The Opposite of “Meet-Cute”: Didn’t-Meet-WTH?

There's really no good photo for this post.

There’s really no good photo for this post.

Unless you are one of those rare people don’t watch movies or TV shows ever AND do not have any friends in relationships, you most likely know what a “meet-cute” is. It’s a strange/entertaining/coincidental scenario where two people meet each other for the first time and fall in love later.

You know, when you ask a couple how they met and they say “Oh, it’s actually a really fun/cute/funny story…” Let’s be honest here, most of the time the story ain’t that cute, but I do know a really good one.

“Talking to Strangers on Public Transit Late At Night Is A Great Idea!”: My coworker was taking the bus late at night and this dude was standing on his skateboard on the moving vehicle while holding onto the rail. She told him to be careful, and they started talking. He invited her to go “see the best band in San Francisco” right then, and she went with him. No, she didn’t get murdered or robbed that night, and he actually chose the exact same bus route to propose to her on years later. Awwww! (But seriously, usually it is not a good idea to go somewhere alone with someone you barely know at wee hours of the night, kids!)

I’m a sucker for well-written romantic comedies, so I’m that person who patiently listens and smiles at the right spots as boyfriends and girlfriends finish each other’s sentences and tell me all about the circumstances that had to line up for them to lay eyes on each other for that first destined moment. I ask almost every time, and I usually don’t regret it.

But meet-cute does not happen to me. Instead I get the opposite. Let me explain.

So I’ve been single and going on dates for a while now, and many of my lovely friends have tried to set me up with their coworkers, their friends, or their acquaintances, which I really appreciate. I have gone out with plenty of these guys (Thanks again! *Thumbs up*). However, there are also instances where the universe lines up the stars just to prevent me from ever meeting someone who was supposed to be oh-so-perfect for me. I call this the “Didn’t-Meet-WTH.”

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Pt 3: Strange Advice My Dad Gave Me On Very Important Things In Life

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Today is Father’s Day so I took Papa Lu to dinner at a nice restaurant. Like most parents, he likes to ask his children how our dating lives are going, because we all enjoy answering those questions so so much. I shrugged and joked sarcastically “Well, no one wants to marry me yet, so nothing worthy of note.”

My dad responded with “Maybe you should start listing that on your online dating profiles. Write in ‘I only date to get married.’” My eyebrows went up to the level of are-you-for-real, and immediately saw that yes, he was dead serious.

“…Um no! I’m only 25, Dad. I’ll maybe consider doing that on eHarmony when I’m 35. Or I’ll try being a cougar.” I didn’t even have time to attempt to explain why that will send most 20-something men running in the other direction before my dad started launching into how I could work on different techniques. True to Lu fashion, he had to use analogies.

“There are lots of things you can learn from nature. Female lions usually are the ones who hunt for food, not males. They go in packs. They stalk and observe other animals for hours to see which ones are the best target- the old or the injured ones. And then the lionesses would spilt up and attack the prey from both sides so there’s no escape.” Hmm okay. So I should get some of my girl friends and go pick up guys who are easy by cornering them? Great tips, bro.

He continued as I zoned out. Come on, Dad! The hunter and the prey thing is so cliché. Tell me something new.

“…Or there are other examples, like carnivorous plants. ” My ears immediately perked up. Oh someone stepped up his game.

“Look at the Venus flytrap. It attracts insects with its nectar. But does it strike when the bug is on its edge? No, that will give the fly time to flee. Instead, it waits and lures the prey into the center, and that’s when it goes for the kill.” He gestured with his hands for simulation.

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Wise Words from My Amazing Friends: Vanessa on Matters of the Heart

This is the face of someone who will not hesitate to punch a person in the throat or groin if needed.

This is the face of someone who will not hesitate to punch a person in the throat or groin if needed.

Vanessa is one of my oldest friends. Since high school, she has been there for me throughout almost all of my boy problems and boy joys (Cute rhyming, right? Maybe the phrase will catch on). She’d listen patiently when I giggle through detailed recounts of great dates, and comfort me when I cry through explanations of why it didn’t work out. She’s also one of the rare few people who don’t look at me like I’m crazy when I draw parallels between real life experiences and something that happens in Harry Potter.

