NOT OKCupid and PlentyOfFish (ButNoneYouWant)

Hi guysss.
As is very evident if you read my blog, I am the definition of perpetually single. When I was younger, especially in college, this was something that was really tough for me, because I felt like there was something WRONG with me. But thankfully, college was an enormous character building experience and coming out of it I really kind of figured myself out and became comfortable in my own skin.
This recently led me to the decision that since I was finally happy with myself, it might finally be a good time to start looking for someone else to be happy with. And that was how I stumbled innocently, naively, into the world of online dating apps.
I documented my rather interesting experiences with Tinder, the first app I tried last summer. But things just never quite clicked for me and eventually I gave up on it.
I had essentially quit my pursuit of dating, but this fall, as something of a lark, a couple of my coworkers signed me up for OKCupid. And so I was sucked back into the wild world of electronic courting.
I started out, as I mentioned, with OKCupid. I liked it a million times better than Tinder, because you actually answer tons of questions about yourself and you can see what people you’re potentially interested in have answered to those questions. So, I can see if guys smoke or are against gay marriage or are virulently conservative or if they’re into threesomes, and I can harshly, harshly judge and reject them. It’s really quite fabulous.
And, shock of all shocks, I actually went on dates with TWO different guys I met on OKCupid (and naturally, because my life stubbornly remains a cosmic joke at all times, they both had the same name. Like, the same first name. And like, one guy’s middle name was THE SAME as the other guy’s last name. God). It didn’t work out with either, but the experience really wasn’t that unpleasant. I was slightly reassured that maybe, just maybe, online dating could work.
But after the first two guys, things seemed to go downhill. As always seems to be the inevitable rule, if I was interested in a guy and liked them, they never were interested back. If I looked at a guy and had no interest, naturally that guy would send me a message. It was all very disheartening and reminded me of my tragic youth where the guys I liked never liked me back (SOB).
I was starting to give up on the whole thing–eventually scrolling through endless profiles of guys just made me tired. What were the odds I’d find the guy who was right for me here? It seemed essentially impossible. I started to think that I was honestly just too used to being single, and deep down I didn’t even want to date.
I basically quit looking at the website, as the whole thing just started to get kind of stupid and I felt like I’d seen EVERY. GUY. and none of them were right.

So, naturally, I signed up for another dating app called Plenty of Fish.

At first, it was actually pretty exciting. There were tons of cute new guys who sounded appealing, and my irrepressibly optimistic, hopelessly romantic heart thought, “HE’S GOT TO BE HERE!”
Sigh.
Readers, let me tell you something. I just don’t think he is there.
Come along with me as I lead you down the magical and always delightful (HEAVY SARCASM) paths of online dating.
First, I will include a selection of my very favorite messages I’ve received. Enjoy.

“You into black guys??”
I’m just into guys??

“Hey, kind of off the wall question lol but would you be into having a threesome with two guys?”
LOL THREESOMES, A LITTLE OFF THE WALL AMIRITE?! Though you do get some points for giving me details, it’s nice to know just what kind of threesome I’m being propositioned for.

“Let me unsingle you girl ;) lol”
;)

“Hello Sarah, okcupid sent me in your direction and I’m glad they did.”
Too bad OKCupid couldn’t send you in the direction of spelling my name correctly, even though it’s right there on my profile.

“Would you dat a black guy just asking no disrespect”
Okay, 1. What is “dat”? 2. Why would this be disrespectful to me?!

“Hey I’m looking for a sugar baby. I own my own business and would love to take care of a good looking girl like yourself. If this interests you let me know.”
My personal favorite. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t consider this. The older I get, the better a sugar daddy sounds.

“Pics”
Of what? My cats? Because that’s about all I’ve got pics of.

“Hey sweetheart how are you”
Hey sweetheart, good thing I’m like three years older than you, you patronizing little twit.

“heyyy are you single?”
Oh, dear lord.

And, the BEST of all:
“sorry you’re still single. i cant help with that with my current situation but if you’re crazy enough to come to okc and get some head then im your dude haha”
So. Many. Questions. Like, what is wrong with you?

One of my favorite things about online dating, aside from the completely inappropriate propositioning of my person and lack of any recognizable grammar, is looking at the profile pictures guys select and wondering just what in the hell they were thinking when they did so. I suppose at heart I’m a horrible, awful person but I take so much joy in looking through a guy’s pictures and judging them cruelly. I’m sure there are guys who think the same about my pictures, but thankfully I remain blissfully ignorant of them.
I was deeply tempted to post all the screenshots of the really, really SPECIAL ones I’ve seen, but that seems just a touch too personal and mean-spirited. So instead, I’ve created a compilation of some of the most common types of profile pictures I see, performed by yours truly.
They are as follows:

The WAAAY Too Close-Up
Snapchat-3607867300440274376
I’m not sure where any human being could get the idea that the closer to your face one gets, the hotter it is. Someone needs to show these guys a few Monet paintings. I’ve seriously seen so many pictures where the camera was so close to the taker’s face that I couldn’t even tell what his hair looked like. Literally the ONLY excuse for that is if you have T-Rex arms.

The Bathroom Selfie with Tons of Crap in the Background

Snapchat-5061217160104594786
Not only do I get to see your best selfie pose, I also get to see every product you use in your shower routine as well as every single thing on your bathroom counter. This particular type is also at times taken in front of a closet, complete with random hangers and piles of clothes. The two are interchangeable, though the bathroom is by far the most prevalent.

