One of my absolute favorite kind of dates are the concert dates I go on with my best friend. The two of us always have a total blast, so why wouldn’t we buy tickets to the upcoming Sam Hunt concert while sitting on the lawn between sets at the One Republic show? Knowing her fiancé would also want to see Sam and figuring I could find someone to be my plus one over the next six weeks, we purchased 4 tickets. Boom, next concert: booked.
So I’m sitting around on a break one day swiping through Bumble. Don’t you love how every time you hear from me I’m on a new dating app? Do we think it’s desperate, adventurous, or expanding horizons/possibilities? Maybe it’s all of the above.
Yikes – definitely left.
I winced in mental and emotional anguish as I reviewed my options (or lack thereof) and sighed, swiping one last time before putting down my phone.
I sat up a bit straighter and literally laughed out loud because I actually knew the person smiling back at me in the next profile picture. It was an old friend from college! We had lived in the same apartment building and partied on the rooftop pool deck for 2 summers with 50 of our closest friends. I didn’t really know him that well, but he was cute, super smart, and always the life of the party. We went to school over 400 miles from where I live now … and we’re both currently living outside the same city? I definitely wouldn’t mind reconnecting with this one.
A couple of hours later I received a notification that we’d mutually swiped each other. Rather than sending messages on the app we just exchanged phone numbers and then a few texts. We went through the standard it’s-been-almost-ten-years-what’s-up type of conversation/interview: Where do you live now? Where are you working? We should definitely met up soon, etc.
Since purchasing our concert tickets to Sam Hunt, another couple had decided to join our group of three and my imaginary date. I had gone from potential third wheel to potential fifth wheel. Joy. Rapture. I needed to find someone to come with me like yesterday to avoid drowning my single sorrows in an abundance of Fireball airplane bottles which would be smuggled into the venue via my bra.
The next time I chatted with my old neighbor we made two different sets of tentative plans, and I was looking forward to making either or both happen. When the first plan fell through without so much as a “hey, sorry, can’t make it” text, I brushed it off. Like I said, the plans were tentative … too bad, so sad, oh well. That probably should have tipped me off – instead I gave it the old college try and attempted to make plans again.
Me: Are you free on such and such day? I am fifth wheeling to Sam Hunt and already have my plus one ticket … doesn’t have to be “datey” … but would you be interested in going?
Him: Super interested … I have to figure out a few things, A good friend is moving away and that might be the date of the going away party. Need to confirm. Going to that show would be awesome. As long as my friends aren’t having a thing I am in.
Hooray! I was excited that we’d not only get to hang out but that it would be in a fun, no-pressure setting. I also felt relieved that I was close to dodging the dreaded fifth wheel bullet. Regardless of whether there was any kind of spark whatsoever, I remembered him as being outgoing and energetic – it would be a fun night. I crossed my fingers that whomever was “going away” wasn’t doing it that night and waited for a final answer.
Two weeks went by and I heard nothing from him at all. I have this problem with knowing when it’s okay to follow up. I am always worried I will come off as annoying or clingy or whatever so instead I endure the agonizing interlude.
At this point, not only am I disappointed to have fallen completely off his radar, but I’m also worried I’ll be bringing my cat to this fucking concert. It’s not like I could have contingently invited someone else (no one wants to be a backup-buffer-buddy) and I hadn’t really wanted to anyway.
Three days before the concert (um, hello?!) I decide it’s acceptable to send my very casual (I totally had a bruised ego), not at all annoyed (I was definitely kind of annoyed) follow up. I sent it after work and didn’t hear back until the following morning.
Me: Just wanted to check in and see if you figured out your weekend? Sam is wondering if you’ll be at his show.
Him: Hey hey! Yes. In. Do you have tix already? Where? I have a friend interested in coming. Is that cool? I am sure I can get another ticket somewhere and figure it out. How are you getting there?
Me: Oh awesome! Well, we were gonna all ride in my buddy’s Suburban but it only seats six. [blah blah blah] Who’s your friend?
I stared at my phone skeptically. Friend? What kind of fuckery is this?
