OkCupid: Profile and Message Writing 101

In Wonderful Town, Ruth sings a tongue-in-cheek song entitled “One Hundred Easy Ways (To Lose A Man)”. She describes all of the ridiculous things a modern lady could do to scare off a suitor (competency at car mechanics, knowledge of baseball, and grammar corrections are among the top offenses to lead one straight to spinster-hood).

In 2013, it appears that the gentlemen of OkCupid feel they deserve a response to this Comden and Green classic. They have conpsired to provide fodder for “One Hundred Easy Ways (To Not Get A Response To Your OkCupid Message)”

Below, I present to you some gems, collected by a friend.

My Self-Summary:

Controlling ***hole seeks entitled b*tch. I‚Äôm open to a mutually unsatisfying and destructive fling, but am still hoping for a soul-crushing long-term descent into Hell ūüėČ

My Self-Summary:

If you’re looking at my profile, you’ve set your sights too low – which means you’re my kind of woman ūüėČ

Message:

You are so classy elegant regal and crazy sexy irresistible all at the same time. I know this is different but I have found myself having feelings about being the slave of someone irresistible as you are. There would be limits and boundaries but could we talk about the possibilities and details. Again I know this is different but I am a trustworthy guy and I am looking to find someone I can trust with this.

At the very least, they’ve provided some entertainment, so… um… kudos to them?

OkCupid: 902384093. Women: 0.

Disposable Clothing: An Ode to Forever21

As one of my goals for 2013 was to purge my closet, it should come as no surprise that I have difficulties parting with my possessions. I also have a fierce Forever21 habit that can only be quelled by, well, avoiding Forever21 at all costs.

Though Forever21 is one of the pioneers of the “disposable clothing” crusade, there are a few pieces in my closet that have proven to be timeless [ahem]. If one day they betray me and show their thread-bare colors, I will be devastated. Below, I pay tribute to their awesomeness.

1. Strapless, Stretch Denim Tube Dress

Dress

This has been my dress of choice for not one, but two New York City birthdays. It’s¬†maybe my favorite dress of all time. It can be styled up or down. Pair it with tights and¬†ankle boots¬†in the winter, bare legs and strappy platform sandals in the summer. It’s pretty much a perfect, flawless dress. [What some might call trashy and tasteless, I revere as my holy grail of apparel. I love it so much. I can’t possibly wear it enough… which is asking a lot of an F21 dress.]

Birthdays
Birthday 2009 || Birthday 2012

2. White Pants [Jeans?]

Pants

White pants are hard. They are universally unflattering. And yet, I love these. It doesn’t hurt that for some inexplicable reason, the size that fit me in the store is a good TWO SIZES SMALLER than what I normally wear. They are part of my summer uniform.¬†I wear them in the winter and insist that they are “winter white.” See, so versatile! Forever21 wins again!

3. Teal “Silk” Flower Hair Clip

Flower

I like to wear flowers in my hair on every day that ends in -day. I blame it on my NorCal roots, a la “If You’re Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Wear Some…” This one is BIG, which I appreciate, because I like my hair to be big, too. [So proportionately, it fits.] The clutch feature of this particular flower, though, is that is has an alligator clip to fasten it to your head. If you’re a lady, this needs no explanation. If you’re not a lady… OMG. WELCOME TO MY BLOG! HOW CAN I RETAIN YOU AS A READER?! [I’m sure the answer is: write more about okcupid sexy times and less about your silly Forever21 purchases. Noted.] It’s worth mentioning that I am also wearing this flower in that birthday picture, too.

4. Yoga Shorts [?]

Shorts

One day, I was meandering through the four floors of gloriousness that is the Times Square Forever21* when I happened upon a display of workout clothing. Did my eyes deceive me? I had never seen such apparel at an F21. Come to think of it, I haven’t actually seen workout clothing at a Forever21 since. I purchased these shorts. For a gal who can’t even afford free yoga at Lululemon, let alone a pair of pants, these shorts were a revelation. They are an integral part of my workout clothing rotation.

5. Thin Gold Belt

Belt

This is my newest Can’t-Live-Without Forever21 acquisition. I bought it to accompany my New Year’s Eve ensemble. It is the perfect level of sparkly and skinny. I fear that, as a belt that cost $4.99, it will be the first to meet its maker, That Great Synthetic¬†Material¬†Manufacturer in the Sky.

I will occasionally go through periods where I think I should quit Forever21. I mean, the title of the store tells you what age you should be whilst perusing their wares. But then I open the doors of my bulging closet, admire my loot [not one single article costing more than $34.80], and breathe a sigh of contentment. Like my girl Mariah says, we belong together [especially when I don’t have the funds for F21’s exotic, pricier first-cousin-once-removed, Modcloth].

