Becoming an Alaskan appears to come in all forms, including but not limited to dating. What is that phrase? Ah yes: The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
And in the case of today’s app-crazed world, the variety of goods is ever-widening thanks to the summer seasonal crowd and increasing popularity of Tinder.
What’s Tinder, you ask?
Tinder is the smartphone application that allows you to treat dating like the game you always wanted it to be — instead of the slow, torturous slog through blind dates and set-ups through friends of friends. Tinder presents you with a stack of profiles based on your preferences, and you can either swipe to the left (“Nope!”) or to the right (“Like!”). If you are matched with another person, it gives you an alert, at which point you can either:
• A) Communicate with this human being (via text)
• Or B) “Keep playing!”
Be warned, Tinder is not to be confused with Match.com. You will find no in-depth personality profiles or match scores. You either both say yes to the match based on a photo and some quippy one-liner in your profile, or you don’t. Simple as that.
Of course, this game gets much more interesting in the hands of small towns. Sure, only your first name and age is available (the application links with your Facebook, but doesn’t show your profile). But in a town of 30,000 or so people, you’re only afforded so much anonymity.
According to my inside sources (i.e. single friends who, for the sake of said friendship, remain nameless), Tinder offerings in the small towns of Alaska are as follows:
• Your ex: You broke up years ago, you make idle small-chat at parties, but that’s about it. Moving on.
• Your brother/sister/cousin: Swiping left. This isn’t Idaho or West Virginia.
• Creeper from the bar: This guy is at the bar every night of every weekend. Once he’s had a couple drinks, you can usually count on him to sidle over to you and your friends and attempt to whisper sweet, slobbery nothings into your ear.
• The faceless: This individual has no profile picture, or any real indication that there is an actual person on the other side. What is the point?
• Just visiting!: Likely here on a cruise, these folks are just passing ships.
• Here for the summer: Cue the obligatory ice cave snapshot. A bolstering to the Alaska Tinder offerings, many of these profiles will disappear come September. Some will stay, possibly for romantic reasons, and so they too will drop off the Tinder radar.
• All the rest: This is the general Alaskan dating populace. Likely falling into one of the aforementioned categories for another Tinder-er, these people — for better or worse — have jumped into the dating fray.
It’s a brave, new dating world out there — and thanks to the influx of summer seasonal workers — it’s a broader one, too. So swipe on, my Alaskan friends, and as my still-nameless friends would say: “Getchya some!”
• Sarah Cannard is a transplant from the Lower 48 who enjoys long walks on Sandy Beach, Carolans with her coffee and days when her socks match. Follow her on Twitter @becomingalaskan.