Saturday, October 29, 2005

The art of defriending

How does one defriend? Suppose there are two people, A and B. A and B get along as acquaintances. A's ideal friendship with B is maybe a phone conversation once a month. B's ideal friendship with A consists of hourly emails, nightly phone conversations lasting 2-3 hours, and frequent visits. How should A deal with it? So far, A has entertained two possible solutions:

Solution One: Screen B's phone calls, returning fewer and fewer calls as time goes on. B should get the hint and accordingly lessen his expectations of A.

Problem: B may not get the hint. B assumes A is just really busy. B resorts to certain tactics to get A to call B back, such as "Please call me ASAP--I have to talk to you about something!" or the like. Passive aggression doesn't bode well with those who don't get the hint--or won't get the hint.

Solution Two: Tell B that B is annoying and kindly request B to stop calling.

Problem: Painful politeness may render A physically unable to utter the words, "Look B, you're annoying me. Please stop calling me." A further risks burning bridges with B. B may badmouth A to A's friends, colleagues, and the papers. Does anyone ever want to create more enemies and/or be known as The Bitch? Then again, B may stop calling.

Right now, A isn't sure how to proceed, but A thinks A will begin with Solution 1 and then proceed to Solution 2. Any other suggested solutions would be greatly A.

Friday, October 28, 2005


I am listening to Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor through my shitty 1996 computer speakers. If the piece were a man, I'd marry him. It's perfect: Whimsical, romantic, sappy, frantic, silly, brooding, deep, and moving. If there's the perfect song, then there must be a perfect love. Right?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ah, singledom

As I get older, my single status becomes more salient to me. Granted, it hasn't reached that Sex-and-the-City stage where thirty-something single women are branded as lepers by condescending married people; but I've noticed I've received more questions about my status. For example, there is the popular question, "Why don't you have a boyfriend?" One male friend posed this question to me after observing that my other girlfriends were either married or attached. "Because I'm...picky?" I offered. A more blunt girl asked me, "Don't you feel lonely without a boyfriend?" and further, "Wouldn't you rather be with someone than be alone?"

Many women may choose to be offended by such probing questions. (Indeed, I was a little curt when responding to the above girl.) Yet I urge these women to take such questions as compliments. How? one may ask. Well, imagine a woman who physically resembles a walrus and has the personality of a rock. My guess is that very few people would ask her, "Why don't you have a boyfriend?" because the answer is obvious: She is unattractive. (My apologies to any women out there who bear that resemblance and personality.) However, when one beholds an intelligent, beautiful, charming woman, one may wonder why this woman has not yet been snatched up by now and so pose the question.

So you see, whenever someone asks me why the hell am I still single, why aren't I married, or why don't I have a boyfriend, I secretly interpet it as, "Damn girl, you are so hot and fine and smart and cool. You could have any guy you want so what gives?"

And the answer is quite simple: I am all that, and therefore I don't settle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Asian eyes

I was re-reading Memoirs of a Geisha for an "assignment" and reflected upon the fact that Chiyo/Sayuri had gray-blue eyes. It sounded so odd, but then I realized that a number of Asians have been known to have similarly non-brown eyes. My Indian friend's grandmother had blue eyes (and no, she was not mixed with English blood). My first real boyfriend, a Korean guy, had hazel eyes. And even my mother has amber eyes, with an odd greenish-gray ring surrounding her iris. She told me that when she was growing up in her native country, the other children would tease her, poking fun at her unusual, large, light-colored eyes.

But me, I have the plain old brown eyes. Many times I've looked in the mirror to search for a hint of light brown or a fleck of gold, but nothing. Just a deep pool of dark brown.

A family vacation

In the dream, the family was whole again. Father was alive and somehow survived the burial. When asked how he survived his blood being replaced with formaldehyde, he replied it didn't bother him that much. Then in the dream, she recalled that formaldehyde didn't bother her that much either and supposed it was a genetic predisposition.

They were on one of their family vacations, the ones they used to take when the children were young, and were lodging in a wood cabin. It all seemed so normal and real. Even hours after waking up, it still feels like it really happened and rests in her mind like a real memory.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Friend

As she made her way through the room, she brushed against wool jackets and dark blouses. There were plastered smiles, nodding heads, and glances around the room for the next target. Mouths flapped endlessly, emitting peculiar yet well-articulated noise. These noises were followed by exchanged ivory business cards and gripped handshakes. She scanned the room, and once spotting her only friend, walked up to the gentleman in black and white.

"Jack on the rocks, please," she said.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Enabler

Irving was an irritating man. He spoke in an overenunciated, strident voice and had the less than charming habit of gesticulating unnecessarily. He always placed his feet on the table when speaking and invariably tilted his head to the left, except to pick the wax out of his ear.

She nonetheless felt obligated to endure Irving's oddness because he had once done something really really nice for her. The only way she could repay him was to be his "friend." By "friend," she meant listening to his diatribes, nodding, and spurting back the same to him.

She watched him pick something from his scalp (a piece of lint? a chunk of dandruff? a nit?), examine it curiously for a good three seconds, and flick it off to the right, all the while delivering his latest spiel on women.

"Women," he gasped, "Women play so many games."

She looked at Irving. "A woman who is nice to you but doesn't want to sleep with you is not playing games."

