Martin and I matched on Tinder after he “super-liked” me. It felt almost like those days of old-fashioned courtship.) This was shortly after the news broke that Shkreli’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of a 62-year-old medication 4,000 percent overnight. The photos were the ones that were being circulated in the media, and his profile simply read “American entrepreneur.” He messaged me, and I played along, asking what he did for a living.
He said, “I’m that guy who has been in the news lately.” Still skeptical, I told him I knew his profile was a joke, and he assured me: “It’s 100% Martin” and offered to send a selfie.
However, I wanted to be open-minded and meet the man behind the hype.
Okay, I admit that I also had a fantasy of being the manic pixie dream girl who helped him turn his life around.
But in his interviews and tweets he came across as confident verging on cocky.
Martin was a lot smaller than I thought he would be, and seemed really nervous.
We finished our food, and Martin flagged down the waitress and ordered the $120 tea.
This was the most surprising and jarring moment of the night.
After the waitress left, we joked about paying 0 for a cup of tea.
I thought about making a price-gouging joke, but couldn’t think fast enough.
I was skeptical that he could guarantee that, but also wasn’t sure that he couldn’t.
Martin talked about his family (his parents were janitors and refuse to move from the home he grew up in); the foundation he set up (his sister runs it); and the housing he procured for a homeless woman in Boston.
He was laying it on thick with the philanthropy talk, but it was refreshing that he cared about what I thought.