The 12 Days Of Tinder: Reflections On A Year Of Sh*tty Dates

by Ursula Ambrose-Simpson

As the year draws to a close, it's a time for reflection and review.

Over the past 10 months as a British girl new to Boston, I’ve met some colorful characters through Tinder.

I've checked, and my profile doesn't say "mental health practitioner," nor does it say "DTF" nor "assh*le magnet."

But as my mother always told me, you have to kiss a lot of frogs (or sit through a lot of drinks) to find your prince.

No princes made the list, but a good mix of amphibians and humans prevented my year of "cultural exchange" from being a dull one.

It has been both entertaining and educational:

On the first day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: A filmmaker with no shoes.

Well, he had flip-flops, but he went barefoot for most of the date. And, his car had only one wing mirror.

As we sped down the highway changing lanes without a right hand mirror, I prayed we wouldn't die.

When, over frozen yogurt he asked me to appear naked as dead girl extra in his latest movie, I politely declined.

On the second day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: A boring banker.

He was from Chicago and he had one brother. I also have a brother.

That was the only thing we had in common.

I avoided all eye contact in case he mistook it for flirting. I bro hugged him goodbye to avoid any kind of face on face convergence.

On the third day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: A ghostly trolling wraith.

We chatted. We got flirty. We arranged to meet.

As he approached me as I stood in a contrived casual pose on the Boston library steps, he looked me up and down and left without a word, unmatched me and evaporated after kicking my confidence in the gut.

On the fourth day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: A snuff film enthusiast.

Softly spoken and deeply sincere, he looked like a depressed angel.

The sincerity was refreshingly sweet, and on date two, he pointed out his office and asked me if I’d like to see it.

He worked for Harvard, with images of leather armchairs and interiors coated in academic elitism swimming in my head, I agreed.

Ten minutes later, I found myself sat on a desk in a generic if completely abandoned office block with the words, "So you know Reddit…" echoing in my ears.

As I sat there in a floral summer dress fully Taylor Swifted up, I wondered what made me seem the demographic agreeable to watching people die on video. Real deaths. Suicides.

This is what he enjoyed watching, and had "never told anyone except my ex-girlfriend."

I pondered what the right response was while judging the distance to the door, the weight of the stapler on his desk and the chances I might die there.

When I said I should be going, he earnestly told me, "I’m very well endowed if that makes a difference."

No, it does not.

On the fifth day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: An artist on the verge of a breakdown.

He was my indie boy disheveled wet dream. Then the waitress came to take our order, and as she left, he explained how his current medication he currently had to take didn't mix well with alcohol.

Of course this is completely fine and I'm not judging, but we were just grabbing a cup of coffee.

Later, as we made our way toward the subway, he asked me half-heartedly if I’d like to come over and meet his cat.

On the sixth day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: An Irish trombone player.

He was hot and had a roguish charm. He did play a halting rendition of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" on the trombone for me at 2 am.

But he also had a middle school girl’s worth of messy drama, and it transpired an ex-girlfriend who wasn’t all that extinct.

On the seventh day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: A karaoke king.

I poured coffee all over myself turning my thighs indigo from my jeans while we spent four hours discussing dystopian fiction, Douglas Adams and his ex, who legitimately believed demons were chasing her.

We had a blast doing something we’d only ever mocked from afar, while my "date" warbled Dean Martin.

On the eighth day of 2015 tinder brought to me: The Harvard virgin.

I appreciate honesty. Really, I do.

So when the California "brah" invited me back to his dorm for "ice wine," I had to be up front.

Yes, I wanted to try ice wine but no, I wouldn't be having sex with him.

It just wasn’t my speed.

I didn't expect him to one up me by telling me about his strictly religious background and how he didn’t believe in sex before marriage.

Like an assh*le, I was deeply skeptical and insensitive.

I just couldn’t fit him into my narrow preconceptions.

He was handsome with a baller's physique, dressed well and had a west coast openness, but I just didn't agree with his strict religious views.

This Tinder date taught me I can be a real jerk.

On the ninth day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: A man in recovery.

This chap actually owned dogs. The canines in his pictures weren’t simply girl bait.

This was enough to get him a date.

He was very upfront about not drinking due to alcoholism, but it was a heavy topic he circled us around on for almost an hour. It was hard to shake that off and lighten the mood.

We went for pizza and he let me swipe on his Tinder, but I never met the dogs.

On the tenth day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: A Wisconsin frat boy.

After 20 minutes, this guy announced to the Sunday lunch crowd at the bar that we "didn't have a connection."

I wondered just how I was expected to form a connection based on his conversational offerings of a series of racist statements and an anecdote about being arrested for almost drowning a pledge during college.

My repertoire does not include casual bigotry, so forming common ground was a challenge.

But in hindsight, I realize that although it was 2 pm on a Sunday, the fundamental issue for him was he was expecting 70 percent more cleavage and 90 percent less personality.

On the eleventh day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: An anally fixated geography teacher.

He wasn’t a geography teacher, but the grey zip up fleece, stonewash jeans and white sneakers he rocked up to the trendy bar in all screamed mid-40s divorceé.

He was 26.

Like a gentleman, he waited 40 minutes before using the eponymous words, "So...butt stuff?"

Smooth, dude.

On the twelfth day of 2015 Tinder brought to me: The top dog of Tinder dates.

We went hiking, with ex-military confidence he made a fire and brewed tea in the kettle he’d packed.

He mocked me just the right amount when I stubbornly wouldn’t take his hand on the steep ascent back to the trail.

He laughed at my jokes, made some about himself and told me my hair was pretty in just the right way, so it didn't sound shallow.

If he’d been batting at Fenway, he’d have hit the Citgo sign.