The Shirtless, Pensive Romantic in Bed 

Snapchat--748653117396838724
This is a particular favorite of mine and one of the most common. These seem to be some kind of attempt to show a softer, more intimate side of the guy, because everyone knows that’s only accomplishable in bed. Most often it is accompanied by a dreamy look, sometimes with the subject gazing at a point just out of focus beyond the camera. Bonus points if a hand is put to the face with the eyes peeking up at you as though overcome with shyness.

The I Don’t Realize I’m Supposed to Look at the Mirror and Not My Phone Screen Selfie

Snapchat-4304511145788565956
Though this type isn’t always taken in a bathroom, that is a frequent setting. Other acceptable locales include the gym, dressing rooms, or other public bathrooms. This particular guy seems unable to overcome the challenges of technology and optics in order to realize that, while it is a good idea to check your selfie on your phone screen, you need to actually look up in order to take a picture of your own face.

The I Kill Animals So I’m a REAL Man

Snapchat-900936153293567277
Maybe this is just a Southern thing, but the number of times my eyes have been assaulted by a grinning, self-satisfied fellow posing jauntily next to a dead or a large number of dead animals is really depressing. Nothing screams romance like the sight of blood and gore and death! Am I supposed to be impressed because you went into the woods and shot a defenseless animal with your high powered rifle? Sadly, I seem to be in the minority in Oklahoma, but I am so sick of dead deer and ducks popping up in my face with blood leaking from their mouths. There’s even a guy on there posing next to a dead zebra. A DAMN ZEBRA. I guess this is supposed to show me that you, the big he-man, can provide for me, the little female. Talk about caveman mentality… I’m by no means claiming that I’m a saint and that I don’t eat meat, because I do, but I don’t go sneaking up on animals and blowing a hole in them before posing triumphantly with my grisly trophy. Even if you are hunting simply to feed yourself, doesn’t it seem just a trifle disrespectful and hateful to paparazzi the poor, dead animal like you’ve done something SO AMAZING? Ugh. Thanks, but NO thanks.

The I’ve Got A Little Free Time In My Giant Truck

Snapchat--1791112349751162554
I’m not really sure what the deal with this is, but I’ve noticed a strange but overwhelming phenomenon where guys take selfies in their vehicle, which is almost invariably a truck. Like, what’s going on? You’re just on your lunchbreak and you’ve finished eating and you think, Well shoot, I’ve got a little more time before I have to clock back in, might as well take some photos of my face?
Sometimes, I can’t tell if they’re actually parked or not, and then I have terrifying images of single guys swerving between lanes as they snap pics of themselves for their dating profile.

The I HAVE ABS NOTHING ELSE IN THE WORD MATTERS LOOK AT THEM

Snapchat--1101802775859608409
I AM NOT EVEN A NORMAL HUMAN, I CONSIST OF NOTHING BUT PERFECT, BREATHTAKING, SIXTEEN PACK ABS. THAT IS LITERALLY ALL I AM, CHOOSE ME AND YOU ENTER INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH A DISEMBODIED, FLOATING WASHBOARD OF MUSCLE.

There are, of course, variations and there are even some nice guys who don’t seem to have any of these in the repertoire. But unfortunately, those guys seem to be the minority. Perhaps you’ve now gained some idea of why online dating is so very treacherous. For now, I’ll keep giving it a chance, and hopefully I’ll come away with some more good stuff for you guys, if nothing else. Stay tuned as I continue my search to find someone who could possibly live up to my true love, Steven Adams.

So, for my final thought– I used to think there was something wrong with me because I was single. Now I’m starting to think that maybe I’m doing something very, very right by staying single.

It’s Going Down, I’m Yelling Tinder

Hi, everyone.
I know it’s been a while since I last wrote, and I apologize. I’ve been pretty busy lately running around with friends and trying to find a job (as ever). You might remember that at the beginning of May, I wrote about how the Buzzfeed post I authored went viral, and it resulted in me getting a job offer to write articles for the British website WhatCulture.com. In the month of May I wrote three articles for about 90 bucks (whoop WHOOOOOO)!!!

SOMEONE PAID ME MONEY TO WRITE WORDS THIS IS CRAZY

You can check them out here:
9 Underrated Kid’s Movies You Didn’t Realise Were Awesome
20 Reasons Being A Single Woman Is The Best 
20 Obscure Movies With Hilarious IMDB Descriptions

Just a note, the single one was originally written as just being directed at single people in general, but then my editor randomly changed it after I submitted it and so now the title doesn’t really makes sense.
Ah, the realities of writing for someone else.
But seriously, I love writing for What Culture and everyone has been incredibly kind and I strongly encourage you to go check out, not just my articles, but everything else on their cool Britishy website. I’d love it if you’d share or comment on my articles, too, as it helps my standing within the pecking order.

But now, on to the most exciting thing I’ve been doing lately.
Friends, it’s finally happened.
I joined Tinder.

Heh. Heh heh.

I know what you might be thinking here. Sara, you’re saying, don’t you know Tinder is for hooking up?
Yes, yes, Unspecified Mystery Reader, I had heard that. That’s why I never tried it or anything; I was just as skeptical as you. But I actually talked with one of my friends that had Tinder, and she told me it’s not really that bad and she recommended I try it.

I thought about this for a good long while. As you all may or may not have figured out by this point, I’m a bit awkward and unfamiliar with this whole dating tomfoolery. If you don’t count times when parents drove because we were too young, I’ve never been on an actual date. At the age of 22, this often comes as a surprise to people, and makes trying to date even more awkward. It’s made it easy to make excuses and never really give dating much of a go.
Now, as I have said repeatedly on this blog, I do NOT think there is anything wrong with being single. In fact, I think being single for a long period of time is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. It allowed me to really sort myself out and figure out what I wanted and needed in a potential partner.
On the other hand, however, I’m just getting dang curious what all the “dating” fuss is about, and I’d really just like to give this whole thing a whirl. I even made a resolution for New Year’s that I would go on a date this year (probably).
But by May, my options still weren’t looking good. So impulsively one day, I plunged in and downloaded Tinder.

