Why You Should Not Go on a Tinder Date with Me

Epistemic status: fiction

This summer I was feeling that I had lost my sense of purpose. So, I got really depressed. Then, I started to read a lot.

One of the books I read was an investigation into the appearance of consciousness in humans by Julian Jaynes, called The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. The book was a curious one. In fact, it was so curious I decided I had to write a review of it. Part-review, part-critique, in the form of an essay slash blog post.

I write the first draft in under a week. I adore it. it exemplifies my wit, my writing talent, and my insightfulness in a cocktail which should probably be named “Sex on the Beach with Alexey”. So, I send it over to a friend.

He tells me that he got lost in the first paragraph and he’s not going to read any further. I think he must just be too dull to see its beauty. So, I send the essay to two more friends. The first one tells me that she’s read the first half and she feels that it’s “enough” for her. The other one tells me that she’s finished it and that it’s “ok”.

This is the point where I start to suspect that just maybe I will need to adjust a thing or two. This is also the point where you may start to wonder what the hell does this story have to do with tinder at all.

Coincidentally, I have a tinder date with a girl named L. coming up just a day after I finished the first draft and realized that I have three less friends. L. sports large glasses and flawless carré, and studies economics at my university. She’s also freakishly smart and absurdly hot. I’m just trying my best to look adequate next to her.

Somehow, our chat turns to books and this is where a revelation strikes me. The moment I see an opening, I start to recite the entire blog post I wrote yesterday to her. I can see that she’s trying her best to look interested. I can also see the strain on her face. But. By the variation in that strain I figure out exactly the parts of the post that need the most work.

After the date L. tells me that she’s sorry but she has no further romantic interest.

I chop up the post in pieces and rewrite it almost from the scratch.

Later that week I have agreed to meet up for drinks with another girl: M. She’s athletic and buzzing with energy. M. studies at a medical school and is planning to go on to get a PhD in molecular biology. While waiting for me in metro she was reading Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. Of course, we move on to discuss The Glass Bead Game (which you should totally read if you haven’t yet, by the way). Another few moments later I see the opportunity and I strike: we spend the next half an hour talking about Jaynes. Most of the time her face vacillates between boredom and slight annoyance. But every now and then I see a spark of interest lighting up in her eyes.

After the date she tells me that she loved my sense of humor, but that I’m “not her type”.

I throw out about a third of the post and completely rewrite its intro.

Next week, another unsuspecting girl, V., steps right into my trap. Her jawline tells me about her assertiveness and her light blue eyes speak of the northern coast of France she recently returned from. We’ve been walking around and about the city center for the last 2 hours and eventually we end up discussing Gabriel García Márquez and Latin American magic realism. She found One Hundred Years of Solitude to be remarkable in its picturesqueness; I found it to be remarkable in its obsession with incest. But I’m getting sidetracked.

Slowly but surely, I start to retell her the latest iteration of my essay. She’s definitely immersed. Her eyes start to live up to their promise of la Manche’s excitability and I manage to make her engaged throughout the entire narrative. I realize that it has finally coalesced into something worthwhile.

A few days later she writes me that she wants to hang out some more.

I make a few minor edits and finally publish the post.

Thanks to Ann Taranina for reading early drafts of this post and offering helpful suggestions and to my twitter friend Anna for pointing out some typos.

A special thanks to all the girls from tinder who were forced to endure my ramblings on topics, including, but not limited to, Julian Jaynes, modern art, and general concerns about the aesthetics of the modern world.

This post was inspired by Steve Friedman’s Lost on Treasure Island and by Tal Yarkoni’s the weeble distribution: a love story.

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