Finally, a good first Tinder Date had in San Francisco (Have you met Ted?)
I met this guy, Ted, on Bumble in June of 2018 and had a neutral opinion. We talked Radiohead, psychedelics and skating. Fine, I gave him my number. I didn’t understand a lot of his slang, and thought he was a bit of a pest without following through, as most guys on these apps seemed to be. We lost “momentum”. About three or four weeks later, we matched on Tinder. I swiped right on pretty much everyone because I didn’t really care to take any of it seriously, as that always left me so disappointed: putting any expectation one way or another.
He texted me saying something like “Double swipe status!” I said “Haha”, because it’s impolite not to reply.
Finally, soon after this double swipe status, we met up for him to teach me how to skateboard at Dolores Park in the Mission District of San Francisco. I remember being on the GBus ( I was working at Genentech), feeling tired like I wanted to cancel, but I had already canceled before and at that point, didn’t want to be a huge jerk. In fact, I had a potential date for later that night. I didn’t want to overdo it now.
I liked that he said he wouldn’t find it wasteful to try to teach a pretty girl how to skate. I was like that’s right you, I am a pretty girl, nay, woman.
I wore this poop brown colored Keds that I hate and I plan on getting rid of someday, but they’re so damn comfortable. I wore these unflattering jeans I found in the lost and found at my side gig after nobody came to get them for 6 months (real talk: living in San Francisco /The Bay Area is annihilating on finances, especially for graduate students, unless you make super Tech Money). I wore this ugly shirt. I did not wear makeup. I was a mess. I showed up, and as soon as I met him I instantly regretted these decisions.
Even so, I did learn how to go from side A to side B until street hockey/polo players came to the tennis courts we were at and kicked us out.
It was a warm Thursday afternoon on June 21st. I took him to the classic bar block of my neighborhood, my neighborhood that was once not my neighborhood, and my ex-husband’s neighborhood. I took him to the same bar circuit that I had done with my ex on our first date, which is what I did with most of my dates at that time, because I wanted to reclaim those spots for myself and perhaps inspire them to take their future dates there.
Honestly, I dated a lot, dated out of boredom, dated to practice my conversational skills and people skills (a lot of people think I’m a legit asshole) and of course, selfish reasons as well. I was healing from a relationship where a person told me I’d be a terrible life partner, a terrible mother, and that my personality and character flaws were unbearable, you bet I wanted to undo hearing that over and over in my head.
We went to Latin American Bar on 22nd and Valencia, until the loud Marina Tech Bros were too much for us. I had amaretto and ginger ale. Then, I took him to my bar across the street from my house: The Blind Cat. I bet those bartenders thought I was one of those real go-getter girls; I brought almost ALL my dates here merely out of convenience that I could walk down to this bar, suss out the date, and then bail after. Or, if they were cool and consequently lucky, well, you know. Proximity. Low effort, low stakes in love, in lust. The bar also had cheap prices and a dive-y aesthetic that I really dig to this day.
Anyway, I was getting super friend vibes and I was okay with it ( unless someone explicitly tells me that they like me beyond friendship, or unless they are trying to kiss me, I can never tell) but then he asked me if he could kiss me outside of Grocery Outlet on 24th and South Van Ness, right outside the apartment I used to share with my ex, and I was just like okay I’m happy to reclaim this spot with a new memory in any way.
I’m a person that is attracted to personality and natural scent (no artificial products), and it was when we kissed that I was able to smell him and then I knew I was going to see him again.
Online dating, and in SF specifically, is terrible. I made an Instagram account called @ shitmensaytowomenondatingapps415 with some screenshots with proof of this sad fact. It feels/felt like a lot of men just want to find women to be cruel to, to use. Hence, this story. Hence, I’m grateful.
Here we are in Kyoto, Japan in March 2019.