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.
I’ve been drinking a lot of wine lately. This is partly because the world is falling apart (on a micro and macro level), but mostly in anticipation of (read: in preparation for) my guest appearance in my friend Chris’s show, Chris Tries to Review Wine Live!, tomorrow. Because extensive pregaming practice makes perfect!
So, here are some great songs about wine. Well, really just songs that mention wine in a lyric or two, because hey, fun fact, there aren’t too many songs exclusively about wine. For shame, music industry. For shame.
On the nineteenth anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts (which, by the way, is a fictional event that never actually happened…right?), J.K. Rowling tweeted that she was sorry for killing Severus Snape, whom Alan Rickman (still upset about his death last January, which actually did happen because he was a real person) portrayed in the films. Rowling’s prolific tweeting, not only about which of her characters she’s sorry she killed, but also about reality at large (i.e., things not related to Harry Potter), apparently prompted fellow British author Joanna Trollope to compare Rowling to Kim Kardashian, which is quite a big stretch if you ask me. According to Trollope, authors who tweet as much as Rowling does are “a threat to literature.” Alright, alright, calm the fuck down, Joanna Trollope. If anything, Rowling is an addict whose substance of choice is the fictional world she created. I remember Rowling going on record saying she was “done” after the publication of Deathly Hallows, but it’s about ten years later and we now have Pottermore, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and last summer’s Cursed Child (which has been scheduled for a portkey across the Atlantic Ocean to Broadway next April). Rowling’s inability to walk away from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a bit quirky and, in my opinion, slightly disturbing (like most addictions are), but it’s certainly not a threat to Literature at large, which, by the way, is possibly the most pretentious thing to actively worry about.
Earlier this evening, I was getting off the bus when an older gentleman asked me if I was okay. I made a noncommittal noise and rolled my eyes. He took what was barely an acknowledgement of or response to his question as a green-light to then say, “I could tell by your face how sad you are, but I bet your husband brightens your beautiful face right up.”
Maybe I like my face this way! I certainly don’t need a man–let alone a husband–to brighten it up. Maybe I’m not prettier when I smile! The fact that this man assumed I even had a husband also pisses me off. Just because I am an almost thirty-year-old woman doesn’t mean I need–or perhaps more on point, even want–a husband.
I don’t think this man intended any ill-will, but he did royally piss me off. Because benevolent sexism (which is what this was) is still sexism. So, here are some of my favorite feminist anthems. Stay nasty and persist.
Lately, the world has been conspiring against me in an effort to force me to maybe not relive, but at least confront my shit-show of an adolescence. This conspiracy (yeah, I’m more than comfortable labeling it as such) has manifested through a series of crazy random happenstances in which I find myself interacting with people from high school whom I haven’t seen in years. I suppose this kind of thing is expected if you go to a NYC prep school and never leave New York. But I don’t have many fond memories of my teenage years (read: almost none), so being forced to reconcile who I am now with who I was then has been a less than pleasant trip. Let me contextualize this for you: in my high school yearbook, I was voted “Most Impatient” and “Talks Most, Says Least.” I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Anyway, here are some songs I really dug during my mid to late teens.
So, fun fact: life is hard. Over the course of almost three-decades on this earth, I’ve found different ways to cope with whatever angst or ennui I’m facing. I’m not necessarily talking about self-care here, because some of the ways I’ve managed stress over the years have been less than advisable. (Exhibit A: me, circa my late adolescence/early 20s).
In the first paragraph of the actual narrative of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (i.e., after the weird etymology and “extracts” bullshit), Ishmael says, “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth…and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”
For the record, I actually hate Moby Dick (as if that weren’t already obvious), but I like this first (run-on) sentence. Unlike Ishmael, though, when I start to grow grim around the mouth, I don’t go to sea. I dance it the fuck out.
(Another fun first line of a novel to contextualize my week: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.)
So, this edition of My Week In Music highlights some songs that help me dance this mess around.
Welcome to the inaugural post of My Week In Music, a (hopefully) recurring feature in which I describe my past week with…well, music. (Also, apparently I like naming things “My Week In ____.” Go figure.) Sometimes these posts will be thematic, sometimes they may just be the tracks I listened to most that week, sometimes…yeah, I don’t know. Let’s do this.