Enduring Authenticity

‘How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and then just be in a good mood?’ – Lloyd Dobler. The boy who tried to explain to his girlfriend’s parents why spending as much time as he could with her was his only immediate plan for the future. We like the film Say Anything because it’s romantic. It’s romantic because it’s not realistic. We have better things to do than feel like Loyd. Things that must be worried about. Things we are comfortable worrying about because we can see their edges.

There are philosophers who – through broad methodological solipsism – suggest that which can be seen, measured and proven to those around us is all illusion, and that which is intangible and yet we feel regardless is all that is real. Love is one of these such things, another is depression. They are ancient things and yet we can’t outdate them.
If love is about hope then depression is about despair. If love is openness then depression is isolation. Therefor both of these emotions run responsively through us and our surroundings.
At the moment we’re all supposed to talk more about depression. We’re going to beat this evil by drawing it out into the light.
Love, on the other hand has been out in the light too long, and has got sun-bleached. It’s colours have faded and it’s become about ourselves not about others. We sculpt our online profiles, until we see an image we can love and then wait for that ideal to be met with equally fleeting notions of perfection. Love has become expected, assumed, all the movies have prophesized man shall not live alone. We needn’t worry about love anymore. Love is fate! All we need to do is sit back and wait and love will show up, looking rosy, become complicated for a week or so, and then ask us to marry it. The small print reads: love has no children from a previous marriage, no chronic health problems and a good haircut.
Where is the film based on the African saying ‘be careful when a naked man offers you a shirt’?
Enduring, real depression is inescapable much like real, genuine, open-hearted love is. Love is not perfect, nor is depression pointless. Both, at their most authentic, are about empathy.
To be alive, amidst the transient expression of a miracle, and find yourself soaking in that which makes you depressed is fucking frustrating. This is true no matter how intrinsic tragedy is to the human experience.
To be understanding of another, engaging yourself in the pain and joy of a lover is tender, and beautiful. This is true even when ultimately it all goes horribly horribly wrong.
To be ugly is to be inauthentic. To be authentic is strong, even if it means appearing weak.
What Lloyd Dobler was saying was that his authentic reaction to being was to love, not to stack shelves. Romantic, unrealistic, but authentic. As for how hard it is to be in a good mood; it’s as hard as it is, but we should try to love ourselves and each other despite that.

A Week On Tinder

A Week On Tinder
Well almost.. five days. I started to see people I knew and it didn’t take me long to realise that meant they could see me too. Everything I learnt from tinder can probably be summed up in how relieved I felt when an old friend got in touch to tell me I shouldn’t be there. ‘It’s not for girls like you’ he said.
When I switched the settings over to include women in my search I got what he was saying. I am all wrong for tinder and he was pretty nice about why. I’m not great with make up and I don’t pout. My tops aren’t cut low enough, and my description read ‘More often found in a workshop than in heels’ not ‘No pants are the best pants’. 
Still, I gave it my best. I went with a couple of pictures that made it look like I have been out drinking in the last six months, once or twice in a dress, but also one that made it clear I have travelled. At this point I was still under the impression the boys look at more than the first photo. 
Around day three I spoke with my brother who it turns out has shamelessly been using Tinder for the last 6 months. His degree is in maths and he proudly explained to me how he had ‘figured out’ it was time wasting to actually look at every girls card. Instead he swipes right every few days for five minutes or so and waits to see what sticks.
It was a close girlfriend who thought it would be funny to find out what I would make of Tinder. I think she’s been disappointed, but not nearly as disappointed as I was. Partly by, you know, the human race, and partly by how incredibly superficial I can be. I have always said I do not have a type but it turns out I definitely think I know what isn’t my type. For example, blondes it seems are not my thing, nor Asian men, nor servicemen pictured holding weapons. It’s not that I don’t respect what they do, just that I seriously doubt we would get along. I feel like they are the kind of men who would tell me I think too much.
So anyway the only way I can think to present my findings without coming over like a raging bitch is to offer up some advice to the men on Tinder. What follows is frighteningly judgemental, because that is what Tinder does. 
Tip no.1 – Just one small thing to begin. We need to see your face. Really. Not just because both men and women poll eyes as being the biggest turn on/off. Also because subconsciously we want to judge wether the distance between your eyes, or the size of your forehead suggests you might be a psychopath.
Tip no.2 – Clean eating is not a turn on. That said, nor are the photo’s of your messy night out that ended with your mate shoving a kebab up your nose.
Tip no.3 – Check your pics aren’t all selfies. Better yet, go with no selfies. The alpha metrosexual is still a metrosexual.
Tip no.4 – Know where you are. This is addressed specifically to the guy with two photo’s and the bio that reads- Don’t judge me based on a couple of photo’s. 
Tip no.5 – Put your best pic forward. Keep the group shots to later on. Definitely do not go with all group shots.. I never denied that looks matter and I will assume this is manipulation on your part.
Tip no.6 – Estate agents.. why so proud?
Tip no.7 – Halloween pictures.. unless you wore a pilots uniform I see no good reason for these and yet they are rampant. What about green face paint do you think does you favours?
Tip no.8 – Your puppy is very cute. Very very cute puppy. Three pics of you and the puppy and I’m on to your methods.
Tip no.9 – Don’t be aggressive about the fact the kid in your photo is or isn’t yours. Let us decide what is baggage ok?
Tip no.10 – More of a question really. Who told you women are powerless in the face of creatine loaded physiques dressed in white wife-beater with fluorescent triangles drawn on their faces? That dude LIED to you.
Tip no.11 – To the most prolific pic trend I saw on Tinder. The gents who use the photo of them tentatively stroking the back end of a sedated and caged tiger, I just feel bad for the tiger. That is all.
Now here are three of the most impressively poorly thought out descriptions I saw:
Absafuckinloutely-unbelievable amount of prostitutes on here…

Fuck the world

If four out of five people suffer from diarrhoea does that the fifth one enjoy it?
I’m sure I have missed out on so much that tinder had to offer me and yet I find I can live with that unknown.
So that’s it for me I’m afraid. Five days of tinder and no smoke.