I managed to wrangle another guest writer and I didn’t even have to do the legwork. When a coworker went on her first-ever Tinder date this afternoon, my friend/coworker Anthony gave her strict instructions to take notes ‘for the blog.’ Not only do I not have to write, I don’t even have to recruit anymore. My plan is working!
Anyway, Aubrey, as we’ll call her for our purposes, is a fantastic writer, and I’ve already told her she’ll be required to continue chronicling her dating tales for our entertainment.
If you told me three months ago that I would be going on my first Tinder date today, I would have had you committed. But first, I would’ve shown you the beautiful riverside, black-tie Hudson Valley wedding I had meticulously planned for next June. Then, because I’m an asshole, I would’ve given you the finger, but not the middle finger. No. I would’ve flipped you my ring finger, upon which rested the most gorgeously handcrafted 2-carat rose gold engagement ring you’ve ever seen. After all, I had it all figured out and you didn’t and I’d need you to know that.
I had won. I had attained perfection. My perfect fiancé with the perfect jawline and I shared the perfect dog and the three of us lived our perfect lives in our perfect Brooklyn apartment. Fucking perfect.
Fast forward to today and everything is…different. I’m in Toronto, and the tan line that had developed on my ring finger has faded. I won’t go into detail about how I got here, because this blog is supposed to be about dating, not my problems. While there’s still a possibility that the fiancé, shit…ex-fiancé and I will work things out in the future, my coworkers have convinced me to stop moping and go on a date.
First, let me say that dating was very different the last time I was single. Now it all feels very casual and because there are so many options right at our fingertips, I feel we have become pretty intolerant of minor flaws. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, I don’t know.
I have been in love twice. Had Tinder existed at the time, I wouldn’t have swiped right for the first guy and the second would’ve been dumped after using the phrase “tuckered out” during one of our initial texting convos. Who says that? Anyway, I looked past it and then decided to marry the guy.
Thus, when I joined Tinder two days ago I told myself I wouldn’t be critical. Yesterday, I met a guy who seems cute and clever and works in the building next to mine. So, we decided to meet for lunch today.
Before the date even started, I was a bit of a nervous wreck. I mean, two of my male coworkers spend hours talking about their Tinder dates as if they were day-old pieces of meat: “This one is too fat,” “No I don’t like her – she has a vacuum cleaner mouth,” and my all-time favorite, “Look at this slut.” Editor’s note: This is sadly accurate.
As sad as I am about my current state of patheticness, I do not need some hairy, damaged stranger judging me. That’s not how I roll.
So anyway this guy, let’s call him Wolf, and I met outside a coffee shop between our buildings. Right away I noticed that he looks slightly different from his pictures. However, that didn’t bother me very much.
We went to a Thai restaurant and began to discuss the absurdities of online dating. He complained about girls who specify their dislikes in their Tinder profiles. He also said something about not condoning animal cruelty (apparently many Tinder profile pictures are of white people and drugged tigers). Cool, I thought, he loves animals.
So naturally, I steered the conversation toward that perfect dog I mentioned, Tequila Mockingbird, or Tee for short.
Me: My dog is amazing. I am obsessed with her.
Wolf: You’re obsessed with her? What does that mean? How are you obsessed with her?
Me: I don’t know…I love her…and cuddle her…and walk her?
Wolf: I don’t understand how people have pets. They aren’t people, or better than people. They’re animals. Why do you love your dog?
Me: Because I could go on a murdering spree, but when I get home she’s still happy to see me. She loves me unconditionally.
Wolf: *gets very intense* So what? You think unconditional love is a good thing? Even for murderers?
The next half hour consisted of same sort of awkward mini-conversations until eventually we began to loosen up when he began to share hilarious tales about an ex-roommate of his. It was only later that he mentioned his roommate had debilitating case of schizophrenia. We had been laughing at someone with a mental illness. Cool.
The end of the date was as awkward as the rest of it. We split the bill, and then I stared at the floor while we walked back to work. Then, still looking at the ground, I briskly walked away and said, over my shoulder, “Nice meeting you, bye!”
The date made me really uncomfortable. I’m sure Wolf is a nice person and perhaps we would get along just fine as friends, but sitting across the table from this stranger only highlighted everything I’ve lost.
Wolf just texted me to tell me how charming he thinks I am. I guess he had a better time than I did. Perhaps the date didn’t go as terribly as I thought. Maybe I just haven’t opened myself up to new opportunities. Maybe there are no new opportunities for me, I don’t know.
I came back to the office feeling a bit defeated and when I sat down to write this I noticed that the tan on my ring finger hadn’t completely faded. I realized then, that I was terrified of the day when it would.