There’s an interesting thing about blogging about one’s life. I often share humorous or thoughtful anecdotes from everyday experiences, and I usually don’t publish them until I’m sure the story is done. But life doesn’t have neat conclusions.
I recently wrote a post about matching with a girl on Bumble, the timing wasn’t right, and so we never met. But there turns out to be more to this story. Character development, if you will.
Background: After a month of chatting, but never meeting, it became apparent the spark had died, at least on my end. I decided to cut loose ends and never followed up about a date. Cut to the weekend after our unfulfilled date, I open my dating app to see she messaged the very next morning: she was so sorry she hadn’t followed up, could I meet that night, etc.
Except this was two nights later, that was last night, and I was in Brooklyn, New York. Obviously, we couldn’t meet.
Also, I was drunk. I wasn’t going to respond until daylight.
The next time I opened the app, she had deleted our message thread and blocked me.
Weeks later, I am back in Richmond and plan to be around for the next three weeks at least. The girl’s profile popped back up on my app. Always one to play with fire, I swiped right. Would she swipe right, too?
The next day I opened the app and saw we had matched – and she had messaged me. Would I still be interested in meeting up?
Time was of the essence. Time passed us up last time, and it would surely do it again, so I said yes and proposed that night or at least this very weekend. We agreed to Sunday brunch and exchanged phone numbers.
Optimism read off the charts. I could already see us telling the grandchildren that your grandma actually deleted your grandfather off Tinder before they swiped right to each other again, because they found each other that irresistible and love is fickle. Our love story would be one for the history books.
The day before our brunch, I decided to look this girl up. After all, we had been flirting (that may be a strong characterization) for the last seven weeks. Who was she really?
I’ve spoken on this before: I’m a huge defender of social media stalking. We are millennials. Each one of us has the potential to be our own NSA. LinkedIn is our playground. All I had to type was her first name, her job, graduation year, and the fourth link suggested a LinkedIn name. I Facebooked that name.
Her profile was relatively private except for profile and cover photos and her “About” section. And then I saw a total game changer: She had been a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Now in case you’re joining this blog late, I have wanted to join the Peace Corps since tenth grade. I might be getting my PhD, but I have all intentions of joining the Peace Corps in the next two years.
And she was a volunteer?!
I felt a mix of emotions. Was this fate? Were we meant-to-be? Had I told her I wanted to join the Peace Corps? If so, why hadn’t she mentioned it? But wow! Wow!
I clicked through photos of her jumping into the Nile, laughing with foreign children, doing something official-looking that was certainly Peace Corps-related.
In my mind, brunch had gone from a date to a business interview. “Which pieces of my resume do you think I should highlight when I apply?” I saw myself asking over pancakes and bacon. “Where can I get more volunteer experience to be a more competitive candidate? And where did you serve?”
Walking to brunch, I debated dropping immediately that “I stalked you, because I’m assuming you stalked me too, and you were in the Peace Corps, and can we please talk about that? Yes, waiter, I’ll have coffee.”
I ditched that plan because I didn’t want to jump instantly to creeper status. Also, maybe this conversation could happen organically. People always ask on “first dates” what your "next plans" are. At least I do.
Hypothetical me: “I want to join the Peace Corps.”
Hypothetical girl: “Awesome! I used to be part of it. Let me tell you about it!”
That is not what happened.
We did the awkward greeting outside the restaurant, made more awkward by me saying aloud, “Good morning” to her and the other passersby responding, “Good morning to you, too!” (Me: I wasn’t talking to you.) We then grabbed a booth and talked about our nights, looked at the menu with that awkward lull, made some more conversation that wasn’t that awkward, but she might have thought was awkward, but who knows. And then, maybe 30 minutes into our breakfasts, we started talking about jobs and futures, but lowercase f futures, because we weren’t getting married. But this is when I slipped in my Peace Corps ambitions.
What that means is, she did not react. And then I resumed talking.
When I asked how she got into the healthcare field, she did not mention the Peace Corps. When I asked about traveling, she did not mention Africa. When I asked what type of nurse she wanted to be and she said “community health, not really in the hospital,” she did not mention the Peace Corps.
I was supremely confused.
Did it not change your life?
Did I find a fake Facebook?
Because, girl, I know you lived in Africa for 27 months. I know you lived my life’s dream. Why you being so quiet? SPEAK UP!
Once the date concluded, I texted my friend this whole extravaganza. It made me wonder, has anyone else gone on a date where they know the other person is lying (or at least deliberately withholding evidence?????)? Why would she omit her Peace Corps experience? Okay, so probably she didn’t want a second date (since she was lying), but she could have said she did the Peace Corps when I gushed about it? Am I asking too much?
I’m not even mad I paid for the date. I’m just peeved we didn’t talk about the Peace Corps.
Anyway, my future approach to dating might just be printing off their Facebook profiles and highlighting the talking points. At least if they did the Peace Corps. I wonder how that will go over.
Or maybe I will just stop Facebook stalking people.