Beantown Throwback: Parking Girl

Hey fans, Quinn David Furness here with another installment into the Beantown Blog. Some of you might be feeling a little depressed after our last post about growing old. Honestly I thought it was pretty good, might submit it to some literary magazines, if anyone has any connections just DM me or email us at I hooked my phone’s email app up to that last week so now I see your emails in real time and not once a month when I remember to check it as I did for the first couple months. Moving ahead here, I want to introduce you all to a new Beantown-related segment on the Beantown Blog: Beantown Throwback. One of my favorite things to do on the podcast and something that people really enjoy is when I tell long stories pertaining to my own past social experiences–These aren’t always in the same vein as my weekly ramblings. They tend to be a little bit longer, a little more focused on the human experience rather than sheer comedy, and the one thing they definitely have in common is that they’re all true. So, if you’re more of an audio person and you just want to re-visit the story from the time we told it live on air, head here and jump to the 4:05 mark if it doesn’t do it for you. Basically this is a written rehash of stuff you already know, but if you’re new to the podcast, or if you just really like a good tinder date story, this is the quality content for you.

This is early June 2018. I had recently gotten out of a weird pseudo-relationship type thing with this girl. As a side note, there is a ‘lost’ recording of the two of us doing a podcast together live from a cabin in the mountains of Virginia that is unpublished and will continue that way for the foreseeable future. I do still have the copy of the recording, but I’ve never listened back to it and don’t plan on it anytime soon. It was bad. Continuing on though, getting out of that relationship meant Q was fresh and hot on the dating scene. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Craigslist Personals, I was doing it all. Baltimore’s most wanted. So I match with this girl who lives in the County, about 15 minutes north of the city, and I could tell you her name, but I don’t remember what it was, so instead we will refer to her as Parking Girl. So Parking Girl doesn’t live in the city, but she does have a car. Now, I am always for being a nice human being and going out to people’s places to make it easier on them (heck I took the Baltimore subway to the County a few times when I first moved here to go on dates), but sometimes you just wanna be a little selfish and ask the girl to come down here. Hey, if it were the reverse situation and I had the car, I know 15 minutes of driving would be nothing compared to the alternative which for many would be about an hour long bus ride. Not as much fun.

So Parking Girl and I arrange to meet at a restaurant/bar about 2 blocks away from my apartment on a Friday night. It’s a home game for me. I’ve got it all lined up perfectly. Friday night rolls around and I walk over to the place we’ve agreed to meet–As I’m on the way, she texts me to say she’s stuck in traffic and that she’ll be 15 minutes late. No problem. I get to the place, and it is packed. Like sardines! So me being the excellent problem solver that I am, I text her back and say ‘Let’s meet at Brew House,’ which was this really neat restaurant and bar inside of an old fire station literally down the street from my apartment. Still a home game. By the way, I said ‘was’ because it shut down this past December. What a shame. So I text Parking Girl the new address, which is not hard to find by the way. It’s three blocks from the original location. I get to the new bar, Brew House, and because it is a beautiful early summer evening, I grab a table outside and order a beer. Everything seems good.

Red flag number one: We had agreed to meet at 7, then she got backed up in traffic and said she’d be 10 minutes late, but next thing I know I’m sitting at the bar and it’s getting close to 7:30 and I’m wondering what the heck is going on. Now, the astute reader might think at this point “Hey this is just a classic ghosting or catfishing situation, case closed” like they’re in the first five minutes of a Law & Order episode or something. Well here’s a gamechanger for you: Parking Girl shows up. In her car. So Brew House is on a street corner, and on the street immediately next to where I’m sitting it’s no parking, but it’s relatively easy neighborhood parking on all the streets around the bar, including in the next block of the street she’s on. So she asks a very fair question: ‘Where should I park?’ Although I don’t have a car, I have a good idea of easy places to park. The street she’s on is a one way street going north, but about 2-3 blocks south of the bar, there’s WIDE OPEN (and I mean WIDE OPEN) pay for parking next to a church and a theater (and about 15 other things) that is never occupied, and the good news is she’ll only have to pay for an hour because the meters turn off at 9. So I tell her where to go (all she has to do is get on the next street over to go back south and then come back up, it’s classic one way street management, my sister could do this) and she heads on her way. So we’re all good again, right? Wrong.

Red flag number two: She is a big fan of texting while driving. I’m partially responsible for this because I continually texted her back as she would text me, but we were kind of getting into that flirtatious space and I figured that was a good way to ease the nerves of a first date so it’s all good, minus the illegal texting while driving part. So at this point, it’s probably about 7:30-35. Ten minutes go by. We’re texting but not talking about the parking situation. As each minute passes by, I assume she’s about to walk up and sit down with me and order a drink, seeing as she’s had plenty of time to park and do the 1-2 block walk to the bar. 5 minutes turn into 10 minutes. 10 minutes turn into 15. Next thing I know it’s 7:45 and I’m wondering what in tarnation is going on. So I text her something like ‘Yo baby where u at’ (you gotta know how to talk to women) and she says that she can’t find a spot. Hmm, that’s interesting and also not true if you followed my instructions. So we go to Plan B. Literally on the opposite corner of the city block where the bar is, there’s this odd and out of place strip mall (on the north side of downtown, at Guilford and Madison, next to the JFX, if you are from Baltimore you know what I’m talking about) that has things like a Dunkin Donuts (at the time they hadn’t changed their name to just Dunkin so I’m preserving historical accuracy), 2 Chinese places for the 13 Chinese people who live in Baltimore, a nightclub that is definitely a front for something (happy to talk about this another time), a Pack & Ship place, and an 8-Twelve which is a 7-eleven knockoff in case you’ve never seen one. So I text her ‘Yo, on the same city block there’s this strip mall with a Dunkin where there’s loads of free parking,’ and I mean LOADS. I park there overnight all the time when I go to Philly for evening events and get home at 2am. It’s foolproof. The lot is never more than half full. So this should finally solve all our problems, right?

Red flag number three: She texts back about 5-10 minutes later saying something like ‘I think I went to the wrong Dunkin Donuts, this seems far away.” Well wouldn’t you believe it, this lady drives all the way to Penn Station (about a half mile north of where I’m at) because there’s a Dunkin inside of the train station. Wat. How did we get from “There’s a Dunkin in a strip mall on the same city block as where I’m at” to “Go to the train station to find a parking spot?” Very confused. Starting to lose hope. Like in Rogue One when they say ‘hope’ (and then the other 1,005 times they say it in the movie). So I send her the address for the strip mall, and then I lay out my ultimatum: “Look, I’m gonna be here until 9pm (it’s about 8 by this point) and if you wanna come grab a drink (which I assume you do since you drove here from the County) then come do it, but at 9 I have to head home to record a podcast (which was not a BS cop out, it was true).” After another 5-10 minutes of texting back and forth (and texting while driving), she agrees to do it another time. Woof. Talk about a low quality woman. These are people you have to watch out for. It’s not anything related to their looks, or their personality, or their sexuality or anything discriminatory like that. They’re simply a low quality person. I get it–Driving in the city can be different than what you’re used to. No one likes parking in a foreign place. It can be stressful trying to figure things out on the fly as you’re driving. I get all of this. But we hit the point of acceptance around 7:30 or so, and then we kept going for another 45-60 minutes. That’s enough for me. I did not text Parking Girl after this incident and I’m p sure she didn’t text me back either. It’s kismet!

As a p.s., we re-matched on another one of those sites a few months back. I asked her if she wanted to drive down to grab a drink. No response.

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