Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips

Thanks to spam email, my inbox always has at least 50 unread messages. I usually use my elevator rides to delete them in what seems like a never-ending game.

Goal for 2015: unsubscribe to Target, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, Restoration Hardware, and Barnes & Noble email lists.

I was about to delete one, when I realized I’d never seen the sender before, and the subject line was “Cheers.”

I opened it:


Hi, my name is Justin, I work with Travis… he turned me onto your site and mentioned, more than once, what a cool girl you are. I have not lived here for very long, less than one year and only recently have I stopped traveling back and forth from Texas every week, so in many respects it seems like I just got here.

You seem like a great person to have a drink with, and I would like to do just that. I have no expectations, I am a fun and interesting fella with the benefit of a wide array of crazy, fun and unusual travels, experiences and perspectives. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy good conversation and get some good material for your blog/column.

Get back to me anytime, anyway you prefer, and go ahead, ask me anything you want. You’ll find all my contact info below. Talk to you later.

Travis is a friend I’ve known for many years, oddly through an ex. He’s not a douche, so I figured he wouldn’t lead me down that road.

From his email, I gathered this Justin guy was decently smart, a little brave, and had clearly just gotten out of a relationship with someone in Texas.

He’d mentioned reading my blog, and I wondered how far back he’d gone. On one hand, it was flattering; on the other hand, I forget that people actually read my embarrassing stories.

We emailed back and forth for a few days and made plans to meet for a drink at Lock and Key on a Tuesday night.

Since I’ve been doing the online dating thing, I was used to meeting someone new for a date. I figured I had nothing to lose – he said no expectations, right?

He was late, which meant I was sitting at the bar sipping on a vodka-soda, wondering if this was one giant joke.

But he arrived soon, and he was a pleasant surprise: funny, attractive, outgoing, and smart. We talked about his travels, his children, and failed (yet funny) relationships.

The only red flag was that Texas relationship he confirmed – was he on the rebound?

We stayed at Lock and Key talking and drinking until almost midnight. We’d just wrapped up a conversation about how we like to eat healthy and go to the gym, when we decided to hit up Hooters for some late-night eats.

After finishing baskets of chicken wings, we were on the deck drinking draft beer from Styrofoam cups, and he kissed me.

It was one of those really good kisses when it’s apparent something more can come from it. But I didn’t feel any need to rush things.

We finally left Hooters and went our separate ways around 1:30 am.

Three days later, I took him up on his invitation for a second date.

Read more about perfecting a first date on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.



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