Using Tinder as a Latinx in the U.S.

After 72 days of the strike, I had said a bitter goodbye to the University of Puerto Rico during the summer; I had been accepted to do an internship at the University of Marquette, Wisconsin. I changed the colors red, white (and sometimes black) of the UPR Gallitos for the navy and yellow of the Marquette Eagles. But you guys know this isn’t the purpose of the article. You came here for the good stuff. I don’t know about you, guys, but I tried to do a social experiment on Tinder in Puerto Rico and it ended up being a total fiasco.

I thought to myself: “Hey, I should totally download tinder on the United States because that’s where the real magic begins.” And so, I did. And it was fun. Ish.

 

Week One:

During my first week in Milwaukee, I was swiping everywhere. My Tinder bio was NOT on point: “Puertorrican wandering around the Milwaukee area. I have more names than height. Former boxer. No, I’m not as crazy telenovelas make me out to be.” With this said, many of the replies involved comments about the McGregor Vs. Mayweather match. It was a disappointing week indeed.

Week Two:

I decided to live life to the full-on adventure when a funny person on Tinder made a remark about my height comment. This is when I decided to write him back. We met at a bar nearby my dorm. I’m mad that men complain about women lying on how they look when they wear make-up. Men can be pretty deceiving in person too. It’s all about angles and beards, and you got a whole different person in front of you.He seemed like a nice friend, and he was super funny. This guy lived up to his gringo-can’t-dance cliché when my Boricua buddies came to my rescue and we took the poor guy to a Latino club.

Even though, he was a super nice person, my awkwardness got the best of me. I ended up hiding in the bathroom for like an hour until he left.

In the week, days prior to this, a boy made it to eat at 2am at Qdoba, and I panicked, when I realized he wanted to eat at 2am, and brought 3 buddies, so I ran with my pink slippers straight up to my dorm.

 

Week Three:

This week was the peak of it all. It was when I saw that being Latina was somehow a “problem”. Big time.

Through the Summerfest Weekend, I had two crazy encounters. Fortunately, only one was in person. I decided that it was better for me and better for this article to meet the men in broad daylight. Because I did not want to be one of the people in the ambulance that pass through our dorms every night. Anyway,  this boy came to pick me up. We went to the beach. I should have known better. He told me we were going to a “skinny white people beach.” Excuse me. What. Did you take a look on who you’re going with? (I know he was trying to be funny). When we got there, he wasn’t lying. Also, I told him our beaches were better. Sorry, not sorry.

My second encounter was throughout the week. I was taking a lot of classes at my internship. And THEY WERE GREAT. During the week, we didn’t go out. We forgot what it was like to go out un Jueves de Rio. But we did find a bar that had Karaoke, so that kind of felt like being en la Beckett, which was a comfort for me at least. As I said, Summerfest was this week. Men were hoping to get more fun after partying up, and hear whoever was playing (sorry guys, too many artists this week). I was bored on a Friday night. And we behaved, we didn’t plan to go out at first. I was locked in my room, swiping out of boredom, when I matched an Italian man. It was all fun and games until he asked me where I wanted to go. I told him I wasn’t sure ‘cause I didn’t feel like going out (meanwhile the people from the program were planning to go out to said bar near our dorm). I don’t know how the guy did not understand what I meant, and he STILL paid for an Uber to go near my dorm.

What the flying shenanigans was going on? Ubers after Summerfest cost around $70 because of their demand. I kid you not. This guy writes to me, very insistently to meet me. I REFUSED because he was being pushy. He then wrote to me that I was a “wetback c***, that should go back to Mexico”. I laughed it off because I DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT WETBACK MEANT. I write to him to “Go back to Italy”. Before I COULD SCREENSHOT THIS, he unmatched me. Sad reacts only.

 

Week Four:

My buddies and I had a thing for Latin clubs. We felt more at home. Before deciding where to go, I agreed to meet this person in Water Street. I then realized I was writing with an actor from a series. I wish I was kidding about this. It ended up terribly. But I get to say that I matched with a person who works at the series Empire. We had massive misunderstandings. So, sir, if you ever read this: I was indeed sitting next to the bartender with the tiny umbrella in my hand like I told you. I was not playing you.

To give you guys a fair play on how things went down. He CAME TWICE TO THE CLUB. And said he never found me. Got mad at me because he wasted a lot of money to get there, and in his eyes, I ditched him. Shout out to my buddy Carlos, who made the umbrella comment to everyone (he found me sitting in the chair all lonesome according to him) throughout the entire program. Because it wasn’t enough that all of my friends knew about my tiny umbrella, everyone back at the dorm should know it too. for This one’s for you.

 

Week Five:

I was emotionally exhausted. I became friends with the cashier at 7-Eleven because I went to buy big Gulps every night so I could study for the exams that we had there. But, that didn’t stop me from continuing the hilarious saga that was my supposed research experiment. Momma raised no quitter. This was a light week though. During this week,  a guy asked for my Snapchat. He he wrote to me during Bio-Chemistry. Son, Bio-Chemistry was HARD, TRAUMATIZING and exhausting. I was not going to respond to you. Because I didn’t write back, he wrote: “I’m not wasting my time with a five anyway. You are not as hot as you think you are.” To which I responded: “You are as salty as I thought you’d be.”

 

Week Six:

There was not supposed to be a week six. Just more disappointment to this sad chronicle. But no. There’s ALWAYS a rule to the exception. I did warn this person that I’d end up writing about him (I feel like the Taylor Swift of journalism). I was ready to say the meanest things about this guy because I’m used to bad people (example: all the other weeks). So when he showed up to pick me up to go to eat pizza, the girls from my 12th floor took a photo of me, in case I went missing. We also made secret codes for things like: “Soda on the side”, which meant: good date. So, there he was, and he was funny and charming… and he was the 6 feet tall, blonde exception to my rule. He put past my funny way of saying Qdoba (I say it a lot differently than your average gringo), never let me beat him in ping pong nor bowling and most importantly; made me stutter when I was about to open up a cadaver.

It was not a romantic thing. It was great meeting someone who made you see the good in people. It was hard to say goodbye to this last person. He was different. He’s the guy Tinder would love you to date so you can make a wonderful article in the future how you met your partner on their app. That was not my case, I can say a got a great friendship out of this. And yes, I’m still emotional.

 

I took my flight home, came back and had Tinder opened for one more day. I was done with my article, therefore: done with this app. I took home the knowledge of the racism in not-so-subtle messages, in taking me to a beach where no one was a person of color, and everyone was rich, of being insulted because I SAID NO.

But I also took home the acceptance that not all people are like this. That I should put past my generalizations, and to not let stereotypes cloud my judgment of others. I challenge you to broaden your horizons, to see things in a different perspective.

 

Thank you, Tinder.