I am still not ready to discuss my London adventures, mainly because I have yet to process my infinite capacities of making an ass out of myself. However, I will be more than happy to kick-start the New Year with the story of The Incredible Hulk, my lovely first experience with the online Mecca of fleeting connections, otherwise known as Tinder.
On my first week of Tinder back in November (yes, I’m a late adapter), a miracle fell into my hands in the form of an American boy named John. (Oh, you betcha that’s not his real name. I don’t have a death wish quite yet.) John was an Ivy League graduate playing professional football somewhere outside of Paris, and so we agreed to meet up that weekend, for he was coming into the city to see the Parisian catacombs with his friends. (This will all become symbolic quite soon.)
It was a lazy Saturday and, in a moment of boredom, I decided to Google John. I typed in his first name and the name of his university, expecting to find a couple of alumni photos and not much else.. Imagine my reaction when I found out that my evening suitor had been recently been involved in a VERY high-profile media scandal, entailing sexual assault accusations. Somehow, I had managed to find a sexual predator on my first week on Tinder! This, my friends, is talent.
A normal person would have cancelled, but morbid curiosity and commitment to this blog (oui, I’m a true writing hero of our generation) won over, and so I went. The only precautionary move that I made was sending my friend a link to the New York Times article that would give the police something to work with in case I went MIA. We agreed to meet at 8pm, giving me enough time to make it to my 9:30pm dinner in the 9th.
See? Not so bad.
I arrived around 8:06 to find the place packed with short hipsters, with not a single tall, conspicuously American-looking man in sight. I ordered myself a drink and started chatting with the pleasant British couple next to me, figuring that he would arrive within the next ten minutes. As we chatted, ten minutes passed, then twenty, and then thirty. It dawned upon me that I had been stood up, a fact that was slightly easier to process thanks to the moral support of the Brits.
At 8:50, I had paid the bill and was putting on my coat, when in stepped John. I identified him right away, mainly because he was the size of an armoire and was wearing ill-fitting jeans and a heavily wrinkled brown blazer that made him stick out like a sore thumb in the sea of nondescript black. (Yes, I have become a snob living in France.) In any case, his disheveled appearance made it that much easier to smile politely and tell him to fuck off when he started throwing lame excuses at me. Apparently, he had been stuck in a car for the past hour, with no online data that could have permitted him to inform me of his tardiness via Tinder. Keep in mind that he was holding an iPhone in his hand, meaning that he had simply been too cheap to turn on his roaming for 5 ½ minutes.
I wished him a nice life and walked out, happy to have stuck around long enough to witness his mediocrity in person. Suddenly, the door of the bar flung open and the Incredible Hulk came running behind me, full of apologies. Since we technically had about 6 minutes left of our date, I suggested that he accompany me while I look for a taxi. As we were walking, he suddenly pointed to a huge black van parked across the street. The trunk was open, and a identical Hulk was leaning against it, drinking a Heineken from the cooler. “That’s the car I was stuck in for an hour, and that’s my friend” John announced.
At this point, I realized that Hulk 2 was babysitting Hulk 1 on his Tinder date. The street we were walking on wasn’t that populated, and I suddenly felt something that can only be described a cold terror. Dexter-esque scenes of the remnants of my then-26-year-old body slaughtered in a tool shed somewhere outside of Paris took over my mind. In full self-preservation mode, I quickened my pace, reaching the taxi station at lightning speed. The last thing I remember is Hulk 2 hollering from a block away, asking if “the chick needed a ride”.
An hour later, I received the following message with John the Original Hulk.
Although I admit that the message deserved an A for eloquence, I was way too freaked out to respond. While I realize that my Hulk may not necessarily be the next O.J., the mere idea of being squished under that boulder in a bedroom situation scares me too death. En plus, the wardrobe makeover seemed like way too complicated of a process – do they even make Acne jeans in Hulk size?!
Sadly, this is something I may never find out.
Happy Sunday guys!