A 31-year-old friend recently started seeing two guys, let’s refer to them as X and Z. Both are charming, employed and cute – in fact, similar to the point where I can barely tell them apart. The only difference is that X (for Gen X) is a perfectly ripe 35, while Z (for zygote) happens to a barely-hatched 25. You would think that my friend is using Z “for fun” and X for serious dating, da? Nope. Much to everybody’s bewilderment, Baby Z actually courts her and cooks for her and even recently helped her build a bookshelf, while the “better on paper” X routinely benches her, messes with her head and generally drives her loco.
A friend’s wedding was coming up. I asked my friend if she was considering bringing either of them as her date.
“Maybe I’ll ask Z. X would freak out and ghost immediately.” The casual manner in which she said this, as though it is completely habitual for a grown-ass man to come undone at the idea of accompanying a woman he is seeing to a wedding, may have been scarier than the statement itself. It also played into my then-budding theory, which is that men in their thirties are completely undateable.
You see, as a 30-year-old woman living in New York City, I am, technically, surrounded by an infinity of age-appropriate dating options. I should, technically, be seeing one of the hundreds of thousands of 30-something eligible bachelors roaming this city, running down the West Side Highway, dining in Williamsburg, dancing at Casablanca, etc. However, I find said mission virtually f*cking impossible.
In case you were wondering what I was preoccupied with during my mini-sabbatical from writing about dating, here’s your answer: I was writing marketing spiels for a blockchain startup.
This is the moment when those of you who know what a blockchain is realize that the world is in far more serious danger than you had assumed. Because, given my questionable cerebral capacities and lack of relevant experience, the best analogy to this statement would be Donald Trump running our country.
Those of you who have no clue what I’m babbling about, don’t fret. Just one month ago I was one of you, a happy individual roaming this planet, oblivious to the cryptic underground community prospering right under my nose. A community whose members have their own currencies (hellooo Bitcoin!) and rules and vernacular, throwing around terms like “shitcoin” and “hodl” like they are living inside of a video game. Except that said video game happens to be a powerful tech movement that is predicted to change the Internet as we know it.
Considering that the Cryptosphere is comprised of men who are set to become the next generation of Musks and Zuckerbergs, I consider it my due diligence to give you a quick 101 crash course. You know, just in case Marco Streng happens to be at your local coffee shop. Even if not, ‘blockchain’ is a buzzword and knowing about it is guaranteed to impress all the neo-luddites out there, so listen up!
Ever since I was a kid, the last few weeks of summer have been a period of extreme inner turbulence for me. In my childhood bedroom in Saint-Petersburg there are journals that describe my annual anxiety over la rentrée, accompanied by strategies on how I plan on becoming the most popular girl in class and finally understand chemistry (#goals). As an adult, I have often chosen this time to roll out the next life step – a new job, a move to or from Paris, even the launch of this blog almost four years back. Somehow, September always feels like an opportunity to change something important, to start fresh, to do more.
This September I don’t have any grand Life Changes lined up. After a tumultuous, eye-opening year of dealing with personal changes and observing the that world we live in, the transitions I’m experiencing are happening below the surface. They relate to the way I think, the people I want to be surrounded with, the impact I want to have. They also involve the things I want to write about. As hard as it is to believe, configuring subtle strategies on getting French men to shower no longer fits the bill.
N.B: This post comes to you in the midst of peak FOMO season, when it feels like the entity of your Instagram feed has collectively migrated to Capri and Mykonos.
To borrow from our President’s ten-word vocabulary, envy is a nasty feeling. It eats one up inside like one of those intestinal parasites, preventing them from attaining any semblance of peace. Religious scriptures of every faith speak of envy as the predominant source of evil. Envy catalyzes wars and ruins lives. And yet it remains a human emotion that is not going anywhere. In fact, I believe that it is currently experiencing a revival, having been reformatted, democratized, revolutionized, by social media.
In a way, we are victims of our time, the first generation stuck with the virtual embryos of the big green monster right at the tips of our fingers, ready to unleash the worst in us. We scroll and we look and we “like” and we absorb everything with the impressionable sponges that are our brains. And then, before you know it, we are comparing ourselves to some Slovakian IMG model or globetrotting fashion editor or second degree acquaintance who has graduated to become a Tribeca housewife. Because, on the surface, they all seem to have it so easy.
Hot dudes and humus. No, this is not the title of my impending memoir but a- this Instagram account and b- two things my girlfriends guaranteed I would be “literally, obsessed with” when I announced my plans to finally touch base with 50% of my heritage and pay a visit to Israel.
While I was certain that the chickpeas fiend in me would have a blast, I wasn’t as convinced about my demi-shiksa. As a New Yorker I am used to Israelis coming with a certain stigma, notorious for shady business dealings in the same way that Russians are infamous for insurance scams. My friends assured me that this was simply a stereotype created by a small segment and that I was really in for a personal Promised Land of hot hipsters with MIT scientist minds.
They may have been slightly overselling, but they weren’t entirely wrong. In addition to its unparalleled food and beaches and a cultural heritage that interrupts your life for a quick reevaluation, Israel can certainly count beautiful men (and women!) as its national treasure, guaranteed to lure young Birthright dwellers for years to come.
Having spent a full week studying both the culture and its modern-day male representatives, I have decided to deliver my key learning on Israeli guys via my own play on the Ten Commandments. Please imagine me relaying them from Mount Sinai.
“Antithesis” is a strong word, usually reserved for grand concepts and ideas. And yet, it is the only word that adequately sums up my personal relationship with the phenomenon that is Kim Kardashian West.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Kim. (Can I call her Kim? Has she officially reached mononymous fame?) In fact, all evidence suggests that she is a lovely person, all poise and grace and manners. Blame it on years spent writing about effortless French style, but I simply have a hard time relating to her unapologetic brand of sex appeal, with its accompanying lifestyle so vastly different from my own. Where Kim enjoys luxury vacation by private jet, I go for adventurous travel by plane-train-bus triathlons. Where Kim’s makeup routine consists of something like 50 steps, mine tallies up to five at max. Where she is comfortable “owning her sexuality” (whatever that even means), I am constantly trying to downplay mine. And yet, wasn’t it Neale Donald Walsch who once said that life begins at the end of one’s comfort zone? Curious to see what was in store for me on the other side, I decided to test out a Kim K.–inspired outfit—on a date, no less.