Encounter #42.1: Albania

App: Bumble

Name: Brayden*

Date Location: City Bistro – Hoboken, NJ

Location Review:  4.0 Stars – Good ass apps, decent beer selection, feels classy.

Date Duration: 3 hours

What Happened:

What sold Brayden was that he asked me out by suggesting food. Typically, white guys don’t feed me. I don’t know if it’s a thing, but they usually just want to drink. This guy was talking sweet cold cut love to me and I was very interested.

I waited for him to meet me at the train station. I was on the fence if I thought he was cute going in but he seemed to have a personality. He walked up looking better than I thought. Shorter than expected, but we broke even on height so it wasn’t a big deal.

The plan was to race scooters to the bar. Unfortunately as we were signing them out it started pouring and he offered to drive. This was the second time in a week I was getting into a strange man’s car.

He was really cool despite working in sales. We joked the entire time on the ride up and we weirdly had the same taste in music.

When we got to the bar, this guy ordered us a flatbread and TWO orders of wings. Be still my heart. As I cracked into the wings I made some comment like, “Ohhh probably shouldn’t have picked this for a first date food.” He countered with, “Actually, it’s really attractive that you eat.” DON’T MIND IF I DO.

Brayden was insanely interesting. He was Albanian but was raised in north Jersey. His family had to escape Albania and sewed all the money they had into his dad’s pant leg. When his parents got to Italy, they were asked the purpose of their visit. They had been instructed to say tourism but the officer called their bluff. He basically said, “If you’re here for tourism, where’s your money?” Brayden’s mom was basically playing pocket pool trying to pull money out of his dad’s pants but they got scared and went back. His dad hid the mom and the kids in a monastery while he tried to figure everything out and somehow, they made it to Newark, NJ. Fucking insane. Probably one of the most interesting stories I have ever heard.

We got along really well. We watched nearly all the same shows and had the same joke delivery which was really fun. We kept riffing off each other and making the other laugh. We also had weird things in common like both being in church choir growing up just because we liked the people and wanted to sing.

After crushing a shit ton of food, he suggested going to Ben & Jerry’s for dessert. Hot damn. Feed your way into my heart. We were looking at the counter and he kept going in on stoner jokes which was odd since I didn’t lay down that material. After we got our ice cream we were talking and it came out. He still lived in his parents’ basement and smoked a shit ton. Mmm, going to be a no from me dawg. I don’t really care if you smoke but I do care if you live with your mama and that’s all you do in your spare time.

He needed to get something from his office so we stopped there on the way to dropping me off. Inside, there was a guitar. Earlier that night I mentioned how I loved John Denver. He pulled up the chords for “Country Roads” on his phone and we sang together. He had a voice on him and I was shocked. I didn’t think he picked up those weird things I said.

Unfortunately though at some point during the night, I realized that I was in no way sexually attracted to him. Yes, he was cute. Personality was definitely there but I didn’t want to touch him. I just couldn’t picture it and I didn’t want to lead him on.

He said that he would drive me towards Jersey City so if I wanted to grab another drink we could or, he could drop me off. The way he was driving put us a block from my place so I made up some shit about having to help someone in my cohort with an assignment.

He definitely wanted to kiss me. When we pulled up he put his arms up to hug, I did the swerve for the shoulder, and he kissed me on the cheek. He said he’d wait to be sure I made it inside okay. I said something like, “You just want an excuse to stare at my ass.” He came back with, “Haha, well shit I should just kiss you right now for that one.” I was halfway out the car. I countered with, “That’s showbiz, baby!” and shut the door. Crisis averted.

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