If you’ve ever used Tinder and decided to meet someone in-real-life that you happened upon while wildly swiping left and right, then you’ve probably wondered if the person you have just “liked” really looks the way they’ve portrayed themselves in the five photos the app allows you to post.
In the current technological climate, everyone has good reason to be skeptical re: who a person claims to be (lest they end up the subject of a Lifetime movie postmortem), and like it or not, the body you have on loan is a significant part of who you are.
I’ve used Tinder a lot, but have never pulled the trigger on meeting up with someone I’ve matched with on the app. So I suppose I just use the app for vain purposes, to be reassured that every now and again a good-looking woman does not find me physically repulsive.
But my friend Mark is more proactive with the app than I am. He matches with girls, starts a text conversation with them, and then before I can finish writing an OkCupid message he’s showing me racy pictures the woman has sent him on SnapChat.
A couple weeks ago, Mark set up a double-date for the two of us with a Swiss woman he’d found on Tinder. Her roommate, also Swiss, was going to come hang out with me.
We arranged to meet them at a beerhouse in Williamsburg, where we were already planning to go for a friend’s birthday celebration. Upon arrival, we caught up with friends and ordered our beers. We’d been sipping for about five minutes when Mark whispered to me that he was pretty sure the Swiss Tinder Girl had just walked past us with a friend. The women in question had been sitting at a table directly behind us, and had relocated to a spot at the bar. Moments later, another girl got up from the table and joined them at the bar.
“Dude, that’s definitely her,” Mark said. “I’m like, 98 percent sure. Should I tell her I’m here? I bet she already knows. They probably heard me introducing myself to people.”
“Well, yeah. Tell her you’re here. That’s kind of part of it.”
Instead of approaching her in person, he texted her.
A few minutes later, she asked how it was, and then apologetically told Mark that she would not be coming out, that her friend was “going through some shit” and she “didn’t want to leave her alone.”
This really got Mark’s and my goat. Apparently they’d come to the bar, scoped us out, found us to be aesthetically unsatisfying, and then cooked up the most overused excuse in the book. I’m pretty sure I’ve never in my life believed a woman who canceled plans because her girl is “going through some stuff.” Because they expect you to just be sympathetic and understanding, and, most importantly, to just say that you “hope everything is OK” without prying for specific details. I mean, if I were going to cancel plans for a BS reason, I’d liee and tell a girl that my boy was going through some rough stuff and I didn’t want to leave him alone to go out and have a fun time. Then I would proceed to eat food and watch TV, having a carefree night all alone without the awkwardness of having to meet up with and attempt to entertain a girl.
Mark and I didn’t really think it through. He just fired back an angry text message, saying he supposed he didn’t pass her “Charlie’s Angels mission.”
She had no idea what Charlie’s Angels meant, on account of her being Swiss and all, and what ensued was a back and forth where Ferg insisted she was sitting at the bar, and she insisted she was at home with her friend. She sent a number of photos to prove it, including a time-stamped photo of her standing in front of her television.
Eventually, we concluded that Mark should not be trusted even if he is 98 percent sure of something.
The girl was quick to forgive and forget, and insisted she still wanted to meet Mark.
This struck me as vaguely insane. If a girl accused me of blowing her off when I didn’t, and refused to believe me until I sent time-stamped photos, then I don’t think I would want to be around that girl. Not ever.
Tinder is a strange beast, often devoid of pride and rationality. It’s a vehicle for vanity, and it occasionally exudes vibes of desperation.
So I’m going to take some time off from opening it. No more swiping for this guy.
(OK. The real reason I’m doing this is the app just alerted me that there are no more new girls in my area.)