I kept hoping for some measure of the commitment that seemed, whether in love or work, like the precondition for a pleasure that could be redemptive. I didn’t want to accept a view of life as an archipelago of isolated encounters, or accede to the logic—reinforced by the utility-driven instruments colonizing our lives—that people mattered for their short-term use value. Still, I saw that as Tinder and other apps became an integral component in the new sharing economy with Uber and Airbnb, so bodies were taking their place alongside cars, apartments and offices—briefly dwelled in, tried out, passed along.
Holy fuck the self-involvement.
1) My brother-in-law just got tenure. he's a tenured professor at a university ranked number one in his specialty. He got there by being not-tenured somewhere else for four years and working on interesting stuff, which he got to by getting his Ph.D. somewhere else and working on interesting stuff. He did these job hunt things but mostly, he contributed to his field with others in his field and met people in his field which led to opportunities in his field.
“Well,” I said, shrugging, “I think pleasure’s always been political, hasn’t it? It never just occurs in a vacuum.”
...I don't know how you write that and not see that someone with influence over your career is asking you to defend your thesis in human terms to a skeptical audience. Is asking you to speak that which you have written, is asking you to expound upon your professed body of knowledge in a non-constrained environment. And I don't know how you write that and don't acknowledge your own non-answer, your utter failure to recognize the intent of the question, the hopeless self-involvement that precludes you from teaching anyone else what you know because apparently you can't even have a conversation about it.
2) buddy of mine just got engaged to a girl he met on OK Cupid. Met her - fuck - six years ago? They're a great couple. Love 'em both. They work. And "how we met" is as entirely fucking irrelevant to them as it is to me as it is to anyone - "how we met" matters fuckall compared to "how we stay together."
Caught off guard, I weighed the question in as literal and academic a fashion as one could, then said—I kid you not, reader, I actually said this, and without a trace of irony—“Your vagina?” She drew away, looking at me, first quizzically and then with slight exasperation. After a moment she recomposed herself, this time addressing me with the unflinching resolve of someone aiming a .44 Magnum: “Come on. This is your audition.”
This was my audition. I mulled this over. I scarcely knew this woman. Until three hours ago, the entirety of our interaction had been digital; now she loomed before me, a perspiring presence demanding that I prove my mettle as an improv filth-talker.
Dated a girl once who, first time we got naked, explained that she liked to be "defiled." Okay. Is there a better time to bring that up? I can't think of one - if you've got kinks, let's get them out in the open where we can try them on. I didn't end up dating her for long - she was one of two I was juggling at the time, and also stated ten minutes into our first date that she wanted seven kids. No harm, no foul - she knew what she wanted, I knew I didn't want that, and I went a different way. I mean, look - same date she told me she had herpes. This is a woman with a number of specific handicaps to free-wheeling dating and she put 'em all on the table. I hate to think of the self-righteous panic that date would have put this guy in.
3) The author is losing sight of the fact that both processes are a means to an end. There's this overblown terror of Tinder that seems to come from a certain segment of the Internet that, for some reason, didn't exist when Hot or Not came out. Courtship is a ritual, and, like dancing or flirting, what matters is your ability to demonstrate competence at the ritual. The point is to get through the ritual. This does not mean "wallow in the details." It does not mean "learn to be a pick up artist." It means "do what you need to do so that you can deal with the other person like a human being."
I mean, it's like bringing a croquet mallet to the driving range. Yes you can hit balls with it but this is some straight-up Woody Allen shit.
The secret to success is to try hard not to fail. Actually, that's not even a secret, is it? It's the sort of solved-by-inspection insight one gets from, you know, trying at something.
It does not happen if you sit idly by, not putting forth the vaguest effort, and then wallowing in your failure.
No. You say "Fuck yeah. Ready by 5. Here's the address" and then you go home and MAKE CANNOLI. If she shows up? She's already in the house. If she doesn't? Cannoli.
THAT is the secret to success: make the fucking cannoli.