Encounter #77.1: Landscaper

App: Tinder

Name: Ethan*

Date Location: Portsmouth Gaslight Company – Portsmouth, NH

Location Review:  4.0 Stars – Always good food and a good time

Date Duration: 6 hours

What Happened:

As soon as we matched on Tinder, Ethan just seemed so fucking fun. He was very high energy and it didn’t take long for him to ask me out. Only problem was I was going to be on vacation for a week so it was going to be a minute until we could see each other.

He kept up with texting me and all that in the week leading up and conversation over text was good. Nothing too spicy, always asked how my day was, and we would dick around here and there. As we got closer to the date it did seem like he was legitimately planning something so that was nice.

Going in, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. He looked shorter in his pics but he did look cute. (He also did look a touch fratty but it was confirmed that he did not do the Greek life back in the day.) He was definitely into sports and shit so that’s always a toss up. Was he a bro or did he just like bro things?

He beat me to the restaurant and I was pleasantly surprised that when he stood up he was taller than me. Ka. Chow. He was also cuter in person. He had really big eyes, dark hair, and some full lips that I thoroughly planned on making out with later.

Conversation overall was decent. There were a few silences but nothing all that concerning. He seemed to have a decent head on his shoulders. He worked full time as a landscaper and had a good relationship with his mom. All in all not bad.

I was just so excited he fed me that when he asked if I wanted to keep hanging and get a drink on the water I was dumbfounded. WTF is this? A guy wanting to take me out like a person? Weird. But that’s on my NYC trauma.

We just kept chatting away and when we finished he still wanted to hang out so we walked to a park that was on the water. We stood at the water’s edge and I kept making the eyes. There would be small breaks in conversation and I was just WAITING for him to make the move. I suggested we park our asses on the bench behind us and he immediately put his arm around me. Good, good. This is progress.

Within moments we kissed and it was fucking good. Like full make out for minutes straight off that first move. If we weren’t in a public park, things definitely would have happened. I may have given an over the pants hand job and he definitely got all up in my chest. Wasn’t mad.

He did ask me to go home with him which I declined and he was cool about. Tbh, that just made him hotter since he passed the Gobstopper Test. We spent the rest of the night chatting, making out, and trying to avoid anyone seeing us sucking major face.

We covered quite the ground between make outs. To start, our strip club experiences. Then we went into art and how we like to buy when we travel. Then it came out that I wear gps tracking jewelry when I go out in case shit goes haywire and I need to let my friends know. And we rounded it out with if he’s an ass or tits guy to which he responded, “Tits are AIDS”.

It was late and he walked me back to my car holding my hand the whole way. I then fucking embarrassed myself because it took me an oddly long time to find my damn car. Once we found it we made out more and I was on my way. To my surprise, he texted me that night saying he had fun and then asked to see me again. Not too shabby.

Encounter #75.2: Shmeh

App: Bumble

Name: Marty*

Date Location:  Pipe Dream Brewing & Mel’s Funway Park – Londonderry & Litchfield, NH

Location Review:  3.5 Stars – It’s decent. I like tacky ass theme golf so Mel’s doesn’t quite deliver on that but still a solid mini course.

4.0 Stars – Good vibes. Good beer.

Date Duration: 4 hours

What Happened:

Marty and I had a decent enough time when we went out the first time so even though I wasn’t 100% sold and into him, figured it was worth giving him another shot. He was golfing in my area of the state so we decided to get a few beers when he wrapped.

I wish I had more for you but really it was just meh. We kinda just covered the same things we talked about during our first date. We were talking trash about each other’s golf games though and he brought up going to Mel’s for some mini golf.

Game was fine. We kept dicking around and things got slightly more flirtatious but nothing too exciting. He touched my lower back and that’s about it.

When we left he did make a comment that our dates were getting expensive and it was like $60 every time we went out. Here’s the thing. I really don’t care how much money a guy has. BUT if you can’t afford to do something, don’t ask me to do it with you. We didn’t have to go golfing. We didn’t even have to get beers. We could have grabbed coffee and gone for a walk. That one is on you Marty.

Later that night he asked me if I’d come over and watch a movie. Declined that invite. In the following days sent the text saying “You’re great but not for me” and he felt the same. We never spoke again.

