Fare Thee Well to All That

Note: You can also listen to me read this essay in the final episode of My Week In Tinder. Bonus musical content included.

Last Christmas, I published the first episode of my podcast, My Week In Tinder. A little bit less than a year later, I’m deciding to end it. This was not an easy decision to make, or rather, admit that I had already made. But, as Joan Didion writes in her essay that serves as half of the title of this one, “It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends.” For those who have been active listeners, you’ll know that my last episode was almost five months ago. I had planned to do a summer recap episode, replete with a parodied version of “Summer Nights” from Grease that I was going to sing with a backup karaoke track, but I obviously never got around to it. And I’m sorry about that, because it was really clever.

While the impetus for my podcast was clear, and remains clear to me almost a year later, its ending is murky. If I’m being honest, with not only you, but also myself, I made the decision to end My Week In Tinder months ago, but have had trouble pulling the proverbial trigger. My difficulty in ending something that I created, something that received far more (and surprisingly positive) attention than I anticipated had a lot to do with why. Why do I want to end this? Why have I lost interest? Why did I even start in the first place?

Here’s the cheat-sheet version of the answers to those first two questions: 1) Because it is no longer, to borrow a phrase from Marie Kondo, sparking joy. 2) Because I’ve lost interest in the premise, which is largely rooted in dating men I meet through Tinder or OkCupid or Bumble, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam (emphasis on the nauseam). The third question—Why did I even start in the first place?—is both the easiest and hardest to answer. Ultimately, I know why I started. It’s just difficult to talk about.

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Kate Curates the Internet: April 23, 2017

Here’s my favorite stuff from the Internet this week. And I made it (mostly) all about me. You’re welcome.

Bookish Things

LitHub ranked fictional drugs of literature on 4/20, which is apparently a significant date to some people who do certain drugs. I have never understood why, but maybe I was never cool enough. (Read: I never smoked enough pot to understand, or care enough about understanding, this phenomenon.) Also, glaring omission of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass…cue Grace Slick’s haunting vocals: “One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small…”

Karen Chee wrote an amazing Daily Shouts piece for The New Yorker: “Upcoming Utopian Novels (Now That We Live in a Dystopia).” The titles/plots are based on actual dystopian novels (e.g., The Happy GamesAnimal Town, and my personal favorite, Atlas Hugged).

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Romantic Résumé

Objective

Vaguely insecure but charmingly self-deprecating artsy-type seeks creatively-inclined adult male (human), preferably steadily employed, in the New York City area for something in between a one-night-stand/friends-with-benefits situation and a full-blown, instant relationship. (This is possibly called “dating,” a retro trend that apparently died out around 2008.) Alcoholics, narcissists, misogynists, mansplainers, doctors, codependents, neo-Nazis, or any combination of the aforementioned need not apply.

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A Brief History of Men I May Have Loved (And Who Didn’t Love—or Even Like—Me Back)

This essay is also featured on the My Week In Tinder Valentine’s Day special episode, which you can also listen to on PodOmatic, iTunes, or Stitcher.

(Note: Nearly all names have been changed. This is not to protect the men I am writing about, but to protect myself from further past, present, or future humiliation.)

Wanting what I can’t have has been a recurrent theme in my life. I’ve wanted my curly hair to be straight; I’ve wanted my practically translucent skin to be just a shade or two darker (read: not vampiric); I’ve wanted my neuroses to seem charming, not terrifying.

My romantic history is not free from this curse: I am unrequited love’s bitch.

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