Heartbreak, Bumble & Worst Date

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Like many people in the world, my first real heartbreak occurred in high school. I was around 17 and had my first breakup with a boyfriend, who started dating someone else 10 days after breaking up with me via text message. It was fun! Looking back now, I know I was in love, but I can’t remember why. I think it was the novelty of the relationship that made me feel in love. The teenage rush, the sneaking out of my house to see him in the middle of the night, the head-first dive without fear of wiping out, the walking around a golf course and watching the stars together for hours. You know,  the first. I was in love with the relationship, with the feeling, but I can’t remember what I loved about him. Which is silly, considering I cried about it for a year after. Okay, fine, like two years. Whatever. 

My most recent heartbreak—self-inflicted, I should probably mention—occurred about two years ago. I ended a relationship with someone I thought was going to be in my life forever but who wasn’t what I was looking for… That didn’t mean I cared about him any less. I still sometimes wear the earrings he gave me, or listen to music that reminds me of him. Sometimes people are meant to be in your life only for a while, to teach you something about yourself, and once you’ve learned what you need to learn, you have to let go. It’s how life works—the whole “know what you want and don’t settle for less; settling is not the same as compromising” kind of heartbreak I chose.

Sad and all, I was relieved I had made the right choice for my life. He truly was a lovely guy—really nice, really selfless, really loving. However, if I had to write a chapter on that relationship, it would be titled “Sorry about the heartbreak, but your views on life are bullshit.”

So I texted my best friend and ended up where I always go when I’m sad: my best friends’ house. We went out to eat Latin hamburgers, talked about him, listened to their wise advice about LeTTiNg Go oF pEoPLe ThAT aREn’T gOOd FoR yOu, and then got a Bumble account. Well, well, well, wasn’t that quick?
(I’m kidding, I got the account a few months later)

Speaking of Bumble..
I don't like meeting guys online. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and I have, but I like the whole: “Let’s be friends first, then let’s date, text but don’t call me because WHO likes to talk on the phone. Also, give me space, but still talk to me, but don’t text too much because that's overwhelming. I will for sure put my walls up, and you’ll have to try really hard to get me to commit to you—despite how much I do like you—all while respecting my individuality. You also have to be woke, but not fake woke. Anyway. I’m fun. Good luck dating me!!!!”

Just kidding. I’m not complicated like that.

I’m much more complicated. Does anyone wanna date me?

I managed to keep up with the times by downloading the self-proclaimed feminist app Bumble. (Shout-out to the guy I met on it who said he didn’t believe in feminism because he didn’t believe in ideologies but then added that he was a "conservative Christian Republican who voted for Trump"… all in the same sentence.)

Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolfe, who created the app so that women could feel safe and comfortable dating online while minimizing their exposure to online sexual harassment. In this app, women monopolize the power to initiate the conversation after matching; if you don’t go first, men can’t talk to you. THE DREAM. That really squashes all the “sup sexy?” messages from men holding dead fish on boats. If only IG had that option. Everyone say, “Thank you, Whitney Wolfe!”

Bumble was really fun for a while. I’m not on it now, though. Still, I’m sure I will be at some future point—either for casual conversations or fun dates with interesting guys. Depends on the mood.

Bumble generated really interesting experiences while I was on it that I will one day write about- wait til you hear about the homophobic lawyer- but nothing beats my worst dating experience to date. Which interestingly enough did not happen through bumble. But here it is.

The Worst Date
I was still a bit shaken up by my first heartbreak when I flew to Europe for a study-abroad program early in college. I had dated some boys between my first boyfriend and college, some which I had liked even more than I had liked my first boyfriend, but even then, I was still shook by the first. Despite having had my heart broken and my newfound fear of vulnerability and commitment, it was nice meeting European boys.

One in particular. Let's call him Nik.

My university had four floors, noisy stairs, and no elevator. I had to walk up three flights to one of my classes every Tuesday and Thursday, and I was always completely out of breath by the time I reached the third floor. There were about 20 students in that classroom, all taking Intro to Sociology. It was in that class, out of breath and sweating a little, that I saw him. Nik was a typical European guy with light brown hair and green eyes. He sat at the corner of another table and always rested his back against the wall. I thought he was cute. What’s that saying again? “Girls shoot their shot by staring at you for two seconds and then looking away, hoping you’ll notice?” Yeah. That’s what I did. For days. Until he noticed and started doing the same. For the next few days, I felt Nik staring at me. So, naturally, I avoided him like the plague. After a few more classes, the stars aligned, and the professor put us in the same group for a class project. That’s when things got interesting. He introduced himself and we hit it off right away. He laughed at my jokes, attentively listened to my project suggestions, and ignored everyone else in the group.

Then, after class, I was two minutes into my walk to the train station when I heard him behind me. “Hey wait up. I’ll walk you to the train station.”

He added, “Are you liking the city? What are you doing here?”

I told him about my study-abroad program and that I was from America. We chatted for a few minutes until we reached the train station. He said, “I’d like to keep talking to you. Could I have your number?”
He-e-ey, the staring game worked!

