I am not a great believer of technology. Gosh, I hope I didnt say that out loud. But really, am not. It makes life easy, too easy. What with Facebook- a platform for solving all kinds of problems. Facebook is where people aimlessly, shamelessly and embarrassingly, air their torn, worn, dirty, smelly linens for all to see. And twitter with its childish tweefs, and other technological terms that I find amusing and silly and just plain not-so-English. Speaking of making life easy, where did the days of a man going after a lady with a brave (even if it is faked) heart and poetic tongue go? I bemourn the days when a guy would see star glitter in your eyes and the moonlight on your cheeks. Call me old fashioned if you dare, do it to my face in front of all and sundry and I will lift my head up with my inborn pride and whisper, “that yes I am”. Whisper not for lack of confidence but because am a private person. My beliefs, thoughts are hidden behind my countenance, behind a facade of meekness and a need to fit in in the digital era.my opinions were well hidden until today.
“Am not a fan of technology ”
“What?” Sandra asked
“Aaiii…” Shirlah wondered, looking skeptical.
“What do you mean not a fan, are you not on Facebook?” Sandra asked, her neatly trimmed eyebrows nearly touching her hairline.
“I am..” I muttered
“Twitter?” Shirlah posed.
“I have an account, but that’s about it.” I replied.
“Skype, WhatsApp, Instagram, Hike?” Sandra asked, getting hysterical.
“Really Angie, don’t tell me your that old fashioned” Shirlah said shaking her head “are you that stuck in the past?”
“Stuck?” I murmured. “More like glued in the past” she explained. “Does this shade of nail polish go with my skin tone? ” she asked being as narcissistic as always.
Shirlah and I were hanging out in my room, helping out Sandra get dressed for her latest date from Facebook.
“Of course it does, back to you Angie, what in the world are you talking about?” Shirlah asked, staring at me through the mirror she was holding up.
“What I mean is, technology has really simplified the whole dating process. Look at Sandra for example, this is like her sixth date from Facebook and all it took was the guy liking her status update.”
“Whoa, hold up Angie, he also liked my pic, and just so you know, I have checked out his profile and its awesome!” Sandra was giddy with excitement.” The problem with you Angie is that you want a prince charming to sweep you off your feet, and you live happily ever after. Which dress, blue or black? ”
“Black” Shirlah and I replied at the same time.
“I don’t have a damsel in distress syndrome Sandra! “I stomped my foot in protest.” What is wrong with wanting a proper courting?”
“Coz it scares guys off..duuh.”
Shirlah replied, rolling her eyes.” That kind of thinking makes guys run for the hills, I know of guys who really like you but would rather face the guillotine than talk to you.”
“Name one, ” I said
“Uuurgh! That ninny!, no thanks”
“Point is Angie, such Apps make talking to people easier” said Sandra, twisting her long black hair at the nape of her neck.
“Speaking of, have you guys heard of this new App, called Tinder?” asked Shirlah.
“Yeah, Milly was all excited about it on Monday,” I said sounding uninterested.
“No way! You have heard about a new App, now we are getting somewhere – you so have to download it!” Sandra gushed.
“Apparently, she already has ” Shirlah sounded positively perturbed. She was holding my phone staring at it as if it had suddenly grown wings.
“Shirlah! Its rude to go through someone’s phone,and really Sandra, will you quit staring at me?”
“What does it do?” Shirlah asked, handing my phone back.
“It connects people who are about 100kms apart using their Facebook profile, kind of like a modern day matchmaker” I replied
“Coool, ” said Shirlah “so any dates yet?”
” Ah-ah” I shook my head” the guys in my 100km radius are boring with a capital b.”
” Am really starting to worry about you Angie,” Sandra said with mock concern, finishing her last touch of make up.” You need to go out more, so what do you think?”
Shirlah and I looked her over and gave her the thumbs up.
A few weeks passed after the ‘dressing up incident’ – my term for Sandra and Shirlah’s reaction over my downloading a new App. Talk of a perfect situation of preaching water and drinking wine.
Hell. This queue is not moving, I stared ahead of me again for the fiftieth time in two minutes yet no one had moved. What did someone have to do to get served in a bank, pass out?
I have been standing at the bank for a whole hour and I was so bored. I got my phone from my bag, no new texts, no missed calls, no Facebook notification…nothing. Great. Just as I was going to put it back, I remembered Tinder.
