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Bravery To Know The Truth

I haven’t posted anything in about a week, and that post was on the serious side. What can I really say? I’m back to the desperate job seeking, money is tight, so I’m not really going anywhere and doing anything special. Not only that, but one of the cats is routinely urinating on the blankets I use at night, and my friend thinks it’s funny because “he’s just an animal who doesn’t know any better.”

So my self-worth has tanked. I was sitting on the sofa last night, staring randomly towards the floor, while my blankets were in the wash, and I was thinking there was no point to washing the quilt covering the sofa if it was going to get peed on again, that I might as well just deal with it since my skin never actually touched the part that got wet. Maybe I should just stop caring when the living room smells like cat urine, and let my friend deal with the smell while I’ve been blessed right now with a sinus infection. I didn’t feel worthy of sleeping with clean bedding. I didn’t even feel like my friend cared, like she would think differently if it was her things getting ruined and she had to clean her bedding before sleeping, but I just had to put up with it.

But that much wasn’t important, other than to say I was feeling pretty miserable. My phone, which was sitting on my lap, alerted me to a new e-mail message: “I can talk in about 30 minutes, if you would like.” It was from my friend in Japan.

We hadn’t talked in about two or three weeks. There was a disagreement between us, which resulted in the usual bout of silence. I had the last words, which I used to get a few things off my chest which had been bothering me, but I knew those words could also be my last words ever so I stressed that what I was saying wasn’t out of anger or spite but my own concerns.

If I hadn’t thought about him every day, then it was every other day. I thought about what I said, and I know how it sounded. When I was feeling weak, I considered apologizing for the things I said, but then I reminded myself to stand behind my words. I had concerns, I needed to address them, and I did, so why turn around and wave it off like I wasn’t bothered? I imagined conversations with him and how they would go. And I often looked out the windows towards the street and towards my car, on the off-chance that he got the nerve to come all this way to see me just to say what he needed to say. At night, I just had to pull the blankets over my shoulder and tell myself to stop trying to imagine that I’m living in some romantic comedy.

I really didn’t think that I was going to hear from him again. I questioned how long it would be before I would stop thinking of him. But then his message was met with a bit of uncertainty on my part, so I responded with an “okay.” When he messaged me later to say he was ready to call, I responded with another, “okay.” It’s not the greatest way to begin a conversation, I’ll admit, because I could have been in any kind of mood to give a simple “okay” and he wouldn’t know if things were fine or if I’d bite his head off. The phone conversation started with telling me he was only going to be on the phone for about a half hour. When he got into what he wanted to say, which was his response to my last e-mail and a few things left unanswered, I started to interject and he told me not to interrupt him. He had things he wanted to say, things I didn’t quite understand, and he wanted to make sure he said as much as he could in the time he had.

At one point, I noticed his voice was a bit shaky. I’ve thought about that a few times over the past day. Was it hard for him to say what he did? Was he nervous? Was he determined? Was he scared that I would escalate the argument and start screaming at him?

After two hours, he said he was ending the call. It was only the fourth or fifth time during that call that he said he was going to hang up, so part of me wondered if he was going to think of yet another thing to talk about with me. We got past the worst of the call, as we started talking about my job search. I was laid off a few days after our argument, and I never wrote to him to tell him about that. I just wanted him to think I was still doing okay, that I had a grasp on life and was taking care of things. So when he mentioned me working, I had to let him know what happened. I think it changed his mood a bit, because the conversation did shift gears. It wasn’t about resolving conflicts and having courage to do so, it was about realizing that I had more pressing issues than how things were going with him.

And then we talked about Himuro, which was the most fun part of the conversation. So it’s no wonder that the conversation as a whole lasted almost two hours. It wasn’t spoken, but perhaps we just miss each other at times like these.

I went to bed feeling a little better about things between us. Well, that and my blankets were fresh from the dryer and they were amazingly warm and cozy. I desperately needed the pick-me-up, and my Japanese friend will never realize how meaningful it was to hear from him at all at that moment.

Well, the sun is coming up. I’m not even tired, but this is exactly what my friend would complain about: my habitual bedtimes that fall in the early hours of the morning. It’s only 6 pm in Japan, which means if he finds this before he goes to bed, I’m going to wake up to a potentially unhappy e-mail from him. So… nighty-night!

Alone With My Supervisor And Coffee

One of my supervisors at work is a lot of fun to be around. At first, I knew I was just more comfortable around him but didn’t seem to have a reason why, nor did I need a reason. When I noticed his computer wallpaper was of the Pokemon Mew, and he talked about some of his geeky interests, I realized we had similar interests, and that was probably one of the reasons why I got along well with him.

When he was building interest for a project that was based on the west coast, I volunteered to be one of the people to work on that project. It guaranteed that I would have something to do with the company beyond the project I was hired to work on, so my motivation was that job security. Not to mention, because of the difference in time zones, I would be working later hours, which didn’t bother me because I was usually awake during that time anyway.

That project had five people volunteer to work on it, four people who could commit to the schedule, and three of us who did most of the work. It wasn’t as large of a project as the two other projects I’ve been working on, with about a third of the number of call lists, and each list being about one-seventh as long as the other lists I was used to working with. Even with two or three of us making the calls per night, we breezed through the lists of phone numbers, and my supervisor was able to get more lists from the client as a result of that. However, one cause of our speediness has been the fact that so many people have hung up on us or not even answered the phone. Because of that, I developed a habit of wasting even less time on those calls because I can tell what the resolution will be, I know the tones for a number that’s not in service, I can tell when an answering machine or a voice mail service is starting.

For whatever reason, either because of scheduling and availability or because of how awesome I am at making at least 60 calls per hour on this project and overcoming objections, I managed to be the only one scheduled for the project last night.

Just me… and my supervisor.

And a pot of coffee.

This is how things start, isn’t it? You get a man and a woman alone in the same room, two people who get along well, have similar interests, all of that. It starts getting late. One thing leads to another. Before you know it, I’m telling you how I’m not his type, and you’re wondering how I know I’m not his type and telling me that I shouldn’t say things like that, that I should be confident. Well, I’m not his type, because before last night, he had already casually remarked that he was gay in front of the whole call center.

It wasn’t even much of a surprise for me. He speaks in that effeminate manner that is usually associated with gay men, but it’s rather subtle and not backed up with flamboyant hand gestures or slang. But it’s not like he figuratively wears his sexuality on a frilly sleeve; he actually dresses like any guy would, wearing plaid button-down shirts when he has to dress more professionally and athletic hoodies when he’s cold or is just dressed more casually. I don’t mean to resort to any stereotypes, however I do know that some people base their “gaydar” on superficial things, like a man’s interest in musicals. And, my supervisor actually prefers the non-musical Disney animated movies like Finding Nemo, if you must know.

It’s not like his sexuality even mattered to me, because it wasn’t something I thought about. It did help, in a sense, to know his sexuality prior to last night, because then I can talk about last night and say, “I know how this sounds, but nothing happened and nothing would have happened.”

But oh, I’m making a big deal out of this, aren’t I?

In a dream I had last night, the earlier events now being a forgotten haze, I was listening to a phone call directed at me, and it was as if I was listening to a voice mail as it was being recorded. I don’t remember everything that was said, but one of the last things that was said that I do remember was something like, “… and I saved that voice mail of you and play it back just to hear your voice.” As that’s being said, my supervisor is ascending the stairs in a stairwell, and he’s the one saying these things as I hear them over the phone. When I see him and he sees me, I’m smiling because it’s so romantic to me to have someone admit the silly things they do because they’ve fallen for a person, and in this case it’s someone who has fallen for me. Once he has climbed the stairs and is in front of me, he kisses me softly on the lips. The rest of the dream was spent not far from him. I was giddy over the idea of having a significant other again. He slightly evolved into Giovanni Ribisi by the time I woke up, but in my defense I was watching Lost In Translation before going to sleep, and they’re both similarly-dressed skinny white boys.

Upon waking, I had to remind myself that my supervisor is gay, that none of that would happen. And yet, it’s something I want to have happen, maybe not with my supervisor, but I like thinking that someone can’t quite get enough of me. It silences the thoughts that are in direct opposition, suggesting that I might be bothering people or they’re really not interested in spending time with me. It reminds me that I’m not the only one who does silly things when the relationship is new, or barely budding, or even just to think that a person might be someone worth keeping around for a while.

So now it seems awkward to do so, but I want to ask for my supervisor’s phone number. I sincerely hope you understand why I would ask for his number, and why my own mind has sabotaged the retrieval of an important bit of information, before I even explain. I want to ask for his phone number as a future reference for job applications, nothing more. Unfortunately I feel like I’m going to overly explain myself upon asking, when even I know I’d question someone’s motives if they had to explain that, “I won’t call or text you, ever, it’s just to use you as a reference for future job applications.”

Special thanks to my mind, for taking a completely innocent, professional experience, and turning it into an awkward situation that I have to deal with in the real world. The idea to write about it all might not have been the most brilliant of ideas, as now it’s possible for my supervisor to find this and things can become even MORE awkward. However, I’m pretty sure that others have had similar experiences, so I have to remind myself that I’m only human and that I need to roll with it. After all, the worst that could happen still isn’t that bad.

