What I thought would be a pleasant, if generic conversation with a Tinder fellow to distract me from my aches and exhaustion (thanks two day adventure with food poisoning!) derailed into a tediousness that could only be countered by sarcasm.
Guy: Hey ya
Guy: What’s up
Me: I’m sick. It’s lame. How are you?
Guy: Good. What’s wrong
Me: Food poisoning. My whole family has it
Guy: are u on fb?
Guy: How do I find ya
Me: Why might you need to find me?
Guy: Yeah I will add ya
Me: That didn’t answer my question
Guy: Who is thisb
Me: My name is Aubree. We met on tinder.
Me: Do you just text people in your phone and have no idea who they are?
Guy: Never mind. U have any recent pics
Me: Yes, many.
Guy: Can u send some
At which point I sent him this stunning array, all recent images either taken by or saved to my phone from random sources of internet hilarity that I now can’t find again:
Let’s ignore the whole “Do you just text people in your phone and have no idea who they are?” “Never mind” thing for the moment. That’s just insane.
Instead, let’s just look at the many, many yes or no, painfully generic questions that constitute this guy’s conversation attempts.
I worked in sales for a while. Sales taught me to hate yes or no questions in conversation, namely because they’re counter intuitive to the very purpose of conversation. They shut down the possibility of a back and forth. You’re expecting an answer of a two to three letter word. Not even a four letter word, which offer so many more colorful opportunities in a response.
These Tinder questions, and real life questions, are the equivalent of the “so do you have a phone number?” or “do you have an email address” or “so do you have a last name?” (the last of which I admittedly appreciate, because for all they know maybe I’m pulling a Madonna or a Cher and rocking the single moniker).
The people who ask such questions hope and in some cases expect you take the passive aggressive bait and divulge whatever information might be relevant to the yes or no question they asked. Sometimes they’re trying to get you to spin a conversation out of thin air all by yourself, even if they were the one who started talking to you. They’re leading you to their own desired action with questions, rather than doing you the courtesy of actually asking for what they want directly.
For instance, this guy was trying to goad me into saying “oh yes, let’s be facebook friends!” or “oh, yes, here are lots of pictures of me!” or “Here, let me humor you and make you feel special by giving you more access to my life even though you clearly aren’t someone I want to know more about me, because I am that desperate for attention!”
And that’s some bullshit right there.
I’m not a vending machine. You put in a quarter, you get a quarter back. If you only give me a quarter, I don’t spit out Bugles (though God knows I love me some salty pretend witch finger nails). You get what you give. And if you’re too shy to press the buttons to get whatever chocolate covered pretzels or sugar-watery beverage you want, then that’s your problem, not mine. If you can’t manage to have a real conversation with me, you sure as hell don’t get to see more photos of me than those that are on Tinder.
So here’s the deal: let’s not waste time with people who won’t hold up their end of a conversation, who leave us vaguely annoyed at humanity at large and at ourselves for ever responding. No amount of distraction from nausea is worth enduring boring conversation.
Conversation should never be endured. It, unlike the One Ring, is truly precious and something to be celebrated. Plus never will you be able to drop a bad conversation into Mount Doom and then be saved by giant eagles.
We have to save ourselves.
I’ve spent too much time having conversations with Tinder fellows and even just people in general in hopes that they would prove themselves better conversationalists or less asinine or sexist or mean than I initially thought. 1 out of 10 times it happens. Why do I prioritize giving people the benefit of the doubt that they could eventually be a worthwhile addition to my life in some capacity, even if it wastes my time in the process? Do I want to have faith in humanity more than I want to have faith in my own judgment? Uh oh spaghettios.
What’s even better/worse: he already friended me on facebook ages ago (he was the first person to ever match me on Tinder), and I friended him back out of sheer novelty and almost immediately unfriended him because he made me feel uncomfortable and he’s way too into himself. And he didn’t recall that any of this had happened.
I’ve even deleted his number a couple of times, but he’s frighteningly persistent for someone who apparently has no idea who I am. Recently someone taught me that you can block numbers on iPhone (I’ve only had one for two years, so I suppose it’s time I learned such things). Clearly it’s time I took advantage of this feature and channel what is actually the most recent image saved to my phone: