Finally, the attendees arrived
Finally, as the clock approached midnight, two whole people seemed to commit to actually attending our sad little “party,” and promised they were en route. By 12:30am, we had our first attendee: David*, a 34-year-old Iowa transplant just getting off his shift at a nearby bar. After a little preliminary awkwardness, we were soon chatting like actual friends, which then morphed into a pretty intense conversation about love and relationships typically reserved for the wee-est of wee hours.
As it turned out, David had been on Tinder for a year, but this was his first Tinder meet-up. He said he was interested in finding The One after a lifetime without any serious relationships. David was affable and handsome -- his solitude was largely self-imposed, most notably by a romantic-but-rigid definition of love that entailed “willingness to die for that person." It did turn out that David had missed the “attached” part of my profile and felt a little duped but was generally a good sport and stuck it out for an hour and change.
Our next “guest” arrived within 15 minutes of David, rolling up on a very cool custom Harley and hightailing it to the bar. Stephen* was a 36-year-old music and tech guy from East Africa who looked like the Getty Image result for “bad boy,” which was later semi-confirmed when he told lady friend that he “doesn’t believe in rules." Stephen was en route to a rave, and in our follow-up conversation explained that he had micro-dosed on mushrooms before heading our way, hence his chattiness. He and lady friend talked at length about attachment theory (duh) and his motorcycle, and apparently how I’m not a match for manpanion (based on having read our energy, clearly). He, too, stuck around for quite a while, revving his Harley hard for a full minute before peeling out into the night, presumably to his much cooler late-night plans.
Once these two arrived, it was challenging to continue swiping and chatting without being total assholes, so the invite streak slowed down quite a bit, with new prospects claiming they’d swing by every so often and then not showing up. Our group hang felt pretty much like any other group hang, but with less familiarity, and oddly enough, more intense conversational themes.