Sunday, August 17, 2014

MEETING MY EX BOYFRIEND'S CURRENT GIRLFRIEND

I went to a lovely surprise birthday party for a friend, which was hosted by his lovely fiance. A friend and I were getting our hands dirty, preparing food when my ex-boyfriend arrived. My friend whispered to me, "that's [insert girl's name here]". I figured as much. My ex walked between us with said girl and gave me a hello hug and then introduced me to the girl in tow. I apologized for not being able to shake her hand since I was preparing food, so she gave me a hug instead and proceeded to prep the food with us.

It was an awkward moment, yet it should not have been. You see, I no longer have any romantic feelings toward my ex-boyfriend and I am positive he has no romantic feelings for me. I think it's because her kindness (or oblivious bubbliness) completely threw me off. I consider myself a nice person, but I keep my distance when I am unfamiliar with you, especially if there is a specific reason I am unfamiliar with you. The fact that she was so kind either meant she was oblivious to who I was, or she was completely aware of who I was, and yet was so confident that I was no threat to her that she felt comfortable enough to cozy up to me. Either way, it was very big on her part, so it made me feel even worse for being uncomfortable with her presence.

Despite having a great time with wonderful company, the feeling kept nagging at me. I was trying to rationalize how I felt but I think the main reasons would be due to my territorial nature and the insecurities of being single. About being territorial; I was friends or at least friendly acquaintances with the majority of his friends before we started dating. During the year we dated, part of the reason why our relationship was so enjoyable was that I knew I was already accepted by the group, and we all grew a bit closer. Upon our breakup, I respectfully kept my distance from the majority who I wasn't already close friends with but with time, I felt more comfortable attending birthdays and other gatherings, with or without my ex there (we actually continue to be friends, which is nice). Now with the new girl in the picture, I now have to accept that she has inserted herself into the group and there will always be a chance I will see her around and obviously, cannot ignore her for sake of comradery. I am now only one of a few females who hang out with that group who isn't a girlfriend/fiance/wife of a male in that group. This is a very, very tight knit group.

Now on to the insecurities of being single. When I dated my ex, he was immature and inexperienced, despite being a little bit older than I am. He was a sweetheart, but I had to break him in and it wasn't always easy. We ended up not working out, which we both eventually accepted, but now he is with someone who is seemingly not only on his maturity level, but he does not really need any breaking in at all. It was as if I had to deal with the blisters so someone after me could slip into a comfortable pair of loafers. Not that I'm explicitly comparing him to a pair of shoes, but you get it. Where did he meet her? I'm not sure but I can only guess through his younger friends. Meanwhile, I'm here going on dates that lead to nowhere with guys who have serious commitment-phobia.

So what's next? Avoid social gatherings when I know he'll be in attendance or just suck it up and just accept his current girlfriend's hand in friendship? Knowing me, I will probably be somewhere in the middle.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

ASIAN FEMALE, WHITE MALE

Let's cut to the chase here: there are more and more Asian female, White (fine fine, Caucasian) male couples out there. I've been part of more than one as well (no, not at the same time, geez!). Inspired by this cringe-worthy attempt at satire, I thought I'd give my thoughts on this.

I can't say for certain why white guys like Asian girls (I'm not a white guy, how would I know?), but one of my guesses would be this: we are different enough in appearance and culture to seem more "exotic" than their white female counterparts, but not SO different that we're completely foreign. Allow me to explain: while yes, most of us do have black hair, dark brown eyes, and yellow undertones in our skin, for the most part, our overall body image and style preferences do not differ very much from a white girl's. Both Asian and white females put an emphasis on being slim, having long, shiny hair, and have a preference for similar styles of clothes and brands. In social and academic circles, we often occupy the same space, so there is that proximity factor. Yes, I know there is that whole "Yellow Fever" fetish thing, but that's been talked about so often that I don't feel like repeating it here. Also, I have dated white guys before, and only one of them seemed to have a fetish, while the others have a (non-creepy) preference. Call me naive, but I do believe there is a fine difference between the two.

Why do I say this? Probably due to my own personal preference toward Caucasian men. I can't speak for other Asian women who look toward the Caucasian persuasion for a mate, but I can speak for my own. First, let's get this clear: I like Asian guys as well. Wait, let me re-state that: I like Asian-American guys. More on that later.