Eh, why not?

Let me explain the basic premise of Tinder for those of you who have never been desperate enough to use it. You create a profile where you can pick a few pictures to put on, along with a short bio. Then you set parameters like age range, gender, and distance from you. Then, Tinder looks for people who fit into your parameters in your area

Genuinely one of my favorite things to come from the internet.

You look at the profile and pictures of the people Tinder suggests to you, and it will show you if you have any mutual friends or likes on Facebook. Then, you either swipe left if you’re not interested, or right if you are. If someone you’re interested in also swipes that they’re interested, too, then it will show you that you are a match. You then have the ability to message each other and start a conversation. If you swipe left, then you never see that profile again–even if you swiped left by accident.
The first time I tried to use Tinder, I became very stressed out. I am terrible at making decisions, and Tinder is literally making what is essentially a snap judgement about someone based almost entirely off their appearance. I didn’t even swipe the first time I got on, because I felt so agonized about the prospect of making a mistake. I stared at this one guy’s profile for like fifteen minutes, paralyzed with indecision, before I finally panickedly closed Tinder by hitting the back button like five times unnecessarily. It took me a few hours to get my courage up again.
Tentatively, I tried again, resolving to be firmer and more hard-hearted. I braced myself, and swiped no on a couple of people. I immediately felt incredibly proud of myself. I could do this… I could Tinder!!!!
Then I came to a guy who I WAS interested in. Again, I felt crippled with indecision. What if I swiped yes on him but he didn’t swipe yes on me?! What if I was rejected BY A PHONE APP?!
And then, the beauty of Tinder dawned upon me.
WHO CARES IF YOU ARE REJECTED BY A PHONE APP, YOU NEVER HAVE TO SEE OR SPEAK TO THEM EVER AGAIN!!!! IT’S LIKE DATING WITHOUT ANY SORT OF PHYSICAL CONTACT!!!! I DON’T EVEN HAVE TO LEAVE MY HOUSE TO PARTICIPATE!!!

The excitement this realization brought me is perhaps a bad omen for someone who claims to want a date.

But back to my story. Bravely, I overcame my trepidation, and swiped yes for the first time. Instantly, a little message popped up on my phone saying we were a match.

Classy girls protect identities.

Classy girls protect identities.

Wait…. we’re a match? We really are? You’re saying someone looked at my picture and my profile and thought, YeahI’d be interested in her?!?!?!

God, what was I waiting for?! This dating thing is a PIECE. OF. CAKE. I started swiping like crazy, soon becoming drunk with the power to reject or approve potential soulmates (probably). And, even more heady, almost every single guy I swiped that I was interested in had already said they were interested in me.
It was a miracle– THESE GUYS DON’T THINK I LOOK LIKE I’M TWELVE YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!
Pretty quickly, a few guys even MESSAGED me. I was chatting with guys in a romantic context on my phone…. THIS IS THE FUTURE.

And, happily, most of the guys were really nice. Unfortunately, one fella got right off to a bit of a personal start, and inquired about my feelings on “butt stuff.”

And so I blocked his ass; hopefully that got the message across. One of the nice things about Tinder is you can block someone at any time and they can never see your profile or contact you again.
Overall, most of the guys I was matching with who messaged me were really nice and not creepy. However, there were definitely a few interesting profiles I came across:

Oh, hi there, pretend Eric Church.

Oh, hi there, pretend Eric Church.

Okay, but I really like his style.

Okay, but I really like his style.

wpid-screenshot_2014-06-01-18-40-27.png
I left his name because, oh my god his name is Countryman?! Also, I thought he was Kevin Durant for a minute.
But speaking of NBA players, the most exciting moment of my Tinder experience came when a profile was suggested to me that is most likely someone pretending to be Steven Adams of the NBA Thunder (my new favorite Thunder player if Derek Fisher retires), but OH MY EVER LIVING GOD IT COULD BE STEVEN ADAMS ON MY TINDER AND THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY HE MIGHT SWIPE RIGHT ON ME.

THE ONLY PROBLEM IS I WOULD PROBABLY SPONTANEOUSLY EXPLODE

I should’ve taken a screenshot of it, but I have NEVER swiped yes so fast on a Tinder profile in my life.
The most traumatizing moment definitely came when I discovered my own cousin on Tinder (I CAN NEVER UNSEE), and also horrifying was when one of my best friend’s younger brother appeared. But also cool was finding a couple guys I knew and went to school with. We both swiped yes on each other and then laughed about how we were both on Tinder.

Then, a guy I went to high school with but I didn’t know at all during that time matched with me. I’d actually played against him a couple seasons in indoor, so we’d at least nominally met, but I didn’t think he’d really remember who I was. Yet he straight away asked me to play with his indoor team, but I unfortunately have been injured with quad tears for the past two months (a whole other story that I will get to on another post). But, to my shock, even after I told him I couldn’t play, he asked me to still come watch his game. AND there was definite flirtiness (I think).
Was… was this a…. DATE?!?!

