be.

The best part of bringing my milkshake back to the yard has been relishing in the joy that there are quite a few good, upstanding New York men who are really interested in what I have to offer. That was RARELY my experience in the DMV. I can now confidently compare my dating experience at best in the DMV to extracting a deeply embedded molar without novacane. It was hard, depressing, and downright abysmal for me at times.

Maybe I just needed to move my milkshake to a bigger yard. Maybe I have a special glow now that I’m living in the city of my dreams. Maybe I’m more open and aware since moving to Brooklyn. But there has been something beautiful and liberating with being able to walk down the street and hearing, “You’re looking good, mami,” and knowing that that compliment is for my benefit. Now granted, some of those catcalls have been from homeless men secretly hoping for change, but it’s been quite refreshing to finally have my milkshake on a yard where it’s appreciated.

I still don’t know the full meaning behind the lyrics to Kelis’ “Milkshake.” (However, DO feel free to inbox me your interpretations, please! LOL!). But I’m finally really in love with my milkshake and all the hard-won and hard-fought ingredients I have put into my recipe to make me the best woman I can be. It’s been an interesting, ever-evolving journey, and I can’t wait to see what kind of MEN show up to my yard.

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