Bumble, one of the dating apps I use, recently introduced a new feature, “Bumble BFF.” When I get bored of swiping for men, or when I run out of men (there’s a limited supply, apparently?) I switch to Bumble BFF. Women, it turns out, tend to be more fascinating and far less whiny anyway, so I generally enjoy that portion of the swiping more. (Kidding, men. Love you, truly. But, TBH, women do put a lot less rules on their BFF profiles than you do).
This morning, I got an email from one “Joan,” (name changed to protect the innocent) with perfect blond hair and a clearly filter-heavy photo. It said, simply, “Hi! It’s nice to meet you. What is an adventure you want to have?”
Which feels like a lot of question for an opener. I felt challenged. Slightly pre-judged. Because how was I going to explain to Joan, she of the Human Resources Department, that one of the highlights of my week had been sitting with dozens of post-its last night to map out exactly how to kill the greatest number of characters in my novel for twelve-year-olds at just the right time to make them cry the most? That wasn’t the kind of adventure Joan wanted to hear about, I suspected. She wanted something involving a fish, perhaps a tiger, something that would selfie well on Instagram.
So I said, “Hi, Joan. I’m a writer and there’s this ‘urban evasion’ course a writer friend (I lied at “friend” here. It was a well-known writer who posted about it on Facebook, and the emails we exchanged about this were literally the only time we’ve communicated) took a while back… they teach you how to evade capture, get around while someone chases you, etc. I figure it will come in handy for research at some point. I want to write a fantasy novel about a girl who’s escaping something pretty hairy. You?”
And Joan replied, “Wow! That’s impressive. I actually hadn’t thought about my own answer to that so I have to ponder for a few minutes.”
That was several hours ago.
So my questions are many. Did Joan just mean she’d take up a few minutes to ponder, but those minutes would be in the future? Is she terrified of me now? If so, why hasn’t she deleted me? It’s easy. Also, isn’t it a little like showing up at class without your homework to ask that question but have no idea of what your own answer will be? Isn’t “How about you?” literally the most likely response to that?
My BFF swiping is just about as successful as my man swiping (which is to say: not at all). One of the many, many reasons I’m so grateful for the many dear friends I already have. And for readers like you.