In 2007, two Brooklyn kids embarked on a five-year courtship that changed their lives forever. Their story began like so many great love affairs…in an Internet chat room. This self-proclaimed former tomboy loved gaming, Japanese culture, and cooking. Collecting anime, swords, and eating cake are her favorite pastimes. He enjoyed endless hours of video games, eating, and working out. It was a match made in cyber space. From emails to evening walks, the two did not go onto until Ken’s birthday, which was Andie’s treat. But it was clear from their second date, neither of them knew who they were really dealing with.
Andie is Haitian-American and Ken is very clear to state that he was “made in China.” Both grew up in the suburbs of Brooklyn, NY, which they believe contributed to diverse dating experiences. It was not uncommon for Andie’s parents to find various types of men on their front porch. Ken unabashedly admits to his love of women, but black women have always been his preference. Andie was used to dating gentlemen; boys who opened the door, pulled out chairs, and made sure she got home safe. “He just hit below my standard,” says Andie. Ken’s first mistake: he did not call! He did however send an AIM message the following day stating he had a lovely time and requesting a third date. She said no, of course. He was quick to apologize, not knowing that she required that call to make sure she got home safe.
It was her parents that prompted her to give the man a second chance. “… I was dating other ppl at the time and I wasn’t taking this too seriously. I was 23 and had the world at my feet. I was dating Japanese men, artists and models. My parents encouraged me to be more open, so I said I would let the thing go and give him a second chance. I dated creative people and then here comes this very understated, dry teacher who I thought was boring. “Then why did you go out with me?”, Ken asked. Because you won me over and I fell in love with you! I wanted to give the average Joe a chance.” Ken laughed.
According to Andie, it was not physical attraction that won her over. “What captured me with Ken was that inside this pint-sized little Asian was an a**hole. I would be late and he would call me out on it. He gave me attitude and thought very highly of himself. But also he was very much a family man. We’re both the older siblings and very family-oriented. So, we click on being responsible. The way he is with his siblings and his mom definitely pulled on some heartstrings with me. He’s also very generous, compassionate, and attentive. Other boyfriends would be possessive, whereas he was very open, relaxed, and trusting. He allows me to be free and “be as sexy as I want to be.” When I’m at the club and dressed very sexy. He’s relaxed. He’ll be like, “Yea, that’s mine. You can look, but don’t touch.”
Ken: I’m Kevin Costner to her Whitney Houston.
Andie: Yeah, my bodyguard.
Ken: Men know not to mess with me.