Issue #101: All Of Your Dating Tips and Why I'm Taking a Pause from the Apps
How my dating strategy has shifted.
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
🎥 ‘Theater Camp’ in Theaters: In this Christopher Guest-esque mockumentary, two best friends recruit their theater friends and one tech bro to run a youth theater camp in the Adirondacks and pull together a musical in three weeks. Uncomfortably earnest and sweet in equal measure, this is the feel-good summer movie to see if you’re looking to miss ‘Barbie’ crowds. Plus, the cast is fantastic: Ayo Edebiri (of “The Bear”), Ben Platt, Patti Harrison, to name a few.
🎧 “Scamanda” Podcast: I never followed Amanda Riley, the lifestyle influencer at the heart of this investigative podcast, but that didn’t stop me from being captivated by her story, and the years-long hoax she ran. From 2012 to 2019, Amanda asked her audience for donations to cover medical costs associated with a rare and aggressive form of cancer she claimed to have, despite being healthy. In this eight-episode series, journalist Charlie Webster exposes the bizarre and expansive lie through interviews with the blogger’s community. Well-produced, it served me well during the week-long break in “The Retrievals,” which I’m still loving.
📚 Tom Lake by Ann Patchett: I pushed a solo camping trip a full day back, just to be sure I received my advanced copy of Patchett’s latest novel about love and marriage (a topic Patchett, who has famously written about her second marriage, is perfectly poised to reflect on). In it, Lara recounts to her three adults daughters, who have come to live with her during the pandemic, the story of her twenties—her pursuit of acting and a passionate love affair that took place at a theater company, Tom Lake. Her daughters, in turn, reexamine their own lives. A tender and thought-provoking read. Side note: While waiting, I fell into a YouTube hole of Patchett conducting interviews and sharing new books at her Nashville bookstore, Parnassus Books. I also have tickets to see her in Portland in September! See you there?
P.S. I also watched ‘The Beanie Bubble’ on Apple TV+ which is the origin story of Beanie Babies. Full of fun ‘90s and early aughts nostalgia, but it just wasn’t that engaging and I wasn’t sure who to root for. Maybe consider ‘Air’ instead.
A few weeks and several dates into Hinge, I can confirm I do not have a natural knack for first dates. To be fair, I don’t think it’s entirely my fault. Unlike other first impressions that are relatively low-pressure (coffee with a new friend) or allow for some degree of acting a part (job interviews), first dates require that you relax enough to show up as yourself—ideally, your best self. As a people-pleaser very much in the process of figuring myself out, this means I have a tendency to arrive as a walking billboard for Why You Should Date Me… which is exactly as awkward as it sounds.
I know I’m an interesting and likeable person, yet on dates, I feel the need to prove that I am—which is, ironically, neither interesting or likeable. I can never quiet settle into being myself (remember when I ordered a cocktail despite preferring to not drink?) and list interests like I’m running out of time. I like readingcampingandskiing! I know this comfort will come with time and luckily, many of you are seasoned daters. When I asked for your tips, hundreds of you responded, offering a wide range of perspectives from a variety of life stages, ages, and experience. Though I’m currently taking a pause from the apps, for reasons I go into below, many of you had me thinking twice about my decision. Read on for sweet and hilarious date stories, your takes on ghosting and “turn down” texts, and how to screen for suitors and put yourself out there: