April Awakening: Day Two
I’m back on the swipin’ sites. That’s what they’ve been reduced to. Just a place to swipe and observe. No one is looking for anything serious, except the scammers, but I’ll get to that in a minute. I was never a huge fan of dating apps, though I may have been somewhat a proponent of them. I always said they didn’t work for me, but I know plenty who made it work. I may be a bad barometer, though, as I’ve never been a traditional “relationshippy” kind of person. Still, trying in this day and age doesn’t hurt, as I always hold out hope New York City may surprise me yet. There’s a very clear template of who I want to fit here. It’s a matter of putting myself out there in all sorts of ways in order to draw it near.
It’s hard waters out there. I don’t trust a single dang ol’ thing anymore. I just swipe on who I like and see if they want to chat. If so, great. If not, that’s fine too. A lot of these conversations kind of just stop when there becomes a natural end. Maybe I made fun of their spelling error. Or maybe he just dropped the P-word in the second sentence to me. I give them a chance to see if we vibe, and then away I go. The conversations go on as long as they need to, and as it turns out, a lot are not interested in pursuing. However, last week one guy got my number. I knew I was drawing myself into a trap, but I had a hunch I was determined to see through, no matter how sketchy it all came off being.
We had gone through the usual fare. How long have you been on these sites? What are you looking for on here? Me being who I am and in a place not my home, there was more than one thing on my mind for what I could conceivably do in one night. But I had a strange feeling about this particular guy from the get-go. His words in chat and his profile felt, well, artificial. to say the least. Like he had it down pat the things every girl wants to hear. He then asked me if we could move our conversation to “whapp,” which I took to be Whatsapp. I had downloaded it once before but took it off my phone. I still had a sneaking suspicion about this request, but I wasn’t ready to write it off quite yet.
Whatsapp is weird because in order to add someone on it, you need their phone number. So before sending him mine, I asked him if it was weird to text someone on an app when you’ve got their number right there. “No,” he told me, “I use it a lot to keep in contact with friends and family overseas, so I’m used to it.” Well, whatever. I redownloaded it and sent him my number, not hearing from him the rest of the night, but also not really caring. If someone wants to act sketchy, it’s on them, not me.
He Whatsapp’d me the next morning, curious as to where my profile picture was. “don’t know how to put one,” I said, “this app is a mystery to me.” He again told me he uses it to keep in contact with friends and family who are overseas, which heightened my alarm bells even further. I told him I was leaving to go back to New York that day and did he still want to talk to me? “Yes of course, the longest distance is between the mind and the heart,” he told me. Well ain’t that sweet. I said I needed to drive so I’d message him later, which I did when I go home. He was glad I made it safe “to my destination,” to which I had to laugh at how mechanical it all sounded. We exchanged pleasantries, I told him what I was up to and then asked him the question back. And his answer really illustrated where I stood in all this.
“Watching Bitcoin,” he had told me. At this point I was sure I was speaking to either a scammer, or A.I. itself. He then explained how investors are running to crypto following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. “i’m well aware,” I said. “Wow!” he shot back, “You are interested in crypto?” I said no, I just work in news, which, *scoffs,* you’d know if you read my profile. When he went on to give another explanation of the crypto space, I dropped the bomb and had to illustrate where I really thought all this was going.
“i’m speaking with a.i., ain’t i? lol”
He said no, and why would I think something like that? I said maybe not A.I., but the quick jump to Whatsapp, the immediate mention of Bitcoin all tipped me off to a scam. I expected that to be the end of it, but he had one more message for me. “I don’t like people like you who are so quick to judge. Good luck.” Well, that instinct to be judgy may have saved me a couple thousand bucks. But dude decided to draw his own conclusions about me.
It was then I realized that these gut instincts I have need to be trusted more. I get hunches about people and their situations a lot more frequently than I’m given credit for. I get a good read on people, even if I don’t always return the favor. But this instinct, especially when it comes to love and relationships, can perhaps save me from getting burned in the future. I’ve had enough of mapping out things in my head that don’t match up to reality. I’ve got to keep drawing out what’s real, which includes the part of me so tuned in that I can save myself from getting scammed. I could never be that lady in the DailyMail who’s out thousands of dollars just because some online schmuck said he wanted to get married and have children. I can do the latter without needing the former, so why would I let myself get taken in by some carefully crafted wordplay?
I’m in no rush here, and I’m also not giving up. The rough draft that is my love life has to get finished someday. I’m not just going to leave it on the table incomplete. But it seems I have to gather a few more stories in order for my conclusion to make the most sense of all. I can always pencil the right one in for another day.