*I hate Times Square with the fire of 1,000 women scorned, and yet this Forever21 is worth braving the crowds of tourists and Praline Peanut Peddlers. It is SO GOOD.

OkCupid: What Good Is Sitting Alone In Your Room?

During the Wrath of Nemo (or “just a good old fashioned snowstorm,” in the words of a hardy Pennsylvanian), I received a message from a gentleman on OkCupid. He seemed interesting and we agreed to meet the day before Valentine’s Day. That fateful Wednesday, I awoke to a text message from him.¬†

He explained that he had been very excited to meet me, but since our initial interaction (5 days prior), he met someone that he thought could be “The One.” Out of respect for this budding romance [huh?], he was going to have to cancel on me.¬†

Though I thought it strange to put all of one’s eggs in that proverbial basket, I didn’t really care. I wished him luck and didn’t give it a second thought [or… barely did… you know].¬†

Another five days passed, and I awoke to a follow-up text message. Apparently “The One” wasn’t actually, and he wondered if I would still be interested in meeting up.¬†

Uh. 

Obviously, I was incapable of making this call on my own. I consulted sundry friends who all implored me to respond in the affirmative.

“He’s OBVIOUSLY looking for something meaningful!”

“Look at how HONEST he is!”

“At the very least, you’ll get a blog post out of it!” [Check.]

Et cetera. 

So I told him that I would meet him. We agreed to meet in “the Union Square area” on Thursday “around 6:30.”

Well 6:05 rolled around and I had nary a text message from my suitor. I called my Mom. I g-chatted that Pennsylvanian. They both said (essentially) the same thing: YOU are perfectly capable of texting HIM. Step out of your comfort zone. 

Really, all I wanted to do was go to the gym and not waste my makeup on a situation that was quickly going south. 

But, I’m trying to step outside of my comfort zone, so I did, indeed, text him.¬†

Me, at 6:05 pm: “Where exactly would you like to meet?”

Him, at 6:20 pm: “How about in front of Diesel? I’m here already.”

Uh. Excuse me? That’s not really a place. That’s appropriate for… Hey, Friend-That-I’ve-Known-For-A-Long-Time-And-I-Could-Pick-You-Out-On-The-Street, Meet me in front of Diesel. Meeting someone [of whom you’ve only seen carefully selected dating website photos] on a busy street is probably not the greatest idea.¬†

Since, at this point, it was 10 minutes until our suggested meeting time and I was still in my apartment, I informed him that I was going to be late. He suggested the Starbucks in Union Square and asked me for my drink order. 

When I arrived, he was sitting at a hightop table [hidden behind a pillar, nose buried in phone] with a single stool. “Uh. Here. Uh. You can sit here if you want…?”

I suggested that we just go for a little stroll, instead, as perching atop a stool while he stood sounded awkward to me. 

We walked about two blocks before the cold got the better of him and we ducked into a Cosi. With our Starbucks cups. And, no, we did not purchase anything. [Oh well. It’s New York. No one said anything to us.]

He explained to me that he is training for a Triathalon [at a yet to be determined date], and he is so intense about his training that his training/social life balance was getting really out of whack. And he doesn’t really have very many friends. So he joined OkCupid. “Cause there are just so many interesting people doing such interesting things on there!”

Great.

We chatted for a bit [mostly about running] and then went our separate ways. 

OkCupid: 1. Erin: 0. 

Let the Good Times Roll!

The last few years, I have forced my friends to come over to my apartment for a Fat Tuesday feast. I generally claim to be incapable of cooking but would pull out all the stops for a little Mardi Gras gumbo and cornbread. It would be an evening of general merrymaking and debauchery.

This year, due to busy schedules and whatnot we celebrated Fat-Tuesday-On-A-Sunday (With No Work On Monday). I made a last minute decision to swap out gumbo for jambalaya (and am so glad I did!). I was horribly deficient at documenting the whole process, but it all turned out beautifully!

Pre-feast-cooking, I ran 9 miles for half marathon training. Though it was a biting 20ish degrees on Sunday, I forced myself to run outside. The thought of running for 90 minutes on a treadmill is debilitating, and it’s quite possible that the actual race will be on an extremely cold day, so I need to get myself acclimated to the elements! After I finished my run, I hobbled (no, really) back to my apartment where the next few hours are a bit of a haze. I think I ate something. I definitely showered. I refused to take a nap (bad choice!).

