Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ghosts of the Machine

I wrote that whole jab at Tinder and I forgot to mention the most haunting part about the side effects of playing with fire.

Get out the marshmallows and the flashlights, campers. Here is my chilling ghost story.

We had a lot in common, he and I. My Tinder match. We liked the art of words. And he had so many dazzling turns of phrase. We were set to meet: romantic dinner, the works. But my fine fellow came down with a nasty bout of pneumonia. The last text I received indicated that he was drunk off of fruit juice and trying his best not to suffocate under the weight of his chest.

No word after that for a week. My mind whirled: was he okay? He had to be okay. He was surely not wasting away in a hospital, hoping for some yet unknown love to nurse him back to health. I texted several times but received no response. I toyed with the idea of actually calling hospitals, but what information would they give a total stranger anyhow? The whole thing was bewildering to me, and I was understandably upset at how such a beautiful introduction could turn so downright mysterious in the next chapter.

But the tragedy was yet to come: I had, in fact, been ghosted. The same jackass announced his new relationship with some other lass a few days later (thanks, fine art of Facebook stalking). I was devastated by this loss of a potential partner, though clearly, he was not worthy of my words or my affections.

For those of you who don't know what ghosting is, here is a definition: one of you is a tactless [insert expletive]. Instead of offering an explanation as to why you don't want to pursue a relationship, you do the cowardly thing and simply cut off all communication with no warning. 

This is a socially acceptable thing to do, apparently. I've not been dating for all that long and it's happened to me several times. Do these men have reason to see fault with me? Absolutely, I'm looney tunes. But at least of the courtesy to say a) I find you repulsive, b) I've met someone else, or c) I just don't feel it's going to work out. Some sense of closure would be awesome. So would some sense that the person you've been communicating with isn't unquestionably rude and immature.

This practice is especially disconcerting when it happens after an actual date, or several dates. Everything is going swimmingly and then bam! Out of nowhere, you are ghosted. You have been deemed unworthy and you'll never know why. I can see why they call it ghosting, because it tends to haunt your self-esteem for days or weeks afterwards.

Heed my cry: do not fall for a pretty face, but more importantly, do not be smitten by pretty words. These men seem ethereal, yet they are insubstantial at best. They belong in your memory, surely, but only to warn you not to repeat your mistakes. And I strongly suspect that they have no souls.

Pneumonia, it seems, is an epidemic sweeping the nation. Hold your loved ones close, and your strangers met on the Internet, even closer. They call it Tinder because you never know when you're going to get burned.

Boo, indeed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Playing with Fire

So I've been threatening to write "Tinder: the Musical." For those of you who have never been on Tinder, a popular dating app, here are some of the picture categories I have had the pleasure of enjoying:

Have fish, will travel
I need to put a shirt on
I have a gun! I'm outdoorsy! I'm on a horse!
I have a puppy/kitten/child/other adorable bait. Kudos to the guy with the fluffy owl.
I'm hugging my mom/grandma
I have no face, just a chest and abs
Really? That moustache? 
Guess which one out of these guys I am
I look surprised that I'm taking the my own picture

Then there are the songs, always the songs, that come to mind:

Eyes Without a Face
I Wear My Sunglasses at Night (and in every selfie)
Climb Every Mountain
I'm Too Sexy (for my shirt, or in some cases, any type of clothing)

Tinder profiles give major clues to personality and preferences:

Alumnus of the School of Hard Knocks
We're looking for a third
I work out! In case the pics of my bulging arms and torso did not provide any indication...
If you have kids then move on
I'm 6 feet tall, though I don't know why that's relevant
I'm an elitist freak
I like to have fun (heh heh...I know what that means. It means welcome to freedom, here is your complimentary crotch of fire)

Then you actually get to have conversations with some of these people. Joy of joys. There are things called charm and tact, and apparently they are elusive. One memorable guy opened a conversation like this: "Gag reflex?" 

I told him I was much more interested in whether he had a gag reflex. What an asshat.

Though there have been exceptions, in general this is not a good way to meet people. It is, however, an interesting look at a cross section of humanity/masculinity.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Efforts in Exhaustion

Good morning. Am I going to hate myself later for being up right now? Most likely.

Writing an article for The Mighty regarding the lovely healthcare gap I fall into. Thanks, Idaho. Meeting next week with a gentlemen regarding what will most likely be very expensive insurance. Unfortunately I need my meds to function, so I need the insurance, otherwise I would just take a potential tax penalty. One of my meds would cost $2000 to fill for a month without insurance. Ah, the lovely realities of divorce.

Tried the online dating scene for less than two weeks. I don't like it. In short, boys are dumb. I'm going to join a social club instead. I will be writing "Tinder: The Musical" at some point. But for right now I'm going to focus on my personal development and my kiddo.

Obtained another job. Part time, I'm going to supplement it with writing. Time to buckle down and actually write daily instead of just when I happen to be up in the middle of the night. How did I ever expect to finish my book without having to work? The answer is this: magic. The real answer? Lots of coffee and crying. And effort, must not forget that.

Work work work. Life is work. Time to break the cycle of Facebook addiction and get on it. 

But for now, some more sleep. Because apparently my brain isn't functioning.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Counting on It

Here is my first of what I hope will be many articles for The Mighty. It is an awesome, informative website, and I am excited to be a contributor.

The official divorce decree came down a few days ago. I thought I would rejoice or feel devastated, or both simultaneously. What I really felt? Meh. There was a bit of a shock effect going on, which could explain the numbness I felt I suppose. Even though it was something I mentally prepared for, I guess I wasn't ready after months of conflict and compromise to fully absorb the weight of it. It doesn't feel real yet. 

I have a new job, I will spare you the specifics but it is essentially a housekeeping position. Yes, it's kind of funny that OCD-girl will be scrubbing things for a living. I am nothing if not thorough and efficient, especially when my performance will be evaluated.

In other news, I finished reading a book. That only leaves four that I'm in the middle of. Tried to get a job selling books but, well, I am honest during interviews instead of obsequious. So they didn't much care for me. I would rather work for a small, honest company than a big box store any day anyhow. This is the part where I do jazz hands with my thumbs in my ears and my tongue sticking out: plllllttttt. 

I also submitted an application to be a temp for another position but these lovely medications I'm on caused a false positive on my drug test. Wonderful. I wouldn't be high on amphetamines even if I could afford them for recreation. As y'all are probably aware, my anxiety is bad enough without adding anything else to the mix.

Speaking of drugs and their associated costs, I am now watching my prescriptions run out with no
present insurance. Tricare's version of COBRA is unbelievably expensive and they want me to pay a full quarter up front. So I will be going through Idaho's health exchange to procure my health plans and my next batch of meds. So grateful that I am eligible for any kind of insurance since going off my meds would undoubtedly leave me completely disabled. So a sincere thank you to all of those who supported Obamacare in spite of the many attempts to repeal it. Folks like me are counting on it.

Also counting down the days to my favorite holiday, Halloween. October is the best month and I am so glad I will be here for Mom's annual Halloween party. The relatives and friends come out of the woodwork for a taste of her homemade chili. My daughter is going as Captain Phasma from Star Wars: so glad she found a female role model.

Strong females are in abundance here in Boise, and I am so grateful to my sisters, my grandmother, my mother and my close friends for supporting me throughout this last year. It's been an arduous journey but one I would undertake again. Life is nothing if not ever-changing, and I have learned not only to embrace change, but to respect and rejoice in it. And the gals I rely on have helped a great deal regarding this revelation.

I've been examining a Bach piece lately for one of those lovely ladies lately. Here, for your listening enjoyment and Happy Halloween anticipation, is some creepy Bach.

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