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Trawling Tinder

8 Aug


I’ve never had a good experience on Tinder. And yet, like a woman trapped in a co-dependant union, I keep going back.

Because Tinder is fucking hilarious.

Pockets of humanity lurk on there and trawling Tinder freaks has become a perfectly acceptable way to spend my weekend.

He Gives Good Head

Take this guy:

img_0352

Check out what he’s holding. Doesn’t the image of a man with a decapitated goats head scream, “IT PUTS THE FUCKING LOTION IN THE BASKET!”?

Who’d make that their Tinder profile pic anyway? I mean, doesn’t that just get your goat?

I’m ‘kid’ding.

Can you see where this is ‘head’ing?

Ooh- maybe he’s trying to allude to giving good head?

This joke is old now. It’s time to put it out to pasture.

Pre-Battle Banter

Some men on Tinder are only after one thing.

TinderMan1: “So are we going to meet? What’s your address?”

CC: “We can meet, but I’m not giving you my address. How about a coffee?”

TinderMan1: “We know where coffee is going to end up, so just give me your address.”

This vexed me: Where, exactly, did this audacious prick believe that coffee was going to end up? Does coffee herald coitus? Not necessarily. Coffee can wind up in lots of places: a manic discussion on Jack Kerouac. A hilarious foam-on-the-upper-lip moment. Hell, I could be a stage five clinger that thinks espressos will mean babycinos.

CC: “You see, coffee is my he’s-not-an-axe-murderer-and-I-can-invite-him-into-my-house insurance policy :)”

TinderMan1: “Yeah. See, I work in the music industry and I can’t afford to buy every girl coffee.”

As this message was read, a thwack echoed across the city as the drawbridge to my lady-parts slammed shut.

CC: “What a shame: I’m a gold-digger and I’m not interested in poor men. Better luck next time.”

Luckily, the men on Tinder are a production line and Tinderman1 segued seamlessly into Tinderman2.

TinderMan2: “Where do I work? I work in banking and investments. So how about a vino sometime?”

When I didn’t expeditiously respond, he messaged again.

Tinderman2: “What, is working in finance a deal breaker? :P”

CC: “No. It’s not a deal breaker at all. In fact, it might even be fun to have a drink with someone devoid of a soul :D”

He blocked me after that. He wasn’t devoid of a soul, but apparently devoid of a sense of humor. My sardonic wit often combusts in the tinderbox. I was blocked by another fellow after I playfully said, “Don’t get too excited to meet me- I might yet be a convincing pre-op transsexual ;)”

Testing my Patients

I recently matched with a bearded bloke from Enmore whose profile spoke of ‘sustainability’, ‘craft beer’ and ‘meat trays’.

My, how I do love a hipster.

On our first interaction, The Beard gave me his Instagram handle and invited me to stalk him. I did. There was- amid jumpy iPhone footage of a plethora of live bands- a surprising number of posts dedicated to Shiner Bock beer. These were photographed in glistening, moist, pornographic glory. I counted eleven pictures of beer, but hardly any of him. There was more beer than beard on there.

I pulled out my phone and typed, “Saw your Instagram. Nice. I think my first question is: are you still sponsored by Shiner Bock?”

It was a whimsical bon mot that deserved, at the very least, an emoticon smiley. Instead I got a long, not really coherent explanation that was so convoluted, I wondered why he didn’t just type the word ‘no’ and save us both a lot of time.

We decided to meet for a drink at Newtown. I caught public transport in. Trains weren’t running due to trackwork, so I arrived ten minutes late, breathless and nervous. I scanned the crowd, my gaze finally settling on what I can only describe as a ‘demented lumberjack’. And he wasn’t okay.

Neither was I, actually.

Because who this bloke was in the Tinderverse and who he was in reality was somewhat incongruent.

The man from Tinder was bearded, smiling, slender. He wore Wayfarer sunglasses in one shot, clutched a bass guitar in another. He drank from a stein. He posed with a mischievous pug.

