My First Bumble Date – or Bumbler Date
Having lived on my own for a year, and the divorce declared final over 7 months ago, I decided I was ready to jump back into the dating pool. By “dating” I mean a social encounter with a woman I do not know well. The last time I did that, if you don’t count my ex-wife (let’s not), was almost a half a century ago!
I peeked at some of the dating sites, of which there appear to be an infinite number, and was not impressed. Most of them feature a come-on ad with a picture of a woman who looks like she would have as much difficulty getting a date as I do making a pun. However, Bumble appealed to me.
As I understand it from the interview I watched a couple of years ago, Bumble is an app created by a woman who was one of the developers of Tinder. Although Tinder has been very successful, she was not all that happy with it. Tinder seems to be used by people looking for casual sex. To me, if the sex is casual you are not really understanding the concept. Although she had no moral qualms about the sex, she thought there could be a better solution. Thus cameth Bumble.
Like Tinder, Bumble is free in the basic version. You fill out a profile and get sent pictures of people with the characteristics you specify and within a range of age and distance you specify. You then swipe the picture right if you are interested and left if you are not. The difference is that with Bumble, when it comes to men and women, only the women can make the first texted response. I liked that concept for a couple of reasons, so opted in.
What ensued was so tragicomic and farcical it sounds like a chapter from one of my novels, and it surely will be a chapter in the next one!
A “Cathy” responded to my swipe and we agreed to meet for coffee at 4:30pm Sunday at a coffee spot near her home somewhere in the Ravenna area. How low stress can this be? She can’t decide which place to go to (there are dozens in the area) so I suggest one Google shows me. I’ve never been there. Super.
I texted her what my car looks like in case she got there before me, which was unlikely because I am early for everything – all the time. (Hint: foreshadowing). I texted what I would be wearing sitting inside if she got there after me. I was an Explorer scout – be prepared.
I get ready for my first date since about 1971 with some trepidation. This is like teen dating minus the acne and having to meet the parents! I made myself look reasonably nice (all I can do, really), and set off.
First error: I arrived at 4:30 and then noticed, to my horror, that the place I wanted is not on Ravenna Avenue but Ravenna Boulevard. I got the correct directions and set off.
Now I am late. I make a wrong turn. In this area of Seattle, the streets are narrow, and there is heavy traffic and lots of parked cars. And stop lights. If you make a wrong turn it can be 5 minutes to get back on track. Now I am even later. I pull over and text her to apologize and say I’m almost there.
Which I think is true.
Inexplicably, I make another wrong turn! Now I am sweating bullets. I pull over and text her again. The horror continues like a really bad romcom movie.
I finally find the place – and of course there is no place to park. By the time I park the car and enter the coffee shop, I am 30 minutes late.
She is not there.
I text her again and she replies that she got tired of waiting and left because I am 30 minutes late. I tell her I am there now and ask her to come back. I wait outside, and when I check my phone again, she has deleted the conversation! There is no way for me to contact her.
Not only did I not get into the game, I never got on the field!
As I drove home, I had two thoughts:
Here is a woman who has no empathy for someone who has driven 20 miles into a densely populated area he has never been in before. A woman who has trouble selecting a place to meet for coffee in an area she lives in that is awash in choices. A woman who seems to have little patience, and even less of a sense of humor. A woman who could have written back and said “No – forget it,” but chose instead to simply erase me. That was simply rude.
Or: Here is a woman who has been down this road before and has been on dates with men who were very late or jerks in a myriad of other ways, and has simply had it up to here.
Either way, what are the odds we would have meshed together well, even if I’d been on time? All said, I am probably ahead.
To be continued…probably.
Copyright 2019 David Preston