COME ON SARA KEEP IT TOGETHER

Let me just explain how surreal this is to me. This guy, who we will call The Lad (remember, classy girls protect identities), was really popular in high school and played football. I NEVER even came into contact with him in high school, much less spoke to him. I always just admired how hot he was from afar. And now I think he might have possibly asked me on a quasi-date??????

hahaha what I don’t know how to react or handle this or even breathe send help please help

But, as with all things when it comes to me and guys, this situation is not so simple. The Lad asked me last Sunday to come to a game that is tomorrow, Saturday. So Sara, you’re saying. What’s the problem with that? That actually sounds really simple. Why don’t you just go up to the game and watch? It’s not a big deal, and it’s not like you don’t spend a majority of your time in soccer arenas anyway. Just do it. DO IT. GO TO THE GAME.
Well, Overly Insistent and Pushy Mystery Reader Who Sounds Like My Family and Close Friends, here’s the problem.
I haven’t spoken to him since then. He hasn’t messaged me or contacted me at all since Monday. What if he forgot he invited me, or he only matched with me so he could ask me to play and then when I couldn’t he felt obligated to invite me to the game to be nice? If he was really interested, why hasn’t he talked to me? What if he’s just a big creep?
Now you may be thinking that I sound absurd, or silly, or why in god’s name don’t I just message him? But I have accepted this about myself and dating– I have to take baby steps. Really, really tiny baby steps. Maybe more like a couple weeks old baby steps that aren’t really steps at all but are just the baby kicking its legs around in the air under its mobile.
To date, I’m going to need a LOT of encouragement and reassurance. I am the most oblivious girl alive sometimes, and I NEVER realize when guys like me unless they come right out and say it– and even then I’m still a bit skeptical. Dating is just a whole new world for me, and I am no Hernando Cortez to go rushing right in and conquer it ruthlessly and without fear– the natives reportedly ripped out hearts, remember.

Yep, I mix history and dating. Maybe why I'm still single?

Yep, I mix history and dating. Maybe why I’m still single?

And so I waver indecisively, as agonizingly unsure as the very first time I faced a profile on Tinder. Should I go? Should I not? Should I message him? The answer is not clear to me, and I am struggling mightily with my natural shyness and awkwardness in a romantic context. I’m sure I’ll update you on the thrilling conclusion to the pathetic sagas of my love life, whatever they may be.
I just don’t understand why I ever thought Tinder was a good idea. Maybe I’m going to give up on this whole dating thing after all; my stress levels are rising exponentially and I don’t understand how so many people do the dating.

I’m starting to seriously question whether I’m cut out for it at all.

I don’t think it’s for me.

 

 

The Single Lady’s Calendar

(UPDATED NOTE: I’ve turned this post into a Buzzfeed post, which I would be so unspeakably grateful if you would check out and share any way you can. You can also read a little bit more about it on my other post explaining why I did so!)
Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Readers!
As you all probably know, I am perpetually single, and I haven’t had a date on Valentine’s in nearly a decade. But contrary to what you might expect after hearing that, I love Valentine’s Day. I really do; it makes me happy because it is a holiday dedicated to celebrating my favorite emotion–love. Last year, in fact, I wrote a whole blog post about just how much I love Valentine’s and why. You can check it out, it’s one of the most popular posts I have ever written for the blog (so you know it’s, like, totes good).
All this being said, I know that there are probably just as many of you who plainly loathe Valentine’s Day–and hey, I’m not going to pretend like that’s not completely understandable. I love chocolates and gifts as much as the next girl.
A few months ago, I began kicking around an idea in my mind. I had seen those hilarious someecards on Pinterest that divided the months up into months for single people, and I thought they were pretty darn funny.

Like this.

Just trying to be funny (as I strive so hard to do), I started thinking up titles for all the months. And then, like a bolt of lightning, it hit me– why not make an actual calendar for single ladies?!
The more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea. But one thing I knew right from the beginning was that I would not be able to accomplish this feat on my own–my skills, such as they are, rest in writing, not photography or Photoshop or anything like that.
Enter my lifelong friend, Cindy Benton. Luckily for me, Cindy is extremely talented, crazy creative, and amazing with a camera–and she both had and knew how to use Photoshop. Together we cooked up ideas, ironed out details, and over two days in January, with the help of Cindy’s equally creative sister Erin, we shot The Single Lady’s Calendar.
Initially I planned to post this post on January 18th, the one year anniversary of the blog (YIPPIEEEEE!!!). But I was young, and naive, and I did not understand the rigors and treachery of trying to navigate Photoshop that Cindy would have to face down. It took much longer than I expected, but thankfully Cindy never threw up her hands and said she quit.
So we reassessed, and then I realized, when would be a more perfect time to post the calendar than Valentine’s Day?
After all, I wrote last year for all the people who loved Valentine’s Day. Why not create something for those who don’t feel quite so positively?
And so, in solidarity for all you single gals (and heck, even guys!) out there who consider February 14th to be Singles Awareness Day, I feel you. This one is for you.

