Tinder: Not To Be Confused With Tender

I joined this “dating” app called Tinder. It’s sorta like Hot or Not meets a straight-and-gay version of Grindr

[For those who feel like they just read Greek… Hot or Not was (is?) a site where you could rank an individual’s “hotness”. Grindr is an app for the gays that tells you all of the men who are looking to hook up in your immediate vicinity.]

Anyway, in a fit of “it’s for the blog!”, I joined Tinder to… well… be in the know (?). On Tinder, there are no profiles to bother with. You are presented with nearby suitors. [Bonus*: the app informs you if you have any mutual facebook friends!] You simply scroll through an individual’s pictures and say yes or no. Then, if that individual ALSO says “yes”, you can message each other. 

I informed a friend from The South that I had joined. Our conversation went thusly:

Me: So. Yeah. Tinder. I don’t really think anything lasting will come if it. 

Him: I dunno. “Tinder!” It sounds like the start of something warm and wonderful. 

Me: Uh… I think your Southern accent is interfering here. You’re thinking of “TENDER”, which would be wonderful and loving. This is “TINDER”, which is like the spark of something hot and fast. 

Him: … Oh… yeah. I’m from The South. 

Anyway, I’ve received a few GEMS. Tinder is a whole new world of Dating-Via-Apple-Device! [*ahem.*]

Suitor 1:

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring 1 thing, what would it be? And don’t say a seat because that’s what my face is for. 

Suitor 2:

U like anal?

You guys. I just can’t. I give up. 

*Sarcasm

OkCupid: Veggies Are Not Just For Eatin’

You guys. I’m toying with the idea of getting rid of OkCupid and enrolling in a sewing class and calling it a day. Of course, then I would miss out on these sorts of gems.

From VeggieLuvr:

I was just at Trader Joes and noticed these two girls in the produce section. They were holding up cucumbers and taking pictures of each other. One of the girls sort of resembled you, so that drew me into your profile. You also caught my eye because you look like genuine person. It seems like most girls on this site are trying to be someone they’re not. Everybody sort of seems the same. Do girls pose with phallic-shaped vegetables to impress guys?? If more people acted real and stopped posing with cucumbers I think the world would be a better place 

Anyway, my name is VeggieLuvr. If you’re into guys who enjoy long walks on the beach, sunsets, etc. etc. etc. then you should reply back to me.

And then, a few days later, from VeggieLuvr AGAIN:

Similar scenario happened again, except this time I was at Whole Foods… You’ll never guess it, but I saw the same two girls AGAIN, both taking pictures of each other. Maybe they think that putting up pictures of themselves in the produce section displays their humanity? Now I’m just confused… 

I’d love to talk more about crazy girls and phallic shaped vegetables, but I’m a bit pressed for time right now. You can either get back to me here or just text me at 201-555-5555.

And then, because I had a sneaking suspicion that this was some sort of formulaic bullshit, I did a quick google search. Lo and behold, I was not the only recipient of the veggie lovin’ OKC message. What is this world coming to?

I just.

No.

PS. It’s way too hot for love anyway. I’d rather spend my evenings making out with my air conditioner and getting intimate with some 16 Handles.

SNATCHED: Like The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us

The last two weeks have been really, ridiculously difficult for me. I struggle with post-event let-down in my life a lot, methinks. Day after Christmas. Day after half-marathon. Two weeks post-Snatched has been no exception. 

For the last two weeks, I’ve sorta gone off the deep end. My MFF membership didn’t begin until July 1, which gave me a week off of working out (probably a good choice as I was having some hip issues). Also, I worked this crazy food expo at the Javits Center for three days (where I could literally eat ALL of the chocolate and cheese from every corner of the globe. ALL OF IT.) Anyway, suffice it to say that I’ve been feeling like a fattyfattynofriends and having a lot of food guilt. Just as I was about to order myself a pizza and settle into a evening of feeling sorry for myself, my OFFICIAL SNATCHED BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES arrived via email. 

I was scared to open them. What if they were disappointing? 

You guys. I opened them and my mood immediately changed. I didn’t order a pizza or eat all of the food in my entire apartment or go for my SECOND fro-yo of the day. [Though, to be honest, fro-yo is necessary during this weather. It’s not really a question of health and hotness, just survival.] I was re-inspired by all of my hard work. 

This journey has been an amazing one. I can’t wait to see where I am a year from now. I am so happy to have a new family of crazy, wonderful, loving, inappropriate, ridiculous human beings. 

Anyway, I leave you with my final round of measurements, my official Snatched testimonial, and the anxiously anticipated BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES! [Also: WHAT was I thinking when I picked my outfit on the first day?! White sports bra!? Shiny blue shorts!? UGH!]

——–

I started Snatched with two goals: to be on Broadway and to be the most fuckable person in New York City. I mean, that’s not asking too much, right? I could just imagine it:

As I exit the Clubhouse after my final Snatched class, I see a line of potential suitors trailing up Ninth Avenue. Some are offering me roses. Others are shirtless [thankyousomuch]. Maybe one or two are strumming their guitars, humming the song they wrote for me. But I can’t be bothered with any of them because Bernie Telsey is TOTALLY blowing up my phone!

[Insert record scratch]

In reality, my Snatched journey was so much more than I ever could have dreamed. While I DO believe that I am firmly on the Broadway/fuckability path, I’ve had the opportunity to confront the question of WHY I don’t **already** feel worthy of these things. The out-pouring of love, encouragement, and triumph from everyone on the MFF team is beyond comparison. Everyday, I was inundated with the message that my goals and dreams are worthy and noble, and I am deserving of attaining them (and more!).

The idea of self-love permeates every moment of Snatched: we choose to attend class because we love ourselves enough to make it a priority; we choose to make healthy food choices because they serve our overall health and hotness goals; we choose to be kind to ourselves because that’s how we get better. When we stumble, there are countless hands to help pick us up. Every time I sent Mark an email that I judged as completely, totally, and utterly neurotic and ridiculous, he responded with compassion, wisdom, and tenderness.

Now that Snatched is over, I know my journey has only just begun. I can’t believe the remarkable changes I’ve experienced in six short weeks [even BEYOND the expected physical improvements]. Instead of dreading the torture of a lonesome hour-long treadmill workout, I can’t wait to go to class. The feeling of accomplishment after PR-ing on my deadlift is invigorating. My relationship with food has been flipped on its head. I cook! I wash my dishes! I drink insane amounts of water!  I can stick to a budget because I’m not hemorrhaging all my dollars on delivery.com!

If you are thinking about giving Snatched a try, I implore you: DO IT! You absolutely will not regret it. Your life can only get better when you choose to spend six weeks making yourself, your dreams, and your future your number one priority.

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A Letter To The Universe

I’m currently reading Eat Pray Love and, call me an urban-single-woman cliche but, it is absolutely cathartic for me. 

I’m doggy-earring pages. 

I’m re-reading passages. 

I’m posting favorite quotes as Facebook statuses. [Most favorite: “You’ve gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.”]

[Honestly, if I wasn’t living it, I would be rolling my eyes at myself.]

Anyway, one of the stories that has really struck a chord with me is the section where she writes a petition to God, and her friend tells her that pretty much everyone in The Universe [living and deceased] has agreed to sign it. And just like that, she receives exactly what she has asked for. 

Just yesterday, a friend of mine was telling me that she asked The Universe VERY SPECIFICALLY for something she wanted. And the very next day, some unexpected things were set in motion to grant her exactly what she desired. 

This scenario, along with the Eat Pray Love anecdote and my own beliefs in The Secret and the power of positive thought have inspired me. I’m going to write my own, very specific letter to the universe. 

I feel like I’ve done a great deal of work on myself this year [some very publicly right on this here blog (!), and some more privately on my own and in therapy]. I think I’m ready for what is next to come. I definitely wasn’t before. So I’m going to spend this weekend crafting my letter. I’m going to keep it to myself, but it will be about the usual suspects: love, career, dreams. 

Also, if you were rolling your eyes the entire time that you read this, I get it. Don’t worry, our regularly scheduled snark will be back in full force in no time. 

OkCupid: Back In The Game?

Last night, I had a conversation with a friend who said that if I’m ACTUALLY looking to date someone, OkCupid might not be my best outlet. 

WHAT?!?!

Slash. Duh. I’ve sorta put OkCupid on the back-burner because of Snatched and because… well… it hasn’t been that fruitful. [Though it HAS provided hours of entertainment!]

Yesterday, as I was leaving my therapist’s office, there was a gentleman with two adorable dogs outside. As I passed him, he stopped me. 

DogGuy: What does your shirt say? I’m a…?

Me: I’m a music nut. Cute dogs! Are they yorkies?

DogGuy: Yeah, they’re actually teacup yorkies. We* got really lucky cause they have no health issues or anything. 

Me: Well they are super cute. 

DogGuy: So.. um… I didn’t actually stop you because I wanted to know what your shirt said. I think you’re really attractive, and I was wondering if you might want to go out and get a drink or dinner or something sometime. 