We are so close and comfortable with each another that when we used to both have super short hair, walking down the street together we received glances from strangers who obviously think we’re a lesbian couple.  It was very amusing, but yes, we should all be so lucky that the person we’re dating happens to be one of our best friends.

Anyway, recently Vanessa comments that I’m very good about keeping safe. It’s true: I carry a pepper spray with me 95% of the time, I rarely use my headphones outside of the office or home because I like to be aware of my surroundings at all times, and I only very occasionally get wasted and I only do that when I’m surrounded by close ones. My dad grew up in a part of Vietnam that was pretty shady back then, so at an early age, I was taught the mindset to always be cautious: “If someone asks you for directions, tell them but don’t go with them. Write it down on a piece of paper if they insist.” “If a stranger offers to help you carry your luggage, say ‘no, thank you’- who knows if they’ll run off with it.” “Try to memorize the cab driver’s name or license plate until you are out of the car.” And of course- “Never get into a physical fight with anyone in their own home. They would know where the knives are.” I remember reading multiple books on safety tips for children as well. High five, parents.

So I tell Vanessa that, yes, I am very careful about physical safety but I am actually really terrible at guarding against others when it comes to matters of the heart. Continue reading

Vocabulary for Dating

W00t earlier today my second published story went live over at the Bold Italic! http://www.thebolditalic.com/ChinHuaLu/stories/2889-the-top-10-typical-dating-profiles

Bold Italic Chin Lu Top 10 Dating Profiles

I am very surprised that so far no one has left a “Who does this chick think she is for writing this? She’s only 25!” sort of comment, but maybe that will come later. I mean, it’s true- There are a lot I haven’t experienced yet and my dating history definitely does not make me seem like an expert in the field, but how else am I supposed to learn? Not through avoiding trying or never discussing it with others.

And since we’re on the topic of romance…Recently I’ve come to the realization that my friends and I often use words carelessly when talking about dates.

Let me explain myself first: When I was a mass communications major, we learned about semiotics and their importance. For instance, the word “Dog” signals to you the common domesticated four-legged mammal, but we had to learn that. The word “Dog” is a signifier and such animal is the signified. (Read more about signs here if you’re curious) When you were a kid, you had to receive instructions and cues in order to understand that while a Chihuahua looks and sounds very different from an Alaskan Husky, they still both count as dogs. And this is another common example: the Eskimos have multiple words for different kinds of snow and ice because cold weather is so prevalent in their every day life.

The kind of vocabulary you possess from a language influences the way you think about things. It’s difficult or sometimes even impossible to have meaningful thoughts about something if you are unable to put words to it, even just in your mind.

Anyway, I’ve noticed lately that I need to clarify more when I talk about dating because if I’m able to get my definitions and concepts straight, then I can think about it more clearly.

There are two major phrases that leaped out at me.

When I say “He was nice,” what exactly do I mean? Is it that he’s a morally good person, as in he’ll voluntarily help an old lady carry a heavy bag up the stairs when the BART station’s escalator breaks down? (Oh I’m looking at you, 16th St. Mission!) Or do I want to let my friends know that he was gentlemanly to me? Or even a third possible meaning is good compatibility or chemistry. These are all very different things. Sure, they may overlap sometimes but other times they’re completely separate from one another.

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Quarterlife Lessons From the HBO Show “Girls”: S2E6-E9

(Post about the season 2 premiere is here, the post about S2E2 is here, the one about S2E4 is here. S2E5 here. No, I didn’t write about episode 3, and I slacked off for 4 episodes. Stop yelling at me.)

Tonight is going to be the season two finale of the HBO show Girls, in order to honor Lena Dunham, I decided to finally stop procrastinating, hunker down, and blog about the last 4 episodes during my one-month blogging hiatus.

——————–

“Boys” Season 2 6th episode or #16 overall

Or the episode where you realize that Ray is a lot more screwed up that you thought before

(Official HBO recap video and “Inside the Episode”)

This episode is aptly named because just like none of the four central female protagonists have matured into real women yet, none of the male ones are real men either. They’re dudes, they’re guys, and they’re boys.

I love, love, love the scenes with Adam and Ray. When Adam randomly asks Ray for help, he was flattered that someone would deem him manly enough for “extra muscle type of backup.: And when Ray agrees, Adam awkwardly says “Ummm alright. Ummm thank you,” it’s so endearing but you realize that he is simply not used to expressing gratitude. When will our society stop pushing socially constructed gendered roles and instead encourage open communication in men, starting when they’re young’uns? I want to know.

