Our theme for the month of October is “the elements.”
I was in Littleton, New Hampshire yesterday because I was thinking about moving there to become a bar-back at a brewery. You know, like a good English major. For those of you who don’t know, you cretins, Littleton is nestled in the White Mountains, and it sits on the border of New Hampshire and Vermont. It’s beautiful.
Along the two and a half hour drive north, I stopped at The Basin in Franconia Notch State Park, which is a pool of water that, as a New Englander, I figured I should look at. (Henry David Thoreau did it, that nature rat.) It’s a small waterfall that has smoothed a large group of rocks for a long time, wearing them down into a—say it with me—BASIN.
In Littleton, I checked out the co-op grocery store in town, and I talked to some locals. The people in Northern New Hampshire like to separate themselves from the softies who live in southern New Hampshire. There’s a rugged feeling about them—practical, friendly, not overly so.
Everyone I saw looked to be under seventeen or over forty. So I got this really good idea.
A couple years ago I installed an app called Tinder that actually allows you to see people who are near you, so why not see if anybody my age is near? I reinstalled the app and skipped through all the instructions saying, “Here’s what’s new! Blah blah blah make sure you read! Blah blah blah super like, blah blah blah mutual friends.” I figured, whatever, I can use a freakin’ app. I don’t need to read the instructions.
I opened it up, and I remembered that you can’t just look through people—you have to say whether you like them or not. Yeah, it’s a dating app.
Here we go.
Nope nope nope nope nope like nope nope nope nope like nope no—pause. “You have three mutual friends.” What. Ooo must be a new feature! Click. How is she friends with her, her, and him? What a random mix of people for this girl who is…FORTY-FIVE MILES AWAY FROM HERE to be friends with.
She wasn’t even in the small town. It didn’t occur to me that maybe a 5,000 person town in Northern New Hampshire wouldn’t like a not-so-secret dating app. I press my thumb on the screen, and keep it there, moving her picture left, then right, then I get a really good idea: One of those new features has to be something like “pause and come back later.” This girl really isn’t my type, but I’ve heard of people just being friends from Tinder stuff, so I think, Maybe we can have a let’s-be-friends conversation at some point. So I swipe up, which, to my horror, is an action that makes a giant blue star take over the screen, and it says, “SUPER LIKE!” And a guy apparates right next to me and says, “You big idiot! HAHAHA! Why didn’t you just read the updates?! HAHAHA! SUPER-LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE!”
“Super Liking” someone allows them to see that you have super liked them before they swipe right on you. You get one of these per day, so it’s a big deal.
I think surely you can reverse what has just happened! Then I think of course you cannot! This is real life!
What I have done, in Tinder-terms, is show up at her house. I’m standing in her lawn, holding a boombox over my head, and blasting, “ALL MY INSTINCTS, THEY RETURN…WITHOUT A VOICE, WITHOUT MY PRIDE, I REACH OUT FROM THE INSIDE!………..IN YOUR EYES! THE LIGHT THE HEAT, IN YOUR EYES, I AM COMPLETE…. (“In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.)
Super Like. If you really, really like someone’s pictures, you super like them. “Hey babe, happy fourth anniversary. I still super like you.”
A few minutes later I got a reply saying, “It’s a match!” So as soon as I can scrape together enough money for a log cabin, Whitney and I are getting married. You’re all invited. It’s within forty-five miles of Littleton. Reception to follow.
Bart Tocci (’11) lives in Boston where he writes essays, performs at open mics, and threatens to start taco restaurants. He’s been told that he looks like the kind of guy who stands up for what’s right. And who goes to the store before the party. Read more here: barttocci.wordpress.com