Thought Catalog


Your Comprehensive Guide To The Most Haunted Location In Every State

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 08:00 PM PST

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

1. Alabama — The Sloss Furnaces

Youtube / TheMysteryTour
Youtube / TheMysteryTour

The Sloss Furnaces were an iron-producing industrial plant that operated for almost one-hundred years from 1882 until 1971. The furnace experienced countless sordid deaths in its time, including workers who allegedly slipped and fell into the molten steel.

The plant is said to be haunted by “Slag” who was a particularly cruel foreman who worked his employees to death — oftentimes literally. One day Slag slipped from the top of the highest furnace and fell to his death. Immediately after this, and onward, people claim to hear Slag’s voice ordering them to work faster and “push more steel.” Some rumors suggest that Slag was killed by his own rioting workers.
beetlejuice

2. Alaska — the Golden North Hotel

Flickr / Aaron
Flickr / Aaron

The various gold rushes in Alaska brought many people to the state, and with the people came towns and hotels. One such hotel is the “Golden North Hotel.”

As legend states, Klondike Ike and his wife ventured to the state to hit it rich, and his wife, Mary, waited in the hotel for Klondike to return from the field.

She waited, and waited, and eventually stopped leaving her room. One day the hotel owners burst down her door, concerned for her welfare, and found her dead, wearing the dress she would have worn at her wedding.

It is said that Mary is still checked in at the hotel, and her ghost is seen staring out the window, waiting for her fiancĂ©’s return.
beetlejuice

3. Arizona — Hotel San Carlos

Youtube / DarkHauntsVideos
Youtube / DarkHauntsVideos

Established in 1928, the San Carlos was only open a few weeks before Leone Jensen threw herself out the penthouse window due to a soured romance. Jensen’s spirt is said to still be mourning her lost love within the walls of the hotel. People have seen her figure standing on the roof, preparing to jump, or leering in front of their bed.

The hotel was built upon the original city well, where three boys allegedly perished trying to retrieve a ball they dropped into it. The boys are said to be heard scampering through the hotel’s halls.
beetlejuice

4. Arkansas — Rich Mountain

Flickr / Tomasz Dunn
Flickr / Tomasz Dunn

Reports of who exactly haunts this mountain seem to be conflicted. Legends often talk about settlers who were driven from the valleys to this mountain during the civil war, but many locals point to more recent times as the source of the hauntings. They claim a deceased restaurant manager, or a girl who was murdered by drug dealers, is the source of the paranormal activity.

Regardless, people have reported seeing a girl carrying a lantern through the cemetery that sits on the mountain’s peak. Many people believe it is the spirit of a girl who was sent to fetch water during a freezing winter storm, but then froze at the top of a tree where she sought refugee from prowling wolves.
beetlejuice

5. California — The Brookdale Lodge

The Brookdale Lodge was built during the height of the roaring twenties, and it quickly patronized a great number of celebrated people, politicians, and celebrities. The lodge is unique, in part, because of the natural brook that runs through the center of the building.

Many psychics have claimed that anywhere from forty-five to forty-nine spirits are haunting the building. Many of the hauntings, however, seem to center around Sarah Logan, who was the niece of a former lodge owner. She fell (or was pushed??) into the brook that runs through the lodge and drowned. Many people report seeing her crying, looking for her mother. Other mysterious activities include hearing voices, the sound of glasses cinching together, and soft music playing with seemingly no point of origin.
beetlejuice

6. Colorado — The Fitzsimons Army Hospital

Wikimedia
Wikimedia

Now deserted, the hospital is said to be haunted by apparitions of former military officers, flickering lights, and the general feeling of unease. Allegedly, many WWI vets who were poisoned by mustard gas were brought to Fitzsimons for treatment, and perhaps they never left.
beetlejuice

7. Connecticut — Union Cemetery

Youtube / The Fear Channel
Youtube / The Fear Channel

The cemetery has been on the radar of many horror-enthusiasts since it was investigated by ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren. The site is said to be haunted by the “White Lady,” a woman whose identity is in dispute. Some say she is a mother who perished in childbirth, wandering around looking for her baby. Others say she was murdered, and her body dumped nearby. Many people have seen her drifting through the cementary or in the nearby areas.
beetlejuice

8. Delaware — The Deer Park Tavern

Wikimedia
Wikimedia

The Deer Park Tavern was built over the remains of the St. Patrick's Inn, which was said to have housed both George Washington and Edgar Allen Poe.

Today, doors are said to open and close by themselves, furniture can move around without manipulation, and a general sense of unease besets many people staying there.
beetlejuice

9. Florida — May-Stringer House

Youtube / Mike Littlefield
Youtube / Mike Littlefield

People have been said to take photos with orbs of light that cannot be explained, or mysteriously recorded audio of a little girl crying. The house was originally built by John May whose wife died in childbirth, with his child following in death only a few years later.

There is also said to be an incredibly hostile spirit known as “Mr. Nasty” who gives people the chills or makes them feel uneasy.
beetlejuice

10. Georgia — Moon River Brewing Company

The Moon River Brewing Company is haunted by multiple ghosts, including a malevolent ghost named “Toby” in the basement. Employees of the brewery (which is still fully operational today) have reported silverware being thrown, doors closing by themselves, and unknown figures walking about the establishment long after the patrons have left.

The building was originally a hotel (what are with ghost and hotels, eh?) that was erected after the Great Fire of 1820. The location is riddled with stories of dueling, murder, and tragic heartbreak. Many people who attend tours of the brewery report being “touched” or “grabbed” by unseen entities.
beetlejuice

11. Hawaii — Waialae Drive-In Theater

Youtube / Paul186
Youtube / Paul186

Now closed, the Waialae Drive-In Theater was one of the last drive-ins in the island state of Hawaii. The theatre’s restroom was said to be haunted by a ghostly woman with long hair and no feet. A woman told local news that, as a little girl, she would never enter the bathroom alone. The drive-in is now at least partially a developed neighborhood.
beetlejuice

12. Idaho — Old Idaho State Penitentiary

The Idaho State prison was open for 101 years, and it is said that some of its most violent inmates never left.

Paranormal investigators and tourists have said that they’ve seen full-body apparitions, weird noises, and unexplained grabbing. Some people have left the prison bawling, saying that they have felt incredible sadness weighing down on them.

23 Reasons Being A Childless Adult Is The Real Miracle Of Life

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 07:01 PM PST

Twenty20, tanrr
Twenty20, tanrr

1. You get to appreciate the adorableness of your friends' kids for a set amount of time (a few hours, max) and then ditch them altogether for piece and quiet, grandparents style.

2. You can sleep in on weekends without worrying about your face being poked by the tiny finger of a child desperate to play "princess" or "superheroes" circa 6AM.

3. You rarely find yourself costumed or face painted midday, and you never accidentally leave the house wearing a cape, a tiara, or a ridiculous hat.

4. You can get wasted and wallow in the pain of your hangover the next day without caring for anyone other than yourself.

5. Your boobs are still perky because pregnancy and breast-feeding haven't sent them to Sagville.

6. Your vagina is just as tight as it’s always been because you haven't pushed a watermelon-sized human out of a canal more well suited to a cucumber.

7. You can discuss things like heaven, hell, death, and homosexuality without being met by a slew of simple yet shockingly difficult-to-answer questions like "What’s hell?"

8. You're not yet fluent in baby talk, thank God. You speak in full sentences, in your regular voice, sometimes employing unnecessarily big words like “lugubrious” for the fuck of it.

9. You can curse your face off without being accused of saying a "bad word" or being forced to put a dollar in some stupid jar.

10. You get to attend R-rated movies whenever the hell you want.

11. When you feel like eating out, your options aren’t limited to “kid friendly” restaurants famous for their overpriced chicken fingers and fries.

12. You never have to fret over potential public embarrassment by a mini-me who lacks any sense of etiquette.

13. You have no idea who the latest Disney star of the moment is.

14. You can't name the hottest boy band or tween pop star, either.

15. You can flip through an issue of US Weekly and proudly cite your inability to identify any of the famous teens featured because you're a respectable adult with grown-up tastes in bad reality TV shows, not pint-sized celebs with momagers.

16. You don't have to take detours to avoid passing storefronts showcasing candy or toys or any other establishment guaranteed to inspire a kid to whine and moan until you buy them some shitty treat or trinket.

17. Every penny of your disposable income is yours to spend, wisely or recklessly, as you please.

18. Paying for someone to go to college isn't a terrifying thought you have to entertain at all.

19. Every inch of your house is devoted to grown-up stuff. There are no unsightly toys crowding the living room, and no rogue Legos on the bedroom floor waiting for you to step on them in the middle of the night on your way to the bathroom.

20. You don't have to know what the mommy wars are about, let alone have an opinion on public breast feeding if you don’t feel like it.

21. You can say truthful things like "children are idiots" and then laugh without feeling at all guilty.

22. You don't have to waste any time wondering if you're ruining your kid's life by spoiling them rotten or setting a bad example.

23. You get to live entirely through your own existence, and not vicariously through some miniature human who doesn't even understand how whack the world really is. TC mark

10 Ways Children Of Divorce Turn Out Differently

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 06:01 PM PST

Daniel Gonzalez Fuster
Daniel Gonzalez Fuster

1. We are old souls.

We entered childhood with an adult mindset. We always talked about deeper issues that were far ahead of our time, and had more intense feelings than regular children our age. We felt more like strangers than playground kids. We knew early on that we didn't have the luxury of the careless or happy-go-lucky spirit that our age entitled us to have.

2. We are creative.

We were creative in finding ways to rekindle our parents’ love, in hopes that they would get back together or realize how badly they needed each other. Faking a cold, throwing tantrums, causing problems at school were just tactics to get both parents involved. This creativity didn't stop there, but continued to be a fundamental drive in our system. We are now more creative because we had to fabricate scenario after scenario to get our parents in one room. Or we came up with perfect excuses to answer the dreary questions about why our parents are no longer together, how that affects us, or if we think they will ever get married again.

3. We are not afraid to speak up.

We were forced to speak up whether we wanted to or not. Whether it was our parents getting us involved in their dilemmas, or asking us to pick a side, or even just us getting sick and tired of playing dumb if one of them was "secretly" dating someone new, or throwing not so subtle jabs at one another. We had to speak up and we had to do it honestly and clearly. We had to find our voice and use it.

4. We always want to fix what's broken.

It comes naturally to us. We can't leave things until we try to fix them. We are always the peacemakers between friends, the therapists to our coworkers, and the genies to our partners. We don't like seeing people sad or lonely. We overextend ourselves to please others. We know what it's like to be neglected. We know what it's like to be half-loved and we want to make sure no one else feels this way.

5. We may sabotage our relationships.

The truth is, we really don't know how a good relationship functions. We are just trying to avoid a bad example, but we don't know how to follow a good one. We expect more from our partner. We even ask for it. We test them more than we should. We always have that fear that they will just leave, so we push them over the edge to see if they will stick around.

6.We are melancholic.

The melancholy feelings never really goes away from the moment you learn that your parents will no longer be together. You just learn how to take it in stride, suppress it, hide it, counteract it, temporarily forget it, but it never really goes away. It randomly creeps up on you, and people will catch you off guard and ask you "where did you go?" or "what are you thinking of?" and we really don't know what hurts more, the question or the answer.

7. We don't like to share our pain.

Our pain is congenital. We don't understand people who can share their pain so openly with others. We envy them sometimes–it must feel good to be able to take some of the heaviness off their chests, but we just want to share happiness. We want to be happy; we want to see people happy. Or pain is meant to be shared only with our closest friends, our therapists, or our journals. But we don't know how to talk about it, and we don't want to talk about it. We want you to understand our pain without really having to probe its crux.

8. We are tough.

We have learned early on to roll with the punches. We are used to awkward and uncomfortable situations, or uneasy questions and pity looks. We have thick skin and we are rarely affected by what others say or think, and we may even be immune to disappointments. We know that feeling all too well. We face our problems head on, and we know how to function under messy conditions, in fact, we are superb at it. More often than not, we stand up for ourselves and for others too.

9.We’re afraid of having kids.

We want to have kids, we love kids, but we are terrified we might have to put them through what we've been through. We don't want history to repeat itself. We want to provide them with the home we never had, and the family trips we never took. We want to make sure they don't have to be sad or miss a parent or split their free time. We never want them to have to explain to other people why their parents are not together anymore. The pressure of these thoughts, the fear of these feelings, make us think a hundred times before bringing a kid into this world.

10. We never stop hoping for a miracle.

No matter how many years have passed by, we still hope for that day, the day when we will wake up and find that our parents have reconciled, that their love never really went away. We still hope for that day, even if we know that it will never happen. For some reason, we still wait for the curtain call, for the long-awaited family dinner, for the family trip we always dreamed about, for the family portrait we always wanted to hang up, for the day where we can finally fix what has been broken. TC mark

Are Safe Spaces Only For White Students?

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 05:15 PM PST

Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos

"We just really want this to be a safe space." I often find myself listening to a skinny, white musician or writer start off an event with those words. Ironically, the majority of the students in the audience or on the dance floor are usually straight, white males.

These pseudo-safe spaces extend far beyond my own university, and are particularly common at liberal arts colleges. From my friends at Bard who can wear dirty clothes without fear of being arrested, to my friends at Kenyon who think it's trendy to be a farmer. It’s clear that some students at colleges are trying painfully hard to be inclusive, without realizing their initiatives completely ignore people of color.

Many white students I've talked to from USC, UC Berkeley, Kenyon College and other prestigious universities do not realize why media has taken the time to make fun of the phrase "safe spaces." Forget the ridiculous claims that we are coddled. A lot of people are making fun of "safe spaces" because they aren't actually safe.

"Safe space" has essentially become a synonym for "a place for confused white kids to talk and sing about their feelings." However, when a black or brown person – especially a woman – talks or sings about her feelings in a non-stereotypical manner (i.e. outside of spoken word), the crowd gets tense or uncomfortable, and the scene is no longer a safe space for the majority. It's almost more offensive to be told that these alternative music events, literary collectives and pseudo-alternative sororities (co-ops) are safe spaces, because it gives people of color like myself a false inkling of hope that maybe, just maybe, we will really be accepted around the white kids.

The worst offenders are the pseudo-alternative fraternities and sororities, also known as co-ops. Visit that famous co-op at Berkeley or that not so famous co-op at USC, and you'll get free wine and mediocre pot brownies, and even a dance to one of your favorite middle school jams. The people will smile at you and remember you apart from other (artsy) brown or black people. But the desperation in the sea of white look-a-likes sporting jean on jean and openly talking about their queerness reminds you of the white carbon copies who live just a few blocks away on fraternity row.

So, the white musicians and poets and dancers might have found their safe spaces. But if students want to see further development of collegiate artistic and political communities, then they must learn to look outside the white gaze. Like any movement, the fight for counter-culture spaces will not be successful unless it is intersectional. Until then, students should not refer to predominately white: events, literary collectives and alternative housing, as "safe spaces for everyone." TC mark

The 15 Completely Ridiculous, Yet Totally Real Phases Of Posting A Selfie

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 05:00 PM PST

Twenty20, soheilr
Twenty20, soheilr

"Post," "publish," "upload," "share," these are just the tickets to riding the emotional roller coaster that is selfie-posting.

Without casting judgement on selfie-ers, I’ve always wondered how we began to play into this masochistic, millennial form of external validation. My Instagram feed is filled with all kinds of selfies throughout the day: the "candid" ones, cheesy couple ones, predictable post-break up 'I'm-doing-fine-without-you' pics, gym shots etc.

Now, I personally don't think there's anything wrong with feelin' yourself and wanting the world to see it. I mean, if a man photographs a woman and publishes it, it shouldn't earn the title of 'art' while a selfie qualifies the woman as a vain whore.

I've never been one to post selfies and it's not because I'm a Shrek-looking girl, and no, unfortunately I'm no Hailey Baldwin either. It's just that the thought of posting a selfie gives me nothing but anxiety. I recently posted one of my first selfies and the emotions were real.

But when we’re dropping that lit selfie for all our followers to see, there are some definite phases we go through:

Phase 1: Trying To Get The Right Lighting

Whether it's the natural lighting that falls effortlessly through your bedroom window or the soft lighting you installed thanks to a YouTube DIY video – lighting. is. fucking. KEY. It has the ability to make you look like you've had your makeup done by the Kardashian's makeup artist, or like you're telling a terrifying camp story.

Phase 2: Asking The Group Chat If It's #Lit Or Not

The tribe has spoken. They've chosen #28 out of the 47 selfies you took. You'll now stare at the chosen one until you no longer recognize the person you're about to mask with a filter.

Phase 3: Editing, Filtering & Trying To Achieve Adele's Level of Contouring

Adele is flawless, of course. But Adele on the 25 album cover – can you say #contourgoals? That shit spoke to me. You will edit that pic, soften any harshness and hope to God you can accentuate your contouring to match that of Queen Adele.

Phase 4: Should I Start Over?

WTF, how did I filter myself into an orange? Why is it grainy? Shit, there's a dirty sock of mine laying on the floor in the back of my selfie, think anyone will notice? Why didn't I take it with squared dimensions? Fuck it I'm not retaking it, the show must go on.

Phase 5: Get That Caption Game on Fleek

I don't want to be basic and put some of The Weeknd's lyrics in the caption. I also can't leave it blank. What can I say that's both funny and cute? Maybe now's a good time to make some witty banter about the dirty sock in the background!

Phase 6: The Time Has Come – Post Away Grasshopper!

Knees weak palms are sweaty, there's vomit on – well I'm not at the vomit level of nervousness, but I am getting heart palpitations from having to post this. Statistics state that the prime times to post on Instagram are between 3-4pm and 8-9pm. Going to drop it during the later time slot. Luckily, I watched DJ Khaled's Snapchat story today so I'm feeling extra inspired and confident to post.

Phase 7: Oops, Having An Anxiety Attack

NBD, I'm chillin', feeling good about this. Hm, did Instagram crash? It's been 37 seconds and not one 'like'! Not even my aunt Jenny who literally lives on Instagram? Okay false alarm, Aunt J pulled through, phew. Ugh, J's 'like' has now sat there for a full minute. Okay, I’m desperate. I'm going to text my sister and ask her to go 'like' it.

Phase 8: Watching The Likes Roll In

Okay breathing has resumed to normal. The BFFs are making their rounds. I'm at my peak 'like' speed, I'm basically high on the best drugs – KEEP'EM COMING!

Phase 9: Um, Watching The Lack-Of Likes Roll In?

Seriously, Instagram must have crashed, or maybe the whole internet did, IDK?! There is literally a tumbleweed blowing across my post, a follower apocalypse has occurred, the 'likes' have slowed…or…oh shit…I think they've stopped.

Phase 10: Step Away From The Phone!

