RE: the ads you keep targeting me with on Instagram (Allison Grinberg-Funes)

Dear mediocre pond,

After years of consideration, I don’t really regret to inform you (as long as I’m being honest) that I no longer have any interest or motivation to wade into your murky waters disguised as internet-incited dating that could eventually lead to long, everlasting love.

Advertised as the perfect place to meet the perfect person, I have come away from quick dips and leisurely swims only to find myself thinking that I’m pretty sure this is not the way dating ought to be. Which is to say, the opposite of swimmingly.

It isn’t ideal when the entire pond isn’t deeper than 2 feet. As soon as you wade in, you feel cold and exposed and realize that the advertisements you saw of two people, in love and floating on whimsical pool floaties, was really just an image doctored with Photoshop and Canva by some startup company (most likely run by sales bros who, surprisingly, love this pond). They thrive in the shallow end, professionally and personally. 

Instead, I am going to the local senior center to hear about the good ol’ days when people had conversations and got to know each other without taking a quiz that generates an algorithm and prescribes you some sort of compatibility score. 

It is the right place for me because though I’m in my 30s, trudging through the clay of the pond has made me tired. 

You may do better with younger customers, the kind who are used to digital life and probably call themselves users instead of customers. They are shorter than us because they grew up with tech-neck, hunched and looking down. They won’t be able to see their feet through the cloudy water, but that’s okay, they won’t miss what they never knew.

Best of luck to you, and all your users,



Allison Grinberg-Funes (she/her) was raised in upstate NY with the heritage of her Argentinean and Jewish family clinging to her like used cooking oil. Working as a content strategist in the tech world, she now resides in New England with her cat and several full-to-the-brim bookshelves. Outside the 9-5, she explores identity, the definition of home, and other concepts through her short fiction, flash fiction, and poetry. When she isn’t writing or reading, she’s most likely attempting to make someone laugh and chuckling at her own jokes.


image: Amateur photographer and author Andrea Damic (Sydney, Australia) has words published or forthcoming in 50-Word Stories, Paragraph Planet, The Dribble Drabble Review, 50 Give or Take (Vine Leaves Press) Anthology, Spillwords, The Centifictionist, The Piker Press and elsewhere with her art featuring or forthcoming in Rejection Letters, Door Is A Jar, Fusion Art’s Exhibitions, Welter at the University of Baltimore and elsewhere. You can find her on TW @DamicAndrea or