My First Time Using Tinder

Artwork BY Yoko Honda

 

“Fuck. There’s less than an eighth left. How are we going to handle Dana for the rest of the week if we only have less than an eighth left.” 

I ignored my best friend and took a generous hit from the bowl. 

“Weed is easy to find, shut up, hit this bowl, and let’s get out of this Barbie house.”

We finished a bowl, exchanged pleasantries with Dana, before leaving behind the Mc-mansion in which we were staying. Respectfully, we waited to exhale a cloud of smoke until after we waved goodbye to the guardsman at the gate. We then drove around aimlessly, killing brain cells and wasting time, typical teenage endeavors. By the end of our extended burn ride, we realized our “less than eighth” had dwindled down to “less than a gram”, a scary moment for any stoner. Now we were faced with the challenge of acquiring the green, far from home, and even farther from comfort, in this unfamiliar state.

Different ideas as to how we could score some bud swirled about our hazy minds.

But then an idea came to each of us. It became unnervingly obvious that if girls could swipe for hookups on Tinder, I could easily swipe right for weed. Right? I swallowed my last bit of dignity and downloaded the godforsaken app that my entire generation had recently become fixated with. I guess desperate times do call for desperate measures. 

We rolled our last bit of smoke into a blunt and felt thankful for the awful Floridian traffic that delayed our return to the gated community.

We spent the next few hours swapping bullshit with frat stars, thirty-somethings that swore the one guy they worked with could “score some real good grass,” and eighteen year old boys that were hoping for a “wild threesome” with my best friend and me. I felt like I needed to shower every time I read a new message. Looking back, we should’ve expected this. Anyone who messaged a girl with a bio reading, “I’m just on here to find some weed,” would not actually be interested in only helping out. I stupidly believed in the existence of stoner etiquette, which seemed as dead as chivalry. 

As I was getting ready to delete the app and wholly preparing myself to find weed the old fashioned way, looking for scumbags around the jetty of the beach, Tinder Chris restored my faith in the stoner community. I knew Tinder Chris was different right away by his straight-to-the-point response of: “I can get you weed, but you’d have to come to Venice.” We talked amounts and prices before he said he’d be away from his phone for a while because he’d be surfing. 

Call me naïve, but that was enough for me to trust the kid. I had a gut feeling that he just wanted to help us out. So my best friend and I said, “Fuck it,” and woke up the next morning without any plan except high tailing it straight to Venice.

The drive would have taken us an hour, but with Florida traffic it took us over two. (Side note: I have to take time out to apologize to the adorable elderly couple that saw me hitting a dry keef jeeb in the car during this trek – I am so sorry you had to view this level of degeneracy. I promise that other people my age do have their shit together, and probably spent their Christmas break studying for the MCAT or LSAT or something. Your grandkids are probably nothing like me). We smoked the absolute last bit of our keef before stopping at a cheap diner for breakfast. After I drank my second up of coffee, I opened Tinder. 

My “gut feeling” started to dissipate now that Tinder informed me we were “less than a mile away” from Tinder Chris, our potential savior. But we’d made the trip, had no smoke, and no other options, so I messaged him. Something along the lines of, “We decided to drive to Venice because we need weed that badly” elicited his response of, “Meet me at the far side of Caspersan Beach.” He went on to say that he couldn’t get us our product until later that night, but that he had a little “Buddha” if we wanted a quick smoke up. We learned two things from this explanation: 1: Floridians call weed Buddha and 2: Stoner etiquette was alive and well in Tinder Chris.

After driving five MPH down a narrow, hardly classifiable “street” of sand, my best friend broke the silence with, “Dude that has to be him.” A lanky boy with sandy blonde hair in a half-zipped wetsuit approached the small parking lot holding an orange surfboard. I half-audibly called out “Chris,” and just as she predicted, his head turned toward us and nodded toward the waves. We parked the car and followed the orange surfboard to the beach.

 

I imagine most Tinder meet-ups with a sloppy hookup as the end goal are awkward at best. This was nothing like that. Tinder Chris dropped his surfboard off with his lunchbox already situated on the sand, explaining, “I had to bring my surfboard because I was afraid someone might take her from me.” He opened the front pouch of his lunchbox and pulled out a medicine container of bud and an orange and blue piece. He led us through a beaten path away from the waves and into a forest of palm-tree lookalikes.

Tinder Chris, my best friend, and I all sat crisscross applesauce in the sand as he packed a bowl to memorialize our newfound friendship. Maybe I just get along with stoners better than with non-stoners, but within five minutes of meeting Tinder Chris it already felt like a session among old friends. He warned us about the unusual alternate use of Caspersan Beach – apparently gay men frequent the area as a place to cruise for men to have sex with (I’m not kidding). “You guys won’t really have much of a problem, but a couple of weeks ago I was back here getting high and this man tried to seduce me,” was the line that sold my best friend and I on Tinder Chris. I guess it’s been an issue in Venice for a while now, because he said that when he was five he would see naked men walking out of the little wooded area a lot.

The gay escapade stories ended, and we all exchanged five-minute bios – he works as a broker in Chicago with his childhood best friends and is able to return to his hometown of Venice for two months in the winter. He could’ve been bullshitting us, but I like to believe he wasn’t. Tinder Chris packed another bowl to send us off. My best friend and I drove to Siesta Key to loiter on the white sand beaches until it was time meet back up with Tinder Chris for our weed.

It was around nine once we found our way back to Venice. We drove to a service beach to meet back up with Tinder Chris. He pulled into the deserted parking lot and got out of his minivan with two six packs. We walked through the ramps down to a wooden picnic table. Bundled in beach towels, we talked about nothing in particular until his friend (our to-be dealer) got off of work. Around ten, Tinder Chris’s friend followed the maze of ramps that led him to us, and delivered our much anticipated half-ounce. Our new dealer scored some brownie points by bringing along two white grape cigarillos – I rolled two blunts and shared it with our new friends. At the end of it, my best friend and I exchanged smiles, because uncalled for good fortune does not usually come our way. We drove back to the gated community feeling thankful and blazed.

My views on Tinder have changed after this experience. I can’t imagine what the rest of that week would have looked like if we hadn’t replenished our stash. Tinder Chris is a nature-loving, down to earth, awesome kid. Two days after we bought our weed, we went back to Venice to explore a state park and look for gators with him – essentially spending the day getting high by the Myakka River. 

Small acts of random kindness don’t happen all of the time, so we considered ourselves lucky. We like to hope it was retribution from the universe from all of the weed charity we’d done in the past (helping out friends who couldn’t afford weed, smoking up anyone who wasn’t a dick, etc.), or it could’ve just been pure luck that Tinder Chris and I both swiped right. Either way, my first Tinder “date” was all I could’ve hoped for and fourteen grams more.