On a Thursday afternoon when I was living in Buenos Aires, I walked into my favorite park (Parque Centenario, for the record) with my best friend and immediately spotted a perfectly adorable Argentine man, juggling. He caught me staring at him and flashed me a huge smile as I walked by. I blushed, hurried on, and then positioned myself a little further away but still close enough that I could keep an eye on him.
Because that’s what you do when you’re 25 and it’s a beautiful fall afternoon in a South American city park.
My friend and I left the park an hour later to go get a coffee and as soon as we did, I got this nagging feeling that I’d left something important unfinished. After a brief consultation, we decided that it would be not only totally acceptable but kind of awesome for me to go back to the park and give the boy my phone number.
So, knowing that he’d overheard us talking as we walked by, I scribbled out my full name, my number, and the question “Querés practicar ingles?” (Do you want to practice English?) I walked back into the park, tapped him on the shoulder, had the briefest conversation in the history of awkward conversations about the color of my shirt, and handed him the piece of paper.
He looked astonished, I got out a quick “Chau!” and I turned on my heels and walked away, face burning and heart racing and feeling more than a little proud of myself for my bravery.
That wasn’t the first time and most likely won’t be the last time I’ve given my number to a random man whose look made me smile. While I can be practical to a fault, I’m also a hardcore romantic and still believe that you can find love in the most random places. Next time, however, rather than a hastily scribbled note I’ll have pretty, customized cards from Cheek’d.
Cheek’d is a “reverse engineered dating site.” What the hell does that mean, you ask? It means that, instead of sifting through profiles on a normal dating site and hoping that you have chemistry with your top matches, you can do exactly what I did that day in the park: give your info to someone you spot in your real life day to day.
Say, for example, you’ve been having eye-sex with a guy across the cafe for the past hour. (You know he’s not really reading that book; he’s just trying to look smart for you.) Rather than sit there and squirm all day and feel your heart drop when he leaves, why not go over and hand him a little business card that says “You’ve been cheek’d” on one side and an awesome/cheesy pickup line on the other, (one that’s way better than my hack job come on to the Argentine)?
Then, if he’s not a total wanker, he can go to the cheek’d website, type in your info, and access your online profile. If he likes what he sees, there’s a first name only email address and, bam! You guys can set up a date.
Love match: Made.
In my case, the random card giving resulted in a phone call and a couple months of dating one of the sweetest boys I’ve ever met. It was well worth the few minutes of terror and I imagine I’ll be even braver the next time, when I’ve got those Cheek’d cards in hand.