Another post about attraction

Online dating things always offer this prompt in some form: “I like it when my date _,” “The key to my heart is _,” and I don’t get it. OK, so usually it’s kind of optional, like you can leave it blank on OKC or CMB, and you don’t have to pick that prompt on Hinge, but it’s always included and my point is why would I just tell strangers how to make me fall for them? Why don’t you just ask me to post a photo of my house key for them to copy so they can just move in or not however they please without me being able to stop them?

That creates a power imbalance. It is bad enough when somebody happens to do all the things that I like. At least it’s not as unfair, although it still sucks to have feelings for somebody who objectively isn’t worth getting so hung up on. (It’s probably also unfair to talk to guys online when I’m still hung up on another guy but in my defense, Haemin started it.) I’m the type of person who has to be herself as much as possible. Knowing what makes a guy click isn’t enough to make me do it, whereas I think for others, it could be much easier for them to just go through the motions of doing the things that they know the other person likes. I mean for some, it’s more of a moral choice whether or not to take advantage of that information when they have it. I’d be a complete idiot to knowingly leave myself at the mercy of a guy’s morality.

I get that for dating sites and apps, the prompt seems relevant but being relevant’s not the same thing as being sensible and appropriate.

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Inappropriate comments in online dating

During a lull in Haemin and my LA trip, which was while we were waiting for lunch/dinner at Din Tai Fung in Santa Clara, we downloaded Hinge, a dating app, to my phone. It actually hasn’t been terrible, I matched with a few guys and at least a couple of them seem capable of normal human interactions BUT this morning I woke up to a comment from a Mike asking if I like doggy style.

🙃💬

I kinda wanted to comment back, “Well that was fucking rude,” but that would require matching with him.

The most interesting phenomenon of the internet is arguably how people forget to filter when they’re behind a screen. You get to see who people really are. Sometimes the insights from empirical data are beneficial, such as a more accurate predictor of election results, or even predicting diseases. The down side is that reading rude-ass comments makes girls contemplate going to a convent. Or at least it makes them cynical.

The struggle of sharing a bedroom with a teen

This morning, I wanna say about 2 to 5AM, I was slipping in and out of sleep due to my sister voice chatting with (a stranger / strangers). When I really need to be getting at least a solid night’s sleep. Where do I start?

  • She uses her real name including middle initial for her username and she’s chatting and giggling away with one or more complete strangers who say they’re in Malaysia. I shouldn’t have to explain why this is imprudent.
    • She also voice chats with rude guys who make fun of the Chinese gamers who join them, and a profanity-spewing girl who sounds like a preteen but says she’s much older (apparently trying to prove it by being crass but if you ask me, homegirl is trying a little too hard to be believed). The company you keep, girl…
  • Teens, especially autoimmune, depressed, and generally unhealthy teens are supposed to be getting 9 hours of sleep a night.
    • My dad estimates she’s getting about 12 and my mom has been worrying that she’s oversleeping herself sick, so I’m guessing that what’s really happening is not that she’s oversleeping but is in fact cheating on sleep.
  • She knows I have to go to work every morning but regularly leaves the night on at night and is carelessly chatting away despite me reminding her that I need sleep.
    • I don’t have much choice about my sleeping situation unless I want to move to a tent outside. The summer nights are usually cold enough at night to trigger my Raynaud’s so I’mma take a pass on that idea.

I get that teens are inconsiderate because they’re teens, I really do, but what frustrates me is when I spell it out for her, she doesn’t really hear me. I know if I talk about it to her when she’s off her phone and not actively doing something that she enjoys and doesn’t want to be called away from (or not actively doing something that she hates and will be really triggered if interrupted), she is capable of acknowledging that she needs to make healthier choices. But she takes after my dad in that certain moods completely override her ability to reason.

The paradox of feeling competent and incompetent at the same time

I have mixed feelings about praise. I was thinking about this during an interview because I wasn’t at the interview because I wanted to be there, I was there because I felt like I had to be there, because of the narrative my dad fed me about being a logical person who would be better off in the IT branch, because of the things that were said to me at my interview for my current job, because of the things that my boss and my coworkers say about me. I looked at the interview questions with a bittersweet feeling of vindication as I realized that despite my dad’s insistence that such a position was too low for me, I would not actually be able to answer the questions very well. For all anything anybody said about me being smart and logical and suited for technical work, my brain didn’t bother retaining the vocabulary. Would I be capable of doing the job? Probably. Would I know what to say to prove it? Nope.

