February 8, 2019 | Narrative
the funny, bad, and unfortunate
I went on a couple of dates with this girl I met on Tinder. She was cool, but she was intense in every single way that I wasn’t—like talk-about-hardcore-pornography-over-breakfast intense. I have not been able to look at yogurt the same way since. Anyway, I figured we weren’t really compatible. But when she got up to leave after one of our dates, she noted that it was raining and looked at me in that way that expects something more than a shrug. Being the spineless fool that I am, I offered her my umbrella. No more than 15 minutes after she left, she texted me that she could come by later that night to return it. I did not invite her over that night. In fact, I did not contact her about the umbrella for a solid month before Providence’s rainy disposition got to me. But I was so terrified of directly asking for it back that I almost threw myself in what could have been an awkward hookup scenario just to retrieve it. Luckily my roommate talked some sense into me. I got my umbrella back, but not without one last attempt from her to see my dorm. I’m happy to say it didn’t get that far.
It was fine—I just wish he had told me it was a date beforehand.
I was bored, and somewhat lonely, while back home in Minnesota, so I finally gave in and created a Tinder profile. I destroyed it after approximately three hours of flipping through at least 87 profiles of shirtless men on boats holding the fish they’d caught. Classic.
I was in Florida with my friends, and we were staying in my friend’s grandmother’s condo in a 65+ development. We thought it would be interesting to see if people of that age go on Tinder, so I raised my age maximum. Suddenly there was a multitude of 70-year-old men popping up. When I left the room for a few minutes, I mistakenly left my phone with my friends, and I came back to find that “I” had matched with a 75-year-old man less than a mile away who had super-liked my profile.
My experience with Tinder involves briefly activating it during periods of emotional distress only to quickly grow disillusioned with the vast superficiality of the world. But I did once spend three weeks chatting with a person only for her to turn down a date with me because she’d started dating my younger brother while I wasn’t paying attention. C’est la vie.
We’ve been messaging for weeks despite the distance, you ask if I have Spring Break plans, I say I don’t, you say I should come to New York, I do, I take a bus from Rhode Island just to meet you, you text me when I arrive, we eat dinner together, you show me your room, we hang out with your friends, I laugh at all your jokes, you ask me about my life, we’re sharing, we’re smiling, we have so much in common, and then you send me off as if it never crossed your mind that I could like you.
ARE YOU THE DENSEST MAN ALIVE?
My Tinder date waited for me at a local restaurant dressed in business casual, five minutes early, and with two BYOB beers uncapped. He was a senior prepping to work at Goldman Sachs next year; I (a freshman) was still wrapping my head around the difference between meal credits and points.
He invited me back to his place after dinner, but I made an excuse and returned to my dorm to share comfort snacks with my girlfriends.
“What was wrong with him?” they asked. He was definitely cute—he boasted a rigorous workout routine and even flexed at the dinner table—and was suave enough to brush snow off my jacket, but...
“He was too much of a grown-up,” I said.
We were a pair of star-crossed lovers. He was departing to Australia in a week; I was only in town for the summer, perhaps never to return—a truly classic tale of one right swipe meeting another. Messages met with emojis; jokes met with laugh reacts. Soon, we had plans for a night of bar-hopping and club-dancing. A couple of drinks in, arms were around shoulders, cheeks were flushed, smiles were shy. A couple more drinks in, we ran into a few of his high-school friends at the club. The next few hours were full of dancing, advancing, uncertainty, missed signals, and inaction. By 4 a.m., it was time to call it a night. He had an early afternoon flight the next day, after all. When we left, arms were still around shoulders, cheeks were still flushed, and smiles were still shy. But his arms were around her shoulders, his cheeks were flushed for her, and it was her smiles that were shy. As it turns out, she was his high-school ex-girlfriend.