He was staring at a woman who had just come in. "What?" he asked turning back to her.

"Nevermind," she said and looked out the window. A bird teetered on an uneven branch before fluttering away. She wondered why he even liked being friends with her. She was cynical, visibly repulsed by him, and unsympathetic to his plight. In other words, a really bad friend.

The door of the coffee shop yawned at her.

"Tired?" he asked her.

"No just," she said covering her mouth, "bored. I'm gonna go home."

"Okay I'll call you tonight," Irving said eagerly.

"Fine," she said as she put her purse on her shoulder. "Bye."

"Bye!" he said to her back.

She shivered one last time before she stepped outside the doorway and turned on her cell phone.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Punctuated emails

Two types of email styles bemuse me:

There is the one with all the exclamation points! Every sentence ends with at least one! Sometimes more!!!! Then if something really exciting happens, there is usually at least a whole line of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then there is the one with the ellipses... Every thought...seems to trail...into something else... You never know... what is going to happen... and just ends...sort of...

I suppose everyone has once in a while engaged in one or both of these styles. Myself...included!!

Monday, October 17, 2005

The booty hump

I went dancing this past weekend. I was amused by how some girls thought that several awkward thrusts of the pelvis rendered them sexy and desirable. They would hump a fellow girlfriend or chair, look around, and smile expectedly, beaming with desperate validation. Add to that several layers of make-up and a glittery barely-there haltertop, and you almost have some semblance of a woman.

Of course, there is a time and place for the booty hump. A carefully calculated booty hump can have the desired effect of, well, looking desirable. Sticking out one's butt continuously is insufficient. A booty hump ought to beckon and allure, but not leave onlookers with the feeling that they are watching an audition for Britney-Spear wannabe rejects. To successfully execute the BH, one must have a way about herself, an air of confidence, self-assured beauty, and of course, the ability to dance.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ways to make a good first impression

I'm always amazed at how oblivious some people are when it comes to common sense manners. For example, when meeting someone for the first time, visibly grimacing at the large mole on their face is probably not appropriate. Neither is pointing out someone's stutter. I thought I had mastered these basic, common sense rules of decorum, yet a recent event had proved otherwise.

Today I met a business associate for the first time and was trying so hard to be the smart, poised yet easy-going girl. At the end of our meeting, the person walked me to the elevator. The elevator arrived and I started inching towards it while smiling and nodding, and spurted out "Nice meeting you!" before hopping in. For the next few hours I cockily thought I made a relatively good first impression.

Then I realized my faux pas: I forgot to shake the person's hand.

I am literally mortified by my behavior. It's one of those things where you have recurring flashbacks of your idiocy and you want to smack your forehead and yell out "Idiot!" but you don't because that would be really weird.

I know it's not as bad as laughing and pointing at the disabled, but still. I should've known better.

I guess all Asians do look the same.

I scored 12 out of 18.

It's harder to distinguish the Koreans from the Japanese than to discern the Chinese. I still think I'm pretty good though.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Some nice things I saw today:
- A boy in a yellow hooded sweatshirt with very long dark eyelashes
- A white cat laying by a screen window, gazing lazily at the subway I was in
- My dad's furry hat

Some not nice things I saw today:
- A greasy head speckled with dandruff as it leaned precariously back as I sat in the subway
- An email from a friend calling me out on my inadvertent act of assholeness
- My reflection in really bad lighting where I looked 100 years old

All in all, an average Thursday.

I passed the Bar exam!

So happy & relieved. Looks like relentless cramming and nauseating anxiety can pay off.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Rambling dream interpretation

So I’m thinking about my dream below. I suspect it has something to do with my recent curiosity about dating Asian men (elements of the dream being the Chinese dude, the white rice, the kiss). I’ve dated Asian dudes before but not for several years and have since dated white guys. I am a little sensitive & self-conscious about that Asian-girl/white-guy stereotype, thanks to my Asian American studies class so many years ago.

At the same time, it’s not about race or color, but whom one is attracted to, right? Maybe it’s just a coincidence that I haven’t been attracted to any Asian guys in the last several years.

Maybe the dream meant I shouldn’t feel like I ought to date Asians just because I’m Asian and haven’t recently. The kiss probably symbolized that courtship; the white rice in the kiss symbolized the cultural commonality I perceive among all Asians, a commonality I feel I ought to tap into. Yet such obligatory thinking can lead to a forced, artificial courtship, as symbolized by the grossness of spitting out rice during/after kissing.

I think.

Weird dream

Last night I had the oddest dream. Not sure what it means, but I was in a crowded classroom. I remember sitting next to a bespectacled, average-looking Asian guy. Then (some parts of the dream are hazy) I was going about my day when I encountered the guy (whom I believe to be Chinese. Why not Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc.? I don't know). Then he just grabbed me and kissed me, which I permitted somewhat willingly.

The bizarre part: every time he kissed me, white rice would come out of his mouth into my mouth and I'd have to spit it out every time we kissed. He didn't seem to notice it at all, but it was cumbersome to kiss. I remember at some other point when we kissed, I scooped a wad of wet rice out of my mouth with my hand, held it in front of him, and said something like, "This is not good during kissing. Don't do this." And I don't remember the rest. Something with a bicycle, maybe.
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