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

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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”: 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

24 Signs That Your Date Is Bad News, Based on True Events

One for each year that I’ve been alive! Honest to higher powers if they exist, I did not make up any of these. I experienced the majority of the incidents below, and added a few from my close friends. All happened for reals.

Please, think carefully and consider running for the hills if any of the following occurs. Don’t repeat a known mistake and waste any of your time. See below for why I have several contacts listed in my cell’s phone book as “First name DO NOT PICK UP.”

1. Avoiding or deflecting get-to-know-you questions. For instance-

Q: “How about you? Where did you grow up?”

A: “The South. I loved it. I hate living in California.”

Q: “Oh ok… why do you hate it?”

A: “Why do you care? It’s not important.”

2. Explaining that they’re “only looking for fun and friendship.” Yeah, you know what else starts with the letter F?

3. Letting you pick up a large check at a cash-only place since they didn’t have any bills, promises to pay you back later, and then never did when a miraculous modern invention called the ATM exists.

4. Telling you that he’s currently crashing at his friend’s place because his ex just broke up with him so he had to move out of their apartment.

5. Taking pictures of you without you knowing, only for you to see it on their friend’s phone later. It doesn’t even have to be a scandalous photo. It’s just creepy and they could have just asked.

6. Expressing the statement “I could be with any other girl right now, but I’m here with you instead” in a non-sweet but self-pitying way.

7. They have horrible nicknames for you. Such as “Kiddo” even though they’re only one year older than you. Also this way they don’t have to remember your real name.

8. When you realize that your date is trying to impress strangers harder than they’re trying to impress you. Imagine the following scenario- In the middle of their singing in front of an unfamiliar crowd at a karaoke bar, they take out a harmonica from their pocket for a obviously well-rehearsed solo. You compliment them when they get off the stage purely out of politeness, and they respond with “This place is way too busy. I wish I could do a few more songs. That guy before me was super good.”

9. Asking “Are you sure?” after they asked if they can come up to your apartment after walking you home, and you said no nicely already. You know, just to double-check in case you changed your mind in the last 15 seconds.

10. Forcing you to do anything physical is bad, but forcing you to slow dance with him in public on a street corner against your will is on a whole new level. I’m all for Hallmark/Broadway musical/Disney/romantic comedy moments in real life, but the key word here is CONSENT, y’all.

11. Stating something like “I am really mature for my age.” Some comparable lines would be: “I am really tolerant and open-minded considering my upbringing.” and “I am really funny.” Show it, then there won’t be a need to say it.

12. Being openly insensitive about your background or known insecurities. Such as making fun of the cab driver’s accent when they know that your parents are immigrants whose first language is not English.

13. Speaking for you. Like when the waiter comes by at the end of dinner and asks if you two would like to see the dessert menu, your date says no for both of you without consulting you.

14. Insisting that you’re “crazy” or really drunk, or anything else that you’re not when you have already told them that um you’re not. Sample conversation:

Date: “I like you- I can tell you’re crazy.”

Me: “Um…no, I’m actually not. To be honest, I think I’m overly logical and kind of a Type A control freak.”

Date: “A-ha! That’s how you’re crazy.”

15. Flip-flopping on an answer. For example,

Q: “So how do you know my coworker?”

A: “ Oh let’s not talk about him- he sucks.”

Q: “…Why are you friends with him then if you don’t like him?”

A: “Because he’s awesome!”

16. Comparing you with other women, right in front of you. Exhibit A-

Date: “This feels weird, doesn’t it? I guess your kissing style is just different from other girls I’ve been with before.”

17. Trying to have lengthy conversations with you via text messages, but never asking you to hang out in person.

18. Blaming you for a bad kiss. Sample line: “Your mouth is just kind of small, so I feel like I’m slobbering all over you a bit.”

19. Asking you important questions repeatedly that you already answered before recently. Chances are that he’s seeing so many other girls that he doesn’t remember you specifically, or he didn’t think your reply was important enough to be retained in his memory.

20. Telling you that they “like” you with something attached to the sentence.

(a) “I like you, but if I really like you, then I would actually date you.”

(b) “I like you enough.”

21. Suddenly hailing a cab unexpectedly and wants you to get in the car with them without ever discussing where you’re going first.

22. Preemptively excusing himself, like “I just have never been a good boyfriend.” or “I have always been emotionally detached since my bad childhood.” Saying that that’s just the way you are does not make for a get out of jail free card or a legitimate reason for bad behavior.

23. Responding to your confessional question of “So what are we doing? Are we just friends? Because I’m really attracted to you.” with “…I mean, if it makes you feel better, I am really attracted to you, too.

24. Walking away from you in the middle of the street, without any explanation or saying goodbye.

I totally understand that sometimes there’s just no chemistry between two people, and the date might be bad in the sense that it was boring. BUT there is a huge difference between that and someone just being insensitive, insulting, or condescending. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now go out there and date someone better!

Chin