And the man trudging towards me? Well, he was the kind of overweight that usually has the adverb ‘morbidly’ attached to it. His soft, round midsection poked through a threadbare, black sloppy joe that was long ago washed to grey. It was, at least, clean. There were no obvious cum-stains or spag-bol remnants on it. His beanie, on the other hand, was coated in a powdery white substance that was, at best, cocaine and, at worst, dandruff. His face and eyes were completely flat- nary a flicker of emotion was spared for the jittery brunette before him.

And really, an expression would have been nice.

Because I’d only made a tiny bit of fucking effort in getting there.

I’d only spent an hour or so trying on outfits in my bedroom in a Tassie-Devil whirlwind of cotton. I’d only spent ninety fucking minutes battling rail buses, half of which was time spent in close proximity to a man with a facial tattoo who overused the word ‘cunt’. And then, when I changed buses at Strathfield station, there was only that tiny, little argument that I got into with the douche-bag in the hatchback; the guy who, after clocking my vintage army jacket and Doc Marten boots, decided that I was a Neo-Nazi. The dude that then began to trawl me in his car, chanting things like: “Where’s your Swastika, love? Adolf, hey? Seig Heils! Yeah! Nice boots Adolf!” through the open passenger window as I willfully ignored him for as long as I could.

‘As long as I could’ turned out to be ‘half a block’. I snapped after that and shouted- yes, shouted– “Go fuck yourself, you Peugeot-driving wanker!”

Not my finest moment. If I didn’t look like a scary skinhead before I started shouting at passing motorists with wild-eyed zeal, I certainly did after. Something clever and punchy like: “How dare you call me Adolf! Call me Eva. Or Miss Braun, you socialist swine,” would have been better.

Fucking l’esprit d’escalier.

Anyway, this bummed me out, because I thought that my carefully-chosen outfit said, ‘I’m stylish without trying too hard and my Heathers t-shirt says that I understand and embrace cult pop-culture references.’

But it didn’t. Apparently it just said two words: Master Race.

But, back to The Beard: when he greeted me, it was in a monotone, and he slurred his words.

Oh fuck, I thought. Is he drunk?

He leaned in for a kiss. I offered a cheek. He rested a paw uncomfortably close to another cheek. I pulled away. His hand lingered on my jeans like Velcro. He told me about his Sunday: a long walk with a friend that was hard because he got “munted” Saturday night, but a walk that he persevered with nonetheless because he’s “a fat bastard now”.

Then he asked where I wanted to go. We could go anywhere except The Townie. He’d been kicked out of The Townie last month- a feat that I, nor anyone who has ever set foot in The Townie, would think possible. But it was. The Beard’s version of events was: ‘I slur even when I’m not drunk.’ The bouncers was: ‘Even so, ten beers and a broken chair is inappropriate, and you have to leave.’

He asked if I’d eaten, the memory of his fat arse breaking a chair seemingly jogging him back to food. “Let’s go to Mary’s. You ever been there?”

I hadn’t.

He wiped his mouth. “I can’t believe you’ve never been to Mary’s,” he exclaimed in a flat voice.

We began walking up King street, taking a left turn down an alleyway. He led me through the darkness, deep into sex-crime central, before stopping at a place that had no signage, just a bare red bulb glowing above the door.

Oh Christ, I thought. He’s taking me to a brothel. Or a rape dungeon.

It wasn’t. In fact, Mary’s may be the only good thing to come out of that night. Mary’s is a dingy, heavy metal pub that serves fried chicken so consumable, I’m fairly certain it was a Breaking Bad, crystal-meth laced, Los Pollos Hermanos bird. They also serve a fried chicken dish named ‘Larry Bird’, which tickled me. Immensely.

He sat opposite me, studying me with open curiosity. “So how’m ah’doin?”

I put down my piece of chicken. “What?”

He wiped his mouth. “How am I doin’ on the date?”

I was taken aback and laughed. Loudly. “HAHAHAHAHA! That’s a…question. Isn’t it? Look at you asking…questions.”

“Is there like, any chance of,” he paused. “You know…”

Oh please God, don’t say it.

“Because I don’t go for casual stuff,” he continued. “Mostly. Like, I had a friend with benefits once, but that ended. It’s not me. There was one Tinder girl who took me home. That was weird because, like, she was tall and our feet touched during it. She left straight after it.”

I’d like to pause the story and assure you that I am absolutely not making this up. He absolutely said this to me, and as he spoke, I was absolutely conducting a mini-mental examination on the poor bastard: What the fuck is he talking about? That didn’t make sense. That was thought disordered as fuck. And I think he’s derailing. Is he derailing? No, he’s totally derailing. Is he a patient somewhere? I bet he’s a schizophrenic.

He wiped his mouth again. “You’re, like, big- for a chick, I mean- aren’t ya? You’ve gotta be five eight or…?”

Maybe I should ask if he takes Clozapine. The belly. The drool. Fuck! Okay, this is weird. I think I’m accidentally on a date with a fucking-

He considered me. “How do you usually go on Tinder dates? Like how do you do this?”

What the shit…? Oh no, he’s staring at you! Quick, say something now! Change the subject! Talk about  the chicken! Larry Bird! LARRY BIRD!

He left to use the bathroom. I took the opportunity to broadcast my woe on Facebook. When he returned, I casually brought up the uni assignment due that evening. I’d already done it- it was submitted earlier that afternoon, in between leg-day at the gym and my ‘yuck, I now smell like a diseased yak’ pre-date shower. I didn’t know that The Beard was going to be a living nightmare and I wanted to be free from responsibility if he wasn’t.

“So I have to leave. Right now.” Which is a shame, I tried to say with my eyes. But, you know, responsibility. Stuff.

“Have another beer.”

“I can’t.”

“I’ll drive you home.”

“Oh, you don’t have to do that! To Hornsby!”

“It’s an easy drive.”

“No, it’s fine. Besides, you’ve been drinking.”

“Only four pints.”

In two hours. And I don’t want to die in a fiery car wreck. At least not before I erase my Google Chrome history. “Really, I’ll get the train.”

He walked me to the station, I glanced at the board and saw that a train- although not my train- was leaving in two minutes. “Two minutes! Nick of time. I’ve really got to run.”

He responded by grabbing me around the waist and grinding his crotch into my hip like a horny Doberman. He went in for the kiss and, again, I offered a cheek. He smelt like chicken. Craft beer. Plague. Peristalsis. Hormones. And desperation.

I boarded my train feeling fed-up. You can’t go on a bad date without it draining you of something. Even if you enter the evening with no expectations, you leave robbed of a little effervescence. I can usually see the funny side, and writing about it fortifies me, but there are times when I can’t help but wish I could go back to that heady period in my early-twenties when the world didn’t seem to be full of weirdos.

Wanting a little pick me up, I opened Tinder.

And found this guy.
img_0023His profile states- with a two-finger salute to the rules of grammar- that he is “the badboy you’re mothers warned you about”, he’s “the real 50 shades baby.”

He’s also a poet, because he goes on to claim that he’s “hung like an ox”,

“enjoys nibbling at your…”

“and making you scream with his…”

But only blows his load into socks.

Okay, so I made that last one up.

Tinder, hey?

Shit.

Hashtag Bonespo

10 Jul

My social media obsession has morphed. While my fist in the air damn-the-man save-the-empire scorn of Facebook has continued, I am now, like, oh-my-god, totally into Instagram.

I know, right?!

Aside from random tattoo artists, my friends, and the kick-arse female celebrities I follow, I am also, like, totally down with a plethora of fitness inspiration accounts. Maybe I find vomit-inducing workout slogans

“Strive for progress, not perfection!”

motivating enough to drag my lazy carcass to the gym on a winter’s morning.

