And another Tinder Diary for you, this one’s also from last year in Vancouver.
‘I got you a drink!!!’ the text message yelled at me. I was on the bus, about half an hour away from the ocean-view bar in Kitsilano, where Phil (an energetic salesman I met a few days ago on Tinder) was already waiting. A few seconds later I got a photo from him. There was the drink – a giant margarita the size of a goldfish bowl, with an upside-down bottle of Corona sticking out of it.
I felt a bit sick, and not just because of the drink. Phil’s energy levels were already off the charts. He’s sent me so many messages since we swapped numbers in fact, that my battery is permanently in the red. His enthusiasm is literally draining.
I had another message as I was walking up the steps to the bar. ‘WHERE ARE YOU? I MIGHT DRINK THIS!!!’
Jesus, I thought, you’re already in my face and we haven’t even met, but when I saw a gorgeous man sitting alone at a table, I felt like a total bitch. I was glad I hadn’t cancelled. I’d judged him too soon. He smiled at me, held up a hand. Phil was hot, with beautiful straight teeth and an impressively-pressed shirt.
Then I realized he didn’t have a giant margarita in front of him with a Corona sticking out of it.
I span around. ‘There you are!!!’ Phil stood up. He was over by the window, swishing his drink about like a henchman with a sword. I hurried over before he could spill any more, sat down opposite him. He slid the massive drink from the photo towards me and clinked his own half-empty one to mine. ‘CHEERS!!! Great to meet you. You’re hot!’
I noticed he was eyeing up the cocktail menu as he said this, not me. The waitress approached. He ordered a plate of calamari and another giant margarita for himself. Then he started to talk.
Without asking me any questions, Phil went on and on and on, and ON about his job and the fact that he’s been made salesperson of the year three years running. I almost asked him how he finds any time to sell anything when he seems to be on his phone all the time but I couldn’t get a word in.
‘Did you get my message about being free on Tuesday for the hot tub?’ he asked after a moment.
‘I got a lot of messages from you. Are you having a party then?’
He laughed. ‘No, it’ll be just us if you want. I have a space in my diary on Tuesday, that’s all.’ He laughed again. This made me feel a bit uncomfortable. ‘I may also be free on Thursday but I don’t know yet. I can show you my new bed too, did I tell you I got one?’
‘Yes, you did. You sent me several photos, remember?’
He clearly didn’t. I realized then that Phil was most definitely counting on me to have sex with him on his new Tempur-Pedic bed on Tuesday… or Thursday if his current Thursday plan should fall through, and even as I was thinking this, his phone was buzzing and beeping away on the table between us in a clear indication that I am not the only one Phil bombards with updates, and not the only one who responds.
Eventually he picked it up and I couldn’t help notice that behind Phil, below on the beach, a young family were flying kites on the sand in the sunset. I want to fly kites on the sand at sunset with my family, I thought. Then I thought about having a family with Phil and felt a bit sick again.
‘Is that Monday, Wednesday or Friday?’ I asked, pointing at his phone. He snorted without looking up; and without a hint of embarrassment.
‘Gotta line them up! You never know when someone will cancel! I’m in sales, I have to close the deal!!!’
‘That’s kind of gross, Phil.’
‘Oh come on, at least I’m honest. ‘
Yeah, well, at least he’s honest. I can’t say I haven’t been lining dates up myself, mostly out of intrigue in a new place, but it’s not like I’m planning to sleep with each one in a hot tub… or a Tempur-Pedic bed… or anywhere for that matter.
Let’s get this straight – Phil is a fuckboy. An article in Vanity Fair summed this up for us recently: ‘A fuckboy is a young man who sleeps with women without any intention of having a relationship with them or perhaps even walking them to the door post-sex. He’s a womanizer, an especially callous one, as well as kind of a loser.’
‘So why are you on Tinder?’ I asked him as his second cocktail arrived with the calamari and his phone continued to vibrate like a rampant rabbit against the condiments tray. It’s always interesting to ask this on a date because we all know there are only two answers. It’s either, ‘I’m looking for a relationship and I’ve exhausted everywhere else,’ or ‘I’m looking for a quick fuck.’ Neither is ideal really but I thought I’d give Phil the chance to continue with his honesty.
‘I was married,’ he said then.
He leaned over his drink, popped some calamari into his mouth. ‘Yeah, she came out as gay about eight months ago. I’m fine with it though.’
‘Yeah, we’re totally fine, really good friends now actually.’ He picked his phone up, started tapping away and as I looked at him, it all fell into place. By bedding, or hot-tubbing Tinderellas in their masses, Phil continues to validate his heterosexuality and proves over and over again (to himself) that it doesn’t mean a thing that one gay woman didn’t fancy him as much as she did another girl.
‘So you’re lining up people for the hot tub every night of the week?’ I asked.
‘Not Tuesday, that space is still open,’ he beamed, still tapping frantically into his phone. Then he laughed at the screen, like he’d typed or received something funny. Phil was literally iHumping another Tinderella when he was already on a date with me. I thus told Phil he should probably pencil someone else in for Tuesday too because I most definitely would not be free. He pouted comically, but didn’t look for a moment like he believed me.
‘We’ll go halves thanks,’ he told the waitress predictably when she approached some time later and asked about the bill. We ended up splitting it, even though Phil had apparently drunk two cocktails before I arrived and ordered all the nibbles. He told me he doesn’t get paid for a few more days and that seemed to be the end of that.
As we left the restaurant Phil snaked an arm around me and leaned in close. ‘I’ll pencil you in for Tuesday anyway, you might change your mind. Do you want red or white wine for the hot tub?’
I haven’t met too many Phils, I’ll admit. But the fuckboys are everywhere. Maybe that’s a good thing though. People like Phil make you appreciate the people who aren’t like Phil. They also make you feel like a knob for letting the good ones go.