Musings on 30

On Friday, a friend and I strolled down 2nd Avenue to a party in the Lower East Side. We were dressed as Kit from A League of Their Own and Robin (of Batman and… fame). As we wound our way through the naysayers (“It’s not Halloween anymore!”), we chatted about life. 

“We’re NOT thirtysomethings yet,” he stated. “We’re thirtyNOTHINGS. It’s an important distinction!”

Oh. 

What’s that?

You’ve never heard of a thirtynothing?

Allow me to explain.

Thirtynothing is that very important year when you are just thirty. Not thirtysomething. 

Anyway, I’ve come to two very important conclusions now that my age begins with a “3” and not a “2”. 

1. Thirty is the year at which people start telling you how great you look for your age. Apparently when I was 29 and 11 months, I looked like shit. Washed up. Haggard. Hard. Now that I’m 30, I’ve seemingly gone through some de-aging process. All I can say is: I’LL TAKE IT. 

2. I am now a cougar. I received this message from a 25 year old gentleman on the OKCupes. 

Hey I was wondering if you were into younger guys?

Listen. Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t really think that a 5 year age difference is large enough to call attention to in your FIRST message to me. I think when we are all consenting adults of the legal age to drink, age ain’t nothing but a number. (However. If this means that it is now socially acceptable for me to wear black panty hose, a lot of animal print, and Chanel No. 5, Cougartown here I come!)

PS. I apologize for my hiatus. You know… life. It happens. But I’m back with renewed vigor and I’ve even coughed up the dollars to join match.com again, so… just prepare yourselves. 

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Tinder: Letting Go Gracefully

Recently, a friend posted a quote on Facebook. I’m not much of a share-er, but this struck such a strong chord with me that I couldn’t resist having it on my own wall, too. It read:

In the end, only three things matter;
how much you loved,
how gently you lived,
and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. 

The last part is the kicker, right? I’ve been thinking about it A LOT in the last few days. As I am one who is capable of harboring an old flame / not letting go / dwelling on the past like a motherfucker, this is something that I am constantly trying to get better at.

You know who else needs to get better at this?

Gentlemen on TInder.

Listen, people. It’s really just a game. When you are in the app, it asks if you want to “keep playing”. EVEN THE APP THINKS OF ITSELF AS A GAME. Therefore, there is no reason to get nasty with someone when they don’t respond to your messages. It’s just a game!

Personally, I fire the ol’ tinder up when I’m bored, and then don’t revisit it for days on end.

Here are two gems who could learn a lesson or two in grace.

photo 1 photo 2

Good luck, gentlemen! I’m sure that calling people “rude” and a “biatch” for not responding to your Tinder messages is TOTALLY going to get you laid!

Match: 1 in 5 Relationships Start Online

…so claims the match.com ad campaign. I don’t doubt this. However, I would guess that 4 out of 5 people still can’t shake the “ick” of the online dating stigma. I’m definitely one of those people.

[Pause. You’re probably thinking “Huh?” Confession: I wrote this post two years ago on my old, secret blog that made me sad and depressed. I’m recycling. So sue me. I haven’t had the time or the motivation to write in the last few weeks… Ok. Play.]

When I first moved to New York City (2008), I decided to give match.com a try. I spent hours writing my profile. I agonized over how I was presenting myself to “them”. I wanted to seem down to earth but mysterious, not too high maintenance but still girly, witty and just all around awesome.

There was a section called “my education” in which you could write a brief paragraph about… well, your education. I thought to myself “Oh! I will write about how I went to the University of Storied Football Program and every man in New York City will be impressed! They will be banging down my cyber door to take me on fancy dates!” I included this tidbit of information, and made a joke at the expense of my Masters degree from School of Waiting Tables (and Musical Theatre).

I posted my profile and promptly decided that match.com was entirely too much work. My profile sat dormant for the three months that I had pre-paid, and then I canceled my membership. I hid my profile.

Fast forward to late 2010.

I decided to give match.com another try. Remembering how long the first profile had taken me to put together, I resolved to just re-post it “as-is”. There would be no editing of inaccurate information (favorite hot spots, currently reading, etc.). However, I had become much older, wiser, and digitally skeptical in the two years that had passed. I knew that the “my education” section had to be deleted. The very revealing details of University of Storied Football Program and School of Waiting Tables (and Musical Theatre) would lead potential suitors to my true identity immediately with a simple google search (I am the master of such google searches, so I know).

I went through all of the editing options but couldn’t find a way to remove “my education”. I perused the FAQ and discovered that they were in the process of phasing this section out (they had replaced it with a simple drop down menu). However, this “phasing out” meant that if you did not have the “my education” section already included in your profile, you could not add it, and if you DID have information in the “my education” section, you could not edit it.

Well, fuck.

I was all ready to be 1 in 5, but now there was a wrench in my plan.

I debated not reposting my profile, but then just decided – what the hell. I clicked “publish”.

[Here comes the full disclosure section of this blog post. The reason why I didn’t want these very revealing details of my life included in my match.com profile is because I didn’t want anyone that I know (close friends excluded) to know that I was on match.com; it’s the “ick” factor that I mentioned before: the idea that people will think that I am unable to meet someone in real life; that I am so desperate and undesirable that I have to use a website to meet an equally desperate, undesirable mate. However, it really wasn’t that I didn’t want “anyone” to know. There was one particular person that I would have been MORTIFIED to find out I was on match.com… He was a guy that I had a gigantic crush on for much too much time and referred to as my Future Boyfriend – FBF. Anyway. I was horrified that he might somehow find out that I was using match.com.]

The website proved to be just as much work as it was two years prior. I was pretty much over it. Then I got an email that I couldn’t NOT respond to. It read:

Hi Erin!

Tough year for the University of Storied Football Program, huh? I have been a fan my whole life and actually almost applied there but then I got into School of Waiting Tables (and Musical Theatre), class of ‘AFewYearsBeforeYourTime. I’m sure we can play the name game when we meet!

-Comet

As I mentioned before, I am a master of the google (a poorly disguised username helps, too). I did not pass go, I did not collect two hundred dollars, I did not read his profile. I immediately went to Facebook to see who our mutual friends were.

There were five.

One of them was FBF.

Fuck.

After much hemming and hawing (and a long IM conversation with my friend D., another one of our mutual friends), I decided to respond to Comet’s email. We exchanged a few emails and made plans to meet.

Comet was unbelievably nice. He had memorized my profile. He asked me questions about things that I didn’t even remember I had divulged (this profile was two years old, you know). He chose the restaurant and called ahead to make sure that they had the wine that I was obsessed with (side note: I wasn’t really a fan anymore, but felt like I HAD to order it after he had gone to all that nice, sweet trouble!). The conversation just flowed. We had so much to talk about. I’ll say it again: he was SO nice. I was not. I had barely even looked at his profile. I don’t think I ever read the whole thing.

Quickly, we moved on to the “six degrees” portion of our evening. The first person that he asked me if I knew was D. “Yes! I love her!” The next was FBF. He explained how close he and FBF were at the School of Waiting Tables (and Musical Theatre). He was like FBF’s older brother. I began to realize that many of Comet’s mannerisms and speech patterns were just like FBF’s. These people were not merely acquaintances, they had the kinds of similarities that only occur when you spend A LOT of time with another person.

It weirded me out.

From moment one of meeting Comet, I didn’t have the zsa zsa zsu. I liked him (SO nice!), but I didn’t want to make out with him. Buuuuut he reminded me of FBF… Maybe I could make it work?! Is that a horrible reason to be interested in someone? Can you date someone because they remind you of someone you really, really like?

The answer is: absolutely not.

Comet and I went out one more time after our first date. After that, neither of us contacted each other.

My theory? I think he called FBF after our initial date. Their conversation, in my mind, went something like this:

Comet: Dude. You’ll never believe this. So… I’m on match.com and…

FBF: Wait. What?! HAHA! You’re on match.com?!! Alright man, well… whatever tickles your pickle.

Comet: Yeah… I know. Anyway. So I’m on match.com and I met… wait for it… Erin! She said that she knows you! Isn’t it a crazy small world!?