Wait, What? The Retraction To The Confession!

So I’ve been talking about my friend from Japan, and I’ve also been alluding to another person who was my valentine. Then, I confessed that they were the same person.

So what do I need to retract?

I wrote that entry when I thought things had ended, and after I said what I thought was going to be a final goodbye to him. I hit a moment where I thought that a few things about me were more than he could handle anymore. Here I was, eating sweets for my birthday even though he advised that I shouldn’t eat sweets if I wanted to get healthier, and I was acting carelessly by holding off on taking a guaranteed job offer because I wanted to wait for an upcoming interview. He was hardly talking to me around that time, which made me feel like he didn’t accept my own birthday as an exception to the suggestion about sweets, and he wasn’t thinking the same way as I was about what I was trying to achieve in my career.

Not to mention, he said that I’d do things my own way anyway. That’s not entirely true. I tended to be more selfish if I didn’t feel like he cared and I cared less in turn. But if I felt like he was into me, I stepped things up and did things that I felt he would appreciate. I don’t know when I started doing that in life, unless I’m just doing it now as a defense mechanism after my previous relationship ended. I feel like it keeps things in perspective, in a sense, as I would rather not give in so easily if a person isn’t interested in me, I’d rather know that they care about me and I’m just showing my love for them in return.

So anyway, I said my goodbyes, blah blah blah,… and I stopped talking to him for… two days? I wrote to him after my interview with Delta was cancelled, and I told him how I called the staffing agency to see if the other position was still open. And then I said goodbye again, because I was really going. I really meant it, you know?

And then, he wrote back! He said he was going to wish me good luck, that is until he saw my note about the interview being cancelled. He asked me a couple of questions as well. I  was like, “do you not want me to go?” Because answering questions means I have to write back. He didn’t say goodbye to me, or wish me luck in life. He kept writing to me as if I never was trying to leave.

Day two of the new job started with being too tired to stay up as late as usual, then focusing on getting ready for work, and then going and starting the work day. During each of those moments, he sent an e-mail, the last one containing a few music videos on YouTube. Damn it, I let him get away with speaking through lyrics! One song in particular went something like, “I think about you every day, you’re my partner in crime, I’ll catch you if you fall.” I have yet to actually see him before I buy into the lyric about “I’m taking a vacation, I’ll see you at the station.” I did giggle, as one of the lyrics says something about sleeping with strangers, which is what I’m doing if you consider I’m on their couch and they’re all upstairs in their own beds.

So wait, what about White Day? Surely he mustn’t be into me since he did nothing! Well… he wasn’t talking to me at that time. He said that he wanted to say or do something for me, which hurt him to not break the silence on his side just to do it. But, I don’t know. Ah, but that was a month ago, and I should just move on.

Maybe he thought I wasn’t trying hard to look for work, and that’s why he seemed to be giving up. Maybe his final goodbye would have been while wishing me luck with the Delta interview. But maybe reminding him of how I was trying to do things for him, and also showing that I understood my careless behavior but was fortunate enough that something worked out in my favor, maybe I reminded him that I wasn’t just reckless and selfish, that there was a method to my madness, a willingness to risk something of myself if only to gain something greater.

Have I fallen completely head over heels? Ha, not yet! I have yet to meet him in person, for starters. I figure that if he’s not who he says he is, although I have few people who would miss me, those people can’t pay my ransom if I’m kidnapped because they don’t come from money. Not to mention, I wouldn’t be the most sought-after sex slave if I was trafficked, and my bodily organs wouldn’t be worth much from having this much fat attached to them. So maybe I should just give in and trust that he actually likes me for my personality.

I must say, though, that he does have good taste in music. So maybe he’s the perfect guy for me, because no one else has presented me with music that I’ve listened to this steadily. I mean, when I thought I had ended it, I tried going back to the entirety of my music library, but I found myself wanting to listen to just Himuro. I’ve also listened to other songs by some of the artists that he’s sent me songs for, and they’re good songs.

So… I can’t really say what’s going to happen between my Japanese friend and I. Honestly, I don’t want to turn this blog into my own Asian romantic drama. I especially don’t want it to become a South Korean drama, because it’s usually the female lead that gets amnesia, and even though the guy does everything he can and she eventually comes out of it, I still don’t want amnesia. All joking aside, my love life is my personal business, first and foremost. If I talk about it, it’s because I’m trying to understand it and basically navigate uncharted territory. Usually I’ll point out some mistake I made, because I don’t mind being dumb if I learned something from it. It’s actually nice to talk about being won over by a guy who actually seems to get me, so I do want to talk about what happens.

