The Meaning of Life (According to OK Cupid)

Friday, January 4th 12:06 am, sitting at my kitchen table and eating a delicious dinner of tuna salad with sweet red apple and red onion, fresh red lettuce leaves with oil and balsamic, and challah with fresh cheddar cheese… which I savored only because I turned my phone on silence and left my laptop upstairs.

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Photo on 4-12-12 at 2.51 PM
Humans can be incredibly oblivious creatures.
That’s why when I notice something: a cardboard box in a garbage can, or a piece of litter on the street… a homeless person on the street I’d rather not make eye contact with… I try to force myself into action. On those few and far between instances that I actually notice an opportunity to make a difference, I should take it—to begin making up for all the times I’m not aware.

On a completely separate note, I spent a lot of time today thinking about a particular question on OK Cupid, which I recently joined in an effort to get over my recent ex and start meeting new guys to entertain myself with. While I don’t mind being single, at the moment, it would be nice to have somebody to share life’s ups and downs with. It’s sort of like this thought I came up with while eating:

The apple, by itself, is sweet and delicious. It is enough. But pair it with cheese, and you’ve given it life!

Apples and cheese aside, I guess the point is that I would like a companion to share intimacy with, and a delicious post-gym 11pm salad doused in just the right amount of oil balsamic and chili flakes. Oh shit, I’m still talking about food…

Back to my point. Ok Cupid asks a basic matching question that poses: “What are the 6 things you couldn’t live without?”

Currently, my list reads:

1. Family

2. Being outside

3. Baseball (It’s hard maintaining a social life during playoffs season. Most of my girl friends jump ship around September…)

4. Writing

5. Yoga

6. Change

All sort-of sassy, and overly-thought out… curated to appear that I’m smart but funny, caring but self-effacing, serious but cute… You get the point. But here’s the thing: Many—if not most—of the things I previously thought I couldn’t live without, I’ve actually learned I can live without! Through traveling in other countries, and the humbling experience of graduating in 2009 immediately after the economy crashed and every hope of living an easy post-college life was smashed under the well-polished heel of Wall Street… I’ve come to realize that things like baseball, along with hot water for showering, financial support from my parents, and boyfriends, are not actually necessary to life in the naïve way I believed they were… up until the point at which I learned to survive without each of them, in turn. Even immediate internet connection was not actually a life or death situation when it really came down to it. Go figure!

So if taken seriously, the top (and only) 6 things I literally could not live without are:

1. Oxygen

2. Water

3. Food

4. Sunlight

5. Shelter

6. Healthcare

I realize I’m overanalyzing, but maybe the question could be rephrased to ask: “What are the top 6 most important things to you?”

In which case, I’d answer:

1. Family

2. Community (Friends)

3. Social Change, equality, opportunity (lump those all together)

4. Nature

5. Purpose/Judaism/Life-Calling

6. Writing

But what I think OK Cupid is getting at, or at least what all the cool kids are interpreting this question to mean, is: “What are your top 6 Little Pleasures that make life worth living?” In which case, my answer would undoubtedly be:

1. The sauna at my overpriced gym.

2. The freedom to make my own schedule and call myself a “freelancer” while really just frolicking in the city and eating bagels all day while thinking about how I should get a full time job, but I’m not ready yet so why rush.

3. My maximum warmth Ikea comforter that I bought while terrified of my 1st ever East Coast winter.

4. The feeling I get when 20 people “like” my newest super-vain “selfie” Instagrammed Facebook photo.

5. That caffeine high you get 20 minutes after your first cup of coffee… the one that makes you feel like you’re flying and Richard Branson would be crazy to turn down your hastily written application to be his personal assistant… OMG I should run for president!!!!!!

6. Dancing wildly to the Grateful Dead at home with my Looney-Toons Berkeley parents and sister 🙂

Then, of course, there are the top 6 things I should get more of:

1. Time disconnected from electronics and the internet

2. Time in nature

3. Leafy greens

4. Volunteering by helping people directly

5. Social protest

6. News

And the 6 things I can’t get enough of:

1. Watching my cats interact

2. Post gym pizza ohh god it’s so good but so bad!

3. HBO’s “Newsroom”

4. Searching for new jobs to apply to so I won’t have to actually apply to any of the ones I’ve already found… or god forbid, actually accept one which would mean a return to the daily grind of a 40 hour workweek behind a glowing screen…

5. Hebrew… Hebrew Speakers…. Ok fine, Hot Israeli men- there, I said it.

6. The kids I babysit, who are little shits half the time but so damn funny and sweet the other half, I just can’t quit!

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So really, now, my “top 6” list has become a ‘top 6!”—which for all you non-math nerds, means 6 factorial times all the permutations of ways this question can be interpreted, and also “top 6” reasons for guys to run far, far away from “SamInBoots” in search of a simpler girl. But you know? You gotta know what’s important in life, or else you’re never gonna get anywhere 😉

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