Negative Feedback

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CC Image courtesy of dylans mom on Flickr‘What do you reckon?’

My mother reckons go for it.  Of course she does; my mother would have replied to Daniel’s text – she said as much.

‘But… I dunno.  It’s just – I know loads of people do it, but, it just seems… a bit desperate.’

‘But if you think you’ve met everyone you’re going to meet through the usual channels…’

Reeling and, well, reeling.  And now tango classes, which I’m doing with Milonga, of all people.

‘… then why not?  You might meet someone.’

That’s what I’m afraid of.

‘But…’

I am negativity central today.

‘… I’d only be doing it because I was being paid, so I’d feel like a bit of a fraud.’

‘Better to do it because you’re being paid and then writing about it, than doing it because you’re desperate!’

Can we stop saying desperate?!

‘But… I can’t be bothered with it!  I have a life, y’know?!  I have things in my diary.’

I’ve surpassed myself on the lame excuses front.  My mother doesn’t bother replying.

‘And…’

The ace up my sleeve.

‘… I do meet people I like, it’s just, it’s not mutual!  I don’t need to meet more people I like who don’t like me back!’

Viable Prospect springs to mind, though I haven’t actually met him…

‘But you might meet someone who does like you back!’

… and Matthew.

There it is: the Big, as Carrie Bradshaw might say, reason for doing online dating.  Today’s the first day I haven’t listened to the songs we danced to, or edited posts about him which are clearly never going to work because they hang on something pathetic, like a Facebook add.

‘Hmm…’

I weave through the crowd, processing faces.

No, no, no…

It’s like Tinder.

… no, no… 

Or online dating.

… not a patch on Ma–

I dismiss the thought.

‘… I might do it.’

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Out Of The Blue

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‘What do you make of Tinder?’ CC Image courtesy of ant217 on Flickr

I take a sip of mulled wine.  ‘Hmm not a fan.’

‘Oh – why?’

Tinder Guy, Simon, Viable Prospect, and Daniel.  Especially Daniel: that made no sense.  But because I don’t know how to articulate this within the accepted time frame of a drinks party conversation, I say:

‘I think the emphasis on location means it lends itself more to casual hook-ups, and if that’s what you’re looking for then fine, but I’m not….’

No, I’m looking to meet the love of my life on an app, which is much more realistic.

We’re interrupted.  A short while later I head home.

*

Be-ep. 

I shut the front door behind me.

Be-ep.

I find my phone in my bag, and bring it to life.

You have a new Tinder message from Viable Prospect.

Huh?

‘How’s your Christmas prep going?’

I scroll up.  Two months have passed since my last message.  He must be either very bored or very drunk.  I consider not replying.

Tapping on his profile picture brings up the strangely familiar set of photos.  Clear blue eyes, and the bright white smile of someone who always brushed their teeth when they were younger – or just has good genes.  He’s cute, no two ways about it.  I consider making some kind of witty reference to his poor response time in my reply, if I reply.

The next day, I reply as if no time has passed.

‘I give him a week – two because it’s holiday season – to suggest meeting in person,’ I tell Beatrice that evening.  ‘After that, I give up on him.’

Him, Tinder, the lot.  Until next year.

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The IT Crowd

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CC Image courtesy of oooh.oooh on Flickr

It’s around this time that the phone-checking starts.  And the telling friends about him.  And the putting ‘Daniel‘ and ‘male’ (in case it didn’t know) and ‘London’ into the Advanced Search on Facebook.

The whole writer thing – prone to overthinking, obsession, depression, you-name-it – doesn’t seem to put him off.  No, instead I get an entertaining response which begins, ‘I’m a programmer’.  That’s not the entertaining bit.  It does however make me think of a funny post I read on a fellow Tinder-er’s blog, about a date she went on with someone who works in IT.  She tells him she writes a ‘fitness blog’, confident that he won’t be able to discover the truth.  Which he does, the next day, and comedy ensues.  It also reminds me of when I met Joe, who also worked in IT, and I had to remind myself that what I considered an anonymous blog was probably nothing of the sort.

So when Daniel asks me if I’ve published anything, I conveniently forget about the two hundred odd blog posts I’ve poured my heart and soul into for the past year and a half, and say no.  Which isn’t a lie, because his question referred to novels specifically, and the day I finish a novel, let alone get one published, is the day I go on a good second date; or get a stable job; or can afford to rent a room whose dimensions don’t contravene the European Convention on Human Rights.

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In Sickness…

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CC Image courtesy of Leticia L on Flickr

Ill.  That must have been it.  I hadn’t been on Tinder in ages, had written it off, but then the lurgy hit.  I’d already watched everything on iPlayer, twice, so there was nothing for it.  Death by boredom or… Tinder.

No, no, no, no, no….

Turns out the two options aren’t so different.

…no, no, no….

Lunch at 4pm.

… no… no…

Immediately followed by tea because it’s teatime.

The no’s keep coming, X Factor-style.

Over supper, three hours later (I don’t know how I did it), I get a message from Daniel.  Daniel?  Daniel?  It vaguely rings a bell, not least because I’ve only matched with three people in as many hours.

I open the message.

The first thing I notice is that he hasn’t said hello, asked how I am (ill) or what I’m doing (Tinder, cos I’m ill).  One gold star to him.  (I’ve just watched Notes on a Scandal, though just the once – it’s hardly feel-good.)  Secondly, it’s kind of funny, his message.  No, actually it is funny.  And original.  And the punctuation is… oh for crying out loud.

A short while later, I reply, and a few minutes after that I get another message.  He must be ill too.

This one is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny.  In a collapse on the sofa and not because you’re ill kind-of-a-way.  Banter ensues.  What does he look like?  Oh, nice-looking.  The suit in the second picture, I would burn, but other than that… oh and the t-shirt in the fourth photo.

We discuss housework.  It turns out we both hate ironing, washing up, cleaning… glossing over the fact that, when we move in together, the house will basically be a pigsty, he’s quite fun.  And he even displays a disconcerting level of interest when he follows up the next day with a cleverly re-worded ‘so, what do you do?’

I – and this might be a terrible idea – tell him.  Oh don’t worry, I don’t mention the blog, but I’ve decided there’s no point denying I’m a writer.  I mean, sooner or later they’re going to find out that a good weekend for me is one spent, well, typing.  And since I’m quite up for dating a fellow writer (an in-house editor, just imagine!), it can’t hurt to lay my cards on the table.  Can it?

CC Image courtesy of Olivander on Flickr