Swipe Left

The millennial experience can be summed up by Tinder. Twenty years ago it wasn’t possible for a college student to figure out how many people wanted to sleep with them within ten miles without leaving the house, yet this is what our generation does. To me, Tinder seemed foreign and unnatural, but once it was part of my world it was hard to let it go. That was before.

My roommate often says “he could have a great personality” about the faces on her screen upon my advisement to swipe left, to be rid of that face – a human person – forever. She has also said that we do Tinder wrong, that the men we are looking for are not on Tinder because they are looking for good girls in other places. What does that make us?

Swiping to one side or the other is purely subjective and based on one’s preferences, of course; but it is also based on the pictures, the short bio and, primarily, the timing of when the profile pops up on the user’s page. I often found myself swiping right on just about anyone late at night.

My Justification to Others for Swiping Right:

  1. He had a reference to The Office in his bio.
  2. He looked really hot in his first picture.
  3. He seemed like a nice guy.

My Real Reason:

  1. I am lonely.

The worst victim of my loneliness is the reason I no longer swipe at all. I had swiped right a week before and had kept him around because he was sweet with no obvious ulterior motives (i.e. sex). I was not attracted to him, but it was obvious he was attracted to me.

He had sent me several Snapchats (another popular portal of communication our generation utilizes) with no response from me. I responded with an apology several hours later because, frankly, I thought I was a good person. That was before.

I won’t bore you with the details of our pleasantries, how he didn’t want the weekend to end or how I didn’t want to wake up for my class tomorrow. Those weren’t the parts of our conversation I severely regret and think about shamefully even weeks later. What I regret is asking him to tell me a bedtime story.

Why I Told Myself a Bedtime Story Would Be Innocent:

  1. Bedtime stories are told to children by their parents or guardians.
  2. I am naïve.

Deep down, I did not think it would be innocent, although it started out wholesome enough, with him asking what it should pertain to and me saying a story about a princess because I’m a sucker for a Disney movie. He asked if I could be the princess and he the prince, and I – having a soul – said yes, knowing that would be the first question he’d ask.

This is where the story gets tricky. I will tell you right now, what transpired makes me sound like a prude , but what is important is that it was a big deal to me and that’s that. The story, which was excellently crafted, became an afterthought when he sent me the message, “The prince, however, was a dirty guy, who laid in his bed in his boxers, wishing the princess was with him making it shake.”

My Options:

  1. Roll with it.
  2. Ignore it.

I went with the former, though I wish now with all my being I had gone with the latter. I kept the sexual nature of the conversation veiled until it was no longer veiled. Before I could even comprehend what had happened, I got the message, “How wet are you right now?”

Things I Was Not:

  1. Wet.

My roommate was asleep, my closest friend was across campus and I was alone, lying in bed, wishing – just for an instant – that I would spontaneously combust. I felt a rock the size of Pluto (which I still consider a planet) fill my stomach. I felt so ashamed, and I’m still not quite sure why. I still feel ashamed and I’m not sure why.

I deleted it. And that’s the end of that.


-Lizz Birkhoff

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