Existing as a private, membership-based dating app populated by the kings and queens of Instagram, Raya is cool, hip, and always chill AF. (The kind of chill that shows just how DGAF it is about everything by doing things like abbreviating six letter metaphor vehicles.)
In keeping with this VSCO lens on life, user profiles are clean, filtered, and devoid of any extra information. Standard personal stat bubbles that clutter the pages of more mainstream (read: lame) dating sites have been replaced by a single blank box – a canvas for Raya’s artsy souls to paint whatever picture of themselves they think might intrigue/attract potential suitors. For many such souls, this does not seem to include much. A guesstimated (because I can’t be bothered with things like numbers) (what, I’m a dreamer, not a mathematician, GD) 90% of the profiles I’ve come across have absolutely nothing written/or emoji-ed in that space.
Fine, whatever – I don’t need to hear about your vinyl collection or the fact that you’re just looking for someone you can laugh your way through life with, but can a girl get some basic facts?? Like, possibly…your height?
For some reason, a fair number of dudes seem to view this as an inane request. The few times I’ve seen it listed, said lister has qualified the number with some version of an eye-roll. “Since it seems to be such a big deal to some of you…”
Is height a big deal? I mean, it’s not the biggest deal. No one’s dying over it, at least not as far as I know*. But are we all really supposed to pretend it doesn’t factor into our realm of attraction in any way, shape, or form? I, personally, think I have a right to know ahead of time if a date’s going to end with a man standing en pointe to hug my waist. (Mostly because I have a certain proclivity toward crop tops and that’s a little too much skin on skin action for a first date. I’m not that kind of girl.**)
Fortunately, just when I thought I was secretly popping crazy pills (and wondering what they were/how I could get some more of them), two vertically-challenged Raya clients stepped forward to show me that there are at least a couple short dudes out there who don’t want to be surprised by my lanky a$$ either.
VCRC1 and I had been talking for weeks. We covered all of our hopes, fears, darkest secrets, etc (aka spent the entire time trying to one-up each others’ jokes) when he decided to dig in on the personal Q’s:
VCRC1: Hey, how tall are you?
A quick gander at my profile page would have answered this question for him…
But hey, who am I to judge a lazy right swipe? (I totally judged. But then convinced myself he was too mesmerized by my obvious beauty to do any reading and felt better about the entire situation.)
Me: 5’ 11”
Almost instantaneously, our conversation disappeared. I found myself staring at the main page with all my matches. WTF. It took me several minutes, an iPad restart, and some deep soul searching to realize I had been brutally rebuffed. He had “unmatched” me. Not a word – not even a waving hand emoji. Just gone. My ego wanted to be offended, but I had to admit I admired his cutthroat approach. We’re all busy people here; why mince words – or even use them at all?
VCRC2 and I matched one glorious day last fall. Initial pleasantries faded into a silent winter. At the start of the New Year, VCRC2 picked up right where we left off:
VCRC2: How are you?
Me: Slightly older, just as tall, and hopefully skinnier than the last time we talked?
We spent the next three weeks trading sporadic responses. Finally, he asked if I would like to get a drink. Five days later, I said, yes. Ten days later, he said, “Cool”.
By the time we managed to get off the app and into each other’s phones, we had (very) technically been speaking for six months. It would be six months and one week before we made it here:
VCRC2: Are you around this weekend?
I know – it’s a beautiful thing to see a miracle in action.
Me: I’m around tomorrow. The rest of the wkend is booked up w baby showers, bdays, and the like.
VCRC2: Maybe we could meet up tom night at some point. You gonna be in weho?
Maybe? WTF does “maybe” mean.
Me: Yeah that would be fun. Close…I’m in Beverly Hills.
VCRC2: Great let me know if you’re free.
Let you know if I’m free? Didn’t I just say – you know what, never mind. Let’s just keep this moving.
VCRC2: Odd question. But how tall are u?
Ahhh THERE IT IS. You have got to be mother*cking kidding me. There are three lines on my profile. Three. Wouldn’t these dudes want to do a quick scan of the written portion of my social exam, if only to discern that I’m not a complete idiot/have a basic grasp on words/grammar before inviting me out on the town? Apparently not. Again, I totally judged. But then convinced myself that in addition to looking super pretty in my carefully selected assortment of photos, I also look super smart. And then I felt better about the entire situation. (Except for that 'u'. How lazy do you have to be to chop off the y and the o? They're on the same exact keyboard line. Criminy, the y is right next door. I digress.)
VCRC2: Oh wow. Really really tall.
Me: Haha are you not really really tall?
VCRC2: I’m def not. I’m shorter than you. Prob 5’10” or ‘11”.
Me: Haha you don’t know your own height?
VCRC2: I grow every year.
So 5’7”. Cool.
At this point, I don’t know how to respond. Are we still doing this? It feels weird to be like, ok so we should probably just call this, then, no? Especially after it’s taken us more than six months to get to this juncture. And who knows, maybe we’ll totally bond on a friend vibe and turn out to be BFF homies for life.
I decide to sleep on it. Mostly in hopes that he’d be the one to put the kibosh on the whole situation. (I have a lot of friends already.)
At 1:37pm the next day, I decide it’s probably a good idea to clarify our (non?) plans for the evening.
Me: Haha well if you still want to meet up at some point, I should be done w things around 8p.
VCRC2: Don’t you want a guy taller than you?
YES, YES I DO.
Me: Haha yes, but that feels so rude to say.
Because, you know, I secretly think that all diminutive men are harboring nothing but shame over their shortcoming(s).
VCRC2: Well then there you go.
There you go indeed. We end on a positive note – he tells me to let him know if I have any shorter friends for him, I tell him to do the same on the tall and broad-shouldered front, he says that’s highly unlikely because he doesn’t hang out with many meatheads, I say eh to each their own.
And then I go over to my (equally tall) best friend’s apartment for a Netflix binge fest, because every story deserves a happy ending. (And at least one collar bone to collar bone hug.)
*If you do know someone who is/has/was, please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for new and different hypothetical events to be unreasonably terrified of.
**To my friends who are like, “Dude, Stace, don’t pretend you don’t love making out on date 1/every date in general.” Fair point, but I always have ‘em keep those hands where I can see ‘em, if you know what I mean. K almost aways. ... (You know who you are.)