FBF: Uh… Erin? She said that she “knows” me? Hah. That’s funny.

Comet: You don’t know her? She’s got blonde hair and is really short and stuff.

FBF: Yeah, yeah, man. I know her. That girl and I had a thing a while ago. She was SUPER into me. She would send me drunken text messages and shit. She was totally on my jock. [Editor’s note: I know that this is my made-up version of their hypothetical conversation, but I can assure you that it wasn’t like he was discouraging my ridiculous behavior.]

Comet: Oh, really? She seemed really shy and reserved and stuff. We didn’t even kiss or anything.

FBF: Huh. Maybe she’s chilled out or something.

Comet: Peace out man.

FBF: Yeah, talk to you later.

Comet then came to the realization (solidified after “date” number two), that I was not “SUPER into” him like I was FBF and decided to cut his losses. Like I said, I didn’t want to make out with him, there was no zsa zsa zsu.

What did I learn from this experience?

1. I’m not ready to be 1 in 5. I’ll stick to the non-digital means of meeting people for now. My online profile has since been removed, but that doesn’t stop catholicsingles.com from targeting me with Facebook ads daily.

2. All skeletons in my closet / emotional baggage: get out of my life. No, seriously. GET OUT.

[Also, it was really hard for me to write male dialogue without a bunch of “like”s in there. I had to remove them all after I had written the “conversation”. Men don’t say “like”. I shouldn’t either. I sound like an idiot.]

Dear readers. Oh, how time can change a person. I still don’t really love meeting people online [it just feels so forced], however when someone tells me they feel weird about being on an online dating site, I just roll my eyes at them and tell them they are ridiculous because EVERYONE is on them. Everyone.

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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Snatched: If All The Raindrops Were Lemon Drops And Gumdrops (Week 5)

I started Snatched thinking that it was going to totally revamp my approach to working out. There would be kettlebells and pushups and deadlifts, oh my! I knew that the diet would be a struggle, but the workouts! Oh! The workouts would be the bread and butter!

You guys. 

I was wrong. [No surprise.]

Now, don’t get me wrong. The workouts are amazing. They are ridiculously fun. I’ve NEVER enjoyed group classes. I’ve always gotten much more satisfaction out of torturing myself on the treadmill. Every group fitness class I’ve ever taken has always left me feeling like I could have accomplished more on my own. 

This is not so anymore. On the days when I arrive feeling weak, sluggish, tired, or unmotivated, I become energized and invigorated by the people around me and the amazing instructors. The classes are thebomb.com. Sure, they kick my ass. I leave an inviting pool of sweat on my mat for the next poor soul [not really… I mop it up, of course!]. I feel like I’ve really DONE something at the end of class. 

Today, after a particularly grueling session, I had this conversation with a friend. 

Me: God! That class was impossible!

Her: It wasn’t impossible! You did it! You finished it!

SHE IS TOTALLY RIGHT!

However. 

The food aspect of this whole thing? THAT is where I’m working through some major shit. I feel like I’m just beginning to scratch the surface, but I can tell you this: I have a fucked up relationship with food (and, by extension, drink). It’s a punishing, omni-present, self-abuse that spans the majority of my life (at least since high school). I don’t really have a whole lot of insight here, but I feel like my eyes are being opened. Maybe someday I’ll have some clarity. For now, I have my Snatched community and my therapist [thank god]. 

So, I’m trying to learn from the process. Some days are easier than others. Sometimes I eat an entire box of Fiber One in one sitting. Some days I’m overwhelmed by ALL of the food I have to consume at dinner time. Every day, I’m learning. 

This week, I don’t have much to report. I’m bloated, so my weight is higher than last week. Oh well. I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I don’t really think you can tell in the pictures, and at the end of the day, only *I* know what the scale says [well… except for the fact that I report it to you… but… I could lie and you wouldn’t know. You know what can’t lie? The pictures. Cause I don’t know how to use photoshop.]

So here we go. 

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Week 1 || Week 5

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Week 1 || Week 5

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Week 1 || Week 5