I went to Clarksdale, Mississippi to check out the music scene. I’ve traveled alone in the US and used dating apps to meet locals before, so I tried my luck there. I made plans with a match to come and watch a band at my hotel, and to go to a bar downtown afterward.

First Bar:
I could hear him talking at the bar from the other side of the room. I’m not a naturally loud person and being able to hear someone from that distance made me uncomfortable. He brought a Canadian couple to join us, and he and the man started talking. A man at the next table gestured for him to be quiet, and I told him to keep it down. He started again, so I waved my hand in front of his face and made the “shhh” sign, and suggested we go somewhere else to talk.

Drive, and Restaurant:
I climbed into his truck after he emptied the garbage out of the passenger side. He took sips out of a Red Solo cup as we drove. He dodged potholes and other cars parked on the side of the road on the way and pulled up in front of a restaurant. He introduced me to the owners, who he knew, but high-fived two people he’d only just met as if he’d known them his whole life.

Red's:
We walked to Red's, a proper old “juke joint” with a tiny bar, chairs and tables facing the band, and three guys set up with their instruments on the floor. The lead singer and guitarist are known for their talent, and I loved watching them! We sat at a table with a couple – one Italian, one Colombian – from Chicago. The couple nodded as he told them about his trips to Chicago, his Colombian friend, and when he told the woman off for not clapping loudly enough. He kept slapping people on the shoulder and yelling in their faces. I focused on the band, instead of his half-assed attempts at conversation, and watched him go outside with someone.

Stranded:
I eventually decided to leave and I couldn’t see him when I went out. I called a cab company but they wouldn’t answer. Since he had driven, I had no way to get home. I saw a police car drive past, called the local station, and they agreed to send someone to take me back to my hotel. I texted to ask if he had left, and it started an argument.

While I acknowledge I didn’t engage in conversation the whole time, I think if you want to leave someone – alone – in a place they don’t know, you should tell them. The exchange below has been edited for brevity:

Me: Did you leave the bar?
Him: Yeah you wouldn't even talk to me so good luck
Me: I am stranded in this little town and hey, I didn't want to speak to you while the band was playing. It's rude.
Him: I left an hour ago. And you didn't speak to me while it was just me and you outside. I'm not going to be used. Google jolly cab.
Me: Oh I have and they're not answering. By the way, when a band is playing, you sit and listen.
Him: You were extremely rude stop blaming the band.
Me: I would have driven myself if I'd known you were going to be a child. The police are taking me home so, at least I can take care of myself.
Him: Be a good person next time. Don't try to use me and ignore me and then get mad when I get tired of it.
Me: I wasn't using you or ignoring you. I just didn't want to have you all over me or yelling over the band. You were up and down every two seconds talking and dancing anyway. You could have at least said you were leaving but whatever.
Him: I bought your drinks and dinner, took you everywhere you wanted, got ignored the whole fucking time, dealt with it. Tried my best.
Me: Why should I talk to you when I've come to a bar to listen to music?
Him: There were several times including the walk to the bar and the time smoking that you ignored me. I'm cool with that but don't get mad when I leave.
Me: You don't think that leaving someone who doesn't live here, in a place they don't know, that doesn't have a reliable cab company is maybe a little wrong?
Him: I'm not trying to be a fucking taxi. You don't think using someone is wrong?
Me: I didn't use you at all, I was talking at dinner, in the car. But when a band is playing, I want to listen.
Him: Then say that don't be a rude cunt
Me: I did tell you at the first bar. Everyone else in the bar wanted you to shut up too. Why do you think I wanted to leave?
Him: You can say anything you want to me and tell me anything and we are all good. But I will not be treated like your fucking yankee doorman. We don't have those here.
Me: I did tell you to shut up!
Him: No you never did that's what's wrong. You just started ignoring me.
Me: I did. I waved in front of your face and “shooshed” you at the first band. If no one else is talking why do you have to talk?

Lessons Learned:
1. It isn’t enough for a woman to go on a date with someone. You have to behave according to their expectations at all times.
2. Don’t expect the “nice guy” act to continue when you’ve shown them you can take care of yourself.
3. Don’t ever, for one minute, think you need a man to go with you anywhere, no matter where you are.

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Posted by Justine McNamara

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