If I’m grateful for one thing in Covid, it is that I don’t have to deal with inebriated neurotypical single people out in the dating world.
Once, back in the day when I was still pretty wet behind the ears, I asked a guy where he went to college. The question was completely in context…we were at a law school mixer at Dirtbag’s on Speedway.
👱🏻♂️: I don’t tell women where I went to college. When they hear it they just want to date me.
I tried not spitting beer out of my nostrils. I was mostly successful. This was before we had the term “humblebrag” but the guy was basically saying he went to an Ivy. Now, I didn’t care that he went to an Ivy. I didn’t have any interest in him. My conversational skills were rudimentary at best and worse among strangers. But I knew enough to know this guy thought he was charming.
I’m apparently impervious to charm. Not 100%. But if charm were rain and I were your coat, you’d get a little wet but stay mostly dry.
What does most self-professed charm feel like to me? It feels completely unnecessary and disingenuous. I get physically sickened. I feel the need to pull myself out of the conversation and maintain distance. I’ll bounce.
I’m very sensitive to vulgarity. To people acting out base human instincts in public. To people using the lowest of enticements to get what they want because they don’t have better moves and their insecurity demands attention.
But mostly, it’s the selfishness and single-mindedness with which a person can turn a group interaction into a naked power grab. I have more than one of these people in my life. When I see their shark like nictitating membranes cover their eyes as they close in for the kill, I feel like I’m watching Bambi or Old Yeller or any other animal snuff film. But also, it feels pathetic. I don’t want to be around for it.
I want gamesmanship. I want witty wordplay. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. I think people think they’re witty. But when the drugs and alcohol come into play, it feels like I’m watching Wet Hot American Summer. It’s awkward and gag worthy. And this is when I’m in the room with these people. There are times when I have to exit online conversations because I’m grossed out by the neediness of others recounted as successful dates. I don’t want to hear any of it.
You can imagine how torturous this made sleep overs as a kid.
It might be why I like Tinder as opposed to in-person dating. I like everything to be on the table. If I had a dollar for every emotionally stunted man who invited me to “hang out” instead of a proper date and I had to pick up through contextual clues like the person reaching for the check to see if it was a date…well, I’d have a lot of dollars.
Tinder, on the other hand, is meant for dating. Yes, I’ve gotten a lot out of it that is unrelated to dating. But I at least know what everyone’s intentions are and I can cut to the chase real fast.
As for human interactions, well, unfortunately, we’re going back into a world in which everyone is low on social skills and high on need for validation. Ew. Just ew.
Welcome to the second annual Thirst Games, though. And may the odds be ever in your favor.