TRANSCRIPT: Must Love Logs

Note: Episodes of Outside/In are made as pieces of audio, and some context and nuance may be lost on the page. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors.

Sam Evans-Brown: So should we start by warning everybody that we’re going to swear?


Taylor Quimby: Yes.

Sam Evans-Brown: There are some swears. Heads up.

Justine Paradis: I like that.


Taylor Quimby: That was adequate.



Taylor Quimby: So Sam… you’ve been married some time. Do you need any background on this dating app stuff before we move forwards?


Sam Evans-Brown: I…


Taylor Quimby: Like you literally understand how it works, right?


Sam Evans-Brown: Yes.


Taylor Quimby: Would it be helpful if I… I could open up an app, we could show him, literally what it looks like.


Justine Paradis: Let me see if I can.


Sam Evans-Brown: So the entire screen is taken up by a person’s face.


Justine Paradis: Yup. So here’s Taylor’s profile... this is his starting image.


Sam Evans-Brown: He looks… I would not swipe right on Taylor.


Taylor Quimby: Hey!


Sam Evans-Brown: You look confused! You look like you’re lost in the woods.


Taylor Quimby: I’m on a mountain!


[mux]


Justine Paradis: You want to introduce us, Sam?


Sam Evans-Brown: Uh, yeah, so here to tell me all about online dating -- producers Taylor Quimby and Justine Paradis.


Justine Paradis: There are a lot of tropes, a lot of things that you see all the time when you’re looking at online dating profiles.


Taylor Quimby: The filters with the glasses and like the sparkly fairy stuff, I don’t even know what app it is.


Justine Paradis: Those are like snapchat filters that have translated to Instagram, lots of pictures of abs, I’ve seen.

Sam Evans-Brown: Shirtless people.


Justine Paradis: yeah, yeah.


Taylor Quimby : But here in New Hampshire - there is very specific trend.


Keith Testa: I mean, I am 100% in support of nature, and being outdoorsy, and all that... I just found it amusing that in my unscientific evaluation, I think like 80% of profiles, the first thing you see is hiking.


[mux begins]


Sam Evans-Brown: Hiking.


Taylor Quimby: This is Keith Testa. He’s 38 --


Keith Testa: Divorced…


Taylor Quimby: And single and recently decided to try some online dating.


Keith Testa: And it just makes me sort of… wonder how there aren’t massive traffic jams of humans beings on like every mountain in New Hampshire every weekend. It just seems like it’s a strange thing to have first on so many profiles right out of the gate.


Taylor Quimby: And just add to this same hiking trend.. a word that I’ve seen a LOT of people use to describe themselves is… “Outdoorsy.”


Justine Paradis: Which could really mean a lot of very different things.


Sam Evans-Brown: Outdoorsesque?


Taylor Quimby: And one more thing - the fish photos. Dudes posing with fish.


Justine Paradis: The fish photos are so real. It’s like every other person.


Keith Testa: In fact, the other thing I see, is women saying, if you have fish photos, I’m swiping left. There are people who are very clear about their dealbreakers. You see a lot of fish means immediate swipe. Trump support, means immediate swipe left. I think those are the two biggest ones I see all the time.


[swell mux]


Justine Paradis: Do you think, as a person who’s not defined themselves as like outdoorsy on your profile, do you find that other people are like, biased against you for that?


Keith Testa: It’s hard to tell!  But I do think sometimes it hinders me, of even just getting past that first swipe… I suspect there are people who would read the profile I have on there and just decide, enh, he’s not really outdoorsey enough, and off they go.   


Sam Evans-Brown: That’s so funny to me because it’s like… like, so many people are just very very minimally outdoorsy but describe themselves like that.


Justine Paradis: Where I’m at is, I like to hike -- but I more accurately I think I’m more in the category of... I like to walk.… and between the two of us, Taylor, you’re more of the mountain hiker.


Taylor Quimby: It is, like, it’s something I do, I would like to be able to hike with someone, but I don’t think that’s a disqualifier -

Justine Paradis: Really though? Is it NOT a disqualifier if someone doesn't like to hike at all, for you?

Taylor Quimby: Well. Let me put it this way. I’m into several things. And if I dated someone who was into NONE of them, that would be disqualifier.