Or maybe I just like looking at pictures of toned torsos in bikinis.

Hmm.

But, we aren’t delving into the sticky tar of my subconscious nor are we discussing any tendencies that I may or may not have on this blog.

On a side note: Support gay marriage.

Back to the point. Bored at work, I followed a rocky social media trail that led me from the brightly coloured, tanned, surgically-enhanced, hard-bodied land of #fitspo into the bleak, colourless world of #bonespo.

Pro-anorexia accounts.

And, like a motorist rubbernecking a car crash, I spent the better part of an hour staring, open-mouthed at skin-covered skeletons. Some of the posts are attention seeking nonsense:

ana

That are little more than the online equivalent of compliment fishing. Stuff like this makes my eyes roll, and a small, evil part of me is tempted to say, “Yes, you have gotten fat. You look a bit like Rosie O’Donnell. Stop eating carbs, piggy-piggy-potbelly.” Despite what the hashtags say, there is a big difference between anorexia and a pretty girl halfheartedly proclaiming that she’s fat to seek validation.

But some are real. I came across this

ednos
And my heart broke a little bit.

It screamed a pain that I knew from the past and, for some unknown reason, I am going to over-share talk about it on here.

You see- gulp– for ten years, I was bulimic. Four years ago, I sought help and have managed to sit in remission where I will stay because fuck going back to feeling like that. Ever. Again.

I don’t particularly want to get into what I was like when I was sick because it’s pointless. I did things that I am not proud of. I did things that I will never speak of. I lied to people I love. For a decade. It was bad. And nobody knew. It was my secret. My dirty little invisibility blanket that shrouded me.

Eventually, I got help. And I can say with total certainty that going into recovery is fucked. It’s like being born again. You are thrust, completely disorientated, into the brightness of reality where you have to relearn basic skills. Like eating chocolate.

Yes, eating chocolate.

It seems simple, doesn’t it? You put it in your mouth, chew, and swallow. Big deal. It’s a food. Nothing more.

Nope.

Food used to terrify me. To someone with an Eating Disorder, chocolate is the monster that lives in your closet. Chocolate is loaded with guilt, shame, remorse, and sadness. Chocolate calls to you at night. It wraps you in a warm hug before burying the knife in your back. Chocolate is your frenemy. It sounds ridiculous but it’s true. And anybody who has ever struggled with food is probably nodding at the screen right now.

Women’s magazines and The Butterfly Foundation lead you to believe that speaking the words “I’m bulimic” will lead to scores of people stroking your hair, calling you brave and pretty, and telling you that it will be okay.

Doesn’t happen.

In reality, recovery is an uphill climb. I had to argue with the doctor to get a referral for a psychologist. She didn’t want to give me one. She told me that I wasn’t bulimic, I had hyperthyroidism and it was normal to eat a lot. My response? “Yes, but it’s hardly fucking normal to stick your fingers down your throat at the end of every meal, is it?” It was the first of many Snappy-Tom moments that would occur as I clambered up that hill. I was astounded by people’s reactions. My mother and I stopped speaking. My dad chastised me for not talking to him about it. My friends were flummoxed. One said to me towards the end “You took us all by surprise…you were always the one with your shit together.” Whenever I mentioned the E.D to my husband he looked like I was broaching the subject of arse play with a strap-on. Frightened. Uncomfortable. Stiff. Eventually, I just shut up and did what I had to do. It wasn’t fun but somehow I made it to the top where I sat, blinking dumbly at the day like an apocalypse survivor. Now I am obsessed with not being obsessed. I am obsessed with not dieting. Not judging myself. Staying healthy. I have turned my illness into something positive, which is probably the best that any of us can hope for.