A watched kettle never makes tea? Hot water doesn't boil? What's that expression that's supposed to be reassuring and detach me from my phone? Whatever, I just won't look at my phone for the next four hours…two..ten minutes.

Phase 11: The Grand Entrance Of Your Crush

After taking that three minute break from my phone I come back to find out my crush has double tapped on my face. Could it be, he was so aroused his penis became erect and hit the 'like' button? A gal can dream!

Phase 12: Your 2nd Grade Geometry Teacher Was Right, Math Is Everywhere!

Everyone's got the comment : like ratio which of course is relevant to every unique user's profile. Sixty likes for me means I should have five comments. One hundred and twenty likes for me means I should have eleven great comments and one about the dirty sock. This math only makes sense in my head so leave me alone Mr. Chafe from grade ten math – I don't need to "show my work" on paper anymore.

Phase 13: Honestly, It's Just Instagram

Who cares? Instagram isn't going to pay my bills, unless I can be an 'influencer' or get hot enough to promote detox teas on my page. I'm not going to ask for approval. Fuck the likes, comments, shares. I love myself!

Phase 14: Hold Up – The Ex Just Liked My Pic

Okay I take it back, just for a second. My ex of two years just thought I was hot again. I cried over you during Adele's 21 album. Hopefully his penis also double tapped my face. Erg, a little awkward…that's what she said?

Phase 15: Really, It's Just Instagram – Who Gives A Fuck?!

Alright, the dust has settled. It's been four hours. The influx of likes has come to a grand halt and I'm over it. I now know why I don't post my face for others to judge. I'm fine with myself, inside and out. In fact I value my guts and soul more than my outer. It's my fault really, as I placed importance over others' response to a 'selfie'. It is just Instagram, just Facebook, just Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and whatever the fuck else we flood with ourselves. We will live beyond these platforms, we are more than these platforms. TC mark

All The Tiny, Beautiful Things About Being A Kid Every Teacher Gets To Remember

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 04:00 PM PST

Twenty20, twinshenanigans
Twenty20, twinshenanigans

1. Hugs matter.

Hugs when you're happy. Hugs when you're down. Hugs at the start of the school day. Hugs when an older student comes back to visit your classroom. Hugs when a student skins her knee. Hugs after a long day. They are simple gestures, yes, but gestures that connect people through the age gap. Children remind us that we need that physical human contact to lift our spirits. They remind us that hugs matter.

2. Laughter is a necessary component of every single day.

Your students will teach you this. They will laugh at themselves, each other, and you. And you will laugh with them (because their pubescent laughs are hysterical) but also because they will teach you not to take life so seriously.

3. Knowing someone's name is important.

You will see your students' faces light up when you greet them by name. And it will warm your heart when they tap you on the shoulder and actually pronounce yours correctly. Everyone becomes important, validated, individual. (Sometimes in adulthood we forget the simple value of that.)

4. A 'hello' or 'good morning' = automatic friends.

Speaking to one another rather than just nodding a head or smiling—that makes a difference for your students. You acknowledging them and talking to them is the basis of their relationship with you and trust in you.

5. Trust is a gift.

Your students will trust you because you are an adult and they believe in your inherent goodness. They don't doubt. They don't make you prove yourself. And this is a gift, freely and innocently given, that you must keep and hold close. (And incorporate into your adult relationships, too).

6. The simplest things can be incredibly amazing.

Like a computer game where cookies fall down the screen and you have to click on them. (They will play this damn thing for hours if you let them, by the way.)

7. Approval from adults is needed, if not essential.

When we become adults we care less about the approval of others (though we still do, to an extent, so what does this say about us?) but your students want (and need) to know they are doing things correctly. And as a teacher, you see what they don't—that they are vulnerable and need to be loved.

8. There’s freedom in feeling vulnerable.

Your students don't understand the concept of being vulnerable, even if they are completely vulnerable in the classroom every single day. They don't understand that being vulnerable is something they will fear as they grow. This is a blessing and something we should allow them to feel for as long as possible.

9. Fear isn't this big obstacle to overcome. It's small. And conquerable.

Your students will show you this every day. From giving a speech in front of the class to standing up to a bully. They don't overthink. They don't let fear take over. (We can learn a thing or two from them.)

10. Friendship is the most important thing.

If you are fighting with your bestie, you have to fix it RIGHT NOW. Even if that means emailing back and forth during class, passing notes, or whispering across the classroom.

11. A little snack or treat can change the course of an entire day.

Watch their faces when you give them Teddy Grahams mid-afternoon. (We should all take note of this.) TC mark

Love Is Easy, It’s Loving That’s Hard

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 03:00 PM PST

Twenty20, NickBulanovv
Twenty20, NickBulanovv

I spent four hours talking with my two best girlfriends about love. All three of us are at similar stages in our lives: finished with college, single, living somewhat on our own, semi-heartbroken, semi-in love, feeling the urge to wander.

The conversation happened on a Saturday morning at an outdoor cafe in Wrigleyville, each of us with different degrees of a hangover, all picking at the scraps of food left on our plates.

I'm not sure how the talking began, but my girlfriend started explaining this 'soul connection' her and her ex have. I don't know what the hell a soul connection is, but it sounded beautiful, like something you wouldn't want to lose.

"It's like your hearts just know each other,"
she explained.

And sitting there, I couldn't understand how she could know and feel all this, yet not actively pursue this person. In fact, she was the one who had broken it off.

She said that the communication between her and the ex was the issue. They would go days without talking and he would justify it with, 'Well you know I love you. We don't need to talk every day.'

Now that's the sort of thing that just pisses me off. I've heard that phrase before (one too many times). And if you ask me, I’ll fully admit to being nosy. I want to know not only the big things in my significant other's life, but also the little things–-what'd you eat for dinner? who did you go out to the movies with? anything different happen at work? And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. So listening to her explain her ex's justification, I could understand why she was frustrated. There's that part of you that just wants to know, just feels that if someone loves you they'll want to talk, even if it is just about the little things.

She explained how even though she felt such a love for her ex, the type of love she'd never felt before, she knew she couldn't be with him. For her, the communication problem was just too much to push off to the side. She knew the two of them weren't meant to be because she couldn't compromise on something she felt so strongly about. And on his end, he wouldn't meet her halfway.

And the hard part is trying to understand how people love, and to love them back, but also realizing when people don't love you how you need to be loved, that matters.

The conversation got me thinking. Love is a powerful thing. And it's also difficult as hell. We give our hearts to another person, but we expect the same thing in return. The problem is, people love differently. And the hard part is trying to understand how people love, and to love them back, but also realizing when people don't love you how you need to be loved, that matters.

I've grown up believing that love isn't selfish. In fact, my best friend said it about her own situation–"love is selfless." But I'm not sure I agree.

A selfless love means putting someone else's needs before your own. It means moving across the country to be with your significant other, even if you're settled in a place you consider home. It means putting your communication needs aside and giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. And I don't know if I agree with that.

Listening to my friend explain how hard her breakup was, but how she needed to do it because she couldn't forgo what she felt in her heart, left me with mixed feelings. I admired her strength, that she was able to walk away from what she wanted because she knew there was something better out there for her. But I was also pained, because I knew it killed her to wake up every day without the person she loved, knowing he was only a minute's walk away, but she couldn't talk to him.

The first step to loving someone is to love yourself. And loving yourself is selfish.

I'm not sure if love is selfless. The first step to loving someone is to love yourself. And loving yourself is selfish. Loving yourself means knowing what you deserve and not being afraid to claim that. Loving yourself means staying planted where you are and pursuing the job you want. Loving yourself means not accepting bare-bones communication. It means not settling. But if everyone is loving themselves, no one could ever love someone else fully because there'd never be a compromise.

How can you truly love another person if you're always wanting to love yourself, to honor your own needs and desires?

But reverse that, if you're always trying to honor your significant other's needs and desires, you'll never pursue yours. Selfless yes, but unhappy.

At this point in the conversation, I leaned back in my chair and surveyed the cafe and everything else around us. Across the street was a playground. There were children screaming, a background noise that I hadn't noticed before. To our left was a mother, grandmother, and infant. The baby was pale white with blue veins on his head and beautiful blue eyes. Being a mother is selfless love, constantly putting someone else's needs before your own. But a child is dependent. That makes it different somehow.

"Love is hard," I said. My friend was putting the leftover half of her sandwich into a to-go box.

"No," she said, and stopped messing with her food to look up at me, "love is easy."

“The act of love is easy,” I said, “It’s loving that’s hard.”

I had looked away then, looked back across the street at the children. They were yelling and scrambling across the monkey bars. They weren't heartbroken or worried if they would ever fall in love again. They were just content on existing. On playing with chalk and waiting for the next meal. They were simple. And they were inherently and innocently selfish.

"The act of love is easy," I said, thinking of how simple it was to see a person, to feel strongly for them, to want to be by their side, to want to give them everything. "It's loving that's hard."

We sat at that cafe for a few more minutes. I thought about that idea, the idea that love comes naturally, but loving, learning to love, learning to find the balance between give and take, a combination of selfish and selfless–-that was hard.

Maybe love is about being selfish when it comes to finding the right person, because you need to find someone who's right for you. Maybe not. Maybe you'll know you're with the right person because you won't have to be selfish. You'll both be so selfless that somehow you'll end up in the middle, both making sacrifices, willing and happy sacrifices, that you'll both end up with what you want. You'll want to move across the country for them, but they won't let you. Somehow you'll find a middle ground, and no one will be settling.

You have to be selfish about what you want, but more importantly about what you deserve. But you need to love, and never stop loving.

Perhaps love is difficult with the wrong person. It's easy to love them, to want to be with them, to crave that soul connection. But loving them is hard because they're not the one.

Who knows? We really don't know.

All I know from sitting at that cafe on a Saturday morning, is that love has to have a happy medium. You have to be selfish about what you want, but more importantly about what you deserve. But you need to love, and never stop loving. You just have to stumble ahead, opening your heart again and again, hoping it'll all work out, never giving up, believing in this ridiculously difficult, but beautiful piece of what it means to be human. TC mark

15 Bartenders Share Their Most Extreme, Disgusting, And Hilarious Stories

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 02:00 PM PST

Flickr Michelle Gomes
Flickr Michelle Gomes

1. PENIS IN THE VODKA TONIC

"A club bartender had been stiffed and ordered around by this guy all night. The next drink he ordered, the bartender said he had to go get some limes, but instead he walked to a corner of the bar where nobody could see either side of him, unzipped his pants, and put his [penis] in the guy’s vodka tonic. He brought it back to him, and the guy chugged it. He might have chugged a couple of things that night."

2. A PUDDLE OF VOMIT

"My college town was home to one of the diviest bars I’ve ever been to. It was also the only place in the zip code that served hard liquor after 10 PM, so it was reliably packed and never had any incentive to improve. My job there basically involved coming in the morning after big party nights and cleaning the bathrooms. In general, it wasn’t too bad-you desensitize yourself to most of the common smells pretty quickly-but I had a real ‘wow, fuck you’ moment when one aggressive imbiber threw up all over the place and then Houdini’d their way out of the stall, leaving the door locked from the inside. I had no way to get in, and wasn’t about to slide through a puddle of vomit, so I left it. Then I got fired."

3. a pool of blood about a quarter- to a half-inch deep

"One time, I found a pool of blood about a quarter- to a half-inch deep. It spread over the entire floor of the bathroom-like out of a horror film. There was enough blood that the person bleeding would surely need emergency-room treatment. The weird thing was, we had no fights that night, and no one came in or left the bar bleeding. It’s a small bar, so we would have noticed. My boss just raised his eyebrows and said ‘weird,’ then went on closing up the bar."

4. TWO GIRLS PEEING IN TO-GO CUPS

"I’ve found poop on the seat (how do you even do that?), molly shells on the floor, and one time, after a private event, I opened the closet to put stuff away and there were two girls peeing in to-go cups. Seriously? The bathroom was across the hall."

5. USED TAMPONS TAPED TO THE BATHROOM WALL

"One time someone taped their used tampons to the bathroom stall. Yes, tampons. With an S. Plural."

6. PULL YOUR WIFE’S HAIR DURING SEX

"This bartender I knew in Westlake Village had this married couple come in all the time. The guy was loaded and his wife was always decked out. You could tell she was way out of his league, but he had money. He was the kind of guest that would always berate waitstaff and tip like shit. So one day toward the end of the night, he closed his bill and said to the bartender in front of everyone, ‘I got a tip for you: get a real job.’ The bartender replied with, ‘I got a tip for you. Pull your wife’s hair during sex. I did it to her last week when you were out of town and she loved it.’ The wife just kept saying ‘I am sorry’ over and over again."

