Have you been following the online buzz about “Uber bae”?
If you just wondered, “D, what are you talking about?” let me explain: Two friends—college students—go out to a party Saturday in Washington, D.C. Because a car is now completely optional because of Uber, they “call” for one. Mr. Driver arrives and is apparently bearded and mad cute, and one friend wants to holler. She and her friend text in the car about how the interested friend can hit on Uber bae (it’s hilarious). The best they come up with is that the interested friend should leave something with her number on it in the car and then Uber bae will have to call her.
It’s not the best-laid plan, when a smile, a compliment and some questions to get Uber bae talking would have worked in the moment, but they’re college students, and the nature of being out for the night at that stage of life involves some kind of shenanigans. And this method also makes for a better story. Sometimes, especially for writers and social media enthusiasts, it’s about living the story, not what makes the most sense (been there).
Anyway, the interested college student decides to leave her phone charger behind so that she’ll have an excuse to contact the driver again, under the guise of retrieving the charger.
She contacts him twice after she leaves it and gets no response, despite leaving a voice mail. She finally goes through to Uber corporate, which gets in contact with him. He eventually contacts her via text to arrange a drop-off of the charger the following day. She puts on her best face to go meet up with him, and decides to “shoot her shot” by asking him if he’d like to go out with her. He says she should text him. And then later, before she contacts him again, he follows up with a text to say, “I’m married. I don’t want to [bulls—t].”
I first heard of this story in a now viral BuzzFeed story. And BuzzFeed covered it because Twitter user @KelliAmirah told her story on her Twitter account in a series of 30-plus tweets that received thousands of likes.
It’s a single-and-dating 20-something adventure, and I found it hilarious, initially. I was sharing it with friends like, “OMG! This is so funny! Read!” And my lady friends all cackled with me at the shenanigans, and we reminisced about dating in our 20s. My guy friends? Not so much. They didn’t think it was funny. Their logic: If a man were telling this story, we would call the guy a “fuccboi.”
I had to roll that around for a minute. Guy purposely leaves something behind in the car of a female Uber driver to get her to call him or to see her again; then she drives to him to drop it off and he hits on her. Eeek! I’d call it skeevy. I would rant about the inherent sexism of how so many men see an attractive woman and just seemingly can’t stop themselves from hitting on her. And I would have pointed out that this hypothetical female Uber driver was trying to earn some extra holiday money and shouldn’t be subjected to the sophomoric whims of a guy who completely wasted his time on her for kicks. I would have had a whole meltdown about folks who thought this—sexual harassment, really—was funny.
My guys are right on this one. That the woman was interested and decided to shoot her shot? Not really a problem. I’ve never heard a man complain about being hit on by an attractive or friendly woman. The interested woman’s mistake here isn’t that she wanted to hit on Uber bae, or even that she did, but, rather, that she completely wasted his time by having him come by later—for free—so she could hit on him when she got her confidence up.
I won’t call her a “fuccgirl,” as one of my male friends did, because she’s a college student and she’s learning life’s boundaries. But she was wrong to waste that working man’s time. And while @KelliAmirah got a great story out of the night, this isn’t something single ladies should try if they ever encounter an Uber bae. “Shoot your shot” during the ride. If you make it to your destination without getting up the nerve, the opportunity passed. Womp.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She is also a blogger at SeeSomeWorld.com, where she covers pop culture and travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.