Last Saturday night, slumped in bed at 2am having spent the night drinking aimlessly, I made a Tinder profile. So on Sunday I went to try it out. After one or two swipes to the left, I came across a profile with an intriguing bio.
I wrote a cheeky little song for this<youtube link>.
Since Ive got a pretty crappy phone, I get out my laptop to look it up. And it is truly outstanding/adorable. If you could see it, you would understand.
(Edit: Fuck it. I feel like when she made it, she must have realized there was a chance someone who viewed her Tinder profile would talk about it on the internet. Am I wrong in thinking she might even vaguely want that to happen? Cos this thing deserves more views. Hannah, if this ends up getting back to you and Im wrong about this assumption, Im so, so, so sorry.)
So.. theres a name on the youtube page. But I am an emotional stable, rational adult now who does not spend his time stalking a stranger online in order to stoke a ridiculous crush. But, I still havent swiped yet. So I tell myself its okay because Im just investigating whether I should swipe right or left. Who knows, she could be a total loon. Due diligence, and all that.So I look at her public facebook. And she has these wonderful, insanely nerdy pictures of herself as a youngster. This deeply disturbed me. Because outside of anonymous blog posts, I thought I had done a pretty good job of transcending my nerdiness. But part of my method is the total denial of the fact that I am or ever was truly a nerd. And here is a girl who seems to have transcended her nerdiness so completely that she is comfortable having these insanely nerdy pictures of herself on her public facebook profile. I cannot fathom it.Finally, after thirty minutes or so of falling deeply in love, in a fit of sanity I swipe right so I can move on with my life. And now obviously Im going to talk about how I had to deal with the fact that we never matched.But no. Truth is, dealing with that would have been easy. Im used to dealing with that.A fucking match. My first fucking match. I need more training! Im not ready for the big league! I send her a message saying how amazing her music is. And she thanks me for the compliment. Then I tell her that I think Ive seen her around the library but the message is really long and I inexplicably say And I will say hi if I see you there again!. Silence. Ive been too fucking presumptuous, and now Im a fucking stalker.Four hours later, she says shes seen me too.Shes seen me too. So that means she might have swiped me after having already connected the artificially flattering profile pictures with the real life human.But on the other hand, four hours. So that means she might swiped right based on the artificially flattering profile pictures and then connected it with the real life human, or been creeped out by the stalker vibe, been caught in a bind, so waited four hours to reply to signal her lack of interest.So I send her another message, but Im too scared that it would be harassing her to ask her a question, so I just say something shortish about why Im at the library a lot. I know. Im pretty suave.And then, predictably, there is nothing. For days I am checking my phone. I have shit to do but I cannot slow the flow of adrenaline every time I think about how stupid the messages I sent her were. Rerunning what I should have said. Hoping there will be another message from her. And it never comes. Obviously I cant send her another message. I know enough about modern etiquette to know that. But what is the proper protocol if I see her again? Say hi? Ignore her? Smile politely? Hide?
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For years I was an emotionally stable adult. I had developed a slightly dysfunctional, but very efficient method of dealing with my love-life. I would resolutely assume that the only thing anybody ever wanted from me was friendship until the point where they made it extremely clear that they wanted more. And I thought Tinder would mesh with my approach perfectly.But Tinder doesnt make it extremely clear that someone wants more. Tinder makes it extremely clear that someone could want more if you play your cards right. And the cards youre allowed to play are so senseless and trivial, and the game can be lost so quickly and arbitrarily, its impossible not to go insane obsessing over the trifling errors you made in playing your hand.Dont get me wrong. Tinder may have invented a particular variation of the rules, but the great trivial and arbitrary card game has been there since time began.What Tinder has invented that is truly novel is a mechanism for letting you know when you have a chance of winning with the cards you have.And that information is torturous to know when youre hopeless at playing the game.
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(Edit: Also Hannahdont worry. Im not still hoping to seduce you. I might be hopeless at the game, but I know enough to know that in writing this I have unambiguously solidified my position beneath you. Thats fine. I can deal with that. Im used to dealing with that.)