But look at what I’ve done! Two things that I wanted to improve upon, and I did it! I found a new love, and I have a job now! But I’m not going to stop there, because there’s more I have yet to do. Let’s do it!

Confession Time! Too Much Distance, Not Enough Relationship

If you’ve been here a while, at least since February, then you know I had my heart set on someone. Trying to do something meaningful, I ended up recording myself singing to the song More Than Words while playing the Playstation karaoke game SingStar, and that was my Valentine’s Day gift to him. Then White Day rolled around, and I had nothing in return.

If you’ve also seen me talk about “my friend from Japan,” then I have to confess that he was my valentine.

He wrote to me on OKCupid, which I joined about a week after my fiancé and I ended our three-year relationship. In hindsight, joining so suddenly was a bad move, but I still felt like I had love that I had to give to someone, my heart was full and I needed to pour it out. It was a hectic time for me, as that was when I was losing the apartment and the job I just barely started in addition to losing my fiancé. I should have taken everything a day at a time, and here I was, looking to fill a void and hopefully doing so for the rest of my life.

Needless to say, meeting someone on a dating site sets up a certain expectation. I didn’t mind, because falling for someone in Japan was in line with my goals for the future, at least in the sense that it would motivate me to not give up on my dream of going to Japan. But the more we talked, the more I found out that he wants to live in the States, at least because I already live here, and yet he didn’t want to live in my area. He wants to have kids, but I’ve always been against the idea of giving birth, though I might reconsider if I found the right guy and had a decent marriage.

Our differences were an issue, of course, but I was willing to bend as long as I got to see Japan and everything else seemed just right. An issue I faced is that I wasn’t good at something I’ll refer to as “arguing in Japanese.” Okay, I’m an Aries, I’ve spent the better part of my life arguing with a fellow fire sign, my brother who’s a Leo. I can get pretty passionate when something means something to me. I also have a history of people disrespecting me, not to mention I’m trying not to be the doormat I used to be. So if I have an opinion, I’m going to express it! The problem with that is, Japanese people argue in such a way that maintains harmony between the two people who are arguing. My issue is that, even if I see the point that the other person is trying to make, I’m not the best at expressing that, and I go right into what I want to say next.

Such issues have led to periods where he wouldn’t respond to my e-mails. As an American, that usually means the person is done with you and they’re too much of a coward (or at least, non-confrontational) to properly end things with you. The longest period that that happened was a month, and yes, I thought he had ended things. So I was irritated when he wrote back, ignoring the message I had sent to him, and just asking about things in my life without directly asking about me. Recently, it was a week of him saying nothing, then writing to me to wish me a happy birthday, only to go silent again.

Recently, a lot has gone on in my life, to the point where spending the day away from the house I’m staying in has been a vacation. The week prior to my birthday was spent with a child who was a manic-depressive handful, and he’s only 6. The day after my birthday, I received word that I was invited for a follow-up interview for a company I would be honored to work for, so I was super excited about that. A couple of days ago, I got a phone call out of the blue for an interview with another company. I cannot say I’ve been bored lately.

The interview situation was a mess. When I got the call to come in for an interview, the interview was the very next morning so they could fit me in before meeting with their client that I’d be working for. It sounded like a guaranteed position, if I accepted the job that very day. But I still had the other appointment, so I chose to do the other interview and see how things went from there. However, I’m not guaranteed to still have the first position in a week, a job I would have been starting Tuesday morning if I agreed to work for them. The friend I’m staying with said I should take the position, and then quit if I get the other job. Unfortunately, taking the first job means I’ll have to go to work and miss the interview for the other job altogether.

I wrote to my Japanese friend and asked him what he would suggest, though I was certain he would tell me I should have taken the guaranteed job. He basically told me not to ask him, and that I’d do whatever I wanted anyway. With an answer like that, I might as well do what I believe to be in my best interests. I gave him as much information as I could about both jobs, hoping for at least a debate or for his thoughts either way.

That’s when I could tell the light had faded, and that he was done with me. So I responded by ending things between us.

Regardless of whether I do whatever I want to do or not, I would rather have people ask questions about my options and actually have a debate. If someone tells me, “oh, I would have done this if I were you,” yes I ignore that because I feel like they don’t have all of the information that I have. Yeah, I keep saying “guaranteed job versus other job,” and I know everyone would say, “should’ve taken the sure thing” without asking for more information.