Justine Paradis:  Right. You have to have something to do together.

Taylor Quimby: Yeah. But i’m less likely to put anime on my… like, that’s --

Justine Paradis: That is a bit of a disqualifier for some.


[mux build]


Taylor Quimby: You know? Anime and hiking don’t go together, and yet that’s all part of me, and I feel it’s hard to create a well-rounded version of yourself.


[mux swell]


Sam Evans-Brown: Alright, where are we going with this?


Taylor Quimby: Well if it’s not obvious, Justine and I have both been single at points in the not so distant past, and we’ve totally been wrestling with these ideas from a personal perspective.. But we wanted to know how other people feel about this same subject.


Justine Paradis: So, eventually we decided that the best way to investigate this question of online dating while outdoorsy -- was to ask people on the apps themselves.


Sam Evans-Brown: So… you guys were like hanging out at work, swiping left or right on Tinder?


Justine Paradis: What of it, Sam Evans-Brown?


[THEME DROP]


Sam Evans-Brown: This is Outside/In, a show about the natural world and how we use it. And today, we’re hearing stories from people who are tackling a fairly universal question. In romantic relationships, how important is it that people are into the same things? But in this case, we’re focusing on the great outdoors.

If you love nature, does your partner need to love nature too? And if they don’t... is that a dealbreaker?


[THEME FADE]


Taylor Quimby: So let’s start with a couple of people who might look at a profile like Keith’s… and decide to swipe left.


Sam Evans-Brown: [pause] And, left is bad… left is rejection, right?


Taylor Quimby: Oh my god Sam.


Justine Paradis: Did we not just show you the apps? Did we not just do this?


Phoenix Yung: Um, when some people have described themselves as outdoorsy, and then you meet them, and you’re like, man, they’re kind of pasty-looking, like are you sure you’re outdoorsy?


Taylor Quimby: So, this Phoenix Yung.


Phoenix Yung: I am a paralegal in personal injury law and I'm from Austin Texas.


Taylor Quimby: Can you just describe the picture? Like what’s actually happening there?

Phoenix Yung: So I am kind of a… I look like kind of a kid. I’m 36, but I look like I’m in my mid to late twenties. I guess? And I’m dressed like head to toe in camouflage. Like I’ve got the camo jacket, I have on the camo gloves, and I have a compound bow, and I’m squatting down, and I’m in front of this big carp. And I'm smiling, and I got a nice smile, mouth full of teeth. So, yeah, that’s the picture that I use.


Justine Paradis: A carp?


Phoenix Yung: A carp.


Justine Paradis: What is that?


Taylor Quimby: It’s a fish!


Justine Paradis: Oh, a fish! Ugh.


Taylor Quimby: Phoenix is one of those people who puts a fish on her profile.


Sam Evans-Brown: Shame on you for assuming it’s just dudes.


Taylor Quimby: I know, I know - especially because her favorite hobby is even more intense. She’s what they call a bowfisher.


Phoenix Yung: And it’s seriously had to do. You don’t know, like, I guess you could guess, how deep the fish is. You also have to take into account refraction, so where you’re aiming is not actually the fish, but maybe like below or above.


Justine Paradis:: Is this not a metaphor for dating. I mean, c’mon.


[mux]


Justine Paradis: So Phoenix does, she puts this photo up on Bumble - it does get a response.


Phoenix Yung: I got a bunch of guys who were suddenly interested in bowfishing. And I’m, like, uhh… are y’all interested in bowfishing or are y’all interested in me? Or is this a way for y’all to pursue me? So I got, you know, a lot of fakers in that sense.


Taylor Quimby: Can I ask, did you choose that picture for any particular reason? Because it was fun? Or because...  why use that photo?


Phoenix Yung: You know, I wanted to stand out. You know? I know not a lot of people in general, especially ladies, do that kind of thing. And that’s one of my hobbies that I'm super passionate about it. It’s a pretty big deal in my life. Fishing always has been.



Justine Paradis: The fish photos  are really easy to make fun of -- we’ve done it on the podcast -- but one way to explain it is okay, I was happy in this moment, I was smiling, it’s a good picture of me so I posted it. But other people might have a fish photo because fishing might have caused problems in relationships in the past, because they spoetn a lot of time doing it. And they’re saying, this will not be a problem this time. I’m putting this right out there: this is what you’re getting. I’m a fisherman, I’m a fisherwoman.


