Consider Me Wooed


Okay so the great thing about Wyoming is she is so unbelievable that I find myself in a constant state of awe and wonder. I am perpetually wooed by the state of grandeur, old world charm and epic mountaintops. Furthermore I feel so present in every moment of my existence that I find myself enamored just to be. As someone who has always struggled to stay present in a singular moment, but instead, worries and ruminates over the future, or obsesses over the past, it has been downright shocking how perfectly present I have felt in all of my moments here in the West.

I am present when waitressing and meeting new people and hearing their stories. I am present when off gallivanting in the mountains. I am present when beneath the star speckled night sky in front of a crackling fire, surrounded by towering pines. I am present when sticking my toes in every stream, flowing river or body of water I can locate.

I feel hyper-aware that I am alive. I almost tingle with it. And as someone who is prone to anxiousness, when I am doing something mundane like running an errand, or grocery shopping, I find myself getting anxious to get back up the mountain and continue my tree-hugging, free spirited, high on mountains existence.

But… there’s always a but. I feel somewhat guilty and childish about it all. I know I wax a lot about how I am getting older and how I suppose that means things like I ought to lock down a mortgage or a man. But instead I am flitting about the country. Playing in the hills with a country boy who happens to constantly pick me wildflowers and helps push me up hills when they are too steep and I am out of breath, or brings me a shot of tequila when I have a bad day and joke that I need a shot of tequila to deal with my frazzled nerves.

But I in no way want to lock anything down and that makes me feel like a somewhat useless adult. I want a home sure. I ache when I watch HGTV. But then I love my propensity to roam. And right now my roaming led me to a mountaintop in which my sis and I have been gifted with a beautiful 1950’s style trailer surrounded by hordes of pencil sharp pines, and complete with turquoise appliances and a fire pit . And yes I want babies. But then today in the coffee shop where I am writing, someone came in with a newborn who, while quite cute, kept screaming and I overheard the mother say she hadn’t gotten sleep in 34 hours. I nearly choked on my coffee. Thirty-four hours?! I freak out if I get less than six hours and pretty much go on a war rampage for coffee and then insist on a nap. Actually my new life of high mountain adventure and long work days waitressing has led me to take daily naps again. How could I nap or flit off to Jackson Hole and the Tetons with cute boys and a car full of pb&j’s, wild game jerky and blankets if I had crying newborns?

Okay, realistically of course I will do anything to have my own crying newborns and fixer-upper worthy of HGTV renos one day, but in the meantime, the bonfires, sticky s’mores, spontaneous road trips through jagged peaks and winding rivers, horseback rides, hand-holding with a bearded outdoorsman, and hail-soaked hikes to places called Garden of the Gods seem otherworldly in their present perfection.

And maybe that’s the point of all this anyway. If living on a mountaintop has taught me to be fully alive in the moments of wildflowers and adventure as much as the moments of hail and tequila necessity then I reckon I am exactly where I ought to be.

What Tinder Taught Me


Tinder does not have the most pristine reputation. At least in my humble opinion and many of those that I have asked. It seems rather notorious for being a hook-up site. Hence why I had never had any desire whatsoever to go on it, as that is so far from being my style it might as well be khaki pants—insert deep body shudders here.

However, for the sake of argument, a friend of mine who was having seeming success on this site encouraged me to try and see before making a judgement call. I still wasn’t convinced so I talked to my sister. All voices of reason come from two sets of people: my sisters or my besties. If they give me the go-ahead, I will usually go ahead.

My sis said go ahead. Give it a whirl. And she pointed out, if it was ridiculous, I could always write about it. Brilliantly said, little Kia. So that is what I did. I tried Tinder for one week. Fine I made it four days, deleted it, but not before getting one date, tried it again for one more day and then promptly deleted it again. So five days.

For the sake of investigative journalism I definitely didn’t give it enough time, I will admit that. However, for the sake of my spirit, the run-ins with the skeevy and the mean-spirited, five days was more than enough for this girl. And more than enough to make up my mind that my guy is most definitely not on Tinder.

Here is what I found:

There are a handful of nice guys on there, to be fair. Sure I met one guy who is absolutely hilarious and likes bacon even more than I do. We still chat, and he feels like someone who could easily be my friend.

Then there was my date. Also a nice guy who was the first to ask to read my writing as my profile boldly stated: I am a writer who likes to pen painfully awkward tales, usually from my youth. He got major points for not only asking about my writing but then going ahead and reading it and being impressed by it. This earned him a date. His attempt to take me to Zingerman’s Delicatessen after driving an hour to meet me earned him a kiss. Why am I not dating this guy? Well to be fair, I could have easily went on a few more dates with him as I found him enjoyable, attractive and intelligent, however, despite him asking me on a second date, he did proceed to slowly stop texting me before one could ever commence. This is for the best though, as we were of far differing minds when it came to my main man, God and so it never would’ve worked anyway. Also I am moving to the West in two months. And lastly, I am so comfortable with what I bring to the table that any man who loses interest barely registers on my radar, as I am supremely glad to be me and whoever I end up with should be glad too, as he’s partnering up with a delightful weirdo who will be loyal to him for life.