After a few weeks of chatting back and forth, he finally asked me out on a date. He asked if I wanted to have dinner with him and offered to drive me around the city at sunset. I said yes, hoping he wouldn’t be a serial killer. What could possibly go wrong being alone with an unknown dude in an unfamiliar city not knowing the language?

Just my luck, one of my best friends was visiting me. I felt bad about leaving her alone for a whole evening, so I decided to cancel the date. However, sweet as the guy was, he said he had no problem with her tagging along because he really wanted to hang out with me. I was reluctant to go on the date by myself, so it worked out to my advantage.

The date
On the day of the date, he showed up late. I brushed it off because he was being kind enough to drive me and my friend around the city, and, honestly, it happens. We got into the car, and I felt excited but a little weirded out by the circumstances of our date. As promised, he took us uphill to watch the sunset. In what it felt like the middle of the woods. It didn’t feel like the safest experience in the world, so I was glad I was with my friend. He talked about the neighborhood a little bit, and then we got back into the car.

There, he asked if we were hungry. I said, “Sure.” He proceeded to take us to a bar, hoping it would serve food. While we were there, he said, “Let’s do takeout.” I asked why a couple of times, but he wouldn’t say. “This is it,” I thought. “He’ll take us to his place and this is how he’ll kill us.”

This is when the date really got interesting. We ordered food to take out and sat waiting for it at a table. While we waited, he decided he would tell jokes. Like … jokes. He was a stand-up comedian, and we were his audience. The first joke he told was about an olive. It was awkward, but kind of funny. His loud and obnoxious laugh, however, was not. Now, as for the second...

The punchline of the second joke involved his taking a big gulp of water and spitting it out, pretending to be an older woman spitting out jizz after giving her husband a blowjob. The water was supposed to be jizz.

I watched him tell this joke, horrified. He obnoxiously laughed as water ran down his face. I inwardly said … “Check, please!”

I didn’t object to paying for my own meal, although, in a patriarchal society whose men set their own rules for courting women, I found it strange that he didn’t follow the normal dating routine in which men feel obliged to pay for a meal to make an impression on a first date. Still, I didn’t mind. Not the norm, but didn't mind. After the food arrived, Nik drove us to a crop field, which is how I discovered that there are dark, barren crop fields in middle of Europe. What was this, Iowa?

“He really could be a sociopath,” I thought. But let’s be real, sociopaths are charming and wouldn’t tell jizz jokes. We were safe. He found a spot to park in the middle of the crop field. It was dark and cold, but he still made us eat our food outside. I think he meant for it to be a romantic experience, but all I felt was cold.

After finishing our cold meals standing, looking at the dark, deserted field, we finally decided it was time to go home.

That’s where the story ends.

Ha ha.

You’d think, right?

We got into his car, but, as he was trying to take off, the car started making sounds. Specifically, the tire. It just wouldn’t move. The car wouldn’t move. It had started fine, but it wouldn’t go. After a few attempts, he climbed out and assessed the situation. The tire was stuck in the mud. That’s also when I realized that my Converse were full of mud.

He got in and explained what was happening.

Then, he said, “Can you guys get out and push the car while I steer the wheel?”

That’s it. This is how I die. He will steer his way into the horizon and leave us here to die.

“Sure” I replied.

So there we were. Two girls in the middle of a dark crop field in Europe pushing a car in the mud. I wondered how we had gotten here, and all I kept replaying in my head was the dirty joke he had said back at the restaurant.

Finally, we got the car to move, and it took off for a bit. I watched the car go while we got full of mud head to toe. I looked at my friend and asked, “Think he’s coming back?”

And just as I said that, I watched the red headlights light up and the car came to a stop. And there, in the middle of an empty dark crop field, I watched this white face come out of the dark and run straight to me from the distance. He was running towards me, full speed, ecstatic that the car had gotten out of the mud. He hugged me, tried to pick me up, and couldn’t because I was too heavy, and then I was mortified. That’s the moment I decided to change my identity and never return to the life I was living because what’s the point?

Just kidding.


I got back in the car with him. And to make matters even more awkward, I sat in the backseat of the car with my friend instead of the front with him. So, in the middle of the night, he drove us home as our Uber driver.

When we got home, our shoes were so full of dried up mud, I had to throw mine away. I still miss my blue converse, RIP.

It was the strangest experience of my life, but I made it out alive. I left the city soon after and went to Madrid.

In conclusion.
He meant well. I know he liked me because he continued to text me, even after his date had gone terribly wrong. I actually saw him again after that. Redemption or whatever. He wasn't a good kisser. That's the tea. Dating is rough out there in ‘em streets. Lesson to learn: Don’t date boys that don't have good manners at the table.

Thanks for reading.

Be kind to people.


