Wednesday BARB UP June 19, 2019

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On Online Dating.

I envy my friends who have been in relationships since before online dating became ubiquitous with “shopping for humans.” Before eye contact and chemistry were no longer a requisite for going out with someone that one time. Before phone calls were replaced with texting. Before sexting became the way of seduction. They’re lucky, honestly, to have found their partner and to ride off into middle-aged sunset before they could swipe right or left. They don’t need to ever know the indignation of irrelevant banter on the apps, of  determining someone’s eligibility based on a fleeting glance, of reading a profile that describes how much one likes to travel, of the incessant deception that comes with filters on photos. Meeting someone cool on the apps is as meeting someone cool in real life, a challenge. I almost consider swiping akin to being in a bar: as the night goes on, as you dive deeper into the drink catalogue, people start to look acceptable and that’s what swiping is, you start at such a high bar, but as you swipe left for the 200th time, you start to think, huh, maybe this unemployed fella, age 52, ain’t all that bad. And now that I’ve been online dating almost five years—not consecutively—, I have gotten a bit savvier about what I’m willing to “settle” for, what my “preference” is, what I will not even bother with. I will swipe left (that’s the NO part of this), on a person with only one photo or no description on his profile. As if one photo and/or no description is enough for me to determine whether I’d spend a half hour quizzing him on the new season of “Fleabag.” I could go on all day about the men who  post photos of themselves from the neck up only, as if I can’t see that they are hiding something: their actual body.  I do not appreciate a profile without a witty comment, profiles where men showcase their hunting and/or fishing abilities, and phrases like “I love to travel,” “I’m into exploring the city,” “I’m in an ethically open marriage,” are further cues for me to swipe left. If they live in another state, maybe even another borough, I’m swiping left. Sometimes, I’ll come upon  a profile of a man who is physically my type, is witty in his profile, but uses hipster terms like “GGG,” “INTFP,”or “Sapiosexual,” and when I see those, I decide they are trying to hard so I swipe left. These criteria are nuanced, specific to the apps. In real life, I don’t encounter this nonsense. In real life, I look into a man’s eyes, and I know, right away, whether we are going to hang again. With the apps, not so much. I don’t know much. I have to play detective, just by looking at a photo: how recent is this photo, how much do you weigh, where do you live?It’s so hard to identify whether you are going to be compatible with someone just from a photo and an almost carefully crafted description; the clues are in the details. And the details that are missing, those are louder than bombs. So I stick to my do’s and don’t’s.  These criteria are a result of years of my own data mining. Because: I long to be in a relationship. I’d like to not have this breadth of knowledge, to be like my married friends, who will happily swipe on my behalf as sport, who don’t even know that Nerve once offered a “play” option (sex only). In real life, I play with the awkwardness of a man approaching me, his uncertainty as to how I will react, his careful choice of words, knowing it all rests on the opening line. The not knowing of the visceral moment. All of that is gone the world of swipe. For now, I’ll juggle both, until, finally, I meet That Guy.

It’s Juneteenth.

RIP Gloria Vanderbilt.

Mindy Kaling: “I am someone who loves work. That will never change. But the kind of work that I do has changed.”

Michelle Obama in a game of dodgeball.

Harriet Tubman and the Twenty Dollar Bill.

Don’t mess with Dame.

Oh, menopause.

And now have a laugh with Naomi Ekperigin.


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