Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Never leaves the city

Tongs was another fellow that I met from BAARE. He was cute though he had a young face. I enjoyed talking with him that night. I remember that I loved that he complained that Southern California was too hot for him which is why he prefers it here. Not many people make that comment and I felt I'd found a friend.

We agreed to meet for dinner in PA after work about two weeks after first meeting. I showed up on time but wasn't sure whether to wait at the door or go into the restaurant. I couldn't see well into the restaurant nor could I remember his face well. Thinking he'd be late, I stood outside reading the local paper.

Minutes later, my phone rang and it was Tongs calling because he was sitting down already and saw me outside. I felt a little embarrassed. We order two spicy dishes and chatted.

Everything seemed to go pretty well. I felt like we had some great conversation about living in the city and work. He had no problem admitting he's a city guy. He even acknowledged that he hates venturing outside of it. That was a bit odd but okay. He works rather difficult hours. As a technician for a financial company he has to be available the same hours as the market. That means he's up at 3am each day. I guess he rotates with one other guy so he has only does this for a week or so each month. Still - eeck. He acknowledged that he's been thinking about doing something different but the convenience of the city and time off peaks were nice.

After dinner, he asked I wanted to join him at a cafe. Wow, I thought that's pretty good that he still wants to hang out. I was enjoying his company, so I went along. I learned about his relationship with his parents. He talked about his married sister and trying to visit when he could. We talked about family and how we interact with various members of it. I learned that he's close with his uncle and how he's used as an IT resource but doesn't mind too much. Maybe he had a pattern that was routine for him to get to know women. The cafe conversation got very personal, something I don't expect much on a first date. I felt good that I could be myself and not worry about how he'd interpret what I said. It's what I've always sensed from tv and movies is supposed to be an important things to understand when you date someone. I thought we had done well.

Tongs was a gentleman throughout the evening. He gave me the leftovers, he opened doors, and he walked me to my car. On the way to the car, he asked for my last name. He said he like knowing people's last names. I think he was entering it into his cell phone. I'm not sure, but I think my choice of cars scared him. As we walked towards it, I pointed out that it was a station wagon. He seemed genuinely perplexed and maybe a little frightened by that fact. Oh well, I think that's silly if my "family" car scares a guy. I think it's a very practical car and I certainly chose it for different reasons though I acknowledge that I hope it will be used for family purposes someday.

The next day I thanked him for dinner. He wrote a very brief e-mail commenting that he enjoyed it as well. I never heard from him again. Whatever.

I talked with Is later that week. Turns out we had both had dates with Tongs. In both cases it seems things had gone well. But neither time did he choose to follow up. I wonder if he's a bit of a player? Younger men... (shrug shoulders).

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Poker guy

One of the guys I met at the BAARE event was Michael. He seemed okay at the time though Is was not impressed with him. We matched preferences and he e-mailed me immediately. I've learned over time that I'm not very good about communicating by e-mail so I encouraged us to meet sometime after work.

One key thing I've learned is that unless you're totally comfortable meeting someone, don't commit to more than a drink. Dinner means a minimum two hours where you better be able to talk to each other. On the other hand, a drink means maybe 45 minutes to assess the situation and either walk away or extend the evening. Going to cafes that close early or having a friend call at a predetermined time-point are great ways to force the end of the date.

The only thing I remembered about Michael from the speed dating was his recent experience trying to get into a poker tournament. It interested me since so many of my friends and I enjoy playing casual games of hold 'em. During the course of conversation with him, I learned that he thought it was odd that I was so interested in that. I was surprised because I was just using it for conversation.

He seemed very nervous throughout the date. I felt like I had to dig a bit to keep the conversation running. It was mostly me ask him questions. We talked a bit about real estate. He told me about the house he had bought and sold in Pleasanton. His newest investment was a condo in LAs Vegas associated with the MGM Grand. I learned a lot from him about how the condo is yours, but the hotel rents it out when you're not present and splits the income. It's an interesting concept.

The problem with the date was his nervousness. He made some comments that I didn't know how to deal with. He would laugh nervously and "compliment" me. At one point he commented that I'm very smart. Unfortunately he said it was a very uncomfortable laugh. I say "thank you" hesistantly. I didn't know what to say next. Clearly he was concerned about our ability to relate. As nice as he was, that behavior was the last straw for me. I never felt much of a connection to him and his insecurity highlighted my doubts.