Sam Evans-Brown: A fisher.


Justine Paradis: I’m a fisher. I’m a bowfisher.


Phoenix Yung: I had a couple guys, they'd be like hey, I’m on the lake today, look what I caught, and I’m like yeah that's nice but did you get it with a bow and arrow?


[mux]

Phoenix Yung: So, you know, after a couple shitty ass dates, I was like, you know, I just need to stop wasting my time. So, on like the first date, I would bring them either on, like, a hike, or like, a run, or something like that.


Taylor Quimby: Phoenix actually did end up meeting someone on Bumble and putting them through her trial by fire -- on their first date, they went on a hike in what I guess was pretty rocky, steep terrain.


Phoenix Yung: And he kept up pretty good.

Taylor Quimby: Pretty good?

Phoenix Yung: Yeah, yeah. I didn't kill him, which is nice. He’s happy about that


Taylor Quimby: And, when we talked to her, they’d been together for about a year.


Justine Paradis: So this is one category of outdoorsy person on the apps. Phoenix is a badass - and while she doesn’t need her partner to be into bowfishing per se,  getting outside is a lifestyle for her, and she needs someone to be able to keep up.


Taylor Quimby: But for some people, the word “outdoorsy”, I think goes beyond lifestyle, to something a little deeper.

Taylor Quimby: So why don't you start by just introducing yourself.

Erik: OK. I'm Erik Bertrand. I'm born and raised New Hampshire. I probably will die here, I think.


Sam Evans-Brown: I am actually kind of impressed that you were able to convince people on online dating apps to be interviewed for a podcast.


Justine Paradis: You actually seemed to get a lot more interviews lined up a lot more quickly than I did.


Taylor Quimby: Well I had a method. You can’t just come in with your first message and be like, be on a podcast!


Justine Paradis: Wait, are you saying.. I’m like, not charming? On my apps?


Taylor Quimby: I’m just saying, I opened with good compliments!


Erik: He asked if anyone told me ever that I looked like Hawkeye from the Avenger movies.

Taylor Quimby: You totally do. You do!

Erik: I guess I do. I was impressed. So great pick up line.

Taylor Quimby: Erik explained to us that he hasn’t always been what you might call ahardcore hiker.


Erik: I did hike Mt. Washington in my twenties and I think I hiked Mt Tecumseh maybe? Polar opposite weather each time.  Like really beautiful year one year and then the next year it was just like white out, you know you're getting pelted in the cheeks.


[mux]

Erik: It was... it was great, actually. In retrospect of course. Everything is very tough in the moment but when you look back at it, it's just it's just it's why I think I do it. Most of the time.


Taylor Quimby: This story says so much about why hardcore hikers and hardcore hiking is more divisive in the dating world… Not everybody is into a six to eight hour hike in freezing sleet.


Justine Paradis: Yeah I’m kind of like… what I love about hiking is picnics, I think.


Taylor Quimby: Yeah, the ice cream afterwards.


Justine Paradis: It’s like you’ve been hiking with me before.


Erik: As I started hiking again in earnest about 10 or so years ago, I think that's really when I started realizing you know this is not just kind of an exercise, like a physical exercise, for me or even really a way to kind of take a trip somewhere and you know see something different, but it was really a retreat of sorts, kind of escape.


Taylor Quimby: So Erik’s dating profile is pretty much all hiking pics - some in winter, with goggles. He mentions fitness and hiking in his profile more than once.  He says other stuff too, but you can tell it’s super duper important to him. And listening to him tell this story, you know, he says, “it’s an escape”, it’s “not just exercise”...  I think hiking is borderline spiritual for Erik - and so maybe putting it so prominently in his dating profile is not unlike a religious person saying something like: ‘I love jesus, and you should too.”


Justine Paradis: I don’t really know if it’s problematic to say fishing and hiking and religion are the same?


Taylor Quimby: I know what you mean, but anything can be so deeply meaningful to a person that they feel like -- you have to know that about me and it’s not going to change.


Sam Evans-Brown: It’s like is this just an interest that you may or may not share with me that I’m going to continue to have, or is this me?


Justine Paradis:  Yeah, like let’s not waste each other’s time.  


Taylor Quimby: And in Erik’s case, that idea of identity is really important - because, he told us, he was married to a woman for 20 years before coming out as gay.


Justine Paradis: The journey to coming out and hiking. How connected are those two things for you?

Erik: Yeah I think, I think it really helped me discern what it meant for me. That space I think is what I really needed. You know, I think without it I think I'd probably still be kind of stuck. You know and sort of maintaining status quo which is the safer way to go, and you know, kind of saying well maybe, someday, down the road, like down the road, down the road, down the road. But I'm really glad it kind of happened the way it happened.


Taylor Quimby: So you started sort of really get into hiking the last 10 years. Was that something that you shared with your co parent, your ex-wife. Or is that or is that something that you were kind of going off on your own? Like how important was that to you as a couple?

Erik: It wasn't, you know it really wasn't actually. She's afraid of heights, actually which didn't help much. You know she loves the outdoors and she.. but she's a flatlander.


Sam Evans-Brown: Can I break in and say how much I hate that phrase? It’s people in New Hampshire denigrating people in Southern New England. Which is funny because our mountains aren’t even that tall!


Taylor Quimby: Yes, but Sam, you’re distracting from the point here.


Sam Evans-Brown: Moving on.


Erik: I mean I guess you could say that that was maybe something that you know one of the few things that kind of drew us apart from each other perhaps, and that tends to happen over you over many years I guess with a lot of couples anyway. It wasn't a bad thing I guess but I feel like you know looking forward now, as I'm looking forward I'd like to, I think, have that in common, have those those core interests in common. I think that really is what helps you build… will keep a relationship really close.


Taylor Quimby:  While that all sounds pretty straightforward, a lot of people will probably relate, when it comes to hiking… to outoorsyness, you can use the same language… to mean very very different things.


Justine Paradis: Like, cliff jumping is outdoorsy, or spelunking… but so is growing carrots!  And beach picnics! I mean, what’s the difference between drinking iced coffee outside and ice climbing, REALLY?!


Taylor Quimby: Like literally standing outside watching the sunset.


Justine Paradis: Yeah, enjoying the sun!


Sam Evans-Brown: Adventures, both semantic and otherwise... coming up… after the break.  



[BREAK BREAK]



Sam Evans-Brown: You’re listening to Outside/In. I’m Sam Evans-Brown and today, stories about dating and the outdoors. Over the past few weeks, producers Taylor Quimby and Justine Paradis spent a lot of time on Tinder at the office.


Justine Paradis: It was for WORK. We were swiping in a professional capacity!


[mux swell and under Elizabeth]


Elizabeth: I remember, like, bringing a friend home from college. I took her hiking and she was someone I kind of like dated off and on through the years. And she... I was... I was very unimpressed with her level of enthusiasm for how beautiful it was and it very much ruined it for me.


Taylor Quimby: This is Elizabeth.


Elizabeth: All right I'm Elizabeth, I live in Gilford, New Hampshire.


Like Erik and Phoenix, she could be described as outdoorsy… she does go hiking, she agrees that it can tell you a lot about a potential partner….


Elizabeth: I like to notice whether someone matches pace with you. I hate when someone walks a few paces ahead of me.


Justine Paradis: Hm. Is that like a sign of something?


Elizabeth: Yeah they’re not paying attention to the other person. Me. The important one.


But her outdoorsy identity does not involve bowfishing, or winter ascents of Mount Washington.


Elizabeth: I garden a little bit, crappily. I walk around in the woods aimlessly. I … har-- I go in search of specific plants. I cross-country ski in the winter.


Justine Paradis: So, Elizabeth also lived out west for a few years. And she told us when she lived in Montana, she and her friends would go on like weeks-long backpacking trips looking for shed elk antlers.


Elizabeth: I mean an elk antler can be this big, you know like, maybe 4 feet long for a big one and weigh, I don’t know, 10 pounds.


Taylor Quimby: Yeah.


Elizabeth: And you get like 20 of them strapped to your back, you look like a crazy person. You have to have someone boost the pack onto you.


Taylor Quimby: That’s really cool.


