Sunflower Seeds: My Dating Life

Casual dating is exhausting in today’s day and age. I’m an extremely busy woman and I just don’t have time to take on another headache. 

People in modern society seem to be using dating apps for their love lives. I know plenty of men and women who have met their significant other online because they were “hooking up” and after a few months they figured out they liked them. I question this and wonder if the relationship came out of convenience or actual desire for one another. I believe you should live your life how you want and in whatever ways, but I’m just not into the whole idea of this dating apocalypse. 

However, I plead guilty. I have used dating apps from time to time and still consider downloading them when I want attention, but I’d like to think I will meet someone the old-fashioned way. A few weeks ago, I met a guy on a night out. He was attractive, charming, and very polite. The next day he took me out to breakfast at a darling little place on the beach. We spent the day watching dolphins and shared a few innocent kisses. It was merely a weekend fling, but it was refreshing meeting someone without swiping. 

Out of the few boys I met from Tinder I’d say that maybe only one of them was worth my time, and the rest turned out to be horror stories. I’m happy I got out of my comfort zone to meet them, but never again! I do consider my love life to be puzzling, for I don’t really know what I want. For example, one time I thought I was in love with a guy I was fooling around with, but it was just my libido talking.

I think it would be nice to have someone for sappy holidays like Valentine’s Day, or to reach for a soup can on the top shelf, but that’s about it if we’re being honest. I change my mind nearly 1,000 times a day, and I find myself getting bored with people after a few months, so I just don’t know if I could sustain a relationship at this point in my life. I have nothing against one, but I’m very much an independent woman.  

When I was in New York, an older man approached me and told me “you are a beautiful girl, don’t ever limit yourself,” and then proceeded to walk away. At first, I thought it was sweet and a bit strange, but then it resonated with me. I know its cheesy to say, but the world is your oyster. There is so much to do and see, so why limit yourself? I’m not saying that a significant other will tie you down, but I think it is very important to grow on your own. 

I am so happy and grateful for all the experiences I have had. From those experiences I feel like I was able to mature, figure out what I like and don’t like, and get to know myself better. I have a tremendous amount of love and support from my friends and family, and I am just focused on those relationships at the moment. Samantha Jones once said, “I love you, but I love me more,” and she couldn’t have said it better. 

In the Pink: What I’ve Learned From Writing Love Letters

Love letters

Love letters have allowed me to grow my heart, and feel comforted during those times where I feel I have no one else to do so.

A number of weeks ago, I went into Marshalls with a friend and ended up spending money I didn’t have. What else is new, amirightttttt? I used $7 to be exact and ended up subtracting it from my allotted gas money. Wow, you might be thinking. 7 dollars is like two entire gallons of gas and then some if you go to Arco or a similarly cheap station. You must’ve purchased something awesome to be wasting gas money so frivolously.

Yeah! I bought paper.

Specifically, I purchased a bundle of colorful and declarative greeting cards with uplifting and inspiring statements printed on the front sides. They trumpet things like “Your smile lights up the room” and “The world is better with you in it.” At this point, you might now be thinking Giiiiiiiirl, how on earth is that a good purchase? You literally have paper at home and pens and a perfectly functional right hand that could’ve written out those phrases for free.You’re also right.

But here’s the thing, you fiscally responsible creature; I’m writing love letters.

And I need wonderful paper to match.

For the past few months, I have been mailing handwritten letters to my family and friends back home. I moved to San Diego at the end of the summer and am now living the furthest away from my loved ones than I ever have. It’s really only about 100 or so miles, which isn’t a lot to those students who come from the other end of the country or world. I have always been very close to my family and friends, though. We congregate for every holiday, celebrate every birthdays and recognize every little accomplishment with a big dinner out. We have always found excuses to enjoy each other’s company and suddenly, I am not showing up at my sisters’ school functions, or my uncle’s parties and it breaks my heart.

I’ve spent many tearful nights missing my family, and there’s been plenty of times where I’ve come close to packing it all up and leaving this new school without a degree, just so I can be back at home.

I miss being surrounded by people who I love and people who love me.

That’s something I’ve found that no one really talks about when discussing the transition to living at a school away from your friends and family. I went from being surrounded by an unconditional support group to now living among people who honestly don’t care about me. And why would they? They don’t know me. My parents, on the other hand, have adored me since I was a crying alien-looking thing fresh out of the vagina and have loved me every second since. They will love me even when they read that I’ve written the phrase “fresh out of the vagina” which is not how they raised me to speak. Yet, I’m betting they will tell me how proud they are of this post anyhow. I will never find that sort of love anywhere else.

Despite the brutal loneliness that has sucker-punched me in the goddamn face, I can’t quit school. I don’t want to. I’m learning so much and have a hell of a lot more growing to do. But I discovered almost immediately after I moved here that I needed to find a substitute for all that love and affection I’ve become accustomed to. It was taking a serious toll on my mental health to go from a situation of ever-present love to one of indifference and apathy. It’s like The Lumineers sing in that one song: “The opposite of love’s indifference.” I agree, Wesley Shultz, I totally and wholeheartedly agree.

