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I really didn’t want to get back on the dating apps. The interfaces have changed significantly since I was last in this position, and on top of that, I just felt pathetic.
I hadn’t even really given it a go just going out to the bar and trying my hand at the old school method of picking up a girl, but sometimes it’s Thursday night and you’re sitting alone on a couch, shoving veggie straws into your mouth and mindlessly scrolling Twitter while another episode of Big Mouth plays in the background and you just say “fuck it” and re-download Hinge. That’s what happened to me last week.
I began liking profiles with my left hand, my right hand very much occupied deep inside of a bag of sea salt veggie straws that I had bought from Costco. I was getting matches left and right, but it was only because I wasn’t even looking at the pictures of these people. I was just liking everything, with a plan of going back through all of the matches in ten or twenty minutes to really scrutinize each profile with a fine tooth comb.
Fast forward a half hour later. Veggie straw crumbs litter my couch and floor space immediately in front of where I’m sitting. I feel guilty about finishing off a bag of veggie straws – I had only had them for about a week and the roof of my mouth was absolutely wrecked from eating as many as I did.
I decide that I’m going to message Betsi, a graduate of Indiana University. She has red hair and freckles and seems like she’s an obnoxious drunk from the combination of her photos and one quote which lists her preferred Chipotle order. I shake my head and try to forget about the Chipotle order.
She is the polar opposite of my ex girlfriend. This is a conscious decision, fueled by a completely unrealistic scenario wherein I go out with this girl and then one of my exes sees me out with her and then texts my ex to let her know whats going on.
In this very specific scenario, I can’t risk being out with a girl that looks anything like the ex in question or I’ll seem hung up. The whole idea is to give off a carefree attitude should this ever happen, one where everything is sunshine and rainbows and I’m totally at peace with everything. So I message Betsi “sup” because this is a dating app, I don’t care all that much, and I feel like a fucking idiot being back on this thing trying to find someone to go out with me. She says “nothing much just drinking some wine with a few friends” and before I know it we’re off to the races.
We set a plan to meet for happy hour drinks the very next night following work. I get out later than expected for a Friday and am forced to bring my handbag with all of my work materials in it to the bar with me.
She’s twenty minutes late and I’ve already finished a beer when she finally gets to the rendezvous point. She asks me what I majored in during college before she even orders a drink, and I look at her in disbelief for a moment. If there’s one question I hate on a first date or while I’m talking to someone at the bar, it’s this question. A smile runs away from my face as I look her in the eye. I can’t believe I’m back out here doing this shit.
“I don’t want to waste your time. I’m just not feeling this, I’m sorry.” Betsi looked stunned, but you know what? She was twenty minutes late and I’m tired from work and I hate everything about this situation.
I put a ten dollar bill on the bar for my one beer (thanking God that I had cash on me so I wouldn’t have to wait for the bartender to charge my debit card and bring me my bill) and walk out, hopping in the group chat as I make my way towards my apartment to see what my friends have planned for the night..