The Single Lady’s Calendar

Jealous of Couples January

Fictional Boyfriend February

Movie Marathon March

All By Myself April

Marry My Cats May

Just Friends June

Join A Nunnery July

Always Alone August

Single September

Online Dating October

No Ring November

Don't Date December

There you have it, my friends! I hope you have as much fun with this as we did making it– and to all of my wonderful Readers, single or not, I hope you have an absolutely lovely Valentine’s Day! :)

PS Again, I cannot stress enough how much help I had in doing this. It literally would have never happened without Cindy, and she deserves just as much (if not more) credit for this than I do. I cannot say thank you enough to her, because she made it possible!!
And of course, special thanks to our assistant Erin ;)

6 Reasons I Would Make A Really Great Girlfriend

I’ve been thinking. (A dangerous pastime, I KNOW).
I know I have talked numerous times about my firmly single state, my trials and travails with boys, and how it’s a tough world out there for a single lady.
What I have also noticed is that girls who are single for a long time kind of get a bad rep. Every year, they get a little older, and the distance since the last time they had a significant other grows larger. For some girls, this time is an endless revolving door of bad dates and shady guys. For others, like myself, this is a meandering journey of cats, novels, and unrequited crushes (generally on fictional characters and celebrities).  But something that all single girls (and possibly single guys? Not being a guy, I don’t know if the experience is the same) tend to have in common is this little niggling voice in their head that says, What’s wrong with me?
I hate this voice. It was especially bad when I was an underclassmen in college. So many people I knew met perfectly nice people who they clicked well with and went floating about in a haze of couple-y bliss.  It seemed so easy for them, and yet I had maybe two guys express clear interest in me in college, and I didn’t know either of them very well. The boys I had a crush on were not among those two guys. Now, I am not saying that since I ended my last relationship at 16 that I have been miserably unhappy from the lack of a boyfriend. I am eternally grateful, actually, that I went through college without a boyfriend. It let me focus on school, enjoy meeting new people, and taught me how to be alone. I figured out who I was without basing it on how a boy defined me.
But the voice is insidious, and every time a guy I kind of liked started dating some other girl, I found myself wondering why not one of the boys I thought were pretty cool felt the same way about me. Did I talk too much? Did I have bad hair? (The answer to that question: yes.) Was I too awkward? (A resounding yes.) Not pretty enough? What was it about other girls that drew boys in that I lacked?
This is not a good place to be in. In fact, I’ll baldly call it a ridiculous and counterproductive place to be in. Now, obviously I’m not perfect, but I’m not awful either. As I grew and matured enormously throughout college, I started hearing this voice less. And when I did hear it asking, What is wrong with me? I started replying back- NOTHING. There was nothing wrong with me. There was nothing wrong with the boys who didn’t like me either. We just didn’t suit. I’ve mentioned before that I am very committed to the idea of soulmates, and it started to become clear to me that mine just wasn’t nearby at this time. I’ve grown to be very happy with myself and my single state, and I honestly can’t imagine myself getting married. If I’m proved wrong, that’s wonderful. If not, I truly believe that I can make a worthwhile, productive, happy life all on my own.
Let me tell you, that’s an empowering place to be in. I don’t hear the voice anymore. Instead, I hear in my head now, Why wouldn’t someone want to date me? So in honor of that new, positive voice in my head, I have compiled a list of just a few of the reasons why I would make a pretty freakin’ sweet girlfriend.

1. I Am Not Bothered By Snoring
How many times have you watched commercials for nasal strips or mouthpieces where a lady kicks a man to the couch because he won’t quit snoring? Well, if you dated me, that would never happen. I sleep every night with a man who snores like Snuffleupagus with bronchitis- my 16 year old cat, Boo.

I am very sick.

I am very sick.

Also, my parents both have refined snoring to an art, and anytime we spend the night in a hotel I’m treated to a masterpiece of sounds that are often hard to believe are produced by humans. So don’t worry, this awesome girlfriend will never call you out. I’ll just whip out my handy earplugs and snuggle up to my snoring cat, who will be sharing any bed I sleep in.

2. I Give the Best Back Massages Ever
No, seriously. My sister will attest to this. Whenever I get her to do me a favor, she always asks for a back massage in return. And, I don’t mean to brag, but there has been serious suggestions from people that I should look into a career in massage therapy. Need I say more?

You’re welcome for this.

3. I Will Never Make You Go Shopping With Me
I am being completely truthful here. I don’t really even like people going shopping with me. Shopping is very serious, especially when I go thrifting. You have to be committed to going through a whooole lot of clothes, and I don’t need someone impatiently standing around looking frustrated as I try on a thousand ugly vintage shirts in order to find one really cute button-up that I buy. I need to concentrate. If I want someone’s opinion on something, I’ll take a selfie in the dressing room and send it to my sister. In the meantime, I would actually hope that you are also interested in fashion, and are involved in working on your own style. Preferably something along the lines of this:

Well hello.

Oooh, I love me a bow tie.

Oooh, I love me a bow tie.

Wooo, and some glasses.

Mmm, and a newsboy cap… Sorry. That was the last one.

So I have distinct sense of style, but I will never make you care about it. Also, a recent revelation- sometimes I don’t know if I have an actual crush on some guys, or if I just have a crush on their clothes. Sounding shallow… moving on!

4. I Am Really, Really Undemanding
I am not the kind of person who loves to go out and club. Like, I really don’t like that. I also have newly discovered that I have a bit of an allergy to alcohol, so I’ll never expect you to buy me lots of drinks. I am seriously happy to spend 9 out of 10 nights at home, reading. Also, I have obviously been single a long time, so I am used to my space. And I would probably be sleeping for at least 2/5 of our relationship. Seriously, though, I could never date a guy who does not respect that I need naps. Lots of naps. Don’t bother me while I am sleeping.

Who DARES disturb my slumber?!

I once fell asleep on the London tube. During the day. While sitting up. I just want to make sure you understand how serious I am about naps.

5. I Am Kind of Obsessed with Sports
I mean, soccer is my favorite, clearly. But I love most sports. I love hockey- I grew up going to CHL games (Blazers I will always love you, JOE BURTON 4EVAAAA). I love the NBA (THUNDERRRR). I love college basketball/football (BOOMER SOONER, BABY!!!). I like the NFL. I love tennis (two years in middle school, BOOM). I love volleyball (played for six years, what whaaat). I also enjoy softball. So if all you want to do is sit around and watch sports, well, I’ll scoot over on the couch. But you better love soccer, though. And you better not expect to watch baseball or golf. Not happenin’.
However, I hope you like mini golf, because I am alllll about that. Golf is only fun when there’s windmills and brightly colored golf balls involved.

