He Just Was Not That Into Me…aka Nikki Giovanni likes me…so there…

Hello World!!!

Since Valentine’s Day is just a week away, I have decided the next two posts will be about dating, love, marriage – basically all things gushy and romantic…I love the idea of Valentine’s Day, but I’ve had very few that actually involved a significant other…oh well…

So since a movie version of one of my new favorite relationship books came out last night, I decided to also pay homage to the book – “He’s Just Not That Into You – The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. This book is a must have in decoding guy speak and behavior when it comes to dating!  A lot of it is common sense, but sometimes, when you’re dating, common sense seems to be the first thing that goes out the window…Here’s my favorite chapter from the book, He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Calling You. So the book is written like a series of letters written by women asking for dating advice from Greg Behrendt.  One woman wrote,

Dear Greg,

You’re dumb. A guy who I’m going out with who (who I asked out, Greg, by the way) is totally import and totally busy. He’s a music video director and travels and has long shoots and lots and lots of responsibilities. Sometimes when he’s working, I don’t hear from him for days and days. He’s really busy, Greg! Some guys are just really, really busy! Don’t you ever have really, really busy days? I’ve learned to live with it and not give him any sh&*,  because I know that’s the price I pay for going out with someone really successful and hot and busy. Why are telling these women to be so needy?

So here is Greg’s response:

Dear Nikki,

Good to hear from you again.  Well, not really. Listen Nikki. Really busy is another way to say “just not that into you.”  Totally important is another way to say, “you’re unimportant.” How great that you’ve “landed” someone  that even you think is out of your league. Too busy and important to ask you out or call you- what a catch. Congratulations on your quasi-relationship! It must feel amazing to know that you’ve been programmed into the super hot and important busy guy’s cell phone, even if he never uses it to call you. You must be the envy of every woman he’s really dating.

Ouch! I think Greg (see how I call him Greg like he’s my personal friend or something 🙂 )mentioned in the book that if a guy doesn’t call you or contact you with cell phones and all the other communication tools that are available, he’s just not that into you. I mean unless you’re President Obama, men really can’t make the excuse that they’re too busy to call…And I’m sure that Barack calls Michelle every day when he’s out of town…she look like she ain’t havin’ it any other way…

Here are some of the other chapter titles: He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Asking You Out, He’s Just Not That Into You If He Only Wants To See You When He’s Drunk and He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Disappeared on You.

So in this post, I will give my own example of the chapter, He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Disappeared on You. This is how I remember it happening. The year was 1996, the year I graduated from college. The summer after graduation as a matter of fact. I was partying on a Friday, I think, with my girls at some club…the name escapes me right now. It used to be where Vision used to be in the A. I think some new condos are in the spot now though…I was looking good. My hair was in the infamous Halle Berry cut. I had on my cherry red lipstick. Why I ever wore red lipstick is beyond me. I was tight in the way that only someone in their early ’20s can be. And while I was trying to act cool and dance at the same time, I saw him. Lawdy, Lawdy, he was fine.  He was tall, bronze and muscled with curly hair. All my girls had to give me dap when we exchanged the digits.

So I think we hung out once before it all went down. I think he lived in the Little Five Points area, one of the most artsy and eclectic neighborhoods in the A. I think he was some sort of artist. Anyway, he had a forest green Eclipse. Do those cars still exist? And we rode around the area in his car. And I was feeling it all…Y’all know I was! Anyway, we had a few phone conversations and decided to meet one night at Yin Yang Cafe, which is now Apache Cafe, I guess. (The turnover of clubs in the A is kinda sad…) Anyway, so I showed up and he didn’t….And he didn’t call again…Hopefully, I didn’t call back again, but I probably called back at least once…hey you live, learn, develop a healthy self-esteem, etc.

So I was so mad that I wrote a poem about it. At the time, I fancied myself a budding poet and read some of my work at different poetry readings around town. It was a very short-lived phase of my life actually. So I wrote this this poem and here it goes.

Anger Is A Great Liberator – written in 1996

Ever wanted a man so much

you felt your breath lessen every time he opened his mouth.

Every single time, you dialed his digits,

no matter, how matter-of-fact he sounded,

you pushed reason in the back of your mind

to make room for thoughts of biceps, triceps, curls and whirls in his forest green Eclipse.

At the monitor, to-do list easily in sight, yet you didn’t

and on the way home from work, you shook yourself to loosen his image from your head.

Walking in the door, no red lights, so you cooked dinner,

itching to do it, how soon is too soon to call?

Budget gourmet thrown to the side, taking strides to the phone,

how did you get here, pick it up, please, don’t let the number of rings reveal

how bad you wanted to only hear his voice.

Smiling, later dancing, he asked you out

to meet him in the center of a dark, jazz-filled cafe that you hoped served gratification for dessert.

