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The One Week Relationship: A Tinder Miracle

January 12, 2015

I had sworn off Tinder. It was stupid and none of my matches were talking to me, much less asking to meet me. But, ever so often, I snatched it from the cloud and checked to see if any of my matches had been struck with the urge to attempt communication. During one of those times, I pressed the heart button on a picture of an unusual-looking guy with blue eyes, pale skin and little round, John Lennon glasses. What the hell? We probably won’t match and I probably won’t hear from him.  And then I deleted again.

In my state of cynicism, I joined Match.com. Not out of hope but to sort of prove to myself that I was right. That was really no one in Lafayette that I was compatible with. I wanted to get it over with so I could say, “Yup. I tried that.” I paid what seemed to me like an exorbitant fee for keeping the option of quitting in a month. I dug up a variety of ridiculous facebook photos, including two with color all over me and slapped them up there along with a short profile.

Match is worse than Tinder, if that’s possible. It’s like dumpster diving in the hopes that there might be something in there that could maybe, one day be a wonderful part of your life. After two days of reading profiles, I was disgusted by the blatant disrespect for the English language, the written word. It was atrocious. So, I added a little smart-ass advice to mine, suggesting that the lessons we all learned in grade school English were not meant to be forgotten.

Since anyone can contact anyone else I began receiving a lot of e-mails, 99.999% of which I was not interested in. Don’t call me a snob unless you’ve tried it. It’s brutal. Nevertheless, I did find a few maybe’s. One of which turned out to be the ex of a former co-worker. I have way too much background information on him. I shut that down. There were a couple of minor back and forths but nothing inspiring any excitement in me.

Thursday, January 1

I resurrected Tinder to find I had matched with Lennon Glasses. He had messaged me. He thought the line about seeing a movie and holding hands in my profile was cute. We struck up a conversation. A common interest in British Comedy was established after I told him I watching The IT Crowd while scrubbing my bathtub.

“I could watch that over and over,” he said.

“I have,” I admitted. We chatted easily for a long time until he gave me his phone number.

Huh, I thought. I don’t really want to make the next move. But he had gently lobbed the ball over to my court. I tossed it back by saying. “Since I’m unlikely to be forward enough to use your number, here’s mine.”

“What to do, What to do?” he replied then asked me to go with him to a friend’s band the following night. “How’s that for forward action?” Cute. But I didn’t like the idea of trying to get to know him in front of a loud band. And the Feed and Seed, an old farmer’s market, turned Blue-Moon-wanna-be music venue didn’t have any easy places to just sit, watch and talk. So, I suggested drinks before the show at Pamplona. He agreed.

Friday, January 2

At lunch the next day I was telling Liz about the Match choices. I showed her one of the maybe’s, an older man who looked different in each photograph. He was also a fan of Pamplona and liked to sail. She liked him. She thought he sounded great. She could see me with him, she said. She pulled one of her, what is wrong with you?!’s and urged me to respond to his e-mail. I showed her Lennon Glasses on Tinder. She wasn’t impressed. “I don’t see you with him,” she said. Since she’s often intuitively right and I’m often wrong about these things, I decided to reply to Mr. Gray Hair but I still liked Lennon Glasses. There was something odd about his smirk and perfect nose. I was looking forward to meeting him.

That evening Lennon Glasses and I went back and forth about the meeting time. He’s a freelance theater tech and would be coming from a gig and he wasn’t sure when he could get away. I took note of his consideration and clear communication about when he might be there, if he was running late, and the moment he was on his way.

I sat in my familiar haunt and waited for him. He walked in scanning the bar then caught my eye. He was wearing a casual shirt with a sweat-shirt, black hoodie. There wasn’t a place for him to sit and the people next to me were kind of loud. I knew something would open up with patience, so I advised waiting. Our conversation flowed easily. We had a lot in common. Books, movies, television, political views, humor. We drank wine and he told me a bit about himself. I brought up the Jerusalem non-trip. I wonder how long that will be part of every getting-to-know-you conversation.

He was witty and intelligent though he was a bit negative at times. Too many ex stories, maybe. He wasn’t impressed with Lafayette. I tried to defend my little city, but it lacked passion. I wasn’t exactly impressed with Lafayette at that moment either. I tried to bring the conversation around to funny things. He told me about his son who lived in Iceland. We talked about parenting. He wanted to smoke so we walked out the back door to the little alley.

