I was going to give this one a pass.
Really, I was. You know, female entrepreneurs, blah, blah.
I’m talking about The League dating app, aka, Tinder for the “LinkedIn Elite.”
By the way, even typing the term “LinkedIn Elite” makes me cringe. How founder Amanda Bradford (pictured below in all her upper middle class glory) comfortably runs a business based on screaming how CLASSY AND EXCLUSIVE she is is beyond me.
Then I saw this headline and the most recent stats (they’ve raised $2.3 million in VC funding?!?!) and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to say something.
There is just no way this is true.
Why? Because literally NO ONE uses this app…and I live in Manhattan, where people live on a diet of coffee, vodka and Tinder.
Before you suggest I’m jealous I’m not on The League, let me squash those concerns: I was on The League, before I realized the only people actually using it were guys whose white jean and driving moc collections are outweighed only by their photos swigging Cristal in someone else’s private jet.
I did an informal poll of my peer group (all of whom attended “elite” schools and have “exclusive” jobs) and the overwhelming consensus was this:
“The League is good if you like guys with impressive Louis Vuitton belt collections.”
My current “relationship” with this app consists of receiving countless emails “alerting” me that I’m in the “99th percentile” of daters, and I better log back on and check out all my rich, hot matches!!!
By the way, at least six other friends have reported getting this same email, and one them lives in a van.
The League Launch Party: Where Dating Went to Die
I wish I could say my opinion of this app was based solely on a virtual assessment. But alas, it is not.
This past May I was one of the “select few” (read, thousands) invited to the UBER-EXCLUSIVE New York City launch party. I guess these are the perks being a blogger (or, as I found out at the party, being a human being with a pulse).
The evening of The League launch party I recruited a member of my Girl Squad (Taylor was busy that night, so I settled for my friend Christine) and readied myself for a night of mingling with ELITE AND EXCLUSIVE PEOPLE. The way this event was marketed, you’d think Prince Harry was going to be taking girlfriend applications.
We entered the Jane Hotel (rookie move, by the way…The Jane is sOOoooOOoo two years ago, which Amanda would have known if she were truly EXCLUSIVE) and were immediately greeted with a gigantic line.
WTF? As I understand it, EXCLUSIVE PEOPLE do not wait in lines. And, as this was the launch party, I’d expect this particular group to be the MOST exclusive of the exclusive. Instead, it looked like a Great Depression breadline, sponsored by The Coalition on Male Side Parts.
Christine and I inched forward, thinking all the advertised, Ivy League-educated, Chris Pratt lookalikes must be inside. When we finally got to the front of the line, a woman in a red ringmaster coat asked for our names.
Just glaze over the ringmaster thing. It made no sense to me, either.
“And you are?” she spat bitchily at us, as if Amal Clooney were waiting to get in. We gave our names and she consulted what appeared to be the Rosetta Stone, pre-translation, while deciding if we were cool enough to gain access to the Worst Party on the Face of the Earth.
“Go ahead,” she sighed.
Damn. Close call! We ran past, thinking Scott Eastwood must be inside if they were making such a big deal.
The “run” into the party ended before we made it two inches past the door. This room was more crowded than a Titanic lifeboat.
Clearly, I would need alcohol to survive, so we headed upstairs to the bar, as the downstairs bar looked like the “run on the bank” scene from It’s a Wonderful Life.
Now, this event was advertised as “open bar,” which in my world is code for “GET OVER THERE PRONTO.” For this reason, I’d budgeted exactly Zero Dollars for the evening.
“I’ll have four vodka sodas, please,” I said. I’d finally made it to the front, after pushing past half of JP Morgan’s analyst population. Christine and I decided we should order two drinks each, as there was no way were getting to the front again anytime soon.
“That’ll be $60,” the bartender said.
My mouth fell open.
“I thought this was open bar,” I said.
WTF, Amanda? Fine, you don’t deliver on the Prince Harry lookalikes, you give me a line, I can deal with that…but when you start making up open bars, that’s where our trust is broken.
“Only this,” the bartender said, holding up some bizarre liquor I’d never seen, “is part of the open bar.”
I took a look at the bottle (above photo VERY representative), which seemed to be some sort of purple liqueur with a name like “Pizazz.”
I can’t begin to imagine how many legitimate liquor brands turned down sponsoring The League launch party before Amanda decided “Pizazz” was going to be the drink of the evening.
“Um, I want the free alcohol,” I said, not caring who heard. This party was so incredibly brutal, over-crowded and full of gingham-shirted horndogs, there was no way I was paying to HANG AROUND.
Christine and I took our Pizazz cocktails (which, by the way, tasted like glitter and tears) and made our way towards…well, towards no where in particular. I’d given up by the point at seeing anyone eligible, so now this party was about collecting mental images to someday include in a blog post.
When we returned for more drinks, they were out of alcohol.
For these reasons, I’d give this party a D-. And that’s being generous.
The League: Post Party
I’d just recovered from my League Party-PTSD when more articles about how “awesome” and “exclusive” this app was started infecting my newsfeed. Just a smattering:
The only accurate pieces of press came from Business Insider and Buzzfeed, which did an awesome job of accurately portraying the League Losers who you could have the “privilege” of dating. You know, if only you could “skip the line.”
The final straw came a few weeks ago, when The League hosted a party at the Equinox gym my roommate Catherine goes to.
“It was literally just drunk people wandering around weight machines,” she said. “The worst ever.”
So, if you’re thinking of buying a pass to join The League (though I have a STRONG suspicion these “CraigsList ads” were planted by The League PR team), do yourself a favor and spend that $100 on a male escort.
Actually, I’ll pay you to take my membership. Maybe then they’ll stop sending me emails.