An Eating Disorder is isolating, recovery is isolating, and remission can be isolating. Hearing women bitch about their weight and talk diets is intolerable. It’s a mindset that I have left behind. It’s foreign. They might as well be talking about arse play with a strap-on. I have learnt that glibly adding, “Oh, I never diet!” is usually received the same way as “You look like Rosie O’Donnell”, and so I tend to sit, fidgeting, instead. When girls begin the circle-jerk of self-flagellation about their weight, they usually want commiseration or compliments. It’s one of those bizarre female bonding things. The correct response for “Oh, I hate my thighs” is either “Don’t be silly, you’re gorgeous” or “I see your thighs and raise you a fat arse.”

Recently, people have been telling me that I’ve lost weight, so I decided to weigh myself. I’ve lost 5kg in six months. I have no idea how. When I was sick, 60 was the magic number. At 60kg, life would be perfect. At 60kg, my problems would magically disappear. Without trying, I have hit that weight and, to be honest, I don’t like it. My ribs protrude. I have the torso of an eighty seven year old woman…with tattoos and incredibly perky boobs. I’m still in a healthy weight range but I feel…wrong, somehow. I’d grown to like the fact that I’m built like a girl rather than a teenage boy. I liked having hips. I liked being a bit soft in places. I am now consciously trying to put on weight. Who knew that recovery see me doing that?

At the end of the day, I am thankful for going to hell and back because it completely changed me for the better. Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. A stronger, calmer, more confident CC emerged. One without fear. Or shame. Or odd behaviours surrounding food. I am completely bulletproof in my self-image now because I know that I am worth more than the size of my derrière. The gooey centre is more important than the shell. And I’m happy. Things are far from perfect, but I have managed to harness something within and it keeps me content, despite what life throws at me.

Anyway, back to Instagram. I can understand where these pro-ana communities come from because, when you’re sick, you feel completely alone. A girl on the other side of the world going through the same thing understands your pain but every ‘healthy’ person can’t fathom it. The comments prove this: “WTF is wrong with you, that’s gross” was under a picture of a bony ribcage. It was gross, but such a statement misses the point, and I can imagine it would probably push someone further down the spiral. Telling a person with extremely low self worth that she looks ugly for being too thin is as useful as handing them a plate of food saying “Just eat it.” It’s where people like Michelle Bridges do more harm than good. We need to stop body-shaming people. It’s not helpful. How you wear your body is as much of a personal choice as how you wear your hair, and the amount of fat you choose to carry is nobody’s fucking concern. Can we let that statement marinade in the air for a moment? Your weight, if you are happy with it, is nobody’s fucking concern. If eating cake makes you happy, go for it. Enjoy your life. It’s too short. Besides, you are probably having a better time than somebody who is a slave to the scales.

I nearly put a line in this blog saying that every guy I speak to prefers curves over bones but I left it out because that’s not the point of an E.D. You don’t starve to become attractive to the opposite sex. Half the time you are so consumed with self hatred that you can’t even think about sex- why would you want another human being to see how vile and fat you are? It’s not about being pretty, or finding a man. What drives you is multi-layered, complex, unique to every person. Picking the thread on the blanket unravels a mess that you have to slowly pull apart and wade through.

Anyway, that photo broke my heart because I know how it feels to be repulsed by your body, to despise the way you look with such a passion that it blinds you to everything else. I know what it’s like to poke hatefully at flesh. I know what it’s like to turn to food to ease this pain. I know what it’s like to go too far. I know the panic that comes after a binge, the calmness immediately after the purge, then that indescribable emptiness and isolation that slowly builds thereafter. It’s horrible. Anybody going through it deserves a medal for bravery. And, if you are going through it, I have a revoltingly saccharine message: Get help because life can be better. You can heal.

Of course, I couldn’t say all of this on Instagram. I’m long winded. This post is 1600 words. But, I felt compelled to say something. So I commented on the photo: “You aren’t disgusting. You are healthy and that is beautiful. Never forget that :)”

Not much, but I did get a reply half an hour later “Thank you, CC. I appreciate it <3”