Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

For those rainy afternoons and fits of nostalgia, I present to you John Coltrane’s “Aisha” from his album, Ole´ Coltrane.


My friend and I were discussing Seventeen Magazine last night. If you don’t remember Seventeen Magazine, I am sure you would remember all of those steamy teenage heartthrobs à la Jonathan Taylor Thomas on the front cover, girls wearing plaid oversized tees, and lots of make-up tips. Grunge is back I suppose and who knows what Jonathan Taylor Thomas is up to these days?

I decided to peek on their site out of nostalgia and under quizzes, front and center was a quiz named “Why Are You Single?” When I was a teenager, I was single 99.9% of the time and had some idea why. Here are a few reasons:
• I wore JNCO jeans (for girls)
• I had a goth phase
• I was socially ostracized, which the nerds wouldn’t even date me
• I hardly talked to anyone
• People made fun of my curly hair and big nose on a regular basis
• I was the “smart kid”

By the way, check out this web-series, REACT, this hilarious episode being “Teens React to Fashion-JNCO Jeans.”  As for now, I no longer wear “goth” or JNCO jeans, I talk a lot, sometimes too much, my appearance changed over time, and now I probably am not the smartest kid on the block.

Pretending to be a cool kid (I don’t have to try too hard now), I answered the questions on this quiz. These are my current results as to why I am single (thank you Seventeen Magazine for being so kind and insightful):

2017-08-18 (2)

After my break-up, I checked out different dating sites, wondering if my ex were on there, and I found him on Tinder the next day after he vowed he wanted to work on himself, so we can get back together. I would rather not delve into the mind-numbing contradictions that he posed, but when I sent him a screenshot of his profile on Tinder, he said “That’s not me,” as if he were a three-year-old caught with his hand in the cookie jar, then blamed the dog. I suppose the fact I couldn’t believe him to fulfill his promise meant it’s a good thing it’s over.

I figured I may as well succumb to Facebook’s advertising and become a guinea pig for new dating sites, like MeetMindful and my recent favorite (insert Daria’s voice of sarcasm), Coffee and Bagel (the irony that I have Celiac alone is hilarious). Here is what I found:
• Guys I dated or my friends have dated (the Scranton area is fairly small)
• Guys who are notoriously sleazy (again, Scranton is small)
• Guys who appear to be creepy (dimly lit photos, photos of them smoking a cigar)
• Guys who seemed nice enough, but definitely not my type (whatever that means)
• Guys who seemed interesting, but were not interested in me (I can’t believe it, either, right?)
• No guys in the area (this happens a lot)

On top of that, these sites expected you to pay an exorbitant amount of money per month ($34.95 or more, to chat with people or to even like them, ::cough cough, coffee beans::).  No thanks.  I am not saying it’s impossible. I have tried these methods off and on for years to no avail, but maybe they will work for you (Amy Webb: How I Hacked Online Dating). I guess I shouldn’t say it was completely unsuccessful. I met someone I eventually was engaged to and made some friends.

I have always had a fascination with social networking sites, dating sites in particular (how they operate, how they create their algorithms, what interests people in other people). I did a lot of research on this for years (for my love of research and my experience teaching research courses). I read books, studies, conducted my own sort of research and made a conclusion: don’t bother. At least for me, I am some sort of anomaly that is an oddly shaped peg that does not fit anywhere. Some of you might be screaming in your heads: “How depressing!” or “You should focus on yourself,” but yes it is depressing at times and focusing on myself makes it worse. I worked on myself for years. I need to improve on things about myself, but that’s a lifetime in progress. I don’t need to think about myself any longer, like what my role may have been in the demise of every relationship I had. But that’s neither here nor there.

Back to my friend and our conversation last night. She brought up Seventeen Magazine, because she said she remembered reading a piece of advice to “deal with getting over guys,” but this could apply to anyone. She said something like:

“It is about loving yourself, focusing on your goals and activities with friends. You will be too busy and in love with all of the things you are doing that you won’t have time to worry about the guy (or girl) or broke your heart.”

I am thankful for great friends. And I think it’s time I start applying for my doctorate, move, find a better job, so forth.  I just need to create the right shaped peg.

As for right now, I could use a couple more good friends.

Stay in touch,


A. Dawn

If you want to listen to our playlist on Spotify, check us out at thirtythirdwheel


Author: Ali Pica

I am an avid writer and eclectic artist. I have spent years harnessing my skills of observation in my writing and embellish the ordinary in my work. I created my blog to share my unusual and interesting experiences with the world, to inspire people, or simply to make them laugh.

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