Encounter # 75.1: Shmeh

App: Bumble

Name: Marty*

Date Location: El Rincon & Bonfire – Manchester, NH

Location Review:  3.0 Stars – Meh. Service was slow and it wasn’t anything special to ride home about. For NH I guess it’s fine.

2.5 Stars – It’s aight. If you really like country, you’ll probably like it but during the week it’s quiet. Does have live music on weekends that’s not bad though.

Date Duration: 4 hours

What Happened:

Marty and I talked on Bumble awhile back, he ended up meeting someone, and let me know. Well apparently that didn’t work out because he messaged me about a month or so after that.

Talking to him was easy and it wasn’t long until he asked me out for tacos and margs. Overall, the date was fine. The server did take like 20 minutes to get our drink order so there was a lot of awkward silence that could have been made easier with some booze.

Once we got some alcohol things were easier conversation wise. He was working with his dad in his father’s carpet cleaning business but was going to go to physical therapy school in the fall so he had goals. Did think it was kinda weird though that he still lived with his parents and wasn’t all that pressed to get out. If he wasn’t going to school I’m really not sure if he would have left tbh.

We managed to get a banter going and he asked if I wanted to keep hanging out. We moved to another bar and kept chit chatting. Really, nothing interesting. I would say weird shit just to see how he’d react and every time I did it he’d just chuckle a little so not an awful time on my part.

He walked me to my car and to my surprise, kissed me good night. No make out or anything. Just a perfectly respectable kiss with a slight hand hold. At this point in time I was trying a new thing that if I had a nice time, I would give the guy a second chance. So when he asked me to go out again, I agreed.

Encounter #73.2: Home Team

App: Tinder

Name: Owen*

Date Location: Murphy’s Taproom – Manchester, NH

Location Review:  3.5 Stars – I’ve been a few times over the years and it’s fine. The deck is really nice though.

Date Duration: 3.5 hours

What Happened:

Owen asked me out for a second date the next morning after our first. This further confirmed to my anxious ass that he was into me. Cool. This was new.

We made plans to get lunch the day after a holiday. Going in, I was kind of shocked. We both liked to drink so lunch after a day of guzzling beer was a flex. The next morning I asked what time he wanted to meet up so I could dry out my hair. We ended up pushing back until 5 that evening.

Honestly, there wasn’t too much to say about the date itself. What I liked about Owen was that he genuinely listened to what I had to say. We were talking about something in higher education and he was fully present and let me nerd out. We just kept talking about any and everything and it was really easy to connect.

At one point we talked about red flags we ignored but plowed through anyways. I said a guy tried to hook up with me while I was actively having a nervous breakdown. Apparently that was pretty fucked up in his eyes. I knew my shit related to relationships wasn’t great. I’ve allowed a lot of things that I’m not proud of. But it was an eye opening experience having someone, especially a man, see how it was wrong and be able to empathize.

He worked a weird shift so we had to call it after a few hours. He walked me to my car and then it happened. He did the look and with no hesitation, he went for it. We made out for a solid 5 minutes in the middle of the parking lot in daylight no less. Between make outs he asked if I wanted to go back with him which I declined and he was completely cool with. Instead we solidified that we would go out again when he got back from traveling in the coming weeks. With a smack on the ass, he sent me on my way.

Encounter #73.1: Home Team

App: Tinder

Name: Owen*

Date Location: Thirsty Moose Taphouse & McGarvey’s – Manchester, NH

Location Review:  3.5 Stars – I like Thirsty Moose for just getting a beer since they have so many options but it’s nothing too too special

5.0 Stars – As someone with no taste or class, I fucking love McGarvey’s. You never leave without a story.

Date Duration: 6 hours

What Happened:

I have come to find out I have a type and apparently it’s people I know from home who graduated in the class before me. We all have our things…mine is just niche AF.

One night while swiping on ye olde Tinder, I came across Owen. I had seen him on Tinder before during one of the 1000 times I was single back home and I always swiped right. Did I ever have a conversation with him in high school? No. Did I remember I thought he was hot and had a nice family? Yes. Fuck it, I got no shame. After years of failed swipe attempts, we matched.

