Teach, Yeah!

Why Chelsea Handler's New App "Gotta Go" Is Made for First Dates

Why Chelsea Handler's New App "Gotta Go" Is Made for First Dates
Saeed Adyani/Netflix
Shop This Post

A couple of weeks ago, on a particularly slothful Sunday, I accidentally watched the entirety of Chelsea Handler’s new Netflix series, Chelsea Does. Unlike most of my binge-watching experiences, though, I didn’t finish the nearly 300-minute-long session feeling like a blind, Jello-headed fool; each episode was surprisingly educational. Case in point: “Chelsea Does Silicon Valley,” a segment in which Handler infiltrates the tech hub by creating her very own app called Gotta Go.

As described on its website, Gotta Go is a “free excuse-to-leave generator.” Users simply create a fake text message, input a sender’s name and photo (real or imaginary), and set a pre-determined time to receive said message. The app even gives you the option to arrange a phone call if texting isn’t your style.

As a regular user of dating apps (Hinge, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel are my weapons of choice), Gotta Go seemed like a total game-changer, and likely more reliable than texting “pineapple” (my get-me-out-of-here emergency word) to one of my pals. I downloaded Gotta Go and resolved to test it out on my next date.

RELATED: This Inverted Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe Is Genius

In a bizarre turn of events, that date fell on Valentine’s Day. This was not on my Feb. 14 agenda. In fact, I was happily eating sushi and watching The Princess Diaries 2 with my friend Jade* when I received a Hinge notification from Greg*. Despite my delayed responses (I was busy watching Anne Hathaway rule Genovia, obviously), Greg remained incredibly chatty and friendly throughout the evening. At about 9 p.m., he wrote, “Would you be weirded out by the idea of grabbing a drink tonight even if it’s vday?” I panicked. What sort of lunatic asks someone out on a first date on Valentine’s Day? But after a few minutes of deliberation, Jade and I decided it wasn’t so crazy after all. Heck, it was downright brave. And from the tiny thumbnail photos on his profile, Greg seemed cute. So I said yes and we met for a drink an hour and a half later.

On my way to the bar, I opened the Gotta Go app and began programing my “excuse to leave.” First, I determined that the message needed to come from a real life friend in the event that Greg started asking questions. I typed in Jade’s name, and uploaded a photo of her for good measure. For the excuse, I knew I needed a request that would definitely require my assistance, but not be urgent enough that I’d have to leave immediately—because what if I was actually enjoying myself? I wrote, “So so sorry but Meg took the spare key and I can’t get into my apt. Can I come grab the other key from you?”

"I would totally believe this," I thought. Whose roommate hasn’t inadvertently taken the spare key? I decided that once I received the message, I would text back “Ahh can you give me 20 min?”, allowing me enough time to finish my drink and “meet up with Jade” in a leisurely fashion.

Gotta Go also gives its users the opportunity for a follow-up lie text message that gets sent exactly one minute after the initial SOS.

RELATED: Lo Bosworth's Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

Wanting this one to be equally realistic, I added a response from Jade: “Kk sounds good! Thank you!” I conducted a test run just to be safe:

Courtesy

It looked flawless, and I knew I’d be able to comfortably show Greg the exchange, further legitimizing my excuse. I activated the first text to be sent exactly one hour later, and headed confidently into the bar. Once seated on a stool, I tucked my phone under my leg so that I would feel the vibration when “Jade’s emergency” came through.

Yet things did not go according to plan. You see, I actually sort of liked Greg. He was smart and charming and cute. So cute that I forgot my mission entirely and moved my phone into my coat pocket, completely missing the first Gotta Go alert at 11:30. It wasn’t until Greg ordered a second drink that I remembered my little experiment, and whipped out my phone like a modern-day Cinderella, fearful that her fancy carriage (in my case, a carefully-crafted excuse) had been reduced to a useless pumpkin, a.k.a. unusable alibi.

My fears were confirmed when I opened my iMessage app to the following messages:

Courtesy

There was no way I could show this to Greg without him getting suspicious, so I held the phone down by my right knee like a shady freak and mumbled something about my friend needing my spare key. He looked confused. I shrugged and said apologetically, “Gotta go.”

Despite my botched experiment, Handler’s app works. I tested the generator a few more times on my own post-date, and the messages appeared right on time, every time. While I may have ruined things with Greg (sigh), I’m relieved to know that I have Gotta Go in my back pocket for my future dating (mis)adventures.

*All names have been changed to protect the innocent.

The Latest in Video

Master the Cocktail Party With Jessica Seinfeld's Tips
See More Videos

More Lifestyle

See All Latest News

Sponsored Stories


 
Back to Top