Backswipes, Super Likes, and Extended Time

Okay. Picture this. Here I am. In a lab, with a white lab coat on. Starch white. Like…perhaps I’m ABOUT to run some experiments and tests but for now I’m just doing some simple data entry. My coat is clean, white, and ready to be ruined. Kind of like Tomi Lahren.

Moving on…I push my glasses back up to the bridge of my nose, and I get ready to share the findings of the fact-based evidence gathered by my incredible field work.

The Lab. My bedroom.

The Lab coat. My towel (still on from the shower I took an hour ago).

The Procedure: Study the world of Tinder, Bumble, & Hinge.

The title of this experiment: How to Tell Everything You Need to Know About a Guy Based on the Photos and Bio he Uses on Dating Apps (okay the title is a bit lengthy and subject to change) Open to suggestions.

Okay, in all seriousness…one night I was lying in my bed doing the whole left, right, swipe game (why is there no ‘maybe’ option). You know, like, “Wow, you went to Harvard, you have a six figure job, your bio is so funny, you don’t have kids, you’ve never been married, but you have a receding hairline. I’ll come back to you.” I’ll tell you why there is no ‘maybe’ option…women are the most INDECISIVE CREATURES TO EXIST. Holy shit. I used to get so aggravated when my friends or family would tell me this. “No mom, I know exactly what I want, I know how to make decisions! I am so totally independent.”

Sure- we can make huge life decisions like when we are ready to grow a human inside of us or if we should bleach our hair knowing that there is no going back; however, when it comes to choosing what to eat, where to go, and who to date, I think all of us need some assistance. I’m envisioning a little Furby-esque creature on my shoulder telling me if I should swipe left or right.

So that’s why there is no ‘maybe’ option. But I’ve gotta stay on track here. Let’s discuss what kind of guys you are going to find on dating apps, and how can you tell what you need to know by a few photos and their bio (or usually-lack thereof).

There are a few things we need to establish first. Consider this your “Beginners Guide to Online Dating.” A guy who uses Tinder will most likely use Bumble and Hinge as well. Get used to seeing lots of “familiar” faces. Tinder is universally known as the more “casual” “hook-up” app. Bumble is seen as one step up. And Hinge is supposed to shed some light to personality. All of the apps are now attempting to do this by throwing in some premade questions such as, “who is your dream dinner guest?!” Or “What are your top 3 shows?!” But, as mundane and irrelevant as those questions seem, you will see the importance of them shortly.

We are just going to talk about Tinder, Bumble and Hinge altogether. For those of you who are not familiar with how this works, it’s pretty damn self-explanatory…and if you’re having issues finding yourself a partner because you don’t know how the APP WORKS, then that is an entirely different discussion for my next article. Swipe right, you are showing someone you “like them.” Swipe left, they are a no-go. If both of you swipe right..GUESS WHAT? It’s a match. They make it really exciting too. Big, bouncy, flashy letters letting you know that you and “Jeremy are a match!” There are a bunch of other nuances like Backswiping, Superlikes, find out who likes you, Extended time, etc. I’m laughing to myself. This sounds like a video game. I guess that’s what love is though! One big game. Woah, far out, man. Let’s bring it back in. So once you’ve mastered the art of figuring out the difference between a literal heart and an X, you can begin. (side note- I am pausing so many times throughout the duration of this article because I’m going through Tinder to ensure all of my facts are correct-meaning-I’m dating AND writing an entry).

In no specific order…here are the types of Dating App Guys you will find:

The Loves to Travel guy (not to be confused with the guy who actually does love to travel). This guy most likely has a photo of him on some mountain with his hands stretched outwards and some cheesy ass grin on his face even detectable from afar. He is so white…both culturally and in terms of skin color. (Oh, and this “big mountain” he is photographed on is along a tourist attraction hike zone in Arizona). The next photo that follows, is him with a couple buddies. Photo is pretty blurry or just not well taken and they are all holding plastic cups of most likely, Bud Lights. And then his bio pops up. “I love traveling! I work hard but could use some fun in my life! Let’s grab a drink and see where it goes!” The last photo is him on some kind of vacation with fourteen other individuals. You will not know which one he is, nor will you take the time to look. Personally, I think his page seems inauthentic, he seems a little bit too nice, and his exclamation points stress me out.   

The Guy Who Takes Photos INSIDE Cars (not to be confused with the guy who takes photos outside of “his” cars). This man can be of any cultural background. Camera angle tilted upwards. I’m talking POV shots here people. We are seeing nostrils, those mirrored “dad” sunglasses, maybe a little wind through the hair (but usually the windows are closed-because they realize how dumb they look-girls are so guilty of this too). But some seriously impressive angles. Like hand on the steering wheel, looking off into the distance. All that swag. I’m thinking to myself, “damn zaddy, you might not be so bad but oh wait you are taking selfies in a car with cloth seats.”

The Guy Who is Still Using a Photo from his Best Friend’s Wedding Because it’s the Last Time he was Dressed Up. There’s not much to say about him. His name is usually Ryan or Jack. Predominantly White dudes. His hair is slightly spiky-not like 2004 spike- a more fashionable (but still unacceptable) version. He’s probably wearing some tacky light blue suit because his friends are also probably tacky. I’m sure he’s a nice guy…but we all know the first thing he said to his friends after the invite was, “Dude, I’m totally gonna bang one of the bridesmaids.” The guy’s got confidence. He is most likely 28 years old, went to Western Illinois University, and works in sales. He drives a 2014 Toyota and he refers to her as his baby. His bio consists of a quote from The Office. He’s got a good relationship with his parents who live in rural Illinois but he is still most likely to ghost you.

The I’m In Chicago until Monday So Show me a Good Time guy. Hi ladies. We all know what this means right? I mean hopefully you have enough common sense to understand that this means hotel bar drinks and hotel room frisky time. (My goodness, I sound like some crazy churchgoing middle aged mom. Frisky). Anyway, you will end the night with, “we will keep in touch, I’ll call you the next time I’m in Chicago, Sarah.” And you respond with, “wait my name is Clarissa.” And he says, “bye Vanessa, and shuts the hotel room door. So unless you’re looking for a one night stand (which is honestly totally cool by me- do what you want to do girlfriend), avoid these guys at all costs.

The Guy Who is Pretty Hot but I Don’t Know How to Pronounce his Name or His Name is Just Weird as Shit. That’s about it. I’m envisioning me posting pictures on Instagram for our first anniversary and being like, “Wind River, I am so happy to be yours. Love you so much. More than the Wind loves the River” (I don’t know what the hell that was right there). But yeah, I’m swiping left for those guys too.

The Guy Who is Taking This Way Too Seriously. His bio is like a damn novel. “Hi girls! I’m a good guy with a good heart. I am looking for a girl who I can one day share a life with. I love a good sense of humor and a pretty smile. Let me show you the type of guy you deserve! Swipe right. I’d love to get to know you.” NO NO NO. Red flag!! What is this nonsense? Put a funny quote or some witty comment in your bio and call it a fucking day. Oh goodness, this is another guy that causes me to abort mission.

The Guy Who is Better Looking Than You. He’s got a chiseled jaw crafted by the Gods. Piercing blue eyes. Perfectly straight white teeth (that have NOT been edited by FaceTune). His last photo is him holding his white button up shirt over his shoulder exposing his perfect slab of abs. Wipe up your drool because he’s a total tool. Do you really want to have to worry about the way you look standing next to him all of the time? I dress like a bum 80% of the days. I wear so much pimple cream to bed I look like I have a severe skin disorder…and I also wake up smelling kind of bad? That’s recent. Let’s blame it on my broken heater. I have six rolls, not a six pack. And I DO NOT want to have to even WATCH someone meal prep, let alone hear about it, and sleep next to someone knowing that they just cooked chicken specifically to eat the next day. Next!

The Couple. “Looking for our unicorn!” That’s all I’m going to say here.

The Ugh I Thought You Were Your Hot Friend Guy. How awful is that? Like that might be my most shallow thought ever. Lol, no it’s not. I mean, I’m a pretty damn good person, but we all know that you have had that very same thought before. You see the first photo and your eyes instantly gravitate towards the tall, dark, handsome, brooding man with the perfect smirk. You scroll down. You need to see more. Oh. No. It’s the guy in the center (obviously) with the Izod shirt on that’s maybe two sizes too small.

The Strategic Sunglass Wearer. Never. Trust. A. Guy. Who. Wears. Sunglasses. In. His. Photos. That’s right. His first picture he’s looking off into the distance, showing off a sexy side profile, with those black squared Ray Bans. Next photo. He’s on the beach with a couple of friends. Tanned and slightly freckled nose. Ray Bans featured again. HOT. Next photo. Glasses are off. Who the fuck is that?! Alright ladies, you’ve been warned.

The I Love Fitness Guy (not to be confused by the working out is cool and healthy guy). This guys bio literally says, “Won’t work if you don’t workout and live a healthy lifestyle.” HA. One time I really wanted to see the validity of this statement, so I sent this cute little message like, “hey you…is it really going to be a dealbreaker if I don’t work out :(“ My dating app pics are cute as hell and my bio is totally unique. Trust me, okay? So here I am thinking he’ll say, “for you…I’ll give you a chance.” STRAIGHT UP- he’s like, “sorry. I need a girl who can spend time in the gym daily working on herself.” And then he UNMATCHED me, like I was going to beg for him to keep me around. I’m audibly laughing. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. With these guys, you can expect a lot of mirror pics, close up shots of abs, and maybe a picture on a yacht thrown in there.

The “job: founder or (CEO) at startup company” Guy. Alright. I get it. It’s 2019 and people are becoming more innovative and intelligent by the minute. We are moving at rapid pace. Cars that can be charged like a phone battery. Floating cameras capturing crazy shit. Cars and bikes that deliver food and other items to you at the push of a button. This is some far out shit, man. But here’s my point. He is probably trying to create some earthy crunchy juice brand that is going to supply antioxidants and a plethora of vitamins. He’s going to offer free samples and create all of this fancy advertising and he’s going to sell this shit at Whole Foods for like 6$ per bottle. So no. I don’t want to date you because you’re a liar. That shit ain’t worth 6$. Also- I bet you do way too much yoga and would talk about your crystals far too often.

The You’re Pretty Cute but Something Seems Off About You Guy. Yeah so this is all too real. This guy’s super hot but he only has selfies, or he’s alone in every picture, and you’re asking yourself, “does he have friends?” I mean…his job title IS Engineer. We know he might be a little socially awkward. But that’s okay, we can work with that. Another example. His responses to those little bio questions are like LOL worthy, but he’s 5’9. Say it. I deserve it. Sam, you are a shallow BITCH. But I mean…think about it. We have preferences. We’re human. I’m sure plenty of men aren’t attracted to me because I have tattoos for example. I like tall guys. I don’t think that makes me THAT awful. Maybe? Okay next example. You’re talking to this guy. He is EVERYTHING you could possibly ask for. But then he lays it on you…he lives with his mom. “Is that okay?” Shit…I mean it’s not the END of the world…IF YOU JUST GRADUATED COLLEGE! But nah, he’s like 30 and gives you some excuse that his “house is being built” but red flag. I’m TELLING YOU. Huge red flag. Those are just a few examples. I get it. It’s pretty surface level and cold of me. But I’m just being realistic here.

More to come in part two of this saga.

This one isn’t lighthearted

I currently have HARDCORE rap BLASTING. It’s incredibly difficult to type while I’m listening to “b**** ass hoe” every four seconds. But I NEED it. You know how some people (most people) go to yoga or meditate to clear their heads? I blast metal or rap and SCREAM. And when I was able to drive, I used to buy a pack of cigarettes (which no no no NO NO I do not smoke anymore), I WOULD BLAST music that just makes you want to punch a hole through the wall, and I would drive fast down the highway belting along to the music. French inhaling the GOOD, exhaling the bullshit. All of it. Do you know how much bullshit is sitting in my chest now? Do you know the smoke consuming my lungs? No? Pretend you’re me for a second. And perhaps, everything I’m describing is incredibly fitting and you might actually very well be me. Well…close enough.

So here you are. You’re the person who gives yourself entirely to someone. To anyone. Everyone You’d offer your soul to the devil just out of the kindness of your heart. So naturally, when it comes to dating, you fall hard and fast. You give them every part of you, and because you’re so good, you expect the same kind of goodness in return. You expect them to devote themselves to you. Which in reality, is unhealthy. Independence is incredibly important in a relationship…so balance is critical yes…but you catch my drift. Even if you received HALF of the love you gave, you’d be ecstatic. You’d feel worthy. Because yes, you are still seeking validation. You are still craving attention. You are still letting men determining  your worth. And you hate yourself for that. It becomes a vicious cycle. You so badly want to practice what you preach. Telling everyone to go easy on themselves. To be gentle with themselves, yet as the music grows louder, you grow angrier.

But sometimes there is light. Sometimes there are full days when you begin to grow. Really GROW. You can almost feel it physically. The way you did as a child when your legs would painfully stretch like thick elastic. But in this case, it’s the best kind of pain. Your growth spurt means that you are learning. Developing. It means that you are becoming the person you need to be. The person who loves themselves. You’ve had a few of those days recently. Maybe more than a few. Yes, you have your moments where it feels as if you are slipping again, but you’ve learned it’s temporary. You know you’ll come back.

But today you fell. You broke every limb and you’re afraid you’ll never be able to walk again. It wasn’t because of the weight of his words that impaled you like daggers. It wasn’t the content that surprised you. It was the reoccurring thought of, will I ever be good enough? Here you are again, holding your legs to your chest as your head falls in your lap and you wonder if you are deserving of love. You keep asking yourself why you care so much about love and you grow angry with yourself as you realize that this is a fantasy that needs to stop being chased. “I was in love with my ex girlfriend throughout our entire relationship.” You didn’t want to cry after he said that because a part of you knew he just said it to hurt you (or at least that was a big reason), and another part of you knew it all along. The most ironic part, you were in love with yours too. You always will be. So you couldn’t be upset right? You couldn’t allow yourself to be upset.

You repeat to yourself “I am worthy. I am successful. I am wonderful. I am beautiful.” Fleeting reminders that don’t last nearly as long enough as you need them to. You wonder if you’ll ever fall in love with yourself. You wonder if you will ever be able to practice what you preach to the fullest extent.

You wonder if you’ll find someone who truly loves you. Flaws and all. You’ll question everything. Every single thing. Past relationships. Things people have promised you. The way he looked at you. The way he said your name. When he called you beautiful, did he even mean it? Was any of it ever true? But you recite those affirmations again. And you pick yourself up off the ground. Still suffering from a lesser, but still severe, pain and you say, “it’s temporary. I will come back.” But this time you add something. You say, “…and I will come back stronger.”

Let your armpit hair grow girl

I remember sitting at a small diner with my boyfriend at the time, back when I lived in Iowa. It was the first time we had been “out” in a while, and this was supposed to be our way to sit across from one another, looking at each other with the love in our eyes that we once had. Let’s just say…he became distracted. Not by the large breasted woman sitting behind me. Not by the crying baby causing such an immense amount of embarrassment to her parents.

No, not by any of that. He was distracted by the female waitress serving us. She was a cute girl in a black tank top, but as she reached across the table to set down the plate, my ex and I looked at one another as we noticed her crazy amount of armpit hair-side note- it was quite impressive. I wonder what mine would look like? But personally, I DO NOT want to find out any time soon.

After she had walked away, he said “I do not want to eat that. I bet her armpit hair fell in that.” And do you know what I said? Do you know how shallow and uneducated I became (mostly out of his influence)…I said, “ugh these overly liberal feminists are driving me INSANE.”

I am a woman…who was dismantling the beliefs of feminine equality. My simple comment that day began to extend much further than that. I started saying things like “women aren’t funny.” Or…”no wonder why it’s so difficult for us to get equal rights…we are always bitching about something.” It is taking a LOT for me right now to admit this. I feel this great amount of guilt. I feel ashamed.

I don’t want to defend myself here, because I don’t know if my harsh thoughts and beliefs deserve ANY justification whatsoever…BUT…I will say, it was 2015, I was just beginning to explore the topic, and my first encounter with what a woman defined as “feminism,” was a posting on Facebook about how she had been collecting her PERIOD BLOOD for a year. I’m sorry, but what in the hell are we trying to prove here?

It wasn’t until I began my MA program that I started to understand what it meant to be a feminist. In layman’s terms…it is the ability to advocate for women’s rights. After years of inequality, we finally have activists making true change. We have movements. We have protests. We have a VOICE…

I began to educate myself on the topic. Which…I understand sounds quite ridiculous..as a woman, I had to EDUCATE myself on the topic of equality FOR WOMEN. But admittedly, as someone who grew up in a household with three boys, sharing a tiny bathroom, and having an overabundance of male friends, my introduction to the movement was so poorly executed.

I began reading articles about the struggles of queer women, Muslim women, women existing in marginalized communities and backgrounds, nonbinary women, women who endured an abortion, women of color, trans community, Native American women, gender violence…the list goes on. (I don’t mean to disregard any other cultural backgrounds-so if I didn’t mention how you identify yourself- please don’t take offense-I haven’t had my coffee yet).

What women endure in society today is…just…incredible. And I chose that word because of its many meanings. It’s unbelievable. The violence against activists is tragic. The slut shaming is appalling. The hatred is disgusting. But above all else…what I want to focus on…is the strength we possess. We continue to fight our fight despite the pressures of society. We continue to empower one another. More and more, I see women on social media expressing praise for one another…and NOT solely based on physical appearance. I receive messages such as “your strength is admirable.” I send messages such as “I am blown away by your intelligence.” We are beginning to lift each other up and it is the most beautiful part of the movement…at least in my eyes.

Once I stopped focusing on men and took initiative to focus on myself again, incredible things happened. I found my place in a community where we radiate positivity, hope, intelligence, beauty (in all forms), pride, strength, resilience, and unity. We are in this together…and it is beautiful. I want to thank each woman who has made an impact on my life. Even if it’s in the tiniest form. I want to thank you for teaching me that beauty is found within. I want to thank you for encouraging me to remain strong when I felt weak. I want to thank you for your unconditional positive regard. And in return, I want to give that back to you. I am in NO way saying that men don’t face significant pressures of society. I am in no way expressing hatred towards men. I am in no way saying that men can’t be feminists…However, what we as women face, goes a bit further than simply pressures of society. Every single day, we are fighting a fight. And I just want to say…it isn’t going unnoticed. I am so greatly appreciative for the women in my life. I WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS (hence all caps- that’s me shouting).

I will continue to educate myself. I will continue to read about the Indigenous feminists who face violence I am too damn privileged to even understand. I will continue to promote positivity. I will continue to remind people of the importance of equality-which- come on- it should be pretty damn obvious.

So, girl, don’t shave your armpits if you don’t want to. YOU DO YOU. And embrace every part of it.

Over and out.

How do I tell my bumble date I can’t go to an EDM concert with him?

I feel like what I’m about to say might resonate more with men…only because ladies are STILL denying that they take shits….but have you ever had that like indescribable and totally unbearable pain when you’re sitting on the toilet and your toes are like all clenched, you’re sweating profusely and your head is in your hands while you’re audibly screaming, “please G*d make it stop!”

So if you have NO idea what I’m talking about (well you’re probably a fucking liar) but also this is now extremely embarrassing and I am going to pretend I learned that very vivid bowel movement scene from Bridesmaids or the laxative scene from Dumb and Dumber…not from personal experience.

Okay- so that whole little bit on taking a shit, was a beautiful way to transition into my topic of choice. That was all one big metaphor. Allow me to explain. I know I often discuss my neurological condition (I know, I know-iit gets old), but today is the WORST it’s been in a while. I don’t ever know how to explain it to people when they ask “what are your symptoms,” but because they have been so incredibly persistent today, I’ve been able to jot down some of the prominent feelings.

So here’s a small example: I attempted to go on a walk. And for a little while I was okay. Until I got to the crosswalk. I had to look left to right and that’s when my hands went numb and began to tingle and I became disoriented. I had to close my eyes, count to three, and then focus on the direction I was headed in. When I walk now, I have to clench my fists as tightly as possible in attempt to “ground”myself and if there is something I can hold onto nearby, I might grab on to that too as I walk. It’s not vertigo, I’m not dehydrated, I’m not severely anemic, and I eat more than you do. What once was extremely manageable, is now becoming debilitating. Physically AND mentally. Because the physical symptoms are so relentless, I have this irrational fear of leaving my apartment. Hell, I don’t even want to leave my bed. This is where I tie the metaphorical piece back in…I sat in bed with my head in my hands today, sweet little tears streaming down my face, asking “G*d why me? Why me?” Do you know how guilty that made me feel??? How SELFISH?

Last night, I went to get a tattoo. It says, resilience. It’s something that I would often talk to my patients about when I was a substance abuse recovery counselor. I’d ask them what the two crucial things of recovery are. Resilience and gratitude. Without that, we aren’t even HUMAN. Without that, we have nothing to assist us in finding peace. I told myself after I got out of the hospital this most recent time, I would get this damn tattoo as a reminder to keep moving forward. I won’t give up…I don’t have the ABILITY to give up. If I’m not taking my meds religiously, eating properly, getting my routinely blood tests, and practicing all of the safety precautions necessary for this condition, things wouldn’t be looking too hot for me. Last seizure, I landed on a slab of CEMENT. ALONE…during my last grand mal. I came out of the hospital with a black eye and a bruised knee. That was the first time in a long time I recited my gratitude to G*d throughout the entirety of the day. Month. Year! And once my seizures started becoming controlled…that’s when the guilt kicked in.

“It could be so much worse.” Who has heard that one before? I forget if I’ve already talked about that in the past…but it has become my LEAST favorite phrase. Hell yes it could be worse! I have a roof over my head and family/friends who would do anything for me. I am eternally grateful for them. But that doesn’t mean that what I’m going through isn’t any less valid. It doesn’t mean that what I endure daily should be ignored because in the eyes of many-this is melodrama. “Isn’t a migraine just a bad headache?” “If you don’t go unconscious anymore think of yourself as LUCKY.” And again, if we are keeping things in perspective, I am LUCKY. But there are a lot of days, where I don’t feel so lucky. Some days I just want to forget that I have this condition and I pray to live a normal life. Other days, it is a constant and lingering reminder.

Some examples:

  • A guy I was talking to for a bit had a passion for cars and hitting up the racetrack. I absolutely LOVE driving. I love opening my sunroof, blasting my favorite sing-alongs, and speeding down the highway. It is so incredibly liberating…but I haven’t been approved to drive a car in two years…how do I explain that one to him?
  • When people ask why I left Iowa City’s graduate program when I had been so excited to be apart of it, what do I say? I just wanted to transfer? In the middle of the year? And still pay rent for an apartment I didn’t live in? Makes TOTAL sense.
  • Or…Why is your bag of pills bigger than the selection at the pharmacy?!

I don’t find it to be particularly sexy to people that I’ve foamed at the mouth a couple of times lol ew…and that my hands shake, or how I twitch spastically in my sleep, and sometimes the symptoms can be so debilitating, I won’t leave my house for days. Wife me up, right?

I know. It could be worse. I am not in a wheelchair. I still have full function of my body parts. I can live as an independent adult (for the most part), and again, my support system is incredible. But I’m still scared. I live every fucking day in fear. “It’s going to happen here. I’m going to fall here and no one will find me.” or since I live alone… “I am going to have a seizure in my sleep and what if I don’t wake up?” I know so many of these fears are irrational but they are still saddening and they gnaw at me every single day. These are the times where I ask, “why me? I’ll do anything to make this stop.” It haunts me in my sleep.

But, I’ve learned that, in a sense, I have “survivor’s guilt.” All of these children battling brain tumors, and these families trying to cater to the needs of their child with Cerebral Palsy. I survived when maybe another individual was killed at the wheel during a seizure while driving. This is the reality of it all.Why was I lucky enough to continue?

My point here…there are varying levels of severity when it comes to any condition. It isn’t a competition. We stand together. Please don’t pity me. Don’t feel sorry for me. Don’t remind me of my strength. I’m only showing you want I want you to see. I have no doubt that any one of my friends or family members can endure this just as well…if not better.

At the end of the day, the importance of this entry is to remind you that no matter where you are at in life, don’t feel GUILTY for a certain pain you’re experiencing. Don’t invalidate your feelings. DON’T become someone you’re not. Admit your weaknesses. Rely on others when need be. And hey…maybe we can all say a prayer next time we’re sitting in the stalls of a hospital bathroom together, crying out, “Oh G*d, why me?!”

Over and Out

This is the TJ Maxx of conversations

Adults are amazing.Let me rephrase…REAL adults are amazing. The kind of adult that grinds their own coffee beans, pours them into a filter (the NIGHT BEFORE), and successfully has their coffee prepared for themselves as they sit down catching up on the morning news, eating a piece of perfectly toasted toast with butter and jelly, and sipping on their coffee. I burn my toast every fucking time.

My morning doesn’t look anything like that. I’m currently in the market for a new job. So, I have a lot of time on my hands, to say the least. (If you follow me on Instagram, I am sure you have gathered this much already). Allow me to share with you what my morning consists of:

I wake up at 8:51 AM every day. (Whoever sets their alarms to like, 7:30 or 8AM on the dot, is a fucking psychopath. Don’t trust them). I walk to the bathroom, take a gander at the four new pimples that created a home for themselves on my face in the night, squeeze that puss out of them, and walk out. Without brushing my teeth- ONLY because at SOME point, I’m going to drink coffee and eat, so I tell myself I’ll just do it after- if I remember. Side note, I have fairly straight and white teeth. I’ve never had a cavity and I try to stay up to date on my yearly dental exams. (I’ve been slacking for the past two years, but in 2016 I was a rockstar of a patient). So when people ask what my secret is, I tell them to stop wearing their retainer and avoid flossing at all costs.

Moving on. I walk out of the bathroom and to my scale. This is habit. I weigh myself, only to grow disappointed that I have gained yet another pound overnight. I don’t know why this continues to surprise me…I probably ate leftover stir fry and half of a pint of ice-cream at 3 AM when I randomly woke up in the middle of the night. What the fuck did I expect?! After I have convinced myself that my scale is broken, I walk on over to my kitchen, take my morning medication, and grab my OVERSIZED box of goldfish. My G*d, I dig my hands in their like a hungry toddler who just started eating solid food. I’m on my couch at this point. Stretched out and comfortable as all hell. I catch a whiff of my armpits and holy shit, I’m in need of some deodorant. (As I typed that I JUST realized that if you break down the word, it’s de-odor. Took me nearly 24 years to figure that one out). Anyway, I slap on some deodorant and put some dry shampoo in my hair until it turns a nice shade of gray, and I’m pretty much ready for the day. LOL, oh, you’re suggesting a shower? Screw you. So- that’s a summary of my morning. Can you relate OR are you about to stop reading my blog forever because you just realized I am a dirty homeless man disguised as a decent looking woman? I don’t blame you.

I honestly have no idea where this entry is going. I woke up, had the most incredible conversation with the most AMAZING girl (hehe you know who you are), and started feeling inspired to write. Let’s be honest, I’m no F. Scott Fitzgerald, I don’t know how to properly use parentheses or commas, and my blog posts are incredibly hard to follow due to my self-diagnosed ADD. But here’s the thing…I’m relatable. I think. I mean, name another girl blogger who is openly willing to admit that she picks her nose and still eats lunchables. Yup. That’s what I thought.

What a damn tangent.

So as I’m conversing with this AMAZING girl, she’s like, “this is the TJ Maxx of conversations.” I don’t know if that phrase is commonly used but holy shit, it’s my new go-to. There is no better way to spend your day than sniffing every candle in TJ Maxx. And I’m talking EVERY CANDLE. Even the ones you see in the check-out line. Side note- does anyone ever buy food/candies/snacks at department stores like that? I don’t know. Kind of gives me the heebie- jeebies. Stay focused, Sam.

Today, I reached out to a Pinterest page that is catered to girls in college. Their boards consist of fashion trends, relationship goals, how to plan parties, DIY gifts, etc. The essentials of getting through college. But it’s missing one thing. Recognition of the hardships. This Pinterest page doesn’t prepare you for it. NO ONE prepares you for the adjustment disorder you are about to develop. No one tells you that you’re supposed to wash your sheets more than once a month. No one tells you that you’re going to have to coordinate times with your roommate to get a little frisky in your dorm room (if you catch my drift) with your boyfriend who is 400 miles away from you. No one tells you that you’re going to break up with your boyfriend 27 times and endure the most painful of all breakups. No one tells you that your sorority “sisters” will end up being the most spiteful and backstabbing bitches you’ll ever know. (I should have assumed that was coming). No one tells you that by the end of first semester, you’ll be completely dependent on Adderall. No one tells you you’re going to get beat up for picking a fight with the wrong girl on your floor. Okay- that doesn’t happen often- BUT IT HAPPENED TO ME and do you think I was prepared for that shit?! NO.

In all seriousness, college is a place where you start to explore your identity. It’s confusing and messy and even when you’re surrounded by a plethora of people who are going through the very same thing, you always seem to feel so alone. Sure you can attend 7 counseling sessions through the school before they cut you off, but do you think that sufficed? No. College is competitive and intimidating. The amount of pressure we endure goes unnoticed often times. Suicide rates for 15-24 year olds have tripled. http://www.collegedegreesearch.net/student-suicides/ (PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELVES). We need to learn how to lift each other up. We need to empower one another. We need to know what to look for in ourselves and others when we start to feel low. Check in with ourselves. A tool I didn’t learn until I was in my 20s. I want to raise awareness, advocate for others, and inform students that they aren’t alone. Hell, I want to inform EVERYONE who is battling some form of change or struggle, that they are not alone.

So if you needed a reminder today that things will be okay, here it is. Fuck it. Don’t settle for “okay.” Things will be amazing. Keep fighting. Admit when you need help. Reach out. And go easy on yourself. It’s an unfair world but if we continue to work together, progress can be made. Cue “Imagine” by John Lennon. Yes, I may be a dreamer, but I’m also going to be an activist. I won’t sit idly by waiting for someone else to create change. If I have the ability to impact the life of one person, I will feel accomplished. If any of this resonates with you, please send me a message. Like I said, I have a lot of free time. 😉

Thank you, yet again, for reading my rambles.

Over and out.

I’m so sick of pickles (I’m not going to laugh at your jokes anymore pt. 2)

Okay so now that I’ve gotten my #pussypower rant out of the way (for now), let’s have ourselves a laugh. So, these said “men,” I have met…let me tell you a little bit about them. These guys still buy paper plates to avoid doing dishes. They leave their black, coarse pubes or beard or whatever-the-fuck hair in the sink and on the counter (and then complain when our hair SHEDS-as if that’s in our control). These “men” have empty refrigerators with the exception of a few beers and a jar of pickles. (I swear-pickles are a huge common denominator here…lol…get it? Pickles?) No but actually. Dudes love pickles. These men read a couple of Malcolm Gladwell books and think they have mastered life. They’ve got it all down. Their Bumble profiles boast about how they “love to travel!” but shortly after getting to know them, you learn that their last trip out of the country was in 2016 on a college study abroad trip. These said “men” are on the same playing field as my fifteen year old brother. Actually, that’s insulting. My little brothers, while they are immature as shit, THEY are men. Okay…not totally…but in the sense that they were taught respect. My parents didn’t abide by or enforce heavy gender norms (which was pretty rare in the 90s- so that was rad of them), so we shared Barbies AND Hot Wheels. I loved doing my brothers makeup (and they are SAINTS for letting me) but I also loved watching Monster Trucks with them. Alec, the older of the two, fucking loved playing with Polly Pockets. And in return…he let me come with him to Boy Scouts because he knew I despised hanging out with the girls. Uh…also…girl scouts literally fucking sell cookies. And I just googled where that money even goes to? I’m still unsure. Okay-anyway. Despite my brother being a total shithead, that sensitive little boy will always be there. And the ladies LOVE him for that! THE POINT: it isn’t a nicely trimmed beard and some bulging muscles that make you a man. It all boils down to just being a decent fucking human being.

In my later entries, I’ll discuss more details of specific dates and how tragic they have been, but tonight (or this morning? Idk, its 4am), I’m feeling totally passionate about this boys vs. men rant..so I’ll ride that wave for now.

In all seriousness, I learned something this evening. One of my most recent “prospects” (LOL that is awful of me to refer to them as after I just went on a tangent about respect-look at me objectifying men oh god), turned out to totally suck. Which sucks because he’s actually awesome and genuinely intelligent and funny…but he sucks. So it all sucks. I bring him up because a few weeks ago he told me I’d never been with a man. I initially laughed at that because like, alright, we get it…this is you insinuating that you’re going to show me what it’s like to have a real man, huh, babe? But then when I asked him to define “man,” his description matched mine. Well, mostly. Great sign, right? Wrong. This is a lie we know all too well. It’s the same as: “I’m not like the others.” SOMEHOW, even though we know better, it’s like we are conditioned to just fucking believe it until we’re proven otherwise. This is going to sound ridiculous. It is so incredibly obvious. But I realized that I started to accept that “man” can be defined with words. NO SAM COME ON. Being a man is shown through actions. I mostly feel defeated. I trust too easily. I wanted to so badly believe that it was my turn to be treated right. My turn to be treated with respect. My turn to feel like someone gives a SHIT about me. So, in sum- my expectations aren’t high. I don’t expect these glorified T.V. characters to be a realistic depiction of a man in any way. I don’t want that faux instagram relationship that is seemingly SO perfect. What I ask seems so feasible…so why is it so rare?

I woke up this morning, put on my favorite matching athletic outfit that I’ve maybe worn twice?? Ever. I BLASTED rap at 5AM (payback for my bitch ass neighbors having sex all night- but also- good for you guys). I walked my ass to the gym and as I ran on that dreadful thing you people call a treadmill, I recited “I love myself” over and over again. Sounds crazy, huh? No. It’s cliche and the design is still flawed-but I do believe that you cannot truly expect anyone to love you, until you learn to love yourself. One of my ex-boyfriends told me, “Just watching and listening to you struggle with all of your insecurities is tiring for me, I can’t imagine what it’s like for you.” He then followed that statement with, “I’ll tell you one thing…it’s incredibly unattractive and no one is going to want to deal with that.” Real gem, right? There is a lot of validity to what he was saying though. Confidence is SUCH a sexy quality. I want to exude that. So fuck your definition of “MAN.” I don’t need it, I don’t care to hear about it, and I don’t crave your love. (although you know, it would be a little nice).

I’m going to continue cooking meals for myself, and cleaning my apartment even when I don’t have guests over. I’m going to play MY favorite music when I’m getting ready, and I’m going to watch MY favorite shows. I’m going to use a hammer and a power drill (after watching youtube tutorials), and hang up all my decorations. When my hair falls out in the shower, I’m going to do that little thing where you just wipe the strand on the wall. Ladies, do you know what I’m saying? It won’t come off your hands after conditioning so you just make a little swirly hair and stick it to the side of the shower. I KNOW you know what I mean. I’m going to vacuum four times a day because crumbs make me cringe. I’m going to stay up late and eat goldfish in bed (attempting to avoid any spillage of crumbs). I’m going to cry when I want to. I’m going to facetime my mom 6 times a day asking her how long I should keep my chicken in the oven for, and what cleaner is the most useful and safe…but most importantly…I am going to disregard my quest of looking for a “man” right now because I just found the definition of a woman. She radiates kindness and independence. Love, for herself and for others. She is humble yet confident. She knows that she needs to begin to make herself a priority before she can truly help anyone else. She just fucking loves herself. What a liberating concept.

So, point of all of this: adios, boys!

Over and out.

I’m not going to laugh at your stupid jokes anymore (pt.1)

I think I’m going to use my dating life as writing material. Each date is a new entry. A new topic. A new story. Every story more raw and gritty, honest, humiliating, and comical than the next. (I’m going to talk about other things…but the point is-if Stanley Kubrick rose from his grave and decided he wanted to begin directing tragic love stories, my life could be his sole source of inspiration. But because of the 7 different plot twists that follow each dating encounter, we might need M. Night Shyamalan to assist as well.

I digress.

Majority of the guys I’ve been on dates with do follow me on social media. There is also a large chunk of them who have unfollowed me, or even worse, blocked me. *Flips hair.* Oh well! I don’t have much hesitation sharing these stories for a few reasons:

  1. They are fucking funny
  2. I’m not disclosing any names or highly secretive information
  3. THE GUY THAT GHOSTED ME AFTER HE DIDN’T GET LAID IS NOT READING MY BLOG.

My date from last week didn’t wake up today thinking, “You know…I left SUCH a lasting impact on Sam…let me refresh her blog and see if I’ve made it onto her newest entry!” Please. Men aren’t reading my texts, let alone my 27 paragraphs of weekly nonsense. I also cringe when typing the word man or, men. This isn’t what my momma told me a man would look like. I am not referring to sexual identities or gender biases right now…I’m talking about the difference between a boy and a man. I’m talking about maturity. Intelligence. RESPECT. Um…here’s a big one that is becoming seemingly more and more difficult for you MEN out there…common sense? Common courtesy? And above all else, don’t make an ass out of me.

I find it astonishing how tiny a guy can make a girl feel just by disregarding her intelligence. By mistaking her kindness for weakness. By confusing her empathy for being clingy. What you guys aren’t realizing is that we aren’t naive! Since a very young age, girls have been taught to “play the game.” We are informed that we must wait for a guy to make the first move (first text, first kiss, first time saying the L word, etc). We are taught to sit idly by and wait. We are taught to never chase a boy. They will only run further. We hear sayings such as “the less you care, the more he’ll care.” We are told to keep our “crazy” hidden for as long as we can. We laugh at your stupid jokes. We know we have to listen to you talk about yourself for hours because no one else will (for very valid reasons). We dress with intention: not revealing too much-just enough to get your attention and leave you wanting more. The first time a little girl comes home and tells her parents that a boy pushed her on the playground and they respond with, “it’s because he likes you”…well…that’s the first day a girl learns that from here on out, nothing will make sense. All of it is one giant mess. You can’t love TOO much, yet you can’t love too little. You can be emotional but ONLY when it’s warranted. I remember hearing that I should “dumb myself down a little” when talking to certain guys. Read that sentence again. I think that’s actually more insulting for the person on the receiving end?! I need to dumb myself down in order to maintain a fucking conversation with you? Jesus…I’m not discussing astrophysics over here. Whatever. This list has been engraved in our minds for years. This list is endless. Here’s the shittiest part of all of this: there is no balance, there is no just equality, there is no true fairness, and there are no answers. We just keep getting thrown out there to “live and learn,” but every time we think we’ve learned everything there is to know, another idiotic and novel lesson slaps us in the face. I know I’m making a LOT of generalizations here, but this is my reality. If this feels like your reality too, let’s change it. Together.