If you are looking for the quickest way to have your soul sucked into a deep, digital abyss for hours on end only to come out of the trance cross-eyed and slightly more skeptical of humanity than you were before, I highly suggest you download Tinder.
What’s great about Tinder, however, and why I spent the entire duration of a three hour movie one time swiping through its Rolodex, is that it’s not so much about meeting someone new as it is about discovering the weird and sometimes esoteric trends among these pioneering men, such as…
The Ostrich Equestrian
Ah yes. The Ostrich Equestrian is a Tinder classic, because nothing says romance quite like a man straddling prehistoric birds. I know that for me personally, when a guy doesn’t lead with his OE pic but rather slips it in around photo number three or four, I’m sold. It’s such a subtle touch that says, “I’m not gonna jump right out immediately and brag, but I am going to let you know: I can ride.”
The Urban Fisherman
I would love to meet the two guys who were consulting one another for dating counsel and accidentally spawned what has to be the strangest advice resulting in the most proliferated theme of Tinder: “Dude. Chicks love giant trout. Trust me.”
That photo of you shaking hands with Obama says, “I have moderate political aspirations and may talk about them on a first date.” It also kind of says, “If I’m good enough to meet Obama, I’m probably good enough to meet you.” That may very well be true, but since about 8 billion of you have the same picture in the same pose, try adding some clip art or glitter or something. Nice blazer, though.
The Iron Throne Takeover
You do know the tagline of Game of Thrones is “All Men Must Die,” right? Maybe choose a friendlier chair. One that doesn’t subconsciously evoke murder or hint at the fact that you waited in a line for 24 hours to sit on a prop replica.
The Maury Povich Paternity Test
If your photo needs clarification, i.e. “Kid in the pic is my nephew, not my son, LOL,” then don’t post it. No one can see taglines unless they click on your picture, and if someone’s rapid-fire swiping with abandon, mark my words, they don’t have time for the whole paternity-test reveal. Besides, that baby doesn’t need to be on Tinder yet. Let him have his youth.
Famous by Association
No woman has ever thought to herself, “I’m pretty sure that guy is a serial killer, but since he’s posing with Bethenny Frankel and Drake, I’m in.”
So, I’m confused. Was this photo taken for your LinkedIn, your acting portfolio, or as a gift for your mom that transitioned into your multi-purpose profile picture? Do you always wear sensibly-colored t-shirts in skin-flattering palettes such as dusty purple and sage? I’m not hating, but I am asking.
Siegfried & Roy, Before the Accident
A LOT of you have photos with tigers. These tigers appear to be laying down, just chilling in the sun having a late afternoon nap, not minding too much that you’re squatting next to them like a Cub Scout troop leader in cargo shorts pointing out edible mushrooms, but hasn’t the violent tale of the mauled magician taught you anything? Or are you trying to subtly hint that your middle name is danger?
Note: The Tinder Tiger is often accompanied with the line, “I love adventure.” Guess what? I don’t.
The Lonely Boy
Where are your friends? All you need is one. One friend to sling your arm over, and one stranger to take your photo. How do you think girls get so many pictures of themselves? We ask the first poor, unsuspecting human we spot walking down the street with a free hand and then count on the fact that there are still a few good people out there in this world who won’t steal our iPhone while we’re fixing our hair. Please do this, for the sake of your love life. There’s something far too sad about you standing alone in that dingy bathroom with poor lighting while flexing your facial abs.
Englishman in New York
Men. Englishmen. Do you know how many of you there are in New York and more specifically, on Tinder? Is there some sort of Englishmen in New York convention you attend each year in order to assign online dating profile hobbies with an artistic edge? “Ok, Simon, you take ‘freelance photographer.’ Nathaniel, can you be ‘singer/songwriter’? Ah, you’re sick of that one. Ok. What about, ‘Painter of the heart’? Yes? Fantastic. One last thing — for anyone moving to Los Angeles, Englishmen of LA convene in this same room but on Wednesdays. Meeting adjourned.”
Illustrations by the one and only Charlotte Fassler. Let’s give it up for motorskills!