Context: I matched with ‘Nachos’ on Tinder, where his bio highlighted that he was a) 6’1 and b) on a mission to find the best nachos in DC. Tall guys and Mexican food? Count me in! After I expressed interest, he sent me a list of esteemed nacho establishments to choose from, and I chose American Ice Company on U Street. We agreed to meet there on a Thursday night after work.
I would like to preface this post with the following: I wanted to make the post title “The time I feared for my life,” but that one already exists. Good, Tinder. Good.
5:30 PM – Leave client site. Heave nineteen heavy sighs of relief. Realize that the only things I’ve eaten all day are lettuce and brownies. Evaluate my life choices. Eat another brownie.
5:45 – Arrive at Starbucks. Examine pastry case. OMG IS THAT A BROWNIE.
5:46 – Slap self. Order black coffee.
5:49 – Sit down between two hobos. Open my work laptop with the intention of getting work done. Browse brownie recipes on Pinterest for 20 minutes. Feel judgmental stares and hot breath from hobos down my back.
6:10 – Bathroom. Send selfie snapchat to twenty-seven friends and tangential acquaintances, caption “Tinder Date #937856.” Receive zero responses. Excellent ego boost.
6:20 – Text my date from the green line.
J – If I’m more than five minutes late, I’ve been taken by the homeless man staring at me.
N – Whatever you do, DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT.
J – It will be the last thing I do. Literally.
6:30 – Not taken by hobo. Good start. Arrive at American Ice Company. Scan my surroundings. High probability of murder. Where my date at?
6:32 – Text from date.
N – Hey, traffic was really bad leaving work, but I’m on the metro now and I’ll be there in 15 minutes!
J – Oh, haha, totally fine!!! Even though I was right on time and will probably get murdered standing here and also it’s 10 degrees!!!!
6:33 – Snapchat story time. Video of my surroundings. 104 views. One response.
Friend – If you get murdered, I’m keeping the beer mug you forgot to grab from me.
I need that mug. My will to survive is restored. Hands ball into fists, teeth lengthen, hair sprouts from ears. Full moon emerges. Howl.
6:45 – Date arrives. Not as cute as his pictures. Repress a sob, think of the nachos, and follow him into the establishment.
The Scene: Hipsters wearing name tags. Drinks out of mason jars. Loud. Dim. Great for eating nachos. Terrible date environment.
6:46 – Settle into booth. Waiter arrives immediately.
Waiter – Sup duuuudes what do you, like, want?
J – Are you high right now?
W – Haha fuck yeaaaaah
N – Solid, homie. We’ll have the nachos, and I want this super basic frat beer.
J – I want this super basic girl beer!
W – Naw, we out because 99% of our clientele is basic girls tryna be hip. They frontin.
J – *Plays eenie-meenie-minie-moe with beer menu, selects IPA at random, prays to not be poisoned*
6:47 – Beers arrive.
6:47.30 – Nachos arrive.
J – Wow, that was fast. *Eats nacho*
J – HOLY HELL THESE BITCHES ARE GOOD
N – OH SHIT YOU RIGHT
6:51 – I realize I’m not on a date with the nachos. Conversation resumes.
6:55 – I friendzone my date and start telling him about my ex-boyfriends.
7:05 – Seriously curious about these nametags, I ask my date what he thinks they’re for.
N – Hey, waiter, why are all these people in flannels and skinny jeans wearing their names on their chests?
W – There’s a big bluegrass festival at the 9:30 club and friends of the bands are pregaming here! Pretty radical.
N+J – Ohhhhhhh
W – I have two extra tickets if you want them!
N+J – *perfect unison* NAW WE GOOD
7:20 – Order 2nd beer. My date orders a PBR. I shoot daggers at him with my eyes.
N – Pabst Blue Ribbon was my favorite beer in college. My fraternity was known for BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH (at this point I re-entered a daydream about the nachos we just finished and pray to multiple deities that they will reappear in front of me).
7:55 – I accept the nachos’ untimely demise and cease my prayers. RIP, my friends, you will be missed.
8:50 – I slip off to the bathroom. When I return, the check has been paid. WHAT IS THIS MAGIC.
9:00 – Walk with date to Metro. Avoid awkward attempts at hand-holding by clapping and exclaiming ‘I’M COLD LET’S SPRINT!’
9:06 – Metro arrives. Board. Sit with hands under my butt to avoid continued awkward attempts at hand-holding. Revisit our previous conversation about my ex-boyfriends. Try to shed a tear for dramatic effect. Fail.
9:08 – HERE’S WHERE SHIT GETS REAAAAAL. I notice, as we pull into the Columbia Heights station, that we are going the wrong way. We are, in fact, heading directly into THE HOOD. Must escape.
J – We’re going the wrong way. We need to switch sides.
N – Shit, you’re right! *SPRINTS OFF CAR*
J – *Follows N*
Doors – LOL NO BITCH WE CLOSING
N – *mouths sorry*
J – *Sinks to floor, life flashing before my eyes, with full understanding that I will die tonight.*
9:12 – Arrive at Georgia Ave/Petworth station, aka THE GHETTO. Slink off car to the other side of the platform. 7 minutes to next train. I’m going to die here.
9:12.25 – Consider leaving and calling Uber. Remember boy I used to date telling me to never leave this Metro station without an escort who has studied MMA. Shrink to the floor in tears.
9:13 – Witness drug deal.
9:15 – Ohhhh, so THAT’S how you do heroin.
9:16 – Witness fight.
9:16.75 – Ooh, that looked like it hurt.
9:19 – TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN AM I ALIVE YES I AM TRAIN!!!
9:35 – L’Enfant Plaza. Transfer time. Call L.
J – L ARE YOU HOME *hiccup, sob*
L – In a cab from the airport… you ok?
J – NO I’M CRYING IN THE METRO WHAT DO YOU MEAN AM I OK?!
L – I’ll be home in 15 minutes…?
J – TELL MY FAMILY THAT I LOVE THEM. AND MY BROTHER DOESN’T GET MY CAR.
9:40 – Text from date.
N – Hey you alive?
J Brain – BARELY, YOU INSENSITIVE PRICK!!!
J – Haha, yep! On a train to good ol Clarendon!
N – Anyway, I had a great time, let’s hang out again soon!
J – *Silence*
9:55 – Arrive home. Cry in L’s arms. Drink wine. Drink more wine. Eat deli turkey. Cry again. Treat L like she is eucalyptus, and I am a koala.
L – I have to go to bed now.
J – I love you. Please never leave me alone again. I love you.
Moral of the story: Trust no one. Only nachos.