Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on Whether or Not It Was a Date
“My dear friend,” said Jamie, “has he not reached out since your evening at the bar?”
I shook my head solemnly.
“But there will be a gathering of friends this Friday evening,” I said, offering the smallest amount of hope.
“I hope he is not already romantically engaged to another,” responded Jamie, gently drumming her fingers atop the dark oak table to mask her nervousness.
“I am afraid that may well be the case,” interrupted Morgan, staring at her phone and scrolling through carefully curated images on a self-publicizing platform. “These repeated photographs featuring the same mystery brunette signify a close relationship, though whether it is of a romantic nature remains uncertain.”
“Goodness, she seems much older than him,” said Jamie, voicing our collective concern.
“Perhaps that’s his type?” I said, glumly aware of my exuberant youth.
“Aha!” exclaimed Jamie, who worked in the medical profession and had a keen eye for detail. “This one is tagged—look! It’s his mother.”
“Mother!” echoed Morgan, with relief.
We sat and mulled over the photographs for a while longer, and afterwards returned to each of them to take care that we had not, in a lapse of care, accidentally indicated our liking of one of them.
“Will you remind us of how the evening ended?” Morgan inquired. Her eyes narrowed as she readied her mind for contemplation.
“He walked me home. We took the long way that snaked around the river.” I sighed.
“Did he linger meaningfully before leaving?” asked Morgan, stroking her chin.
“I recall he was Google Map-searching his way home,” I said.
“He could have been stalling . . . or actually trying to get home,” murmured Jamie.
The three women continued to sit on the couch, anguishing over whether this had been a romantic or a platonic encounter.
“What if I . . . just . . . call him and ask?” I wondered.
“Yes!” exclaimed Morgan.
“Absolutely!” cried Jamie.
The three of us delighted in the realization that we were feminists, and that it was not merely fine but absolutely wonderful of a woman to speak what was on her mind. As I reached for my phone, however, a small fear began to creep in. Despite my grand declaration for equality of the sexes that had happened a short moment ago, I paused.
“Well, it is also feminist not to,” Morgan quietly offered.
“Yes,” supported Jamie. “It’s all about choice. You can choose not to.”
I thought for a moment, perusing my options.
“Then I suppose I shall not, but only because I can,” I said.
And so we continued to sit, pondering the circumstances, analyzing, and overanalyzing, before finding something more worthwhile to occupy our time.
Dr. Seuss on Texting
They had a great hang, so full of wonder and fun,
She felt happy to be passing time with someone.
When it had ended and good time had been spended,
She went back home feeling quite glad she attended.
She sent him a text—
But then she got rekt,
As he failed to respond to her first little text!
Then she sent another—double text, what a thought!
Would he respond? How could he not?
When he finally did,
Oh, it was a true dud:
For he sent “haha yea,”
Killing talk with a thud.
Uh, whatzit was thatzit?! What had just happenedzit??
What had gone wrong with the whole interactionzit??
Did he not know “haha yea” was the worst?
That now, the life of their convo was cursed?
“God, I hate him! I hate him!” she cried right out loud.
“I will never ever see him again,” she vowed.
“Men are so terrible, men are such trash,
I hope they all rot and burn into ash!”
Then all of a sudden, her phone squealed, ding! And she looked up, wond’ring, now who sent that thing?
Why, a little old text had popped up on her screen—
As he tried to clarify what he really means!
“Perhaps this is silly to send in a mere text
But I wanted to tell you ’fore I saw you next
That I like you a lot, a real big lot—
Do you want to be my girlfriend or not?”
“Oh, I love him! I love him!” she cried right out loud.
“I am going to marry him someday,” she vowed.
For that’s how it all goes, the texting and reeling,
The ups and the downs of technological feelings.
Margaret Atwood on Tinder
A wide-brimmed hat, a confident grin, a caught fish. No, I think, not another, and anyway not this one. His face is new and familiar, in a boring way, rather like a potato. This is my free time, between tasks, sitting on a swivel chair at work, the dullest of routines, attempting to occupy my time and mind.
I look up from my phone; all I see is grey. A soft grey that lines my cubicle and grows harsher with time, that is all I can see, unless I turn my head, in which case I see blank white walls. I want to see something other than this grey every day, something exciting or fun or lovely, but it is not this man with a hat on his head, loopy smile on his face, fish in his hand. So I do not even bother reading the small black letters, his autobiography, and swipe left.
A beard, a beanie, a coffee. Perhaps? Though, probably not. He has the same name as my brother, an unfortunate coincidence, dooming any potential relationship of ours to be full of abstinence. I regret that I have twelve brothers, and that my parents used “Most Common American Boys’ Names” to name them. Anyway. To the left he goes.
A man, another man, and a third man. So. Which is he? Does it matter? Can I picture any of them in my room? I think of my room. My bed. One twin-sized mattress, somewhat firm, light blue sheets. Nothing takes place in the bed but sleep; well, in addition to watching Netflix, eating Cheez-Its, and staring blankly at a bright rectangular screen. But do I want other things to happen there? Is there anything better than now, waking up alone, sprawled in my blankets, brushing off the Cheez-It crumbs from the night before?
I look at my inbox of matches: Ezekiel, Bartholomew, and Parkre, who is British. Do I really dare let go of these men with promising names? I pause. Then: I unmatch them, delete my account, and exit from the app.