When I woke up this morning I got dressed to look hot for my first date of 2019, scheduled for 6pm tonight. We planned to meet after work at a literary labelled bar, equidistant between my suburb and the suburb of a man with a cute face I’d met on Hinge. I even used the word equidistant when enquiring about a location. We both agreed it was an excellent word.
It is now 6.51pm and I’m writing this from the local library. Even though there’s no sunset to look at out the window and the fluros are a bit intense (when will environmentally friendly lightbulbs become ambient?) and I’m also not on a date, I am content.
After 8 months off the apps, a few weeks ago I re-downloaded Tinder and also signed up for Hinge, because it appeared more people actually wrote words on their profiles. I also adopted the ‘phone call first’ policy as suggested by a single mate. In that time I have been once again surprised at the percentage of drongos who match but don’t message back and have once again become fairly instantly bored of ‘banter’. If banter is a conversation stripped of anything personal or vulnerable or real or of any interest then banter can bugger off. I’m not interested in talking about things! I want to know enough about you to suss out if we should spend any further time on each other! I’ve had three phone chats with blokes in the last fortnight:
Phone call 1: I look at my phone. 6 minutes and 43 seconds have passed without me saying more than ‘hi!’ and ‘oh’ and ‘ok’. I then tell him I’m in a cafe writing (which I am) and that now is not a good time (it’s not). I text ten minutes later politely curtailing any further communications, which is amicably received. 16 minutes in total instead of many more organising a date, dressing up for a date, going on a date, staying on the date for a polite length of time, then debriefing about the date afterwards! EFFICIENCY FTW!
Phone call 2: We chat pleasantly for about 10 minutes, during which time he says “No, I’m in no way creative and I’m ok about that. Not even cooking or gardening or anything.” Another polite text and we both move on and I update my profile.
Phone call 3: He texts two hours in advance of our date, to ask if we can meet later. When I decline due to prior dinner and show plans, he calls straight away. We chat for 13 minutes, which is all he has between meetings. He likes his job. He is creative. He dressed up as a hipster’s favourite vegetable once at a costume party. He wants to know what I do when I’m not working. He is nervous talking for the first time without body language to read or a beer to hold but gives it a good crack. When we wrap it up I tell him that I’d like to meet but that the ball is firmly in his court to arrange the next date, he tells me that assertiveness is a very attractive quality.
This morning at the gym I recognised a very handsome man I once went on two dates with but was bored with all the talk of a hipsters favourite beverage. Perhaps the hobby talk was nerves. Perhaps verbal communication is not his bloody love language. Perhaps he’s just a bit of bore. Either way I texted to invite him to see a show this weekend.
So I am content, Dear Readers.
I am content that these phone calls and messages are not big deals. I am content that I will not be overly surprised nor disappointed if Kombucha Guy or Vegetable Dress Up Guy don’t end up with more to their stories. I am content that in my 8 months off the apps I had Ambiguous Hang Outs with 3 handsome and amicable gentlemen that weren’t dates, but also weren’t NOT dates and didn’t lead to anything but also didn’t NOT lead to anything. I am content that in 16 minutes I’m meeting a mate for dinner and a fringe show. I am content that this weekend I’ll spend time with a newish community of local hipster legends then I’ll see a show with old friends and a show with a new work friend, then I’ll go to my philosophical discussion group and I’ll do my washing and my grocery shopping and my cooking. I am content that my work for next year is looking more like this year, only better and a bit harder. I am content that more of my students smile at me when I’m on yard duty these days. I am content that they seem to be genuinely interesting and funny and mostly kind and mostly fair young people, who mostly try and who mostly do what I say these days. I am content that it’s school holidays soon. I am content that I have friends to call in tears and friends to call with questions and friends to just call. I am content that I will go bush soon and that the light is lasting longer these days and that my tulips are blooming. I am content. I am.