Justine Paradis: But even -- the experience of walking out and looking for plants or elk antlers, is so different than: I’m going out to summit this mountain.


Elizabeth: Yes.


Justine Paradis: So, what do you have in your profile?

Elizabeth:I don't know I like happy pictures of myself doing stuff I like. Like there's pictures of me hiking and eating food mostly, and like petting a goat. Uh, and I think it just says something like ‘I’m not into jerks.’


Taylor Quimby: What her profile actually says -- among other things: excellent cook, voracious reader, sucker for kids, love the woods, nature, plants and animals… I would say that doesn’t necessarily scream “Let’s Through Hike the Pacific Crest Trail!” but Elizabeth definitely is “outdoorsy”, she’s got a hiking photo, and at first glance -- you might think that people like Erik and Phoenix and Elizabeth and anybody that puts this stuff out there actually have a lot in common.


Taylor Quimby: What do you think when you see a profile where somebody is very very like hiking forward? Like all their pictures are on the Presidential Range, there's like one in winter, so you know like ice in the beard..

Elizabeth: I think they're not going to like me. I'm not going to like them. That’s what I think.


[mux begin and swell]


Elizabeth: I feel like I see other people stating their level of outdoorsyness. To me, and I, like I'm not super looking for that and other people. And when I see a feel like it's a coded message that says I don't want to date a fat person and I don't, and I'm ableist. Like I want you to be as active and able bodied as I am. And I have invisible disabilities and health issues. To me it's not about like consuming the outdoors in this way.

Kenny: I'm kind of intimidated by it sometimes.


Elizabeth:  Yeah.


Taylor Quimby: And this is Kenny. He’s 25 years old and works as a cook at a little cafe in Manchester, New Hampshire. We actually interviewed them together. Maybe to make it a little less awkward?


Sam Evans-Brown: Did they know each other?


Taylor Quimby: No.


Kenny: Because like often, like I'm the I'm the hiker out of all my friends. So it's like if someone's way more into it than me, I'm like oh OK wait hold on. I'm feeling like a little inadequate right now.


Justine Paradis: Kenny told us he got into hiking as a hobby through an ex.

Kenny: It was cool because it was, it wasn't something that I had really known much about. And so like, he was super into trees and stuff, he was like really into nature. So it’s fun to go out and do something like that with someone that really enjoys it.

Taylor Quimby: That'd be a good headline for a profile. 'Super into trees'.


Kenny: Wicked into trees.


Taylor Quimby: These days, Kenny does do some big hikes -- but it’s not something he’s looking to do with a partner, necessarily.


Kenny: I really like being alone. And I worked in kitchens so it's chaos nonstop. So like hiking is just my solitude.


Justine Paradis: Do you remember the first time you went on like a hiking date?


Kenny: Yeah it was really nice. It was... we didn’t have to talk too, too much.  I kind of like to just sit in silence sometimes, even when I’m dating someone or hanging out with someone. So hiking was a good thing for me too cuz he was in the same mindframe that I was and he kept the same pace as me. So we’d just power through it. It wasn’t necessarily romantic, like oh look at all the beautiful trees, and the beautiful leaves, and the foliage. But kind of just, let’s get to the top, and then let’s get out.


Justine Paradis: So, both Kenny and Elizabeth love the outdoors, in different ways. And as much as the idea here is to find people you want to share experiences with, it’s often easier to define yourself by the inverse, by what you don’t want, by what you don’t want to share.


Taylor Quimby: Coming together over the things you hate.


Justine Paradis: Yeah.


Elizabeth: Yeah. I'm not a big recreator like I don't like machines. I don't mean to be super judgmental about it. But um...

Taylor Quimby: You mean like four wheelers?

Elizabeth: Snowmobiles four wheelers dirt bikes.


Taylor Quimby: Then there’s the fish thing.

Elizabeth: Why. Why! I don’t care about your fish.

Kenny: The people that do the yoga poses on top of the mountains. That one is... that's a no go for me.

Justine Paradis: Oh that's a disqualifier?

Kenny: Yeah. I don't like that. Your yoga is that much more spiritual because you're on top of the mountain now? Like maybe, maybe for some people it is. Maybe I'm being really judgmental right now about it, but it just seems silly.

