Lead Image: Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd Doing their “Wild and Crazy Guys” Skit on Saturday Night Live, WAY back in the day*
When a guy you’ve not really been that into but have agreed to meets sends you this message an hour before meeting: “I can’t stay up super late because my daughter has X activity tomorrow morning.” Listen, don’t worry about it because this likely won’t go much further than the chocolate cake I’m envisioning eating some of and then taking home for later. “Call of duty” is how I just described it to a friend, the same friend who referred to the barrage of men I’ve communicated with over the past seven days on Tinder (n=12) and Hinge (n=4) as a “set list.” Both terms conjure up ideas of performance, work, first and perhaps last call. It’s been quite the week since the holidays and my resolution to cast my net wider and in different ways has unearthed an assorted catch, to be sure.
The transition to something more hasn’t been seamless and I find myself dragging the bottom of my Tinder seabed, churning up new maybes, new Nos, remembering glimmering treasures that geography has rendered asunder. Speaking of geography, which is perhaps the most definitive variable after gender, of the 12 Tinder men I’ve been in touch with only 3 are local, the rest are between 1.15-2 hours away and one lives over 2,000Km away. Hinge, the new app I signed up for about a week ago is different than Tinder (and Bumble) because you learn more about the matches (children, smoke pot, drink, pills- there is a picture of a pill and either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ option, thoughts about kids, religious beliefs, political orientation), but there’s hardly anyone signed up in my area. Within fifteen minutes I’d seen the same people already, which can lend itself to some desperado ‘liking’ or mindless scrolling with little to write home about. Some seas contain few fish.
J.- I have a date tonight with a 49 year- old who I matched with ages ago on Tinder. He’s a photographer, which I find interesting, but seems a bit needy. J. sent me a message after our initial chat indicating that he thought I’d send him another ‘funny GIF…I was hoping you would.” When life’s pleasures are reduced to this, discontent can’t be too far away. We’re meeting at a CAKE place, so that this most essential and delicious of substances can provide solace of some sort should/when/if things go awry. We both commented early on about how irritating it is when people say they want to meet but then just disappear. I feel like this is both of us living up to our resolve versus anything really interesting. Update: It was actually a pretty decent date, not sure how I feel about next steps and there were a few ‘damn, this sucks-when is the cake coming?’ moments but overall it was good.
D.- It’s all about meeting different people this year, right? He’s a graduate student and former boxing champion of some sort (Rocky?) and I have a great interest in boxing. So, I thought to myself: ‘whatevs, let’s just meet.’ He sent me a message from the restaurant saying that he was early and waiting, and I told him to find a table I’d be there in 3 minutes. I hurriedly walked over listening to Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.’s disco classic ‘You Don’t Have to be Star Baby [to be in my show]’- fitting, really. He was a little spindle-y, nervous and very intent, on what I’m not sure. I felt like I was in a job interview instead of a date as I looked across the table, studying this man and wondering how long it would all take. The sides of his cheeks flared out when he smiled, exposing his gums a great deal. We talked about our careers and he had some interesting things to say about dating, including a question about how being a feminist impacts my dating approach. I forget what I said exactly, but then again you’re all reading it-right?! He seemed to want to spend more time together, however, it was not to be and after a quick cardboard hug we went our separate ways. When he sent the customary ‘what’d ya think?’ text, adding that I was hard to read, I replied: “It was nice, but I didn’t feel a great deal of chemistry.” A homemade happy face followed by a very pleasant: ‘ok, good luck in your search.’
M.-gorgeous guy I’ve been seeing off-and-on for over a year came by yesterday. I hadn’t seen him since October, and it was lovely. I could smell his cologne during yoga, which was a nice way to remember him.
D2- New Italian I matched with on Tinder a few days ago who started out weird but seemed to become, quickly, quite genuinely interested. I’m always perplexed by comments like “you’re different” or this one, who said “You’re a curious creature.” What does this mean, exactly, and how am I so different than other women? Is it my age, honesty, hilarity, tattoos, the combination? I’m not sure but I often bristle when they say this because they seem to be drawn to this difference and yet the final result is almost always identical: they disappear after a few days. Why bother telling someone something that’s kind of ‘nice’ or interesting like that when it all fades, like so many water colours into fibrous paper? Why disappear? We were supposed to meet this weekend but work has gotten in the way he says.