I simply excused myself, saying it was late. As we headed out the door he expressed his satisfaction with the evening and inquired whether he could ask me out again. I panicked a bit at this point because I didn't have the nerve to say "no" to his face. In cowardly fashion, I lied and said, "yeah, but not this week because I'm going to be really busy." With that I shook his hand and said goodnight. I couldn't look at him as I walked away.

I'm relieved to say that he never did write. I think he knew that I was not very comfortable with the situation.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Group experiment

So this is more of a flashback to an event I forgot to mention. BAARE events have grown kind of stale for me. But since I wanted to try the speed dating process once, I thought this would be a good opportunity. Somehow it became four of us, Is, Jw, EH, and me.

We all met near the Mont station where EH's sister kindly picked us up and drove us down to the bar where the event was being held. AS we arrived the fobish guy pulled up in his bright blue Nissan Z. He parked it directly out front of the place. All I could think was "insecure Asian nerd complex." He wasn't a very attractive guy be it his grooming or clothing.

The four of us sat around a bar table very apprehensive and skeptical of the whole situation. Sure enough, Mr. Z tried to come over and talk with us. Ugh. I know it's bad to judge by looks but he just seemed so dull. I think we all felt bad but we just didn't want to talk to him. Going off to the bathroom helped to shake him.

Some other guys who approached us were much more sociable. Speed dating itself often creates a very artificial mode of talking. Most of the guys seemed fine, but I'd have to say that there was no one in particular that caught my attention.

There were actually several guys I recognized before the dating started. This is why I hadn't been to an event in awhile. I was hoping to get a fresher batch of men to meet. I said "hi" to PL, a guy who I've now met three times at these events. The funny thing is both of us admitted that this was the first one we participated in in probably a year. What kind of coincidence is that?

I think we met some 22 guys that night. The one thing I don't like about the format is the randomness of the people and the sheer numbers. This particular organization allows everyone to meet everyone. It's overwhelming and exhausting.

Is and me ended up sitting in a little lounge area for the event. Jw and EH were around the corner at two bar tables. This would be interesting consider we could compare notes afterwards. Is would be the first of the four of us to encounter most of the guys are they were traveling in a counter-clockwise format.

admittedly it's been awhile. Vin seemed like a decent guy. He was very friendly and sociable with both of us. I think Is determined that he was decently close to us in age though he didn't look it. A group of good looking guys came together. In the end I found out that all knew the organizer and had been coaxed there. After our post-dating discussions we figured most of them we just having fun there and not really serious.

I remet one guy whom I had matched with last June. Although I exchanged a few e-mails I never met up with him because he lives across the bay. Plus I was already dealing with dates with three or four other fellows at the time and couldn't handle it. He seems like a decent guy, but somehow he didn't grab enough attention.

One guy that many of us seemed to like worked at CalPine. He was decent looking and had a very mellow demeanor. Strangely, he didn't identify any of us as people he wanted to e-mail. I can only wonder what he was looking for.

One of the more annoying guys was this sportscaster. The minute he sat down with me he asked why Asian men can't date white women. He was very defensive and loud throughout the conversation. The whole thing was so bizarre because it didn't feel like he really wanted to be there. How stupid is it to attend a speed dating event and sound like you're resentful for not being able to attract woman who are nowhere in the building?

I thought there were a couple other nice guys but they seemed rather young. It didn't really matter what I thought since they didn't match me. This one guy was really trying hard with our group. After the event was over he sat with us as we filled out our final match selections. It was a little annoying that he kept trying to see if we picked him. Not a smooth move.

The results came back quickly, the next morning in fact. All in all I think I had six names. I ended up contacting two of them. Maybe there was a third I should have written back but I couldn't remember whether I really wanted to. No more BAARE for me. I would be willing to give C2A another chance, however, because I felt like the mix of people there was better despite the fact I would "date" fewer men.

Monday, June 06, 2005


My mother is driving me mad. Allowing myself to be fixed up by her and her friends has opened a Pandora's box. I'm incredibly frustrated with things going on behind the scenes that I have no control over. I feel like my life is an open box that people car peer into without asking.

This weekend I received a message from my dad. He asked whether they had permission to give a picture of me to the mother of the guy they want me to meet. (I've been exchanging e-mail with him for two weeks. Mom also implied in a previous e-mail that his mom was going to meet with him this month and try and set up a time for us to meet.

Maybe some people are more amenable to this sort of thing. Maybe I'm not being very appreciative. This is just not my style. I'm not good at being told what to do when it comes to being told what's good for me. As much as I love my parents, I live away from my parents for a reason.

I don't know that my mother understands how upsetting and frustrating this whole situation is. She's making me miserable. I can't enjoy myself when I have to worry about her constantly.