I dislike praise as in I actually do not like being told that I’m smart or whatever because I interpret these kinds of comments as expectations. To be honest, I am so tired that it just sounds like more things I have to do because people expect me to do them and less time to do what I really want or at least go and discover what I really want. I mean, I’ve read The Defining Decade and I’ve never been the type to want to go out and find myself in some vague sense. I don’t mean I want to quit my job and go live a bohemian lifestyle, I mean I want to use my spare time to 騎馬找馬.

But I also like praise as in I like positive feedback in response to completing a task or saying something. “How did you do that?” and “That was actually pretty deep” feels really good to hear.

I wonder if it’s just that praise actually works the same as criticism. You’re not supposed to tell somebody that they’re dumb, you’re supposed to tell them what mistakes they made.

Confession

MEETING
The Name Of The Game – ABBA: curiosity

HESITATING
Sister Golden Hair – America: uncertainty
How To Touch A Girl – Jojo: charm
Heart Attack – Demi Lovato: caution

YIELDING
Miss Independent – Kelly Clarkson: courage

TRYING
You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – The Miracles: induction
Lead Me – Sistar: inhibition

LOSING
It’s Not Love – Wonder Girls: evanescence
Try – Pink: pain

WAITING?
Take A Chance On Me – ABBA: uncertainty again

I just woke up from a dream in which Racetrack threw up a lot of cooking utensils and even a tote bag, and I was relieved he threw it up.

I’m thinking about how strange it is that I can imagine hugging him, I can imagine him curled up on my bed, I can imagine everything that he did so clearly and it doesn’t feel real that he isn’t here. It’s not that I feel sad because of him. I just can’t wrap my head around it, that’s what I mean when I say that it doesn’t feel real.

I’m lost and looking for a new direction.

Last Wednesday, I had my dog Racetrack euthanized. I wouldn’t say that my life orbited around him but my schedule did. He made me happy so I wanted him to be happy, which in his last months meant giving him lots of medications to try to heal him and just being with him in my room so that he wouldn’t feel left out while being cooped up. Now he’s gone and that means either I get a new dog or I reorganize my life and try to figure out whatever the hell it is that young single adults without special needs dogs do with their time.

This thing with Racetrack all climaxed 4 days after a personal matter showed me that I needed to, as this person said, “get out more”. I’m at a stage in life where I need to broaden my social circle and activities, meet new people, visit new places, and I’d kept saying, “No, my dog has special needs and he comes first.” Maybe it was also a convenient excuse to keep to my old, comfortable ways. So right when I realized that I needed to change and move on, this happened. And I was, in a sense, freed from bonds that had albeit been willingly assumed. Yes, I do think God had a hand in this and getting a new dog is not the answer.

Side note, I just wanted to say this. My dad has been saying that Racetrack can open doors (he was a smart boy and left his teeth marks on many doorknobs), and so he can open the door to heaven itself. I thought it was a funny mental image. Maybe Peter would doze off, hear a rattle, and find some claw scratches and teeth marks on the pearl gates. I don’t know if animals go to heaven but I do know that there will be no more tears, whatever that entails.

It’s time for me to move on but I don’t know what to do. Today, I had lunch with a couple of friends who hugged me afterwards, went home, tried to nap but failed thanks to my sister’s hyper 1 year old golden retriever, sorted a really big pile of mail (forever thankful to my first full-time job, sorting mail now gives me a weird sense of satisfaction), felt really tired and tried to nap again, and couldn’t because I just felt lost. I haven’t been sleeping well due to the stuff that’s happened over the past couple of weeks, some really good and some really bad, the bad including letting go of Racetrack and the huge chunk of my life and identity that he represented, and I think I need something to plug into.

Hanging out with friends like I’ve been doing almost every day for like 2 weeks is good, but this level is just not sustainable.

Sure, I go to church small group, and maybe in the fall I might think about serving with the youth. Maybe. My dad brought it up once and I do have some predisposition for mentoring others so it might not be a bad fit. But I don’t see any of this as a place for expansion. My small group is my home base, the place that’s probably gonna stay mostly the same. I don’t want any… complications?

I think getting back into my old badminton community is a start. Even though I’ve been away for 6 months, I think I might actually feel more comfortable with them now than I did for most of the time before I stopped. The down side is that some of them are pretty crass and I’m not sure that I want to flock with birds who joke about getting in bed with me or brazenly ask invasive questions albeit in a non-creepy way. Scandalous! But I have to be honest. If I really wanted them to watch their manners, I could have. I didn’t want to because I’m still trying to overcome their first impression of me being cold and distant.

I thought about trying to sketch more. But art seems like a solitary pursuit. Even if I go for a class, I’m not sure how much I have in common with artsy types.