I was in need of some coping tools. And ASAP. Enter love letters.

It took a very long time, but I have discovered that a hand-written love letter is the best conduit of magic. When I began writing said letters, I was skeptical. It felt archaic and a little pretentious. I kept going, though. And after some time, I started to gain some mega spiritual benefits. It’s been so therapeutic and cathartic. I buy the nicest paper, use my very best pens and fold the letters lovingly into crisp envelopes stamped with gorgeous stamps. It’s ceremonial from beginning to end. In these letters, I confess my love to my parents, siblings and friends. I’ve written notes for my cousins and grandparents. Hell, I’ll confess my love to you, too, if you send me your address.

For me, the happiness is in the process. I have shifted my mindset from victim to fortune’s favorite. Instead of focusing on lack, I acknowledge the surplus of love that exists in my life. My goal was once to not feel so far away, but now it’s about expressing my gratitude and affection. It’s nice to tell people I love them. I don’t know what it’s like for them on the other end, but I imagine it’s also nice to hear that you’re loved. I don’t try to create poetry or worry about whether the string of words I’ve chosen fully encapsulate the tenderness in my heart. I just write. I write until my hand cramps and my vision blurs.

I’m happier for it. I don’t feel so victimized by my loneliness. I feel grateful and joyous and alive. So when you think about it, isn’t 7 dollars worth of gas a small price to pay?

Written by: Monica Vigil

Soundtrack to Dating: Best and Worst Date Stories

Soundtrack to Dating

Sound serves as one of the most important aspects to memory. In particular, songs help mark memorable moments in our lives, especially when it comes to dating.

The idea of songs and love together isn’t a new one. For as far as we can remember, after we had all started putting our tendrils into the sticky situation otherwise known as love, we would oftentimes ask each other “what’s your song?” Even today, couples put significance on the song most representative of a particular moment within their relationship. A “Soundtrack to Dating” if you will. And sometimes, after the relationship has soured, or after a particularly nasty incident, that song is forever ruined in the person’s mind. With that being said, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we asked members of KCR what songs they would include in their soundtrack to dating. Or, more specifically, we asked them what songs represent their best and worst dates, and why. Below are their stories.

The Best of the Soundtrack to Dating:

The Sound – The 1975

This song takes me back to my high school days, driving around downtown Seattle with my friends. The 1975 connected me with friends that I will have for a lifetime, and every time I re-listen to their first album, I am transported to my grunge days in the rainy city. This song, however, is off their second album and I will always remember the first time I heard it. I won a concert through a local radio station to meet the entire band, ask them questions, and hear a preview of their second album. As I sat next to my best friend (whom I had met at the very first 1975 concert), with the band sitting directly in front of me, I remember feeling euphoric in ways I can’t describe.

-Brittany Roache

Cherry Wine – Born Ruffians

This song takes me back to hanging out in my boyfriend’s bedroom, staring into each other’s eyes. I’m so serious. We do that sometimes. No talking, just staring. Uber romantic. 10/10 would recommend. And this is the perfect background song when you want to feel young and in love, but not sappy and tender.

-Monica Vigil

In My Dreams – Kali Uchis

I went on a date with a close friend of mine and while we did not end up dating, it felt like such a perfect date with no problems. This song comes to mind whenever I look back at how nice it felt having that date & remembering the friendship I have with that person now.

-Sofia Gomez

Baby I’m Bleeding – JPEGMAFIA

Okay, this one is a bit unconventional, so bear with me. One of my favorite dates was with someone who I never saw again. We met up for tacos and it felt like we really hit it off. As I’m walking her to her car, we decide let’s go to Target “for fun.” And so, we raced each other to the closest Target (for the sake of integrity, I’ll just say that I won), and then explored. After we finished, I jokingly said, “you know there’s more than one Target we can go to.” We drove probably 15 miles going to three different Targets, just wandering around and laughing. When we finally tired of that, I suggested tea from a place I loved. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the spot, and took us to a spot I’d never been before. The tea was good at least, and we spent another couple hours talking. Afterwards, we decided to walk around. I revealed that I like to (badly) rap/sing, and for whatever reason, chose this song to demonstrate to her. I don’t think she was impressed, but I at least had the decency to censor myself throughout. She (a very pasty white girl), on the other hand, didn’t have that same filter, and instead dropped the N-word a couple of times in whatever song she decided to sing. When I kissed her goodbye, that was it. No sparks, no chemistry. It was awkward, and we never saw each other again. But in all honesty, ignoring that random act of racism and just lackluster ending, the rest of that date was really nice.

-Peter Swan

The Worst of the Soundtrack to Dating:

Cocaine – FIDLAR

The worst date I’ve ever been on was a second date that occurred two months after the first. Maybe that should’ve been a red flag. It started off okay at a karaoke bar in North Park, so we decided to head down the street to Coin Op. As we sat among the retro arcade games, things began to rapidly deteriorate. It all stemmed from me jokingly calling myself boring. That’s when he asked if I wanted to do cocaine. At Coin Op. On a Tuesday. I declined and it was all downhill from there. He said I seemed like the cliché of a girl who needs to get out of her shell. He said I should act more interested in people if I want to be interesting. He said it didn’t seem like I was having a good time. Shockingly, I wasn’t having a good time. Despite all of this mildly traumatizing psychoanalysis, I stuck around and even let him drive me home. Sometimes you just don’t want to pay for a Lyft.

