I’m embarrassed to admit it, given my loud condemnation of dating apps, but I’m back on the dating apps. But it’s not my fault. Someone ghosted me who I was delusionally certain was not in fact ghosting me, and so I had to go back on to prove that I was moving on. Taking a stand, if you will.
And then End Times rolled around and I thought, f*ck it, I’ll continue messaging with these random men while I try to find to find my next Netflix binge. Some of the conversations have been surprisingly great: I’m learning about the proper way to eat Vegemite from a cute Aussie and about butterfly milkweed from a hot surfer. Other conversations have been reassuringly normal — they include a nice little introduction and then a recognition that maybe we’ll meet sometime in the future, if we survive the pandemic and murder hornets. Oh and the locusts. We also have to survive the locusts.
But the best conversations, hands down, have been with the men who invite me to come right on over and explain that the “science says” that it’s totally cool. (God, if you’re listening: please grant me the unmitigated confidence of a man on a dating app).
Honestly, I cannot thank these guys enough. I haven’t laughed so hard since I read Steve Martin’s essay “Side Effects” in The New Yorker, although I can’t look back on that day with too much fondness because I almost died from choking on a handful of Junior Mints. Pro-tip: do not eat handfuls of candy while lying in bed with a magazine in one hand and your head on a flimsy pillow if you plan on suffering peals of uncontrollable laughter. You could die.
I also have to thank my father, an organic chemist, who taught me how science actually works, because that knowledge has made these messages all the more hilarious. In case anyone needs a reminder about how science works, it goes like this: one day you wonder about something random like, why does beer get cloudy after it sits on the shelf for fifty years? Then you come up with some sort of theory or hypothesis that you can test, like hey maybe it’s enzymes? Then you test the theory, and if you were right you get to scream from the rooftops: hey I know why beer gets cloudy! Enzymes! But if you were wrong, you still get to strut your stuff and say, you know what, enzymes aren’t to blame about why beer gets cloudy! It’s all in the process, and not the answer.
But the bro-scientists on Tinder and Bumble have bravely turned the well-established scientific method on its head: they start with the answer (I should come over) and then dive into the hypothesis (maybe this pandemic isn’t that bad?). And to test this hypothesis, I am the experiment. Or put another way: Come over to screw, I’m sure it’s fine and if not I guess we’ll find out? Like I said, Science!
Of course, like every scientific community, these men disagree regarding the basis for their conclusion that I should come over. In an effort to support robust scientific debate, however, below is a (non-exhaustive) list of these brave, brilliant men.
Chris boldy presented his conclusion that everything is totally cool by writing almost immediately, “hey, can we cuddle?” When I expressed doubts about the safety of this experiment, Chris helpfully explained that “he doesn’t know anyone sick” and therefore “probably not that many people are sick.”
Look for Chris’s other scientific research regarding whether the ice caps are melting because he doesn’t know any ice caps. Important work.
Mark describes himself as a “scientist at a surf company.” When asked to explain what that means, Mark clarified by writing “it’s what it sounds like.” Mark had a strikingly similar conclusion to Chris, although he described it differently by simply writing “Wanna hang out tonight?” When I expressed similar doubts about the safety of this experiment, Mark refused to share his data and instead simply stated “I’m the scientist here.”
Look for Mark at the upcoming “what it sounds like” scientific conference in Albuquerque where he will present his paper “Because I Said So.”
Rob, like Mark and Chris, also arrived at the conclusion that I should “come over tonight.” When I expressed the now familiar reservations about the safety of this experiment, Rob demonstrated that his research is ongoing by asking if I had gotten the flu shot. When I confirmed that I had, Rob simply wrote “same thing” and sent his address.
Look for Rob’s upcoming scientific paper, “Same Thing: Cancer and Allergies.”
As you can see from the important work being done by Chris, Mark and Rob it’s a really exciting time in scientific exploration. We can only imagine the important discoveries we might find based on their work.
Carpe noctem boys.
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