**And friends of App daters who don’t read this blog.**
Hello readers happy belated 2016! Well let’s just say it’s been a rather slow start to the year all round for me. Unsurprisingly, not a lot of people are getting married in January/February so the hen do market has dried up a bit. However we have had a few commissions for single portraits for Jake as Valentine’s Day gifts believe it or not. I’m not talking about a girl buying their boyfriend the opportunity of having his self portrait done, I’m talking about the girl giving him her self portrait for Valentine’s Day. Except actually it’s mostly been dudes doing it for their other halves (girlfriends and boyfriends). Hey, I ain’t judging, horses for courses and all that but all I’m saying is I’d like to be a fly on the wall when the exchanging of gifts occurs…
Also, what terrible voodoo would happen to that portrait if they break up?! Not that I say this to them of course, BPA is advertising the most unique, personal Valentine’s gift EVER and it’s working! I’m not really working though so during this lull Trish, Jake and me have gone back to the blind curry tasting except now we’ve very excitingly widened the net to any tinned item we can find in the nearby Tesco Extra. Why I’m the only one who has to taste the contents and identify them blindfolded while Trish and Jake take bets I don’t know but it’s either that or Candy Crush Saga apparently and I got out voted.
Dating wise however, I have decided to go on the offensive. I’ve ditched Tinder (too game like) and replaced it with Happn! That’s not a spelling mistake. There is, for no reason I can see, no ‘e’ in the title and no one can tell me why. I mean it’s not even as if it’s an extra syllable, you still have to pronounce the ‘e’ part of the ‘n’ so I don’t get it. I even googled it. Nothing. It’s not like there’s a double meaning either. Why did misspelling words on purpose become the thing to do? What’s the point I ask?! Whilst I leave you to ponder that little conundrum I shall continue with Scarlett: Serial Dater.
For the uninitiated, Happn is effectively Tinder with a different interface and the added intrigue of showing you people you’ve physically crossed paths with rather than you choosing a radius within which to find potential mates. I think it’s supposed to make the connections seemingly more romantic or real(istic), or it’s just the latest hook-up app. I am of course going with romance, even when faced with Jed who’s pictures are simply half naked selfies finished off with a shot of his knob. Thanks Jed. Who the hell is called Jed anyway?! Moving on. When you like the look of someone, you can ‘Heart’ them (yes I too have experienced a moment of dry heaving when met with this concept for the first time – romance or no – but please stay with me guys). If they ‘Heart’ you back, you have a match or in the language of Happn, ‘It’s a crush!’ If you Heart someone and nothing happens you can also send them a ‘Charm’ which allows them to see that you’re interested. I haven’t worked out if that’s desperate or flattering yet so I’m just Charming everyone I Heart the look of and hoping for a Crush. Get it? Good. So why I am tackling this with such vigour? Because I haven’t had sex since I was a Responsible Adult and Trish told me it starts growing back after six months. I know that’s impossible but I don’t want to take any chances. Also I think it might be possible.
Date Number One (of Three in case you didn’t read the title)
My first Happn date of the year was with a graphic designer called Frankie and as a result of our one and only date I have begun to take note of certain pitfalls that lie in wait for the app dater. Potential Pitfall 1) Are all his photos consistent? As in do they all look like one person rather than three smoking hot angels, then one photo so grim it makes Sloth from the Goonies look like Brad Pitt. If this is the case and you’re not into Sloth types, don’t go there. Guaranteed readers, they will look like Sloth’s uglier sibling not Brad Pitt. Another classic is the ‘I’ve got more looks than Mike Myers’ photo selection. How can one person look like five completely different people?! It’s like they’re trying to bamboozle (great word to say out loud) you into submission! Take heed singletons, do not be bamboozled, there is one simple rule here: Always go for the ugliest picture and if that ain’t so bad you’re home free, but if we’re back into Sloth zone then you know what to do. Needless to say Frankie bamboozled me before I was aware of this particular pitfall. Ever hopeful, I was gunning for Beach Frankie or even Fancy Dress Frankie. I did not like the look Dalston Frankie with a ratty tash, who doesn’t look like he’s eaten since he was Beach Frankie, and who has also apparently forgotten to wear socks underneath his rolled up trousers. Of course I got Dalston Frankie who apparently doesn’t see the correlation between a lack of socks and feet so stinky I could smell them from under the table. I sent the ‘My ex has come back on the scene’ text, and Frankie was very understanding. Thanks and sorry Frankie. NB: More of let down texts later.
