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April 18, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Love me Tinder

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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Love me Tinder

Ever been at a festival and thought ‘how am I going to pick up?’ There’re only 15,000 people here. They’re buzzing on good feels. The odds are against me. How do I find my true love? Or even an insincere loveless grope?

Well Tinder are launching a new app at Splendour in the Grass this year… it’s called Festival Mode. That way you can turn what is essentially a rite of passage into a root of passage with one quick swipe! Splinder in the Tinder. (Please say this with a Kiwi accent).

I’m thinking of joining just out of curiosity about whom Tinder might suggest as my match. I just wonder who my 51-year-old Tinder cohort will be at a youth-based festival. Just creepy old dudes I reckon in black t-shirts lugging out PA stacks and young blokes obsessed with Stiffler’s Mum.

Yes, I know. I look a lot like Stiffler’s Mum. If you don’t know who Stiffler’s Mum is, google Stiffler’s Mum and you’ll go, wow, Mandy really does look like Stiffler’s Mum. She’s basically a sex predator. Kind of a contemporary Mrs Robinson. (BTW I’m nothing like Stiffler’s Mum.)

The new Tinder app could have an upside for us older festival goers. I’ve always struggled to get anywhere near front of stage – the mosh pit is a bit scary for middle-aged women who don’t like getting their nice shoes dirty. Or who don’t like rubbing up against sweaty unimmunised kids on MD.

I tend to stand on the perimeter of the writhing sea of chaos and beautiful youth. But now with the Tinder festival app in full swing I would expect most of the beautiful youth to be back at base camp writhing in their tents.

Maybe this year’s Splendour will feature mums in the mosh. We’re the group who would rather dance than shag. Although for many of us our dancing and shagging look pretty much the same. And we have a two-song limit.

I’m too old for Tinder. It’s ironic. I literally go to Splendour to pick up every year. Not a liaison. My kids. I usually have to pick up at least one of my kids and take them home. It’s act of maternal love. More tender than Tinder.

Tinder fascinates me. I come from the generation who had to actually talk to strangers in the actual face and then work out whether or not they were a match. The only profile you got was when they turned side on and if you didn’t like them that was your chance to run. Once I bolted out a bathroom window. You certainly didn’t get to match with someone 20 kilometres away.

Pre-Tinder it was pretty much about trying to locate attraction within a 2-metre radius who wasn’t completely vile. There were many times where I was cornered by some loser at the end of a night and thought shit, swipe left, swipe left. And then I’ve thought, oh well whatever… and gone home with them. Two years later I kick them out. It’s kind of how relationships happened pre-Tinder; you ended up with people you ran into. In one case for me it was someone I fell on. I was at a very groovy art school party where the host had wrapped himself in gaffer tape and stuck himself to the wall. I had initially quite liked him, but seeing a hairy bloke covered in sticky was a bit of a turn off. Although the secret BDSM madam in me would have loved ripping it off.

Everyone was having serious conversations about art. Someone had taken all the toilet paper and attempted a 2-ply Christo on the fridge. A bunch of pale-faced dour-looking art students sat cross-legged on the floor smoking and watching Eraserhead projected onto a wall. It was uber-serious. I was wobbly from half a litre of Fruity Lexia and the joint I’d just bogarted in the backyard. My navigation systems were down, and as I weaved through towards the toilet I fell on this guy who could have been Marcel Duchamp. I think it was Marcel Duchamp. We started talking, he was captured by me. Mainly because he couldn’t get up. Less a match I think, more of a crush. He took me home to show me his strange little pencil drawings. And his even stranger pencil. He was 40, slept in a single bed, and still lived with his mum. The trifecta.

In the morning his mum brought us both a cup of tea and a biscuit. Oh, if only there’d been an app back then.

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