This = perfectly acceptable.

6. I Will Make You Look Like a Professional Chef
I don’t cook, pretty much at all, so I’ll never be in the kitchen getting in your way. Instead, I’ll really let you have the chance to shine, showing off your culinary prowess for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll be able to have the opportunity to learn about things like tikka masala sauce, julienning things, and how much difference a good food processor can make. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching Chopped/Sweet Genius in the living room and yelling tips and encouragement at you.
Every once in awhile, I’ll make you an instant cake mix or some Betty Crocker muffins, just to show you that I really could do it all if I chose, but I want to let you have your moments.

You’re welcome.

So there you go, boys. Just a few of my more sterling qualities for your consideration. Honestly, the list goes on, but I don’t want to intimidate anyone.
In fact, you know what? I am so awesome, that maybe I don’t want boyfriend. I don’t need a boy to appreciate all these great things about me, because I already appreciate them so much. I’m not single because there’s something wrong, I’m single because I have such high standards.

Run and tell that, homegirl.

So in conclusion, I am resolved to only accept the very best of boys. I encourage all you other single girls to do the same. I also encourage any girl in a relationship who isn’t happy, or fulfilled, to think about doing the same. Make a list of some of your best qualities, and make sure people are really appreciating them. In all seriousness, it’s important that you love yourself before you can really love someone else. I am making sure I got the first part down, and I want to really make sure any potential boyfriend would do the same.
In that vein, I want to announce that I will be requiring any boy even thinking of dating me to fill out and submit one of these:

BE HONEST, YOU LAUGHED.

So if you ever find yourself with that ugly, nagging little voice inside your head asking, What is wrong with me?? You just tell it, NOTHING! And remember:

Word.

The Surprising Tale of a Single Girl Who Loves Valentine’s Day

Greetings, Dearest Readers.
I’m going to be upfront and confirm your fears, this is going to be a post about Valentine’s Day. Now, I know what you’re thinking. This girl wrote a whole post dedicated to being a Crazy Cat Lady, so a Valentine’s post from her is just going to be a whole hot crock pot of crazy. I mean, I have ample reason. I haven’t had a date on Valentine’s day since I was a freshman in high school (that’s eight years, in case you were wondering). And I don’t even know if that really counts as a date, since neither I nor my boyfriend could drive, and our date consisted of us going to Bad Brad’s BBQ with my family and awkwardly holding hands under the table. Since then, I haven’t even been asked. Now, as Lizzie’s aunt says in Pride & Prejudice, “That savors strongly of bitterness.” But I am being perfectly, one hundred percent honest when I say that I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY. Absolutely adore it. No matter how many pass boyfriendless, I never cease to enjoy them. Yesterday was no exception.
You might wonder why. Countless numbers of  unattached people despise it, and grumble loudly about it being “Single’s Awareness Day” and a completely awful, commercial, joke of a holiday. That is certainly one way to look at it. But for me, Valentine’s Day is simply a day to celebrate love. Now, I am obsessed with love as a concept. Since I first began stumbling through little books on my own when I was three or four, I have always gravitated towards the ones with a prince and princess. Now, as an adult, I rarely (if ever) read books without a hero and a heroine who fall for each other. If I’m being honest, I pretty much read only romance novels. I think love is the most powerful, important, and beautiful force on this earth. I could go on for days about how much I love love.
I have a strong suspicion this is the reason I haven’t had a date on Valentine’s in eight years. I’ve been told more than once in my life that I’m too picky and my standards are impossibly high. I’ve seen people all around me happily dating a few or a lot of people as we’ve gotten older, yet year after year passes and I find myself always single. On one hand, this frustrates me, and I start thinking that people are right and I’m ridiculous; I should just go out with somebody to at least say I dated. It’s not like I haven’t liked guys, but it always seems they were never interested in me, or when I got to actually know them better I could never have imagined dating them. And there have been people interested in me at times, and I’m sure with some effort on my part that something might have possibly come of it. But that’s the thing- I’ve never wanted anything to come of it. I’m really shy around guys I’m interested in; I’m not confident and I’m afraid of embarrassing myself if they don’t like me back. So far, I’ve never found a person who made me brave enough to put myself out there. I also have this slight problem where, even if I like a guy initially, if he starts showing even the slightest sign of something that could possibly be interest, I get so freaked out that it literally makes my stomach hurt.
I don’t know where this excess of anxiety and nerves came from; my mom loves to tell stories about what a confident little flirt I used to be when I was younger. I remember in elementary and middle school “dating” a whole slew of “boyfriends.” I mean, of course they were nothing serious, but I don’t remember ever being particularly shy around boys when I was younger. In high school I had a lot of unrequited crushes, but I at least had two somewhat serious boyfriends (well, as serious as two relationships of three to four months each can be) when I was a freshmen and then the summer before my senior year. But somewhere between when I dated my last boyfriend at sixteen, to the current, single me at the age of twenty-one, something happened. Unfortunately, I think I know the culprit- puberty. The older I got, the more I recognized that being in a relationship with someone was actually something serious, that you have to dedicate time and effort to. And I also realized that the older I got, relationships tended to have repercussions and expectations.  Suddenly, it was no longer just holding hands with a boy you see for a couple hours at school. It was real, and you had to actually trust someone to know you. And what if it was the wrong person?? It wasn’t like my romance novels, where I know the two are meant to be together and everything is going to turn out all right at the end. That’s one of my favorite things about romances, that guarantee of a happy ending. As I’ve aged, I have become something of a control freak; this has resulted in me being very cautious and, truthfully, something of a coward. Relationships in real life, with a glaring lack of a guarantee, were terrifying to me. I couldn’t stand the idea of making a mistake. The result of my years of reading is that I have a firm, unwavering belief in soulmates. I truly think that there is one person in the world who is exactly right for another person; that the characteristics of each perfectly complement the other and make them the best version of themselves they can be. What were the odds that the guy I randomly agreed to date would actually be that one person meant for me? The risk seemed unacceptable.
It’s still one of my deepest, most intense fears, that I’ll think I’ve found the right man and he ends up being wrong, and I have no desire to have a bunch of serious relationships before finally settling down. I want to fall in love, once, for real, and be happy with that person for the rest of my life. But I’m finally beginning to believe, just a little bit, that I could survive a failed relationship. I think that if I found someone who made me feel like they were worth the risk, I could be happy and not regret the relationship if it didn’t work out in the end. But until I find someone who actually makes me feel like he’s worth the effort, I am perfectly happy for Valentine’s to pass me by without even the hint of a special someone in my life. Better happy alone than unhappy in a relationship I’m in just for the sake of being in a relationship.
This is the reason why Valentine’s Day has evolved into something different for me than the traditional concept of a couple in love. For me, it’s a chance to celebrate the idea of love, in all its powerful glory. As the great F. Scott Fitzgerald put it, “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” I think this is one of the most astute things I’ve ever heard said about the madness that is love. You can never love someone the same way, because no two people are exactly the same. While I believe in soulmates, I also believe that you can fall in love with someone who isn’t yours. It’s just a different kind of love. And for me, Valentine’s is about yet another type of love- the love I have for my family and friends. Valentine’s is just another chance for me to celebrate that, and to take the time to acknowledge and appreciate it. It’s also a day to remember to love myself; I always dress up on Valentine’s Day simply because it makes me feel good to do so. I spent a wonderful afternoon at work with my kids playing fun Valentine’s games and it reminded me how much I love my job and the kids I work with. Then I came home to eat dinner with my family. Along the way, I stopped and bought flowers for my mom and sister and my Nana. I also bought them some of their favorite candy, as well as my daddy (I would’ve bought him flowers, too, if I thought he wanted them).  I think it was as enjoyable for me to give to them as it was for them to get it. When I got home, my mom has a rose and a sweet card waiting for me. My parents almost always get me something nice for Valentine’s Day, and it means a lot. We went to dinner and had a lovely time, and I came home and snuggled up with my darling cats.

