My phone rings suddenly as my thumb is mid swipe on Tinder. Tinder is a social media application used for dating and connecting or “matching” with others based off of their physical appearance. Our generation is really just getting better with age.
Tinder, by far, is the worst place I’ve ever been. It is the electronic equivalent of encountering ex-boyfriends (that still haven’t changed) , your crush from 6th grade that will not like you back on the app or in real life (almost 13 years later, but you’ve got to love his consistency), the men that want to text you “if I was there, what would you do?” and some men that only want one thing because of their emotional unavailability due to stagnant, never ending baggage, and commitment issues 🙂
It is 9:32PM on a Tuesday. I’m lying down on the floor of my apartment eating peanut butter out of the jar, one of my favorite hobbies. I once dated a man who was allergic to peanuts, so needless to say, that did not work out. I have no desire to cook anything so this will be my dinner. My puppy looks on with disappointment.
My phone rings and I cannot complete the “Yes” swipe to the right of yet another well traveled, Duke Graduate student, due to the interrupting phone call.
I bet this guy will demonstrate his immaculate vocabulary on the first date and say words I’ve never heard before and not give any context clues, I think. We will walk past a group of Black men that look on at me with disapproval- not for dating outside of my race– but for going out with a man that is my height, weight, and walks with his arms swinging from side to side like he cannot protect me from harm. The man I want to marry one day should be able to throw me over his back and safely bust us out of a burning building, if we ever encounter that situation. The group of men all look like Omega bruhs that will open the door for me, know how to tie my hairscarf at night, and cook me fried chicken, even though we both know they will eventually friend zone me as well.
I bet the guy I’m on the date with will casually mention the fact that he’s visited Europe and speak of it as a place I’ve never been, without ever asking me if I’ve visited. “Oh, I remember this one time I was eating cherry pie in Berlin…” He’ll say, starting yet another surprisingly dry and uneventful story. I’ll wonder why he’s trying to impress me when I’ve actually been to Berlin and never eaten “THEE” cherry pie because cherry pie is not something you go to Berlin for? “Berlin is not known for its cherry pie,” I’ll say, and he’ll realize the jig is up. He’ll show me pictures of his ugly sweater collection that will reduce any attraction I had for him down to a slim 0. He’ll show me a picture from 2011 that is still in his phone, leaving me no choice but to check my phone and yawn, mentioning that I have to be up early even though it’s only 9:32pm on a Saturday night and I’ve only been there since 8:00PM.
As I get into my car, I’ll look at my phone and see a “Happy Easter” text followed by a “Sorry about yesterday, I had a lot going on” from a boy who invited me to coffee the day before and never showed, telling me when he extended the offer that he “had absolutely nothing going on that day” and “it is just a great day to relax, you know?”
The Tianna from 3 years ago would have typed a slightly passive aggressive text message response of “Happy Easter to you and your family too…” but now I turn my read receipts and leave him on seen.
This Tianna in 2017 no longer has the time or energy for boys or (a boy) that just got his passport and KNOWS of my passion for travel, saying he wants to travel the world with me especially on my upcoming trip to Italy, but won’t show for a date he invited me on 15 minutes from his apartment in the state of North Carolina. How the hell would he make it to Italy? The irony!
“TIANNA.” My friend screeches on the other end. I’d forgotten that I picked up the phone because I was too busy thinking about all the things that I experienced this past weekend.
“Hello?” I utter, my mouth full of a spoonful of peanut butter.
“I just went on a date with a boy for a TOTAL OF 19 MINUTES. HE DID NOT PAY FOR MY MEAL, NOR DID HE OPEN ANY DOORS FOR ME. HE ACTUALLY CUT IN FRONT OF ME AS I WALKED OUT OF THE DOOR AND HE HELD IT OPEN, JUST ENOUGH SO I COULD CATCH THE DOOR WITH MY HAND. WHAT THE HELL TIANNA!?”
“Um… did he walk you to your car?” I inquire. My friend lets out a long scream.
“When we exited the restaurant, he continued walking towards his car. Said he’d see me later. I was parked on the other side of the building, but he didn’t seem to care. No follow up text or nothing to see if I got home safely. Nothing. Where are the gentlemen?” My friend yells again.
