Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine. Casablanca. These are such good words. I’ve been thinking a lot about good words this week, and here’s why. I recently joined Bumble, yet another dating app, but unique in that the women are required to make the first contact after matching. Interesting. I like to wax poetic in my little cybersphere, but a cold opening line has me stumped. Cute, but not too cutesy, funny but not obnoxious, flirty but not slutty, interesting but not provocative. Well, if that’s not a fucking unicorn, I don’t know what is. It’s a work in progress, but in the meantime, while I had some guinea pigs, I did some science. The drink and think tank joined in. Below, I submit my findings.
First, I sent the same opener to three different men. I went with a joke. It went like this: A bear walks into a bar. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. The first guy responded right away with, “Keep going.” So I did. I told the joke – see below. The second guy, who straight up had me with his hair did, responded with, “If it ends inappropriately, go on.” The third guy didn’t respond. What did I learn from this? Dudes are lukewarm to bad, albeit super funny, jokes. Noted.
Over refreshing Fresca and lemon vodka with Sundance, we talked about this. Sundance, a man whore and a scientist, told me exactly what to send to guy #4 and he guaranteed a response. God help me, in the name of research, I sent, “I have no gag reflex.” Dude. A response was instantaneous. A seemingly mild mannered risk manager from Indiana was drawn to the deep throat siren song. Sundance had his wing man with him, we’ll call him Goose. He and Sundance scrolled through their messages to find the next bullet. The boys thought it was cute, I disagreed, but science prevailed. To poor Nathan I sent, “Kiss me if I’m wrong, but dinosaurs still exist, right?” Gag. Vomit. I’m with you, but the research team insisted. Nathan responded with “Ok. Cute.” Truth be told, I was too embarrassed to come back with anything else. So what did I learn? Bad pick-up lines make me woozy, and there isn’t anywhere to go from the cheesy rock bottom.
Hard sell advertising. That’s what comes after a match. Man or woman, whoever is making first contact, has about 30 seconds to grab the attention of the other. We are the inattentive, dazzle-me masses. I’ll tell you the message that got my attention, and demanded a response. Patrick from George West messaged me, “Do you know how to fold a fitted sheet? If so, I feel we have a future.” I love this. So weird. So random. So quasi-authentic. It’s a dog-eat-dog dating world and we are all wearing milk bone socks. These are my thoughts. After you cross the initial hurdle – y’all have liked one another’s looks, how do you encapsulate your uniqueness, your cleverness, your compassion and passion, your kindness, your essence into a tag line that makes another want to know more? Of course, I know that there are a great many who don’t care about anything more than good looks and coordinating genitals, but there are some who are using the platform to meet new people and in the lingo of the apps, want LTR. I’ve done the research, and it’s true for me as well, wit and cleverness is sexy, better than looks, hotter than money, laughter is the universal metaphorical panty dropper. Given.
I’ve asked my single friends what’s slipping into their DM’s, what’s catching their eye, what elicits a response. Sundance and Goose, hands down, said they respond to anything. Not real data, they are heat seeking penises. My ride or die, Whit, is talking to a nice guy who slipped in with, “Good morning, new Facebook friend.” Whit has taken some hits and kindness was the perfect open. Below I submit Goose’s intro. Maybe it all works, given the right target, given the right point in the journey. In this big roulette wheel of dates, mates, and near misses, it’s possible to land on someone who is right where you are, whether it’s friction among friends or kindness that ignites a spark, or banter that migrates to the real authentic conversation that allows another into your weird, fantastic world. So I submit, after exhaustive research, it’s a gamble. You might hit just the right chord with just the right person, or you might not. Keep rolling, because sevens might be the next roll. You might just land in the right gin joint. You might just finally learn how to fold a fitted sheet.
Go forth and conquer.