Dates that FAIL

Recently, my friend has been trying to date online and has been on some dates, that may have conjured some hilarious comments and afterthoughts.

Of the two best:

“I have more chemistry with my hairbrush”

“The date was pleasant.. but just pleasant.”

At first, that made me turn towards our male population, with a few thoughts:
Guys, I know you mean well. But sometimes a girl wants more than just a plain and “pleasant” date. They want something fun, something different. Something that makes you stand out.
Now I’m not talking about some grand gesture (read: Jet skiing in the Hudson River of NYC, from the movie “Hitch”). But something that is more than just a random restaurant. I’m not the best in giving ideas, but a few of the top dates I’ve been to (regardless if I ended up dating them), and was fairly impressed and was excited about.

1. Baseball games (Yay Phillies!) (or another professional sport, unless your city has really good college teams).

2. Dinner at a restaurant well known for it’s unique cuisine designs, and then order the chef’s menu/selection. Then you guys can experience and test out various plates together, rating each dish, giving comments like a food critic.

3. Playing scrabble in the park (yay for Rittenhouse!) while having cheese and wine and… ice cream!

4. Going to a well known site (tourist-y) and then going to the little shops, flee markets or street markets. (When I was in London, one date was all the way up to Greenwich, which is where the Meridian (0 degrees longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time.

5. Something nature-y. Apple picking (strawberries, if you’re in spring/summer). Some activity that isn’t too physically demanding (yet… you don’t know her physical endurance yet).

6. You fill in the blank~ (or leave a comment) 🙂

But then, as I was thinking about this topic, I started thinking… towards our female population.
Is it that we, as girls, are so disillusioned by the media and Hollywood, that we now subscribe to the necessity of “chemistry” and “spark”. All which may be completely misleading.
I’m sure many of us have felt a spark, got excited, started dating, and then found out it was completely wrong. Or we didn’t feel a spark or saw any potential, but after awhile, our interests started growing, and we softened towards them, finding out they are amazing, but too late, because now they’re taken?

Perhaps we hold these poor guys to a standard that isn’t even realistic! What really makes a date “better than pleasant”? The conversation? The activity? The guy??? What if it’s me? What if we are the reason that the date wasn’t as good as it could have been? A date is made of two people. The responsibility of making a date “good” never only lies with one person. Sure, one person can really screw it up. But when we’re talking about making it “magical” (sorry, we’re gonna go a bit fantasy/Disney for a bit), how can it be only one person’s role?

Aladdin’s date with Jasmine on that magic carpet, it was a duet they were singing, remember? Not a one sided serenade from Aladdin to Jasmine.

I need to think about this a bit more. But for starters, if a date is bland, if a date is plain, make sure you pinpoint why. Don’t just automatically blame the guy. Was it the conversation? (but that usually includes more than one person… unless they only talk to themselves…) Was it the activity? (but he didn’t know what you like! Give him a break!) Was it his company? (perhaps he thinks of you the same way too? just bland, and nothing special?)

I’m not telling all us ladies to self-blame and be super sensitive and hyper self-conscious. Nor am I saying to lower your standards in what you’re looking for in a man. What I am saying is that next time a date is only “so-so”, don’t write off the date or the guy immediately. Remember, in order to have a successful date, both people need to play their role/cards right. Did we hold up your end? And at least try? Or were we just sitting back, ready to watch a one-man performance, as if he were a joker/clown trying to entertain his majesty?

Woes of a Small Group Leader

Our Bible study small group recently lost 2 girls.
Girl A left because she started going to a different church in King of Prussia, which is much closer to her house and she gets much more from the sermons on Sunday. She wanted to get involved in that church, which is great! Understandable for her move, I encouraged her to look up their SGs and ministries in that church.
Still, it made me sad and angry. It frustrates me, because I think, if only our pastor can do a better job in preaching, then we’d stop losing people…

Then, there’s Girl B, who is much younger in her spiritual walk than she had let on, and than I had caught on… until much later.
She’d been missing the last 2 months of our weekly small groups due to school work and stress with her social life.
But then came last Friday, when she finally showed up after a long hiatus. She had a mini breakdown, over an irrelevant topic of discussion.
She opens up and tells me she wants to go to a church where all she needs is to go to the Sunday sermons and be fed. She doesn’t want to have to go to fellowship large groups and Bible studies at small groups to get additionally fed… (yes, I know that is a very young mindset… and not the correct attitude, but anyhow…)
She emails me on Monday and says that she no longer wants to come to CCCnC or small group. She says she was mortified how she let down her guard and had let people see her cry.
I understand she feels vulnerable and transparent after letting out many of her emotions and hardships, mostly from school and social stuff at school.
But now she is closing herself off, and isolating herself….

