What Tinder Taught Me

Musings

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.

The Winds Are Changing

Musings

Winds in the east / Mist coming in / Like something is brewing / About to begin / Can’t put me finger / On what lies in store / But I feel what’s to happen / All happened before.
-Bert, a la Mary Poppins

Lately I have been giving a lot of thought to being lost. While there have been many times in my life that I have felt lost, usually it has mattered little to me as I have always felt a bit un-tethered. Once while on a road trip with a past love, I groused to him that I had tried braiding my hair to tame it, but that it had exploded upon itself anyway.

He replied, “I guess that means you can’t be tamed.”

Even though I had used the word tame in regards to my wild curls, I loved that he threw it back to me in describing my wild spirit. I found it to be a high compliment and nodded to myself that it was so. I certainly could not be tamed.

I realized, however, with my epiphany in the bathroom the other day, staring at my body and not feeling shame, that I feel a little less lost in myself. The importance of this didn’t occur to me until today. Well last night really. I couldn’t sleep because the rain was splattering so furiously on my windows that it kept jarring me from sleep.

Though I checked my phone multiple times to find it was still the middle of the night I started to feel awake and with my alertness, I began to feel a little lost. A few years ago when I lived in Wisconsin I used to feel so lost that I would wake up in the middle of the night, look across the room into the mirror, catch my reflection and not know who I was looking at. I felt like a displaced person inside of myself and it happened all the time. It was unsettling to say the least, but I couldn’t put my finger on why it happened so frequently.

Now I suspect it had something to do with my vast unhappiness in my own skin.

But when I woke up last night it wasn’t the kind of lost I used to feel in Wisconsin, instead this felt like a directional sort of lost. This one I was more familiar with and could identify as part of my gypsy spirit, the part of me that needs something more … somewhere … but I am not yet sure what.

When I left New York City I had the same feeling. At first I knew I needed the flat farmlands of my hometown of Fowlerville, Michigan, to soothe me, but that didn’t satiate me long—it never does—and shortly after abandoning New York I knew I needed the mountains. That’s all I could think was mountains, I need the mountains and their vastness. And their “good tidings,” as John Muir says. I felt claustrophobic after leaving New York City and the mountains seemed the perfect antidote to that.

Now, all I knew was I needed the North. I needed Lake Superior. I needed to be on the lookout for moose and the moving green mists of the Northern Lights. I needed dense forests and zero traffic. I needed my sisters. After that I didn’t know what I needed or where to go to get it but first and foremost the Great Up North seemed to be beckoning in her most alluring way.

I often feel that a lot of people couldn’t or wouldn’t comfortably understand my need for abrupt change, but the best way I can describe it is this:

“Not all who wander are lost.”
-J.R.R Tolkien

So while I feel a bit like Mary Poppins noting that the wind has changed and there is nothing to be done but follow it, I don’t feel internally lost. I feel ready for a good wander. Internally, I have never felt more secure.*

 

***
I wrote this post before I moved yet still wanted to post it, but my secure-ness has shaken a little—err a lot—and my lost-ness has intensified. But alas at one point I felt certainty in the wind change. Now… well now I am just finding comfort in myself, deep down where God resides.