Tinder Nightmares: The Boy with the Back Tattoo

This Tinder date was the first match that I got in Providence once I returned to Brown for my sophomore year, and it took place at a local cafe. He told me he was a sophomore who had taken a gap year, but when he mentioned his dorm at the start of the date, it was clearly a freshman one.

“So you’re an RA?” I asked. “No,” he said. “So you’re a freshman.” The guy, a short brunette with tan skin and dark eyes, cocked his head to the side and went on to explain that while it was his first year at Brown, he didn’t consider himself a freshman because he was admitted to the class of 2018 but took a gap year after high school. So according to his logic, he basically was a sophomore. I did not agree.

After we debated over what grade he was in, our conversation hit a lull. I sat quietly at the table as he sloppily scarfed down a slice of pizza in his cutoff sweatpants, and tried to convince myself that things would get better. But the conversation did not improve, and I found myself explaining the ins and outs of Brown to him, like I did with all my freshman mentees. Sophomore with a gap year, though, didn’t seem to care.

“So there’s really good places to eat on Thayer. There’s Bajas, East Side Pockets, and a crepe place that’s pretty good,” I explained excitedly. “Cool,” he replied apathetically, popping a piece of pepperoni into his mouth.

“Yeah, it is cool, right? And there are so many beautiful buildings here. Have you been to Granoff? Or the John Hay?,” I said, switching gears from restaurants to architecture. “No,” he said, taking another bite. Hurt by his lack of enthusiasm, I decided to end the conversation there. “I’ll be right back,” I said, leaving the table. “I need to use the bathroom.”

I don’t know why I let him come back to my room after our dreadful encounter. I honestly just liked giving people tours of my house. (It was one of the oldest houses on campus, equipped with walk-in closets and stain glass windows). Plus, he seemed pretty low energy, so  I figured he would just check out my house and then go home to sleep.

Well, I was wrong. The minute we entered my bedroom, his sloth-like attitude disappeared, and he instantly transformed into a disgruntled male orangutan on the last leg of  mating season. When I didn’t respond to him awkwardly trying to put an arm around me, he cleared his throat and said “It’s getting romantic in here,” to which I replied, cringing, “Really? I don’t think it is.” He proceeded to take off his shirt to reveal a massive back tattoo of giant bird wings spanning from his neck to the middle of his back, and explained how Tibetan monks had carved it into his back with a hammer.

“Cool,” I said, inching towards the door, and trying to hold back laughter. And that’s when I realized I didn’t even know this crazy kid’s name. I nonchalantly opened Tinder, surfing through a sea of faces, and found that his name was “Vince.” I eventually convinced Vince to leave, but not without receiving a slimy kiss and almost choking on the powerful cloud of Axe he had somehow managed to apply while I went to the bathroom.

(name was changed obviously!)


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