How Tinder Works According to My Mom

Mom: Have you seen Steve McQueen* on Tinder?

Me: He lives in Las Vegas.

Mom: So?

McQueen’s mom: It works by distance.

Me: Yes.

McQueen’s mom: So, if a guy were out on the sidewalk right there in U Village, he’d pop up first. You’d see all the guys right here, looking for someone.

Me: No.

Mom: Well, that’s kind of creepy.

McQueen’s mom: Or maybe it’s by distance more generally? Like all the guys in the area, but they show them in order of who’s closest? So the ones on the sidewalk right here first, then the ones over by Tommy Bahama, then Restoration Hardware.

Mom: Oh, I don’t like that.

Me: Please keep explaining to me how Tinder works.

Dad: Watch out. You’re both going to end up on her blog.

*Not his real name. Unfortunately, my mom is not close personal friends with Steve McQueen’s mom. I’m assuming she’s dead, since he died in 1980.

“That said, I’d go out on a date with him”

Sometimes when I have Facebook friends in common with people on Tinder, I take a screenshot of the profile in question and send it over. People get a serious kick out of this. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it’s all the joys of matchmaking without any of the risks: “You’re both on Tinder. You both have to swipe right to match. I can tell you what I know, but you’re on your own.”

Whereas matchmaking…that’s a minefield. With barbed wire. And spikes. And violent mountain goats. All floating on a mudswamp made of tears from squishy, tender, easily hurt feelings.

Or maybe people are just really, really insanely amused to find out their friends are on Tinder and get a peek at their profiles. Despite its prevalence, it does still feel a little illicit. Especially when it’s your boss or ex or friend’s ex or friend’s current. This has not happened to me. I will stay on Tinder until it does.

Please, God. Are you there? It’s me, Margaret. I want to find a really, really great profile of someone I know on Tinder. Also I have a few remaining questions about my period, because really. What were you thinking.

I have this theory that Tinder’s algorithm stacks profiles. There was a night where I had the same 12 friends in common with every single profile I swiped on. There was a night of all bearded dudes. There was a night of all Asian dudes in glasses. There was a night of all blondes. They’re experimenting on me and I know it and I don’t care.

On this night, I came across a guy and our friend in common was my brother-in-law’s brother-in-law. I don’t know what that makes him and I. His nearly-3-year-old daughter thinks we’re brother and sister. But she also thinks that my sister and I live together, and her actual uncle, my sister’s husband, is just “around sometimes.”

I emailed my brother-in-law’s brother-in-law. Let’s call him John Stamos. He has a new baby daughter and a toddler, but parents with new babies are often on their iphones in the middle of the night.

And married people love Tinder.

I pretty frequently end up pulling my phone out to show people what Tinder looks like. Remember, Tinder only exploded in the last two or three years, and so even people who were online dating before they got married haven’t seen it.

I consider it a service, this whole answering-questions-and-doing-demonstrations thing. Educational. Entertaining. Generous.

You’re welcome.

from: Maggie 
to: John Stamos
date: Thu, 9:30 pm

Hey John Stamos,

All my love to your new little girl! Can’t wait to celebrate.
In the meantime, you want to review this guy for me?

from: John Stamos
to: Maggie
date: Thu, 9:31 pm

Omg, I’m on Tinder?

from: Maggie 
to: John Stamos
date: Thu, May 7, 2015 at 9:32 pm

As a mutual friend, yes….you’re famous!

from: John Stamos
to: Maggie
date: Thu, 9:46 pm

Weird, I vaguely remember signing up for it not really knowing what it was. I’m glad I can help.

[Name] is cool! I worked with him at [place of business]. Did a ski trip with our group and we took a lesson together in 2008 I think. Since then he now works out with Shaun T.

He went to [school name] and definitely embodies that still.  He’s pretty witty and what I remember has a really dry sense of humor.

He’s a software engineer.  Not a developer or a coder.  Remember that as it is a very important distinction. [Will somebody for the love of god please tell me the difference?!?]

He really likes the [sports team] too.

Is this helping?  I’m kind of just summarizing what I remember through Facebook over the years to be honest. That said, I’d go out on a date with him.

from: John Stamos
to: Maggie
date: Thu, 9:49 pm

Btw how do I get off tinder?

from: Maggie 
to: John Stamos
date: Thu, May 7, 2015 at 10:08 pm

You’re not on Tinder. You showed up because you’re Facebook friends with both of us. It shows mutual friends. This, by the way, is a funny and very detailed review of what amounts to his FB status updates over many years.

from: John Stamos
to: Maggie
date: Thu, 10:27 pm

:-). To be honest I’ve probably only conversed with him a handful of times. I probably should have been more upfront about this. I hope this doesn’t make it into your blog. I’m sorry.

date: Sat, May 23, 11:27 am 
baby shower for John Stamos’s 2nd daughter
John Stamos’s wife to Maggie

Please put this on your blog.

Dear Bachelor Season #17 I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH THAT GIRL

I watch the Bachelor. I’d say this confession ranks up there on the shame-level for me with throwing up in public– which actually I’ve done — Let’s move on.

I haven’t watched the first episode yet– I’ll watch it tonight with my friends– we like to DVR it and watch it later so we can fast-forward through all the boring parts. It’s much shorter that way. But I can tell you this:

I know a girl on the show this season. I went to school with her K-12. That’s 13 years, you guys. Catherine Guidici! Good luck! 

Yes. I can’t really explain why this show suddenly became so much more exciting now that I know someone on it. My level of emotional investment is disproportionate to how well I actually know Catherine. 

This is my favorite (and only) anecdote:

My high school football team sucked. You know that old joke, “Our football team doesn’t have a drinking problem…It’s that our drinking team has a football problem.” Yeah. 

So Catherine was a cheerleader, obviously, I’m pretty sure you have to be a former cheerleader to be on the Bachelor, and it so happened that our junior year a new cheer coach took over and remade our cheer team into a much more competitive stunt-based squad, who won their competitions much more often than our football team did.

And part of the cheer squad’s training was that– wait for it– at the football games, they did push-ups every time the other team scored. By the end of football season, they were in pretty badass shape. 

So we’re in chemistry class one day and it’s game day, so the cheerleaders are in uniform and the football players are wearing their jerseys with their jeans. And someone must’ve been teasing– we’ll call him WM, who played– god I don’t know, he was sort of short and stocky, maybe a tackle? Anyone want to help me out?– about the team’s record, and Catherine maybe threw down about how she was sick of doing push-ups?

The upshot being that Catherine challenged WM to arm wrestle.

Ms. Schwentor, our chemistry teacher, was always interested in seeing our jock-based social hierarchy topple a little, so she didn’t exactly step in to stop it. I think she helped pull the desks together and held their hands steady while counting down.

Catherine won.

I’m hoping she repeats the performance with Sean. Although he looks like he could arm wrestle an elephant and win. 


God I’m so excited. I hope she takes them all. This doesn’t mean I want Catherine to win. No, no. Picture this: what if she comes in second or third and gets to be the BACHELORETTE on the next season?!? 

That’s what I’m rooting for. That’s what we all should be rooting for.

It’s the end of the world as we know it

A Song On the End of the World

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.