Me: Uh… [I hesitate, but then I remember that it is the Summer of Yes, and so…] Yeah. Sure.

DogGuy: Cool! You know. I mean. How do you hit on people these days? Like this? Like on the sidewalk? I’m usually not this awkward, but you know, it’s summer and I’m tired of being alone and going home alone and… [trails off..]

Me: Yeah… I know what you mean.

DogGuy: Cool, well can I get your number? 

Me: Sure. 

[We do the number exchange.]

DogGuy: Oh! California! Cool!

Me: Yeah, it’s the best. I love it there. 

DogGuy: Yeah. Well, I’m from New York… But I’ve lived in other places like Atlanta and stuff, so I’m not a total weirdo or crazy or… you know… [trails off again]. 

You guys. What can I say? It’s the Summer of Yes. The answer is always yes, right? [*Also, who is this ‘we’?]

And, lest we think that awkward pick-ups on New York City streets are sort of unbearable, I present you with a round-up of recent messages:

SuitorWithNoProfilePicture: Gorgeous pics and your profile piqued my interest. New to OKC and still figuring this place out a bit. Im 6′, 180lbs, short brown hair, blue eyes, broad shoulders, athletic, cute and VERY well endowed (I promise). Id love to chat and see what you are looking for in here. Hope that youre having a good weekend and that we can chat soon…Ill be online for a bit.

I haven’t responded, but I’m thinking the ONLY appropriate response is: Pictures or I don’t believe it. [And you KNOW what sort of pictures I’m talking about…]

Obviously I’m trying to find love where others are just trying to get laid. 

NightOwl: Come have some free wine with me at a lounge in the village, lil cute Blonde~~>! Just a thought

This message was received at 1:40 am. I mean… I MAY be on OkCupid at 1:40 am, but I am ALSO most definitely in my bed. I think I have a post-1:00 am trump-card for Summer of Yes, right?

You guys. I CAN’T WIN! Spinsterhood is sounding more appealing by the hour. 

Just The Tip

When I was young, my grandparents lived in a complex with a community pool. My mom and I would often go and visit them on Saturdays. We would swim, eat dinner, play a few games of Sorry! and double solitaire, and have strawberries dipped in sugar for breakfast. It was like a mini vacation for me [probably even moreso for my hard-working single mother!]. 

One ridiculously hot summer day [I think I was about 9], my grandfather walked me over to the pool. I couldn’t wait to dive in. As soon as we arrived, he realized that he had left something at home. [I would bet $5 that it was probably his styrofoam cup filled with mixed nuts OR a Diet Caffeine Free Pepsi in a coozi. He was a quirky guy, and memories of him still bring a huge smile to my face.] He told me that I could wait at the pool for him, put my feet in the water, but under NO circumstances was I actually allowed to get in without him present. 

I sat on the ledge of the pool, beads of sweat trickling down my back, with my feet dangling in the cool water.

He left. 

I inched my way over to the steps. Feet in the water somehow turned into me sitting on the first step. 

The minutes crawled on. 

I moved down to the second step, with my body submerged from just below the shoulders. 

I just couldn’t resist any longer. 

I dunked my head under the water and re-surfaced to find a very angry grandfather re-entering the pool area. 

HONESTLY, WHAT was I thinking?! I mean… Once you’ve gotten your hair wet, you can’t really disguise the fact that you’ve taken the plunge [literally]. 

[In my defense: I was a REALLY good swimmer and on the swim team… I wasn’t scared of drowning or anything like that. I was apparently, also, a disobedient child.]

I think this is something that I constantly deal with in my life. I’m not really a “just the tip” sorta gal. I’m more “All ‘Er Nothin'” like Ado Annie. It pretty much permeates all aspects of my existence: love, fitness, sex, alcohol, fun, career, food. I’m all “Go Big or Go Home” and no “Everything in Moderation”. I think that’s why I was SO attracted to Snatched. For 6 weeks, I would just be BALLS TO THE WALL! 

But, that’s a hard life to live. Eventually you burn out. [There’s a reason why Snatched is ONLY six weeks.]

Recently, I was talking to my therapist and I told her that I am unhealthily addicted to my phone. To be honest, this isn’t that surprising in 2013. Sometimes when I’m out with my friends, I’ll notice that everyone has their face buried in a glowing screen, not interacting with any of the people they are with. I’ll pull mine out and announce, “Oh! I didn’t realize it was phone time!” and then gladly check email, Facebook, and Instagram. And then probably email again. 

