When traffic is slow

When traffic is slow or at a virtual crawl on Tinder, as seems to be the case for me right now, there are several options. One is to feel like crap about myself (been there, not worth it- it’s not about me usually). Another is to play harder or lower my standards (been there, not often worth it). Option number three is to uninstall the app and move on (been there, done that- a solid choice). Number four- reflect on things and idle, which is where I’m at. I’m always reflecting of course, as most of us are. I used to take it really hard when only the ones I did NOT want seemed to be swiping right. ‘What am I supposed to do with this?’ I would wonder aloud, besides share the photos with close friends and wonder/scream about them unison? Even that grows stale. I don’t care as much because I don’t really want anything or anyone in particular. I wouldn’t say no if a gorgeous guy materialized and expressed interest, of course. However, that seems a distant possibility at the moment.

What I want seems to be a moving target that is based on what’s happening in my life and on the quality of fish in the current sea. An estuary might be a more apt aquatic reference. An estuary refers to a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it. Estuaries have free connections to the open sea and form a kind of transitional zone between river and maritime environments. I like that because it’s more in line with what seems to be afoot at the moment- transition, salty, fresh, open to larger possibilities. That’s how I describe my goals in my current profile, which has yielded the ‘worst’ catch of men to date. The lack of activity means I don’t need to constantly swish the notifications to the right to get them off my phone screen or review loads of profiles. It also means that I’m not striking as many people’s fancy and answers a question I’ve long wondered: DOES anyone read the profiles? It seems they do and that I have sufficiently revolted or freaked out the masses. In many ways, this is a good thing.



Treena, 45

Tinder goals: casual, something meaningful, open to possibilities

Tinder likes: fit, healthy, kind, smart, funny, imaginative, meeting in-person (Square blue ‘COOL’ emoji)

Tinder dislikes: not reading my profile, objectification, lazy or careless communication, boring questions about sexual preferences, text-only (Monkey covering eyes emoji)

Bonus: animals, travel, reading and the arts, independent, originality (Gold trophy emoji)

My Anthem– Praise The Lord (Da Shine), A$AP Rocky

My Top Spotify Artists– Eminem, Kendrick Lamar. This isn’t 100% accurate given the amount I’ve played Florence and the Machine, The Star is Born Soundtrack, The Beastie Boys, Lorde, or my various playlists (Metal, Strong & Beautiful, All the Ladies).

Interests– I have like a hundred, including: Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, NPR, The Paris Review, Masha Ivashintsova, Dziaria Antonina, Joan Didion, John Coltrane, Angel Bengal, Wildfang, Eddie Murphy, Atlohsa Gifts, Harlow Skin Co., Indigenous Issues, Ruth Franklin, Anova, Lowrider Magazine, Midsomer Murders, and Hamilton.


Right now, I’m not into the tedious work that is required to ‘meet’ someone. As a person who dislikes texting (why- you write all the time? YES, but that’s what I’ve chosen to do and is something I have control over), it’s akin to people chomping sloppily with their mouths open while eating, picking at their face in public, or using the word “seen” versus “I saw.” It makes me crazy! I’ve had sooooo many of these ‘who are you?’ + ‘what are you looking for on here?’ conversations that the moment I press “Anthr” the world “anthropologist” comes up and I just press the words that my phone has gratefully saved for me to fill in the blanks: “I’m an anthropologist who works with marginalized communities.” But then more spicy words have also been saved and when they pop up in ‘other’ kinds of conversations I must exercise caution- hahaaaa- and not hit ‘send’ too hastily.  

My choice is to idle- no life in the fast lane, no mirrors on the ceiling, for now. I idle and study the profiles that come my way, for they are a bounty of fascinating and bizarre information. Some make me sad because the desire to connect, as reflected in their images or textual information, can feel pleading, painful, or perplexing. We’re all trying to reach out in our own ways and although it’s uncomfortable sometimes, it is mainly hilarious and fairly harmless.

Word origins are so cool to learn about, as are synonyms. I love what my search of “idle-definition” turned up, especially the ones referring to it as a verb. Why the letter “L” plays such a prominent role here is beyond me, but so interesting:



(of a person) spend time doing nothing; be idle.

“four men were idling outside the shop”

do nothing, be inactive, vegetate, take it easy, mark time, twiddle one’s thumbs, kill time, languish, laze, lounge, loll, loaf, loiter; 

informal- hang around, veg out, bum around, lollygag

“Lily idled on the window seat”


“Treena idled on Tinder and then wrote about it.”

One thought on “When traffic is slow

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