IÂ showed up for my Tinder date late and slightly drunk. Instead of going to the yoga class I wanted to attend my sister and her husband held me captive at Montyâ€™s where we did shots of Cachaca on an empty stomach. I ate some shrimp, trying to minimize the effects of the alcohol.
People in Miami drink just as much as people in Louisville, but they donâ€™t seem to ever eat anything, which is a dangerous combination when youâ€™ve been at the beach all day during jellyfish-mating season.
Blonde looked better than her picture, but worse than Iâ€™d hoped in a town with the highest percentage of hot women in the country. There was a slight odor of criticality that wafted about her bleached hair like musky perfume.
â€œYour jacket doesnâ€™t fit,â€ she said, casting a baleful eye across my sport-coat, which ironically Iâ€™d just picked up from the tailor.
Luckily the Cachaca buffered me against this personal attack, so I let it fall off the shoulders of my (apparently) ill-fitting suit.
After insult number one I decided to ease into some light conversation and found her to be knowledgeable, intelligent, and extensively traveled. Despite the conversation being good, her tight, unpleasant vibe persisted.
Was it the format? Even when youâ€™re on an actual date the Tinder system seems ethereal. At any moment either one of you could leap out of your seat and shout, â€œIâ€™m done with you!â€ and casually walk out, like the dating equivalent of the â€œGong Show.â€
Most of the people you meet on Tinder might be decent in reality, but their mobile-app personality is different. Everyone is on guard. Everyone is looking to step over to the next (better) person. Itâ€™s just temporary until you find a real person to date.
I ordered the Branzino for dinner, which prompted insult number two.
â€œWhy are you ordering fish? Are you anorexic?â€
I was starting to get the impression that there was some kind of agenda at work. Who aggressively sets up a Tinder date so they can insult the guy they asked out?
But I was determined to play this bizarre scene out until something interesting happened. I was paying for dinner and I desperately needed entertainment.
After eating my dinner and most of her French fries, just to prove my lack of â€œmanorexia,â€ she invited me back to her place, only on the condition that I couldnâ€™t stay long and we had to buy wine on the way.
We got into an argument in the Uber about whether they sold vodka at convenient stores, but settled on a compromise. She put on some music and I kissed her in the firm belief that the insults and criticisms were some bizarre form of foreplay.
Tinder, after all protests to the contrary by its users, is still essentially a hook-up app. Even if the love of your life is out there somewhere swiping right, youâ€™d never be able to connect with her on a legitimate level.
Thatâ€™s why the appropriate use of the app is for random hookups with people you can barely stand in places that arenâ€™t where you live.
Now, your friend Mr. Chase here has been chastised by the establishment on one or more occasions for his unnecessarily graphic description of amorous activities (little of which actually makes it to print), but upon arrival in the bedroom from the restroom I was greeted with what the biologists describe in the animal kingdom as â€œpresentingâ€ (and letâ€™s leave it at that).
I woke up sore and hungover with a gnawing ache in my belly. Perhaps that Branzino hadnâ€™t been filling enough after all. We went for a Cuban breakfast of skirt steak and eggs.
I was departing for a week, but returning in 10 days, so she kissed me stiffly as I got out of the car and hobbled into The Waverly, where I grabbed a bottle of white wine and applied it to my aching head.
Five hours later I got an email from Blonde, with a link to a job application fitting my skills in the vicinity. I showed it to my sister.
â€œDonâ€™t you think itâ€™s a little crazy that you went on ONE date with her and now sheâ€™s trying to get you a job here?â€
I eased my sore, tired body into a lounge chair by the pool and passed out. VT
To be continuedâ€¦
R. Chase is a local writer and surveyor of single life on the Bourbon Trail. Follow him on twitter at @_Rchase.