Being the accommodating idiot I am, I started kicking around explanations in my head … hey, we’re going with four other people he doesn’t know … maybe one of his buddies is in town again like the last time our plans fell through … maybe this, maybe that, maybe anything but what I know it is? I decided some light Facebook stalking was now appropriate. I mean, we were connected prior to the whole bumbling Bumble incident anyway. That’s allowed.
My heart sank. I didn’t even have to scroll to stalk. The latest post on his wall was a collage of photos with a cute girl – very cute – chronicling their skydiving adventure the week prior. His arm was around her shoulder in one picture, a close up beer cheers in another, and her body language said what I already knew before checking his profile.
Defeated (and still annoyed), I reported back to my BFF what I had discovered and the eminent conversation that was to follow. She, of course, did her best to help me make sense of the miscommunication and promptly decided he was “shady as fuck.”
He confirmed his skydiving partner in crime was the friend he wanted to bring along. I wanted to scream. Did the fact that we reconnected on a dating website slip his mind? Did he forget that I said I had a ticket for a plus one? Did fifth wheeling not make it clear that I was going with two other couples?
Stunned and trying to make light of the awkward situation, I jokingly asked if I was now a seventh wheel.
“No ha! It’s one giant tandem bike!”
AREN’T TANDEM BIKES TYPICALLY FOR TWO?!
Don’t get me wrong. I was not at all emotionally invested in anything here. I was just so frustrated I wanted to throw my phone onto the slate floor. Having just replaced it due to a cracked screen (while fumbling, not Bumbling), I decided against it. Even with the Otter Box, I couldn’t risk another $200 replacement charge. Again.
I calmly pointed out the miscommunication, and clarified that my “not datey” comment was meant as in no need to rush into things, no pressure, let’s hang etc, etc. He quickly apologized and explained that he took “not datey” as “totally buddies hanging out” and since I was already going with a bunch of people “the more the merrier.” In my attempt to be casual and noncommittal, I apparently came of as uninterested in being more than a neighbor. Adding further insult to injury, he offered to pay for the ticket if no one used it. An unnecessarily nice gesture. Now he’s cute, smart, funny and nice. UGH.
He’s not a bad guy. He’s not a “douche,” “fuckhead,” “complete and utter moron,” or any of the other descriptors my extremely supportive friends instantly hurled in his direction. Maybe he’s not too quick on the uptake, but maybe I also need to construct my conversations with men similarly to a marquee.
You win again, Spinsterhood. You win.
Sometimes the best pick-me-up plates involve no cooking at all – and obviously wine. One of my favorite wineries also happens to carry delicious munchies, so it’s a one-stop-shop for me. Bonus: if you buy three food items you get a snack basket discount. AW, YEA.
My favorite combination when feeling either high or low is Bellavitano New Glarus Raspberry Tart Cheese, Volpi Herbes De Provence Salami, and a freshly baked baguette. Don’t forget the bottle of 2014 Petit Verdot that won a Gold in the 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition – or maybe the Full Nelson Port if you’re feeling frisky.
Oh, fuck it. Get both.
Casanel Vineyards & Winery, 17956 Canby Rd, Leesburg, VA 20175
From the Website: “Established in October of 2008, Casanel Vineyards and Winery is a family-owned and operated business. Our main focus centers on our passion not only for grape-growing, but also for winemaking, emphasized in the way we produce our small lot, craft wines. Our unique terroir, located in the heart of the Middleburg AVA in Leesburg, Virginia, provides us with the perfect setting to achieve our exclusive winemaking style and flavors. The family, along with our stellar vineyard and cellar team, work together each and every year to capture the best expression of our terroir and enthusiasm for winemaking excellence. Each grape is nurtured on the vine, artfully crafted in our cellar, and then finally hand-bottled and hand-labeled before our wine makes its way to your glass. We pride ourselves on providing a truly unique experience in our tasting room, one that is reflected in our quiet, adult ambiance, tranquil setting amidst the Catoctin ridge, and educational approach to tastings. Passion, quality, and attention to detail make our wines a perfect pour, every time.”
Facebook Rating: 4.6/5