My handsome Valentine since the age of 6.

My handsome Valentine since the age of 6.

My great point in all this, I guess, is Valentine’s is whatever you make of it. Loving your family, loving your friends, loving your pets, loving yourself, loving that special someone, or even loving love itself; whatever your choice, Valentine’s can be wonderful. The same thing can be applied to life itself. Every single day is what you make of it, whether a celebration or a day to grumpily consider how everyone around you is either engaged or having a baby (let’s be real here, this thought has certainly crossed my mind on plenty of Valentine’s Days, as well as just regular days). And with that thought, I imagine this picture describes perfectly how I’m going to be spending my Valentine’s Days:

cat dinner partyJust imagine that guy as a woman, and it’s my future (cat dinner party, whaaaat!). Though, if Josh Hutcherson or Damian McGinty are reading this and needing a date for next Valentine’s, I am more than available. I’m sure the cats will be able to keep each other company.
Also, just a fun added note: I was awoken last night by the sound of Finn throwing up. When I went to clean it, I found perfectly whole stalks of some kind of plant. I began searching for a likely source, and finally discovered that Finn had gotten onto the dining table and eaten a large amount of leaves off the flowers my mom got for Valentine’s. There were a bunch of gnawed off nubs, still wet from Finn’s slobber. I moved the flowers to a place even Finn couldn’t get to, and learned a valuable lesson for all those future Valentine’s I’ll be spending with cats.

Con amore,
Sara

PS Italian was my choice for goodbye tonight, because it is considered one of the most romantic languages. “Con amore” means with “With love.”

Boots and Cats presents: #Forever Alone- A Story (Mostly) in Pictures

Salutations, Readers.
Tonight, I am attempting something a little bit new- a mostly pictorial blog post, including pictures and GIFS! So bear with me if it doesn’t go completely smoothly. There’s just something about gifs that I inherently love. They’re succinct, visually arresting, and yet often with convenient lines of text to really get the point across. Also, there’s an overwhelming variety of gifs that deal with my topic today, perhaps best described using a hash tag: #ForeverAlone.
As you all may know if you’ve read my About Me thing for this blog, I am already in training to become one of the greatest Crazy Cat Ladies of all time. It’s a point I take particular pride in, because I may not be able to do anything else exceptionally well, but by god can I love me some cats. I feel that at this time, I should present some evidence. Let me introduce you to my two cats. And just a note, I don’t even have my own house yet, and I still already have two cats. Observe:

If the Honey Badger were a cat.

If the Honey Badger was a cat.


