#Adventures in #Nashville Pt. 2: identity crises

In part 1, I talked about my impression of Nashville as a whole.

Nashville is one of those cities… After checking in on tinder, the matches start pouring in. I have a feeling it had to do with me not actually living in the city. Similar things happened when I visited Columbia, South Carolina (which, btw, there is NOTHING to do in that boring town), and it happens frequently when I visit my sister in Houston, Texas. So, from these observations, I have deduced that I have the capacity to be hot stuff in places other than Louisiana haha.

So one of my matches and I began talking about ten minutes after I checked into Nashville. Let’s call this person E. E was really cute, 25, young “professional” who just moved to Nashville. In the beginning, we were just messaging back and forth, talking about the basic stuff: hometown, how long they’ve lived in that city, what they do. And this was where it got interesting. E replied that they were an escort.

Of course I was intrigued. The only other time I had ever been close to talking to an escort was when I was doing research for a screenplay I wrote junior year of college. I tried to set up an interview with that escort to understand how escorts think and act, but it ended up falling apart. Thank god I was able to create the character based on secondary accounts I found online.

But back to the story. So E and I exchanged over 100 messages during the two-day period. And I had the intent to meet this person. I wasn’t going to pass up a golden opportunity to understand how people who sell their time work. Mind you, the intriguing part is that they sell their time, not their body. That’s what distinguishes them from prostitutes. Either way, though, I have always been fascinated by people who can put a price tag on something so fragile and abstract as time. Was E’s going rate based on just beauty or on intelligence or even sociability and conversing techniques?

Finally, as Saturday rolled around, E broke the news to me: E was no escort- E worked as a hairdresser. I was so sad. There went my chances to delve deeper into the anthropological reasonings behind purchasing someone’s time. And actually, E was not very fascinating once E broke the news. It wasn’t that I was devastated about not meeting a real escort- it’s that even if E was an escort, I have a feeling E was never paid based on E’s conversation techniques and intelligence :/.

This realization got me thinking though: when people act like someone else, is it because they are ashamed of who they are or are they just bored with their own lives?

As someone who tries to live every moment to it’s fullest, I can’t even fathom how someone could be so bored with his or her own life. I can understand wanting to change it up every now and then, or even just to keep things fresh. But besides that, I don’t see the perks of taking on a whole new persona. I’d rather just reinvent myself and live a more interesting and fulfilling life. But that’s just me.

I mean, not going to lie, that Saturday night my friends and I did adopt new personalities: the exchange student from Prague who’s only English included “Alexa like Vodka,” the exchange student from England who had a crazy Irish-English-Southern Alabaman accent, and me, the exchange student from China. And yes, we are obviously nerds… Our personas like to study lol. Mine was supposed to be from China so that when people say but you look so Indian, my “English” friend would step in and call them nationalists for not thinking that I could be from China lol. It wasn’t my idea.

So, while walking around Broadway, I tried the persona out on two people, both of which were too drunk to even recognize that I was not actually Chinese. My friends were laughing their butts off. After that, though, I abandoned the persona and introduced myself as me. And had so much more fun.

I think what I’m trying to say is that while it may be all fun and games to trick others into believing some outlandish story about you, I think when it comes to substantial relationships and things I expect to have longevity, it’s always best to stick with the truth. That way there are no identity crises and you can thrive in meaningful interactions 🙂

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