Last night, I was at it again, up until 1 a.m. vigorously and energetically swiping through an array of names and faces on Tinder.
Why? Was I bored? Hungry? Do I actually want to give up being single?
While I don't know my motivations -- that would take some more reflection than I'm willing to do on the internet -- I do know that if one of those poor suckers happens to match with me, and message me first, then they're going to have a few exchanges with me, only for me to ghost them.
When I say I ghost, I don't mean I'll ghost them like Patrick Swayze, where I sit behind them and try to have pottery sex. Rather I'll ghost them like Casper: pleasantly, mischievously messing up their life just a tiny bit before I have to bounce back to the haunted mansion where I came from.
If you're a ghost like me, then maybe you ditch your potential dates for some of the same reasons I do:
1. I'm A Deeply Sad Sim
I've told you about my Aquarian on/off switch, right? The one that means I'm either deludedly in love or a cold, unfeeling computer simulation?
When I'm cruising on Tinder, that switch is in the "off" position, and chances are, I only swiped right because a) my social bars were low and the plumbob floating over my head was about to switch from green to red, or b) I was trying to get over someone I was deeply in love with by feverishly swiping past a blur of faces, haphazardly heart-ing whoever I thought looked vaguely attractive.
During one particularly bad breakup, I swear I swiped through the entire population of Pittsburgh.
Obviously, a self-centered monster such as myself is not a great Tinder flame. While I might have a few exchanges with you and even agree to meet you for drinks, it's only a matter of time until I delete the app, evaporate in a wraith of mist, and never speak to you again.
2. I'm Trying To Prove The Existence Of The Soul
My presence on Tinder is disembodied — a collection of images and words. Here, on the internet, the only connection between you and me relies upon the possibility that souls really do exist.
Yes, I might have a six-hour-long conversation with you, or I might talk to you for weeks on end, but when it comes to meeting up, I evaporate in a cloud of mist.
What I am doing is slowly proving the possibility of the supernatural by giving you my thoughts and only my thoughts. No, I'm not coming over.
Listen, this is complicated philosophy, and I'm trying to get it out to you and every human on Tinder by connecting with them on a deep, emotional level, and then disappearing, one person at a time.
3. You Explained Fight Club To Me
Yeah, I've read the book and seen the movie. No, I don't care that you had a poster of Tyler Durden on your college dorm room wall.
Yeah, I remember what he said about fate/individualism/materialism. But you know that he was meant as a caricature of a toxically masculine culture, right? One that prioritizes brutality over emotions? Which is constantly hurting women and femmes? Including myself? OK. Cool.
No, I don't want to hear about Quentin Tarantino either.
4. You Sent A Pic Of Your Junk
If you send me an unsolicited nude, you better believe I'm texting you one back right away. To be fair, that close-up of my booty might actually be of the crook of my elbow.
If you ask me for a full body shot, then I'll probably get back to you in an hour or so. That's how long it takes me to apply lipstick, copious amounts of hairspray, blue eyeshadow, and pick out just the right shoulder-padded blazer to resemble your Aunt Deb, a recently divorced middle school attendance secretary from Ohio.
If you're into her, she might even agree to come over right away. But she will probably never show.
5. You Aren't Funny Over Text
I think I've mentioned before that the best metaphor for my sexual orientation is Jim Carey's The Riddler. I pretty much want to ravish whatever or whoever makes me laugh. However, this comes with rules.
I don't laugh at politically incorrect jokes if you're a stranger. Yes, my friends and I can be outlandishly inappropriate with each other at times, but we're usually making fun of each other. If you start trying to make me laugh using racism, ableism, or misogyny, you're going to get the ghost emoji followed by radio silence as your response.
I might sound really full of myself, but this one has definitely gone two ways. I can swing from goofy to super serious in a second, and I've made more than one potential date flee by getting way too melodramatic way too soon.
6. You Never Initiated A Date
If you happen to be a hot single in my area, you match with a woman in a pink wig and a fur coat (yes, my Tinder picture is the same as my headshot), and you actually want to meet up, then you probably have to message first and ask me to do something in your first line.
If you don't message first, then I might message you first. My first messages are not good. I often use "What are you doing!" because when I don't know what to say, I like to start a conversation by pretending I'm a mom who is about to scold you.
Speaking of moms, I live with my parents right now, so you have to invite me over to your place. I know, I know. I'm a catch.
7. I Know You, You Betrayed Me When I Was Alive, And I Will Have My Revenge
You didn't take a good look before you swiped right, did you? Well, it's me. That girl you called "Meat Sandwich" in high school.
I came back from the other side to spend the rest of my days planning to meet up for a drink, never showing, and leaving you to sit at the bar looking in the bottom of your glass thinking about what you did.
*insert spectral howl here*