Episode 1: The First Date
I remember the day I swiped right.
Yes, I was on Tinder. What else does a 31-year-old woman that just ended a nearly decade-long relationship do to meet new people? Most of my friends are married with kids. Their friends are married with kids. Times are tough when you’re a late-dating-bloomer, gone are the days of having a vast pool of singles to wade through and a group of equally-single friends to dive in with. So I went to the Interwebs. And honestly…it was fun.
It was a random Friday evening and I was perusing the Tinder real estate when he popped up. Beard? Check. Great smile? Check. Funny profile? Check. Age: 25. Oooooooo, too young.
I started to drag my finger left and move on, but stopped myself. I hesitated, then threw my thumb to the right. I know this is going to sound completely insane, but — I swear to God, guys — when I did it, I literally thought, ‘I’m pretty sure that’s going to change my life…’ (ok, reading that back, I feel like a pathetic character in a rom-com, but whatever. It worked out). His first message to me was, “Did you duck-face so hard you turned into a fish?” (a reference to one of my profile pictures). It wasn’t a line or cliche, which was a refreshing change. I’m a girl that really values wit. Our DMs flew back and forth easily. Within hours, we ditched the app and progressed to texting about my sad, single-girl-on-a-budget frozen pizza cuisine that turned into an idea to have a 7-11 pizza picnic first date. As soon as possible. Meaning, Monday.
Up until this point, I had never seriously considered meeting anyone in person off of Tinder. It was fun to chat, but I really left it at that. This one was different though. After hours of texting, it just…made sense to have a 7-11 picnic with this guy.
I rolled up to the convenience store and peered through the windows. There he was, at the counter looking just like he did in his profile (phew). I opened the door and walked towards him, all the while trying to decide if it would be weird if I offered to split the cost of $2 pizza (I opted to pick up dessert instead: a pint of Ben and Jerry’s). We drove to the beach, threw a blanket down, and he pulls out Slurpee cups, a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and silverware. The sun went down, we stayed there. The beach became deserted, we stayed there. We finally stopped talking at midnight.
When I got home, I danced in my kitchen with sandy feet and the melted pint of Ben and Jerry’s.