Anyway, I think what happened is that before, Ray at least feels like he’s better than a few people in the world and that included Hannah, but now that Hannah might become a semi-legit writer, he feels the need to belittle her to feel better about himself. Ray tries to get Adam to agree with him, thinking it’ll be real easy to hate on an ex, but Adam surprisingly is very honest about the situation, which is that “everyone’s difficult” and they are both flawed.

LESSONS:

  1. If you have to barf in public, try to do it into a trash can– When Hannah gets offered an e-book deal verbally (…seriously, I would ask for that stuff in a legal document to sign and date), she gets so nervous that she throws up right outside a café, onto a tree by the curb to much of the other patrons’ horror. I used to get sick a lot when I was in elementary school, so I know from personal experience that you should try to master the skill of holding that in or run for the nearest dumpster, ditch, or toilet.
  2. Women and men have very different ideas about what outlines the steps mark the progress of a romantic relationship.- When Booth Jonathan asks Marnie to host a party at his house for him, both Shoshanah and Marnie immediately assumes that this means he thinks she’s girlfriend material when really, Marnie’s just a good PR hostess to him. I can totally see the ladies’ reasoning: “Oh I’ll be presented as the lady of his house to all his friends and party guests? I must be his girlfriend! Totes.” It is tricky to know whether someone introduces you to his friends because he likes you and wants his friends to get to know you, or if as soon as you go to the bathroom, he smirks and boasts to his friends “Yeah so I’ve banging THOSE great tits wassup?!”  Continue reading

Quarterlife Lessons From the HBO Show “Girls”: S2E5

(Post about the season 2 premier is here, the post about S2E2 is here, the one about S2E4 is here. No, I didn’t write about episode 3. Stop yelling at me.)

Yes I’m writing this blog post on Valentine’s Day, because that is what a single girl like me do on Single Awareness Day.

ANYWAY! So “One Man’s Trash” is definitely the hottest episode so far, but also the most thought-provoking. I feel like this episode was sort of a fairy tale. Not the kind with the “happy ever after” ending, but the Grimms’ Brothers’ kind that’s dark and with a deep moral (Did you know in the original version of Little Mermaid, she DIES IN THE END? Well, now you know).

I feel like both Hannah and Joshua needed this. They’re both at a f-ed up point of their lives, and they’re just two extremely lonely people who just want to give and receive affections without facing the reality. When they happened to meet at the same place and same time, they live out this sort of temporary fantasy to escape their situations, which are full of problems. It’s kind of like what people say about a foreign vacation fling: It’s only so much more magical and passionate because this stranger is exotic to you, and you don’t need to care enough to get to know them as a person since you know this won’t last.

From Hannah’s angle, she needed to know what happiness feels like, even if it’s built on a false foundation. Ignorance is bliss, no? And with a man who does not know about her past, she is finally comfortable to ask for what she wants, whether it was in bed or making Joshua beg her to stay. Hence the super hot sex scenes!…

As for Joshua, I feel like he was SO NICE to Hannah because he knows he was supposed to do all these wonderful things for his wife, who left because he got too busy and ignored her basically, and this was making up for his past mistakes indirectly.

When Hannah started crying in Joshua’s bed, I started crying too. She’s so happy that she’s finally happy for once but she realizes that this isn’t real. This person doesn’t know her at all, and she doesn’t know him either. It hit her all of the sudden that she wants this level of happiness but with someone else. She tries to share parts of herself with Joshua and asks him to do the same, and unsurprisingly, he avoids it and runs away.

*SIGH* Here are some things I thought were meaningful from the show:

  1. 1.    If you’re planning on apologizing to someone, say “I’m sorry” early or you just sound like you’re excusing yourself.- Ahem, Hannah! People tend to ramble a bit when they feel bad about something, but verbalize it sooner than later. And when in doubt, apologize again in the middle and or the end.
  2. 2.    If someone’s seems too good to be true, they probably are.- Handsome and fit doctor with a great house? Yep, still married.
  3. 3.    If you’re dating someone and you have the ability to lift them up on a counter, DO IT because it’s SO HOT.- Just be careful. Don’t drop them and make sure there are no sharp or breakable obstacles.
  4. 4.    People are afraid to admit that they’re lonely, but we all really are sometimes.- Hannah has friends and family, but she only realized how lonely she is in “such a deep, deep way” until she had a taste of conditional intimacy with Joshua.
  5. 5.    There are many things in life one can try to achieve: financial success, popularity, the dream job, “being cool,” etc., but the one thing that is the hardest to accomplish and the most important one is happiness. 

