Ok, I never finish blogs so I’m making myself publish no matter what at 30 minutes these days. Bear with me.
Also, this post is part of a much longer post that goes into detail about my summer on Tinder, but let’s just say that’s a story better left for a pseudonym.
In brief, this summer I decided to give Tinder a go. The ex and I were no longer on speaking terms; I was angry about it and looking for proof that the world of men had potential, and I wanted to convince myself that I could overcome my anxiety enough to go on a date with someone without leaving bloody divots in where my nails dug into my palms from the psychotic anxiety that overcomes me around men. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I can’t go out on a date and charm a man. I’m a seemingly outgoing, normative woman who likes to do all sorts of fun shit. And, as I have been told (*by men*) is not often the case with women on Tinder, my profile is pretty damn honest: regular weight, no make-up, does not brush hair, obsessively brushes teeth. So when these guys meet me I’d say they’re non-plussed by the look of me, but mostly, I’m a fucking anthropologist, so reading the room, err, the man, is sort of my job.
The real problem then, is that instead of being myself I do exactly what a good ethnographer would, which is do my best to blend into the situation and become what I need to be to start collecting data. By the end of a date I’ve likely listened to all of the man’s likes, dislikes and life stories and associated with them by cherry picking from my past while staying positive and engaged. Usually we’re a poor fit, and I’ve misguided the entire situation to make it seem otherwise. And now I’m the worst situation possible, and the meanest probably, in which I now have to disentangle myself through even more lies.
What’s my point here? Ah yes, Tinder…
So what would it look like to instead be myself, me, honestLeigh?
And what/who is that?
Well, first of all I’ve obscured most of the characteristics that tend to turn a guy off – my hairy body parts, my unrelenting emotionality, my deep seated rage at nothing and guilt about everything, my unending insecurity and my general laziness coupled with a greed for everything I don’t have but haven’t worked for. Then there’s the angry feminist in me. The older I get the more I hate men. It seems like 99.99% of them are blind and lazy and have zero desire to truly understand what others may feel or how they might perceive the world, and their shit is just so damn black and white it’s infuriating. What dude wants to swipe right on that?
So this time I took a different tack. I’d given up on finding the elusive “partner”, and I’d given up on enjoying the rigamarole of dating and flirting, but I hadn’t given up on adventure, the main purpose of my summer. And, as it turns out, Denver, AKA MENver, and Colorado at large, is the perfect place to find those wayward Peter Pan souls who are looking for just the same. So that’s what I did.
I swiped and swiped and swiped and found truckloads of climbers, cyclists, kayakers, paragliders, kiters, hikers, rafters etc. Many of them lived out of their vans, shredding the gnar while working the lifts during the ski season, teaching paragliding in the summer months, and generally counting up the days they hit the slopes on some mental abacus. And so I did too. I got pointers on mountain biking; I learned how to read a “line” down the rapids and sit properly on a raft; I paddled a kayak under the big blue sky. Were these guys marriage material? Would they have been into me had I opened filthy feminist mouth or exposed my fullest and most honest alternative aesthetic? Probably no on both accounts.
Did we have an awesome time? I fucking road my bike over a CAR; I rafted down whitewater rapids for FREE! AND, the kicker, we all had a similarly nonchalant perspective about it.
So you’re wondering about the sex. Did I have it? Was I prostituting myself for adventure. Now that is a great question, and one for another day. As it is my timer is buzzing, and I have much more to say (e.g. about the physical aspect, and why I didn’t just go with other ladies), but you’ll have to wait for future posts.
Ciao for now.