5 min readJan 21, 2022

I’m currently on a red eye flying back to New York.

Every time I book a red eye I figure I will just sleep through the plane ride, but it turns out, even if I sleep the entire time, I always somehow operate at like 45% the next day.

So here I am, holding off sleep for the moment.

I downloaded two episodes of Narcos to watch on the plane but it was a little too violent for the tone of this plane ride.

I then opened up the NYTimes Crossword app but the only downloaded crosswords I had available to play were Thursday-Saturday; attempting one made me feel very stupid, so I quit.

I then transitioned to scrolling through old messages and photos on my phone (because what is a girl supposed to do without internet!!?) and although it allowed for some nostalgia, it made me feel really sad.

I’ve never been very good at backing up all my photos, so 75% of the photos I have on my phone are from the last 5ish years, aka 20% of my life so far. And wow, so much has happened in the last half decade. I can’t even really remember who I was pre-2017, other than a girl who just wished she could be grown up. I guess I got my wish in the end.

And for the life lived since 2017, I’ve strategically hidden away all photo evidence of my ex-boyfriend (did you know there’s a hide feature in Photos? I’ve got almost 2000 photos tucked away in there); the absence of his face in my photos almost accentuates the presence he once held.

So now I have cracked open my laptop to do some typing and all I can really say is that my heart sort of feels like it tripped and fell and skinned its knee. The immediate pain is searing, numbing the edges while also putting the sharp pain in focus.

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

Hello readers, your girl is back on Hinge.

To clarify, I wasn’t really ever ‘on Hinge’ to start with — I downloaded it on a whim a few months back because I thought I should really ‘get back out there’ and spoke to one guy who I certainly had no interest meeting up with, and then promptly deleted the app.

I am still not convinced that I will be meeting my next significant other on this app, but according to some friends, that attitude is precisely why I won’t be meeting my next significant other on this app.

Hear me out though:

  • I have spent way too long thinking about these stupid prompts and how to best convey my personality through them. I still have not figured this out. Do I want to come off as quirky? Am I actually quirky, or do I just want to be quirky? Do I want to come off as normal? Am I actually normal, or am I just afraid of scaring people off? (Clearly I’m very concerned about false advertising)
  • What photos do I use? I just went through a quarter life crisis and changed my hair many times in the last year. Do I even look the same? I mean, sort of? But what if the guy who liked my picture with pink hair only likes Annie with pink hair? Or what about the guy who liked my picture with bangs — is he only into the version of me who had bangs?

Things that I have realized are my deal breakers:

  • If you have a group photo as your first photo, you’re out. Are you trying to mislead someone? If you are, it’s certainly not going to be me. Nuh uh. Not today. Honestly, even if all the people in the photo are attractive, I still need to reject it ON PRINCIPLE.
  • Account Executive, Account Manager, SDR, BDR, Mr. I work in tech sales. Pass.
  • If you don’t show your teeth in any of your photos, I immediately assume you have no teeth and therefore give you an x. Kidding about the teeth, but also not kidding. Next.
  • If you’re listed as ‘Moderate’. What does that even mean? Next.
  • If the answers to your prompts:
    -Have spelling errors
    -Mention tequila or shots
    -Make you sound like you’re looking for a manic pixie dream girl to show up and change your life. Let me save you some time & go watch 500 Days of Summer.
    -If you leverage the voice recording as an answer to a prompt. Like listen, I’m not saying it’s 100% a deal breaker, but I’m telling you I’m not only judging you on the answer but I’m judging you by the sound of your voice. Is that too judge-y? Probably.

Maybe this is all a sign that I’m not ready to date.

Reading this list back, I probably come across as a tiny bit unreasonable. Picky, maybe. I really don’t think that I am though, I just don’t really know why I’d give a complete stranger the benefit of the doubt. I suppose that’s why I’ve only been romantically involved with friends or acquaintances in the past.

Am I even currently on the hunt for a boyfriend?

If I were to psychoanalyze myself, I think I just want the excitement of a crush. Is that too much to ask?

I want that giddiness you feel when you spot that shimmer of possibility, the way that each new tidbit you learn about them feels as exciting and fulfilling as putting a missing puzzle piece into place.

This contrasts immensely from when you have your heart broken, from when you have been crushed. You’ve become jaded with a certainty, a certainty that all spectacular highs of love will also spectacularly crash. And when you have crashed so spectacularly:
How are you going to take the bits and pieces of your crushed self and become whole again?
When are you going to take the bits and pieces of your crushed self and become whole again?


Can you take the bits and pieces of your crushed self and become whole again?

But, you see, that’s where a crush comes in.

It sweeps you off your feet, even all your crushed bits and pieces. Right when you thought you were so sure, it surprises you and shows you that maybe, just maybe, you’ll be whole again.

I think that’s what I’m looking for on Hinge.

You think I can put that as an answer to a prompt?