Justine Paradis: So, both of them are kinda saying: it’s not about if you’re into nature or not - but kind of HOW you’re into nature.


Sam Evans-Brown: Can I reveal myself to be Old Man Evans-Brown right now?


Justine Paradis: Please.


Taylor Quimby: Yeah.


Sam Evans-Brown: So my wife and I, when we first started dating, we were both very active and outdoorsy people, by any definition of those terms, but like we, especially when we first started dating, quote unquote “consumed” the outdoors in very different ways.  Ways that I’m hearing Kenny and Elizabeth saying are, like, disqualifying for them. So for instance our first hike together was this huge balancing act… of like, I was a competitive cross-country skier and I wanted to get to the fucking top, and Aubrey was like, trying to show me plants and things. And like, you know because I liked her I sort of like pushed down all of my urge, like ‘why are we stopping, why are we stopping, why are we stopping’, and like didn’t express those things… but like, if I had, I don’t know, ruled out a relationship because we had different hiking styles we would have never gotten married!


Justine Paradis: Yeah and some of this stuff gets even hairier when you start thinking about, there’s class connotations here too, oh I like the outdoors but it’s consumptive to do it in this way, versus it’s spiritual to do it in this way.


Taylor Quimby: Right


Justine Paradis: In away dating apps kind of can break down class boundaries because you’re meeting people that wouldnt’ be in your friend networks before. But we know that Asian men and black women have a much harder time on these apps. They’re still there… and how that translates to outdoorsyness, I think it does, I think you can hear it a little bit when you talk about I don’t like camo hats or even I don’t like fish photos…


Sam Evans-Brown: Right, give that guy with a fish photo a chance! Or lady with fish photo I guess.


Justine Paradis: But there’s no time in the world. It’s your… you gotta have babies! There’s a biological clock goin’ on...


Taylor Quimby: One of the things that think about with this whole situations is that some preferences are totally shallow and surface, and I’m not saying that that’s a good or bad thing, it’s just like this is what I like! You know? But sometimes our preferences are signifiers of something that’s much deeper and more profound, like the way that we grew up, or a culture that we’ve grown up in, that kind of thing. Like Elizabeth, whose family is Swedish.


Elizabeth: Like in Sweden, basically there aren't… you can't really trespass if you're picking berries because it's seen to be like a human right to be able to do that and that's a different relationship to land that we have so that's more what I grew up with and I can't separate myself from it.


[mux]


Kenny: Your heritage, like you're from Scandinavia, like, my mom's from the island, she’s from Papua New Guinea. And so my entire family still lives there and they live off the land. They eat the food that they grow. So like to me it is an important thing and like the mountains for me is… that's where I come from, like New Hampshire is home for me. So there is like a really special place in my heart for it and like I do I hope that someone that I'm dating recognises that. That this is like a really important thing to me.


Taylor Quimby:  But your profile had more emphasis on tacos than it did hiking.


Kenny: Oh yeah, yeah definitely. Food is definitely more of a thing for me than hiking. So I'm not taking it too, too seriously. Here's what I like. Take it or leave it.  


[mux swell]


Sam Evans-Brown: The thing that I feel like I’ve been going back and forth here is saying that saying you’re “outdoorsy”, or posting a picture of you hiking is sort of like…

Taylor Quimby: Milquetoast.


Sam Evans-Brown: Yeah… you can get away with… it’s like looking for someone with a good sense of humor.


Justine Paradis: Fluent in sarcasm.


Taylor Quimby: Loves watching The Office.


Sam Evans-Brown: Right, which compared to watching anime, which like… if you were to put it in your profile, that might put a lot of people off, but would attract the complete anime fans. The people who, that’s their thing.


Taylor Quimby: Yeah, I talked to this woman named Hannah for this story and she is sort of like me. She’s a geek who is into things like D&D, but also love to hike. And for her hiking wasn’t really the thing that she felt like she needed to advertise as much as much as those potential dealbreakers for other people.


Hannah: I’m not online dating currently, but when I do, I have a very firm rule, that if I’m writing in a profile, and think, I should take that out because somebody might not like it - then it has to stay in. And if I think I should take that out, because it doesn’t actually reflect me, that’s fine.