I was born and raised here; a majority of my neighbors and classmates growing up were white-Americans (mainly Italian and Irish descent) so naturally, my first crushes and friends were also white-Americans. The faces on TV? White. The faces on ads? White. Though I know what race I am (always have, I mean I grew up with mirrors you know), I am not constantly aware of this until someone feels like pointing it out (mockingly and cruelly as a child, but less so as an adult). I have always identified as being a Chinese-American. I have Chinese immigrant parents, who came to America, and then had me and my brother. So this is where we circle back to my previous emphasis of liking Asian-American guys. I have to stress the American part because of who I am to the core. I embrace both sides of my ethnic/cultural identity, but I lean more toward American. I have dated AA's before but the ones I failed to find a connection with are the ones who lean toward their Asian identity and then make me feel bad for not doing the same. This is where the switch goes off for me. You know how there's a saying that goes along the lines of, "a girl wants to date a guy that reminds her of her father?" This is totally not true for me. I love my dad, but he has traits that I rather my partner not have. He chastised my brother and I for speaking English in his presence, he was always grumpy when my mother didn't have a proper Chinese dinner prepared every night, and he just seemed to resent the fact that his American-born children weren't "Chinese enough" for his liking. This is how I felt my Chinese-American prospects judged me. I just wasn't "Chinese" enough for them and they weren't "American enough" for me. Granted, we all ended up friend-zoning each other so this is probably the reason why a majority of my platonic male friends are indeed of Chinese (Hong Kong and Taiwanese as well, don't bite my head off) descent. I seem to have better luck with Korean-American guys, which may attribute to the "similar enough to feel familiar but different enough to keep things interesting" factor. I know White does NOT equal American and vice-versa. But the white guys I'm speaking of here are the white-American guys. Their American-ness is more in line with my own American-ness. Even if they are first generation European-Americans, they don't seem to have that pressure to maintain their parents' home country traditions as much as children of Asian immigrants do. They are hardly ever Gringo-shamed.

So let's get to the (white) meat of the matter: Caucasian males. First, the obvious: there are just more of them in the U.S. Second: their physical appearance. I am aware that a majority of white men (and men in general) do not look like Chris Hemsworth (TOO BAD RIGHT?) but Caucasians have a bit more variety in their appearances than we Asians do (no we do not all look alike, but a majority of us do have the same hair and eye color). Variety is the spice of life, and I like my spice. Also, height. I'm 5'5 and I like my stilettos. I'd prefer my date to still tower over me when I've got my heels on. I've spent my entire childhood and adolescence being called "tall for an Asian girl" and having to feel like a giant troll next to all my other neatly wrapped, petite Asian gal pals so it's a nice feeling to be the small one for a change. (If you're wondering if I'm a heifer, the answer is: I'm a size 2 and sometimes 4 if I've had enough Hot Cheetos that week...I am just not as delicately small framed as most of my Asian girl friends who are 5'0 and easily size 00 so I look large in comparison). Not many Asian males hit the Jeremy Lin height mark (not very tall for an NBA player, but tall for an average person, and especially tall for an Asian person...speaking of Jeremy Lin, he's quite fetching, I'd like to attend a Rockets game  and then make him a sandwich after because basketball makes you hungry...does this make me a "puma"?) but there are more tall people in the Caucasian lane.

Aside from appearance, I just tend to be more intrigued by men who had a different upbringing than I did. More often than not, a Caucasian guy will have a different childhood than I did. His parents are different, his traditions are different, sometimes he moved from a different hometown and so his experiences are way different too. I want to share my world with his and I want him to share his world with me. It makes for a more interesting union when two different worlds come together, rather than two similar worlds just overlapping. I'm a city girl, and I kind of dig that small town golden boy thing. More often than not, these boys are white. Sure it's a weird, unfair preference toward novelty, but different strokes for different folks.

Lastly, it just boils down to chemistry. I may have been long winded about my preferences, but the one thing I cannot explain is chemistry. The spark is either there or it isn't, and for whatever reason, my spark is just very specific.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

LULU, AKA YELP FOR RATING DUDES

So by now, some of you have already heard of the app, "Lulu" which allows us ladies to anonymously rate guys...some dub it the "Yelp for rating dudes". However, certain problems arise:

1) Unlike Yelp, these reviews are totally anonymous, are limited to whatever hashtags are provided by the app to describe the guy, and the person being rated does not know they are being rated (although I believe now that a guy can request to be rated).

2) It can bring out the psychos and the mean girls (hell-o digital Burn Book!) because of the anonymous factor, there are no repercussions for trashing a guy, and there is no incentive to be truthful, either.

3) Hypocrisy. A handful of the guy friends I've shared this with (a few had positive ratings, and the rest were not rated) were disgusted at the idea. They, along with others opposed to this app, brought up a good point; what if there was an app that allowed guys to rate girls? There would be an uproar!

I named the bad, but here are some good sides to the app:

1) Let it all out, girl! If you have been unfairly jilted and want to prevent the same bad fate to fall upon other women, then you can pass the word along without having to literally say anything.

2) It's not all bad. While an app like this could cause major damage to a lowly rated guy, many of the ratings I've seen are positive. I've given several out as well! I wanted to generate positive publicity for my awesome guy friends so I rated them truthfully, in case any girl out there was curious about them. As for the boys I've had negative experiences with, I either could not locate them on the app, or, once I got to their page, I felt like it would contribute nothing to my day if I used Lulu for evil.

3) It's entertaining. The app is like "Hot or Not" but with words! And only one photo of the guy (likely whatever his current FB profile pic is).

The overall summation: If anyone were to fight to shut Lulu down, I would not be opposed. If Lulu comes out strong and survives, I would also not be opposed. This app seems to mainly target the college and recent post-college set, so after a while, it does get stale if you don't fall into that category. I deleted the application after a couple of weeks because I no longer found it relevant to me.  I can imagine how ratings on an app like this can spread like wildfire through a college campus but we have so many other distractions in life that I can't see this as being too detrimental for too long. However, if the situation were flipped--if the gentlemen got a chance rate us, I believe we would have a much bigger problem at hand. 

Rate away...or not.