When I found out that Brian was staying at the Pfister on business from Nashville – a place I’ve never been but have on my Bucket List – I was full of questions. Unfortunately, the majority of them were, accidentally, stereotypes.
I start by asking him if he likes music. I mean, EVERYONE from Nashville likes music, right? He pauses and says, “Yeah, I like music.”
“You probably get that question all the time,” I say.
He nods. “Actually, people usally ask me if I’m a musician when they find out I’m from Nashville. A country musician.”
And then, I just can’t help myself, I ask him if he likes country music.
“No,” he says. “Believe it or not, I don’t. I will listen to live country music in Nashville because the live music scene is so good there – and there’s a lot of surprise shows that get announced the day of – but I don’t like country music otherwise.”
“You live in Nashville but you don’t like country music?” I ask.
“You can get beat up for that in Nashville, can’t you?” I ask.
We laugh. I apologize for the stereotypes. “That’s OK,” he says. “There are stereotypes everywhere.”
I ask him where I should go when I visit Nashville someday. He tells me to stay away from Downtown and to find the dive bars in the outskirts instead.
“The Downtown is all tourists,” he says.
“How can you tell a Nashville tourist?” I ask.
“They’re dressed from head to toe in country gear,” he says. “Most people who live in Nashville might wear cowboy boots or jeans, but they’re not wearing it with a hat and a tight shirt, all at the same time.”
I then apologize for Wisconsin’s winter-like weather in April.
“I’m used to it,” he says. “It’s been very cold in Nashville this winter. A lot of days in the 20s”
I ask him if he had to buy a winter coat this year. He laughs. I realize I just said yet another stereotype.
“I already owned a winter coat,” he says. “In fact, get this: I bought my winter coat in Florida.”
“You’re blowing my mind, dude,” I tell him. “And feel free to ask me a bunch of stereotypical questions now, too. Ask me if I like cheese or if I know Fonzie or tell me I sound like the lady in ‘Fargo.”
“I might,” he says, smiling. “For now, I’m going to drink my beer.”
I look at the label on his beer.
“Bud Light?” I say. “That’s how we can spot a tourist in Wisconsin.”