Now besides these two fellas there was a smattering of other decently nice guys, but nothing that went far. But here is where I am sorry to introduce the bad guys.

Like the ones who thought starting a conversation with me by insulting me was a good idea. I had one guy make a snarky remark about my liking craft beer and how cliché that was. Pass. The hipsters don’t have a monopoly on good taste.

Then another who ripped into me for liking God. I also noted that I liked God a great deal in my profile. This guy went on a several sentence long rant (before I could delete him of course) saying I was a grown adult woman who believed in fairy tales, boogeymen and must be pretentious because what about Buddhism and Islam? Uhhhhhh. I shouldn’t have dignified his hideousness or his absolute nonsense with a response, but I couldn’t help myself and replied with, Whoa dude, I have barely finished my morning cup of coffee. No need for the attack. I believe in God. You are entitled to your beliefs as am I. Also how are you getting that I am anti-Buddhism or any other religion simply because I said I believe in God?

Even though I thought this was calm and sage considering I was already shaking, this only upset him further, to which he went on more ranting tirades, like the mere thought of someone believing in God was the most offensive thing he’d ever heard. Yowza. I honestly feel bad for this guy’s angry existence. And I know I should’ve taken the calm, christianly approach and said something cheeky like I’m sorry you feel that way; I will pray for you. Or even, God still loves you even though you’re a flaming asshole. But I chose the quickest exit strategy which simply was, see ya asshole and unmatched him immediately.

This isn’t even to speak of the men who had messaged me to clarify where I stood on the sex thing. Oy vey. My friend who insists Tinder isn’t a hook-up site defends these guys as non-perverts because they aren’t trapping girls into sex, contrarily they are being forthright in what they want. So I suppose in fairness and non-judgement, yes, these men are entitled to their sexcapades. It just isn’t something I am into or even love coming face to face with. It kind of makes me sad for humanity. I don’t see why I would ever have sex with someone casually without him then wanting to spoon me all night long, take me to brunch the next morning and then play a rousing game of Scrabble for good measure. One night stands don’t allow for that and that seriously bums me out, man. If you’re getting my body, you really better be all kinds of interested in my brain and my soul.

And I am not so doe-eyed that I believe the world doesn’t have people in it who are interested in straight sex or making people feel bad about God. Man, we have freaking ISIS about and they are scary and mean-spirited as shit. So I get it. But I like the world when it’s better than that and I also like being surrounded by people who want to be better than that. Yeah, most people want to be better than ISIS, duh. But the fact remains that in my daily life I feel surrounded by all sorts of beauty, kindness and love.

It was very 50/50 on Tinder. And I don’t want to willingly put myself in any place where people make me feel the polar opposite of goodness. My mom has this phrase for when my sisters and I would bemoan not finding a good man. And she’d ask where we were looking, (hinting that if we were looking in bars and not her constant suggestion of the hardware store then…) replying with, “well you’re not going to find strawberries in an onion patch.”

And my friends, I feel like Tinder is a giant onion patch.

I am looking for a guy who loves God a whole bunch, has a sense of humor in that he enjoys being a delightful weirdo as much as I do and likes the written word a great deal, because, well, that’s important to me. The rest can be dealt with in time, like my propensity to want to run to the mountains or the sea at any given moment or whether we have five babies or six. Actually, we’ll definitely have six as I like even numbers when it comes to children.

So what Tinder really taught me: I have everything I need in life right this very minute and I don’t feel one bit deprived if that doesn’t include a boyfriend.

I have God, hope for the West, really tasty sweet potatoes and chocolate, the best family a girl could dream of, Perrault children that melt my heart and hold their arms out to me when they see me, books, fine wine, craft beer, fancy coffee, Moon River on record, Hemingway, friends that like me and my wit, a world where the Northern Lights, Lake Superior and beards exist and a heartbeat. If this is what I have, well I have all I could need and then-some. So thanks God. And thank you Tinder. I couldn’t possibly have appreciated how good I have it, if you didn’t show me exactly what I am not looking for.

