Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Grindr? What is it good for?
It has become a hobby of mine to parlay with the Grindrites of my area. I've almost set myself up as some kind of moralistic challenger. My quest is to have them remember that they are human beings and not merely a selection of holes in which a man can place his penis. I've challenged people to talk about movies with me. To discuss literature and music. To explore passions and dreams and goals in life. Trying to connect on a level beyond the base instincts of the natural man. This has had a variety of responses. From great in depth analyses of life and what it means to be human. To a tirade of abuse from men who felt I was wasting their time, and that I was misusing the app. Still, it has become sport for me. Which probably isn't the healthiest thing in the world.
That all just serves as a caveat to what I actually wanted to talk about. the thing that had me nervous to commit to the blogesphere.
I've met somebody. I met them via Grindr and I really like them. Here's the story:
One evening several weeks ago I was having a particularly boring evening at work and turned on Grindr. I work about 10 miles or so from where I actually live (or as Grindr might say, where I'm actually based). The people that came up where all new faces. Which is fun for me and less so for them as they aren't accustomed to my ways. After politely turning down several requests for fun (turns out Scrabble isn't considered fun) and bleaching my eyes after being subjected to images that would have a man arrested had he shown them in public. I was ready to shut the app down and get back to work. Then I got a message from one particular guy. Nothing mind blowingly interesting or exciting, just a pleasant and friendly message. I explained that I was at work, and didn't have much time to talk. As I was doing the late night close it meant I was only leaving the office after midnight and that I would have a 2 hour journey via bus to get home.
I took my regular spot on the back of the lower deck of the bus and settled in for the ride. I switched on Grindr and after wading through the pictures of penises and such (i shudder at the memory of some of the images). I found that the guy from earlier was online. Lets speed through some of this. He kept me company all the way home. With some great conversation and some real good takes on life. I played the part of the hard nut to crack, not always giving him a lot to work with. But he was persistent and nice throughout.
I've just remembered the first message he had sent. It was: "Have you ever hired a Boris bike?" - For those who don't know, Boris Bikes (nickname - Boris being the name of the Mayor of London) are bicycles you can hire for the day spread out all across central London. The reason he was asking this, as a first message was because my profile said something along the lines of, please avoid the Grindr cliches and ask me something random and preferably interesting.
Boris Bikes not the most random, or particularly most interesting, but amongst the filth it stood out.
By the way, I haven't hired a Boris Bike.
We quite quickly swapped numbers so that we could keep in touch via Whatsapp, rather than needing to rely on Grindr to communicate. This was an unusual step for me as I have had requests to swap numbers many times before and on the whole refused to do so. But here I was, after not very long freely giving out my number.
For the next week or so, my evenings would follow the patten of boarding the bus, taking my seat and having nearly 2 hour hours of whatsapp conversation with a stranger. Throughout I'd be smiling an inane grin and be loving that not once had either of us expressed an interest in finding out whether we preferred as kids sleeping on the top or bottom of the bunk bed. (That's what the question's getting at right?) Or whether we ran a hotel and could accommodate visitors.
After a week of chatting and getting to know quite a bit about each other, we got closer to the inevitability of maybe we should meet and continue some of these conversations over a coffee. I explained that I don't drink coffee, or tea, but a hot chocolate would be fine. (Is it weird that i still hold onto that bit of Mormonism, whilst drinking alcohol and making out with guys?) I rebuffed him a little more, as I began to feel a little nervous about taking things beyond the realms of texts on a screen, to audible words from the mouth. This wasn't the way I usually operate. I didn't out rightly say no, I just let him know that my work schedule at the moment meant that my ability to be social was very much compromised. I avoided things enough for him to send me a message one day that said something to the effect of: "I'm really not sure if you're interested in me or not, you have my number, get in touch if you want to. If not, have a great life". I very much paraphrased what he wrote, and might have embellished slightly for a more dramatic feel.