Date Number Two
I confess date two is a bit of a misnomer. It should be called The Non Date but Date Two works better for story purposes and clearly illustrates Potential Pitfall 2, which I’ll get to in a moment. Right Date Two, his name is Sven but I call him Ken and actually not just because it rhymes. Jake is to blame for Ken because when I showed Jake his photographs the response I got was genuine surprise that Malibu Barbie’s boyfriend was not only single but actually ‘Charmed’ me. Yeah read that again, he, Charmed, ME! And yes he absolutely looks like Ken, and that would be bad because…?! Jake’s response to that is, ‘Because it makes you a home wrecker. Ken doesn’t belong to you babe he belongs to Barbie. Ultimately he needs a Barbie or by looking at him, several Barbies, not a Scarlett. Don’t do it.’ Well I think that’s a bit of a negative nelly attitude, plus I’m sex starved so Jake can go eat a tin of Chipotle Tuna for all I care. Here is a picture of Chipotle Tuna so you don’t think I’m a big fat liar. And no, you shouldn’t eat it especially not in a blind tasting. I actually thought they were feeding me cat food. It was terrifying.
NB: That is a chilli.
Back to Ken I mean Sven. I want to prove Jake wrong so I show him our texting history but even after he’s read our saga length witty banter, he isn’t convinced. In fact Jake now wonders whether or not Ken actually wants another Ken. I am shocked. Ken isn’t gay he’s mad into Barbie. We Google Ken.
Poor Barbie. Okay getting back to the real life Ken I MEAN SVEN, Jake explains that Sven wanting a Ken isn’t due to the nature of our witty banter, it’s due to its length. We have hit Potential Pitfall 2) Get into banterous chit chat for too long and you end up with a pen pal or a dick pic. We’re in the pen pal zone. We’ve made vague arrangements to meet but so far nothing and now it’s descending into ‘So how was your day?’ non-banter and massive silence between messages. I’m even losing interest so I start drafting a text:
So when are you free to go for that drink?
Jesus even that’s lack lustre. Delete. Draft Two:
Hey so are you one of those app robots who just wants to know what I like so your company can sell me stuff?
WTF Scarlett? W. T. F. Delete. Draft three:
My business partner thinks you look like a Ken doll and since I’m not a Barbie we should never meet as it would cause some terrible black hole to form in the universe or something. Do you mind helping me prove him wrong? I’ll buy the first round if you do.
Better Scarlett even if it is the length of a fucking short story. It’s also a bit of gamble if he doesn’t find Barbie funny. Unfortunately I’m now drunk so I send this one.
Yeah turns out he did not find Barbie funny. After a week of feigning nonchalance every time my phone beeps but in actuality grabbing it with both of my sweaty little hands palming at it like a maniac desperately wanting the confirmation Ken found it funny and me hilarious, none of my texts have been from Ken. This is maddening but I have finally come to the conclusion that Ken is gone. This is the thing about talking to someone online, somehow we’re not real to each other so if you don’t like someone you can just decide not to reply and they disappear. Except that we are all real and as mortified as I might be, I’d still rather receive, ‘Dude that isn’t funny.’ Or ‘Whatever man, haters gonna hate and Ken is HOT!’ Or the one I used on Frankie, ‘Sorry I’ve gotten back with my ex.’ Which dear readers is nine times out of ten a lie particularly in my case. However what it is, is a polite version of ‘I’m not interested.’ And this is preferable to silence. Ever crazy making silence. I’ve also used the, ‘I’m leaving the country for a really long time to find myself/go to a full moon party etc’ line, which isn’t bad for those out there who have been using the ‘ex’ line and want to mix it up a bit. Just don’t say you’re a spy, that’s just patronising. The silence however IS THE WORST. So just don’t do it. The Internet God is always watching and Karma is a vicious if you believe in that, which I don’t. Oh God please don’t let it grow back.
