I went on a Tinder date with a documentary filmmaker — an all-American, corn-fed hipster-country boy from some Podunk town upstate.
I wanted to meet at a nearby bar. The more I’m on Tinder, the less time I’m willing to waste. I don’t want to stray far from my apartment in case I need to get the hell off my date (so to speak) and go home to my Netflix and my ice cream.
We sat on a padded bench in a little booth with a low table. He was nervous, but when warmed up he seemed sweet. I could even overlook the fact that the mid-2000s were calling, asking for their trucker hat back.
“What’s the documentary you’re making?” I asked, sipping my whiskey sour.
“It’s about climate change,” he said. “I just finished a different doc, so I’m still busy promoting that.”
“Cool. What’s that one about?” I asked.
“Climate change,” He said.
As Climate Change talked, his knee brushed mine, bumping against the table. Thinking it was accidental due to close proximity, I adjusted my legs to make room between us. Five minutes later, it happened again. I adjusted again. It happened a third time while he talked about traveling cross-country by train as the best way to see the landscape.
I’d come from a comedy show at a fancy theater with some girlfriends, so I was in my favorite dress. Black, sleek, thin spaghetti straps draped over my shoulders, low-cut. I wasn’t wearing it for my Tinder date, but for me, on my night out at a show with the girls. But (perhaps predictably given the knee thing) he kept stealing longing glances at my cleavage. Fine. He’s a guy. It’s a date. I get it. I’m no prude. But I wasn’t giving Climate Change any signals. There was no sex vibe coming off of me because, while I felt hella sexy, I didn’t feel sexy about him.
He graduated from knee play to putting his right hand on my bare thigh while gesticulating with his left hand. Was he trying to distract me with a left while groping me with a right?
“You’re really touchy-feely,” I said matter-of-factly.
He grinned sheepishly, slowly removing his hand. Is a guy nice if he’s pawing at you despite your body language? The same language you automatically adopt when you’re sitting in the passenger seat of your mother’s Corolla and you’re on a speedy, high-traffic freeway and she’s a horrible driver?
I’d finished my second drink when he mentioned photography, something we had in common. I said I rarely use my real cameras anymore; I’m addicted to Instagram.
“Let me see your Instagram,” he said, scooting over and up against me so suddenly that I jerked back, pressed against the wall of the booth, instinctually trying to get my face as far away from his as possible.
“Before you show me your photos, let’s get another round,” he said.
“Actually? I’m gonna go.”
I thought I detected disappointment, but then realized Climate Change had the same dopey expression on his face all night. Was he drunk? High? Clueless? Retarded? Country?
Outside I gave him a “Nice to meet you, take care!” — already walking away as he called out, “Let’s hang out soon!” I thought: is Punk’d still a show because I must be on it. I went home to my Netflix and my ice cream.
Then I got back on Tinder because that’s what you do.