I put my phone on speaker.
“I don’t know man. What are we really doing? Aren’t we supposed to be married?”
My phone beeps, I look down. I have a new match on Tinder! I smile.
… Welcome to the world of Dating, OR part 1 of “JESUS, I am so tired of this.”
It’s been about 7 or 8 months since I moved back to America and was friend zoned by a guy I could have potentially been an amazing housewife to, but hey, who’s counting? I wanted to talk about my career with him, go to corporate business events, play putt putt golf together (I don’t even like golf!), own plants with this dude, and make homemade pizzas on Friday nights. I mean I was trying to do laundry with him on Monday nights and bake cookies after a long day of work. I was trying to fold clothes with him.
(Sidenote- I do not want to be a housewife but I SOOO woulddddd for him).
Alas, the friend zone, a place I’ve visited way too many times and can say I’ve never truly enjoyed the experience. For some reason, some guys see me as the homegirl to eat chicken wings with, play basketball, and talk a lot of shit on the basketball court. I’m not mad at them because I far exceed the standard at all 3 things.
What some don’t see is that I am also a young woman. Sometimes I paint my nails and wear sandals to the court so they can all look on in awe of how I learned to paint my colorful toenails (that match my nails!) from a YouTube tutorial, making me so cute, majestic, charming, and soo resourceful.
I am not the person to speak with for the most positive review on dating, because how is it done? How is one successful at this thing called dating?
About 2 years ago, my friend’s older cousin told me to explore my options with men, expressing to me (over shots of Dominican Rum), “There are 36 ice cream flavors. You could think you are a double chocolate chip kind of girl when you might truly adore butter pecan. You never know.”
My parents met at a Christian singles retreat in California back in the early 90s, but are those days long gone? My generation has reduced dating to social media apps, on seen read receipts (guilty), Twitter subliminal messages, and situationships of spending time together and never actually establishing what you are doing, until one person expresses feelings deeper and more intimate than life itself and the other person whispers “What? Oh no, I’m not looking for a relationship.” 🙂
Being friend zoned hurt my feelings and one thing I am not good at is vulnerability and cooking. (I’m actually pretty good at cooking but no man wants to eat tofu and kale with me and those are the only things I like to eat besides peanut butter and mangos).
I am tired of going out on dates with men that ask me if I can cook and having to resist the urge of yelling, “CAN YOU BUILD A HOUSE?” Damn it. Can you fix all four tires on my car? Do you know how to fix this door that is off the hinges? Can you build and layout concrete steps?
Can I please be more than my gender or what I can put in your stomach? I can literally grow a child in my womb from scratch and here you are, stressing me about if I can cook Chicken Pot Pie. So childish.
I’m not sure how people meet anymore. Every day I juggle the idea of meeting a man in Whole Foods, where I am standing in my favorite purple Paramore shirt searching the tofu section. He will ask me which is better, “firm or extra firm tofu” and I will begin an intellectual rant about the health benefits of tofu with special tips about seasoning techniques to reel him in. When I tell him the extra firm tofu is $0.38 cents less than the firm tofu, a wonderful discovery I made last weekend, he will fall for me even harder.
Our conversation will impact him in a positive way and he will love me forever. We will get married and invite all of the diverse Whole Foods employees (how is their entire staff so diverse anyway? It’s so great to see) to our wedding, everyone representing different nationalities, all organic and gluten free, wearing Birkenstocks, sporting biceps with expressive creative tattoos, and holding back their BPA free tears.
He and I will eventually own a light tan dog named “Tofi,” a cool, but eclectic way to let others know that we can both afford to buy tofu at Whole Foods and we thought it was significant enough to name our dog after this rare occurrence.
Give me a dating app that creates an algorithm for success, like how nice a man is to his mother or any other women in his life, how much student loan debt he has, his emotional and mental capacity on a scale of 0 to 10, how much he’ll laugh at my corny jokes, family history, a formula calculating how nice of a person he is based on how many times he opens doors for the elderly at the mall or Michael’s Arts and Crafts, and how many times a week he eats at Chipotle.
That’s all I need.