With that in mind and my new thicker skin (apparently one of the pros to eating a huge amount of tuna – I recommend the sweet chilli) applied, I draw a stoic line under Ken (whilst not actually deleting Ken, because I’m an optimist who fears change). I ask myself what have I learned from PP2? This is what I’ve learned: Don’t chat too long or get into sexting before you’ve ever even met the person. I am now chatting to Crushes for a total of five to ten messages before dropping the ‘let’s meet in person with alcohol or coffee’ bomb because apparently a lot of guys online are scaredy cats and this way you’re saving them from finding some way of saying ‘Soooo wanna carry this chitchat on over a glass of wine/cocktail/beer etc?’ Because most of the time they’ll wait til they’re pissed and text you a bad joke about ‘your place or theirs’, Rohypnol, or they’ll send you the default dick pic. No offence guys, you’re as lost as we are, it’s just our boobs are way more photogenic. Fact. They’re also welcome unlike photographs of your knobs. Fact. Here we come to a secret subsection to PP2 – this goes both ways ladies and gents – don’t drunk text before you’ve met either (as I have learned from Ken). Or drunk selfie. Jed now has a photo of my boobs forever. Yeah you are welcome Jed. I’m kidding! I’m not kidding. Sorry Mum. Back to the let’s-meet-in-person bomb. If the recipient ums and ahs after you’ve sent the text or is messing you around over two times regarding meeting up, ditch em. That’s my new rule. I tell you why readers, apart from the potential dick pic/pen pal assault, you will never know if you’ve got a real attraction going on until you meet the person so why waste time chatting for weeks on end whilst eating a variety tinned goods and trying not to puke. Exactly. You totally get it.
Leaving Ken to his Barbies (so over it) I ‘Charm’ a jolly looking New Zealand guy called Eddie. He’s thirty six, with a round face but a rugby players bod – solid basically, and all of his pictures are consistent and outdoorsy. We have jumping – presumably for joy – fishing, and finally laughing with friends round a bonfire. Great. Better still, he Hearts me back and we get chatting. Employing my new rule, after three or four lines of banter I go in for the kill and we set up a date for the following week. BOOM! Date two of 2016 nailed! Okay so I may have been overly hopeful for the date or in Trish’s words overly desperate – she doesn’t agree with my Charm offensive (oh I’ve been dying to get that pun in there God I’m funny) – but hey, one has to get excited about these things otherwise you just don’t do them and instead you form deeply one sided relationships with fictional characters from the latest boxset you’re watching. Hello Outlander. Don’t judge me, at least it’s historically accurate Amazon Prime porn with very high production values!! They film it in Scotland, on location, with real actors and everything! Oh Jamie and your beautiful knees.
Date Number 3
It’s the day of my date with Eddie and he hasn’t cancelled hurray! We have a place and a time so off I go with butterflies in my stomach and high on first date hopes. I get to the bar and order a glass of wine whilst attempting a casual look around and there he is. I have not been stood up either, winning! However it’s at this point I realise I’ve fallen prey to the dreaded Potential Pitfall 3…
Is that my face or his I hear you cry? What is Potential Pitfall 3 for Godssake??! Well you’ll have to wait until next Tuesday to find out! This is actually one of those enforced awkward cliff hangers as a result of personal research into the lengths of people’s attention spans (Youtube can wait one more second Mum!), and my inability to self edit but trust me, it’ll be worth the wait!!!
Probably. I mean I think it’s a great finale to some funny dating stories but I also LOLed at Charm offensive so, weigh that up too as you spend the next week on the edge of your seat wondering what PP3 could be!
Please come back. Now THAT is overly desperate.