7. I’M HAVING SEX WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND

"There’s this dude who always comes in who sold some shitty tech company Mark Cuban-style for a lot of money during one of the bubbles, and talks about all his Teslas and shit, and how he could own this bar, and buy this and that. Literally, whenever he’s out at some Ted Talk or golfing with Marissa Mayer or whatever they do, I have sex with his girlfriend, who is kind of a shitty lay and has some weird demons of her own, but that’s obviously not the point. Anyway, whenever he’s in, I always send them over shots and toast ‘to the things you’ll learn tomorrow’, which he thinks is some Zen bullshit, but I actually literally mean finding out that I’m having sex with his girlfriend."

8. POEMS THAT BORDERED ON THE MENTALLY INSANE

"I found six different napkins taped to the wall of a toilet stall with beautifully intricate sketches of girls who were in the bar that night and poems to them that bordered on the mentally insane."

9. a girl sitting in her own barf and still doing coke

"Once, I walked in on a girl sitting in her own barf and still doing coke. It still makes me giggle."

10. TWO GUYS HAD A POO FIGHT

"I was working in a nightclub one quiet evening when the sudden odor of poop started lurking around in the downstairs area next to the toilet and dance floor. One of the male managers went into the men’s bathroom and discovered poop all over the floor. We watched the security tapes to figure out how the poop got outside the bathroom. Turns out two guys had a poo fight and fished their freshly brewed turds out the bowl and proceeded to throw them at each other."

11. GAY MEN’S REVENGE

"One of the years that I actually had to work [St. Patrick’s Day], a guy came in, jacked up on steroids, alcohol, and tiger blood, wearing bead necklaces and a tight green shirt. His buddy ordered Irish Car Bombs while he took a phone call. I politely informed them that we didn’t do bombs, and I’d need to see some identification before we go much further. Buddy produced an ID, but the ‘roid-monster ignored me until his buddy got his attention. Turns out it had just expired. I told him I couldn’t serve him as a result, and he flipped. He told me to come over here and say it to my face! Then he called me every gay slur in the book and asked my where my bouncer was. The bar just so happened to be occupied by six or eight very wonderful long-term patrons who happened to be gay men. He wasn’t there much longer."

12. FAILED MARRIAGE PROPOSAL (ON THE SECOND DATE)

"A guy asked me to help him propose to his girlfriend. He gives me the ring and tells me to put it on top of her drink. I bring the drink out and she has the ‘What the fuck?’ look when he drops on his knee. She throws the drink at the poor guy and runs out of the bar. Turns out, it was their second date."

13. A GUY WHO CAME IN ALREADY COMPLETELY SHITFACED

"I once had a guy who came in already completely shitfaced. He stood up to greet his date, tripped over a bar stool, and face-planted. He just laid on the floor without moving or saying anything until she left."

14. I HATE SODA

"’I’ll have a rum and Coke.’
I make it. It sits 30 seconds,_she doesn’t touch it. Looks at me and says,_’This is disgusting.’
‘I’m sorry, have you even tried it?’
‘No. I hate soda.’
‘Then why did you order a rum and Coke?’
‘I thought that’s just what people order. How was I supposed to know there’s soda in it?! Give me an apple cider instead.’"

15. THE FREELOADER

"This fucker sits down at my bar and picks up a drink that clearly wasn’t his (he hadn’t ordered anything!). It was a completely full Old Fashioned, covered with a coaster. The guy whose drink this was, was outside smoking, this ass-hat comes in, sits in his clearly occupied seat, and starts drinking his drink. Then can’t believe he had to pay for it. What is wrong with people?" TC mark

If You’re Too Busy For These 5 Things, Your Life Is More Off-Course Than You Think

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 01:00 PM PST

Thong Vo
Thong Vo

Despite turbulence and other conditions keeping airplanes off-course 90 percent of flight time, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the intended time.

The reason for this phenomenon is quite simple — through air traffic control and the inertial guidance system, pilots are constantly course-correcting. When immediately addressed, these course corrections are not hard to manage. When these course corrections don't regularly happen, catastrophe can result.

For example, in 1979, a passenger jet with 257 people onboard left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. However, the pilots were unaware that someone had altered the flight coordinates by a measly two degrees, putting them 28 miles east of where they assumed to be. Approaching Antarctica, the pilots descended to give the passengers a view of the brilliant landscapes. Sadly, the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of the active volcano, Mount Erebus. The snow on the volcano blended with the clouds above, deceiving the pilots into thinking they were flying above flat ground. When the instruments sounded a warning of the quickly rising ground, it was too late. The plane crashed into the volcano and everyone onboard died.

An error of only a few degrees brought about an enormous tragedy.

Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.

This flight is an analogy of our lives. Even seemingly inconsequential aspects of our lives can create ripples and waves of consequence — for better or worse.

  • How are you piloting your life?
  • What feedback are you receiving to correct your course?
  • How often do you check your guidance system? Do you even have a guidance system?
  • Where is your destination?
  • When are you going to get there?
  • Are you currently off-course? How long have you been off-course?
  • How would you know if you are on the right course?
  • How can you minimize the turbulence and other conditions distracting your path?

1. Organizing Your Life

I don't think I'm alone in being slightly scattered and sloppy about certain areas of my life.

Life is busy.

It's hard to keep everything organized and tidy. And maybe you don't want to have an organized life. But moving forward will require far less energy if you remove the excessive baggage and tension. Everything in your life is energy. If you're carrying too much — whether that's physical or emotional — your progress will be hampered.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains that some things are important, and some things are urgent. Most people spend their life prioritizing urgent and "shallow" activity (e.g., answering emails, putting out proverbial fires, and just day-to-day stuff). Very few people have organized their lives to prioritize almost exclusively important and "deep" activity (e.g., learning, health, relationships, travel, and goals).

No one cares about your success more than you do. If you're not a meticulous accountant about the important details of your life, then you aren't responsible enough to have what you say you want.

So how do you organize your life?

Environmental Energy

Is your living space cluttered and messy or simple and neat?

Do you keep stuff (like clothes) you no longer use?

If you have a car, is it clean or just another place to keep your clutter and garbage?

Does your environment facilitate the emotions you consistently want to experience?

Does your environment drain or improve your energy?

Financial Energy

Do you have unnecessary debt?

Do you know how many dollars you spend each month?

Do you know how many dollars you make each month?

Are you making as much money as you'd like to be?

