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Rebecca Coale - aka Becky - is a writer, musician and producer. She and childhood best friend Jessica Donalds created Dating & Hookup and founded J&R Creative Media. Becky blogs about love poetry and modern life & womanhood. She lives with her husband, Howard Coale, and their family in Manhattan and Philadelphia.
So there’s this guy I really like. Let’s call him Joe Smith. We met at a dinner party and for about a month have been eagerly texting, talking, hanging out and dancing to jazz records. We’ve been hooking up. We’ve had introspective conversations and shared silly inside jokes. When I was stressed at work one Friday evening, he texted me from a barbeque and wrote, “James Brown. Booze. Grilled veggies. Life.” And I thought – I could fall in love with this guy maybe.
I wasn’t asking anything of him, aside from text messages in pirate speak. We made no promises or commitment (geez – it had been less than a month!) I felt no need to “have a talk,” attach strings, tie him or myself down. In many ways, I’m in love with my independence.
It’s tough to know or realize when emotions sneak their pesky way into casual affairs. But as of a few weeks of non-dating this guy, I felt like I was riding fancy free and high.
And then I logged into Facebook.
It turns out this is a big week for several kick-ass, enterprising and creative young Millennial women we know and love here at WTF?! Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe LaPine’s Millennial cookbook IN THE SMALL KITCHEN just came out. And now! We’re thrilled to check out Friday’s trunk show for Elizabeth Olliver’s Fall 2011 Collection.
The Millennial woman is a psychological chameleon, defined by a churning variety of thoughts, feelings, passions, goals (long-term, short-term, and next-five-minutes-term), ambitions, desires, priorities, indulgences, disciplines and aspirations. We moon over our Boyfriend Prospects. We fight for that promotion, start that non-profit, write that novel. We uproot our lives when we don’t feel quite fulfilled enough. We rise to the challenge, whatever it happens to be today.
I knew I lived in the post-dating world when a guy I liked (at the time, he was the Boyfriend Prospect in my dah) invited me to a barbecue at his apartment…and then texted me telling me to bring my own meat… That’s right! The text message said:
Hey so gun for being ere by 7 or so tomorrow. We’ll have a little bit of food but not enough to sustain the masses so I’d suggest bringing something you’d like to grill
I was mortified. It felt like chivalry was really, truly dead – along with basic hospitality. I questioned whether he was really interested in me or not. I’d figured I was going on a group-non-date, but maybe this barbecue wasn’t going to be a non-date at all? Let alone a date? Some of my friends thought I was crazy for being upset – after all, shouldn’t I embrace the ambiguity and bring some really interesting, cool, reflective-of-my-personality kind of meat (pork butt?). I saw their point, but I felt even more confused since I had reacted so strongly the other way. All together now: WTF?!?!?!
Cut to present day. I was propelled on this trip down memory lane as I was reading IN THE SMALL KITCHEN: 100 RECIPES FROM OUR YEAR OF COOKING IN THE REAL WORLD by Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine – a cookbook + memoir that is a glorious counterpart to and refutation of that eternally distressing “bring your own meat” text message (which keeps cropping up at various times and in various forms from guys in my dah).
So let’s talk about these girls, their love lives, and their food… (read more)
There’s an epidemic of bed bugs in NYC and everyone is freaking out! I get it. Who would want to go to sleep one night and wake up the next morning covered in itchy welts, unable to function in life until extreme measures (like throwing out your mattress and informing all the neighbors) were studiously, awkwardly taken.
But what fascinates me is how even the spectre of bed bugs is infiltrating our love lives these days…
Bear with me! A week after the Royal Wedding, I know we’re all feeling a bit like that little frowning flower girl. Especially when major world events like SEAL Team 6 showing Osama who’s boss remind us that there’s really (really, really, really) more to life (and the world) than whether lace sleeves are the greatest thing ever and which ugly stepsister had the most awesome hat.
BUT. I think there is a lot we Millennials should appreciate – and hold on to – from that literally-spectacular, star-making and generation-defining (yep) Event…
Hey, Post-Daters! Becky here. It’s been a while since I’ve regaled you with my thoughts on porn, Disney princesses, my f*cked up love life and what’s not to love about the men of our generation. I’ve been focused on WTF?! business matters. But now! I’m back to blogging full time and can’t wait to be talking about poetry, libidinous TV shows, and WTF is up with media coverage on love and Millennials these days. And – of course – I’m excited to fill you in on the dah quandaries, triumphs and disasters of my love life, lately. So – ready or not – here we go!