The Two Mikes- A few days ago I booked an airbnb and train ticket to meet Mike from Detroit in Windsor, or so I thought. We matched on Tinder a month ago and exchanged quite a few messages on WhatsApp. Like all dating apps Tinder is clunky to use and normally people switch from the app to normal texting because it’s faster and you can send and receive pictures. But because he’s in the US I get charged per message, so a free platform that enables international chatting like WhatsApp is the way to go. He’d recently gone MIA despite a message from me a few days ago, and I was kinda bummed about it—which made our above-described chat all the more exciting! Only thing, I wasn’t chatting with Mike from Detroit. I was talking with Mike from Cleveland, who I matched with last week on Hinge and had to delete because he was being super rude. However, I only learned this the morning after booking the rendezvous.
On my way to the vet with my cat Shiva, this guy who I’d made the week-end plans with and thought was Motor City Mike was like ‘Yeah, you kicked me off Hinge too soon…” OH NO!!!! I told him the mistake and said we should cancel our week-end. He didn’t respond for a while and when he did it was ugly. He kept sending aggressive messages asking me what I want and saying he didn’t understand me. I had to tell him that his behaviour was beginning to freak me out. This is the 2nd time I had to socialize/school/police this same guy, first to stop with the requests for certain images and now to stop with this aggressive behaviour on a different platform.
It’s amazing how much ‘protective’ behaviours figure into dating, for women anyways. Why didn’t I just block him, as a colleague asked? I was worried he might do something with the information I’d shared with him, some of which was exchanged with my consent, but some was exchanged in a situation that felt pretty deceptive. Surely he had to figure out from my questions that I thought he was the other Mike, but he played along. So, I had to calmly lay out the shitty cards on the non-existent table for him: OOPS + You found me on an app we hadn’t even communicated on and ‘pretended’ to be someone else + You need to just walk away. He said “ok” after this most recent lesson in not just etiquette but human decency. UGHHHH, all the psycho-social and emotional work that must be done to keep my head above water and maintain my dignity.
T- Matched with him a month ago on Tinder and as with ‘Hello Cleveland Mike’, I found myself quickly stuck in a gross flurry of texts and sexualized demands. Every time it was the same and I’d start out thinking maybe he’s ok, but then in a second he was begging for pictures and telling me to take specific images. WTF dude? The desperation and ignorance were blinding. Right, that’s what I’m here for, to provide you—you stranger—with pleasure and your every tech-mediated demand. I would recoil and explain to him that he was being mental and that I wasn’t going to do these things. It would always end with a “k” from him. I deleted him from Tinder ages ago and my phone, but he was in touch around the holidays and this same sad, aggressive sequence played itself out.
W.- Guy matched with on Tinder a few months ago, haven’t met and likely never will. He was in touch via email just before the holidays to tell me he lost his phone, provided his number and asked me to send him a text. Why though? It’s not gone anywhere and likely won’t. I emailed him and said I’m with family over the holidays, but then he texted me, not too many times or anything, just to touch base I guess. We’ve had a couple of texts since then but it’s a mystery why this is continuing to exist at all.
C.- A 28-year old who works in the service industry, has very good taste in music, and a well-developed fashion sense that seems imbued with more than a dash of 80s savoir-faire. He works two jobs, lives about 70 km away, and is pretty good at keeping in touch. Neither of us have vehices, however, so the probably of meeting is rather slim. He’s one of two current matches that I’m connected with on Instagram.
N.- Very nice- looking man of about 32 years, seems quite interested—I’m so ‘different’ after all. He’s set to come for a visit on Tuesday, I’m not holding my breath but would be happy if it transpired.
G.-With this man I had two white hot, incredible dates over Christmas. He’s special and someone who I would love to date. He lives very far away, but I hope to see him again in the not too distant future. xoox.
E.-The young vegetarian who has had a rather interesting career path thus far: screenwriting for fun, film studies, marketing, and social work sometime soon. He’s teaching himself how to play the guitar, knows who Dolly Parton is (and likes her), and sometimes eats seafood. We were supposed to meet late on Thursday night after yoga but that fell through. He seems very sweet but rather pedestrian.
C.- A biologist who was in town for a couple of weeks, commented on my “wicked tattoos”, and suggested we grab drinks if I’m ever in Calgary- where he lives.
T.- The Italian who “loves older women” and asked me about yoga last night and then deleted me minutes later. Classic.
Cuddles- OMG, no clue here. And, why haven’t I deleted him from my almost empty Hinge roster? He seems not very interested, me neither. Sometimes it doesn’t add up, kind of like his profile name.