What's holding you back from creating more value in other people's lives?

Most people don't track their expenses. But if they did, they'd be shocked how much money they waste on stuff like eating out. I'll be honest, as a creative and right-brained person, administrative and logistical details bog me down. I procrastinate and avoid them. But this lackluster behavior is holding me back from the very goals I'm trying to accomplish. Until I can hone in on my finances, I won't have a healthier financial life, regardless of my income. Until I take complete responsibility of my finances, I'll always be a slave to money.

And so will you.

Relational Energy

Are your relationships the most meaningful and enjoyable part of your life?

Do you spend enough time nurturing the relationships that really matter?

Do you maintain toxic relationships that no longer serve you?

Are you authentic and honest in your relationships?

Like money, most people's relationships are not organized in a conscious manner. But with something so critical, we should take better stock of our relationships.

Health Energy

Do you eat with the end in mind?

Are you conscious of and in-control of the foods you put in your body?

Does the food you eat improve or worsen the other areas of your life?

Does your body reflect your highest ideals?

Is your body as strong and fit as you want it to be?

Are you healthier now than you were three months ago?

Health is wealth. If you're bed-ridden, who cares how organized the other areas of your life are? It's so easy to put our health on the side — like foregoing sleep, over-consuming stimulants, and making poor eating habits.

But little things become big things. And eventually everything catches up.

Spiritual Energy

Do you have a sense of purpose in life?

Have you come to terms with life and death in a way you resonate with?

How much power do you have in designing your future?

When you organize your spiritual life, you become clear on what your life is about. You become clear on what you stand for, and how you want to spend each day. You develop conviction for what really matters to you, and what is a "distraction." No matter how well-defined, everyone has a moral system governing their behavior. Most people believe in being honest and good people. But until you organize your spiritual life, you'll experience internal conflict when acting contradictory to your values and vision.

Time

How much of your time do you feel in complete control of?

Is your time being wasted on things you don't intrinsically enjoy?

Are the activities you spend your time doing moving you toward your ideal future?

Are you spending most of your time furthering your own agenda or someone else's?

What activities should you remove from your life?

How much time do you waste each day?

What would your ideal day look like?

What activities could you outsource or automate that take up your time?

Until you organize your time, it will disappear and move quickly. Before you know it, you'll wonder where all the time went. Once you organize your time, it will slow down. You'll be able to live more presently. You'll be able to experience time as you want to. You'll control you're time rather than the other way around.

Stop What You're Doing and Get Organized

Getting organized and conscious of your present circumstances (e.g., your environment, finances, relationships, purpose, and time) puts you in a position to build toward the future you want. The fastest way to move forward in life is not doing more. It starts with stopping the behaviors holding you back. If you want to get in shape, you'll make more progress by stopping your negative behaviors than starting good ones. So, before you start exercising, purge the junk food from your diet. Until you stop the damage, you'll always be taking one step forward and one step backward.

Before you focus on making more money, reduce your spending. Detach yourself from needing more and become content with what you have. Until you do this, it doesn't matter how much money you make. You'll always spend what you have (or more). This is a matter of stewardship. Rather than wanting more, more, more — take proper care of what you currently have. Organize yourself. Dial it in. Your life is a garden. What good is planting if you don't prepare the soil and remove the weeds?

Why do most people stay stuck? They never organize. They try adding more, or being more productive, or taking a different approach. So before you "hustle," get organized.

2. Plan And Invest In Your Future

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." — Chinese Proverb

Taking these foundational areas of life and organizing them is essential to creating your ideal future.

Very few people consciously plan and design their life. It's actually startling how few Americans are investing in their future.

But you have complete power over the details of your life the moment you decide you're worthy of that power. That decision is manifest in tangible behaviors, like fixing or removing troubled relationships and saying "no" to activities that are nothing more than a waste of your time.

You get to decide right now.

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!" — Benjamin Franklin

Your vision should be based on your why, not so much your what. Your why is your reason, your what is how that is manifest. And your "what" can happen in a ton of different ways. For example, my why is to help people get clarity on the life they want to live, and to help them achieve their goals as quickly as possible. My what could be blogging, parenting, being a student, going out to dinner, and several other things.

Too many people think creating a vision is about nailing down exactly what they want in the next 20 years. The problem with this mega long-term approach to goal setting is that it actually slows your potential.

Instead of having a pre-set plan of what he wants to do, Tim Ferriss executes on 3–6 month experiments that he's currently excited about. He told Darren Hardy in an interview that he has no clue what the outcome of his experiments might be. So there's no point in making long-term plans. He has no clue what doors will open up, and he wants to be open to the best possibilities.

But his why never changes.

Invest in Your Future

When you choose to forego momentary gratification in order to have an enhanced future, you are investing in your future. Most people fail to do this successfully. Most people don't purposefully invest in their finances, relationships, health, and time. But when you invest in yourself — and in your future — you ensure your future present moments will continue to get richer and more enjoyable. Thus, your life will continue getting better and more in-line with your ideal vision.

3. Tracking Important Metrics

"When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates." — Thomas Monson

Getting organized and investing in your future are futile if you're not tracking. In regards to the most important areas of your life, you need to be on top of what's going on. Tracking is difficult. If you've tried it before, chances are, you quit within a few days. Research has repeatedly found that when behavior is tracked and evaluated, it improves drastically.

If you're not tracking the key areas of your life, than you're probably more off-course than you think. If you were to be honest with yourself, you'd be stunned how out-of-control things have become. As J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, has said, "The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it."

The cool part is, once you get organized, make a plan, and start tracking, desired change happens quickly.

The areas I'm personally tracking are:

  • My income/expenses
  • The amount of new email subscribers I get each month
  • Every minute of my life (through a simple planner)
  • My key relationships
  • Daily progress toward my few goals
  • My weight, muscle-mass, and body fat percentage each month
  • You can track whatever priorities you have. But I can absolutely promise you that once you do, your conscious awareness of these things will increase. You're ability to control these things will enhance. Your confidence will wax strong. And your life will become simpler.

You'll be living a simple, yet organized and refined life. You'll be responsible, which put another way is freedom.

4. Prayer and Meditation To Reduce Noise

"I have so much to do today that I'm going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done." — Martin Luther

There's a lot of emphasis on hustle these days.

Hustle, hustle, hustle.

But all the hustle in the wrong direction isn't going to help you. Yes, by hustling you can fail often, fail fast, and fail forward. However, as Thomas Merton has said, "People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall."