And no, you don’t know everything about My Japanese Friend. I don’t even know everything about him. But things were fun while they lasted, and if nothing else, it was a nice way to heal my broken heart. My heart really isn’t broken after ending things with My Japanese Friend, because if I’m giving him something he wants and it makes him happy, then it’s enough for me. And I learned a few things about love and relationships with Japanese men, so I’ll be a bit more prepared if something happens when I get over there.

Self-Awareness Exercises, Question Two

The month of March ended fantastically, and it was just what I needed after it seemed like I should start giving up hope. But that’s not the energy I want to put out into the universe, I want to be hopeful and have good things happen, and they have!

So I started doing these self-awareness questions to try and bleed out any negativity in my system. The first part was making lists of things that comforted and made me feel safe, and the next day I was feeling a bit better, probably because I was more conscious of things that I was doing to feel comfortable and safe. The first question was about why I was afraid to move forward in life, and maybe my fears are reasonable but maybe they’re just things I have to work through on my own.

And then I turned 33, and I had an incredible birthday that was full of tears and laughter and heartfelt moments. It reminded me of the friend who sent me the self-awareness questions. She once told me that my energy was “fire surrounded by water”, and that I shouldn’t be afraid of being emotional or crying from time to time. Maybe it was building up inside of me and needed a release, or maybe I cried just because I was moved to do so, but it seems as though it was necessary.

But I can’t just start these self-awareness questions and stop after only the first one! I feel like you’re counting on me to at least post the rest of the questions so you can do them for yourself, but that would still be giving up on my end. So without further ado, let’s do question number two!

A reminder of the introduction:

“We each write our own story for our life.  What story are you writing for yours?  Set a timer (there should be one on your phone if no where else) for 5 minutes for each prompt and write as fast as you can for those five minutes.  If it goes off mid sentence, finish your sentence and stop.  You can always go back and do them again.  And if nothing come out at first, just start writing random words, and free write even if it seems like gibberish.  Remember to give yourself at least a little time to digest everything that comes to the surface for each prompt.  It may not hit all at once, or it may do so and it may even possibly overwhelm you.  Let it out and let it go.  There are no right or wrong answers here, only your deepest truths.  If it helps, look at these exercises as writing prompts for a novel, with you as the hero/heroine and write your story.”

And tonight’s story of my life is…

2.  One thing I feel strongly about is . . .   (Think of something you belive in with such conviction you would fight for the death to defend it.  Ex. Love, Respect, Civil Rights, Animal Rights, etc.)

Let’s go!

One thing I feel strongly about is actually love. If there was one thing that has motivated me for so long, it was to find a romantic relationship that would make me happy. I’ve always wanted what my parents had, and that is to say that I’ve wanted a marriage that lasts well over three decades and works well in spite of differences in interests because there’s similar personal values. I don’t just want that for me, I want that for everyone, to be happy with someone who makes them that way. I don’t even care if they love someone of the same gender, different gender, or whatever the case is. I don’t care if it’s romantic love or platonic love, or even just the love that’s shared between a parent and a child. Love your parents, love your children, love your partner and take care of them. If you care about a person and you hope they don’t die, then show it somehow.

And my five minutes are up.

Love is really all-encompassing. Even if I said civil rights, or I said something about saving the planet, it would come back around to thinking of others and caring for them.

I’ve probably had more crushes on celebrities than I have had crushes on real people. Maybe it was just because it’s easy to project an ideal personality onto a person that I’m never going to meet, so I’d never have to feel disappointed that they didn’t match the version of them I created in my mind. Of course, as social media has blossomed, it’s actually become easier to find out more about my favorite celebrities. While it changes the perception, it also presents information that might make me idolize a celebrity that much more. There is a point to this paragraph that makes me seem quite pathetic. Say what you will about fantasizing over celebrities, because it hasn’t stopped me from meeting real people. I haven’t set my standards so high that my qualifications are, “you must be (a famous male singer/songwriter or actor) or similar,” because that’s ridiculous. However, knowing what I like about a celebrity is a pretty good start, because I know I like that quality in a person and will search for it in possible romantic partners. Even if it’s just something I projected onto a fantasy version of that celebrity, it’s obviously something I value and therefore worth searching for in a partner.

And yes, I’m more likely to fantasize about love than anything else. Even if I’m angry, I don’t contemplate violence and bloodshed, I’m just angry.

So a Yankees fan married a Red Sox fan and they lived happily ever after. A country girl married a city boy. A republican married someone who was more democratic/independent. A frugal woman married a guy who liked to buy nice things. A prudish lady married a gentleman who… you know what? These are my parents I’m talking about, and I won’t go into how I reformatted my Dad’s iMac after he passed so I wouldn’t have to see the porn he downloaded. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, and I would have kept it, but then I’d be reminded that it was my Dad’s porn.

