A mellifluous ping, your phone illuminates, it’s a match! Racking your brain, you can’t recall the reasoning behind swiping right to the generic profile picture of lads on tour (which one is he anyway?) It must have been a bedtime swipe at a moment of insecurity or boredom.
We are the millennials, plunged into a world where you can arrange a date with a total stranger with the same ease and speed as getting a takeaway to your door.
Moving back home to London to live with your mother after four years reveling amongst a tight knit group of friends in Brighton is a bit like plunging into a horrible cold dipping pool after the comforting warmth of a hot tub. I decided that making a profile on a dating app could help expand my social circles and who knows, maybe meet someone I was actually into.
Fast forward a few weeks and I found myself exchanging messages with a man whose sense of humor seemed to be mildly coherent with my own and, based on the three available photos, was aesthetically pleasing.
On the evening we agreed to meet I found myself being that girl— the one looking painfully awkward, apprehensive and fidgety outside Brixton tube station waiting for her Tinder date to materialize.
Some thoughts which occurred to me while I waited:
Maybe I should light a cigarette? I pictured myself to an onlooker: gazing unassumingly into the distance, smoke framing my silhouette— I am the mystery Tinder woman. But what if he doggedly loathes smoking, a cruel addiction that cost his great aunt her life following a long and painful battle with lung disease? Maybe I should just put my hands in my pockets? S**t, this coat has no pockets. What’s the point of a coat with no pockets?
Hands on hips then. Maybe I look too sassy and unapproachable?
I could pretend to text or be on the phone, but what if it rings?
This continued for what felt like 20 minutes (in actual fact it was only two), until a figure approached from the opposite side of the road. He was headed straight for me.
It is worth noting here that I tried my very hardest to avoid judgement based on appearance, but, in this circumstance your means of choice are based on this, so it was almost impossible not to.
Prior to this meeting I did some (what I thought to be fool proof) analysis and formed a hypothesis: based on his height in comparison to various objects in his photos and friends around him, he would fall within the 5”11 – 6”4 bracket.
What I hadn’t factored into this was the possibility that:
a) His friends were incredibly small (even smaller than him)
b) His friends were all siting while he stood in the photographs
c) He was photographed in a miniature museum
How had I not factored in these potential loopholes? Annoyed, I realized my analysis was flawed. At least he was intelligent enough to do that I suppose— that won him some points.
Things went from not ideal on the height front to really not ideal on the conversation and general personality front. He was haughty with a voice that can only be likened to Lord Farquaad (Shrek) meets Hugh Grant (and not in a good way).
He had chosen a hotspot for trendy Brixtonites and when asked what I would like to drink, I panicked and ordered a Guinness. I categorically hate Guinness. What was wrong with me? Too late to change my mind. I then discovered he doesn’t drink at all and refused even a soft drink.
In order to get a seat amongst the hipster masses, we found a stall with a small seating area selling macaroons. I sat and tipped half of my Guinness on to the floor before he returned with a flimsy paper plate filled with the sickly colored sweets. The couple next to me most definitely thought I was mad.
Before embarking on a formal interview, which required me to map my entire family tree, education and five-to-ten year plan, all while gagging on the Guinness I didn’t even want, he invoiced me my £2.50 share of the macaroons.
When the interview lulled, I learned that he is an ‘actor,’ which actually translates to playing an extra in a day time soap one time and reads the questions at his local pub quiz in his spare time. This didn’t match the artisan curator I had been dreaming of.
Even before I was informed that I am “more intelligent than I look” (thank you?), I decided 42.5 minutes is definitely a polite amount of time to wait before aborting this mission by reasoning that I have to catch the train home to let in my flat mate. I left out the part that my flat mate is my mother who was most definitely at home in bed. I was escorted to the station and I bid the Lord farewell with a sigh of relief.
As I nestled into the grubby, poorly upholstered Southern rail carriage, I felt safe and peaceful.
With a sigh, I looked out of the window and decided that actually, being single is not so bad after all.
Edited by Ivy Joseph