On this day in 2015, Todd Haynes’s film Carol premiered. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, the film follows the forbidden love affair between two women: a young shop girl named Therese Belivet (played by Rooney Mara) and a wealthy married woman (played by Cate Blanchett–ugh! I’m so gay!). Highsmith’s novel is historically significant as it was the first lesbian novel to have a happy ending. And Todd Haynes’s 2015 masterpiece is no less groundbreaking or revelatory.
It’s a scientifically proven fact that Carol Aird’s got game (more game than even Shane from The L Word, but I realize that’s a controversial claim to make) and Cate Blanchett’s impeccably vulnerable and seductive delivery makes each line even more powerful. Each “What do you do on Sundays?” and every “Do you live alone?” puts the righteous fear of God and a longing tremble in Therese Belivet’s very gay loins (and mine!).
So in honor of Carol’s third anniversary, and just in time for the most wonderful time of the year (I am talking about Carol Season, not Christmas, obviously), I decided to do a little experiment.
Enter: The Great Carol Tinder Experiment.
Follow me along for a journey in which I message women on Tinder using only quotes from the movie Carol and The Price of Salt. And because there aren’t really enough sexy lines just from Carol herself, I mix things up and use quotes from other characters in the film. The results were varied. During my week-long journey, I was scorned, laughed at, and may have found love in a hopeless place? Come with me, and let’s find out.
First, there were the rejections—or as I’ll call them, “The Harges.” While not as belligerent and certainly not as ugly as Carol’s ex-husband, The Harges were rude in that each of them just… ignored me. The audacity!
Example #1: I used Therese’s quote about wine. Seductive, right?
Example #2: We’ve got a live one. Love me a girl who loves The Great British Bake-Off.
Example #3: I switched tactics here, thinking in my gross ignorance that Carol’s infamous line would lure in this pretty woman. To no avail.
The next flood of replies I received I’m putting in “The Abbys” category. Like Carol Aird’s best friend and ex-lover, those women were pleasant, amicable, and interested, despite my clear lack of conversational agility. God bless these women.
Example #4: Trying the wine line again because apparently, I’m desperate? There are surprisingly few good pick up lines in Carol that don’t make me sound like an insane person.
Example #5: I tried a variety of approaches in this pickup. Sexy Carol quotes and some Therese lines for added flavor. This conversation really could have gone somewhere. 10/10 would recommend this methodology.
Example #6: I matched with this girl who wears a top hat 24/7. She even had a photo of her canoeing with the top hat on. New York City is a wild place, folks. Moral of this story is that the “I like the hat” line really does work!
The Guy Who Records Therese and Carol Smashing in Waterloo
Only one person caught on (well, two people actually but more on that in Example #9) and she caught me so quickly that I’m putting her into “The Guy Who Records Therese and Carol Smashing in Waterloo” category. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t pushy about selling me any damn magazines, sewing kits, or whatever the hell notions are. Nor did she have those hideous wire-frame glasses that fog up eerily while fetching ice. She was nice. But she did catch on immediately. Or maybe I was just too obvious?
Because I was running low on pickup lines and feeling in the mood to spice things up, I turned to my battered copy of The Price of Salt by my bedside. Do you remember that weirdly sexual conversation Carol and Therese have about caviar? Allow me to refresh your memory.
“Caviar. How very nice of them,” Carol said, looking inside a sandwich. “Do you like caviar?”
“No. I wish I did.”
“Why?” Therese watched Carol take a small bite of the sandwich from which she had removed the top slice of bread, a bit where the most caviar was.
“Because people always like caviar so much when they do like it,” Therese said. Carol smiled and went on nibbling, slowly.
“It’s an acquired taste. Acquired tastes are always more pleasant—and hard to get rid of.”
Because of the disturbingly sexual undertones of this little exchange, I decided that it would be the perfect pick up line. DISCLAIMER: I’ve never actually eaten caviar.
Example #8 aka Caviar Girl #1: I’m torn about this one. While she seemed down to play along, things got weird at the end.
“Ah, embarrassing.” While an impressive correct spelling of a word that I always misspell, I’m confused. Is she calling my behavior embarrassing (which honestly, touché!) or is she calling her lack of The Price of Salt knowledge embarrassing? I’ll never know.
Example #9 aka Caviar Girl #2: I saved this exchange for last because it was the most pleasant, and although the conversation was indeed about caviar things got strangely sexy. I’m actually going on a date with this woman later this week. Maybe I really did find love in a hopeless place.
If The Great Carol Tinder Experiment demonstrates one thing, it’s that life is full of rare victories and frequent failures. I’ve also learned too that maybe Carol isn’t smooth at all, and in fact, her pickup lines are actually shit. Allow me to posit that Carol Aird’s success is mostly due to the fact that she looks really hot in that fur coat and red lipstick. So until I’m in my 40s and my voice has sexily dropped 4 octaves (and I have Carol’s money), I’ll just be using my own pickup lines. They seem to work better.