Between running outside and spending time in my sauna-like apartment (thanks to the uncontrollable, clanking, hissing heat pipes), my body temperature was all out of whack. I had mentally pieced together an outfit which included: a striped cashmere sweater, some high-waisted booty shorts, nude fishnets, my new tan Frye boots (OBSESSED!), and a bracelet length white faux-fur jacket. I had an issue with the boots (the fishnets were not helping the boots glide on like I needed them to), and after 10 sweaty minutes of repeatedly trying to get the boots on, I threw in the towel. I opted for some six-inch black suede booties. In my hotbox apartment, this seemed like a fine choice. I failed to realize that the resultant MILES of leg exposure and lack of true winter coat were going to be bad choices. When I made it downstairs (running late, and barely able to move anyway), I made the decision to ignore the elements rather than haul my ass back upstairs and change my outfit to something more sensible. [For your information: I died a little bit every moment that I was outside. It was FREEZING.]

We cooked at my friend Matt’s apartment and he was my co-chef. I arrived there around 4:45 in the afternoon, and we immediately headed to the grocery store [it was a few blocks away. I cried while we walked there.] As you can see, space is at a premium in New York, and not just in apartments. Sometimes you build a grocery store and you don’t ensure that the carts can get through everywhere.

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After we‚Äôd procured all of our ingredients, we got to chopping, grating, saut√©ing, and boiling. We had a grand time listening to the ‚ÄúGirl On Fire‚ÄĚ Pandora station [not to be confused with the “Katniss Everdeen” Pandora station], chatting, and prepping. On the menu was:

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Elvis Presley’s Favorite Pound Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Jambalaya: We made a few modifications here.

1. MEAT: One commenter on epicurious makes the observation that this recipe, according to serving size allows for HALF A POUND OF MEAT per person! I mean, really! That is just too much meat! We pared down the meat and made some modifications. I think we ended up with:

1 pound of applewood smoked bacon

1 pound of Andouille sausage

5 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1/2 pound of shrimp (already cooked and deveined; added at the last minute with the scallions)

2. GARLIC: Many people mention that this recipe needs it, so we added 3 cloves of minced garlic. We had JUST bought the garlic at Morton Williams, but when I sliced into it, it had a green center! EW! I did some internet research and apparently it doesn’t HURT you to eat the green-centered garlic, but it might taste a little bitter. There was NO way I was going back out in that frigid nightmare, so I just chopped around the green.

3. DICED TOMATOES: The recipe calls for 3 -10 ounce cans of peeled diced tomatoes and green chiles. Like. As if they are one thing? No. We added one 28 ounce can of peeled diced tomatoes and two fresh chopped jalapenos.

4. DUTCH OVEN: Also. I didn’t really read this recipe THAT carefully before I selected it but it’s important to note that you need a dutch oven to make it! If I hadn’t been at Matt’s I would have been screwed at the moment I had to transfer my food-making-vessel from the stovetop to the oven. Also, I now need a Le Creuset dutch (french?) oven of my own. I’ve been totally spoiled by using his.

Cornbread: Ina is a goddess. No modifications necessary.

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Pound cake: We halved the recipe and made cupcakes. The cupcakes cooked for 25 minutes.

Cream cheese frosting: We halved this as well, then split it into thirds and dyed it gold, purple, and green for Mardi Gras. Matt informed me that the colors all stand for something: gold = power, purple = justice, and green = faith.

It took a long time to prepare all of the food, but it was so worth it. (I kept wondering how people EVER find the time to cook like this on a regular basis. Admittedly, I am a very slow chopper, but still!) We had a scrumptious evening of drinking wine, visiting with dear friends, gorging on Mardi Gras fare, and watching the Queen Bey documentary. [Obviously, hilarity ensued: honestly, WHY was she walking around recording herself on Photobooth? Flip-cam, anyone? iPhone? But in the end, everyone still loves that Bey. Who wouldn’t?!]

Laissez le bon temps le roulez!

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Step Up to my Smorgasbord

“It is easy to be solemn, it is so hard to be frivolous.” – G.K. Chesterton

When I moved in with my current roommate [two and a half years ago!], we took an inventory of common area items. It soon became clear that one of us [*ahem*] wasn’t contributing to the kitchen as much as the other. Apparently, I owned all things ridiculous and¬†zero things practical.

A list of kitchen items I did NOT contribute to our kitchen: utensils, cups, plates, pots, pans, spices, serving utensils.