“Still, for these women, one key question won’t go away: Where have the good men gone? Their male peers often come across as aging frat boys, maladroit geeks or grubby slackers…”
- Kay S. Hymowitz, The Wall Street Journal, Feb 19-20 2021
Sound the alarm! If you’re a smart, successful, driven, accomplished, daring, take-the-world-by-storm Millennial woman (like me!) (aren’t we all?), then the early returns on the men of our generation are IN. And the outlook is not good. Those of us who (one day) want to find love, settle down, and raise a family might have to rethink how this whole marriage-and-life-partnership-thing is supposed to work.
Because it’s unclear if the men around us will (ever) be up to our level of education, dynamism, professional success, and personal accomplishment. As young women, we’re trouncing young men across the board. They can’t keep up! Are they even trying?
In fact, according to this recent, much-touted WSJ article, it’s unclear if the men around us are even men. They are guys – ie – “males who are not boys or men but something in between.” These guys exist in a nebulous state of “pre-adulthood,” in which they don’t have to commit to life decisions outside of X-box vs. Wii vs. PS3. Per the WSJ excerpt of Kay S. Hymowitz’s forthcoming book, Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys: “Why should [guys] grow up? No one needs them anyway. There’s nothing they need to do. They might as well just have another beer.”
Men. Guys. Boys. Beer. If they’re not rising to the standards that we enterprising young women are setting, then who needs ‘em?! We’re better off without them. My mother always told me to date older men and drink Chardonnay, anyway.
Hold on a second.
As the co-founder of Dating & Hookup! and the older sister of two (manly!) young men, er, guys (PS3 all the way!), and the friend, lover, confidant, buddy, sometime girlfriend, and all-time-biggest-fan of many guys who are (or have been) in my dah, I can’t help but feel there is a critical piece of insight missing from this analysis of “pre-adulthood” and what it means for men. And what it means for me.
Hoodlums across Brooklyn must have gotten wind that Last Week Was Porn Week at WTF?! and wanted to spur some added thought on my part, because this morning on the subway my iPad was stolen from me and is gone forever.
I’d previously pointed out on our site that the iPad (among many amazing attributes) is by far the best way to watch Internet porn in bed. And so, in the sudden absence of “My Precious” – yes that was my iPad’s registered name and yes, Police Transit District 30 (what up guys!) laughed about it – in any case, with my porn routine irreparably disrupted, I’ve been compelled to reflect on why I watch porn, wtf is up with porn vs. real sex, and whether I should text a real-flesh-and-blood male OR book it straight to the nearest Apple Store if I happen to feel in the mood tonight.
Thank you, perpetrator of Grand Larceny! I see my relationship with porn in a whole new, fascinating (more co-dependent?) light.
There’s so much to say. Inspired by the honesty of the two dudes who wrote on our Guest Blog last week about Why Men Watch Porn and How Porn Affects Men’s Experience of Sex with Real Women, I’m going to say it all.
I can’t wait to weigh in on the porn debate heating up over on the Guest Blog. But first! A little philosophizing on the ever-present, generation-defining matter of Dating & Hookup feels in order. Our righteous guest blogger, Mildly Mysterious, has offered up a scathing critique of our central concept and project here at WTF?! So, Plato knows, I have lots to say.
Click here to read MM’s take: Dating & Hookup: Dehumanizing, or Just an Extremely Tedious Game?
As for my retort?
It’s a New Year. A lot of us are saying: things are gonna be different. We’ve resolved to make it so.
But here’s a hope and wish for all of us, dear WTF?! readers. As everything changes around us – at the speed of light. No wait, faster! Amidst the swirling madness that is f*cked up modern life and love, may we stay, always, ourselves. May we become…only, and even moreso…ourselves. May we realize – and stay true to – ourselves.
Ain’t it the truth?
Hard as it is to be unattractive, what with making less money, getting passed over for promotions, and not getting laid as much, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that it’s hard being hot as well.
Check out the sobfest (which, OK, is actually pretty thoughtful) at Reddit prompted by this question:
A few months ago, I contemplated how the Princess Club had grown up. We lady babies of the 80′s were raised on the strong-willed, independent-yet-hopelessly-romantic likes of Ariel, Jasmine and Belle, with VHS re-issuings of classic, fated beauties like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella thrown in for good measure. Were we lucky to have such spunky, plucky, well-starred role models? Do we have them to thank for our empowered notions of self and our refusal to settle for anything less than…well…everything?
Or did these idealized heroines, with their tiny waists and wide-eyed innocence, embody impossible standards of beauty and allure for us? Did these fairy tales set us up for disappointment and disillusionment? Would we be saying “I do” instead of “WTF?!” if only Ariel hadn’t defied her father and her way of life and been willing to make every kind of ultimate sacrifice for Prince Eric?
Fascinating questions, all. But, as it turns out, a moot point of little continuing relevance. Because the Disney Princess have been booted out of town, for good.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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