So I know what you're thinking, did Harry Styles join Tinder? Did someone on Tinder send Alana a series of never-before-seen-nudes of Leonardo DiCaprio from the photo shoot where he wore the swan around his neck? Did someone make her a portrait of Keith with the gun emoji? What could POSSIBLY make a sour misandrist like Alana be delighted by someone on Tinder? As many of you know, I have a love/hate relationship with dating apps and sites. I've met some really great people with them but I also encounter casual misogyny and egregious forms male entitlement both in online interactions and on dates. There is an entire genre on Tumblr devoted to these experiences. Many a book deal has its origins with a message from some human garbage on OKCupid. Dating online, and dating in general, can be very disheartening for women.
So when I reopened my Tinder app after months of radio silence, I expected the standard sampling of bad come-ons littered with the occasional "Hey." But lo an behold, I stumbled across this:
Anyone with a half a soul knows that lovelorn stuffed animals are the single saddest creatures in the world with the single exception of owls who have lost their graduation caps. But this sad little Christmas frog named John has hope! He is looking for love! For adventure! He may be 1'3" but golly, has he got a big heart. Naturally, I chose to swipe right. Good joke dating account are hard to do and this dude was KILLING IT.
I mean, look at him. HE GOES ON LITTLE ADVENTURES IN A SUITCASE WEARING A RED RIDING HOOD:
HE ENJOYS FINE SPIRITS WITH SIMILARLY MOROSE LITTLE FRIENDS:
HE WON A MOTHERFUCKING EMMY:
We matched! A LOVE STORY WAS ABOUT TO BEGIN!
Like any gentleman, he made the first move: "Thank you for matching with me! Have a Toadully Hoppy Day!" he said. As someone who loves a good pun, I was smitten by this little fellow.
I replied: "This made me smile in an otherwise dark Tinder world, toad"
John the Toad then broke character and revealed himself as John the man (though who can know his real name, its a fake stuffed toad Tinder account). He wrote: "I saw tinder thru a female friends setup. Scared the crap out of...waayy too many creepy dudes. Thought this was more fun and would bring smiles! Glad I could make you smile!"
And that was the end of our short love affair, dear friends. And it is at this point in this blog post that I make a grand statement about being a woman and relating to men who want to understand and be sympathetic to what its like for us out there on the Internet, in the world, and trying to demonstrate that we're not crazy when we are jaded about our treatment by men.
A lot of dudes will write lengthy manifestos about HOW THEY TOTALLY GET IT and be horrified on our behalf. A lot of dudes will appropriate misandry in a solidarity that seems disingenuous. Others will do experiments where they go online as a woman for a week and report back to us that YEAH, YOU GALZ WERE RIGHT. It's like, "Thanks, we didn't need a man's confirmation that we experience extremely degrading things online. We already knew, dick cheese."
This dude just made a simple, funny little Tinder account that was meant to make people laugh in the middle of an often demoralizing online dating experience. It wasn't littered with sympathy for our plight or excessive put downs of creeps, just a reference to an experience and a little way of addressing it with humor.
After I said it made me smile, he didn't try to turn the engagement into a date with the real person behind the account. He was making girls laugh not as a way of getting in with them but because he thought that they deserved a break from the onslaught of crap they often receive in the space. And while maybe he just didn't engage further cause he doesn't think I'm a babe, I will remind you that I go on dates REGULARLY with Leonardo DiCaprio and exude angelic light at all times: