Top Ten Signs You’re Getting Too Old For the Party Scene

March 31, 2008

10. Your idea of a great Friday night is getting at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. 9. Before tapping the keg, you wipe the end of the hose with your own sanitized napkin. 8. The Running Man is your signature dance. 7. When prompted about taking Jell-o shots, you ask if they can hold the shot and just give you the Jell-o instead. 6. When a drunk hottie asks for your number, you give him/her your business card, quickly adding, “Call me after 7 – that’s when my free minutes kick in.” 5. You can dance all night as long as you’re willing to stay in bed with a heating pad and a bottle of aspirin the next day. 4. Even when you’re completely plastered, you’re still apprehensive about blowing $15 on a cocktail that’s better decorated than your apartment. 3. You pass on sharing a late-night pizza with friends, because you know it’ll aggravate your acid reflux the next morning. 2. If your outfit is good enough for work, it’s good enough for the clubs. 1. The only “X” you’ll be doing tonight is Xanax.

WTF for Friday, March 28th 2008

March 28, 2008

BACON!

Bacon is making a comeback. In the face of vegetarian and low fat diets, bacon is rooting itself to the high protein, high fat lovers of our generation. It's such a pure representation of gluttony, lust, and sin that one would be hard-pressed not to give in to the salty wonder that is bacon. For those of us into experimentation, especially in a culinary sense, David Lebovitz is definitely a gateway drug. His book, The Perfect Scoop (which the inter-food-ternet was obsessed with a while ago) is a great source for strange ice cream recipes and opening your mind to new possibilities of frozen greatness. This blog post made me weepy. Anything that anyone can do with bacon is good by me! Bacon salt (I recommend the hickory). And finally, the debate can be fought out with Bacon vs. Tofu action figures!

Into The Wild: A Quarterlife Crisis

March 20, 2008

Into The Wild, A Quarterlife CrisisI expected I would like this movie. A middle class twentysomething college graduate, dissatisfied with life, abandons his possessions, and hitchhikes his way to Alaska to live in the wilderness. And it's a true story. Sign me up. The main character is Christopher McCandless, played by Emile Hirsch. After a brief preamble, he embarks on his journey with the only goal being - reach Alaska. As an audience, we are quickly made aware that he will eventually make it there, as the film often "flashes forward" to a parallel narrative of his experiences living in the Alaskan wilderness. Right off the bat, there are moments that are shockingly real. The graduation ceremony with so many students, you can't even see who's who. The celebratory family dinner interrupted by noisy college kids. The subtle passive-aggressive comments from the parents. As the film unfolds, Chris's expedition across America is peppered with experiences and encounters that teach us more about him, and why he is making his quest. It quickly becomes evident that the primary motive behind Chris's break from civilized society stems from disillusion with his parents. While a lot of quarterlifers have a conflicted relationship with their parents, Chris's boarders on militant. He blames them for placing too much value on material things, for "living a lie," and for influencing him to do the same. It's an issue that never really gets resolved. The audience is left wondering where all the hostility comes from - perhaps more accurately, why he can't let go of it, and how he could put his parents though the hell of losing their son to this journey. I am thankful for the sister's narration which is injected throughout the film, and serves as a voice for Chris's family. Through her monologues, we learn that while Chris is undergoing "rebirth," his family is struggling to understand why he disappeared. Their lives are torn apart as they wonder what went wrong. As a viewer, I found myself asking the same questions. Chris's motives are only lightly questioned over the course of the film, until he befriends an old man in Arizona who asks a few of the tough questions the audience is undoubtedly wondering about. Despite his efforts during some of the film's most powerful scenes, the questions remain unanswered. Here is where many people have difficulty with the film. We have a good-looking young man from a financially stable family. He graduated from a good college, and would seem to have every option in life. His parents even offer to buy him a new car as a graduation present. He rejects the car as well as all of the options his education and upbringing afford him. He then proceeds to shun his parents and society as a whole. Some viewers draw the line here - perhaps labeling Chris as a cry-baby who is selfish for making his journey and ignoring those who love him. That thinking is certainly understandable. I found myself feeling the same way about him. His parents, however misguided, love him. What could be so important, that it's worth hurting them so deeply? Then I watched the film a second time. I began to realize that I wanted Chris's story to fit neatly into my expectations. My problem with Chris as a character was that I wanted to see his inner struggle. Lines like "I don't want any more things" (when his parents were going to give him a car), didn't cut it. Where is this pain, this driving force that is making him take such drastic measures? As I watched the film again, I slowly understood that the pain was there. Not a simple outward pain that is easily seen on the surface, but a deep, primal pain that can't really be expressed. And then it hit me - that pain is the very essence of the Quarterlife Crisis. It involves introspection so profound, that it's often inexplicable, even to the person to whom it's happening. And the crisis is nearly impossible for others on the outside to make sense of, because it's almost always masked in the very thing which causes it - stability. Like Chris, many of us are now growing up in an age where our basic needs are being met at a rate never before seen. It's in our parent's nature to provide their children with the best environment possible, so we often grow up having never experienced struggle. But, that's a double edged sword - a sharp one. Being raised in a stable household affords children freedom from worry - worry about having food to eat, a roof over their head, parents to take care of them, etc. They never have to ask themselves questions like, "how will I make a living" or "what should I do with my life?" Many of us now go right to college after high school, thereby delaying the questions even further. Why don't we ask ourselves these questions? Because we don't have to. Why don't we have to? Because struggle hasn't forced us to. That's the message that Into The Wild teaches. Struggle forces us to take action, and those actions are what define who we are. In the film, it is that instinct that drives Chris to strip away all the pieces of his life, go into the wilderness and take part in the primal struggle of life and death - to rebuild himself from the simplest possible beginnings.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau

Music Review: Blackout by Britney Spears

March 14, 2008

It was 12:02 the night that Britney Spears’ album Blackout was slotted to hit the stores. I logged into my iTunes store, ready to download, and saw-to my horror- that it was not yet available for purchase. WTF?!? I asked myself. Why can I not get a pop-culture fix? Britney’s last album, In the Zone, was a slippery slide into her development as the media obsession she is today. With iconic songs like “Me Against the Music” and “Toxic”, and controversies over “Touch of my Hand” (come on…its as obvious as SheBop Britney!) paved the way to the fiasco of her reality show and the head shaving heard round the world. So finally around noon that day the almighty Steve allowed me to download Blackout (named for the philosophy of blacking out negativity and embracing life). I didn’t expect the album to be good. At (what we all thought must be) the height of her craziness, she releases an album? There is no way it is going to be good. But I knew something on it would be fun enough to warrant a purchase. And no, it’s not good. It KICKS ASS! Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not a soulful collection of jazz standards or experimental indie tech beats. It’s the purest sugary candy of pop. I won’t be bragging at my Mensa meetings about owning it but I will defend it to the end. It seems as if the marketing team of Britney, Inc. has finally figured out what she does well- dance music for gay clubs. Every song is upbeat (meaning no more sappy pseudo ballads like “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman” or “Email my heart”) and actually varies in structure from song to song. So far, the radio has grabbed a hold of “Gimme More” and “Piece of Me”. Satellite radio has recognized the genius of “Freakshow” with a heavy backbeat that requires a subwoofer and gems of poetic prose like “10 PM to 4 and I came to hit the floor/thought you knew before/ but if you don’t then now you know.” In the aftermath of her divorce, we reap the benefits with “Toy Soldier” that describes her need for a real man (“This time I need a soldier/ A really badass soldier”) and “Why Should I be Sad?” (“People and US magazines/Tell me who’d I do that for, who?”). Sure, the singing isn’t operatic, but that’s not what it’s for. With an incredible production team (Danja, of Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake fame produced “Gimme More”) Blackout has a consistent quality that makes the album easy to enjoy from beginning to end. With her failed performance at the VMAs and the continuous court appearances / hospitalizations / paparazzi boyfriend / fishnet stocking sightings I think this album has been underrated. There is a place for Britney. It involves rolling the windows down and turning the volume up. Don’t be embarrassed. Learn the words and sing them at the top of your lungs on your next commute or as you get ready to go out dancing. If Britney has taught us anything, it’s to let go of your shame. [myspace]http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=30156320[/myspace]

Review: The Commitment by Dan Savage

March 12, 2008

If you are addicted to The Onion and podcasts, you are probably already aware of Dan Savage’s work. His primary claim to fame is his weekly sex-advice column “Savage Love” and a podcast in a similar vein “The Savage Lovecast”. Dan has also graced the world with a collection of books. The most recent one (recent being 2005) is The Commitment detailing Dan and his partner Terry’s quandary: To marry or not to marry? Savage’s previous book The Kid was a romp through the perils of adopting a child as a gay couple, who have only been together for two years. Both books come from a place of humor and sincerity- which is much more palatable in large doses than his other books that are suited to short reads while in the can. Having been with his partner for longer than all of Britney Spears’ marriages combined, neither Dan nor Terry really see the advantage of heading to the border and getting hitched. Their adopted son tells them they aren’t allowed to get married because they “weren’t the kind of boys who marry girls,” but that they had to live with each other and be his dads. Dan’s mom is pushing the marriage issue, even though her other children are also unmarried with kids. Dan and Terry just want tattoos. With the “Marriage Amendment” making the ballot in more states this year, it is apropos to take a look at the issue from an insider’s perspective. Especially from a gay man, in a committed relationship, who doesn’t want to get married. Eventually, they decide that they will have a big party (with two very expensive cakes) and celebrate their relationship. But it’s not a wedding.The planning of said party turns into a nightmare that any bride can relate to, and along the way we see the waffling of both Dan and Terry from “not wanting to act like straight people” to “we love each other…fuck George Bush.” I found myself waffling right along with the happy couple, unsure if I wanted them to get married or not. When your marriage isn’t recognized where you live, is it really worth it to get married? By far the most important take-away from the book is that this shit ain’t easy. We expect to fall in love, feel completed, and make a commitment to someone for the rest of our lives. Or at least that’s what Lifetime Movie Network tells us about love (that, and eating disorders kill). You can be with the one you love with a family and a life, and still not be sure that marriage is the right path. Dan’s mom finally sways them. She married her second husband late in life, and, with the insight only a mother can give, she says,
“It wasn’t easy to say ‘I trust you’ after what we had been through, believe me. And trust is what marriage really means. You and Terry trust each other. When I look at you I see two people who have chosen to be together, in good times and bad, to put up with each other and love each other in spite of their shortcomings. I see two people who love and respect each other, two people who care enough about each other to want to adopt and raise a child together. I see two people who should want to be married.”
A quick search on Google will tell you that they did, in fact, get married. But with the wisdom of a sex-advice columnist, Savage gives us a resolved ending in either case. He actually ends the book with the party, explaining how it just wasn’t time for them to tie the knot and maybe when gay marriage is legal, they will reconsider. A few more pages of acknowledgments and about the author and we come to the actual final chapter, where they head to Vancouver and, in a string of chaotic events (including their son saying to border guards, “George Bush is a weasel!”), get married.In the end, The Commitment ends up being less about gay marriage and more about choosing love. In their Chinese New Year themed party, they served custom-made fortune cookies. The most interesting, and the one that, ironically, sums up the book actually came from James Dobson (yes that James Dobson). He writes “Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.”

How Harry Potter and Business School Saved My Life

March 10, 2008

Harry Potter and Business SchoolYou start to get twitchy, there is a worry that you don’t know where your next fix is coming from, and you plan your day around how to alleviate the stress of your never-ceasing thoughts. You are a Harry Potter Addict. There is a new study being submitted to the Journal of General Psychology that indicates that Harry Potter is addictive. The study, by Dr. Jeffery Rudski, found characteristics of addiction in at least 10 percent of the 4000 HP buffs he surveyed online. He used smoking scales to judge addictiveness of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" before the book came out, after a person had read it, and six months afterward. “The 10 percent of respondents that Rudski considers addicted described spending more than four hours a day on Potter-related activities, experiencing interference with appetite and sleep patterns, engaging in less physical activity, having a lower sense of well-being and being more irritable after completing the series.” I particularly love why this researcher chose Harry Potter. It was a choice for him between the boy wizard and the end of The Sopranos; he choose Harry because he saw some addictive traits in his own daughter. (She learned to play guitar so she could be in a wizard rock band. If you don’t already own Draco and the Malfoys - go now straight to iTunes!). Rudeski later mention in his findings that unlike meth-addicts, Harry Potter addicts can channel their addiction into creative outlets more readily than other addicts. It’s hard to focus an entire fanfic post on your smoking or caffeine addiction. Around this time last year, the publication date for “Deathly Hallows” was announced. I promptly put in on my Google Calendar and forgot about it. Well, no, that’s not exactly true. I started theorizing. I was way behind the hardcore addicts when it came to trying to figure out what was going to happen in book seven. I subscribe to the Mugglecast and Pottercast podcasts, read Mugglenet.com, the Leaky Cauldron.com, and other various Potter sites, and I make charts. I make charts of what happened in which books and draw diagrams of how they relate to one another. I’m not ashamed, so you can just shut up now. At any rate, my life wasn’t at a particularly glowing moment when the book was announced. I was in what will probably remain as my lowest depressive bout: I was unemployed and out of school; broke off an engagement; broke up with my therapist; had a house I couldn’t sell; decided not to study music professionally; and all the time I felt guilty about being a downer for my parents who “just want you to be happy” (which believe me, is another blog entirely!). It was the darkest, crappiest, and most lost I've felt during my quarterlife crisis. I don’t want to alarm the authorities (or get my ass Baker Acted), but I certainly had suicidal moments. When you’re that depressed, you look for a way out, and death seems like a quick and promising end. The problem was I didn’t want to go before I knew how Harry Potter ended. I don’t mean to make light of suicidal thoughts, but really, when you have something to root for, it’s a powerful tool. Instead, as the months approached, I started to fear that I would die before I was able to read Harry Potter. As those months dragged on, I realized that I had to start doing something else - anything else - to get my life back on some kind of track. I didn’t need a career or a goal or a purpose - I just needed a hobby. That’s when I enrolled in business school. I didn’t love business by any means and the thought of taking a class entitled, “Managerial Finance,” made me yawn. But I figured that any knowledge of the business world I'd gain would help me at some point in the future. I started taking classes at night and re-reading the first six Harry Potter books during the day. Summer started to rear its ugly head (in Florida that means staying inside with the AC turned as low as your electric bill can stand and not moving if you don’t have to). I was taking two classes at night and one accelerated class during the day. I was nervous. D-Day (“Deathly Hallows Day") was approaching, and I had exams and homework. I couldn’t be bothered with that! I worked ahead as much as I could and cleared my schedule for that weekend. "Deathly Hallows" came out on Saturday, July 21, 2008. I was at Wal-Mart (we don’t have bookstores here) at 10:30 Friday night with my preorder slip and a stomach of butterflies. It will go down as one of the most exciting times of my life. Nothing like that will happen again. I can only liken it to the Beatles coming to America, and I wasn’t alive for that. To see all those people lined up in the middle of the night for a book?!? To be there was to be a part of something - surrounded by other people who understood you. And the book was awesome. I finished chapter one while waiting in line to check out (with my earplugs in in case someone yelled, “Harry Died!” while I handed over my Visa). I finished the rest of the book that night. I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat. I drank pot after pot of fancy teas and cried at every death. As the end approached, I realized that this was it. This wouldn’t happen again. I wouldn’t be waiting in line at midnight for book eight. I had 100 pages to go and it would be over. I let it out. I cried like I hadn’t cried in any depressive episode or during any of the string of stupid, life altering things that had happened to me in the last year. But with the ending of Harry Potter, I was allowed to let go of that crap. Harry Potter was over, but it was going to have a resolution. I likened it to that shit in my life that had put me where I was. It was over, but I, too, would have a resolution. The bad things didn’t have to define me. I was a student again, and I had things to work towards. I had a beautifully crafted novel in my hands that I wouldn’t have gotten to read if I had given up. So, kudos to Dr. Rudski. My addiction brought me through an incredibly hard time, and I am proud to stand up and say, “Hi, my name is Mari, and I am a Harry Potter Addict.” Now, I’ve got to run - "Project Runway" comes on any minute. (P.S.- Managerial Finance is actually really interesting, I got an A in it, and I even laughed at a joke about EBIT. So there is life after Potter that is just as nerdy.)

Tell Us What You Think – Win a T-Shirt!

March 6, 2008

We've been working hard on this site for the past few months, and wanted to take time out to thank everyone. We've received some very nice comments from many of our readers over the past couple of weeks. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. That said, we know things can be improved. We plan on making changes and additions very soon, and we want YOUR input. After taking a look around and reading articles, what do you think? Like something? Hate something? Wish for something more? Let us know! We'll pick the person with the most comments and/or best idea, and they will win a FREE Quaterlives t-shirt. [contact-form 2 "What Do You Think?"] T-shirt White We are looking for constructive criticism. Please keep it constructive, but don't be afraid to let us know exactly what you think. We take every suggestion and criticism seriously. The winner may choose a white or black t-shirt. Thanks, and we look forward to making your suggestions become a reality.

Owning the New Kids On The Block Greatest Hits Doesn’t Make Me Lame

March 5, 2008

This week I purchased black nail polish. I’m not really a makeup junkie. When I do wear it, its mostly eye shadow and mascara. I had fake nails for about 6 months until it became too costly, too time consuming, and the touch screen on my iPod wouldn’t recognize them. Not only did I buy the black nail polish, but over the top of it I added silver and blue sparkles. I like to think of it as the Starry Night version of fingers. Being an artist by nature (and occasionally by trade) these whims strike me now and then. My hair happens to be fire engine red at the moment and I have been known to buy extraordinarily inappropriate shoes if they are cute enough. What my foray into the world of nail modification made me realize is that I haven’t actually changed that much since I was 18. Sure, I’m a lot more educated, I’m a little taller, I can vote, drink, and have more credit cards than those teen years. I’ve had many more experience, been through a lot of pain and struggle, but on the whole I don’t really think that a lot has changed. More importantly, I am starting to recognize that no one else is really growing up either. When you’re a kid, you think that things would be so much better if you were an adult. Adults always tell kids to enjoy childhood; that it’s the best time in their lives. Kids don’t have jobs or a family to provide for or bills to pay. The problem is that adults look at childhood through the eyes of a complicated adult world. Sure, now all we want is to play on a swing set, take a nap, or go to school to learn multiplication tables. But we forget that being a kid sucks. You have all these people telling you what to do ALL the time. You have absolutely no control over where you can go, what you can do, or how to do it. At best, you can dream about the day when you have your own money that you can blow on video games and toys and a car that can drive you to Disney World whenever you want (so maybe I was shallow as a little kid). At any rate, you know that you are going to be a better adult than the one’s telling you what to do all the time. The problem is that adults pull a Jekyll and Hyde on kids. When you’re little, adults seem to have it better because they have control over their lives. It’s not until you are an adult yourself (or a reasonable facsimile of one) that you discover that grownups are just big kids with bank accounts. We still want things that are bad for us (have you had a Bison Bacon Cheeseburger from Ruby Tuesdays? Damn, that thing is good) and we still want to play (the first people I knew to get a Wii was a 65 year old couple). I had this notion that when I grew up, I would have the resources to be a force in the world. I would have adult conversations about philosophy and politics, and we would all band together to make sure that we were leading society in the right direction. Apparently my utopia only exists in novels and sitcoms. Recently I was the leader of a group project: four adults coming together to analyze a proposal and make a presentation. These are educated individuals with jobs and families. Do you remember in fifth grade when the teacher made you work with the kid who picked his nose, that girl who was always in detention, and the boy who had so many allergies that he was only in school twice a week? Those kids became adults too, but now that guy scratches his balls, the girl got knocked up three times, and the allergies have turned into migraines and gallstones. And you still have to turn in something at the end of the week. Let’s just say I’m glad that class is over. What all this has taught me is that no one is any better at life than I am. It’s all still the playground and we all have different ways to occupy our time. Some of us like to play house and some of us like to play graduate student. And actually, now that I have a car and can drive myself to Disney World and eat bacon cheeseburgers whenever I want, I’m starting to question why adults bitch so much in the first place. So I paint my nails black and sparkly, my car looks like it was made by Tonka, and I have two dogs that are small enough for me to dress in Halloween costumes and sweaters. The games might have changed, but not the mentality. I guess the next time a boy hits me on the playground I’ll know he likes me.

Experience is for Wussies

March 4, 2008

I’m not getting my MBA because I love business. I’m getting my MBA because it was easier than working. It’s not that I’m looking for an easy way through life- God knows that I sure haven’t been a slacker. The path to Managerial Accounting started when I tried to get a job. Educated at the Honors College of the Florida State System, the number 3 high school in the nation, and with some hard-core graduate work and internships I went into my search fairly cocky that I would find my dream job. Six months later I was starting to rethink my, well, my everything. Why wasn’t anyone calling me? I had a resume (with a super cute template), experience in a variety of academic avenues, and even had some killer references. I started to look through the jobs and see if there was something I was missing. I noticed something. All the jobs I was applying for; marketing, administrative, research, warehouse forklift operator; required 3-5 years experience. Actually, 3-5 years experience OR an MBA. Well, I said to myself, “It would take me 2 years to get the MBA or I could have a crappy entry level job for five years.” So sign me up for deferred student loans and get me a Trapper Keeper- I’m a grad student. Maybe it’s a little escapist. Maybe I should have taken the harder road of standing outside a housing development with a little sign shaped like an arrow. Maybe my destiny should have included answering the phones at a small development firm until someone in buying quit, paving the road to a soulless corporate future. Which begs the question, how much does experience matter? That is exactly what Time Magazine asked this week in “Does Experience Matter in a President?” by David Von Drehle. Since the squabbling over qualifications is always a major part of any election year, it’s no big surprise that Obama has been the focus of the “you’re too green” argument this time around. What is the most interesting aspect of the article is a graph showing the experience level of all the former presidents. A few specifics stand out- Abraham Lincoln was among the least experienced presidents, but he served between two of the most experienced (Buchanan and Johnson) and accomplished more that either of the two more experienced men. Chester A. Arthur had no experience when he became VP under Garfield. Then Garfield was assassinated and he found himself leader of the free world. Taylor, Grant, and Eisenhower had never been elected to any office, local or otherwise, and had only been army generals before they took office. Even Roosevelt was among our less experienced presidents and out of our founding fathers; Washington was by far the least experienced. “Experience, in other words, gets its value from the person who has it” says Von Drehle. Experience means nothing if one doesn’t know how to use it. A companion article details the program at Florida State that studies human performance. They use a robot in a hospital setting to test nurses of various years experience in crisis situations. What they found is that the number of years experience is not an indicator of performance. The novice nurse and the experience nurse made the same mistake, but the experienced nurse killed her patient more quickly. What all this means is that companies out there are hiring based on characteristics they think you can only get through a certain number of experiences. My MBA is nothing more that letting them think that business school is gong to make a difference in the kind of person I am. Sure I’ll learn about Activity Based Costing and how to convert Euros to Dollars, but it isn’t going to teach me time management, interpersonal skills, or any of those other blanket skills requested on Monster.com. It’s hard to prove yourself when no one will give you a shot. Fortunately for America, we haven’t required 3-5 years experience or an MBA- we might have missed out on some of our greatest leaders.

