In attempts to recover from what could be the most dramatic breakup since Britney and JT, I decided that the best way to get over my ex was by dating someone new- exactly a week post breakup. Great idea, no? Yeah, my besties didn’t think so either. Did that stop me? Hell no. One thing I’ve never been called is conventional. Off to Tinder I go!
After the breakup with my 40-something ex, whose version of mourning a 4-year relationship is dating someone new the next day from our breakup, my self-esteem needed a little boost. No time like the present to get back in the saddle! Instead of meeting a guy the old-fashioned way, I did what every single millennial girl does. I joined Tinder.
I carefully crafted a profile filled with witty remarks and exciting pictures, I knew that photo of me driving a yellow lambo would come in handy one day! My alter ego armed herself with tequila and cookie dough and began swiping freely. To my dismay, most of the profiles reminded me of men who could be featured on an episode of Cold Case Files. My inbox quickly accumulated cheesy pickup lines, dad jokes, and genitals. The creativity award goes to the dude who sent me his “burrito” rocking a sombrero. There is a group text somewhere with a hung jury on whether he should have drawn a mustache or not.
Hung jury, get it?
Eventually, I began conversing with Carl, a 42-year-old divorcee, who resembled Bruce Willis. He was relatively funny, enjoyed the beach, and didn’t send me pictures of his dong. Naturally I accepted his invitation for a drink. I mean, how bad can it be?
As I pulled into a parking spot, I spotted Carl standing by the door of the bar. To my dismay, and to your amusement, he was less Die Hard and more like a Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue. In true Marisol fashion, I began laughing uncontrollably as I usually do when I am at a loss for words. After a much-needed self-provided pep talk and two pumps from my inhaler, I emerged from my car like a phoenix rising from the ashes of a tinder match gone up in flames.
I waited for a confused woman to realize that Carl was not the door man and place her ID back in her purse before introducing myself. He looked down at me with a warm smile and said, “I am so glad you actually look like your photos.” The irony was not lost in me.
Immediately after walking in, I was shocked to find my boss and some business partners standing at the bar. There really aren’t that many bars in this town, huh? I attempted and failed miserably at not making eye contact with them. After some forced hellos they all stared at my date awaiting an introduction. “Uh, yeah, this is my… friend… Ummm… Carl?” So. Effin. Eloquent. They looked as confused as I was. I followed Carl to a table nearby with a defeated look on my face.
The waitress took an agonizing 2 minutes to return with our drinks, as I painfully grinned through his cliché story of a college party that lead to his aversion to Tequila. Our conversation started off normal, we talked about his job, friends, and daughter. Inevitably, the “what brings you to Tinder” question arose. I was prepared with my canned PR response of meeting new people outside my regular circles. Carl on the other hand opted with honesty, perhaps too much of it.
He was eager to share that Tinder was his bounce back from his divorce. He credited Hurricane Harvey for the loss of his “crazy-ex-wife.” In reality, Harvey washed away his home and savings, leading his wife to swim into the arms of a younger and richer man. Now I was really intrigued.
Carl remained confident about the course of our conversation and began volunteering stories of his previous Tinder dates. One woman decided to invite her mother along for their date- the more the merrier, no? I cringed visibly when he mentioned a woman who had a fascination for calling him “papi” throughout their entire date. My personal favorite was the woman from the night before who divulged smuggling people across the border for a living. His stories left me wondering if these girls were effin nuts or had found a more creative way to deal with being catfished.
By the end of the date we had covered his last few break ups, a pending lawsuit, and his views on religion and politics. Carl walked me to my car and told me how delightful it was to meet a woman who had a job AND a car. I am quite the catch.
I was shocked, amused, and relieved to be back in the safety of my vehicle, all organs intact. The same could not be said for my ego. First post-break-up date in the books, it can only get better, right? In all fairness to Carl, it was nice to meet someone new that appreciated my wit and charm, even if he was not who he made himself out to be. Like my ex’s number, I promptly deleted Tinder from my phone.