Seamless & Tinder: The Art of Exploring Options & Hunger & Thirst & How To Maintain An Ounce of Dignity Throughout
by RULA AL-NASRAWI
You already know that there’s an app for everything in this world. Everything. There’s an app to get your bedbug-infested laundry picked up and dropped off at your home all clean and folded. There’s an app for booking a quick therapy session for when you’re convinced that aliens have finally chosen to implant a chip inside of you for research on the rapid decline of mankind. There’s an app where you can pop digital bubble wrap bubbles, and battle Jedi warriors with digital lightsabers and—drumroll please— there’s an app for scanning and analyzing photos of your own feces. God fucking bless. But in my opinion the most important apps for the modern everyday man and woman are still, and may always be, the two classics; Seamless and Tinder.
Seamless, a major food delivery app is THE go to option for hungry human beings everywhere. Seamless is a lazy foodie’s Shangri-la, an untouchable oasis where you can somehow manage to order a cheesecake and a seaweed salad and a salmon filet and 666 garlic knots all in one place. Heaven or Hell you ask? Honestly unclear.
Tinder is also all about options in a seemingly different way. This dating slash hookup tool celebrates boundless options like the Kardashian clan celebrates the launch of a new useless app or game or lipkit or waist trainer endorsement. Tinder is a digital shopping spree for human beings. Seriously. If you were really trying to get it you could literally swipe yourself into someone’s bed in a matter of minutes.
But who and what do you choose when the options are quite literally endless? What does one do when they can’t decide between pizza and burgers and sushi and tacos and a snarky skater and a nocturnal drummer and a documentary filmmaker with a fake accent and a barista who you fell in love with because he reminded you of Drake circa “Nothing Was The Same.”
While Seamless is an online buffet for food, Tinder is a buffet for human beings. Unlike Seamless, Tinder begins to feel like a video game; the higher your score aka the more matches you get, the more self esteem points you get along with it. And if you actually get to see that person IRL or manage to get a constant hookup or, gasp, a significant other out of the whole thing well then, you may have won my friend. There is no game to Seamless, except for the waiting game when your food arrives two hours after you ordered it. I would rather be stood up by the same dude 35 times than be hangry AF and have my food arrive late, cold and stale, and possibly already rotting because it took several business days to arrive.
On the other hand, a bad Tinder hookup is v similar to a bad Seamless order. It//he//she arrives at your house, and something is just off. Maybe it’s the weird old french fry smell, maybe it’s the overall presentation like a curly black hair in your spaghetti or being two feet shorter than you said you were, or a bite mark in your sandwich or a third nipple that casually was never mentioned to you. Maybe it’s the fact that what arrived at your home looks absolutely nothing like the photos like too much flash or too little filter. Like, you ordered a Michelene star burger and you got a burger that looks like a Michelene tire instead, and you’re trying not to be ungrateful and rude but that’s literally not what you ordered. You thought you were getting Jessica Simpson circa 2004, but instead you got Homer. Look, there’s nothing wrong with Homer Simpson, he’s like the OG dad bod; but I don’t like being lied to.
Ok but, the real difference between Seamless and Tinder is that on Seamless, if your food takes hours to arrive or doesn't arrive at all or there's a giant barnacle of mold on your toast, you can call up Seamless and be like "Yo I want a refund or like 50 coupons or like a lifetime supply of cheezits" and boom, they make it happen.
On the other hand, if your Tinder date completely flakes on you, tells you to set his/her shirt on fire when things go left, tries to convince you they're famous when they're literally not, takes you on a date to his/her place of work and then subsequently pulls out his or her guitar or ukelele or banjo and starts singing "Another Brick in the Wall" or “Wagon Wheel” or “Blackbird” so out of tune that you are certain your soul has already evacuated your body and you are just an empty shell faking being alive, WHERE ARE OUR COUPONS//REFUNDS THOUGH?
Sadly, there aren’t any. No way to return the girl who left you mid-date for your friend while you were in the bathroom. No return policy for the guy who doesn't come up for air during a hookup so just aggressively breathes in and out of his nose. No money back for all of the awkward IRL banter that was nothing like the sexy text banter, the nudes you sent with strategically-placed sneaky moon emojis, and there is definitely no way to take back the decision one makes to actually catch feelings.
I’m not saying you can’t catch feelings for your food. I’ve definitely fallen in love with the lamb sandwich at my neighborhood Senegalese bakery. But through the haze of guys who use five of the same headless body pic on their profile Sleepy Hollow style, the girls who still whip out the duck face like we’re still on MySpace tbt from hell, and people’s bios that read “iF uR nOt dtf tHeN gtfo ;) ,” you could still actually meet someone that gives you the feels. It’s kind of like thrifting, you’re putting a lot of trust into sifting through the masses because you know that what you want is out there somewhere, you just haven’t seen it yet.
Well young (food) lovers, just remember that if you catch feelings, there is no return policy. You will not get your money or your dignity back. But what you will get is an experience, at the very least a funny story about how you dated a side order of mac and cheese for 5 weeks until it stunk up your whole house because it was living in your fridge and the fumes killed your roommate's beta fish so you finally had to break up/ throw it away. Love hurts sometimes y’all. I may be interested in five different artisanal pizza spots or five different firefighters from different parts of town or five different vegetarian ramen options or five different vegan tattooed chefs who live in BK, but if what I really want is just a gyro and a guy who rivals my punniness, then none of those other options will taste quite as good. Options are truly beautiful but sometimes the most beautiful thing is knowing exactly what you want and not being afraid to send it back if it’s not what you asked for.