21st Century Digital Dating

March 3, 2008

It’s been two days…should I call her? Our dinner went pretty well. There weren’t any first-date awkward moments or slip-ups. I didn’t say anything offensive about her tacky giant glitter belt. I smelled good. She smiled enough. Maybe I should text her – it’s much less intrusive than a call. But maybe she’ll think that’s too unobtrusive. She said she has a lot of military friends. I don’t think I like that. She was cute but really close to having a uni-brow…I wonder if she caught me staring. She must have caught me staring at her boobs they were as explicit as our waiters haughty attitude. I guess I could email her. I don’t know that seems a little informal, (Please fill out this survey if you would like a second date. Questions 5 – 20 involve the topic of sex. PLEASE DO NOT SKIP Questions 5 – 20!!) That’s ridiculous. There are way too many options here. Damn it! I’ll just call her.
“Hello” “Hi, it’s Rick…from the other night” “Oh hi Rick…how are you?” “I’m good, I’m good. Um I was just calling to say I had a good time the other night. It was fun. I’m still laughing about the waiter peppering your salad even though you insisted he didn’t. Haha…” “Oh yeah.” (Pause) “Um so yeah, I was wondering if you wanted to get dinner again or maybe go to the park?” “Well actually Rick I’ve been thrown into another really busy work week. We’ve got a lot of tight deadlines so I’m not going to be able to get out much.” (Pause) “Oh ok, that’s cool, well how about you just give me a call if you’re up for doing anything after your busy week.” “Sure, I will, well I’ve actually got to get back to work now but thanks for the call.” “Sure no problem…”
Damnit! I just spent sixty bucks on dinner for nothing! Busy with work my ass. What went wrong? Maybe I called too soon? We had good conversation the whole time. I even snuck in a ‘You’re cute in your pics but your even cuter in person’ line! Damnit! I hate match.com. I know the problem here. She probably has five other dates from match lined up this week alone. Grrr! Ok, maybe I’m just a little angry, but I’ve gone on more than a handful of these match dates now and they’ve all ended about the same. I know not everyone will click romantically on the first date but come on? I can’t be that bad!? Anyway, rather then spend countless hours dissecting my personality and appearance and aimlessly searching for answers to who I am and why I’m single at twenty-five I’d much rather just blame society. Yes, I think my sour luck in the dating world is merely because of too many options... I’m sure it sounds ridiculous too have TOO many options. But just think about it. Has this ever happened to you: Your hanging out with a group of your friends and you decide to order pizza. You find out what everyone wants but can’t decide on toppings? What to do?? Hey, let’s all decide to pick one topping each and just have a medley of miss-matched pizza madness. Sounds like fun right? Wrong! Once you take that first bite of mushroom, pineapple, anchovy (someone always wants anchovy!), banana pepper, spinach, and arugula pizza you know why too many options are a terrible idea. It doesn’t even taste like pizza anymore. It all just melds together into some bitter, crunchy, salty, ungodly mess. Dating is a little different yes, but you’re left with the same result…maybe a little less crunchy and salty. 21st Century Digital DatingWe are living in a 21st century digital day. The Internet runs the world and cell phones are so popular that it’s hard to find a fourth grader without one. We have communication opportunities today that were never imaginable thirty years ago. Emails. Text’s. Ebay. Online Banking. It’s possible to live completely within your household and never have to leave, ever. And think about the dating opportunities. You’re able to choose from a multitude of online dating sites and options to find your ‘match.’ You can choose from region, age, race, size, likes, dislikes, and plenty of other options all online without any obligations. How great is that?! You don’t have to waste money and suffer embarrassing rejection in the superficial bar/club scene. You don’t have to meet random guys/girls running on the treadmills at the gym as you struggle to breathe let alone start up conversation. And you don’t have to throw out lame pick up lines to total strangers like, “Hi, I like your glasses” or “Hi, I like your hair” or “Hi, I like your shirt” (Yes I am actually that bad at pick up lines) Anyway, online dating is nearly stress free and there are so many options! But, there lies the problem. When you have a number of dates lined up on match, or e-harmony, or another dating site it’s no big deal if the first one or two aren’t perfect. You’ve got plenty to choose from. When you don’t find your ‘Prince Charming’ or that ‘Sweet innocent ‘bad girl’ that you always envisioned you don’t have to worry. You can just skip to the next date and the next after that. But, do you ever really know what you’re skipping? In this 21st Century digital dating game there seems to be a lack of focus. How can you be fully dedicated to one date when you’ve got several others lined up? Isn’t it possible you could pass up the person of your dreams and not realize it? Let me put it this way; have you ever played slots at the casino before? You start at the ‘Cops & Robbers Big Bank Bucks’ slot machine (the one where three Billy clubs whacking a criminal across and diagonal is a 30 to 1 pay off.) You stay for a few turns and have a little luck but before long you move to another machine. Next up: ‘Animal Safari Cash Explosion’, and after that ‘The Haunted Ghosts in Jackpot Mansion’ all louder and flashier than the one before and all with minimal success. But you keep moving to the next one and the next one and the next in hopes of that big pay off. You move down the line until you get to the very end, ‘Arabian Desert Dollars Deluxe’, and you put in that last dollar. The slots spin and the machine pops, beeps, bleeps, and blings but you come up empty. You spent your last buck and are left with nothing. As you walk back empty handed you pass ‘Cops & Robbers Big Bank Bucks’ and what happens? Oh yeah it pays off and it pays off BIG but instead of you it’s some skinny ass redneck with a pit-stained ‘I Love NY’ t-shirt and sweat-laced, moldy trucker cap! I hate that shit! So the moral of this whole convoluted blog is: Don’t let that redneck take your true love! Don’t be tempted by the many options on match, or e-harmony, or the rest of them. Who cares about rules of texting or emailing or smoke signals or whatever you use. Dating in the 21st century gives us too many options and leads us astray. Focus on one and make it count. Focus on that one guy or girl you see in the library every Monday and make them your only option. Focus on the cute bank teller that you leave work early in hopes of catching before their shift ends and make them your only option. Focus on that one person and who knows maybe you’ll hit that jackpot. As for me, there’s a girl who works the counter at the gym I’ve been too nervous to talk to. I think I’ll stop in, maybe tell her I like her glasses. (What? It has to work at some point!).

Next Page »