Below, I present to you my actual kitchen contributions:

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1. A Donut Hole Maker: When I moved to New York, my first thought was, “Gee! They could really use more Dunkin’ Donuts around here! How will I ever satisfy my insatiable desire for Munchkins?!? No. Obviously that is NOT what I thought. There are DDs on every corner [Fun fact: there are actually more DDs than Starbucks in NYC. Who knew?] Another fun little story: one of my first times in a Dunkin’, I tried to order some “donut holes” (cause that’s what we call them in California). The man behind the counter did not understand what I could possibly mean. We went back and forth with a “donut holes?” “huh?” exchange for longer than we should have, until finally I pointed at them, and he responded with “OH. You mean MUNCHKINS.” All of this is to say: clearly I don’t NEED a donut hole maker, but who doesn’t WANT one?!

2. [Not one but two] Sushi Sets: They’re just so CUTE! You get¬†a little bowl for your soy sauce and wasabi. There are REAL chopsticks that you don’t have to rub together after you’ve ripped them apart. It’s so much more elegant than eating out of a plastic to-go container. And for the amount of sushi I consume, these sushi sets are a necessity! How often do I actually take the time to transfer my sushi out of its plastic to-go container and onto one of my beautiful sushi sets, you ask? About… 1% of the time. WORTH IT! DUH!

3. Chocolate Fondue Pot: I haven’t used this yet. But I’ll let you know when I do. It looks like a rollicking good time.

4. French Onion Soup Crocks: Listen. If I’m going to eat french onion soup, it had BETTER be out of the correct type of bowl, RIGHT?! Can I get an AMEN? [But really, they are SO CUTE with their little handles, and you can put them in the oven!]

5. Shot Glass Ice Tray: It’s an ICE TRAY that makes SHOT GLASSES. Genius, right? In my defense, this was actually the ONLY ice tray that we had in our apartment for about 3 months. So, I’m gonna go ahead and put this in the “practical” category. Also, we just recently tried to use these shot glass ice cubes for actual shots and, well, they don’t work. Boo.

6. Pumpkin Pie Tray: Ya know. To cook your pumpkin pies in. I have baked exactly zero pies in my life. However, my roommate has made many old fashioned cream pies [aka crack pies] in this pan. And I have eaten them. WINNING!

7. [Creme Brulee Maker]: RIP Creme Brulee Maker. This item never actually made it to this apartment. It was left behind at a previous apartment 3 moves ago. I just know though, dammit, that if I DID have this creme brulee maker, I would be the best damn creme brulee maker out there!

8. [Salad Spinner]: This item was also¬†lost in a move. I’m going to argue that this would have actually been a valuable contribution. How else do you get your lettuce clean without harming the Earth through the excessive use of paper towels? I miss you, salad spinner. Without you, I’ve been forced to order salads that are somehow worth $16 from Pax.

9. Magic Bullet: I usually wax poetic about my Magic Bullet, and then realize that I need to add on¬†“BLENDER” lest people think I am talking about something explicit. I have watched MANY Magic Bullet [Blender] infomercials, and it really IS as great as they claim [except for one time, when I was making a smoothie and somehow the seal got pulled into the blender part, and I ended up drinking a smoothie with chopped up plastic bits in it. That was less than stellar]. The smoothies are delicious. I generally like to make mine with frozen strawberries and blueberries, yogurt, and orange juice. You’re not getting $6 from me, Jamba Juice! I have my Magic Bullet [Blender] to satisfy me!

10. Candy Nipple Tassles: No kitchen is complete without them. BYOMagicBullet.

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Who’s coming to dinner?

Sweet as Pie to Tough as Leather

When I was in 7th Grade, our English class was learning proper letter writing technique. [Do you think kids still learn this? Is it proper emailing technique now? What IS proper email technique anyway?] Anyway, in order to make the assignment a little spicier, our teacher had us write fan letters to celebrities we admired. People were pretty excited about this assignment. I vaguely remember the playground conversations that day going something like this:

“OhMyGod! I can’t wait to tell JTT that I have the EXACT same plaid button up that he wore on last night’s episode of Home Improvment!”

“Elijah Wood has, like, THE BLUEST EYES! My letter is going to be like 3 pages long. Maybe I’ll get extra credit!”

I, however, kept noticeably silent. Silence on my end is generally a flag of sorts [not necessarily a red one]. I got a C- in Conduct in 3rd Grade because I talked too much in class. I’m not really a girl who keeps silent, unless I am hiding something.

I already knew who the recipient of my fan letter would be.

Barbra Streisand.

I had seen Funny Girl for¬†the first time when I was 5, and it immediately became one of my favorites. I loved her voice. I loved her roller skating. It was a long time before I knew that musical theatre existed on a stage: I thought it was a solely cinematic art form because I was consumed by Funny Girl, Funny Lady, Hello, Dolly!, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. We owned What’s Up, Doc? We had Streisand Superman on vinyl. [I mean. How ridiculous is this album cover?]