-Andrea Renney

The Climb Miley Cyrus

I went hiking with a guy and it was a very intense hike. I was out of breath the whole time and it was almost impossible to keep a conversation, so I associate that song with that date.

-Nina Capuani

Paralyzer – Finger Eleven

If there is one piece of advice you take from this piece of modern literature, it’s to NEVER date a girl who works at a Harley Davidson dealership. About a year ago I was in a relationship with one of these aforementioned dames and on this particular occasion she decided to invite me to a party at her work. I was really excited at the time because I thought it would be a great chance to meet some of the people who were close to her, but as I was soon to find out, these were not the kind of people I was going to be fond of. Due to the nature of the dealership, the party was filled to the brim with biker gangs who all found my girlfriend pretty attractive. While this is usually a positive scenario, it seems to me that being in a gang sort of means the boundaries of being a decent human being get a bit blurry. The whole night I was walking around with my date, these kind gentlemen would stop by to slap her ass and flirt with her, right in front of me, the worst part being she was laughing and flirting back all the while. I even brought up to her how strange it all was and she said this behavior was commonplace at Harley parties. She had a great time. I did not. Worst date ever.

-Anonymous

Just a Friend – Biz Markie

We had only been on a few dates, but just by hearing the title of the song, you can probably guess where our relationship headed. The way the song is performed through vocals and instrumental as well as the lyrics brings me back exactly to when I hung out with this girl before and during college. Meanwhile, the chorus of the song is something I, and likely many others, can chant for days. Because of how relatable this song is, and how well performed it is, this remains one of my favorite songs to this day, even if it reminds me of a really lame time in my life.

-Christian Scognamillo

Kiss Me Thru the Phone – Soulja Boy

Once I was on a date at a bar with a guy I thought was too straight laced and boring, like a bran muffin in human form. And then this song came on and he said “oh this is that song by super boy.” SUPER BOY! Needless to say, I got out of there ASAP.

-Sarah Anderson

4 Your Eyez Only – J Cole

I know this is cheating but I once had sex to J Cole’s “4 Your Eyez Only” album. I was given the options of that or Led Zepplin (I love led Zepplin and I was not trying sully that love) so I chose J Cole. That was the one and only time I ever listened to that album. The only good thing I could say about that album is that it lasted longer than the guy, but trust me, before I left the album hadn’t finished, and neither had I.

-Julie Cappiello

Written by: Peter Swan

A Review of ‘Love’

Hello to all my fellow Netflix binge watchers. Stop your scrolling and trolling because your newest obsession has arrived.

Love, a Netflix original created by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin is a quirky and unique story following the awkward, emotional and entertaining lives of two thirty somethings as they struggle with happiness, stability and -yes, you guessed it- love.

Netflix premiered the 10-part series on February 19. Love is a sort of romantic comedy turned on its head. It is not another cliche story of picture perfect people with picture perfect lives, but instead gives an unpolished look at love through the eyes of the two unconventional leads.

Screen time on Love switches back and forth between awkward nice guy with a tendency for babbling Gus (Paul Rust) and volatile alcoholic and drug-addict Mickey (Gillian Jacobs).

Gus works on a TV show set called Witchita (think Vampire Diaries meets Gossip Girl) as an academic tutor for the child actors  on  the show, but clearly dreams of working as a screenwriter.  Mickey works on a satellite radio show where a pompous doctor doles out life advice to listeners. Her character is constantly switching back and forth between self-destruction and self-improvement.

Love is the classic story of boy meets girl. AKA boy goes to a grocery store where girl is yelling obscenities at the cashier for not giving her coffee. Boy then buys girl coffee so cashier won’t call the police on her. Classic stuff right?

It is a genuinely charming and funny series that does a good job of not taking itself too seriously. Apatow (Girls, Knocked Up, Freaks and Geeks) has a well-earned reputation of crafting sincere stories blended with offbeat comedy.

Much of the humor in Love is not obvious. It’s not just jokes and one liners like so many sitcoms, but awkward interactions, absurd situations and endearingly obtuse characters that make this show stand out.

I would have liked to see slightly more consistency in the characters and the comedy. Occasionally the jokes fell flat and some of Mickey and Gus’s actions in the later episodes felt a bit out of character for their established personalities. All in all though Love gets two thumbs pointed way up. The subtle humor and honest dialogue score this show an 8/10 rating by me.

The series is a critical success. Scoring an impressive 88 percent on  Rotten Tomatoes, Love has secured its rank among the best of Netflix originals.

Just days after the first season debuted, a second season has already been secured. You’ll have to wait a year, but 2017 will see 12 more episodes of Gus and Mickey’s antics coming to a Netflix screen near you.

Binge watchers enjoy!