Tag Archives: firstdate

The Straight Grindr

When I first heard about Grindr, the geolocating App for single, gay men, I had several reactions:

1.) What?

2.) It does WHAT? It’s for men who want to have sex and can find someone within the same 10 blocks?

3.) Why isn’t there one for straight people??!

I’m sure most people had the same reaction, and developers caught on to that and took not that long to create the straight version of Grindr. The interesting thing about creating a straight Grindr is that these developers seemed to understand that making an App with the exact same pretense would creep people out. For some reason, even if it’s a lie, straight interactions cannot be that blunt.

Blendr has to pretend to be about meeting people in the general sense. Otherwise it seems super creepy.

I heard about Blendr for the first time on Monday, and immediately signed up. I then forgot about it, until the next night when I was at Angela’s, drinking and trying to forget about the terrible day I’d had. At that point, getting back on Blendr seemed like a great idea. I got online and responded to someone who’d sent me the following:

Him: “Ho”…. “*Hi”

I responded: “Lol”

From that super-romantic starting point, we talked back and forth for about twenty minutes before exchanging numbers. If I were to describe this experience, I’d call it Match.com on crack. It took  30-40 minutes of me talking to/ texting this person to make a date when it can take weeks on Match.

Interestingly enough, the same conventions apply. Something I’ve noticed about online dating is the perpetual need to qualify why you’re on an online dating site. When I talked to Ryan on the phone, he asked me how many dates I’d been on, after immediately clarifying that he’d only been on a few. I knew from the way he phrased it that the only answer I could give was, “Oh, you know, just a few. My friends have done this, so I’d figure I’d try it out.”

My experience on Blendr was no different. My potential match asked me right away; “What’s a pretty girl like you doing on this site?” It sort of reminded me of the movies: a scene where a lonely woman sits at a bar, drinking by herself, and gets asked by men why she’s there. We have a fixation on not seeming desperate when, in reality, we are all so very desperate. If I were to answer any of the questions I’ve been asked by men in bars, on match, on okcupid, or on blendr in honesty, my answers would be unflattering. They’d be something along the lines of:

“Well, I got my heart broken and I can’t personally afford to purchase as much alcohol as I’d like to to numb the pain.”

“I’ve decided to write a blog about my various online dates. Wanna be featured on my blog?”

Instead I responded something like, “hehe. My friend told me about it, so I figured I’d check it out.”

So tonight I met Joe. I didn’t expect someone on Blendr to have an attention span long enough to wait two days to meet me, but he did. We talked about family, work, drinks and rap; and overall it was a better interaction than I’ve had with several of the guys I’ve spent weeks talking to. Along with that, Joe was much more of a gentleman. He refused to let me pay for drinks, repeatedly asked me if I was having a good time, and forced a $20 bill into my hand as I grabbed a cab.

For these reasons I feel much more guilty writing about the experience than I usually would…. I’m going to take that as a sign that I should. Online dating is not all bad. I say this on my blog after only having documented one date, but from my past experiences, you meet some great people. Joe is one of those great people. I’ll definitely go out with him again.

Tonight, Joe and I talked a lot about New York. He’s a native New Yorker and for me it’s rare that I meet people who grew up here. I live under the assumption that those raised here aren’t walking around in constant awe of the city, so I was surprised by his fascination with the randomness of our meeting. It hit me that years here don’t change the feeling that you can always change, and you can always embark on a new adventure. Joe spent a lot of tonight telling me that he was still shell-shocked by the fact that he was meeting someone he met through an iPhone App. To think that even a native New Yorker can feel that excitement is reaffirming. It makes me want to live here for many, many more years.

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Business Ideas

Oh! The other thing I forgot to say about my match.com date from last night. This is the guy who wanted to talk on the phone a few weeks ago. We did talk on the phone, which was less awkward than I’d imagined, but in talking he told me about how he wants to start his own company. I thought this was really interesting, so I asked him if he had any ideas:

R- “You know Skype? Well the other day someone wanted to Skype with me for business, but I didn’t want to like, Skype from my room. So I was thinking what if you could use a green screen background for all your calls. Like people interviewing and bands could use it.”

