As I swipe left and right on Tinder, my hope of a potential date declines. Obscure messages come in one after another, leaving a bitter taste in my mouth and disgust for my generation.
What resulted from this app isn’t your typical high school sweetheart love story. We didn’t meet in math class or at a Friday night football game. I never thought love would come in the form of a controversial app, but it seems this way. You can call me unrealistic, naive or a silly girl head over heels, but maybe I am part of the small percentage of people who find their soulmates at a young age. Or perhaps I am too young to know what love is.
I downloaded the app simply for comedic relief, until I stumbled upon Alex Mejia. A half-Honduran and half-Chilean legend wearing a black button-up shirt with a red bow tie in his cover photo. I swiped right merely because I found him attractive. We happened to match on Tinder the same day, July 12, and at the time, my immediate reaction was “Oh cool, another match.” He messaged me “Holaaaa.” Such clownery our first conversation was. He asked me what my favorite type of music was, my favorite thing to do and my favorite place. His cheesy pickup line after I replied was “We have two things in common. Can we make it three by adding each other on snap?” He is so cringey, but for whatever reason, I chose to give him my Snapchat.
We snapchatted each other for a couple weeks in hopes of getting to know each other better. He was only one of several who I matched with, so nothing stood out to me at first. The first time we met could have been horrific for me if he wasn’t such a genuine guy. He picked me up around 10 p.m., and we got Andy’s Frozen Custard. Who goes on a Tinder date at 10 p.m.? I could have gotten kidnapped, but we just drove around, hanging out as friends first.
The second time we met was an actual date. We went to this cute old diner, where we still go all the time, called J’s Breakfast and Burgers. We showed up all cozy in our pajamas for a casual first date. It was like a surreal dream, with pancakes and scrambled eggs. After, he dropped me off and kissed me on my porch. It’s such a mushy gushy little love story, but it felt like something out of a ‘90s romance movie.
A few days after, I was a passenger in a car wreck. I had to get stitches on my face, and my neck was throbbing from whiplash. Alex said he drove past the scene of my crash. He didn’t know it was me of course, but what a coincidence that we were both on the highway at the same time. A day or two after the wreck, the boy from Tinder I barely knew came to visit me and met my family.
It was all uphill from there. Our Tinder Romeo and Juliet story flourished into a healthy relationship. A relationship was the last thing I thought I’d find on there. It was all for giggles until I met him. I sometimes feel as if my life is a fever dream: I’ll wake up at my school desk and it’ll be March again. We’ll be released for spring break, but this time COVID won’t exist. My summer quarantine boredom never would’ve occurred and led me to Tinder. But I wake up and realize in spite of the obstacles, this is my beautiful reality.
This is my life: dancing on the porch with him, surrounded by sparkling lights and soft music in the background, a fake homecoming for just the two of us that I’ll never forget. My Cinderella fantasy, as cheesy as it sounds, came true.