As I’m typing this, I’m concluding a family trip to northern Michigan to visit our Bad Ass Nana. I’m sitting in my car, stealing Internet from the public library,* which is twenty minutes from Nana’s house. One of the things no one tells you about Pure Michigan. Pure Isolation.
In spite of this (and being on a family vaca), I’m an opportunist, and still had hopes of perhaps meeting a homeboy or two. But by day three, though, I’d grown tired of telling the Up North Tinder guys that I have other nicknames for Mitt Romney than the “comeback kid.”
However when my cousin, Miles, suggested going to his favorite tiki bar along the river,** I began to think all hope was not lost. Who knew? Maybe I could meet some cute yachtsman. (Yacht included, of course.)
- River Bars in Paradise
Miles took my sister, Fran, and I for a river cruise and pulled up to the bar, which consisted of docking the boat (something of which I know nothing about and almost lost a finger while pretending to help). The bar, as it turned out, was a tiki hut someone constructed on their property and a BYOB establishment. Having a cooler of Coors Light made us the classiest of the eight patrons, the other five ranging various ages in their 70s. The gal drinking Busch Light on ice in a coffee carrier mug, wearing her floral tankini with black shorts was easily my favorite person there.
Though we did not meet any yacht boys, Fran and I certainly spent some quality time with Smokey, talking about fishing (he did most of the talking) and repeatedly damning his son for not being there to meet us. (The ultimate compliment.)
Once our cooler ran dry, we were back on the river, making our way over to a bar that was described as a “knife and gun club at night—but great pizzas!” We were sold.
Within 30 seconds of walking in, our dreams of meeting an Up North man had come true. If our dreams had consisted of a greasy-haired, redneck, cage fighter. He was enamored with Fran, repeatedly holding her face in his hands in a manner reserved for a doctor…or Ryan Gosling playing the role of a doctor. “Look at all dem angel kisses on yer face,” he said.
Not wanting to be rude, of course, he then held out his hand and introduced himself.
“I’m Fran. And this is my very overprotective cousin, Miles.” Miles was engrossed in a conversation with a man who smelled so potently of smoke that I was pretty sure we acquired 14% Black Lung by proximity.
I held out my hand to Ramone. “I’m Chloe.”
“That’s sure some shake you got, there.”
“Yeah,” I said, nodding my head towards Fran, “she’s my sister.”
This act of protectiveness sent Ramone into defense mode, as he proceeded on a slurry tirade about how he didn’t mean any harm and that women should be told they’re beautiful by someone other than their husbands or boyfriends. Oh, Ramone. What a giver.
“Like pregnant women. They need to be told how beautiful they are. Just the other day, I saw a woman knocked up in the store and she looked miserable.”
“Awww….so you told her she was beautiful?” Fran asked.
“Hell naw! I asked her if it was mine.”
We left shortly after Romane insisted I feel his forearm, which felt very similar to a large, steel pipe that could knock all three of us dead with a swift swipe.
- Living on the Edge
Aside from the nights of playing Pizza Party*** until 9:30 P.M. with my niece and one heated political debate in which I shouted, “People DO have sex before they’re married!”, things were pretty tame. But not so much for the homeboys of northern Michigan. They live on two extremes. Redneck and redder neck.
Because nothing is hotter than a man who slaughters Bambi.
- Redneck Tinder Matches
My Tindering came to an abrupt and brutal halt when I came across a profile of a guy who I knew all too well. I have to say, just when you think there’s nothing more debasing than using the Tinder app, then your cousin pops up in your feed.
Because we’re both a-holes, we each sent a series of screen shots of the other’s profile, ripping it to shreds.
But I’m sure I’m not the first gal Up North to match with her cousin.
*I won’t go in because they don’t allow coffee or talking. I can live without Internet for five days, but not without those things for five minutes.
**A cousin as a wingman? I know, sounds weird. And it is. Especially when I’m pretty sure this cousin would trade me for cocaine. Or a case of Budweiser.
***Best. Game. Ever.