Lastly, to people who say that Lena Dunham isn’t attractive enough to sleep with Patrick Wilson, you’re part of the reason why 1 in 150 fifteen year old girls suffers from anorexia.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chin

Quarterlife Lessons From the HBO Show “Girls”: S2E4

(Post about the season 2 premiere is here, and the post about S2E2 is here)

You may have noticed that I didn’t blog about the last episode “Just Say No” this past week. That’s because I felt like there wasn’t any cautionary tale out of it besides DON’T DO COKE, SERIOUSLY.

If you totally were bummed out by that, here’s this awesome Spotify playlist I found that features every single song featured on the show in chronological order.

Back to this #13 “It’s A Shame About Ray” episode. I have to say this was the most emotionally intense one so far. I cried during the subway scene because it was SO REAL. And I was depressed for about an hour after the show.

I knew that Jessa and Thomas-John’s marriage was doomed from the beginning but their fight was so vicious, and to witness Jessa, who seems to walk through life with a “eh, whatever ha!” attitude, break down so completely was heartbreaking. Hindsight is always 20-20 and I felt that she really thought this could work and it was the best thing to happen to her ever in her life, but now, she has to start all over again, and that sucks.

ANYWAY, onto the “lessons”:

  1. Don’t invite people to a party whom you know would have potential conflicts– Come on, Hannah. Exes don’t mix well especially with the current partner involved. Anyone with half a brain can tell there are still a lot of remaining feelings between Marnie and Charlie, and his new girlfriend is very volatile.
  2. Don’t invite unwanted people to events “out of politeness”- It’s your own goddamn party and they might just show up with your permission.
  3. The more you explain about a lie, the less likely people are to believe itI love you, Shosh, but you are not good at pretending. Stick to one-liner excuses only!
  4. It’s important to master the art of backhanded compliments and subtle insults– Don’t lie. You enjoyed watching the catty exchange between Marnie and Charlie’s GF, too. (It reminded me of the reading scene in Pride & Prejudice where Lizzie artfully made it clear to Mr. Darcy that Caroline Bingley is a pretentious cow.) Occasionally in life, we need to throw some shade to stand up for ourselves, something, or someone else. Remember that in an argument, the person who appears less mad is the winner, so work on your poker face and thinking quick on your feet to create incognito offenses such as “So where did you get your headband?” as in because that’s the only interesting thing about you.
  5. Choose conversation topics wisely and appropriately for the occasion, time, place, and participants– When in doubt, avoid the following because they’re controversial: sex, drugs, violence, religion, politics, and the right way to raise children. Jessa and Hannah covered most of these at the dinner tables. Continue reading

Quarterlife Lessons From the HBO Show “Girls”: S2E2

(Read about the last episode here)

Episode 12 “I Get Ideas”

I would like to open with how while I think Hannah’s “colorblind” comments to Sandy were really stupid, they were also incredibly funny. They remind me of white people who tell me that they don’t think there’s anything wrong with the Asian fetish or Yellow Fever, and men who respond with “Well, there are a lot of female CEO’s now” when I complain about the fact that women still do not make as much money as men for the same jobs.

Hannah’s self-righteous proclaim to Marnie and Elijah about her breakup was hilarious: “Your rights happened!” Right, just because one socially conservative person is now without a girlfriend, women’s rights and gay rights are totally going to improve now. Uh huh.

(!!!FULL OF SPOILERS!!!)

