One of my matches quoted Nabokov today.
At the time, I’m thinking it’s to gauge my education/intelligence level (there was a small pop quiz) – or perhaps, to demonstrate his own seemingly exceptional, hyper-intellectual and unconventionally cultured version of Blackness to me – since he also asked about my familiarity with Fassbinder films (not to be confused with Fassbender – I’m VERY familiar with his films *wink*). But the irony of quoting Nabokov – thankfully, not “Lolita” – on Tinder was nothing short of hilarious to me.
This just got interesting…I think.
Speaking of intellectuals, at least a half-dozen of you have forwarded me that wretched and disheartening Vanity Fair article about Tinder and the demise of dating – the “Dating Apocalypse”, I think they called it (I’ll attach it below, so you all have some fodder for your nightmares tonight). After the third time it crossed my path, I took it as a sign to “please read and discuss”, so…here goes:
Not a lot of new info here; umpteen pages on how Tinder is gross, the guys on it are gross, and how it’s promoting an entirely gross culture of non-commitment, misogyny (and likely STDs, if you’re not careful), but what stood out most to me is that the writer chose only to interview subjects between the ages of 19 – 29 (and from the sound of it, all Caucasian). I realize that this is the primary demographic of Tinder, but considering that the average age of a Vanity Fair reader is 41 (and female), I couldn’t help but wonder if this article was written to let their readers know what their kids might be up to…
So…here we are again – in the vortex – because for the bad rap that Tinder gets, it’s apparently where the action is happening, and not all of that action is ending in “walks of shame.” In fact, in spite of the nightmares I’ve heard, I can currently count three ongoing relationships that originated on the app – and an upcoming marriage – among my friends alone…and none of them are under the age of 40.
So, what does it mean that even Vanity Fair, which essentially exists for and on the revenue generated by its sales to 40-something women, leaves them out of the conversation entirely? Because the truth is, more and more of us are on Tinder, simply because it’s the most efficient way to connect with a demographic of men that sometimes seem to have already paired off en masse. Are we desperate? I can’t cop to that – I’m just bored. Sub-par? Not so much, Honey. Is this ideal? Hell, no. But if we’re not meeting interesting (and interested) men in our daily interactions, and have aged out of bar/club culture (or would like to), what’s a girl to do?
But then, there’s this little gem of investigative reporting: ‘“It is the very abundance of options provided by online dating which may be making men less inclined to treat any particular woman as a ‘priority,’ according to David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes in the evolution of human sexuality.
Apps like Tinder and OkCupid give people the impression that there are thousands or millions of potential mates out there,” Buss says. “One dimension of this is the impact it has on men’s psychology. When there is a surplus of women, or a perceived surplus of women, the whole mating system tends to shift towards short-term dating. Marriages become unstable. Divorces increase. Men don’t have to commit, so they pursue a short-term mating strategy. Men are making that shift, and women are forced to go along with it in order to mate at all.”’
Yeah, no s***, Sherlock. Thanks for cracking that mystery wide open.
And I don’t think it undermines my feminism, flyness or satisfaction with the life I’ve established for myself – thus far, by myself – to say that sometimes, it simply sucks… Especially when the only thing you’re certain of is that you’re not yet ready for the mating part of this game, and Negro Nabokov™ says, “Ich will dich. Now.”
(If you don’t know German, Google it. I did. While you’re at it, Wiki “Fassbinder”, and skip ahead to “Personal Life.” Good times.).
PAUSE. I’m still trying to figure out when we segued from discussing the merits of Berlin vs. Hamburg when he follows up with: “What is it like to kiss you? Have you ever asked anyone?”
Okay, so admittedly, this is not the brash and soul-crushing vulgarity the Vanity Fair article has me steeled to expect (and that I may experience in the near future), and he may not be the shameless predator I’m bracing myself to encounter…but my skin is still crawling, because, DUDE. I’ve been communicating with you for less than 72 hours, haven’t even agreed to be in the same room with you yet, and damn near took a Mensa test, just so you could ultimately be this basic? It is too early in this ‘courtship’ (if one could call it that) to be this damned corny. It’s basically the virtual equivalent of realizing the stranger you tentatively agreed to dance with just sprung a woody on the dance floor…and it’s not even a slow song.
All that pretension, and not an ounce of subtlety. Sir, you disappoint me. It is too much, too soon, and there are too many other unexplored options for me to make the effort to somehow compel myself not to be creeped out by you…
So, in the spirit of Nabokov, Fassbinder and every fräulein who ever had to hear that line far before its time, I abandoned my very last f*** of the day, and said: “Just like your sister.” *Unmatched*