Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dear Butt Stuff...

Dear Bitter Amanda,

Having recently moved to a big city, I was talked into joining Tinder. "It'll be fun," said my friend. "It doesn't even HAVE to be about random hookups. You'll get out, meet people, have fun interactions, maybe even make a friend or two." 

Boy, was he overselling the concept.

My very first "match" (which is what Tinder calls this inexact science of judging people by their Facebook pictures and liked pages) seemed promising. Look, I'll be honest: I have a type. Like, if there's a guy with more than 10 words in his bio and a picture of performing at some comedy club, I'm going to swipe right. You think, "Hey, here's a guy invested in making people laugh. And capable of using the English language to his advantage. What could go wrong?"

The answer to that, dear Bitter Amanda, is A LOT. Because his immediate response to me, despite this happenstance taking place at 2 pm on a Thursday afternoon, was, "Butt stuff?" 

Many reiterations of the same type (how many guys are doing standup comedy now, anyway?!) did not amount to much more. One guy made a delightful pun involving a crude description of the female anatomy. Another immediately launched into a story about being shot in the hand the previous weekend. Yet another posed a terrible pickup line about swiping our genitalia against each other as a metaphorical homage to our (as he called it) "digital meet-cute."

Is this really what dating has come to, BA? Must I modulate my expectations for my late twenties as a montage of "digital meet-cutes" with neanderthals inside my phone? 

Dear Butt Stuff, 

No. No no no no no. IS THIS HOW WE'RE TRYING TO IMPRESS EACH OTHER, FELLOW SINGLES? Is this really something we're comfortable making our dating trademark? "Butt stuff?"?! This kind of message should really only occur between people who either know each other or who are fully aware that the other person might be into that. To me, that's a 2am text message from your occasional hook up. That is NOT an introduction on a Thursday afternoon. That is NOT a "meet-cute" at all. That's a meet-gross. It's not even a well-crafted sentence! It's not a sentence at all! Talk about a gamble that didn't pay off. Guys, you have to stop this nonsense. (Ok, before you all jump up to tell me that I'm unfairly stereotyping, let me just tell you that in all my days, I've NEVER heard complaints that a woman pulled this crap upon meeting another single. Never. So sure, maybe I'm lumping you all together, but you are the common perpetrators of this ridiculous behavior. Don't blame me, blame the first guy who sent a dick pic to a lady without her expressly asking for one.***)

Your letter is particularly well-timed, as I witnessed Tinder for the first time some weeks ago. It was...eye opening. I've been working on a blog post about it. (No, before you ask, I am not on Tinder.) As a concept, I sort of get it. It's a dating site hoping we love instant gratification and making snap judgments enough to join. But in reality, I share your concerns. Must we lower our standards? Maybe I'm meeting all the wrong ones, but I'm not impressed by the ways I'm wooed by men. It's underwhelming. I'm not blaming Tinder for this, since it was already a problem. I don't even know who I'm blaming! For once, it's not men. (Victory!) I saw this book at a used book sale last week, which elevated my concerns. 

You guys I don't want to settle for Mr. Good Enough. I don't know about you, Tinderella, but weddings are annoying enough without including a tolerable groom. 

Let's raise our standards, singles. Let's not send complete strangers a message that simply says "Butt stuff." Let's be better than that. 

Solitarily yours,

Bitter Amanda

***Let's talk about dick pics another day. A sentence I never imagined typing. 

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