T- “So… like what iChat does?”

R- “Yeah, but that one sucks. I’d make a really good one.”

I figured Ryan was in the brainstorming process, and that once he started examining other start-ups and markets he’d find an idea with a slightly larger target market. One our date, he told me his more recent idea which does indeed have a bigger target market:

R- “My friend was telling me about this website that you use to make reservations to restaurants.”

T- “Opentable.com?”

R- “Yeah! That’s it! So I was thinking… what if you could do that for everything? You know, like weekends out with friends or doctor’s appointments-“

T- “Have you heard of ZocDoc?”

R- “What is it called?”

“T- Zoc. Doc. The website that does that… they’re all over the news because they keep getting a ton of funding.”

Ryan looked at me like I was lying.

R- “…Well you could do that for everything.”

Even though I’m pretty sure Ryan thinks I made up ZocDoc, at least he’s coming up with business people would (and do!) use.

I’ve come up with a couple ideas for Ryan on his journey to starting a company. I think they’re pretty great.

The Home Store: They sell everything you need for home improvement!

InstaVintage: It’s an App! You take a photo on your smart phone and then make the photo look like it’s old, or black and white or something. Maybe there could be a social networking feature!

The Music TV Station: Everybody likes music! Why aren’t there any stations that play music? I have an expansion plan too! Get everyone hooked on music videos, then start breaking up the music videos with bad tv shows so people get hooked on those!

… I think they could be HUGE.

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Ryan and I decided to be friends

I woke up at 5:30 this morning absolutely hating myself for getting drunk on a week night. It doesn’t even matter that I got myself home without getting a bunch of bodega food, at a decent hour, with all my belongings AND managed to put my mouthguard in before falling asleep with my alarm set – all things that wouldn’t have happened in college. Waking up hungover solidifies for a few brief moments the deep-seated fear that I will never be a functioning adult.

As I laid there suffering, the conversations from last night started pouring in along with some more self hatred. Really? Did we really discuss preferred types of porn? (Angela, this further answers THIS question.) On a first date? I remembered a bunch of other embarrassing things I said (and tend to say after a bottle of wine) and then I remembered that right before sliding into my cab I asked Ryan if we could be just friends.

He was all about the idea from what I remember, but in my sobriety I wonder if he really felt the same way or if he agreed because there’s not really anything else you can say to someone saying they’re not interested in you romantically.

I’m hopeful it was the former because while Ryan was a perfectly normal (and nice!) guy, there was absolutely no connection there. Aside from the fact that he did this hand motion a lot

 and I found it distracting, talking to Ryan made me feel like a weirdo.

In my day to day I don’t think of my friends or myself as quirky, but I guess that we are. Ryan talked to me about the type of things you ‘should’ talk about on a first date – how many siblings he has, what he was like in high school, etc. In the middle of my talking animatedly about Austin’s temporary paralysis and why that’s resulted in us throwing a knock-on-wood-themed New Year’s Eve party I realized this is not what you’re supposed to talk about on a first date, I guess? At the end of the story I had to clarify with “… we have a morbid sense of humor.”

If I were to chart out our back and forth, I think it would look something like this:

(I know I misspelled religion in the chart… I don’t feel like fixing it)

I left the conversation thinking about all the ways I didn’t feel understood by this other human and how for some reason not feeling understood for a few brief moments makes you feel totally alone in the universe.

Then I came home to my roommates, who were eating some of the novelty candies we buy from the bodega and I remembered I’m not alone. Not alone in my quirkiness at all.

To Ryan: If you do decide to be my friend, below are some future conversations you can expect.

  • Why geese are awesome
  • All the reasons I’m sure my retinas are detaching even though the eye doctor says they’re not
  • All about my friend named Hibben and probably some pictures of her to prove she’s real
  • About my dog that we’ve renamed ‘Die’
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