Which brings me to my next thing. I’m bisexual. For the purposes of this blog, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I support people regardless of their sexuality or gender. If you’re straight, that’s awesome! If you’re gay, good for you! If you’re asexual or aromantic, fabulous! Personally, I don’t think anyone should force themselves into something they’re not comfortable with. Be with who you love, marry them if you want to.

There’s not much else to say. I mean, I shouldn’t have to say much to defend myself. It’s love, love for all humans and all living beings. It’s not just love for people like me. It’s not just romantic love. It is the absence of hatred. Hatred is what I would fight against to the death, if I could try to show people that caring about your fellow man is far more rewarding in the grand scheme of things.

As always, if you want to do the questions, you can either comment here or fill your own journal (digital or paper). Just look for the tag that says “self-awareness questions” and click on that to get all of the questions so far.

Eight Ways To Win My Heart

I greatly purged one of my social networking profiles over the past few days. There was a lot to be removed, not that it needed to be removed, but much of it felt like it was from a different time and no longer felt relevant in my current life. Honestly, I could delete that profile entirely, but I have friends who are both there and on Facebook who would express a certain amount of concern if I gave up on it.

I was removing many of the “journal” entries this evening. There was a series of entries that were a “writing challenge,” as they were introspective in a lot of ways. Some of those entries were still relevant, but they were more meaningful at the time that I took on the writing challenge.

Day Three’s entry, Eight Ways To Win My Heart, hit me the hardest. It was completely relevant, still to this day. Let me go through each item, with an explanation to follow.

1) Visit me. I’d prefer it if you made a special trip just to see me, but I would be just as thankful if you took the time to stop on your way through town. I’d drop everything and drive to see you, unless you had any objections to it. Knowing you actually visited me would make me feel good.

I was seeing a guy long-distance at the time, as is usual for me. This was before my Mom passed, so it wasn’t a serious relationship. But it also wasn’t directed at anyone in particular, just that it always meant a lot to me when the object of my affections would take the time to visit me, so I didn’t bear the burden of being the one who had to travel all the time.

2) Show me a good time. I do a lot by myself, from trips to the mall, going to the movies, even running errands sometimes. With others, there’s always that chance that you might want to do something that the other person doesn’t want to do, and you’re either at a stalemate or at least one person suffers through much. If you genuinely want to do the things I want to do, or your ideas for fun actually interest me but I hadn’t considered them, then I’m sure we’ll have fun together.

I try to give everything a chance, unless I’m absolutely morally opposed to doing a particular thing. This was me calling out for someone who does things instead of just talking about doing them. Doing things with another person is usually more fun than doing them alone. I’ve had to drag people to do things I’ve wanted, and instead of dragging me to things they wanted to do, I’ve had to deal with their resentment for having to go with me. That really ruins the fun of getting to do things with another person. So, if the opportunity presents itself, I will do things by myself because it’s easier that way. But I totally want someone who will get excited at taking me to different places and doing things together.

3) Listen to good music. “Good music” doesn’t refer to bands I already like, but bands you like whose music blends into my playlist. I’ll gladly tell you how I got into some of my favorite bands, because there’s usually a guy involved (as if you couldn’t tell).

Still so very true. There’s a guy behind my Kyosuke Himuro binge-listening and binge-viewing sessions, and Himuro’s music does blend in so well with the rest of my iTunes playlist. It got to the point where it went from “I like that song that you just shared” to “oh yes, I’ve heard that one, it came up on YouTube, and it’s pretty good!” and most recently I’ve been sharing the links, like “he also has this song that I’m fond of, I’m surprised you haven’t shared it with me yet.” But enough about that. The way to my heart is through my headphones, and that probably won’t ever change.

3a) Take me to a concert for your favorite band. Don’t complain if I ask you to go to a concert I want to attend.

Basically combining the second and third statements. Yes, it happened, someone didn’t want to go to a concert I wanted to see. And then I met my ex fiancé sometime after that, and he did the same thing except we actually went to the concert. I’d go to a concert by myself, but I actually want someone else with me for safety. I dragged my Mom to a concert once, and I knew it wasn’t her music, but she actually didn’t complain, she was just entertained by the other people who were there for the concert as well. She might not have kept me safe, but she was the one person who needed to know that I was still doing well. So if you can be a better companion than my own mother, you’ll have my heart.

4) Compete with me. I don’t care if you win or lose, as long as you don’t throw the game for the sake of my ego.

