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…