We sat on a crate and continued our talking. I was cold so he put his hoodie on my legs. We talked about dating and Tinder. I asked him why some guys didn’t attempt or continue communication, bringing up a specific case. “If I’m going to help you date other guys, let me see him,” he said. I showed him. “Well you’re not going to like this, but you’re probably too old.”

I thought of Z and Six-Foot-Hottie. “Then why would he match with me?” I asked.

“Well,” he conjectured, “He’s either put you in a category and he doesn’t know how to take you out of it. Or he doesn’t know how to be crazy about you.”

“He doesn’t know how to be crazy about you.” I repeated. What an interesting phrase. “What does that mean?” I asked. I don’t remember the answer. He had an interesting way of pulling out little phrases like that. I was intrigued by him.

The joint was closing so he paid the tab and we walked out. I told him I enjoyed meeting him and he said something about my being tense, wound up, like my back needed to be cracked. I laughed awkwardly and said goodnight.

He would later tell me that he went to meet friends telling them, “I just came back from a disastrous date.” Despite this assessment he texted me, “I like you. So there.” I told him I liked him too.

I sent him the link to the Jerusalem story.

Meanwhile, I had replied to Mr. Gray Hair’s e-mail and he asked to meet me. Following my stated intention of wanting “to date,” I pulled the old, my-friends-and-I-meet-on-Wednesdays number. He could join us if he wanted to. He agreed but picked up on the rouse. He knew he was being vetted. Liz was impressed by his honest comeback. We would meet him Wednesday night.

Saturday, January 3

The next morning Lennon Glasses texted me and said he had read the Jerusalem story. “So much to say.” He asked me out for lunch that Sunday. “You got me thinking about Thai food.” I agreed. He flirted a bit. He’s good at non-verbal communication. He’s funny and smart and lightly romantic. He told me he had been jealous of his hoodie on my legs. I didn’t know what to answer.

That night after he got off from work, he asked me what I was up to. Liz and I were going to attempt to dance to the Pine Leaf Boys at the dreaded Artmosphere. It was cold and rainy. I invited Lennon to join us if he liked, warning him that he might be just watching us dance. He agreed. He arrived before we did and was sitting on the porch. He was wearing his hoodie again and the black clothes of a theater tech on a performance night. I greeted him, introduced him to Liz and went in for a beer. It was kind of dead and none of the usual dance partners were there. No feathers. So, I ended up sitting outside with him and talking as friends and acquaintances stopped by periodically to talk or say hi.

He talks a lot with few pauses. He easily merges from one subject to the next segwaying from pop culture to history to politics to literature to music to personal stories. But he’s not loud or chatty. It’s not an annoying, never-ending blabber, nor is it neurotic whining. He’s just a really smart guy who talks about everything that’s on his mind. His speaking pattern has a cadence to it, a calmness. It’s like music. And you have to pay attention to catch the understated, the under the breath jewels of surprising insight. “He doesn’t know how to be crazy about you,” he had said. He was full of those. Little statements of perfect understanding, concisely articulated. I was becoming smitten with him. I wanted to kiss him.

I asked him about his background and what his dream job would be. He wasn’t sure. “I have too many dream jobs,” I told him.

He wasn’t making any moves so finally, I asked him, perhaps foolishly, putting him on the spot, “When are you going to try to kiss me?”

I think he was surprised by the question and starting talking about mixed messages and not wanting to intrude on my night out with my friend. “Oh Liz is the ultimate wing woman,” I joked.

“You’re thinking too much,” I said. Someone sat down next to us. “And now I’ve lost the privacy,” he said. Then we were alone again and I said, “Maybe you should kiss me now.”

He leaned in and gave me a surprisingly sweet, gentle, even teasing kiss. I put my hand on his face. He put his arm on my waist.

Liz told me later that she had asked a friend to go look out the window to see if we were still sitting there. “Oh, they’re all over each other,” he had told her pretending to be making out with his arms.

It was time to go home. Lennon mentioned something about a sometimes absent roommate, an invitation to come over, perhaps.

I told him I’d see him the next day for Thai food.

We kissed goodnight.

 

to be continued….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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