I went on a date once for dinner and miniature golf. I would hit the ball where you should hit it, and this guy routinely tried other ways of hitting the ball around the course. I should have dropped my putter and left before we were even done, but I played through the whole game. It was horrible! Please, kick my ass, make me vow that one day I will win against you. For me, it keeps things interesting. At the very least, it means we have to keep doing the thing that you won against me until I win, and then hopefully you still want to play so you can reclaim your title. But if I always win, it’s actually boring for me, so I need someone I can equally compete with.

5) Give me a direction in which to broaden my horizons. It doesn’t matter if you and I weren’t meant to be after all is said and done. If I learned something new during my time spent with you, I’ll still think of you when I have to recall what I learned.

“I’m using you to learn something.” When you put it that way, people sound disposable. I just want each new partner to have something different than the last one, something that I have to learn about or come to some kind of realization. I don’t want a partner who is some combination of things I already know. If I learn something during my time spent with them but things weren’t meant to be, then I’ve learned something new. If I only learned that I shouldn’t be with someone like that person, then I wasted my time. I don’t care if I learn how to play a tabletop roleplaying game, a card game, a new language, a new kind of food, a different religion, or how not to let plants die, what matters is that I learned something.

6) Treat me like I mean something to you. Show me off. Talk about me. If I’m kept as a secret, I might think you’re ashamed of me. If you are ashamed of me, polish me up until I shine like you’d want me to. If you’re proud of me, I’ll be just as proud to claim you as my own.

This actually depends on the person now. With my ex fiancé, he did talk about me and such, but it felt more like, “I have a girlfriend!” and less like, “she’s an amazing girlfriend!” Maybe I wasn’t amazing, I’ll say that much. After all, he kept bragging about how awesome of a boyfriend he was, which is something that I feel I should have been doing if he wasn’t already doing it. Anyway, as long as the person I’m with doesn’t act like I don’t exist in their life, I’m fine with that. But if no one asks about the existence of a significant other, then I don’t mind if I’m not being talked about. The moment someone asks about me, I hope I’m being represented accurately and I’m not just shrugged off as being an acquaintance or just a regular friend,… but, I can also understand if the person being spoken to is a busybody who doesn’t need to know everything that’s going on.

7) Save the day. You don’t have to thwart the dastardly deeds of criminals. You can get away with grabbing takeout when things get crazy, or saving me from people and situations by giving me an excuse to flee with you.

Takeout because you don’t feel like cooking is just laziness, in case you needed to know. Takeout because there’s no time to cook is saving the day. instead of excusing yourself from a conversation I’m in that I can’t seem to get out of, find a way to make an excuse for me as well. It’s not that I’m too polite to get myself out of conversations I don’t want to be in, it’s that I’m too nice or too passionate and can’t find it in myself to break away without thinking I’m going to be rude or that I might be able to contribute something to the conversation. So yes, save me from myself.

And finally,…

8) Give me a reason to think of you and remember you. Make sure it’s for all the right reasons, too.

Anything already mentioned applies to this. Surprising me definitely helps, but it has to be a good surprise. Look, I don’t like calling all the shots. I don’t want to tell you there’s a concert that I want to see or that you might want to see, and then tell you to buy tickets. Actually I might want to buy the tickets as a surprise to you. Better than that, tell me you’re taking me with you to some place, and surprise me with taking a walk during sakura season in a place where the trees are all in bloom. Or get my hopes up for going to a concert and surprise me with a sakura walk. Or tell me it’s just a walk surrounded by sakura, which it will be until you do like Elvis does in all of his movies and pull a guitar out of thin air and begin to sing a song. The possibility exists that you could convince me that you’re going to do any of these things and then do something else that you came up with. I don’t mind what happens, just as long as your intent is to make me happy.

Is this list selfish? Of course it is! It’s how to win my heart, after all, not what I’ll need to do to win yours. And every person is different. Cooking to win one person’s heart might cause resentment in another person who would rather do all of the cooking. Competing with someone will only last so long if the other person can’t stand to lose. So, if I want to win someone else’s heart, I need to know how to win their heart and not use the “universal” methods of doing so.

That other social networking site is not likely to win any hearts, just so you know.

Infidelity In Japan?

A few videos have popped up on YouTube about Japan and cheating, and I made the mistake of watching them because I started thinking.

 

“A man cheats on his wife because after they have children, he sees her only as a mother…” When I heard the guy in the video say that, I thought that’s sad, because I feel like she might want to still feel like the woman he fell in love with and not just be the mother to his children. I feel like that would drive her to seek attention on the side as well, someone who can make her feel like a woman again.

