Swiping and radio silence

Marisa Garreffa
March 5, 2016 - 19:27

The best and worst of Tinder profiles | Illustration by Leo Cardini © 2016 The Florentine

Swipe. No. Swipe. No. Red Speedos. No. Suspicious side pose. No. Extremely waxed eyebrows. No. Guess which one of this group I am… No. Dramatic close up of one eyeball. Topless. Topless. Shouldn’t be topless. No. No. No.


Ok, here’s one: clothed, actually smiling, no comments about ‘discretion’. Swipe right. Match! Actually, there are quite a lot of matches. It’s hard to keep up. Seventy two versions of the word ‘Hi’ that don’t go any further… Yes, I’m Australian. Yes, I’ve seen a kangaroo. Yes, you should go there sometime. Oh, you’re an Engineer? A lawyer? A musician? Another Engineer? No, I don’t want to come to your house at midnight. No, I don’t want to go to that dodgy club in Santa Croce. No, I don’t want to discuss my personal grooming habits! Unmatch. Unmatch. Swipe.
Swipe. Swipe.


Ok, here we go… Relatively normal conversation. Nothing crude. This is promising! All in Italian, but I’m doing alright. Google Translate can’t be that bad... He says I’m practically speaking like a native! Bless. I could do aperitivo. He swears he speaks English, in case of emergency. Let’s meet somewhere crowded and public… To the bar!


Ok, he’s cute. Very enthusiastic. Gosh, he talks quite quickly though. Maybe ask him to slow down… Nope. Didn’t help. What about that English he mentioned? Well, that lasted three words. Back to Italian. Ok, try to concentrate on what he’s saying.


I think it’s a story about a car. Yes. A car. And a glass of coke? Is that right? Something about a car and a glass of coke... Is he going to spill the coke? Is this a drink-spilling story? A needing-to-pee story? I have no idea what is going on. Just try to look interested. Lots of nodding and smiling. Encouraging hmmms. Shit, he’s stopped. Did I miss the punchline? Is the story over? He looks like he wants a response. Try laughing. Guys love it when you laugh at their stories.



Shit. It was a sad story. Wrong response, try to back-pedal. That’s it, concerned face with slow nodding. I hope it wasn’t something deeply personal from his past that I’ll be expected to remember if we end up going out again. Never offer him a coke in the car, just in case.

No time to dwell, we’re onto a new story! Where are we now? The casino? He’s stealing a goose from the casino? No, Marisa, that’s from a Dylan Moran comedy sketch; you’re confusing yourself. Well, he’s doing something at the casino in… France? Munich? Where is this story set? Christ, drink the wine, maybe it will help. Didn’t help. I have no idea what’s going on.


Never mind that, now we’re walking! Bridges and piazzas. We’re holding hands on an impromptu walking tour, only he doesn’t seem to know where he’s going; he’s from Bologna. I’d better lead the way or we’re going to end up in piazza della Libertà. Back through the centre. Yes, I like that brand. And that brand. Yes, that brand, too. Is he telling me about his ex-girlfriends? ALL of them? That’s new for a first date. Apparently we’ve known each other long enough now for his head to be this close to mine. Never let a little thing like ‘mutual comprehension’ get in the way of a first kiss. Did he just ask me for a compliment? Oh, shouldn’t have laughed, he looks quite put out. Sorry, I’m from Perth, Australia, where the height of romance is sharing a pint.


Gosh, his head really is getting quite close. Is this much eye contact ever normal? It’s quite difficult to walk straight whilst gazing sideways romantically. Oh, he wants to kiss on the Ponte Vecchio. That’s original. Yes. Yes, I have heard of that beautiful lookout over the city. Oh, well please, do tell me more about it anyway... Yes. We must go there one day. Of course. I think he just used the word ‘destiny’. Then again, maybe he just wants to turn right. My Italian is terrible.


Look at that, the date is over. Was it a good date? Was it a bad date? I’ve made it 20 metres toward home and he’s texting already. Sure, we can go out again. Actually he’s texting quite a lot.


We text tennis for three solid days and then…

Radio silence.

Where did he go?

Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe.


Have you dated or coupled up in Florence? The Florentine is eager to hear about the wide range of reader experiences. Contact [email protected] with your ideas and stories.

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