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.

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. 

OkCupid: G.R.I.T.S. Part 3

I toyed with the idea of meeting up with my friend G.R.I.T.S. as if we’d never played hockey of the tonsil variety.

I was going to send a message along these lines:

Hi!

Yes! I’d love to meet up. Here’s my phone number: 650.555.1234.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Erin

As I contemplated my ability and courage to pull off such a stunt, I decided to peruse his OkC profile. Before I even had a chance to draft my response, I received the NEEDIEST OkCupid follow-up message. 

G.R.I.T.S.: Hmm, you checked me out and didn’t respond. Por Que?

You guys. 

I just can’t deal with these needy OkCupid messages.

So I abandoned ship on my original scheme and went with a more straight-forward approach. 

Me: Hi G.R.I.T.S., 
How closely did you look at my profile ;)? 
I hope you’re doing well! 
Erin

G.R.I.T.S.: I really just know that I’m not a scrub and that was your criteria as you began writing lyrics to the TLC song. 
Hope you’re doing well also 😉 It’s almost Governor’s Ball so I’m happy.

ME: Well… I think the answer to the phone number question is: you already have (had?) it. 🙂

And then, as an addendum [because apparently he HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT] ME: How’s Hans?

G.R.I.T.S.: He is no-more, had to get rid of him because I moved into a high rise with three other people. It was a sad day indeed. Annnnnd “had” would be the proper tense on that one.

And [because I am MORBIDLY curious in these sorts of situations] ME: Well… Here you go: 650.555.1234

1. Who says “get rid of” in reference to their pet?! ‘Give him away’ would have been WAY more appropriate. That makes me cringe. 

2. YOU GUYS. I WENT ON MULTIPLE DATES WITH THIS GUY. I’m not offended just fascinated! FASCINATED. 

3. Also, playing dumb is a bad strategy (if that’s what he was doing). A better strategy (if he wanted to give this another chance OR not look like a person suffering from memory loss): Oh, shit. I didn’t even recognize you! You’ve gotten more beautiful in the last year. [Or something else totally kiss-ass-y that would have totally worked on me because I’m a SUCKER.]

4. I haven’t heard from him. Maybe when he attempted to put my phone number in his phone, he was confronted with our chat history and it all came back to him, like Celine Dion.