To Build a Kingdom

Over the past year I’ve been working on a project that has morphed from scattered writings about a wild, troubling series of socio-sexual experiences to a memoir about said experiences. Friends, colleagues, students, and strangers (’cause when I’m excited about something, everybody learns about it!) have helped me make sense of it, answered and asked questions about it, and heartily devoured and screamed at the photos and messages that I readily share to show them what I’m dealing with. What am I talking about?…My experiences using the Bumble dating app. I know, it’s standard fare nowadays, which makes me sound ancient and rather obsolete. What’s a 45-year old doing on Bumble? Long story short: I wanted to date, hadn’t dated for a long time, and the idea of having access to a range of potential suitors in an easy, convenient way (i.e., in the palm of my hand) was alluring.  After all, where else am I going to meet anyone in my rather provincial city, where it’s great to be a student or a parent/family/coupled unit but not a Sagittarius of my ilk? Honestly, I don’t go to bars/party anymore and beyond seeing dudes at the bus stop or ON the bus (GOD), yoga class (like 2 men go and they’re not my cuppa), or work (NO) the dating environment is exceedingly limited. 

The blog will contain MANY insightful, hilarious, and thought-provoking reflections on my time inside the hive, Bumble’s company logo. The book I’m working on is called Sticky, Sexy, Sad: My Five Months Inside the Bumble Hive, hence the name of this blog. I’ve been ‘balls to the wall’, as it were- 1980s Metal Band Quiet Riot reference- recording my experiences and trying to figure out how to make the book happen. The trade publication process is very different than the academic one, which is also harrowing and very competitive (10-15% acceptance rate for most top peer-reviewed journals), but in a different way. To get published in scholarly journals your work has to be good, in line with the journal’s aims, ethically sound, and sometimes it’s about luck. But, you don’t need to develop a social media following and promote yourself on all the platforms and attend to the myriad of things that I’m beginning to learn are customary in order to attract the attention of publishers and literary agents.

It’s kind of insane and initially I resisted it: Twitter, IG, AND Facebook (my old-lady, go-to platform), AND a blog, AND YouTube (did I even spell that right?), AND…It’s not enough to produce an interesting, important, and culturally relevant book and put together a proposal (an extensive document that can run 30 pages) and endless cover letters or ‘queries’ as they’re called to publishers as well as agents. I came very late to the “Tech” party and find it all, tech in general and this media-driven labour that I must engage in, overwhelming. I may not refer to the internet at “the web” or “the net”, but I’ve only used a cell phone regularly since about 2007. True story. I remember my first phone, flip of course, and how I admired it more than understood it. It was white of all things, sleek and like a toy in my novice hand. I have only been on IG for about 3 months, in part to prepare myself for book-related things. I study people’s platforms and marvel and scratch my head at how comfortable so many people seem to be with baring themselves, or parts of themselves, or parts of parts of themselves that are subject to extensive filter(s). 

To build a kingdom one needs basic building materials which, in this case, is each of you who are gracious enough to read what this 45-year old has to say! You are, figuratively but also kind of literally, essential to the eventual raising up of my special flag, my treasure in the turret (from Italian: torretta, little tower; Latin: turris, tower): my book. As I lay in bed listening to my cats scratching at the door and saying ‘hello, we love you…what are you doing?’ at 4.30 am, I was thinking of Cat Steven’s Song ‘Don’t Be Shy’ from the FANTABULOUS soundtrack for the LIFE-CHANGING 1970s film Harold & Maude. It captures how I feel in this betwixt and between phase I’m at, coming out of my literary shell and being happy and nervous about doing so:

Don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by 
Don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there 
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead 
And don’t be shy, just let your feeling roll on by 
On by
You know love is better than a song 
Love is where all of us belong 
So don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by 
Don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there 
You’re there
Don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by 
Don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there 
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead 
And don’t be shy, just let your feeling roll on by 
On by, on by…
Happy Wednesday and thank you.

2 thoughts on “To Build a Kingdom

  1. I went on years ago for same reasons, after about 4 years of non-dating result of a break-up from which I had to heal first, since all my friends were in committed relationships and was pretty much impossible to meet potential people to date, decided to give it a try. I was rusty at first at this dating thing, and online dating was different for sure! There were laughable moments, but overall was decent, and then after about a year, met my current partner, and timing was funny: my membership was about to expire in a few weeks and I was ready to take a break from it, and same was for him..but now has been almost 3 years…so at least after all those funny (and not so at times) trials, the result was great and happy.
    So you never know!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s