Name: Boo-Boo
Age: 15
Gender: Male
Aliases: Boo, Boodle, Boo baby, Sweet Precious Baby Boy, Best Cat Ever



Name: Finn
Age: 2
Gender: Male
Aliases: Finny, Phineas, Finn-Finn, Finky, You Are The Craziest Cat Ever

An impressive resume so far, no? But someday I hope to get to this:

My story from today only reinforced my belief in this ultimate end for me, but I’ll drop a little background on you before I go further. A year or so ago I needed to buy new cleats for indoor soccer. There’s a somewhat limited number of places to buy nice cleats around where I live; generally everyone goes to a certain three stores owned by this guy from Iran. Well, in one of the stores, I had noticed a few times when I’d been in there that a gloriously attractive foreign man was working in the store. I admit this factored somewhat into my decision of which store to go look for cleats in. I was thrilled when he helped me pick out my cleats and I proceeded to post a photo to Facebook of them, with this caption: “Got new cleats for only $15 from my crush at Soccer USA! Someday, hot foreign mystery guy, I will ask your name.”  To my excessive embarrassment, one of my friends from college, Tiffany, commented telling me she was good friends with him and had worked with him at the store. I’d had no idea; I felt like the biggest creeper ever, only made worse by the fact that Tiffany was so nice about it and even offered to give me his number haha. My intensely shy, painfully awkward soul shuddered in horror.
Fast forward to 2012, right before I’m about to go back to college my senior year, and by a series of coincidences, Tiffany ends up becoming one of my roommates and subsequently one of my best friends. Of course, the hot, foreign guy is brought up (his name is Dragan, honest to god, and he’s from Macedonia), and a running joke is established about how Tiffany is going to set us up.
Now, finally back to today. I pinky promise to you I needed some new soccer socks; I only have one pair and I’m about to start playing indoor again after being off for like a month. But it’s possible that I could have bought soccer socks somewhere else. But Tiff hadn’t seen her good friend Dragan in ages, so why not go to the old soccer store so she could say hi and I could buy my socks? Two birds with one stone, guys. We got there, he was hot as ever, and he and Tiff chatted as I pretended to look at socks but really creeped horribly. Eventually it came up in the conversation that he was going home over the summer for his sister’s wedding and Tiffany, bless her heart, says “Ah, does that mean you’re going to get married?” I waited, ears perked and with bated breath. And this is the reply I heard, “Ew, no! I’m not getting married until I’m thirty. No relationships, single is much better!”

…………………………………

all by myself gif
We left pretty quickly after that, mostly because Tiffany had class but also because I was crushed. I didn’t even want to buy my socks anymore, but Tiffany was buying a shirt so I went ahead. I wanted to ask if they had any of these shirts available for purchase as well:

72 cats

It’s a rough life out there for the single ladies. Especially for those of us who prefer cats and books to flirting. And trust me, when I say I am painfully awkward around boys I like, I’m not even kidding. I once tripped a guy I liked… in college. But that’s for another day. It’s not necessarily even that I’m shy, it’s just that I am rather different and well aware of the fact. I am seriously the most boring, tame person ever. You all might think I’m over-exaggerating, but consider this. For my twenty-first birthday, do you know what I did? I ate at Red Lobster. With my family. Including my Nana, who is in her seventies. I had one drink. And then I went home. But hey, I was pretty tired, because that morning I’d gone to the zoo. For my twenty-first birthday.
But perhaps you don’t think that’s even that bad. So let’s take what I did for my eighteenth birthday…. I went polka dancing at the local Czech Hall, because we totally have one of those. Yep, polka dancing. This is why at pretty much every party I’ve ever been to in the history of ever, this is me, to some degree:

awkward darcy
Because honestly, I’d rather be at home reading a romance novel. It’s so much easier; I still get the charming love story but I can expend zero effort while cuddling with my cats. It’s really the ideal situation (and perhaps this is why I haven’t had a boyfriend since I was 16). I do go out places sometimes, and my friends always encourage me to put myself out there and talk to boys,  but it’s just so scary:

he could hear me

Trying to find a significant other just requires so much effort; it makes me want to take a nap just thinking about. Sleeping Beauty is really the smartest of the Disney princesses because she just took a nap and let the hottest Disney prince (#TeamPhillip) do all the work. That’s a game plan I can absolutely get behind. Disappointingly so far in my life, taking a nap like Aurora and reading endlessly like Belle hasn’t lured a prince in yet. I’ve tried some other methods:

Get milkshakes, they said. The boys will come, they said. #wherearetheboys?

Get milkshakes, they said. The boys will come, they said. #wherearetheboys?

 So far, however, this is the closest I’ve gotten to any interest:

camel kiss

We didn’t exactly suit. I know beggars can’t be choosers, but a girl has to have some standards. So, unless something very unexpected comes along (for example, someone like this little Romeo, except not 9 years old), I fully assume that my life is going to end up being some sort of combination of this:


Hope you guys enjoyed all the pictures/gifs and got a little bit of a kick out of how excited I am to be a Cat Lady. But it’s like my grandpa always said*, “Cats, don’t judge you; cats understand.” My ultimate goal is to get a cat named Peeta so I can say that’s who I share my bed with every night, and that’s why I’m going to be #ForeverAlone.

Valete,
Sara

PS I decided to go with Latin, because it’s as dead as my love life. According to this person, “valete” means good-bye or stay strong, which I encourage all my other single, book-loving, cat crazy comrades to do. And speaking of books, I’m going to take a moment to emphatically promote the book The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen; it’s one of the best I’ve read in the last ten years and I highly recommend it. She’s also having a contest to give away a copy of the upcoming sequel; I am on absolute tenterhooks waiting for it to come out!
Lastly, I want to encourage you to check out another blog post with gifs that I just happened to stumble upon the other day where a girl shares her experience with braces. It’s very short, but I was pretty much in tears because I was laughing so hard when I finished. It’s worth a read so check it out!

*My grandpa never said this ever in his life that I know of.