“A man might feel alienated because his wife and kids have a routine that he’s left out of.” I’d try to capture some of those moments he’s missing out on, and wait for him to get home from work so I can be like, “you should see our kid taking their first steps!” If I was making lunch for the child to take to school the next day, I’d want some input from the father as to what should go into the lunch, even if it’s a note wishing the child has a good day and does well on exams or whatever. I don’t ever want to have children and just rely on their father for financial support. I want him to make time and be a part of their lives. It doesn’t matter if the kids are asleep when he gets home and he can’t actually spend quality time, I want him to take an interest in what happens in their lives and I want him to have a say in what the kids do. When the weekend rolls around, guess who’s coming with us to the park, or to fly kites, or stay at home and do other stuff?

Oh, what were some of the other reasons they mentioned?

There was also some talk about how it’s expensive to get a divorce in Japan, not to mention the fact that it’s socially unacceptable, and also the father won’t get to see the kids again. But that’s exactly why a couple should resolve things before there’s any infidelity, or don’t get married in the first place. This is especially true in regards to having kids, which is why it would be a good thing to wait until after marriage to have them, but to also make sure that both parents understand what one expects of the other in terms of the parent’s involvement in raising the kids. Otherwise, it won’t really make a difference if the father doesn’t see the kids again if he never took time to see them to begin with.

Personally, I don’t want to be seen only as a mother. I don’t even see myself as one of those suburban moms that drive around in a sensible vehicle and attends PTA meetings and who’s the voice of reason and whatever else, because that’s boring to me and it’s just not who I am. First off, if I’m the voice of reason, we’ve got a problem. I’m more likely to suggest that the kids should go run with scissors before I realize that they don’t know I’m not being serious. Second, if anyone starts begging to go to a Pokemon Center, or any kind of popular anime-themed store or cafe or such, it might be me and not the kids. Although, if I have to watch children’s television all day, I won’t be able to tolerate it. When their dad, my husband, gets home from work, I’ll be so glad because I’ll be around another adult again and can do adult things and talk about adult subjects, and hopefully he won’t reject me when I try to spend time with him.

I don’t want to be in a position where I’m just seen as a mother, and my partner uses that to justify having to go to another woman even if I’m not made aware that he’s doing so. I don’t want to feel like I have to go to another man to be seen as a woman because my own husband won’t look at me that way anymore. What will it take for my husband to hurry home after work (and drinks with the boss, if he must) to see me waiting for him, ready to remind him of why he married me? Unless he married me solely for the sake of having his children, in which case I’ll feel disappointed that our relationship wasn’t more romantic.

It seems like if I don’t want to be seen as just a mother, and the father doesn’t want to feel left out of the lives of his family members, it seems like my options are to not have kids or find a guy who won’t forget why he fell in love with me in the first place no matter how many kids we have.

That’s not to say that cheating is wrong on all levels. Some people don’t really mind it, some make it work out. I can completely understand marrying someone just for money or just for the sake of having children with a person, then dating someone on the side and not caring about what that person can do for you other than being fun for the evening or for an extended period of time or whatever. It works because a person will always have that new relationship energy, they will always have a fun relationship that they can end when it stops being fun, but they still have something serious that they can build upon. It’s not my thing, but as long as no one’s feelings will be hurt, I won’t say anything against it.

But I plan to marry for love, and while I know that love changes over time because people change, I want to keep putting in the effort to be loved for who I am and not for what I did do or could do for another person. My husband may be the father of my children, but he is first and foremost the man I fell in love with and that’s how it should be. Likewise, I might be his wife and the mother of his children, but he should still see me with the same twinkle in his eyes as when he first met me, and I want to make sure those eyes still sparkle for me and me alone.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Another video was a street interview video where people were asked their thoughts on cheating, to which most of them said they wouldn’t allow it and wouldn’t do it in their relationships. I have to hope they’re honest. After all, it’s fairly easy to convince a foreign girl that you’re a Japanese salaryman who works long hours, when you’re a part-timer who’s also a two-timer. Also, Japanese people don’t seem to be as confrontational as Americans, which means it might be hard to know if there’s an issue until it’s become an even bigger issue, so you won’t know if you need to do something until another person has already taken that role and done that thing. But knowing that there’s Japanese people who say they don’t tolerate something that seems to be common in Japan, there’s a good chance of having a decent relationship.

It’s always going to come down to communication. Even if only one person is saying what they feel and what they want, the other person should respect that.

But I’m making a big deal over something I don’t need to be concerned with right now. Still, it’s never wrong to consider your feelings in a hypothetical situation, so thoughts like these are still helpful.