Context: At the end of September, my friend C and I took a spontaneous road trip to Nashville. We expected a weekend of going out, live music, and good food – but we never could have known what would be in store for us.
Nashville, Tennessee. Music City, home of SO many former Bachelor franchise members, and bachelorette party HQ. And, in my mind, the perfect place to find the guitar-playing cowboy of my dreams and start anew.
After several months (or, let’s be real, a couple years) of disdain with the DC dating scene, I knew I wanted to take a trip to Nashville and see what was out there. I was drinking margs with my friend C one day* and mentioned that I had been looking at flights and Airbnbs. With this, her eyes lit up.
C – I WANT TO GO! I have a guy friend there who we can see! I hate guys in DC!
J – Let’s go!
C – I’ll drive!
J – Drive?!
C – It’ll be fun! You can work from the car!
J – I’m booking an Airbnb!
C – I’m texting my guy friend to make sure he’ll be there!
*How all good ideas begin – this is also what led me to book our Italy trip.
And – just like that – Nashville was planned. We were driving down Friday morning at 4 AM, staying in an apartment in West Nashville by Vanderbilt med school, and leaving Monday morning at 8 AM.
When the weekend finally arrived, we were thrilled. After surviving our road trip we threw our stuff into the Airbnb, split a bottle of champagne while we changed into our going out clothes, and high-tailed it down to Acme Feed & Seed* for dinner.
*Thank you to my Hinge match for the Nashville and Knoxville recommendations, no thank you for adding and messaging me on Facebook when I unmatched you two months later. Who does that?!
We walked into Acme and noticed that it was an ‘order at the counter and take a number’ type of place, which wasn’t exactly what we wanted for our first night in Nashville. We walked up to the second floor to see if there were any spots at the bar, and stopped dead in our tracks when a man grabbed C by both arms.
Man – Hello!
C – Hi?
M – How are you?
C – …do I know you?
She did not, in fact, know him. Random dude – I’ve forgotten his name, but it was something awful like Brad* – had been so stricken by her beauty that he needed to approach us. Hey, whatever gets us free drinks! We took seats at the bar – C and I between Brad and his friend Pat who almost definitely had a family, yet was bankrolling this entire excursion. Ah, investment bankers.
*No offense to Hot Brad, my lover from ACL. You were really, really hot.
The guys ordered us three drinks each, along with just about the entire restaurant worth of food (literally four things from the appetizer menu + the jumbo fruit and cheese board meant to feed 10 people. SOS), and then made their move.
B – Hey, we want to go out – do you ladies want to come with us? We just need to go home to change, I’m wearing shorts and they definitely won’t let me into bars like this.
C – Um, how about you just go change and then meet us out! I’ll give you my number.
B – But we’re staying really close by! It’ll just be a minute. We have some alcohol we can pregame with!
J – We’re not going to your Airbnb. Why don’t you just buy some pants out on Broadway and change while you’re out?
Brad and Pat continued to push their agenda, and finally gave up since C and I were refusing to budge.
J – We’re not meeting those guys out.
C – Yep nope absolutely not.
From Acme we headed to Tequila Cowboy (has there ever been a more perfect bar name?), ordered Coronas and headed to the dance floor. We were once again accosted by a group of guys, led by their ringleader, One-Hand Mike.
OHM – Hey ladies, can y’all go dance on my brother? It’s his Bachelor party.
C – What’s in it for us?
OHM – Ah, a businesswoman! I’ll tell you what, I’ll get you a bucket of beers if you also kiss him on the cheek.
J – We don’t want a bucket. *Staring down at his singular hand* We want one beer each. And we want them first.
One-Hand Mike begrudgingly agreed and headed to the bar, returning with one Corona in his hand and a friend bearing the other beer. They presented them to us, C started dancing with his brother, and I danced with the beer-bringing friend. C and I locked eyes and decided to fuck with them.
C – I’m visiting Nashville from my home in Flat Lick, Kentucky! How about you?
Brother – Oh, I’m also from Kentucky! Where did you go to school?
C – Oh, I never went to college.
B – That must be why you’re so beautiful!
J – I’ve lived in Charleston, South Carolina since I was born.
BBF – Oh, cool. I live in Manhattan.
J – Ah?! The BIG city!!!
The final straw came when a man wearing literal zip-off cargo shorts* started hitting on us, and we ditched to head next door for karaoke at WannaB’s. After our short-lived karaoke career, we retreated home for to heat up Hot Pockets and PTFO.