I clicked it open, it started searching, and as usual, recommended suggestions. I swiped a profile right, and it was a match. And he was so close, just 4km away.
Mmmmh..I was torn between exploring his profile or ignoring his as it is. Curiosity won and started checking out his profile.
We had four things in common, and two mutual friends – and he was kind of cute. Before I could talk myself out of it, I sent him a message.
Was I being too forward?, had I read too much into his simple liking of my profile? What if he ignores me?. A lot of questions crisscrossed my mind and I grew impatient, shifting my weight from one leg to another.I checked my phone, only two minutes have passed since I sent the message. This was a bad idea, am never using Tinder again, am deleting all downloaded Apps, am throwing my phone in a lake and am..my phone vibrated, interrupting my thoughts.
I almost sat down with relief. What took you so long?? I wanted to ask but good manners wouldn’t let me.
“Excuse me, can you move in the line please ” a gruff irritated voice said from behind me. I looked in front of me, everyone else had moved and only three people, who were quite a distance away, remained.
“Oh, sorry, ” I whispered, quickly moving forward. The guy behind me sounded mad enough to kill me, no need to encourage him.
I went back to my chatting.
“Hi, I probably should introduce myself”.
Was I dumb or what? What else to people who have just met do, they definitely introduce themselves to each other. I felt so stupid.
“First, I would like to warn you, that pic is not how I look like in real life” He sent.
There goes me ever texting a stranger. Disappointment unfurled itself in my chest like a flower with the first soft whispers of the sun.
“Really?” I asked
“Yep, am waay cuter than that :-)”
“Are you sure you are not a frog?” I asked,
“Maybe the kind that turns to a prince when kissed”.
“Haha..too bad am not a princess.”
“That you are not, but you are indeed beautiful.”
I smiled at that, this was going better than I expected.
“:-), thank you. Cute,and confident too I see.”
“Not really, am extreamly shy..this App just makes talking to people easier”
Who would have thought? Him shy?? No way
“Ahem! ” someone cleared his throat behind me, and I glanced up irritated, only to find the teller looking at me, impatient. I quickly walked to the teller, forgetting my chat for the few minutes it took to complete the transaction. I risked a glance behind me, only to see a guy, with huge trunk like hands hanging on his side, staring at me like he wanted to break my neck. I swallowed, adrenaline kicked in, and I quickly left the bank.
My phone vibrated.
“Hey, did I say something wrong?” The guy was clearly as nervous as I felt.
“No, I was just avoiding being killed”
“Awk..where are you?”
“Have you been mugged? Need help?”
“No, not really am ok, just hungry.:-)”
“I have to confirm that, how about we meet up, for lunch, I so happen to be in town too.”
Lunch sounded great, but what if he turned out to be a serial killer or something?. I chose the busiest restaurant I knew of.
“Lunch it is, am just heading to rift fries, do join me.”
“:-D, great, meet you in ten minutes.”
I hailed a motorbike to Riftfries, my mind going over all the possible bad outcomes of such a venture and I realized I had nothing to loose.
I got there before him and chose a seat that faced the door, every time someone walked in I glanced up and pasted a smile on my face, but none was him.
Ten minutes later he walked in, and on a first glimpse I thanked God for little mercies like creating innovative minds like those of Justin Mateen, Sean Rad and Jonathan Badeen. My smile was not faked as he sauntered to my table and held out his hand.
“So…, we finally meet”
He sat down, still smiling.
“Yea, it seems so..”
I went absolutely blank after that sentence and I kept asking myself, what would Sandra do.
“Have you ordered yet? ” he asked, polite as ever.
“Nope, I was waiting for you”
“Well, I have ascertained you are okay, so lets order then you tell me why someone will want to kill such an innocent, cute girl as you”
I could hear Shirlah ‘s snort at that statement.
We placed our order. And I started telling him about the guy at the bank.
He told me about some of his embarrassing moments and the conversation flowed with ease from there. We talked about everything music, poetry, movies, books..everything.
I stared at him explaining about his pet cat, and wondered if I could ever have met him if it wasn’t for Tinder. It is a slow process, but I was definitely becoming a fan of technology. Technology indeed does have its attractions, best of them sitting opposite me…the tinder date. I couldn’t wait to update my Facebook status.