Taylor Quimby: I mean, I think it’s a strained exercise to build a profile, but in some way, for you, it sounds like it helps to figure out who you are.


Hannah: Mmhm. Yeah.


Sam Evans-Brown: And this, what’s funny about the outdoorsyness thing, there are people out there, like the Phoenixes and the Eriks for whom the degree to which you’re into the outdoors might be a disqualifier --


Taylor Quimby: People for whom hiking is their anime.


Sam Evans-Brown: Right… and the fact that everybody uses it as this you know, this bland thing, that they can just have as the wallpaper behind their profile picture, means that Phoenixes have to ask themselves, wait, but really though?


Taylor Quimby: Right, and Erik, our hardcore hiker, definitely talked about navigating that minefield.


Erik: I will, if they reach out to me and say they're you know they're interested in hiking too. You know it's like OK what did you hike last or what's what's your favorite hike perhaps? And they'll see something like Mount Major or like you know a smaller mountain I try to be... I mean I've hiked Mount major before and it's awesome. You know it's a great mountain.

Justine Paradis: So I get the impression that Mt Major is code for something here. What do you mean?

Erik: Oh my god, it's just I try.... This is where I really want to be like, um... I think I need to work on, on my... my appreciation of the actual activity you know and not kind of like score you know score based on a peak here, or a peak there.

Justine Paradis: So you're being really polite here. I just. Taylor, what is the code for Mt. Major?

Taylor Quimby: OK. So Mount Major is a very popular - AND EASY -  hike in New Hampshire, with a very iconic and recognizable view… it’s like if you put on your profile that you were into film and then you were like oh what was the last film that you watched. And they were like oh --


Justine Paradis: Shrek!


Taylor Quimby: I went to go see The Avengers. You know it's like oh OK.


Sam Evans-Brown: So Erik sees a picture of someone who is quote unquote “a hiker” with a picture on Mt. Major, and he thinks - you’re probably not into this in the way that I’m into this.


Taylor Quimby: Right. The thing that I think that a lot of people fear though, and Erik included, is that having when you have deal breakers… there’s always that chance that you could turn someone away that would have been perfect. That would have been the right person for you.


Justine Paradis: So actually this reminds me of something that Keith said --he’s the person we heard from first, at the beginning. Regardless of what dealbreakers you have, let’s say you do or don’t want kids… it’s like, with the right person, you might change your mind. You don’t know how to make decisions about your life with someone when you haven’t met them yet.


Erik: I also want to be influenced to a degree. Because that's really how you grow. You know maybe there's a great flat trail like somewhere that… you know?

Justine Paradis: I like how it's still within hiking terms though... A flat trail or steep trails! Either would do.

Taylor Quimby: Maybe a canyon that would go down!

Justine Paradis: You know.

Erik: Good point. Good point.

Justine Paradis: Just kidding.


Justine Paradis: So, Taylor, Sam, I think we’ve all learned some valuable lessons about love today.


Sam Evans-Brown: Have we?


Taylor Quimby: Mmm. Yes. Put anime on my profile.


Justine Paradis: Yes, we’ve all learned something. But for me, I DO think Phoenix put it best, when she was explaining how to bowfish.


Phoenix Yung: You don’t know how, I guess you could guess, how deep the fish is.


Justine Paradis: But for real though, as she was describing catching carp by bow and arrow… i couldn’t help but wonder… is bowfishing actually a metaphor for love?


Taylor Quimby: I feel a cliche coming on.


Sam Evans-Brown: About all the fish in the sea?


Justine Paradis: No, no. It’s bowfishing. Bowfishing is a better metaphor than just fishing. At first glance, you don’t know how deep the fish is? Are they far away, like, are they open to you? Or are they holding themselves at a distance? Your first image of them is an illusion - at the beginning, you can’t quite seem them clearly. You have to aim a little to the side of your target. Sometimes, what seems like the direct path to them, isn’t actually the right one.


Taylor Quimby: And, if you do catch a fish through bowfishing, and you reel it in, and then you throw it back, because you don’t like that one, it might actually die of heartbreak, because you shot it through the heart… with an arrow.


Justine Paradis: Yeah… Cupid’s arrow.  


Taylor Quimby: Killed it.