Saturday, 11 February 2017

Twatterfella by Naomi Elana Zener

"I’ve had it. I’m never dating again!” Lucy shouted at her computer screen. All heads in the coffee house craned their necks to catch a glimpse of her meltdown, secretly praying that she wouldn’t harm her iMac in the process.  She slammed her laptop shut, yanked the cord out of the wall socket, and shoved both into her oversized purse.

“Tinder, I hope you burn,” Lucy muttered incomprehensibly, as she stormed out of the coffee shop. She trudged seventeen blocks to a nondescript apartment building, cursing out the male gender the entire way. It was an epically, unseasonally cold New York City day. Lucy buzzed incessantly until finally the front doors of the building clicked open, as if unlocked by magic, sweeping the hot air out while she made her way inside.  She rode the elevator fourteen stories, until she reached her final destination—her older sister, Holly’s, apartment—which she hoped would offer her warmth, comfort, and compassion in the form of a loving embrace of a wise sister offering a welcome ‘there, there.’

“What did you expect?” Holly asked upon opening the door. “It’s a hetero version of Grinder intended for hookups. How could you think you’d find the love of your life on it?”

“’Hey sis, sorry to hear about this latest dating disaster. He’s a douchebag and you deserve better’ would’ve been nice to hear,” Lucy retorted.

“Yada, yada, yada. It’s always the same story with you. I should just have my words pre-taped so you can play them on repeat every time this happens,” Holly advised. She shut the door and made her way over to the sofa where Lucy had already made herself comfortable.

“Tinder is not Grinder. It’s like being on Plenty of Fish, except with one magically left swipe, I never have to worry about seeing any of the losers I don’t like again. Except, I keep ending up with losers anyway. So much for finding my Tinderfella.”

“The problem is that you are never going to meet Prince Charming on any of these sites,” Holly advised. “E-harmony is tone deaf. Stupid Cupid. Match? Ha! More like Mismatch. Plenty of Fishdicks is a more appropriate name for the get-what-you-pay-for dating site…”

“Well, it is free,” Lucy interrupted. Holly shot her a look. “I get it, ok? Thanks Captain Obvious.”

“And, don’t get me started on the jewish dating sites splashing photos of happily married couples paraded on screen as success stories with the Matchmaker melody from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ humming in the background. Barf.” Holly pretended to wretch, miming two fingers going down her throat.
“Online dating is the new arranged marriage or mail order bride. Do you want to be some guy’s mail order bride?” Holly asked. Lucy shook her head.

“I just don’t want to be anyone’s booty call anymore,” Lucy whined.

“You know, we should just create our own dating app. Fuck the mingling, crusading Christians, the Love Schmucks, animals in the Zoosk. We can make our own dating app that works the way we want it to. What do you think?”

Lucy got up and paced the room, leaving Holly to sit with bated breath waiting for an answer.

“What do we know about building an app? I’m a doctor and you’re a librarian.” Beck advised.

“Do you want to leave the fate of your love life in someone else’s hands? Or, do you want to grab it by the balls?” Holly winked at me.

“Balls. Big, hairy ones.” Holly winced. “What? If you think you’re going to find dudes with waxed ones, then you’re looking in the wrong place. Anyhow, for this to work, we should take the best elements of various social media platforms and combine them into one great dating app.”

“No ‘other folder.’ That shit is just creepy. Have you seen some of the guys who’ve written me there?” Holly asked. “I’m Adam and I want to make strong communication link with you pretty lady, so send me your email—yikes!”

“I like the idea of the app being something that works so that men pitch themselves to women in 150 characters or less. Sort of like Twitter for dating,” Lucy suggested, taking notes on her laptop. “We could call it Twatterfella—catchy!”

“Yeah, like herpes.”  Holly got up and went to the bathroom. Lucy ignored her and continued to brainstorm.

“We want to hook guys with a funny name—this one makes it sound like they are the Cinderellas of the vagina, looking for love in the right place to find their Princess Charming,” Beck shot back.

“I love the swipe feature from Tinder. What if we had a three swipes you’re out rule?” Holly called out from behind the closed door.

“How would that work?”

“Well, if three women swiped the guy, he’s automatically kicked out of the site. He’d be labeled an un-dateable.”

“Why not vet them from the get go so we weed out the undesirables?” Lucy asked.

Holly cocked her head back and let out a giant sigh. “Jesus Christ. Would you rather be saving lives and meeting Mr. Right, or be spending your time rooting through the cesspool of male zygotes-turned-losers, who will get swiped out of contention anyway?”

“How do you know those guys will get kicked out?”

“Gut feeling. Somehow I don’t think that you’re the only chick around with a douchebag meter.”

Lucy and Holly, being A-plus type personalities, stayed up all night, signed up for coding courses, determined to build the app themselves from scratch. When one wine bottle found itself void of the nectar of the gods, which they used to fuel their surge of brilliance, Lucy and Holly opened another. They decided that Twatterfella would be free for women to join, but cost men seventy-five dollars a month—after all, they were offering these men the women of their dreams hoping that by virtue of paying for a membership, the men would be wage earners, willing to part with some of their hard-earned cash. Holly agreed to appease Lucy by listing certain reasonable criteria, designed to prevent undesirable men from joining from the get-go:

  • ·      no men who live at home with their parents;
  • ·      they must have at least a Bachelor’s degree, but holding an advance degree, as in an MBA, MD, or JD, would be preferred;
  • ·      they must have a positive credit score;
  • ·      criminal records were verboten;
  • ·      they had to complete a psychological evaluation to ensure they didn’t have a propensity to ghost;
  • ·      they must have a valid driver’s license and own their own vehicles – being an Uber driver wouldn’t count;
  • ·      positive references from three ex-girlfriends;
  • ·      no weird sexual fetishes like sex with furries; and
  • ·      earn no less than $150,000 per year. 

Six bottles of cheap Merlot and two half-eaten pizzas later, Lucy and Holly believed that they would be hailed as the saviours of every single woman on the planet for helping them find their version of manna from heaven—gainfully employed men, who’ve never seen the inside of a penitentiary and whose ex-girlfriends would sing their praises despite their breakup.  With the dawn of the new workday approaching, forcing the sisters to part ways for the day, Lucy rubbed her eyes struggling to stay awake. In the light of day, their self-proclaimed brilliance no longer bore the gold star they awarded themselves through the lenses of wine glasses.

“Holly, I love you for trying, but this app will never fly,” Lucy yawned to a snoring Holly, who lay prostrate on the floor. Gently nudging her sister with her foot, Holly awoke to find empty vino veritas bottles strewn across her living room floor. With a slice of pizza sticking to her right cheek—which had doubled as a pillow when her stomach refused it as a midnight snack having already consumed several slices too many—she felt deflated that her sister was ready to give up on dating again.

“Your defeatist attitude is why you’re still single. I’m telling you that this app will work. We will be the ones with the great commercials boasting about our success stories,” Holly shouted.

“Um, hello, you’re still single, too,” Lucy spat back.

“Well, I won’t be once we get our app off the ground,” Holly retorted.

“Why would any guy in their right mind, who fits the base criteria to join and use our dating app, ever sign up when he can stick with the ones out there that are far cheaper, or even free, and helping them get laid six ways from Sunday every day of the week?”

Holly opened her mouth to speak, but no sound emerged.  She couldn’t disagree with her sister’s logic. She knew her stomach hadn’t known from a male-paid for meal or liquid libation in months, let alone the last time her orgasm had emerged from its years-long hibernation. She took a hard, long look at hers and Lucy’s night-long effort to revolutionize the way people dated—how she and her sister dated. They’d given it the good old college try, but Holly knew they’d failed. She slumped against the couch.

“I’m calling in sick today. I can’t stick my nose in a book anymore. I’ve got to get back out there and start dating again,” Holly groaned. “Want to help me set up my online dating profiles?”

Lucy nodded her head.  “Which one do you want to go on?”

“All of them.  If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?”

© 2017. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.