There are no words. – Me, my brain was that speechless.
I struggled to articulate the what-the-hell-just-happened madness as I followed along THE 65 North (I’m told people don’t add “the” before freeway names here and that is a dead giveaway that I’m not from here, but I’m proud of my Californianess and have now chosen to not only continue saying this but emphasize and capitalize with vigor.) after my 20-minute date that, from the looks of it, must have been the pilot episode of Nashville Candid Camera or The Jamie Kennedy Experiment: Nashville Edition. This was not real life.
Maybe I should have seen the signs, read the writing on the app. And realized by the distance of his home, that this would be an epic fail. Why did I just ruin a perfectly good night? These were the words that spoke to me as I decided to re-write the song on the stereo system as I sped back up to Nashville to get the whole putting-this-into-words ball rolling.
His pictures were pretty normal. Half were of him, the other half of barely-made-it-in-the-shot pics of him on a hill or in a lake or on a boat. This said to me he liked adventure. And, honestly, he looked like every other dude on Tinder. I’m pretty sure it is a Tinder requirement for men to include at least one photo of them standing on the edge of a mountain that shows the vast majesty of this great American home that is beholdable from a hike with another person (brought along to take photo so as to document the hike and beholding did in fact occur, and then they trade off photographer-subject roles so they can both start to score some swipe-rights). He was your basic bitch (basic S.O.B.?) of the Tinder pool.
He was from Franklin. Now, Franklin is technically within my newly-adjusted radius allowance, barely, and is actually even almost preferred. I have heard Franklin is like the fancy suburb of Nashville, and as it has been described, sounds to be on the same level of my former homeland of Orange County. In the flurry of displacement that has been this relocation, I looked forward to that anchoring sense of familiarity.
So I walk into the seemingly-cool pub. The exterior made this venue seem more promising than it did when I mistakenly pulled into the Publix supermarket center’s parking lot when I misread the map. This place was much more fancy, it was in a different strip mall that had a bank and dry cleaners in it. I spotted a breathalyzer machine at the entry/exit. I was equally impressed (the breathalyzer thing was cool!) and now in an even worse mindset than when I thought we were going for drinks on aisle 7 of the market (Who takes someone on a first date where there is a breathalyzer machine is installed?).
I walked in and saw him sitting at the bar, where he texted me 30 minutes ahead of our agreed-upon time and said he would be. Tall, reddish-brown hair, well-tailored. Thank God I didn’t misread another well-angled selfie. And then, he stood up and approached me. He, by the way, was not the guy I had just sized up to be worthy of my company. No, the actual guy was the scraggly mess-of-a-man, who was a beer and a half in, from across the way.
I objected and, with the strongest effort, tried those mind-bending Matt Parkman superpowers I saw go down in Heroes to swap out my current match with the fella I just ogled instead. I’m surprised to report that they did not work. Side note: I’m even more surprised to say that I did not run into Hayden Panettiere as famous people are apparently all about town, all the time. Maybe that was the problem? I needed more supers to be around me to help my powers more strongly manifest? Save the cheerleader, save the world, save Mellie from this horror.
He smiled and said, “Hi.”. In that two-letter, one-word greeting, I heard and saw everything I needed, and yet everything I wish I never saw. Teeth were in 47 different directions; that’s saying something because 32 is the normal amount found in in adult mouth. My teeth aren’t perfect by any means but I do go to the dentist, as well as brush and floss, and even use mouthwash like any human should. We covered all speaking topics in less than two minutes, simply by repeating all exchanges previously done via text message. The waitress came over to get me my drink.
“I’ll just have water for now.” – Me, as I tried to speak the girl code with my eyes to make certain she saw my pain and regret of ever sitting down.
Thoughts raced through my head as I chugged down glass after glass of water, pretending it to be vodka. I fantasized in my head, as I downed the third
glass plastic tumbler, that the waitress poured the Gray Goose instead of the Arrowhead, and would then hand me a secret Uber code for a free ride to a far-away place when she gave me the check for unique I-need-to-get-wasted-but-I-drove-here times such as these.
“Am I a Kelly Clarkson? Is it okay if I’m not but have now decided to be a Kelly Clarkson? Is this really happening? Are those bad-date montages shown in television shows written from actual real-life events those poor writers experienced? Could I ever write this ever happened, as that would be admitting the reality of my current position? ” – Me, not only questioning the realness of it all but also my ethics, philosophy, and threshold of tolerance in the dating world.
He liked camping, sitting out on a lake, hanging out at bars. He was a simple man, which was respectable. What’s also respectable is doing your laundry (the stench was probably fry grease from the bar food but in my head, it was coming from him) and ironing your clothes, and not propping up your feet on a neighboring chair to position yourself at a nearly parallel angle to the ground as you chew on your fingers, talk about how you haven’t left your house in a week, and drone on about how Nashville was way better until all these people started to move here.
I moved here. I’m those people who are destroying your city. STFU. It’s now my city too. I have been cordial and let you finish your second beer in the 10 minutes of our date entirety to this moment, and as you pull out a cigarette and start twirling it around, only then to light it and blow smoke into my face, I see my politeness window has now closed. We’re done. You’re gross, you’re weird, you smell, and even if you are secretly Jamie Kennedy, I don’t want to stick around waiting for the director to finally yell, “Cut!”.
Thanks for meeting me but we have absolutely nothing in common. I’m going to go now. Thank you. – Me, before bolting to my car.
This makes for the second bad dating experience I have had in Nashville so far. The other bad date was less than a week ago, forever memorialized here (never go to Gallatin for a date). Now, I did have two great date experiences but those took place pre-blog and I lack the fire or passion to document them right now. In short, so they at least get a shout-out, they were fun and entertaining but the interest and commonalities died out at roughly the same speed, only the opposite direction, of Nashville’s very-alive current growth rate.
So, two good dudes and two bad dudes.
CURRENT SCORE: 2-2 (If you’re keeping score, cuz I am.)
I’m at a tie right now, unable to determine if the men in this town are winners or losers. So, do I go out on another date for the best three outta five? The playbook is in desperate need of a good re-write. This whole let’s-see-what-happens approach is the not-right one. Maybe the answer is to switch to Christian Mingle. I’ll hire John Crist, he can do home visits, do the initial leg work for me, and find me a proper suitor?
I think I would prefer to let the suspense of this tied game sit in a little longer, allow the fans to be on the edge of their seats, rooting for the home team to win and score an amazing man. I’m calling a time out on the dating field.