Unfortunately, 10 years later, I think I have realized what the angel was trying to warn me about. “There will be a lot less options!” she was probably going to say. Yes, I am getting to the point where I am incredibly frustrated that gay men have approximately 1/10 as many potential mates as our Heaven-bound peers.
When I first started college, I obviously tried to find a potential mate among my classmates. But I didn't make any meaningful connections with the handful of other gay men at the school. Also, you know what they say about small liberal arts colleges- the odds are good, but the goods have a lot of chest hair. They aren’t wrong. After one year and three lint rollers, I tried to set my sights beyond Perimeter Road.
Although a world-class destination for those seeking to find white people wearing gauges who feel comfortable using the n-word or girls who speak to horses as if they were people, it turns out Saratoga Springs is not exactly a gay mecca. After quickly running out of options on Tinder and getting tired of watching the little picture of myself sending out waves of digital pheromones into the abyss, I downloaded the gay ‘dating’ app Grindr. My woes would only continue. One of the first people I found on Grindr was named ‘Mr. Big,’ but he wasn’t nearly as romantic as his namesake. A second was a recent transplant from a foreign nation, and after I rejected his advances, he told me that I was the reason why American youth were falling behind the Russians and the Chinese. "You must be stupid," he added. "What kind of grades do you get in school?" “Bs,” I said optimistically. He typed back-“That’s not good at all."
(For the record, I was in the Honors Forum for a semester before taking my talents elsewhere. But they haven’t changed the door code- DM me if you’re interested.)
I spent my summers doing internships in larger cities, where I was lucky enough to date some really cool people. I tried to maintain these relationships after I rowed back up to Alcatraz but it was all in vain.
First there was ‘The Banker’ who I met in NYC. Let me be clear; he had a god-awful personality. He said such abhorrent things as: “I’ll listen to anything but rap.” “I like the Pentatonix version better.” “I like one of the characters on Girls.” Although he had the personality of a manila folder, he had this other endearing quality about him that was impossible to quantify without a ruler. We stayed together for a few months until he thought Miley did a good job hosting the VMAs.
Most recently, I dated a guy who was studying to become a prosthetic doctor. We spent a glorious few weeks together over the summer; I helped him write his papers and in turn he let me make jokes about amputees. I thought we had a real, significant connection, so after returning to school I arranged one weekend to drive and visit him. It was a very long drive- there were 4 empty Mickey D’s Shamrock Shake bottles in the back seat by the time I arrived. Anyone who has tried a cup of St. Patrick’s Sin knows how crazy this is- it takes at least two hours for the neon green chemicals to ooze through your system, burn through your stomach lining and then make a disgraceful exit, and even longer to convince your body to submit to the experience once again. In any case, once I got there, we were having a grand time until he asked me hand him his phone and I saw a notification pop up: “You have a new message on Grindr!’” My heart sunk. We broke up but I still needed a place to sleep. Later that night, wide awake in bed, I re-activated by own Grindr profile. Back to square one.
As I sit here late at night, sipping coffee and chain-smoking while I type this out on my chunky MacBook, I can’t think of any Carrie-isms to sum up my thoughts. I realized before I could love someone else, I needed to love myself? No, I do love myself. It’s not good enough. I realized that I was the problem? Perhaps. I’m too judgmental, I'm quick to right people off, and I think very highly of myself. But I don’t really feel like changing. I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that, as a gay man, I might have to wait a little longer than other people to find 'the one.' I made my bed with Satan and now I must lie in it, alone.
But when my soul mate does show up, he has a lot of fucking explaining to do. Where the fuck were you at, bro?
 For those of you who still believe in love, Grindr is set up as a series of squares in a grid, showing people on the app in close proximity to you. When you open your Grindr, your personal picture appears in the first square. Here, our author makes a tremendous pun involving the location of his picture on Grindr and the metaphorical concept of ‘starting from square one.’