Superman

Anyway. I went home and wrote my letter. The next day, when it was time to turn in our letters, I was sure to slip mine into the middle of the stack. I think I somehow strategically manipulated myself into being the person to pass the homework back out once the letters had been graded. I discretely slipped my letter into a folder in my cubby. I had escaped unscathed! I wrote my letter to someone I actually DID admire, but no one was aware of the “embarassing” recipient. Success!

Not so. Someone in my class had observed my suspicious behavior. Or, she was just being a nosy little bitch. [Probably the latter. She was a bully.]

She went into my cubby, read my letter, and wrote a note on the top of it. “Hahaha! I never knew!” it read. [Never knew? Never knew what?!?]

Well. My twelve year old self was mortified. She told the whole class about how I “admired” Barbra Streisand. I told the teacher [7th grade tattletale… but really… what was she doing in my cubby, anyway?]. She suffered no repercussions. We went to Church to go to our monthly required confession [thank you, Catholic education] and she sat in the pew behind me, incessantly¬†taunting me “I can’t believe you wrote your letter to Barbra Streisand!”

It was too much for me.

When the teacher was looking the other way, I climbed¬†OVER the pew [really?!?] and pulled her hair. Yanked it. Hard. [Ya’ll. I’m a lover, not a fighter. I would never make it in a fist fight.]

The class went wild at this display of ridiculousness. I think I probably got in trouble. But I didn’t care.¬†That bitch had invaded my personal privacy.

Now, 17 years later, I really only have one thing to say about this entire situation: Thank GOD I wrote my letter to someone as brilliant, inspiring, eternal, and talented as Barbra Streisand and not some no-talent ass clown like Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

Quite possibly my favorite video of all time:

February Blues

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I have a confession.

2013 has been rough.

Already.

There is [was] this boy. He’s a relic of 2012 (2011, actually). It makes me feel like this Grey’s Anatomy clip, except that it’s not like that at all. I hate boys and their life-ruining ways.¬†

 

Anyway, instead of dwelling on the things that are getting me down these days (and there sure seem to be a lot), I’ve decided to document my gratitude. Because that sounds much less self-pitying.¬†

1. I’ve already run over 100 miles this year! You guys. I’m gonna go ahead and pat myself on the back because I am impressed. 100 MILES! GO ME! [Also, I’ve been using logyourrun.com, and I am pretty obsessed with it. It makes me want to run faster and faster so I can lower my pace. I definitely recommend it!]

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Because I am like a 5 year old, I motivate myself by coloring in each day that I workout. These calendars hang on my bedroom door. Ya’ll. It IS really motivating.¬†

2. I went on a DISNEY CRUISE! It was amazing! It was so wonderful to see my dear friend Steven shining in his element, and to reunite with my lovely friend Bryce who left me for the West Coast a couple years ago. 

ImageMickey, Me, and Bryce aboard the Disney Wonder! 

3. I visited my friend Dana in Boston. It felt like my own little mini vacation. 

4. I didn’t drink for the entire month of January! The first half was pretty easy because I was still in California with my Mama [it’s amazing how easy it is to NOT drink when you spend your evenings drooling over Shemar Moore watching Criminal Minds and going to bed at 10:30]. The second half, ooooh child, was much more difficult. HOWEVER, I learned that *gasp* it’s possible to have fun without drinking! I went to a party and had interesting conversations with people. I hosted a game night and had an awesome sober time playing Cards Against Humanity. [I need to remember this. 12 days off the wagon, or halfway through “Fucked Up February” as my friends christened it, and that fire water is causing more harm than good.]

5. I’ve gotten a few callbacks! Yay!

6. My friend Katie gave birth to her adorable son Jack. I’m planning to visit them in the Spring!

7. I finally reunited with some of my Junies. I miss them so. And that show. 

ImageHey, Junie Beatrice!

8. I’ve lost 8 pounds. Go me. [Why aren’t they coming off faaaaaster!?]

9. I’ve begun the process of doing some major purging: closet, papers, general shit that I’ve hung onto for too long.¬†

10. I’m no longer drinking soda and I cannot believe how clear my skin is. It has BLOWN MY MIND. Like. I can go outside with ONLY mascara on and not feel like Quasimodo. If I can SEE such a drastic change in my skin, I can only imagine how much healthier my insides are doing. Did you know that soda is really close to battery acid on the pH scale? Gross.¬†

So. People of the cyberworld. What are your failsafe, fake-it-til-you-make-it, get me out of this pit of despair tactics? I’ll take any and all suggestions, coffee date propositions, and spontaneous Ikea ferry requests. These winter blues have got to go!