The lead up to this date took some time. We actually matched on Bumble as well so I sent him the “Ah so we meet again, Catwoman” gif to which he never responded. This did prompt him to reignite our convo on Tinder where he told me he couldn’t place me when we matched on Bumble. I mean I thought it was a good gif and our initial convo on Tinder was fairly memorable BUT I GUESS NOT.

We were chit chatting on the app and eventually the “Where are you from?” convo happened. I played dumb as shit. “Oh you’re from where? When did you graduate? Oh that’s why I don’t know you. Small world!” It was a lie. I knew exactly who this kid was.

After much anticipation (mostly on my part) we agreed on drinks. Actually the day of the date he ended up friending me on Facebook so you know my ass panicked about this smut so I put him, and anyone I thought he was friends with, on a restricted friends list. Did not want this shit coming up off that bat. Although at first it was a little creepy that he found my Facebook, he did clarify that Tinder wasn’t working and all he searched was my first name and where I went to college. A little murdery but fuck it. I asked that if he was going to kill me to just make sure I wasn’t found for a few days so I’d look thinner.

He beat me to the bar and once I saw him he looked different from how I remembered him but also exactly the same. The face and build was the same but now he had a whole sleeve of tattoos which I just didn’t expect. Wasn’t mad about it though. Shit looked good on him.

We took a spot at the bar and got to chatting. The upside to being from the same hometown was that we had a lot to talk about. We knew the same people but also were in very different crowds so we got to fill in the details on those different high school experiences.

The downside of being from the same hometown was also that we knew the same people. I forget how it came up but he worked at the same restaurant my high school boyfriend’s family worked at so we may have spent 15 minutes talking about how much we loved my ex’s mom. Later on, it became pretty clear that his close friends are also friends with another ex I have from my hometown. So that fun little detail of who I dated came out. Fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Fortunately, Owen was cool about it and didn’t seem weirded out. We did talk about how much we loved that guy’s mom too though. (I didn’t mention the third one from his graduating class I dated. Figured we covered enough of my townie dating life for one night).

Owen was cool as shit though. He was very smart which also made him witty as hell and my flavor of funny. From what I could tell, he had a fairly normal home life and only said nice things about his family. It seemed like he was close with his siblings and that they genuinely enjoyed spending time together. I still don’t quite understand what he did for work but it appeared to provide stable income so that’s always nice to see.

As usual, I couldn’t tell whatsoever if he liked me or not. At one point his knee touched mine. I pulled mine away for a bit then put it back so we were touching again. He didn’t pull away. Interesting. The bar closed earlier than we expected so he asked if I wanted to go back to his place for a drink or go somewhere else. It was at that moment I began to think he may have been into me.

I was trying this new thing where I wasn’t being a whore (shocker), so we went to another bar a few blocks down. We grabbed a table and we just kept dicking around and chatting it up. I made some comment about how I should have tried to get more free drinks when I was in my prime. He came back with, “What do you mean in your prime? You’re in your prime now. No, seriously. You’re very beautiful. Don’t sell yourself short.” <Insert wide-eyed emoji> It was such a nice and kind compliment especially considering that we walked over in the rain so I kinda looked like a sewer rat. But truthfully, I hadn’t heard the words “You’re beautiful” in years or possibly ever from a man. It’s always “You’re cute” or “You look hot” and in that moment I felt like a person and not just a sex object for once. Take note, boys. Words count.

We closed that bar down too so it was time to head home. (This was after a man with face tattoos attempted to talk to me through Owen and then a fight between face tattoos and some rando almost broke out behind us while we were closing out). He offered to drive me the 1 block to my car but I declined since it was such a short walk. (Looking back, I was being an idiot and I should have gotten into the damn car). He then asked if he could get my number. We pulled to the side and he dropped his digits in my phone. I kept staring him down. I had fun, had downed 5 beers, and there were no face masks. Your girl was ready. We hugged. And then I kept staring him down again and we were both stalling. I felt it. He was doing it too. Nothing.

We texted that night when I got home and the next morning he asked me out again a few days later. I didn’t know what to expect from Owen but, I had a genuinely nice time. There was chemistry but not in the toxic, intense way I was used to and I was so curious to see how it would pan out.

