I went on a date with an Amazon guy.
Oh man, you guys are thinking, she finally hit an Amazon guy! It was inevitable.
It probably is inevitable in Seattle’s dating scene. I also, however, don’t think it’s nearly the catastrophe that some people have made it out to be. It can’t be worse than dating in Los Angeles, for example, and always dating people who are connected to Hollywood in some form or another. Or dating in New York, and always running into Wall Street brokers. Or dating in the midwest, and being like, another farmer?
Anyway. He told me that he’s going to try specifically to make friends outside of Amazon, because when you work at a giant corporation and only hang out with your coworkers, it’s easy to become an entitled asshole.
Which was a great and funny thing to say.
We went to this cool little bar, and it turned out he’d moved to Seattle just five days ago for his new job. He was from Ghana, by way of Boston and then Chicago. We had a good conversation. He was enthusiastic about a lot of things—the drinks, my writing career, my new job, his new apartment, Seattle, the chance to explore. He quizzed me about my favorite Seattle spots, asked me about all the museums, and had me list restaurants and parks and activities I like.
I love Seattle. I can talk about Seattle for hours. I’m more than happy to play tour guide for new Tinder arrivals.
Whenever I go on dates with transplants, they say, “Wow! A local! I didn’t know you existed.”
And I’m like, “Ummm, I can introduce you to a couple hundred, personally, and we could throw a rock in this bar and hit 10.”
I half-buy into the Seattle Freeze theory on every 5th Leap Year when the groundhog sees his shadow, but the rest of the time—eh. I think it’s hard to meet people everywhere. I think it might be easier to meet people in places in New York because there are so many transplants. Also no one eats dinner at home. Also in the summer it’s unbearably hot in your apartment so you go out and meet people. I bet—since this summer is so hot—Seattle will feel less frozen. People will be driven out of their hot little solitary artsy literary craft brewing habits and into the streets and parks and bars at night. Unless they work at Amazon. Then they’ll have air conditioning.
Partway through the date, we started talking about Tinder. I’m telling you, every Tinder date has a Tinder moment. If you don’t, I really don’t know if that’s a good sign or a bad sign. Because it’s never happened to me.
He asked about things you see on Tinder as a woman, and I’d just seen a whole slew of guys who said, “not here for hook-ups,” so I mentioned it. He fell strongly in the camp that feels that’s a line designed to get more action, not less.
It’s just confusing to me, I said. Even if you’re on Tinder for hook-ups, don’t you have to meet and see what you think in person before you can truly decide?
We had a funny little back-and-forth where he managed to delicately say that men always find it a bonus if something happens. But yes, it depends on the people involved and actual human interaction. And if nothing happens, no problem. And somehow he managed to indicate that he knew nothing would happen between us, but make me feel like he really was having a good time—no even thoughs, no anyways, no despite. Just: tonight, this is fun.
It simultaneously let me off the hook—he’d read the situation and knew I wasn’t looking for that sort of interaction—at least not with him and/or not at that moment—and also expressed appreciation of our actual interaction.
It was quite a feat and I wish I could remember exactly how he did it—but it also wasn’t overly complicated. Being kind and generous to people and their varying desires and intentions and limitations is hard sometimes, but it isn’t complicated.
He just looked at me and said something like, “Instead of laying down all these rules about what you want, why not get together? Worst case scenario, you meet people who you never would have met otherwise. And sometimes those people are fun and smart and it’s truly enjoyable, and you’ve made a new friend in a new city.”