What really throws me is that initial question about my hobbies and my surprisingly pathetic response. This is also the point I remember this is a karaoke bar, as a girl 20 feet away starts screeching “I Will Always Love You” at a fever pitch so loud I can’t hear Date Two tell me about his hobbies. Date Three is from Ukraine, but he’s lived in the States since he was 4 years old.
We chat for a few minutes about how he’s lived in the city for over a decade, so he knows it pretty well. We pause for a moment and look at each other as we let the song play out. I decide this is the perfect opportunity to tell him about my recent trip to Budapest, which I know isn’t really all that close to Ukraine, but of course, I’d love to visit Ukraine one day if I ever have the chance because it seems like a beautiful country and of course, I loved every moment of my time in Eastern Europe this summer. This is the moment I realize I’m going to be talking to myself for the entirety of the next five minutes.
It’s the same thing I wore to work, which feels very Single Professional and therefore makes me proud.
The Girl in Charge greets me with a name tag and a slip of paper to write down everyone’s names.
Then we’ll find out in a few days whether we have any “matches.” This feels unnervingly like a real-world dating app where you’re sorting through men sitting there in the flesh, trying their hardest to make you swipe right on them.
My date decides to take full advantage of our brief five-minute window together:“So, Sarah, why are you single? He’d be a writer full-time if he could, he says, but he’s really let his creative side go lately.
He works with the homeless and he’s a DJ on the side, but if he had the time he’d write a whole book about dreams.
He asks me if I’m into comedy, at which point we both quote John Mulaney’s famous sketch about getting lost in New York: go to more comedy shows and there are so many in the city and really it’s quite cheap if you know where to look.
I’m talking a lot, but truthfully I’m quite ready to be done with this and retreat back to my phone screen, where I can swipe away in silence without having to invent lame hobbies for myself. Exhausted, I start venting to my roommate the moment I walk through the door.