How I've handled fat shaming in my life

Saturday, October 19, 2019

I think it’s a waste of time to get upset, especially over things you can’t do anything about. Being upset can be a useless emotion. If you get in a car crash, for example, that sucks. But there’s nothing you can do about it. You can either choose to be happy or upset about it. It won’t change the circumstances, so might as well try not to stress about it.


The Secret to Weight Loss

Saturday, October 12, 2019
The other morning, as I was unproductively scrolling through Twitter multiple times in a day like the millennial I am, I came across this tweet:
What a time to be alive. This tweet literally summarizes about 80% of what I’ve been trying to do this year. In specific, I’ve been trying to sleep better, drink 2-3 liters of water every day, consistently workout, walk around my park, eat fruits, eat veggies, watch Hasan Minhaj's show on Netflix and read. By read, I really mean briefly read twitter headlines, and by veggies, I mean like, potatoes and stuff. Just kidding. I started eating cauliflower rice this year and adding other veggies to it, like kale and peas. That’s three whole vegetables. As a result of these activities, I’ve been losing weight. It’s just been melting off of me. (Important to note that I’ve combined these activities with counting calories and portion control. I use the MyFitnessPal app to track what I’m eating.) 

These are tips I had heard about my whole life. Everyone always said, “Cut your meals in half!” “Go to the gym!” “Stop eating junk food!” “Portion control!” But I never listened. Everyone said that losing weight was a matter of healthy eating and exercise. But what does that even mean? What is healthy eating and what is exercise? Who am I? Why am I here? Is there life in other planets? I just want buffalo wings with ranch followed by dessert, preferably that Molten Lava chocolate cake from Chili’s. 

But what does being healthy really mean? What’s the secret to weight loss? How can I get away with eating buffalo wings and still lose weight? Not only did I ask myself these questions, but I also expected an answer. Deep inside, I believed there was a magic answer, a secret diet, an easy solution. So I WAITED. I waited 28 years of my life to somehow be gifted with the secret to weight loss. Was it Weight Watchers? Was it surgery? Was it diet pills? Was it keto? Was it Nutrisystem? What the heck was the secret? 

One day it occurred to me that maybe I needed to start looking for the answers myself. That maybe, just maybe, the secret to weight loss was to stop waiting for the secret and just try. Try something I hadn’t tried before. Whatever “trying” meant. To try, fail, and do it all over again, as many times as I needed to. To find my own answers and stop waiting for someone else to give them to me. Here’s my secret to weight loss: 

Mindset. Commitment. Consistency. Willingness. Positivity. 

My secret to weight loss was deciding to do something different; even if I didn’t know what that meant or how it would look. To start the kind of habits that would make feel hydrated, and stop overworking my pancreas, habits that would make me dodge diabetes, or maybe even walk for more than a block without losing my breath. I figured that if I created healthy habits, I could improve my life in all aspects. Then these habits would just become part of my life.

My secret to weight loss, ironically enough, was not focusing on the weight itself, but on the choices I was making. Like maybe chill a little on the 8-foot Philly cheesesteak sandwiches with extra mayo or the chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A all the time. Do it for your health, but also for social justice and human ri- wait, are we talking about crispy nuggets or grilled? because my ethical code depends on that. 

When I read that tweet above, I realized how the answer to what I once thought was a complicated and stressful question was so simple. It was right in front of me. Now, it should be said that counting calories has also helped a lot. And yes, counting calories can be annoying and tedious, but that’s when you figure out just how much you want what you want. 

How many excuses are you going to make before you realize that sometimes all it takes is giving weight loss a real try, with no excuses. Granted, sometimes we try our hardest and things don’t work out. But if that’s the case, then maybe your approach is not for you. Maybe the secret is to try another approach, or just to change your habits and make healthier choices in your life. 

It doesn’t take sweating buckets at the gym every day or living on only broccoli, kale and eggs to start seeing a difference. I didn’t even have to cut carbs from my life. Weight loss doesn’t mean starving yourself or hating the food you eat, it means finding a healthy balance of nutritious meals and activity – even if that activity is walking 20 minutes a day. Literally. 

I know everyone is different, and this approach might not work for everyone. I can only speak to what’s worked for me. I hope that if you’re reading this, you take something important away from my experience. Don’t wait for the magical solution to come to you in your dreams or to be posted on your Twitter feed. If you want to see something different, make a change. Start doing something differently and you’ll start seeing new results.

If that’s not what you got away from this blog, at the very least, I hope you got away that I eat my buffalo wings with ranch and not blue cheese. Because that's how you are supposed to do it. Blue cheese is trash. Thanks for coming to my TED talk. 

Be kind to people. 
(Except if they seek to oppress your basic human rights.)


Lifestyle vs. Dieting

Saturday, October 05, 2019

I grew up surrounded by people doing diets. Everyone I knew always talked about diets. It was like living in a world where everyone preferred to eat half a broccoli head for lunch than be overweight.

Most people I know don’t usually go on diets for health reasons – although, that’s a common excuse people use to disguise internalized fatphobia. In reality, most people begin dieting because they do not want to look overweight.

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