As my deadline approached on the last Saturday night of April, I frantically texted my editor at 11:49 p.m. I wasn’t ready to give up what little dignity I had left. Maybe I’d publish this under a pseudonym. Or maybe I should change my real name. Maybe both.
As the blossoming narcissist of the family, I’ve brought every print article to my parents on weekends back home; a couple months ago, my dad read my meme article and walked into my room to say, “So, what’s this mee-mee you keep talking about?”
Based off of that interaction, I suspect that they won’t become internet sleuths and track this down.
I’ve decided to reveal to you my hot take: You should get on Tinder to find someone to massage you with no strings attached.
This idea all came to me on Deltopia weekend, when I foolishly re-downloaded the sin app (Tinder), praying to any divinities that still cared about me to send at least a funny conversation that I could screenshot and send my friends. Tinder is the stage on which you perform your grueling mating dance, and the sole audience member is you, clapping maniacally like Shia Labeouf.
You’re reading about this massage because it was one of the most transformative experiences of my life so far.
For about an hour I digitally peacocked and scoured through matches. Sometimes people get straight to the point. They’ll ask you what you’re looking for on Tinder. Shamelessly, I had no good reason for being on this app: I had no end goal, no desire to fulfill an emotional or physical void, no interest in meeting the father of my future children. I was here to waste time. My bio?
“I like butter, meat, and your sense of humor.”
With this glorious lowest common denominator bio I let it be known that I’m here to practice conversation and jab daintily at fragile masculinity.
Let me be your manic pixie meme girl.
I come across a particular guy who checks off my three boxes: He
1) hasn’t call me a bitch yet.
2) made an appropriate use of the sprout emoji.
3) looks like he hasn’t shaved since the last presidential election.
Looks like we have a winner! Let’s call him Brian. Brian and I meet up on DP for a stroll; it’s Deltopia and the happiness in the air is palpable (read: DP smelled like the devil’s lettuce). Brian tells me about his nerdy science stuff, makes very intentional eye contact as he tells me about his mission to cure cancer and save millions of lives, and tells me about his sweet family from North Carolina.
After we walk the length of DP, he asked me if I’d like a massage.
Let me be clear: if a stranger offers you a massage, you should probably take all necessary precautions and evaluate the risk vs. reward. Ask yourself the important questions.
How good are you at martial arts? Do you have pepper spray? Could you overpower this potential attacker? Do you have a loyal dog who could accompany you? Do his hands even look strong enough to knead out the decades of trauma in your shoulders? Once you’ve jumped through those hoops, you can say yes to the massage.
You’re reading about this massage because it was one of the most transformative experiences of my life so far. I say “so far” because I’m not rich enough to dabble in Scientology yet. But I think I got a taste of what Tom Cruise probably feels like every day. I felt rebirthed: my arms became wings, I was given a new spine, every knot in my entire back from years of self-inflicted stress melted away. He whipped out an industrial sized bottle of organic lemon hemp lotion and pumped handfuls of the goop into his palms, slathering it across my shoulders. The lotion felt like mayo on my skin. I didn’t care. I wish he owned a pillow but who was I to complain? I should probably buy him a pillow for his service. I gained back four years of my life that day.
These days, before you go swiping recklessly left and right, maybe it’s time to recognize that there are more creative ways to use Tinder.
He didn’t even want a massage in return, probably because my fingers look about as strong as vermicelli. A week later, I developed a weird rash on my back from the lotion, but to me they were only a sweet reminder of a glorious, free massage.
These days, before you go swiping recklessly left and right, maybe it’s time to recognize that there are more creative ways to use Tinder. Most of us download dating apps to satisfy our personal needs for emotional or sexual gratification, to either meet friends or flings or future partners; until Deltopia weekend, I thought these were the only benefits to be reaped from this embarrassing app.
You should consider accepting a massage. You could ask for one if it wasn’t offered. You should consider giving someone a massage. A massage culture would bring a whole new meaning to “I Gaucho back.” Maybe the massage will be so good you’ll want it to be more than a massage. Maybe, in the year 2045, the notion of being a good kisser will give way to the importance of giving great massages.
Matching with Brian’s massage skills was a stroke of serendipity: I know that not everyone will have the same luck I did. You might find an amateur who has not learned the full potential of his opposable thumbs; you may encounter a deviant who does little tickly motions that haunt you for weeks to come; you could even bump into a lazy boy who massages you for only a fleeting moment before complaining. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll match with Brian.
Katherine Chen wants to open people’s eyes to a new way of using Tinder.