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

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

Wise Words From My Amazing Friends: Yasya on Choosing in Dating

To continue on the theme of previous post….

When I had the fortune of living with Yasya, I often referred to her as “my voice of reason” only half jokingly. Unlike most other people, she would never just tell me “it’s going to be ok” in times of difficulty without providing practical ways to make things better. When I’m conflicted, she offers realistic points of view without sugarcoating.

Here’s how Yasya told it like it was after one of my earlier breakups:

Every woman tries to improve her man in some way- That’s just how we show our affection. But you’re supposed to take a good man and turn him into a great man. Trying to change a broken, crappy person is too much of a leap and therefore, will result in failure.

Yasya is now engaged to a wonderful man named Steve, who gives the best hugs ever.

Cheers,

Chin