Last week a friend mentioned that I post a lot about dating on Facebook and I was like, “I do?” and was moderately horrified because I don’t want to be that woman. At least not there. I thought I posted 85% about food and then about TV, followed by unclassified complaints. But then I saw it, like I’ll mention turning off guys by my love of Dallas BBQ in a post that’s primarily about going to Dallas BBQ for Thanksgiving. It’s harmless and meant to be funny, not pathetic or attention-seeking. Nonetheless, I’m going to try and shuttle those thoughts here where I can expand upon them, and it’s even more public but no one sees them. (The irony is that strangers I’ve yet to meet and may never, do indeed, search my name, it turns out.)
And then I did post a dating-specific bit recently on Facebook. I’m not sure what my motivation was and I thought about it first since it was the day after I was told that I talk about dating a lot on Facebook and I didn’t like that. There was no motivation beyond letting “friends” know about the existence of a new app, happn, I’d just discovered and the absurdity of being matched with people walking by your apartment in the middle of the night. Oh, and that I’m racist and classist (not agegist!–I’ve been texting with a 29 year old all week) because I don’t want to interact with any of them.
Since I decided on a whim to go to the Northwest next month and proximity hasn’t served me particularly well the past few years, I’ve been peeking at that region’s Tinder scene. In Portland I’m just classist because everyone’s white, duh. There are a lot of community college degrees and dudes who work at grocery stores (does New Seasons employ the entire city?) and Goodwill and UPS and do customer service.
Oh, and and I’m qurikist. So fucking quirkist. The irony of my allergy to kookiness is that my LA Tinder friend who’s not really a friend (and I would refer to as “doubledouble” if I were into cutesy pseudonyms like a turn of this century dating columnist, because he has one of those demented names a la Eric Ericson, but in a way I’ve never encountered before) has (or had–I don’t know, he unmatched me in August and I never had the forethought to screenshot it) ”quirky” in his profile, a self-aware descriptor I hate though I get what it conveys, and then he used the term to describe me last month, almost in a manner that implied I have narrower appeal because of it. In NYC, sure. We live in basic times here. But LA or NYC quirky doesn’t even begin to touch Portland. Sometimes I wonder how I even grew up there and managed to remain so intolerant of “look at me-ness.” A fact I often feel compelled to point out is that the now famous “Keep Portland Weird” badge of honor didn’t even exist until around the same time young ladies chronicling their foibles with meeting and sleeping with men emerged as mainstream entertainment onscreen and online. Last century people just kind of did their thing and maybe some of it was weird.
I don’t want to post screenshots, though I’ve certainly been texting them to fellow former Oregonians in New York. I can share some language and styles. There are men in their 30s who look like 1981 punks, male burlesque dancers in eyeliner, a lot of anarchists and men who identify as queer despite having had children with women and clearly looking for females on a dating app. Everyone is polyamorous or practicing ethical non-monogamy, take your pick. Tiny houses, which I thought were a blog joke, are very real and boasted about. My favorite job title so far is “punk at working class acupuncture.” Ok, then.
The impetus for posting about any of this at all is that I’ve been feeling really down on NYC, and my neighborhood specifically. I knew this was going to happen. I have notes somewhere in the 61 page living document I write in from this time last year that substantiate this fear. I’m always typing thoughts that I don’t always come back to but save anyway.
Ok, I typed “Instead of walking to Nitehawk or Williamsburg Cinemas for blockbusters, I can go one express stop deeper into Queens. I’m not going to meet new people in this manner.” which was commentary on my fall 2014 adjustment from living walking distance to a multiplex and arthouse drinking theater to now being inclined to take the subway the other direction to Forest Hills or Kew Gardens if I wanted to see a movie. (I was actually debating whether I should go to Forest Hills later for the Trader Joe’s, which requires a bus, but could incorporate a stop at the uncool new-school tiki bar or uncool old-timer seafood restaurant, though both kind of require one to BYOP [bring your own posse] to be more entertaining.) I then got upset with the prospects in Jackson Heights and then reminded myself how I was pretty much ignored everywhere and scowled at in my building’s elevators during my year-and-a-half stint in Williamsburg.
So, yeah, nothing’s changed hilariously. I did it again like I did with Ridgewood in the late ‘90s and Sunset Park after that. Beyond immigrants and the elderly, this is a neighborhood for couples because otherwise it’s not easy to make your own fun. I’ll always choose the outlier in the name of thrift and introversion rather than paying for amenities and being in the thick of it. (I was specifically told not to do this when I separated from the ex-boyfriend and is why he helped with my Williamsburg rent even though I make a respectable salary.) To be fair, this is a slightly different variation due to owning not renting and it’s smart, I will be ahead in the long run, and there are days that I’m pleased with myself. All that’s happening is that during the first year I was distracted with acclimating and fixing up and now that’s all settled and here I am and I’m not sure what that entails.
And seeing Portland Tinder vs. New York Tinder, despite having no interest in ever moving back to the Northwest, just reminded me how blustery and douchey it can be here. Going on two decades, it’s not really my temperament. I can be intense and mean-spirited, but I’m pretty kind and earnest when it comes down to it and it’s never served me well. Let’s leave it on that note. I’m kind of bummed and disappointed with how 2015 has turned out (could still be surprised in the next two weeks, of course) and it’s ok to admit it.
happn non-sequitur: Friday on my way to Brooklyn I spied a coworker of my ex, the only one I can even describe as being vaguely cute, on the G platform and then he ended up sitting perpendicular to me and didn’t acknowledge me in the least. I didn’t note his presence either. I mean, I don’t know the guy. I couldn’t remember his name, only that he always took photos at the company holiday parties that would be taking place right about now and that we ran into him in Red Hook during my 36th birthday party. Saturday morning, I peeked at happn and saw his face and that our paths has been registered as crossed near Manhattan Ave. at 2:15am., probably when I walked past wherever he lives on my way back to the subway. Creepy. And no, we did not match.