The problem for me, however, is that in pretty much ALL situations, I am just waiting for my life to be revealed to me via my telephone. I just KNOW that my future is going to come to me in a job offer by email. Someone that I am interested in is going to text me. The phone will ring and then my life will begin. I check it incessantly. When I worked at a restaurant, I stored it in my bra [that is until I became convinced it was sending cancer straight to my boobs].

So while I’m waiting for life to get my digits and reach me via cellular device, I’m just not actually living. I’m just waiting. There are VERY FEW instances when I don’t feel the need to constantly check my phone. They include while I am at therapy, working out, and sleeping. [And that is ACTUALLY sleeping. I have to REALLY fight the urge to check my phone when I wake up to pee… And I only do that because I’ve been told that the glowing screen overstimulates the brain and it becomes harder to fall back asleep]. 

I thought about just disconnecting from EVERYTHING – internet, phone, Facebook – for a week and seeing how that went. But, there were so many logistical issues – work, friends, emergencies, whatever. And, though I’m NOT a ‘just the tip’ sorta gal in practice, in theory I DO believe that moderation is the key. 

So, I scratched the complete disconnection idea for a new one. There’s only one rule to my new approach to my phone. 

When I’m in a social situation, I’m not allowed to look at it. 

That’s all. 

I experimented with it yesterday. I had coffee with a friend and I went to a birthday party. It was at times both excruciating and exhilarating. But I felt like I was truly able to be present. ACTUALLY present. At the birthday party, there was an awesome band playing. [Side note: I am going to learn to play the guitar. It’s going to happen, 2013. Mark my words.] At one point, I looked around the room and I counted about half a dozen people with their noses buried in various glowing screens. Now, the purpose of this new life rule is NOT to make me a smug asshole with a superiority complex. No. However, I find it interesting that it’s just NORMAL to be “watching” a band in a bar, while completely isolating yourself with your electronic device. Believe me, 24 hours prior, *I* would have been one of those nose-buriers. 

And, lest you think karma is just letting me escape the MODICUM of judgment I passed, as I left the bar, I [obviously] pulled out my phone and began responding to a work email as I walked down the street. A man [who I could see in my peripheral vision as I am VERY EXPERIENCED at walking-while-operating-my-cellular-device] SCREAMED at me “STOP LOOKING AT YOUR PHONE! PAY ATTENTION WHILE YOU WALK!”

Listen, sir. I’m working on it. 

Summer of Yes 2013

A friend recently G’d* me this article. I’m SURE it is supposed to be hopeful, in (maybe) a tough-love-y sort of way. The message is something along the lines of what my Jewish grandmother [oh, how I wish I were Jewish and had a Jewish grandmother!] would say:

“You think New York is so impossible for dating? IT COULD BE WORSE!”

Well. Anything that was actually hopeful within the article fell on deaf ears. You know what I read into it?

Now that you are 29 and 10 months old, you’ve sealed your fate. Everyone else in this country is married off, so you are DOOMED to stay in New York for another 10 years when all of the eligible men finally decide that they are interested in relationships. You’re not going to meet anyone in any other city because they are not single, so just stay put and wait it out. Or, start dating 45 year olds. Or, get a cat and some knitting needles and research convent options. 

I guess I’m not really a glass-half-full kind of girl. Also, I’d already had that thought multiple times before reading this article, so it wasn’t that surprising of a concept to me.

Anyway, I read that and it made me think of another article I bookmarked. This article’s message? Don’t just sit around and wait for love to happen to you. Now THAT is a message I can get behind.

Confession: I MAY have also used that article as an excuse to send some self-destructive text messages to a gentleman-crush who has made it abundantly clear that he is not interested in me except for on his own terms. I mean… she says to risk rejection, right?

[What I’m understanding about myself with BOTH of these articles is: maybe I need to work on gleaning the ACTUAL message rather than the message I want to hear… Maybe.]

Anyway, I’m on board with article two, and not JUST for dating. Fitness, jobs, whatever. There’s no sense in sitting alone at home just hoping that my life will suddenly reveal itself to me. I’ve [sorta] tried that, and it’s led me to this exact moment.

In that spirit, I think it’s time to officially declare this summer “The Summer of Yes” [a Renaissance of the Summer of 2011 of sorts… the original Summer of Yes].

“No” leads to a world of stagnation. “Yes” has limitless possibilities.

Hamptons. Yes. Pool parties. Yes. Day drinking. Yes [without getting too crazy, cause I am gonna be SNATCHED, YA’LL!]. Urban and suburban adventures. Yes. Anything at all impromptu. Yes. Yes. Yes. Things that make me uncomfortable and sorta make me want to say “no”. FUCK YES.

I’m saying yes.

*G’d = sent via gchat.