Dating: Does Anyone Really Like This?

“I can’t wait until you start dating again. It will be fun.”–by BFF after I broke up with my ex.



Here are things other than the word “fun” that I would use to describe dating:
-The most awkward thing I’ve done since I had to kiss my long-time crush in our high school musical while simultaneously pretending that it was not my first kiss and that I was in fact an expert kisser and oh my God I got red lipstick right below his bottom lip, should I wipe it off or no????

Also, I’m in this situation where my last relationship lasted for over five years and I literally never want to mention that for the following two reasons:
1. Dudes will assume I want a relationship when I just want to hang out.
2. I will have mentioned an ex which I think is literally the worst thing ever because if you’re talking about your ex, then I don’t want you talking to me. (My rule of thumb for this has always been and always will be: “If your ex went horseback riding through Utah with Frank Zappa, then obviously I want to hear about it. If your ex styled her hair similarly to me, please don’t point that out.”)

But here’s the thing. The dating landscape has changed a lot since the last time I was single. Here are some things that didn’t exist the last time I dated new people and now are things I am quietly learning about:
-Dating apps*
-The term “ghosting;” “back burner;” “fuckboy”**
Treatment resistant gonorrhea***

And then there’s having to deal with actual humans on top of all of that!!

And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but humans are THE WORST.

And just when I thought I could take no more, I did the only thing I could do. I asked Tina Turner for help. But first, a little context:

Several years ago, when I was first dating Turd Ferguson (you guys remember Turd, right?) my godbrother asked me about him.

The conversation went as follows:
GB: Is he good to you?
Me: Yeah
GB: I’m not asking if he’s a good guy. I’m asking is he good to you? Do you understand the difference?
Me: (pause) Yeah, yes. I do. He’s a good guy and he’s good to me.

Pause. I appeared to be introspective. I wasn’t. I was hesitating. There were red flags I couldn’t define even then and I shrugged off that kernel of doubt. But you should never hesitate when someone you love asks, or better yet–you ask yourself, this question.

There are plenty of good people in this world. There are plenty of awful people in this world. The difference between the two types of people, in practice, is surprisingly oblique. So regardless of whether you’re just hanging out, just friends, or in a partnership with someone, you’d better be good to each other. You better make sure you’re giving your time to someone who is treating you right. No excuses.

In all seriousness, I first heard this song on an episode of Miami Vice. Admittedly, you can lose the significance of the lyrics if you’re sucked into the visuals of Gina and Trudy on shopping spree for undercover outfits, which is a thing that I am 100% sure all detectives actually do.

But this song is PREACH, Tina, PREACH. I’ve listened to it before and used it in the exact opposite way that it’s intended. I’ve been like “Yeah, you better be good to me!” and then felt emboldened to go right back into whatever crap situation I was in with a false sense of empowerment. But these days, I’m trying to actually practice what Tina preaches. Do you understand the difference?

P.S. In case you’re wondering, now that I’ve turned this into an occasional dating confessional that I very loosely tie to pop culture, no I do not mention this blog to potential suitors. I only mention it in job interviews.

It’s important to do this because I want to makes sure that all of my coworkers are weird as hell. It’s how I landed my current job! #NEVERGIVEUPONYOURDREAMS

*Incidentally, I haven’t used these yet and have instead decided that I would prefer to talk to random strangers IRL because I am an ENFJ dammit!
**I am still not sure what the term fuckboy means, so please leave your best definition in the comments.
***Please don’t panic. Click the link. Also, I recently used “no glove, no love” in all seriousness because I am a child of the 90’s and that was the first thing that came to mind. It worked and I actually looked like I was being humorous.

What is Shop Jeen/Am I Officially Old?

I had never heard of Shop Jeen until yesterday when the fact that their site was down was “breaking news” on Buzzfeed. Basically, everything I read said something along the lines of “If you’ve never heard of this website before it’s because you’re not nineteen and obsessed with emojis/unicorns as hair color inspiration/Tumblr/SnapChat/the internet as culture.”

Actually, the bigger sign that I’m no longer a hip youth is the fact that I went out for drinks with my coworkers yesterday afternoon and then spent the entirety of my Friday evening googling Shop Jeen. But you know what, I’m fine with that because this shit is riveting. It’s like a freaking anthropological study and I couldn’t stop bottle-necking at the wreckage of what looks to be a horribly run business.

