A month or so ago, I swiped a guy on Tinder that looked exactly like Steve Sanders from Beverly Hills 90210.
I should explain.
In 1992, while all my pre-teen friends were falling in love over the brooding, wrinkly, surfer douchebag Dylan, or hitching themselves to the train of idealistic, intensely gelled, journalist-to-be nerd Brandon, I was checking out that fuzzy, blonde haired, joking prankster with great teeth – Steve. He was rich, he wasn’t going bald, and he was always having fun while everyone else was being miserable in their series-long love triangles.
Love triangles ARGH BORING TAKE ME TO CLUB MED STEVE ON A BALMY TROPICAL ISLAND ALREADY!
Speaking of which. Cupid pierced my Steve Sanders look alike with a Tinder arrow, and we matched. Hurray! A quick peruse of his photos showed that he lived by the water (tick!) looked handy with a bbq (tick!) and liked boats (at this point, I’m convinced they are the same person tick tick tick tick tick!)
We quickly arrange a date in the city for lunch, decide we like the look of each other, and impress each other with our penchant for physical activities.
Me: I love the beach, swimming, sand blah blah blah white water rafting blah blah I’m totally a cool outdoors chick don’t let the snooty corporate outfit fool you blah blah.
Him: Great! I’ve been snorkelling lately, let’s do that for our date on the weekend!
Me: …………….great………..I mean it’s winter but…..great……I guess….yeah….
So I was in. A quick trip to Rebel Sport to find fashionably practical snorkelling gear, and I was ready.
Except I wasn’t. Making the mistake of googling snorkelling in Sydney, I found this:
While similar to my expression when I found out snorkelling wasn’t a joke, it’s actually not me. THAT IS A MORAY EEL. Those assholes like to bite your face off. And they live in Clovelly beach, site of my snorkelling “date”. But not to worry! The weather forecast rain and I prayed fervently, for once, that it would be correct.
Sadly D(ate)-Day dawned with nary a cloud in the sky. At Clovelly,in genuine fear for my life from an attack of moray eels, and with waves as high as my apartment ceiling crashing down, I looked at my Steve Sanders for reassurance.
“Hmmmm.” he said, brow furrowed. “It does look choppy today.”
Once more praying desperately for a reprieve, I looked at him with my best I don’t care either way because I’m so outdoorsy but like, let’s ditch this ridiculous snorkelling idea and get wine expression.
“Let’s hop in!” he said.
The good news is that I survived snorkelling.
The bad news is that I found out why my prayers for a reprieve went unanswered.
There is a god of dating, and it turns out I don’t worship it.
At dinner later that week, we were both high from cheating death on our snorkelling date, and I was starting to think, hey, maybe Steve Sanders and I can be happy after all, and maybe we can snorkel on an island next time instead of in the open ocean, when I asked him what he did the night before, and he said:
“I caught up with a mate from Church.”
Church. Church. Churchchurchchurchchurchchurchchurchchurchchurchchurch.
“What kind of church?” I began to pray, pointlessly as I now know, for a lapsed Catholic like me.
“Hillsong!” said Steve.
And with that, our love affair was doomed. He had god on his side for snorkelling, and we lapsed Catholics are low on the Divine’s priority list. The Hillsong Christian and the Atheist Feminist unfortunately doesn’t sound like a grand love story. Though if we had ever managed to walk into a bar, it probably would have made a pretty good joke.