So you sat at the table, made beautiful by a fake flame, smiling vacantly at the band…

while tapping your feet and moving with the notes

knowing that soon you would hear real music

as his masculine footsteps made his way to you…

Ummm, still listening to the band, now accompanied by a box-headed man saying

Your lips are smiling, but your eyes are mad…but yeah, can I get that number?

No…turn your head, the sexy dread-headed man with the guitar sustains your smile

But your eyes blaze with the knowledge that one, look down, maybe two or three hours have


And the eclipse hadn’t happened..he didn’t come.

But Anger came, with her strong, fiery curvy self,

moving against a red dress, she held your hands first,

then began to loosen the chokehold around your neck

while repeating, “If I didn’t come, you wouldn’t be free.”

“Get up,” she said. “And straighten that dress.”

You stood up, looked down to smooth the wrinkles in your own booty tight dress.

When you looked up, she was gone, but you laughed and said, “I’ll remember.”

You twisted out of the club, only looking back to see whose eyes followed you.

Two by two, by two, maybe even enough to fill an ark

“Naw,” you laughed. “Y’all ain’t gonna pimp me like that.”

You said to all the eyes.

The artist is emancipated and so are you

You got in your car, and sped down I-85

Anger is a great liberator

Even reading my poem now is therapeutic…so a few months after writing that poem, I went to a book signing for the great poet, Nikki Giovanni. While she signed my copy of her book, “Love Poems”, I quietly asked if she would take a look at my poem and tell me her opinion of my work. I wrote my address on the poem in case she wanted to send her thoughts to me later. AND SHE DID!!!  On Feb. 12, 1997, she wrote

Dear Jacqueline Holness,

Wow!  Anger is a great liberator. Good work! Keep it up!

Yours In Poetry,

Nikki Giovanni

Can you believe it? I still can’t! How perfectly sweet and generous of her! So there Mr. I-Can’t-Even-Remember-Your-Name!  I’m glad you never showed up because your standing me up inspired me to write a poem that Nikki Giovanni said was good.

Any thoughts?







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10 thoughts on “He Just Was Not That Into Me…aka Nikki Giovanni likes me…so there…

  1. Nikki Giovanni is dope, and that’s cool that she wrote you about your poem.(btw, **** Valentine’s Day!)

    I sometimes think Greg Behrendt is preying on women’s pain in some ways. I’ve not read his work, but have seen his show, and he seems to hand out countless platitudes that, while they may be helpful in some degree, can also be ways that women might trick themselves into unfairly demanding more intimacy than they offer. “It’s been two hours since I sent that text, so he’s not into me. I better leave him alone.”

    But hey, that’s just my opinion.

    If she doesn’t like your opinion, she just not that into you.

    Just kidding.


  2. While there are countless books, movies, etcetera regarding men and women relationships, I think ALL women should read Steve Harvey’s book, Be A Lady, Think Like A Man. Think from a male’s perspective, while taking responsibility for your own actions as a lady. While I admit some of the things men do to women are rediculous, most of the things women do to get put into these situations are simply sad.

  3. Hey Soul Daddy and DR, thanks for your comments…but why do men hate Valentine’s Day so much…Most of my Valentine’s Days suck, but I still love the day!

    And DR, since Steve Harvey is a trip with that Strawberry Letter, I was planning on checking out his book…I may even write about it!

  4. He’s just not that into you. I think we as women put too much energy in relationships. We are nurturers by nature and do love the concept of love and romance (fantasy). Unfortunately, most men did not get that memo (which is why we are always disappointed). But do we not do the same things to men? Are there not men that we are just not that into? And if we are not that into them, do we not treat them the same way that they treat us? Now don’t get me wrong, I would never stand someone up or do any of the repulsive things that men do, but I am certain that some women do. As I look back on my dating journey I noticed that I really did not care that much about any of the guys that I dated. I just didn’t want to be alone so I talked myself into thinking that it would work, when I knew that it would not. I even noticed that at times I tell men lies about my feeling to fool with their heads. I do it a lot.

    With this being said, when we do meet that one guy that we really like for his bulging biceps or high IQ (I like em smart!) and he does not reciprocate, we are furious and all men instantly become the filth of the earth and all is lost. But are we really angry at them or angry at ourselves for falling for them, knowing that we, just were not that into them anyway?

    I think that we as women need to take a step back and evaluate the male female situation before diving in because as Greg said in the book, “If a man is interested, even if he is the president of the United States…He’s coming up.” With that being said, we don’t have to let him. Because even if we let him up, that still doesn’t mean that he is into us.

  5. Ha! I used to write poetry and go to poetry readings when I lived in West Palm Beach. Of course all inspired by my made love affair with a play! That poem is dope. I have also met Nikki in D.C attending one of her poetry readings. She is awesome! What a lovely compliment from Nikki. She rocks!