*Like. The kind that zips off from pants into shorts. Send help and tequila.
About an hour into my slumber, I woke up in a cold sweat. The Airbnb was haunted. I could feel it. We had moved around a bunch of stuffed animals and weird dolls* when we arrived to hide them from our sight, and I could feel them coming for me. This on top of a fairly desolate apartment complex was something not even my blackout could cover, so I spent the rest of the night curled up in the fetal position, scrolling through memes on Instagram. I’m 24, I promise.
*What kind of 26-year-old med student has these??? Please advise.
The next day, C began her plot to hook up with her guy friend, and I was immediately thrown into a panic spiral. I couldn’t even sleep in the haunted apartment when there was someone else there – how would I survive the night alone?! I would surely be killed.
But what if… what if I didn’t have to spend the night alone? The gears in my mind started turning. DING DING DING – all I needed to do was find a guy to go home with! It should be easy enough to find someone at bars, but I should get on Tinder, just in case. As we sat sipping margaritas at the Florida Georgia Line bar, C flirting with her love interest, I tossed back a shot of tequila and started swiping furiously. When we moved on to find Hot Chicken at Hattie B’s, I began messaging my insurance policies.
By the time we made it out to Midtown that evening (post-me touching my eye with hot chicken powder, the lord testing me no doubt) I had two solid prospects. Plan A, however, was still to find a man at bars.
We headed to Losers first which was full of… well, losers (aka bachelorette parties WHO GETS MARRIED ANYMORE ANYWAY), then moved over to Kung Fu. Kung Fu reminded me of any fucking bar in DC, fantastic, except with worse drinks. Our fears were confirmed when a guy (hard 4) approached C.
Guy – Hey, I think I know you!
C – Haha, weird, where from?
G – Do you live in DC? I think we matched on Bumble.
J – BYEEEEEE
I immediately called C and I an Uber to Broadway to meet up at Crazytown with a few of my friends who were also in Nash. As soon as we arrived, C’s guy friend texted to let her know he was heading to Midtown. C called an Uber right back to Midtown, leaving me alone. My game was on.
Fortunately, my other friends are a batshit crazy great time. Unfortunately, they’re a one-drink-per-bar kinda group, which meant I was having trouble nailing down a target. We moved on to FGL, and I talked to a few guys, but none stood out as prospects. It was time to call in the reinforcements. I messaged Guy A and told him to come to FGL.
He arrived, and I spotted him from afar. BALDING. NEXT. I turned my body towards my group and watched him take a lap around the bar out of the corner of my eye as I messaged Guy B and told him to come pick me up. As he texted me that he was on his way, I got a message from Guy A.
A – Hey, J! I’m here – where are you? I looked for a blonde girl in a white shirt and purple skirt, and I found someone who looks like you, but she doesn’t seem to know who I am.
I would never respond.
Guy B showed up shortly later in a vintage sports car, and I hopped in. He was HOT. Great, great job, J. I knew he was a student at Vanderbilt – no shame in a little rob the cradle game – which meant his apartment was conveniently located near our Airbnb. I couldn’t have planned the situation better myself.
Or so I thought.
We talked for a bit and had a nightcap in his apartment, then moved into the bedroom for a little hanky panky. Things were getting hot and heavy when he interjected.
B – Hey, just so you know, this will actually be my first time, not a big deal though.
J – WHAT?!?!?!?!?!
My drunk ass sobered up immediately. This could not be happening.
B – Yeah, I just got out of a 6 year relationship, and the girl was saving herself until marriage. But, like, I’m ready!
J – Oh my god.
I’m so desensitized to weird shit at this point, 2.5 years into writing a dating blog, that I don’t even know what a normal person would have done. Leave, I guess? Roll over? Idk. I was just focused on not returning alone to my haunted Airbnb. So, I did it. I deflowered a man. And my only regret is that I didn’t have a magazine or something to read while he figured his shit out.
In the morning I woke up, he thanked me for my teachings, I thanked him for the lodging, and I made the 1/2 mile walk back to our apartment complex. I immediately passed the fuck out and woke up only when C called me repeatedly to let me know she was on her way back and I needed to open the door.
So there you have it, folks. I may not have found my guitar-playing cowboy, but I sure did find a story. Congrats on becoming a man, B! Hope your ex doesn’t find out about it and come after me!!