to celebrate national novel writing month (or the unfortunately nicknamed "NaNoWriMo") this year i will spare myself the white-hair-inducing effects of writing 50,000 words in the month of November by writing a story a day.
these stories will be of any length and veer into any territory i wish. the idea is for me to write one a day for every day of november. these will be first drafts with minimal editing.
if you are into any of it. please comment below! perhaps you can help me figure out if there's ANYthing in these stories worth adapting or polishing into something awesome.
story 8. the asian fetish test
the third date is when things get real isn’t it? it’s when you’ve had enough interaction with this new person to see what patterns are starting to fall into place about them. You’ve covered most of the superficial stuff like where did you grow up, what’s your favorite food, are you the middle child and what did you study? hopefully by date two you’ve established that all of these basic facts are interesting enough for you to get deeper. so date three, that’s when you can followup on some deeper questions like...how exactly DO YOU live? is there enough of an attraction with this stranger i met on okcupid to merit a kissing of the faces?
when i approached online dating a few years ago, i was ready for it. i made the time to go on dates. i treated the dating and meeting of complete strangers as an adventure. it was particularly more of an adventure because this was also the first time that i was open to dating white guys. YUP. before that, no white guys allowed in THIS clubhouse.
this decision came after a lifetime of dating only men of color. it’s not that i had not found myself attracted to white men, but it was my politics and general choice around potential for compatibility that had me eliminating an entirely LARGE portion of the dating pool.
but i had gotten to a point in my life where i was questioning a lot of the foundations of my identity. what exactly were the things that i was holding onto about myself that truly defined me? and was any of that bullshit? to get deeper knowledge of myself i questioned any belief i had of myself that involved the statement “i’m the kind of person who…” i realized that when i ran this filter through these beliefs only a few core items stayed in tact. and the idea that white guys wouldn’t be compatible with me as partners became shaky. so i thought, you know what? better now than never to try to be open to inquiries from white dudes on okcupid. it’s just a date and if there is chemistry then i guess we figure out if we will be able or not to cross that race bridge when we get there. because i had never been to that white bridge. is it shaky? is it worth crossing? will i want to burn it down? will i look to the other side and think, ooh I really want to be there? so many questions about this bridge that I had yet to ever experience. if we were friends, i’d cross that bridge. if we were actually foes, shock and awe it was.
one of the main white dudes that helped me to identify where the lines of cross-cultural discomfort was with Greg. Greg was pretty fucking white. Brown haired, light eyes, 5’ 10’ skinny hiking shoes wearing white. He was a music composer and built websites for a living. He worked from home and lived very close to where I lived actually. Boy...if this works out, hanging out with him would be so convenient! He had an open and handsome face and came across as polite and intelligent. the sparks were not flying but heck, i was letting things be for at least the first few dates if the conversation was interesting - and it was. he could carry one.
so third date it was. we went on a hike in our neighborhood which was great because I didn’t know about this local hike that was so accessible! points for the guy who is teaching me a new hike but is also getting me alone in a relatively remote area shit i better trust him. we climb to the top of this pretty easy hike. i get the feeling he wants to like make a move but i swiftly keep a distance. i still don’t know how i feel about him and still don’t know him that well. and honestly up until that point, i had only put him through the following introductory paces of an asian fetish filter process that i was making up as i went along.
1. Does this guy mention the fact that he has travelled to Asia or really loves Asian food or other superficial aspects of Asian culture within the first fifteen minutes of the conversation? If yes, be on alert. Greg? He passed. But he did mention he had taught in Japan later on in that initial conversation. Yeah. Teaching English in Japan. Classic. (that should’ve tipped me off) But I allowed him to pass go because he wasn’t harping on it too much with a glee and excitement in his eyes.
2. Does he try to pepper your conversation with any basic greetings or words or terms in your language or language that is Asian-adjacent? No. He didn’t do that. Though he said at some point he did learn some Chinese. Shit. Greg. I let him passed because he didn’t try to say any of it to me. NOR ask me how to pronounce my name. Unnecessary at this point. My name is Jenny. Good enough. You’ll be lucky if you learn my last name. We are strangers on okcupid dates You’re getting “Jenny,”
Proceed with caution was my attitude because heck, we’ll see how far my tolerance is for someone’s high comfort and exposure to Asianness. I hadn’t dated white guys really before for goodness sakes! These were new and exotic creatures I needed to observe with some measure of patience! (At least that’s what I told myself to justify my curiousity)
So we finish the hike and he said that we could swing by his place on the way back to get lunch so he can show the records he was talking about. GREAT. I get to see his place. I’ll be sure to say hi to the neighbors in case he’s a super creep and locks me in but I wasn’t getting that vibe. So I say, sure. It’s a crowded neighborhood with lots of pedestrians on a Saturday afternoon. Let’s do this.
We head in to this cute single story house. It’s completely clean, neutral and nice. We walk straight to the back toward his bedroom to where the records are (while I maintain my position in the doorway as to have a quick getaway if things get weird) and the first thing I notice is all of the Chinese calligraphy scrolls that are above his bed. HOLY SHIT. My own parents don’t put that shit in their bedrooms. That’s pretty intimate, white boy.
like the only dating demographic that could legit have Chinese calligraphy scrolls hanging above their bed would be kind of FOB-y Asian gangster types. they'd rep their Asian-ness hard and up go the scrolls. AZN PRYDE. and maybe people who own a chinatown gift store who had problems with storage. that's it. those two scenarios. i was quickly imagining the Asian fetish bedroom scene that I was not prepared to be a character in. *shiver*
Warning. Shots fired. Friendly fire? Or real Asian Fetish adversary. Oh man. It’s not looking good.
He told me about his records and how they inspired him to do his music composing and how cool it was that he got an ASCAP (it’s the composers association I think) award one year. Amazing! That’s cool. You’re accomplished at what you do. Great. Impressive but let’s walk to the living room what’s that right there above your piano? I look toward the piano by the front door and I see a wall collage of family photos and important looking plaques and totems. In this middle of this display is a prominent plaque from ASCAP that had a photo of Greg on there receiving his award and shaking the hands of an old white presumably important white guy in a classic grin and grip and HOLY SHIT WHAT IS GREG WEARING?
there he was wearing a dark blue traditional silk chinese dude jacket. Yup. straight up old school jackie chan kungfu style silk jacket.
That’s when i knew.
i had to burn this fucking bridge. it was going to a land that i did not want to visit.
i made sure to keep the tone platonic and not super flirty because we were at his house and i did not want to give him the wrong impression. we walked to get food nearby and talked more. it was a pleasant friendly adult conversation. and then, i never really got back to him.