At least our girls aren’t dating yet.

Knock on wood.

Everything else is happening so fast. Yesterday, I was hosting birthday parties for stuffed animals, now we’re touring colleges.

Boys can wait, thanks.

The idea of an 18-year-old me showing up at our doorstep is my biggest nightmare. I even had passing moments when our daughters were younger, hoping maybe they’d end up not being into boys. Like, at all.

I’m not that lucky.

So, eventually, a hormonal boy will roll into my driveway. And while I’ve been unphased around presidents, sports heroes, and rock stars, I know that first teenage kid will fluster me, no matter how much I drink in preparation.

Apologies to you and your sons, but my experience with the cohort was near-universally repugnant – myself included. Virtually any life regret I carry about relationships, friendships, and my overall behavior as a human being happened between 17 and 23. I’m not exaggerating.

I didn’t even date much in college. I had a long-distance girlfriend for most of it, until I ended it like a jerk. I had a crush on a girl later and took too long to muster up the courage to ask her out, then blew that too.

Fortunately, it all worked out for me in the end.

Most new-to-adulthood guys are assholes. Entitled narcissists, at best. And it’s all because they think they’re the center of a universe that owes them something, everything.

It takes a few years of post-college rejection to realize nobody gives a shit if you were once a star athlete or homecoming king. The game starts all over.

Tara has drilled into my head the importance of our girls growing into strong, independent women. My initial instinct was to shelter them. Now, I’m all in.

We’re training them to be Country Mice and City Mice. They can build a fire and unhook a fish. Maddie might be the only 15-year-old in our affluent suburb who takes the Port Authority bus into the city for theater classes. Whatever. Her NYC friends took the subway by themselves when they were 11. She can suck it up.

If we do it right, they’ll never need a boy – or anyone. Everything will happen on their terms.

And maybe, just maybe, they won’t start dating until they’re 25.


Here’s what we’re seeing:

Telemedicine has so much promise except for the fact that nobody’s doing it. The idea of virtual doctor’s visits makes so much sense on paper. It’s more convenient, could save untold millions for our healthcare system, and could even reduce auto emissions. But it isn’t even budging as a trend in the U.S. This week we replicated a 2019 study into the adoption and intent rate of telemedicine services and found essentially zero change. An identical 10% of U.S. adults reported having tried it and 30% of those people had a negative experience. One in four people aren’t even aware these services exist. The only change – though, honestly, perhaps just a rounding error – is that 4% more people show some interest in the concept. We are a long, long way from a purely virtual healthcare system.

Holistic medicine, on the other hand, is gaining a little momentum. One in five Americans now turn to holistic remedies – over conventional medicine – when first dealing with a common cold or other ailment. These numbers are much higher among the organic shopping crowd and fitness enthusiasts. As those latter trends continue to grow, expect holistic medicine to ride their coattails. And expect the OTC drug and therapy brands to start feeling the pinch.

Netflix has officially won the public debate over the Oscars, so let’s move on. With its two dozen Oscar nominations now in hand, we reran our 2019 study asking whether consumers believed movies from non-traditional platforms like Netflix should be considered for the Academy Awards. A whopping 82% of Americans believe the awards should include the streaming services, up from 77% this time last year. So, yeah, this is the new normal. Get used to it. Find something else to argue about. Traditional movie studios, up your game.

Lyft has the potential to significantly disrupt the rental car market. The #2 rideshare company recently announced a new venture into the car rental business, particularly noteworthy because they’re lowering the minimum age to 22 from the oft-maligned 25 imposed by traditional renters. A healthy 37% of U.S. adults say they are at least somewhat interested in the service. But that number jumps to an impressive 58% among Lyft rideshare customers, creating a sizable captive audience to market the new rental offering. Things look even better among younger adults and those with higher incomes. Traditional car rental companies, up your game.

Plant-based meat products are growing in popularity across restaurant categories. There’s all kinds of meaty insight in this study we published this week into the trendy plant-based meat phenomenon. For one, the majority of Beyond and Impossible meat lovers think the products are both healthier and better for the environment, though more the latter. What I found most interesting is the consistent levels of interest across the QSR and typically-more-appealing-to-foodies Fast Casual categories. Even nearly one-third of non-vegetarian or non-vegan diners are willing to try a plant-based meat sandwich at a chain establishment.

The dating app ecosystem is fascinating as hell. I missed this innovation by about a decade but the ubiquity of dating apps like Tinder amazes me. We recently studied the four most prominent platforms – Tinder, Bumble,, and eHarmony – and found a remarkable, demographically-distinct marketplace. Men outnumber women on Tinder and Bumble. Tinder also skews youngest and is most popular among the LGBTQ crowd. eHarmony and Match appeal to the older crowd. Anyway, depending on what (or who) you’re looking for, there’s definitely an app for you.

And because you can’t seem to stop answering them, here were the most popular questions across our network this week:

Answer Key: Yes, Yes, Clowns are the Devil, Obsessively, Everything, OMG Yes

Hoping you’re well.