It’ll be a typical morning that I log onto Twitter, perusing my timeline as I groggily jam some toast and tea into my facehole, and read lamentations of my peers who had yet another bad date off of OK Cupid, Tinder, or whatever the hell all you kids who need to get off my philosophical notion of a lawn are using now.
Then I’m out at my usual haunts where I can plunk down my laptop to work and people-watch, and it’s inevitable I’m going to see cyber dates morph into IRL meetings in the wild. In fact, shortly after I started writing this, I found myself hankering for a sandwich and to get out of the house so I hopped the bus to the Co-Op City Panera. Aside from being one of the few options for public meeting spaces with plentiful seating and outlets up here, it’s also primetime people-watching. You get everything from Meetup.com groups to app dates to LinkedIn connections meeting in here, and more often than not the dating ones are intensely stilted.
It typically starts as a casual observation as I work and shitpost over my latte that quickly turns into a forcefield I can sense from across the room. This time, the forcefield spans the petite square table overlooking the Bay Plaza parking lot as I’m drafting a consulting client’s sales strategy. I don’t know what app the two people across the room met off of but it looks like this man is far more into this woman than the other way around. He offers to show her a video he made with a friend after they ask each other questions like “So where do you work?” and if they’d seen the latest Netflix shows.
The brainfreeze from my superfruit smoothie kicks in as a fortyish man in a suit at the table next to me conducts a job interview for a traveling sales representative. First I’m just trying to focus on the task at hand but it hits me that I literally cannot tell the tone apart from the date two tables away. At least after the interviewer is done discussing the job details with the man across from him, they have a natural dialogue as they laugh about childhood memories at Miss Francine’s and hanging out in Crotona Park.
Whereas this man is now just smiling and nodding while the woman across him finally becomes animated talking about seeing her friend in an off-off-Broadway play. Dude is acting like she’s Ben Stein reading a bill…