I haven’t been so obsessed with business practices since Jezebel’sInside the Rainbow Gulag the Technicolor Rise and Fall of Lisa Frank.” And there is some similarity here in that a place that looks like a fun free for all on the outside, actually has literally the worst Glassdoor ratings I have ever seen, clocking in at an overall 1.9 stars. There are only 10 reviews and I’d say they’re all well worth the read. And from what I’ve read, Shop Jeen is such a small operation that it may not be too far fetched to consider those ten reviews the general consensus amongst employees.

So with a Better Business Bureau rating of F and what has been widely reported as a poor track record of actually paying vendors and delivering customer orders, why the heck is anyone ordering from this website?

Well, if there’s anything I’ve learned about Shop Jeen in the past 20 hours sine I learned of its existence, their marketing is awesome. From a glowing review in New York Magazine to re-designing new Barbie in their own images (with favorite items for sale on their website) for Paper, they definitely seem to know their target demographic. With hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram, many of whom seem to be teenagers who refer to the slightly-older CEO and Creative Director twenty-somethings as “mom,” then I’d say at the very least Shop Jeen is an interesting case study in brand loyalty. And is a strong enough allegiance with a brand enough to prompt consumers to make purchases they may never receive?

So maybe I am old because I frankly cannot wrap my mind around this. I feel like an outsider looking in on someone else’s scene. I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts on the statement that Shop Jeen released yesterday, but I don’t have SnapChat and that statement seems to exclusively live there. I guess I’ll have to wait with the rest of the old people to see if some other website covers it.

Here’s a little literature review if you’d like to follow me down this rabbit hole:

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo

90’s children rejoice! Nickelodeon has finally indulged us and plans to rerun the stories of our youth on a new segment called “The Splat.” Beginning October 5th the programming block (including VSB favorites Salute Your Shorts and Clarissa Explains it All) will air between 10 pm and 6 am to perfectly align with your quarter-life-crisis induced insomnia. For the well-adjusted of you who have to go to sleep in order to make it to your jobs on time, you’ll probably need to DVR this.

I searched for an eternity just now and couldn’t find the article I read earlier this week that basically explained why millennials love the TV shows of our youth so much. It was a lot more profound than this, but it boils down to the fact that we lack the financial resources to meet all of the “adult” milestones we feel like we should (i.e. house-owning, loan paying-off-ing, marrying and acquiring offspring, etc). Basically, we’re comparing ourselves to how we imagined adults to be when we were youngsters and we’re failing because we don’t live in that world anymore (see: mountains of student loan debt et al). We’re also overly educated, underemployed balls of anxiety who’ve put tremendous amounts of pressure on ourselves under rules that don’t exist anymore only to also be told by society that we’re whiny, extendedly-adolescent people.

And you know what, that makes us feel bad. It literally feels like being kicked when you’re down. I’m sorry for the douche bags who make our generation look bad, but most of us are quietly spinning our wheels and trying to figure out how to adjust. So we watch TV shows (which costs way less than a vacation) that remind us of a simpler time. Also, I know I joke about a lot of the stupid crap messages these shows were sending, but their hearts were in the right place. And some of them (Boy Meets World, Clarissa Explains it All, The Secret World of Alex Mack) had really great writing that I can still legitimately enjoy today.

So that was all a very long introduction to say that I feel like The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo was wrongfully overlooked on this lineup. Shelby Woo lived with her grandfather (Pat Morita from Happy Days and The Karate Kid) in Cocoa Beach and she solved mysteries. But we’re not talking dinky The Adventure of Mary-Kate and Ashley mysteries. We’re talking like genuine thrillers. Okay, well like thrillers for kids, but I found this show to be like a 7.5 on a 1 to Are You Afraid of the Dark? scale.

For example, the episode I’m watching right now (The Haunted House Mystery) starts with a bunch of cuckoo clocks going off and an old lady screaming alone in the middle of the night. That’s genuine horror, right there. But I could always trust that Shelby would solve the mystery and put things right. She finds out about this scary case when the old lady (she’s no longer screaming at this point) checks into her grandfather’s B&B and says she likes her house but she can’t deal with the haunting. Shelby is fearless so she spends the night in the haunted house and solves the mystery. I’m not going to spoil it for you (like I do every other episode of everything) because there’s no very special lesson. It’s just a cool show. And I’m hoping “The Splat” decides to air it on Halloween.