I thought about looking into the reader-writer community. Well, from what I’ve seen, they’re really sweet people but maybe more philosophical and home-y and less social and outgoing than what I’m really looking to introduce into my life.

Volunteering with animal causes like pet rescue or environmental cleanup or something sounds cool but I have physical limitations. I used to get debilitating migraines on a weekly basis due to volunteering with the local animal shelter. I don’t know what it was about working a shift that caused this because I tried drinking more water, wearing sunglasses, etc. The point is that I think it’s safe to assume that my limitations would get in the way of me being able to partake in the kind of activities I’d want to do. Plus some animal lovers are crazy, like anti-vaxxer level crazy and I don’t need that in my life.

Another problem: even though I’m freer now, my dad still asks me to be a family girl instead of a single adult. Whenever I go out, he reminds me that 家裡有事. A lot of people have been telling me that I need to get out and do my own thing but it’s still complicated even without Racetrack.

I guess I’m rambling at this point. But anyway, I’m feeling restless and lost. I was already sleep deprived and with all the stuff that happened over the past 2 weeks (including letting go of Racetrack) changing the direction of my mind, it’s hard to sleep even when I’m tired. In the end, it’s just about trying to figure out what the hell I need to do to become healthy because I’m tired of being tired, stressed, restless, and lonely.

Takeaways from my SF trip yesterday

One of the people we were introduced to looked kinda miserable, honestly. She looked kinda droopy, like she wanted to just disappear and go have a cry somewhere. I kinda wanted to know what was bothering her. Whatever it is, I hope she figures it out and gets herself into a happier situation.

A big guy on a bike was ranting and raving in the middle of a busy area. He was yelling so loud that he was unintelligible so I thought maybe he was just a lunatic, but I couldn’t be sure. I did see a young beggar sitting in the direction that the big guy was yelling towards. I passed them but turned back, taking a step to look more closely. I wanted to go investigate and, if he were yelling at the kid, to tell him to stop. I didn’t go any closer, though. I turned back around and caught up with my coworkers.

We did have a bus to catch and we were on a work trip and I could get in a lot of trouble for causing any problems. I kept thinking about it, though, wondering if I’d made a wrong choice.

Fear of pain

Somebody recently confessed to me that he had started avoiding looking at my social media posts after I’d posted a video of my dog Racetrack (whom I put down today—er, yesterday) having a grand mal seizure. The reason I posted the video was because

  • some people were curious, and because
  • some people didn’t understand why I put in the effort into him. Maybe showing them would make them understand that I can’t just stand by and let this happen to someone I live with. Never mind someone who’s 100% loyal to me, always there for me, and incapable of hurting me.

Anyway, I thought it was very interesting that because he found my post(s) scary, he avoided them.

From my perspective, you can’t just look away from reality whenever you don’t want it to be real. It doesn’t change the situation. Your life might be relatively simple, but for many people, like me, it is filled with flaws and pain. I understand that his reflexive reaction is human, and I don’t hold it against him or anyone else doing the same thing. But they’re not going to learn anything by sheltering themselves.

This same person once asked me if I could give him a ride to SFO airport at like 3AM. I totally would if I weren’t afraid of falling asleep at work or falling asleep at the wheel on the way home from work, or if he were one of my actual close friends. Neither of those being the case, I said no but I asked him why he didn’t ask one of his ride-or-die friends since I assumed he was closer to a lot of the guys in our mutual network than I was. He said he didn’t have any and that’s why he was looking for one.

And now I’m thinking, not with that stick-my-head-in-a-hole attitude. Hahahaha.

That said, he did happen to check on me again, which happened to be right when I was going through stuff, and get worried enough to call me out for boba. I think that’s a step in the right direction.

My 5th grade teacher told us not to use the word “nice” because it’s wishy-washy.

Is being “nice” just another defense mechanism? Like if you want something, but you make yourself back down for some “nice” reason like letting someone else who wants it have it. Or if you like someone but you defer to their preferences, whether they like someone or at least don’t like you back. Whatever the case, you’re not getting what you want, but the “nice” choice puts a cushion between you and the sting of not getting what you want. You get to feel benevolent or magnanimous and emotionally, that often totally makes up for it.

In the end, you’re just being simultaneously kind and cruel to yourself. You’re protecting yourself from disappointment or rejection, or whatever else, but by holding out on yourself, you’re really holding yourself back.

This person kept asking me if people told me I was too nice. I could answer him pretty easily because the answer was no, but a person doesn’t keep asking the same question unless there’s a different question that he’s really trying to ask. In that sense, I didn’t understand what he meant and I still don’t, but it did get me onto this train of thought.