Dreaming of Darcy


Recently I have developed a crush on this rugged sir. He is tall, dark and oh so handsome. Oh and um bearded. Duh. As if I would waste time with a clean-shaven man. So the other night, my sister Savvy and I had our friend Dana over for a girls movie night in. We watched the movie Austenland where the heroine is so obsessed with Jane Austen that she goes to a Pemberley-esque estate (if you read Jane Austen you would know this is Mr. Darcy’s luxe home in England) to re-enact Jane Austen novels including balls and suitors. I love Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books. So is it any surprise that I kind of want to learn all the fancy, somewhat complicated looking dances they do for… oh I don’t know my wedding one day? Or is it concerning that I sort of want my future husband to maybe dress up like Mr. Darcy and talk to me in a British accent just for kicks? Or am I just like every girl (including the fictional one in the movie) who has an undying love and appreciation for Jane Austen secretly hoping she finds her own Darcy one day and then that will be that. Perfection.

So with all this lead up I think it’s no surprise that I had this dream:

I was at my parents house helping them when I found out that they knew my crush (the tall dark and handsome one, to be called T.D.H from here on out). My parents were doing a home repair project and had to go and consult with T.D.H about it. I ever so coyly decided to go with them so I could bump into him. When we got there, I realized I was only in spandex shorts and a sports bra (throwback to my Biggest Loser days perhaps? And how I would not have realized this before leaving the house is beyond me, but dreams, who can figure?). We went into his house without knocking, (it looked like a smaller U.P. version of Pemberley) and while my parents searched out T.D.H I took one of his curtains and fashioned a rather fetching grey dress that looked very Grecian, very posh, very fit for a ball perhaps?

When Tall Dark and Handsome saw me he looked surprised. Not that I was wearing one of his curtains, but that I coincidentally was in his home. I could tell the difference, even in my dream. It wasn’t a look of why are you wearing my curtain, it was ooh, here you are, what a happy accident. Does anyone smell the scene of a rom-com happening here? Yes, that is exactly what you smell.

There were a few people over his already and more and more people kept arriving, flooding the living room like a party was going on. And T.D.H was in a tuxedo. And he looked good, real good. His beard was in top form and he told stories to the room, captivating everyone’s attention and making them laugh. Because besides having a beard, he’s also funny and charming, this crush of mine.

I sat down on a long sofa near him and sat rapt, while continually catching his eye so he would know my affection for him. At this point the crowd began to mix and mingle with each other as apparently this was a full-blown soiree and my parents forgot all about home repairs and so did I. Suddenly my crush leaned in and brazenly whispered in my ear, “admit it, you find me attractive.”

Now normally the heroine of a Jane Austen film would scoff and be completely put off by such arrogance. I however, have never been that good at indignation. And besides once I am crushing hard, I can’t really think of much else. So dream me was ecstatic that he had picked up on my not-at-all-subtle clues of showing up at his house uninvited and then smiling inanely at him all evening. Besides, this man was allowed a little arrogance. A little is okay.

After this proclamation he turned away as if he wasn’t even interested in the answer, he already knew. But I stared at his profile for a moment waiting for him to turn back to me and when he inevitably did, I nodded: yep sure do find you mighty attractive my nod said. Then he whispered, “come with me.”

As if it weren’t bad enough that I initially forgot to wear clothes to his house, instead of just running off with him, stupid, uncouth dream me asked if I could first use the bathroom. Rookie. In the bathroom, something seemed to be wrong with his pipes as a mixture of toilet water and shower water started to explode all over me until it looked like I peed my pants. But lucky for me, it appeared that T.D.H did indeed have something in common with Mr. Darcy and he had a maid, decked out in old fashioned servants clothes and all. She sensed my distress and ran in to assist me and make me presentable again so that T.D.H wouldn’t know that not only had I turned one of his curtains into a dress, but that his toilet had exploded on me.

But again, unlike most heroines who would love that everything worked out with none the wiser, I refuse to be that suave. As soon as I got in T.D.H’s perfect old fashioned truck, I confessed the whole thing, because I thought it would make for a funny story. Of course he laughed and laughed, like he thought I was just a delightful little goose. Because my crush is cute like that and is not only funny but thinks I’m funny too.

Then when I suspected a kiss was about to happen, I got too excited. So excited that I could feel the dream slipping away from me, like stupid fickle dreams are wont to do. Also as he leaned in I panicked because I hadn’t brushed my teeth. As if it weren’t bad enough that I was wearing a curtain and had been peed on by his toilet, I also had to have bad breath? Well, my crush didn’t get to find out a thing about my breath, because I woke up. Agitated I stormed to the bathroom to brush my teeth. But secretly I was still thrilled. T.D.H and Mr. Darcy. They were deliciously intertwined. Of course it was only in my dreams, but I for one think it bodes well.

Sure my brain probably just latched onto my crush and placed him in a Jane Austen-esque dream because of the movie and because of my wild and romantic imagination. That might be the logical conclusion. But… there is the possibility that I do have a Mr. Darcy and maybe he’s my crush and maybe he’s not. But why rule out wild and romantic possibility? Why would I ever do that? And until I find out, I am content letting my imagination be wild and romantic, even in sleep.