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‘How I Met Your Mother’ for a New Generation


Finding love in the time of burgeoning dating and mating technology

I spend a lot of time thinking about whether I will ever meet a woman I will marry, and the circumstances in which we will meet. I probably spend more time doing this than actually going on dates, which kind of stacks the odds against me, now that I think about it.

My mom and dad first met at my grandfather’s grocery store when my dad went through the register line my mom was running. (I suppose you could say he checked her out while she checked him out. NAILED IT.) The next week, they went on their first date, to see One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Then they dated for like a decade, got married, and lost their virginities.

I don’t think I’ll meet my person in an organic way like that. Technology has changed the mating game too much, to the point it seems implausible for me to find myself in a romantic situation that wasn’t somehow catalyzed by the Internet or an iPhone app. I kind of hate it, but it is so convenient. Without the Internet, I would never have bagged my White Whale, who messaged me on Facebook to get things going.

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I also often envision my life as a sitcom, which is what I was doing the other day when I started thinking of the show How I Met Your Mother and some premises for how I might ultimately end up telling my children the story of meeting their mother. (In, like, a paragraph—not nine seasons of network television.)

Here are a few of them:

So I had this terrible breakup and was on the rebound—going out every night and watching girls from a distance because technology had by then destroyed most of my ability to initiate a face-to-face conversation. On one such night, I came home drunk, Chinese takeout in tow, and commenced wolfing kung pao chicken while perusing pictures of my ex-girlfriend (your Aunt Robyn!). When I returned to my mini-feed, I saw a picture of your mom, who looked pretty smokin’ hot. We were Facebook friends but had never met in real life—which used to be more common. I drunkenly “poked” her, and it fucking worked! Can you believe that?


I sent your mom an OkCupid message re: how I felt compelled to contact her on account of both of us listing “bacon” as one of our six things we could not live without. She texted me back saying that she liked that I seemed to wear flannel often. We went on a date. I wore flannel. We ate bacon. Then we boned. Every year on our anniversary, I assemble and cook a queen-sized surface of bacon for us to make love upon.


I was on Tinder, disgustingly deciding if I would fuck girls who lived near me based on their looks alone, swiping left on the trolls and right on the women who looked like there was a chance that they might even be remotely attractive. I swiped right, your mom swiped right, we met, and nine months later you were born. At some point during your mother’s pregnancy, we deleted Tinder together. It was super romantic.

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I signed up for Christian Mingle so I could mess with religious folk. I met your mom, who had pretty loose morals for a Catholic, so I just went with it. She still believes I’m Catholic, I think, so keep this quiet.


Your mom’s friend Deb did this thing on Hinge where she made her profile picture a two-person photo with a woman who was hotter than she was, I assume in hopes of garnering more matches. When I came to pick Deb up for a date, I discovered that your mom was her roommate and the broad in the picture. Eventually, I made a pass at your mom. She and Deb are no longer friends.


Your old man used to be an A-List user on OkCupid, which meant I could tell when a person read my messages and did not respond. This happened with your mom. I proceeded to harass her incessantly until she answered with a message saying to leave her alone. Then she blocked me, but not before I had done my due diligence. I’d studied her profile and was able to piece together enough clues to figure out her name, which led to her LinkedIn, which led to her email address, which led to her finally breaking down and agreeing to meet me because she appreciated persistence and the investment banker she was supposed to go out with that night had to work late.


Your mother was the delivery driver for the sushi joint I’d ordered from on GrubHub. I was stricken by her beauty and asked if I could tip her in kisses. She acquiesced, surprisingly. When we married, she got me and citizenship—both forever.


I used to send my friends SnapChats of myself singing an upbeat song in the shower every morning. Your mom was on your Aunt Lily’s phone when one came in of me singing Wham’s timeless classic “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.” For some reason this made her want to meet me. You kids owe your life to George Michael.


Some dude developed an app where you could see who was visiting your Facebook profile and how often. I was 26 at the time, but had been friends with your mom on Facebook since freshman year of college, when I would randomly friend request friends of friends who were physically attractive. I would often look at pictures because, well, she was super hot. One day she messaged me and asked why I was always looking at her profile. I sent her a vine in response confessing my cyber-stalking was founded in near-obsessive admiration. She had low self-esteem at the time, so it worked.


One day your mom tweeted that whoever built her the coolest Lego creation for her house would receive a blowjob. I was king shit of Legos back then and I built her this rad recreation of my favorite scene of hers. She blew me, sure, but then we fell in love and she quit porn. Oh yeah—your mom used to be porn star Christy Mack. She’s now stay-at-home-mom Christy Muska.


Your mom sent me an email asking why I was always writing essays about how #foreveralone I was. This sparked an electronic pen palmanship that gave way to a gchat friendship that gave way to us making the two-backed beast.


I sent this Missed Connection and your mom responded. The rest is, as they say, history.

“You came out of the apartment and stopped to check your phone by that new street art in Brooklyn. I was watching you, shirtless, from my bedroom window. I shined my red laser pointer in your eye to get your attention. When you looked up, you were either waving or attempting to block the light from blinding you. I produced a LiteBrite board that had my telephone number and “Call me, maybe?” written in technicolor. You began power-walking away after that, too hastily to have recorded my digits. (I also enjoy power-walking.) Potentially because you are an angel walking the earth (like Nic Cage in that one movie — or is it John Travolta? Both?) and you had to go help some people out.

If you feel what I felt, message me my own address and feel free to move in whenever. I don’t believe this would be moving too fast because Love At First Sight is totally plausible.”

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in your inbox everyday at 10am CST.

No fluff or "pie in the sky inspiration." Just real stories.