I have an extreme love/hate relationship with Baltimore. I seem to romanticize the city quite a bit, but that might be because of the fact that my romantic life peaked while I was living there. I am not sure if it was ever quite home, but it holds a lot of my best friends and some of the fondest memories my little brain can hold onto. The only thing I ever really hated about living in Baltimore was the fact that I made absolutely zero dollars. I worked two jobs, but still ended up barely getting by. Due to my excessively modest means, I had to find highly ingenuitive ways to go out on dates.
My Baltimore timeline was roughly from August of 2001 through April of 2004. During that time, I could never afford a car, so I never felt a need to have a driver’s license. While living in the city, I really got into biking. It was the best mode of transportation, as well as allowing me to shed a little bit of the relationship weight that I had put on from living in New York City. The best part of having a bike as my primary means of transportation is that I felt amazing while getting from point A to point B. The downside was that, unless I had owned a tandem bicycle, my options were extremely limited on how I could go out on dates.
Due to both not having a car and money, one might imagine that my dating life suffered greatly. Thanks to these simple constraints, I did find what I believed at the time to be the ideal date. You could walk from my house to the Baltimore Aquarium in about an hour; on Friday nights, it was only $5 to get in, and if you came back the correct way, you could eat grilled cheese and fries for another $5. That meant that collectively, the entire date would cost about $20. When these situations aligned themselves properly, magic ensued. This particular date was one of my favorites to take people on because not only did it show that I was somewhat resourceful, but also because if it went optimally I knew of an awesome spot to make out while overlooking the city.
I have made numerous blunders in life regarding the female persuasion, and have put my foot in my mouth more times than I would like to admit, but if we can agree that actions speak louder than words, this particular screw up could be viewed as quite a raucous disaster. I had met someone at a show and we had hit it off, so I got her number. We continued to talk regularly, but since she happened to live outside of the city, we didn’t actually get to go out on a date for a couple of weeks. Finally, it was time for the big date to happen. I was really excited because I thoroughly enjoyed talking to this lady, but since about a month had passed, and I had went out on a couple of very unfulfilling dates in the interim, I may or may not have totally forgotten what she looked like. Since this was a time before camera phones were prevalent, I couldn’t just ask her to send me a selfie, which would have easily solved all of my problems. I knew she was going to be driving a white car though, so I just patiently sat on my stoop and waited for a white car to pull up with an attractive girl in it. While this plan seemed utterly foolproof at the time, it seemed as if Dame Fortuna was not smiling on me this night.
As I waited for my date to arrive, I noticed a white car had turned onto my street. It seemed that someone I remember seeing at a show once that also happened to be an attractive girl was behind the wheel, so I was sure she was the one. I casually walked over to the passenger side door, which happened to be unlocked, and sat in the car. She looked over at me with a concerned look on her face and asked me what I was doing. I smiled and asked her name. To which she replied a name that didn’t even closely resemble the name of the girl I had been phone crushing on all month. Sometime after this happened, she asked me to remove myself from her vehicle, which I immediately did. I then went back to my steps to wait for the correct date to arrive.
I never told the actual date about this situation for fear of upsetting her, but I would be lying if I said that after everything was said and done, I didn’t wish that my date was the first girl whose car I accidentally got into. It turned out that the actual date, while seeming so amazing on the phone, fell a bit short in person. I am not sure if that was due to any wrongdoing on her part, or whether it was just me feeling awkward the rest of the night. Much like the question “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?”, unfortunately, the world may never know.