How do you feel about chicken parm?
As much as I love coffee — like the best beer I've ever had was only the best because it was an Antigua coffee brown ale — I hate coffee dates.
I recently let myself be not so difficultly persuaded into joining Tinder. On Tinder there are really very few possible outcomes and most guys on Tinder can be categorized into about six different types.
The Hookup Hoe
Even I, several pounds of stress weight and sarcasm over the “healthy” limit, have encountered these.
Before I go any further, let me just preface by saying I am totally sex positive. I have no beef with people being out there just to have fun and get some. But, that doesn’t mean I think it’s fine for you to impose that sexual energy on someone who has told you they aren’t game to fool around or be the recipient of your nudes, especially before, during or any time very soon after the first date.
That said, The Hookup Hoe can be really great at making you think from their profile that they're not just on Tinder for sex (like 75% if not more of people are). From the Reader's Digest version of themselves at your fingertips as you hover to swipe left, they seem almost ... normal. They appear to have their shit together even. But if you match, exit right Mr. Congeniality, enter left Mr. Never Gonna Meet Your Mother.
To be fair, not all Hookup Hoes are hiding it. Some outright say "hmu if you want to get kinky" or something of that nature. Since I'm not that kind of girl on a first date, I usually swipe left. The guy who sends you a message saying "want to see my dick?" is not going to be the guy who appreciates that you have a "strong personality," unless that strong personality means you end up on top of him cowgirl-style five minutes into your first "date."
Maybe when you first saw his bio and artfully curated selfies, you thought "I like his personality ... and he's pretty cute. What the hell?!" But upon further inspection after a carefree swipe right and a few messages back and forth, it's clear what we have here is friend material. Don't get me wrong, that's fucking great too. Some people even use Tinder just to find friends when they're new to town. But I don't want to keep someone I feel is great enough to be friends with off the market for other girls, so that's when it's time to declare your unlove for them, maybe exchange phone numbers for impromptu games of pool at the local dive bar, and move on. If mama didn't come to play, she ain't gonna be using up all of her best lines on you.
The first guy I talked to on Tinder gave me hope ... before he became prime blog fodder. We hit it off instantly. He, like I, was witty and smooth, and you'd almost think he was normal (there's that plot twist again), but in person he's just ... not. He's awkward, actually a tad (okay, a lot) insensitive, and he makes you laugh — not in a good way. He makes you laugh in that "oh my God, is this really happening to me right now" kind of way.
For me, this guy referred to me as "dude" — anyone who knows me knows that's a blog bashing-able offense — he said he'd IG stalked me and thought my "ex seemed pretty cool," and then proceeded for far too much of the date to tell me how newspapers are irrelevant and obsolete. It was the kind of date to leave you staring at the clouds as if speaking directly to God going "You're kidding right? NEXT!"
The One and Done
You swipe right. He swipes right. You sit in nervous anticipation wondering if you should message first or if that's forward for a girl. (Yes, even the woman who proposed to her last boyfriend still worries about being forward.) He messages.
Him: Hey. What's up?
You: Nothing much. How are you?
Him: Just hanging out, [insert activity here.] We should hang out sometime.
You: Sure. Where were you thinking?
*See The One and Done and add an eternity of silence.
And, no, this is not the Turkish guy who messages you asking if you want a “gentleman friend” then follows up with “to be honest, I want you.”
He’s that one (or if you’re lucky more than one) guy who genuinely wants to get to know you — as a person, not just in the biblical sense.Sure, it may not last. You could be together for weeks, months, years and then end up parting ways, but The Gentleman is a rare commodity on Tinder and should be treated with utmost care and genuine honesty.
You don't want to spook them by telling them every terrible thing about your ex/dad/mom/job/life, but if anyone wouldn't judge you, it's The Gentleman. Sometimes they might even surprise you by being just as emotionally fucked up as you are, but yet they somehow remain a well-balanced, Adonis-like enigma.
I've ended with The Gentleman, because fingers crossed, readers, I think I found one. I don't want to put the cart before the horse though because we don't meet in person until Friday. But if nothing else he's inspired this post.
We were supposed to meet up for coffee one day, but 20-minutes in come to find out he had made an unplanned trip to the ER and was apologizing for not being there.
He was apologizing for being in the hospital ... I'm just gonna let that one sink in for a moment.
That's when this whole coffee date thing really dug into me. Maybe this whole thing was a chance for a do-over.
So I did something insane. I texted back that I'd reschedule on one condition. That being that he let me cook dinner instead. I like to think I'm a fairly good judge of character, and I've yet to be truly, abhorrently wrong. Even with my exes, I don't regret our time together. No matter how terrible the end of that time may have been in one case. So unless you happen to be driving down Highway 26 and see a B-sized garbage bag on the side of the road with blonde hair spilling out of it next week, assume I was right about this one.
Coffee, especially when purchased from a chain shop — here's looking at you Sbux, still love you — is so ... impersonal. If I want to get to know you, and you to know me, I want to cook for you or at the very least talk in-person in a place where I don't have to feel the eyes and ears of one million eavesdroppers and Yentas on me.
It's funny really, because in my job I do the speed-dating style of interviews at a coffee shop fairly often. I set up shop at the cafe of the day and have interviews scheduled fairly one after the other. And that doesn't bother me.
Sitting in a coffee shop waiting for a date — because God knows I'm always early, with book in hand — drives me nuts. I'm never more nervous than when I'm sitting surrounded by people who have no idea why I’m there, but yet I feel like they do and are totally judging my every move.
Besides, the Tinder type I fall into is still Hipster Mom. It entails being a care package compiling aficionado, the first call your friends make when excited/freaking the fuck out over something and always having a comfy couch and baked goods on hand in case of an emergency visit.
I can't promise I won't do yiddish grandmother impersonations about you not eating enough if I invite you to dinner, but I can promise the chicken parm will be delicious.