Tinder Hvar Away
You’ve probably realized that in spite of the blog title there hasn’t been any swiping yet. Well, this is where all of that changes. It was last September. I had a trip to Greece and Croatia planned for at least a year with three girlfriends. Three of us were 30, and we were welcoming the 4th girl to our decade while on the trip. I considered saving vacation time and money to plan something with Earl that year, but the thought of this being one of the last opportunities to travel with a handful of single girls made it extremely difficult to pass up. Plus, you know, the FOMO.
When the day finally came I was excited, but extremely anxious about my relationship status with Earl. Right before I left I was supposed to see him, but instead he sent me the text, referenced in my first post:
“I hope you have an amazing time on your trip and I truly mean that. I’m sorry I keep getting your hopes down. I promise to make time to talk when you’re back.” I believed him. Again. And he got my hopes down, again, in new and radical ways. These ended up being the last words he ever uttered to me, but of course I didn’t know that at the time.
I boarded the plane on September 1st, bound for Santorini, Greece where I met up with the girls who arrived a few days earlier. As much as I hurt on the inside, it wasn’t enough to contain the smile that spread across my face when I climbed into a taxi at sunrise and we ascended up the hills, hugging the precipitous cliffs. I remember peering out over the whitewashed buildings with blue domes, breathing in the warm salty air thinking nothing in this moment could make me happier.
From that first day with the girls, starting with Greek salads by the pool as we overlooked the Aegean Sea to the afternoon wine tastings across the island I knew this trip was exactly what I needed. Greece was a wonderful jumping off point, but if Greece was David then Croatia was the Sistine Chapel. In Croatia I started feeling like myself again, I let go and allowed myself to laugh and take in what was in front of me. Everything about Croatia was magical from the pebbled beaches to the stone architecture to the crystal clear water to the food. Hvar’s party scene fell somewhere between Ibiza and Cabo. Not enough club drugs for Ibiza but slightly more sophistication than Cabo.
On day two in Croatia, nursing our hangovers by the pool and recounting the previous night’s events, I mentioned to the girls my observation of all the hot young international men populating the island. Alyona proceeded to check out her Tinder activity which is when I realized that was even possible to do on location. “Have you never used Tinder before?” they charged. When would I have used Tinder? I went from one serious relationship to the next in my twenties and though I’ve heard friends and coworkers mention it I never really grasped how it worked. Two Croatian glasses of wine deep I agreed to let Alyona set it up on my phone. I figured what’s the harm since I’m abroad and I’ll never see these adorable assholes again. Ten minutes later she handed my phone back to me and what I saw was sobering.
All in an instant my entire life, everything I’ve gone through that makes me who I am was reduced to a profile of 5 photos.
All in an instant my entire life, everything I’ve gone through and worked for that makes me who I am was reduced to a profile of 5 photos and a sentence, highlighted by my first name comma 3-0.
Once I got going I found it surprisingly easy, and what the hell fun too, and I continued to swipe while the girls napped by the pool. Guys ranging in age from 25 to 42, spanning the globe from blond Brits to Brazilian brunettes, I was elated to match with so many potential road-mances. By the time the gals woke up I had a handful of meet-ups planned for later that night. My expectations were low but my excitement, and libido, were high. We got dressed up in our finest LA-does-Croatia attire and hit the town for a magical sunset where we sipped on a carafe filled with mostly vodka and perhaps a splash of soda. When the buzz grew strong enough I sent our location to a guy whose messages remained consistent. He was Australian, 26, tall, and incredibly attractive. He also had 3 Australian friends. You know what they say about Australians don’t you? I don’t know anything about their dick size but I do know that they really like to drink. We took about 4 jaeger bombs with them (yep, we’re 30) until the clock struck 11:45pm on the eve of our friend Mila’s 30th birthday.
Aussie and I were in the midst of a romantic bar make-out when we were tragically and violently separated by my friends (I was drunk, this may be an exaggeration). I wanted to be a team player but I also REALLY wanted to keep making out with him. The night abruptly ended after we all jumped into the Adriatic Sea to toast Mila’s birthday; mid-air thinking we are probably the coolest 30 year olds in the world, post sea drench with no ladders or light realizing we might be the most immature 30 year olds in the world. We scaled sea urchin covered rocks to save ourselves while the international mix of bar hoppers watched on, entertained but also likely confused. I screamed the whole way home desperately wanting to return to my Aussie. In the words of Mila my outspoken, wise, freshly minted 30 year old friend: “Your mascara is down to your tits, you have sea urchin in your foot, you’re going home with us!”
Lessons I learned from my first Tinder experience:
Tinder + alcohol + international water = makeout at the very least. If only it were this easy for me in LA.
Trust your instincts, or your friends’ if you are way too drunk, and listen to them when they say your mascara is down to your tits - perhaps it IS time to call it a night.
Have friends do a dramatic reading the next morning of your Tinder convo from the night before, especially when it’s with an Australian who may have actually been more drunk than you:
FAIR CALL. WE WERE WAY TOO DRUNK FOR THAT.