I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
September 26, 2018
I was an 18-year-old sorority pledge on a game day date with a boy I barely knew. He brought me to a party at his frat house that night, insisted on staying until the very end of the event, and then refused to take me home.
“You can just spend the night in my room,” he told me, “and I’ll take you home tomorrow. Don’t worry. My bed’s big enough for two!”
I had no idea what I was going to do — I had no phone, no ride, and no way of getting back to my dorm. Still, there was no way in hell I was going up to his room with him alone. I begged, I pleaded, I argued, until he finally proclaimed that I was ‘a total bitch’ and agreed to give me a ride home. We got into his car and he angrily backed out of his parking spot at top speed, crashing into the car parked in the aisle behind him. We got out of the car and he stared at the damage. “This is all your fault!” he shouted.
By this point, I was completely panicked- Everyone else had left except for the band members, who were loading up their van on the other side of the parking lot. What was I going to do?
That’s when the band’s singer walked over to us. “Hey man, we’ll give her a ride home,” he said. “Don’t worry about it.”
The band was well-known and respected on the college circuit, so I felt safe accepting a ride with them. I got into their van and wiped the tears off my face. They couldn’t have been nicer — They had heard us arguing and quickly figured out what was going on. They dropped me off at my dorm at two in the morning and made sure I got inside, and I felt so grateful and relieved to have narrowly escaped what could have been a very bad situation.
I’ve thought about that night from time to time over the years. I’ve thought about how lucky I was that a complete stranger made a snap decision to help me get away from a guy who obviously did not have good intentions. The band was called Mel and the Party Hats and the lead singer lives here in Nashville. I friended him on Facebook a while back, meaning to thank him for what he did for me 25 years ago. But it’s still a hard thing to write about, and I could never quite work up the courage.
Now, though, as I read the horrifying #metoo stories of assaults committed against my friends and colleagues, many of which are being shared now for the first time, I feel the need to thank Hunter Armistead for very possibly preventing one of those assaults from happening to me. Because I can’t think about the close calls I’ve had over the years without also thinking about the good men who put a stop to strangers’ lewd comments, who walked me to my car late at night, who shut down the men who wouldn’t stop harassing me on the phone or in person — These men stepped up not because they wanted anything from me, but because it was the right thing to do.
I’m sure Hunter doesn’t remember that night. But I will never forget it. So thank you, Hunter. And thank you to every man who has stepped up and helped or defended a woman. We know you’re out there, too.