  1. If someone cares enough, they’ll make the time and effort. – While it takes much less time to look at a painting and spew out some general comments than reading a piece of writing and then providing feedback, I do agree with what Jessa said: “If he’s not reading your essays, he’s not reading you.”  Sandy doesn’t mind watching the TLC TV show “Say Yes to the Dress” with Hannah, but finds her writing about her goddamn self boring because “nothing really happened”? Seriously? He basically just sent the signal of “Yeah I don’t care enough about you to know you as an individual, but hey, I like having sex with you.” Continue reading

Quarterlife Lessons from the HBO Show “Girls”: S2E1

First off the bat I would like to say that this is not about whether I think the show is good or bad, or if it deserves awards or not. It’s like what my Art History professor told us in our introductory class: “It’s okay to like something or don’t like something regardless of how famous it is or what experts say about it.”

Anyway, my point is that I like this TV show, and if you don’t, then don’t read this.

This was one of my many facial reactions to the HBO Girls season 2 premiere last night.

This was one of my many facial reactions to the HBO Girls season 2 premiere last night.

Episode 11 “It’s About Time”

Last night was the season two premiere of “Girls.” Truth be told, when this show first appeared, I watched from a very defensive point of view. Because I thought, with hands on my hips, “If this is supposed to be representative of my generation of women, then it’s making us twenty-something girls look terrible!” Yes, many a times I would declare to my friends that Shoshanna is the character who hasn’t done anything stupid or bad in my opinion.

One episode after another, I began to see sides of myself and my friends within the fictional girls more and more. I stopped telling people that I “enjoy it ironically,” and fully embraced loving it.

So I’m going to blog about the morals that I personally see from each episode. Some of them are brand new knowledge to me while some are precautionary tales that are good to remind oneself of.

So here you go, the life lessons from the first episode of season 2 “Girls”:

(!!!FULL OF SPOILERS!!!)

  1. If you’re a straight woman, don’t ever fool around with a gay guy sexually thinking you can be the one to turn him bi or straight. – Especially when the guy has a boyfriend! Marnie and Elijah’s half-sex session was so wrong. Even if the guy is very hot and super nice, and both of you are so drunk or on something, just don’t. It’s awkward afterwards for everyone involved and nothing good can come out of it.
  2. If you do see your ex at a party, limit communication to as nothing as possible and distance yourself physically. Oh and DON’T ask them about their dating life!– We’ve seen Marine and Charlie do the painfully awkward “oh let’s be friends even though we used to date” dance for so long that I was only a tiny bit shocked to see her ask to sleep on Charlie’s bed with him last night, and to have him agree to it! What about your current girlfriend, Charlie? And has Marnie forgotten that she has broken up with this dude TWICE already? Shoshanna’s cold shoulder to Ray was not pleasant but that is still WAY better.
  3. Don’t text someone a message only composed of emojis and then expect them to fully understand what you mean.– When it was finally revealed that Ray broke Shoshanna’s heart by ignoring her emoji-only texts, the only thought that went through my mind was “Oh that’s funny.” Wasn’t even mad.
  4. If anyone you date ever says that they don’t have to do something because they love you, get the hell out of there. Last night as Adam told Hannah “when you love someone, you don’t have to be nice all the time,” I heard the sound of sharp inhale of air through teeth from my female friends in my living room. Loving someone should not be used as an excuse. Continue reading

I’m an Asian Girl- Here’s How NOT to Hit on Me, and What to Do Instead

Obviously this is me consuming my native food in my natural habitat…And that was sarcasm. Ironically I don’t use chopsticks correctly anymore.

Recently I was forwarded this op-ed piece and parody guide about dating for an Asian-American girl in the US. And 5 months ago Mark Zuckerberg’s marriage with Priscilla Chan caused a storm of uniformed racist comments on the Internet.

I think it’s high time we address the pink (Ooh probably Asian!) elephant in the room: I’m an Asian American young woman living in United States, which means I get hit on VERY often with racial pick up lines. I also live in San Francisco, where it seems like I can never not see at least one interracial couple with the female being East Asian walking down Valencia Street.

Allow me to share some choice words that have been bestowed upon me or my fellow Asian American lady friends by men who were attracted to us:

  • “Hey! Do you like fried rice?”
  • “Do you know why I like Asian girls? Because they’re tighter.” (Please do not ask me to explain that one to you)
  • “You’re a very pretty Asian girl. Have you ever made out with a white guy before?…Would you like to?”

You get the idea.

Once upon a time I complained to an ex about this, he said he totally understood where I’m coming from but explained to me that these guys are just sleazy creepers who will say dumbass things to any woman. I responded with “No, you’re missing the point.”

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