This happens way too often. We get caught in the thick of thin things. Far too late do we realize that in our mad rush, we were pursuing someone else's goals instead of our own. But spending a large chuck of time in prayer and/or meditation does more than provide clarity to what you're doing. These things open your mind up to possibilities you can't get while busy. For example, a few days ago I spent the entire morning praying, thinking deeply, listening to inspirational music, and writing in my journal. A few hours into this process, an idea came to me that is absolute gold. I also got insights regarding important relationships during that time, which when those insights came in, I immediately sent out emails or texts to those people. Amazing collaborations and mentorships were the resultant outcome.

But there's more.

Your thoughts are incredibly powerful. They actually govern not only you but those around you. Think about it, if you think positively about the people you're around, their lives are better. This is why people "send positive energy" or pray for other people. It actually makes a difference.

Your thoughts create endless ripples — even waves — of consequence all around you.

While praying and/or meditating for a large portion of time, the level of your thoughts will elevate. And interesting things will begin happening. If you're uncomfortable with the idea of miracles, you can think of it as luck. Whatever you call it, when you spend large portions of time every day in deep reflection mode, luck strikes. Stuff happens that is completely outside of your control for your benefit.

For instance, during my deep dive into my mind and soul, one of my favorite authors came across my blog. He retweeted one of my articles and reached out to me. If you're skeptical of these ideas. Give it a try. Why do you think the majority of the world's most successful have rituals such as these? There is a higher realm you can tap into that unlocks limitless possibilities.

The only thing holding you back from those things is your mind.

5. Move Toward Your Goals Every Single Day

How many days go by where you did nothing to move toward your big goals?

Probably too many.

Life is busy.

If you don't purposefully carve time out every day to progress and improve — without question, your time will get lost in the vacuum of our increasingly crowded lives. Before you know it, you'll be old and withered, wondering where all that time went.

"You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays."–Harold Hill

After you've gotten yourself organized, made plans, started tracking, and gotten into the habit of prayer/meditation, taking action and hustling will be automatic. It’s good practice to do these kind of things at the beginning of your day before your will power depletes.

If you don't, it simply will not get done. By the end of your day, you'll be exhausted. You'll be fried. There will be a million reasons to just start tomorrow. And you will start tomorrow — which is never.

So your mantra becomes: The worst comes first. Do that thing you've been needing to do. Then do it again tomorrow.

If you take just one step toward your big goals every day, you'll realize those goals weren't really far away.

It's really easy to get off-course in life. Like airplanes, we constantly need to make course-corrections. But we can ensure we get where we want in life by organizing ourselves, planning for our future, tracking our progress, heightening our mindset, and hustling. Do this long enough and you'll be shocked.

Go! TC mark

4 Borderline Creepy Things You Do When You Start Dating Someone New

Posted: 06 Jan 2016 12:00 PM PST

Calvin Aaron mosley
Calvin Aaron mosley

Readjusting to single girl life, I have gone on more dates this year than in my entire life combined: lawyers, businessmen, scientists, engineers, trust fund kids, accountants, IT analysts, advertisers, salesmen. I have now officially dated EVERYONE in this city. A lot of those dates were trainwrecks from the start: dead conversations, uncomfortable advances, awkward comments. But occasionally you really click with someone new and sparks rain down. Great! This is so exciting! Now what?

You Google them. Obviously.

But let's back up here. Say you don't know their last name. That happens sometimes. So then you plug in their phone number to White Pages and, voila, there it is. All of their glorious information, meaning at least their last name and possibly their age. Then you pause, satisfied that you at least know that, and start considering other people you know who have similar last names.

"Huh. That's a lot like my fourth grade teacher's last name. She was pretty nice. Good family. She had that weird bad breath thing and really loved that turtle of hers, but that's not so bad. He must be nice too."
OR
"Wow, that sounds a lot like the _____ store!" In my most recent case, this was a grocery
store. And I LOVE going to the grocery store. "One of my favorite pastimes is shopping for food, so this seems promising."

I am very logical.

After you spend 0.73 seconds considering just waiting to see what they're like organically, you realize God made the Internet for a reason, and you are only insulting Him by not researching this boy on social media. You'd hate to be smited, especially right after meeting this great guy, so you go for it. You click through the limited privacy allowed Facebook profile pictures, refrain from looking at LinkedIn because, dang it, it'll tell them if you looked, and you read any other little tidbits that Google decides to offer up. Usually it's funny quotes from a college newspaper or random websites they're linked to. Sometimes, though, if you're really [un]lucky, articles pop up about their relatives. Their relatives who are actually international fugitives who are not allowed into the country anymore and may have a made-for-TV movie made about the crime they committed. But that's only happened to me once.

You overly critique their texting styles.

I may be partial since I graduated with an English degree, but come on. Show me y-o-u care by fully spelling out your words. Calm it down with the text talk, lololol. And why so many exclamation points?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I can't handle this. *screaming face emoji siren emoji eggplant emoji* Give me a properly executed sentence, and I'll give you my heart.

You start asking mutual friends about them.

Sometimes you're lucky enough (thanks to Facebook-stalking) to realize that you've got a few friends in common. So hit up that old friend-of-a-classmate's-ex's-roommate and ask what they think about this guy.

"Hey! So I went out with _________ the other night. Remember him? I think he was at that
tacky sweater party we went to junior year. Yeah, that party. Exactly. So he was really nice, right?
Well, we went out recently and he bought me a drink and made me laugh. No, no he didn't try anything, but he was probably just being a gentleman. What? No, he didn't seem gay to me. Oh. Are you sure? But didn't he date Emily for a while? Oh. OH. Oh. Well no, he didn't say 'date', per se, but I mean…okay, maybe he is gay."

You make an effort to run into them in public.

The best time for this to happen is when you're looking great and you're out at a bar with your girlfriends or, in my case, my very attractive gay male friend. A less great time for this to happen is when you're as previously mentioned, but you're at a gay bar with said friend. The worst time for this to happen is when you're inside aforementioned gay bar and the drag queen emcee announces the strip contest that is about to begin, and you find yourself unknowingly watching the guy you've been seeing taking his clothes off for money.

And then you find out he's a regular. And then one of the guys behind you nudges you after noticing you staring, mistaking your horror for intrigue, and tells you you should try and get a date with that. BUT YOU ALREADY HAVE. But it's almost okay because at least he won. TC mark