Not really sure what else I can do right now, I say I respect her decision, I encourage her to continue seeking God and finding a church. I also tell her that our doors are always open for her, and we’ll miss her a lot. And whenever she’s ready, we’ll be here for her.
But still, in my heart, I feel dejected, I feel disappointed.
I start questioning myself. Am I a bad leader?
What am I unable to do? incapable of upholding?
I wish I were stronger. better. A leader that could help them transform, and have them stay and want to work on their spiritual walk. I understand that that is a decision they have to make. I can help them initially, curb their interest, show them testimonies, encourage their curiosity and desire~ but in the end, they have to make their own choice, daily, to continue to dig in deeper in God’s word or to leave, and go back into their old comfy but numb way of life.

I know I know… it’s not my fault. I know it’s out of my control. I’ve heard it all before.
But I can’t help but still feel responsible.
I feel helpless, as I watch them leave. Watching them turn away, looking at their backs as they walk away.
I want to cry. I want to chase after them.
But I can’t.

Is this how God feels when we leave?
Is this how leaders in ministries are destined to feel at times?
It’s such a stark contrast to the exuberant and intense joy and excitement you feel when you see your students/small group members step up, take leadership, get baptized, grow, serve, etc…

I know that God is in control. But it still hurts.

Did you know that you can make a bad impression in 5 minutes?

My girl friend met a guy online, and decided to trade numbers to try to have a phone conversation after emailing back and forth for a few weeks. She called after work, “Hello,” she says.
“What is UP?” he excitedly answers. She describes the answer as a jumpy little juvenile puppy (though he’s 33). She brushes it off, and answers the question, talking about her day and what she’s up to.

When she finishes, he says again “so.. what’s up?”

?! What?! Did we miss something? Didn’t she just answer that question? Don’t you have anything else to say?
Ok, so maybe he’s just a bit nervous. So she chuckles a bit, and asks him how his day was.

“I didn’t go to work today… because I just didn’t feel like it.”

What? Ok, that doesn’t sound very promising, more like irresponsible and lazy. She tries to ask a few more questions, “Oh, so what did you do the whole day?’ The guy answers, “I made my first meal at my apt.”

My friend thinks in her head: Wait… so you’re immature, lazy, and you can’t take care of yourself…

The guy continues, “so… what are you doing now?” She answers “I’m walking home from work.”

“Ohh, I can’t really do that. You know, the whole walking and talking on the phone,” he answers.

My friend is mortified. OMG, she thinks, how do you say to someone: You seemed great on your profile, but then you opened your mouth……

Thankfully, the phone call got dropped (did someone say AT&T?) and she didn’t have to continue this painful conversation. (editor’s note: the guy did txt her, but she just brushed it off).

Ladies and gents, please think about what you’re saying before you say it. You can make a horrid impression in less than 5 minutes… Granted, it makes a great story and a funny ordeal, but not only is my girl friend disappointed by your lack of intelligence and tact, you also walked away looking/sounding like a fool.

The powers of a psychic

A woman comes up to my friend and tells her: “You have many enemies, because they’re jealous of you. And you’re heart has been broken before. You need to move on out of the sadness of that man in your life.”

Really?!

That’s so vague. Any woman in her late twenties early thirties will have had at least one heart break before, and if we assume they’re straight, the “man in your life” can be: death of a loved one (father, brother, friend, mentor, etc), heartbreaks (boyfriends, crushes, unrequited love, etc), ideal/imaginary boyfriend/husband.

So no, she’ not really a psychic, she just knows how to generalize most humans, better yet, most woman.

And my friend, so amazed how “accurate” that psychic is, now has an appointment to see her this week.

Sigh~ seriously?! She’s just stealing your money. Those few sentences are so applicable to almost everyone. It’s like reading the zodiac or horoscope, and you’re like, “oh ya, that’s totally me” (and on the sentences that don’t apply to you, you just brush it off as a minor mistake/incongruous). Until you read all 12 of them, and you’re like, “wait a second, I can relate to all of them!”

I had a friend who would write the horoscopes for a local paper. She told me that she just made things up every week, just had to make sure they were vague and general so people could relate to them.

hahah.

Trainers are your superheroes

I went into Bellevue’s Sporting Club. I went for some gym time and some classes and a massage.

Honestly, I haven’t been a fitness gym much. I used to be an athlete and did a lot of my conditioning on the courts and fields.

Anyhow, so I’m in their fancy fitness room with hundreds of brand new hi-tech equipment. But at a complete loss.

I walk up to the help desk, where there were about 4-5 trainers, and asked for help.

For the next 30 minutes, my trainer walked me through various equipment and taught me how to use them, and how many repititions to do, etc. He made it look so easy! And was so helpful in tailoring something just for me! It was great!

And I left the gym, truly thankful that God created trainers. They really can be your hero just for one day!

First date jitters

I was out with some girl friends for a farewell party, and we noticed a couple next to us that were probably on their first date (or maybe first few dates). The girl was flipping her hair and giggling, the guy was earnestly trying to make conversation.

Everything was going “fine”. That is… until my friend at the end of our party decides to cut into their conversation.

Not really sure how they started, but she first says to the girl “Are you guys on a date? You look really cute together!” The girl was soo ecstatic, they kept talking. When the guy came back from the bathroom, the three of them kept talking, and eventually shared their fries with us. Finally, our group was about to leave to go to another place. And we were poking fun at our friend outside the restaurant. But she told us that they had exchanged business cards with the couple, and she was going to send them her resume.

“Being nosy really pays off! I’ve been looking for a job for over a year!”

So… I guess everyone gets really nervous on the first few dates. As long as it’s not during the dinner, I think when someone breaks the ice, it’s sometimes very appreciated and welcomed. First date jitters with that couple helped my friend land an “in” into the company and job she’s been wanting for a long time.

Score!

Healing – I no longer react poorly when I hear Korean

It’s been 10 months after my break up with my ex, who is Korean, who I found was cheating on me. (Suffering and Pain)

Back in July when the break up just happened, I would wince everytime I heard people speak in Korean; men, women, young, old. Anyone.

It was so bad. Reason?

I learned how to speak Korean and read and write Korean for my ex and his family. I tried to learn how to cook Korean food. I befriended my ex’s Korean friends, Korean church, Korean extended family. As a beginner, it was hard to follow when people spoke high speed Korean to each other in front of me (or making jokes and laughing about something I did, but not translating it for me to include me on the joke/conversation). But I never objected. However, it felt like a constant reminder, both direct and indirectly, to tell me that I wasn’t Korean.

So after the break up, I was quite bitter. When I heard Korean, I would remember all those times when my ex’s friends and family would make me feel like an outsider, or make me feel less, or self concious or not welcomed, because they would speak in full Korean, and I could not follow. In addition, the girl he cheated with was Korean, so everytime I heard a girl speak Korean, it would just remind me of that girl.

I was angry that I had humbled myself and put away my pride to try to learn a culture, a language, a lifestyle. Though I am proud of my heritage, I was willing to be respectful and thoughtful to the Korean culture, even though sometimes I felt disrespected and like an outcast, I would try to just brush it off. Some people would treat me so poorly, continually talking to me in Korean, even though I keep telling them I can’t understand difficult vocabulary or when it’s spoken very fast (oh, and that I’m NOT Korean). But I swallowed all that, and still put on a smile and continued trying to learn and adjust.

But after all that hardwork and sacrifice, the Korean man completely humiliates me and breaks me apart. I was bitter and resentful. And this became a pervasive generalization. The words and tones of Korean would take me back to the past. Taking me back to the times when I was hurt by his community and his friends and family, about something that I cannot change (I just wasn’t borne Korean… what are you going to do?!). When I was made uncomfortable, over and over again. Yet I continued to strive on for him, gritted my teeth, and tried to toughen up as the smile continues to plaster on my face as I answered in simple Korean phrases. All these memories made me furious whenever I heard the Korean language.

But this morning, I just realized when I walked past two people speaking in Korean, I had no immediate reaction. I was fine. I realized that this is obviously an issue that I had: reacting to a language, though spoken from complete strangers. The language had ties to miserable and hurtful memories, that also had ties to recent wounds.
But time helps, it really does. The bitterness melts away. The dark clouds are blown away and have cleared up. The furrowed brows are relaxed, and my eyes can see clearly again, past the irrational and emotional responses from before.

This is just another mountain that I’ve overcome on the journey of healing.

Score! 🙂