The EMT Zombie: UPDATE

Name: Gary*

Recap:

Several years ago I passed out and the EMT who came to check on me was quite attractive. So good looking that when I regained consciousness the first thing I blurted out was, “You’re really attractive”. We had a weird flirtation in the month or so after we met, then on and off for about a year or so, and we hadn’t spoken since.

UPDATE:

While being back in NH, my friend and I went to a bar and as girls do, we posted it on our IG stories. Nothing crazy, just a pic of the beer and the location. No tits. Nothing. Boy slid into the DMs with “Hanging out in my city I see“. Hmmm v curious.

I didn’t quite know his life situation so I called his bluff and invited him out with us. After all, the last time I saw him in person I was in the back of an ambulance while I sat in my embarrassment. While we waited for him to make it to the bar we creeped his social media and holy shit, dude was not only married. Gary had a baby on the way. FML.

At that point there was nothing we could do but sit there and wait to see how this shit played out. Gary rolled up and he looked mostly how I remembered him. Gotta be honest, the uniform definitely made him look hotter but he wasn’t terrible in plain clothes. Would equate it to a dog walking on its hind legs. Not bad but definitely different.

He took the seat next to me and we got chatting away. It had been 4 years so we had a lot to catch up on. The whole time though I couldn’t gauge if this was just a friends thing or if it was more than that. At one point my friend got up to go to the bathroom and while she was gone he went in with the, “You look really good by the way. Seriously”…shit. Okay, guess this was more than I thought it was.

When my friend came back he proceeded to tell her the story of how we met and we pinpointed that it happened right when he was in the midst of divorce with his first wife. Then he was bold and segwayed to my relationship status with, “So I remember you were seeing someone awhile back. How did that go?” I SEE YOU GARY. I gave the shortest of short versions and then asked him the same. That was when he finally revealed that he was married and had a baby on the way. Casual.

He left after about an hour or so since he had somewhere to be but, my friend and I were dumbfounded by the whole thing. I didn’t pick up on it but, she noticed that he hid his hand under the table the whole time so we couldn’t see his wedding ring. Whether not not that was intentional, we’ll never really know but it was sus.

Despite me roasting his ass the whole time for his lack of condom use, he still wanted to hang out again and met us at the bar we were at later that day. Nothing happened. The only interesting things were that he occasionally tapped my leg and mentioned I was pretty so I should be able to find a rich guy. Kinda flirtatious but also in theory, that could have been just out of friendship.

TBD, I still have no idea wtf happened. Based on timing though, I will say manifestation is more powerful than we think. Nearly every day that month I had the mantra, “I don’t chase, I attract. What belongs to me will find me” and apparently that meant some married guy with a baby rather than me being married with a baby. Universe, do better.

Encounter #68.1: Oh my Darling

App: Tinder

Name: Harry*

Date Location: The Hammer & Portsmouth Brewery – New Hampshire

Location Review: 4.5 stars – The Hammer fucking slaps. It’s kind of a dive but that’s what makes it amazing. Food is good too.

4.0 Stars – I’ve never had a bad meal or drink at Portsmouth Brewery. Sandwiches are good and the beer selection is on point.

Date Duration: 5 hours

What Happened:

One night while visiting a friend we got the bright idea to project my phone onto her tv so we could do Tinder live. Since I hadn’t opened my account in weeks, we had a lot of sifting to do from the last time it was active. Earlier that month, she and I had travelled and fired up ye ole Tinder to get some restaurant recs and see what kind of men live in the mountains. Harry happened to be one of those men.

As soon as we matched, the conversation started flowing. He just got a job in Boston and worked remote at his family’s cabin up north which is how we ended up matching in the first place. He was originally from Delaware which as a former Marylander, made me so happy. (Also has seen Joe Biden multiple times). He was very well educated and clearly very smart. The kid got into the Naval Academy way back when. Also was in band in high school, played rugby, brewed his own beer, and was an RA in college. Even though he looked like every douchey Maryland bro in his photos, he kept breaking the stereotype.

We moved to text and although we weren’t texting all day every day, our texts looked like fucking essays. No joke, it would take over 45 minutes to respond to them and we did like 4-5 text dumps a day leading up to the date.

He offered to drive 3+ hours to meet me down state which was a new one. I could never get a guy from Manhattan to meet me in NJ so this was one for the books.

