Hi. We're Rich and Chase. On the internet one day last week, we discovered a dating app called "The League." It's like Tinder, but only for people with robust LinkedIn networks and Ivy League educations. Don't worry: The app isn't elitist— it's "equalist." Or so says some tagline copy on the website, and so says self-proclaimed Alpha Female and app founder Amanda Bradford.
On that same day last week, we discovered "The League" was hosting a rooftop party in anticipation of the app's August 1 launch in Seattle.
One rooftop. 100 men. 100 women. Chase is gay. Rich is str8. Both are in exclusive relationships. But we thought: Oh my god, what do these people even look like?
It was in Ballard. (Of course it was.) Someone on the internet told us it started at 7 p.m. We put on clothes that said "we tried" and puttered off to the province.
We didn't know how to access the roof, and we made a big deal about "casing the joint," but it turned out all we had to do was find the elevator, tell the hosts we signed up, and look dumb when they asked why our names weren't on the list.
The women guarding the rooftop patio for the party looked like they'd be handing out cigarette coupons at bars on any other night, but this night they gave us neon slap bracelets that said #GetMeOffTinder. Our objective? "Mingle!"
Rich went to go be Clint Eastwood. He found comfort in squinting at the sun as it set behind the pale pink and purple Olympics. Complaints about Lyft rates from Capitol Hill to Ballard during rush hour dominated the first few conversations he overheard: "It was $41. Forty one. Dollars."
Chase immediately found the gays. The two of them were so happy to see him. They asked Chase if he was single, and he said, "No, but I'm gay, so..." Everyone giggled and sighed. Rich, with half a pesto hamburger slider in his mouth and a stranger in his face, glanced over at Chase and longed for the camaraderie of the gays.
Meanwhile, Rich stared at his cards. There was a game for people to play, and if you won the game, you got a free drink. It was like Go Fish, but instead of matching suits, you had to match reprehensible millennial identities such as "The 'Gram' Lover," "The Snapchat Supporter," "The Finance Bro," and "The Hippy Creative." Sometimes the identities corresponded to the real jobs people had. Sometimes they didn't.
Rich spoke with a second-grade teacher from Central Washington who lives in Mukilteo, a person who sells X-ray machines to veterinarians in Bothell, a recruiter who prefers a different word for recruiter, a third-year medical student, and a person whose job it was to think about "the future of jobs" in ways he found both annoying and somewhat interesting. But he had very little room to talk: His job was to sneak into a dating app party. Nobody had an opinion on the mayoral race when asked, and indeed didn't seem to have much knowledge about the upcoming primary.
Chase and his small cloister of gays spent the evening dodging the advances of drunk women. The only hint of romance happened around 7:55 p.m., when two rogue gays noted Chase's group and advanced. "They can sense the Grindr," a gay whispered to Chase. "It's like blood in the water." The two rogues quickly inquired what everyone did for a living. "Marketing," said Chase's two. "Development," said the other two. Silence. An exchange of eye flickering. And then the rogues were gone. "I guess they wanted daddies," said one gay. "Why do I even come to Ballard?" asked the other.
Everyone was in on the joke. Everyone was suspicious of this elite Tinder app. But they were overworked and already accustomed to outsourcing their romantic life to an application on their telephone, so why not? What if! On a roof? Let's go!
The only people who weren't in on the joke were the sharky dudes who showed up two hours after the party started. Chase touched Rich on the arm during a laugh and saw one of the dudes flinch: Had they stumbled into a gay thing? They hadn't. But they were cool and very transactional about trading cards for more drinks.
After a couple of hours of bullshitting with lonely smart people who had little concern for local politics, we left for the elevator down. As the doors closed, we turned to the guards who get $15 per hour to wear tank tops that say "The League" and asked who they liked in the mayoral race. They said "Yassss" while giving jazz hands. And we loved them for it.