Sneak Peek: Tinder Swiping

Recently Sara and I were interviewed about online dating. On camera, I was asked to narrate how I browse Tinder. So tonight, I bring you exclusive insight into what I think as I come across all that Tinder has to offer.

Dennia, 22.Blah intro photo. Her bio is mildly interesting except for the "IG: @Dennia." Like, I am on Tinder, not eHarmony; I am not switching apps to look at the granola cereal you had this morning. Left.

Stacey, 23."I called my professor a misogynist piece of shit while drunk at my school's talent show and that's pretty much all you need to know about me." Missing a comma there, Stacey. But you're edgy. Right.

(It's a match!)

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Shutterbug Selfie

Last Saturday my two friends and I grabbed dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. It's a small family place as in, every customer is someone you may have seen on the sidewalk while walking your dog or driving to the grocery store.

I noticed an older gentleman seated smack dab in the center of the restaurant - reading a newspaper. Mind you, it's 8:30 PM on a Saturday (though if we're judging, I should add that my friends and I ordered a mimosa pitcher). And by older, I don't mean octogenarian-maybe-he's-a-widower status. More like he could be a silver fox.

This prompted my friend to say that she always fears eating out alone because she's afraid people will judge her. "When I was younger, I used to say that's one of the reasons I have to get married, so I'll never have to go to dinner alone."

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#SeekingFollowers: A Social Experiment

On Thursday, bored and avoiding work on three (three!) final projects, I decided to try an experiment: I wanted to see how many followers on Instagram I could get.

Instagram is by far my favorite social media platform, and that’s probably because I’m a pretentious, ironic millennial (read: hipster and maybe tack on wannabe). I also won’t lie, I watch my ratio of followers to who I follow. Followers are the currency of social standing. (And this is what makes me a wannabe hipster; a bonafide fair trade coffee-drinking, thick-rimmed glass-wearing, scarf-in-the-summer millennial isn’t concerned about these capitalistic, mainstream woes. At least theoretically.)

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“Where Are You Going In Life?”: A Holiday Special

Premiering this Wednesday night and lasting all through the holidays, brought to you by Your Family, the inevitable interrogation: “What are you doing with your life?” or the various other ways to phrase that prying query.

It’s open season for your relatives to find you at family dinners and ask about life. Oh, it seems so innocuous at first: “What classes are you taking?” “How’s that job?” And then: “So what do you want to do with that?” “Where are you going in life?”

Well, right now I’m headed for the eggnog – unless there’s some gin and tonic available, because I’m going to need something stronger to handle that question.

Since preschool we have been asked “What do you want to do?” And now that we’re twenty-somethings, the question still persists (*heavy sigh*) – and in so many other forms. People are no longer content to hear you want to be a fireman or a nurse – or, like I used to say, an Egyptologist. Sorry, guys, I don’t want to dust off pyramids anymore.

They want concrete, “realistic,” relevant answers. Like, what do you actually want to do? And not just what you want to do, but what are you doing. I imagine (read: hope) the inquiries will stop when I turn 30, but I think that’s false hope. The cross-examination only ceases once you fulfill first world society’s ideal of what is success: Steady job, permanent location, married, kids on the way. And if after achieving this, the variables fluctuate – say, you divorce or you quit your job to go do something else, God forbid – the grilling begins all over. I’ve seen it from afar: Suddenly your cousin is the condescending “So, Joe, now that you’re no longer as successful as me, what are you going to do about that?”

What Joe should say: “Sorry, my mouth is stuffed with turkey and sangria, so I can’t answer you.”

Senior year of college, the most contentious question to ask your peers was, “What are you doing after graduation?” Some people ask because they’re curious and have no judgment (ha! Everyone has judgment!), and some people want to know so they can compare life paths (“Mine puts me at $10K more than you”).

Millennials ducked that hurdle by assuring our collective selves that “it’s okay” not to know what you’re doing postgrad – until you’re a few years out. Like me now. But oh wait, I’m in grad school/have an internship/I must know what I’m doing.

WHERE DID THIS MYTH COME FROM?

Maybe, just maybe, I went to grad school to avoid answering the question of my life path. I got a BS in statistics, not in Life’s Purpose. And just because I’m in grad school for something super STEM-y does not mean I might not go become a New York columnist (which is better than a Minneapolis or LA columnist, obviously) or work with Ebola in Africa (which is what I would really love to do, do you hear that, Mom and Dad?). “So then why are you in grad school?” I don’t know!

But oh, if you don’t know about your career, we can change the subject. My aunt will ask if there’s anyone special in my life, and my mom will answer for me – and then she will add, “It’s because he doesn’t know how to compromise.” Well, eff you, too.

Finally, to shush everyone, I’ll admit, “I’m just working toward a place where one day I can make a pumpkin pie and not feel compelled to Instagram it to show that I’m an adult.”

However, I’m guessing they don’t make pumpkin pies in Africa. Sorry, everyone.

Sweet Starbucks Hack

By Cazey Williams I’m a Starbucks aficionado in the most non-basic sense, which means I don’t order mocha chais or – God forbid – PSLs. The only time I get more exciting than a “Trenta iced coffee, light soy, light ice, unsweetened” is when I have a reward drink, and then I might – might – order some sort of frappucino with double espresso shots.

I don’t do this more often because of the two C’s that dictate most of my dietary habits: Cost and calories. However, once upon a time, my friend introduced me to the Tazo (insert trademark symbol) Green Tea Frappucino Blended Crème (apparently that’s the proper name). I had a sore throat at that encounter, which added to my adoration.

That frappucino happens to cost $4.75 if you order a venti (and why wouldn’t you?). If your heart palpitated at that, wait until you hear about the nutrition. It’s so bad that Starbucks is very sorry, but “the nutritional data for this product is not available online.” Thankfully, nutrition sleuths exist online, and they estimate calories for that venti at 420, which primarily comes 88 grams of carbohydrates. Carbs in themselves are not bad – but 86 of those grams are sugar. Yes, sugar. I just got diabetes.

The iced green tea latte is loaded with similar sins.

Therefore, I present to you my sweet Starbucks hack that is both cheaper and healthier. Order a Trenta shaken green iced tea (Teavana with the trademark symbol if you care – and a trenta because I always do) and ask for no water. When you order a shaken iced tea usually, Starbucks already has the tea made, but they then add water. Yup, they water it down. Right? What the heck is that? So when you say “no water,” they give you all tea.

So then the barista asks, “Sweetened or unsweetened?” This is your choice. And I know aspartame comes out of the devil’s pores, but gosh, I love my Sweet’N Low and always ask for just one packet. Of course, this might kill me down the road, but not as fast as the 86g sugar overdose.

Finally, you ask for a splash of soy, which means like a fourth of a cup in generous barista language. If they’re stingy, you need two splashes. (We’re trying not to get charged here.) Starbucks carries vanilla soy milk, and this is what gives the creamy, sweet addition you need to emulate a latte. (Sorry, this isn’t exactly a frappucino, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.)

Altogether, $3.28 on my gold card. Ka-ching.

photo

Here I am modeling with this heavenly creature we’ve created. Look at those chapped knuckles. Taylor Swift should cast me in a music video.

Note how the color goes with the yellow foliage. Yeah, I know it’s November; who wants an iced beverage? Well, I hope you burn your tongue on your steamed milk.

Anyway, get to Starbucks fast, and let me know what you think!