Leading up to the date, I was a nervous wreck. In my mind, this was the championship game and I fucking got in on a technicality. Fucking up was not an option. This led me to going to the mall at least 4 times in 24 hours to make sure I had the perfect outfit, tweezing my Frida Kahlo eyebrows that hadn’t been touched in months, and shitting my goddamn brains out from nerves.

He walked up to the bar and from what I could tell with a face mask on, he was cute. VERY tall. The bar we wanted to try was packed so we walked around and chit chatted for a bit before settling on something.

He made a point to open doors for me which was very refreshing. Plus, when he took his mask and parka off, I was pleasantly surprised that he looked like his photos and that he was a little thicc. Not heavy by any means but as someone who had very much gained the COVID-19 (okay, 25), it made me feel a lot more comfortable.

Off the bat, it was obvious that he lived on the west coast for awhile. He spoke a lot slower than I did and his voice was a lot more chill. My northeast ass had to adjust. Overall, conversation was fine. Tbh had no idea if he was into me. I kept staring at his eyes trying to see if his pupils were dilating to get some hint of his vibe. The only noteworthy thing was when we were talking about dating profiles and how certain interests are not personality traits. (Ex: Liking The Office, brunch, yoga, fishing, craft beer, whiskey, petting dogs, etc.) He made some comment like, “Well you clearly have A LOT of personality”…Thanks? I think that was a compliment? I’m going to say it was a compliment. After a few beers and a sandwich (that he paid for) we decided to walk around a bit before finding another place.

The walk was nice and at this point I was feeling loose so was really hoping he’d go for the hand but nothing happened. We walked along the water and I can 100% guarantee that I was talking about magicians.

We made it to the second bar and the conversation continued. It felt a lot drier than it did over text which was disappointing and the conversation never really shifted from him. He had decent stories and all that but it would have been nice if he asked me some questions here and there.

We had been together for 5 or so hours and he had a long drive back so it was time to call it a night. I will say, I was surprised how it ended. So we went outside and did the “Alright, well I parked there” thing. I still had no idea if he liked me. Did he just spend the day with me because he hasn’t seen a woman in months or did we have chemistry? We hugged and he went in his direction and I in mine. Considering I had downed 3-4 beers I was really disappointed. Was kinda hoping he’d walk me back to my car and kiss me. I get that COVID complicates that but, since he was such a gentleman the rest of the time I was surprised he didn’t at least walk with me to my car.

Later that night I got a text that said he had a lot of fun and wanted to do it again sometime. I was down. I mean I didn’t get that thunderbolt of a spark but I wanted to try a new approach. There were no major red flags and overall our time was nice so I didn’t have a reason to cut it off yet.

We texted very briefly and he didn’t ask me anything so I never answered his last message. We never spoke again.

Encounter #67.1: Mountain Man

App: Tinder

Name: Daniel*

Date Location: Littleton Freehouse Taproom & Eatery – New Hampshire

Location Review:  4.0 StarsFor the area, this place is really cool. Decent beer selection and the snacks we had were good. Would want to check it out again in non-COVID times

Date Duration: 2 hours

What Happened:

During COVID, my friend and I would travel to random places in New England for the weekend for changes in scenery. One weekend we found ourselves up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Curious to see what kind of people live up there, we fired up ye olde Tinder.

I quickly matched with a mountain man who sent us decent beer and restaurant recommendations. Also asked for photos of me in a swimsuit right off the bat…that was the first red flag. Please note this was after he said there are no cute girls in the mountains. I mean if that’s your strategy to get one, I can see how it hasn’t worked out.

While we were out at the bar my friend and I figured, “Fuck it. Let’s invite him.” Our boy Daniel pulled through and we made our way to the table. I want to note by we I mean me, my friend, and this random dude. My friend was about to watch me actively on a date.

Daniel was cool. Very well travelled and into all things outdoors. Really, this guy was going to do a 10-mile hike the next morning in the snow. Overall, it was a decent time. He did not pay for my $8 beer though which put me off slightly.

When my friend and I left the bar we had nice things to say about Daniel and it was nice to hear that I am not as weird on dates as I sometimes think. We joked about how funny it would be if Daniel and I got married and I became a mountain lady.

Well that dream quickly got squashed when he basically asked me to blow him in a car later that night. I declined.