**NYE 2016**

It started off with no plans and ended with much more. A girlfriend of mine and I often spend New Years Eve making trouble. In our crazier days, we named our times together the “Danger Zone.” You know it’s getting real when the term DZ gets thrown around. A few days prior to NYE 2016 we decided to break out an older/wiser version of DZ. Undecided with our plans, we played the evening by ear.

A few friends of ours invited us to join them at a concert at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Intrigued I happily obliged to some live music by a local favorite Moon Taxi. Off we went in our $5 Uber to downtown. We piled in our sardine can Uber while I of course awkwardly started conversation with our driver. Soon we learned he was laid off and out of work - hence his new Uber career. Trial by fire on NYE in Nashville. He dropped us at the curb and off we went.

Inside we found our seats on the very back row of the auditorium. I was into this because A) no one was behind us in case (ok, when) I looked like a fool and B) we had a pretty sweet view. Don’t worry…this is about to get weird. After midnight and New Years pecks were exchanged, two of our party of four left to hit the restroom. That left me with one other guy. In a flash, a gentleman appeared out of nowhere galloping up the stairs toward me. Suddenly he was too close for comfort and whispering in my ear with his arm around my waist. UM WHAT. NO. DO NOT WANT. His name was Haroon and the only reason I remember is because he said “it rhymes with maroon.” Well played. He proceeded to tell me “he saw me from a mile away and that he just had to dance with me.”

“That’s nice but no thank you I responded.” You guys, don’t get me wrong, I love to dance with a good stranger and get down - but this guy had some creepy vibes going on.

No was not a good answer. He continued to pester me and get me to dance with him. My glance shifted to the right where my new friend, Savage, stood and I mouthed “SAVE ME” …. to which Savage just laughed. The random dude continued to be entirely too close to me while obviously not getting the hint. After what felt like an eternity, my other crew member appeared and actually saved me by standing directly between us. Praise Baby J. The random soon disappeared and was lost but not forgotten.

After we all had a good chuckle about the weirdness surrounding the event, the passed out guy in front of us, and the awkward loaner dude my friend danced with and everything else, we made the poor decision to venture further into the madness of downtown Nashville NYE 2016. As we walked toward Broadway, my DZ counterpart and I skipped, laughed, and danced. Then I slipped in vomit. BUT DON’T YOU WORRY - my cheetah reflexes saved me and I caught my balance while letting out a movie theater worthy scream. Seriously, I think people thought I was being attacked.

Cut scene.

We entered Paradise Park, a local and tourist trap, for some delicious burger and tot action. Yum! While walking toward the back of the establishment this dude grossly rubs his hands along my thighs and butt. I am not into touches from strangers - at all. Immediately, I whipped around and wagged my finger in this fools face while screaming at him he “needs to respect women and can’t go touching people he doesn’t know like that and what’s wrong with you total creeper”…etc. Apparently while this was going on, the two guys I was with expressed a bit of concern about me getting in this guys face, which my DZ counterpart quickly shut down and told them I could take care of myself. I think her exact words were “he probably touched her or something.” Eventually, I’m pretty sure I remember the guy shedding a tear out of fear and I walked off feeling accomplished. By no means am I the type of person to yell or get in someone’s face but this seemed appropriate given the circumstances. So guys, respect people and don’t touch strangers unless they’re giving you the “sweet sweet come over here lover” eyes. Oh and stand up for yourself if the situation warrants a good screaming.

XOXO

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