A cute boy in a Jae Woo Lee Hackathon t-shirt and a hoodie comes up to you in the library. You guys hit it off and he asks for your Discord handle. Great. On Discord, you have a long conversation and get to know each other all while it says that Valorant has been running on his computer for upwards of 14 hours. You learn about all his dreams. He wants to work at Citadel or Two Sigma someday, but Google will suffice for now. His favorite movies are Good Will Hunting and all of the Star Wars prequels (but only ironically). After a long talk, he asks you on a date and you agree.
You arrive at the restaurant. He is mildly offended at the fact that you were several minutes late, but he puts this aside and greets you with a smile. He looks at the menu, shakes his head, and tells you that he has a better place in mind. You arrive at Chipotle, where he orders two burrito bowls with brown rice and extra chicken. He explains that Chipotle is “objectively best value,” comparing the CPD (calories per dollar) of this order to other local restaurants. You ask him how much he makes at his Google internship, and it’s enough to make monthly rent in West Village.
You talk with him for about an hour while he eats his burrito bowl. He cuts you off mid-sentence and says that he has to leave to go grind Leetcode. You both say it was fun and that you should do this again sometime. You never do.
You meet a girl in Riverside Park. She’s tall, with curly hair, an impeccable fit, and colorful mushroom earrings. You strike up a conversation and she tells you that they’re handmade, and intended to be an “ironic spin on the cottagecore aesthetic.” As you leave she asks you to come to her poetry event in the East Village that night. You say yes.
You get there and it’s magical. She reads from her piece, something something “bodies” in “spaces,” and you snap your fingers earnestly for her when it’s done. She gives you her thrifted jacket, tells you more about her meaningful-yet-strained relationship with her mother, and hits your vape. You bond over your love of Taylor Swift and your Venus sign compatibility. Just as things start to heat up the date takes a turn for the worse.
A girl walks in, taking your date’s attention away for a moment. You ask who it is and she explains that it’s her sophomore year roommate. You press more and she explains that it’s her sophomore year roommate and ex. You press even more and she explains that it’s her sophomore year roommate and ex who she still hooks up with sometimes (for closure).
The rest of the date she goes on about what nerve this girl could have for showing up here, and that she’s “obviously just trying to make me jealous.” You part ways and the next day she sends you a playlist with your name on it. When you ghost her, she calls you a gentrifier.
You lock eyes in a cool grad student bar uptown. He’s sexy, confident, and has loads of mind-blowing stories about his life to tell you. He buys you some drinks, and after realizing that you’ve gotten too fucked-up, calls an Uber for you at the end of the night. Before you leave he offers to give you his Facebook, but upon realizing that you don’t have one, he opts for your number instead.
You guys talk for a while and you really enjoy his vibe. You two can hold a mature conversation very well. He doesn’t seem very in-tune with popular culture, but you’re willing to overlook this. He asks you out for drinks at the same bar as before and you agree.
You notice in your conversation that there is a slight gap in interests between the two of you. As you walk in he tells you that your outfit is “on fleek.” When you sit down he asks for your Harry Potter house, and complains that after graduation he’ll have to leave college and go back to “adulting.” He doesn’t have a favorite Euphoria character, you have no social media in common, and he can’t pick up very well on your irony. You ask how old he is and he says he is 30.
After a nice few drinks and good conversation, you part ways. There’s nothing wrong with this guy, but there’s a very noticeable maturity gap there. You guys talk about it and decide to just stay friends.
You match on Hinge with a girl with blonde hair who’s on the Women’s Rowing team. You have a long conversation about your passions, life goals and interests. She’s an econ major whose life is so miraculously well-put-together that you begin to question your own capabilities. You feel like you’ve finally found the one, and you arrange to meet the following week.
You meet her at Community and have a nice conversation over brunch. She wears a Canada Goose jacket and orders a nine-dollar smoothie so you know her parents have money. You guys share the same sense of humor, same life ambitions, and are getting along almost perfectly. All of a sudden she checks her phone and her face is drained of all color. You ask her what’s wrong, but she ignores you and glances at the door with a horrified look.
All of a sudden, the Barnard girl from a few weeks back barges into the restaurant. She slams her tote bag on the table, and with the glimmer of sheer vitriol in her eyes, she starts to berate CC girl with insults.
“You bitch. You gaslighting piece of shit. You said three days ago you were still in love with me. You’re nothing but a liar.”
CC girl glares back at her and rolls her eyes.
“Well, I told you I wasn’t ready to get back together with you right now. I’m just not in the headspace for a relationship.”
Barnard girl shouts back, and the two engage in an increasingly loud confrontation in front of you and the rest of the restaurant patrons. As they hash it out, you slip out the door, leaving twenty dollars on the table. You make a promise to yourself to never go on a date again, at least until you leave Columbia.