Friday, July 25, 2014

The Gastro Pub

I'm on a business trip to Columbia MD, where the NSA is and where much of the industry does its work. Columbia is an intensely boring town, as I remember from my many years of living here, but in the last decade it has boomed financially, and so there are now things such as "Gastro Pubs".

Victoria's Gastro Pub is not far from the place where I'm staying, so I went there for dinner. Sitting at the bar (as one does when one is alone), I ordered a wine and people watched for a while, and eventually the couple next to me cleared out and a guy arrived and sat down and ordered a beer. No ring, reasonably fit, well dressed, early thirties. He seemed slightly nervous so I opened with "Tinder date?"

Which, it turns out, was exactly correct. "Phil" was a salesguy working in the big financials (one of our clients so I won't give away which one), who was on a Tinder date with a girl he'd never met and had only talked to briefly. She was late, so we ended up talking for a while and he said some interesting things I figured I'd share.

First of all, Tinder dating is expensive! The impulse is to Tinder yourself a date basically every night, which is fun but exhausting, and about a grand a week. ("Or more in NY", says Phil). And you could see why he was exhausted as four different girls texted him while we were talking, one of whom was clearly just inviting him back to her place to have sex ("dinner"). Tonight's date kept him up to speed on her GPS's ETA at all times, as if worried he would leave because she was so late.

Secondly, he rarely has sex with girls on Tinder dates. Essentially his process is to send them a joke, then let them then immediately send him their number, and then chat them briefly there until they meet up. His profile reads just 6'3" and has some rather grainy pictures of him.

But weirdly, even though there are girls he likes that he could focus on, he's continually still dating. In particular, a broadway actress in NY is someone he's really into, but he told her he lived in NY and now has to walk that back. Right there you can see the salesguy impulse to close a deal at any cost. . .

Invariably he does not date the girls he ends up having sex with - they just invite him over or there's a quick drink at a bar and then they go back to his place.

He emphatically was not that into this particular date, and I was there for most of it (she arrived on queue with her GPS estimates), which occurred at the bar,  and got to watch his game. Even when he's not that into a girl he's playing fairly decent pick up artist style game. None of which mattered. Her attraction to him was essentially mathamatical.  It was almost boringly about his statistics, and not him as a person. "All girls want is someone normal" he quipped to me, and he was entirely right with this girl. But fuck it, why would you want a girl who wanted someone normal? I asked in my own head.

When he went to the bathroom I talked to Lauren and she showed me her Tinder. "It's great, you just click on it and a guy takes you to a bar..." she says, and she has about the same size list of people that he does. She's an RN and does not yet have Netflix, which means there is some room for that stock to grow, I guess. "I would go out with him again", she told me when I asked how he was doing. She repeated that again slightly louder when he got back, just in case I didn't pass the message along.

I got a text when I got back to my hotel room, a short 20 minute drive from the Gastro Pub, that he had already bailed on his date, after making out with her for what must have been the shortest session ever in her car.

"She's gross" he texted me "Just wait until you see Bmore tmrw night".

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