Don’t try this at home.
And mom, I’m sorry (again).
*Names have been changed to protect identity
“I know we just met less than 24 hours ago, but do you want to come to Atlanta with me?”
I met Ryan* the night before at a bar in Downtown Orlando. I guess telling people we met off of Tinder was too weird, so
we he decided should anyone ask, for technicality reasons, we would say we met at a bar.
It was a fun first date of bar hopping and getting to know each other. The night ended with a sloppy goodnight kiss and a promise to see each other again soon.
“Yeah, I’ll go with you. My family is up there and my three best friends live up there. Think you can drop me off to them?”
Ryan told me he would, but we would need to leave within the next 30 minutes. I texted him my address and ran around my apartment throwing whatever clean clothes I had into a bag. While packing, the reality of what I was about to do started to set in…
I was really about to go on a road trip with a stranger.
I’ve watched enough news stories and Lifetime movies. This was totally a bad idea. But sometimes you have to say YOLO (You Only Live Once) and throw caution to the wind! Except I didn’t throw ALL my caution out – I packed my rat-tail comb in case dude wanted to try something. He would catch that sharp metal to the neck real quick.
I gave my aunt a quick call to tell her of the bad idea I was about to commit and beg her not to tell my mom. She promises not to tell under the condition that I send her Ryan’s full name, license plate, and text her every hour, on the hour to let her know I was okay.
Ryan calls me to tell me he was outside. I grabbed my bag and purse and headed out to meet him. He gets out of a shiny, Black BMW with red interior seats and opens the door for me. I walk to the back to put my bag in the trunk – he has a paper temporary license plate, meaning that the car is brand-spanking new and also meaning I couldn’t send my aunt his plate number.
I hop in the passenger seat along with my rat-tail comb and snacks for the both of us. It was a long six-hour ride in the rain. We make small talk at first, then he asks if I wanted to watch something on Netflix. I tell him I want to watch ‘Audrie & Daisy’.
“….You want to watch a RAPE DOCUMENTARY? Jay, are you worried? With the way my future career is set up, sweetheart, I can’t afford to hurt you. Nor would I.”
Because I knew exactly what his future career entailed, I felt a little bit more comfortable, but still wanted to watch it. So I watched while he listened and chimed in with his legal opinion.
We were a few hours into the drive and I felt safe. I even dozed off for a while which sounds normal for a road-trip, but not when you’re with a stranger. We talked, and ate snacks. He even pulled over in the middle of a dark back road so we could gaze at the stars through his sunroof for a moment.
Hours later, we were in Atlanta, he dropped me off at my best friend’s house (who cursed me out for taking a road trip with a Tinder Dude) and made me promise that I would see him again before it was time for us to hit the road back to Orlando. And I kept my promise. He took me to a few cool bars to hang out with his friends in “Hotlanta” (I know, no one calls it that anymore, but let this Savannah girl have her moment). On our last day in Atlanta, he even drove me up to Ellijay, Georgia to go apple picking, just because I causally mentioned that I’ve never been fruit picking before.
By the way, the mountains in Northern Georgia were BEAUTIFUL and apple picking was so much fun! Totally a cute, fall thing to do. Ryan happily played my personal photographer, making sure I had plenty of (really good) photos of my first apple picking trip.
After spending a few days in Atlanta together, it was time to head back to Orlando. The trip back wasn’t as awkward as the trip up. Ryan and I even ended up dating for about a month after our Second Date Road Trip. I loved how he would call to tell me “Be dressed in a little black dress and ready in 30 mins, I’m taking you out” and all his random, fun dates. But even with all of that, things fizzled out………Okay, I called it quits. But shout out to Ryan for not killing me and dumping me on the side I-16 and letting me live to tell my tale!
I KNOW I’m not the only one to do something this risky…what strange dates have you been on? I want to know!
Make smarter decisions than I did….