Just here at home, alone

I get pretty jealous of lovers, friends, and even relatives when I hear about their plans and activites.  They go to dinners, parties, out on the town, day trips, and vacations.  It seems like I am always home alone.

I was lucky to have 3 friends overseas that spent actual time in the same physical space as me.  They had other friends and went to lots of dinners and parties, but they still made time for me.  Friendless and unlikeable me, the woman always sad and complaining.

The first party I was invited to was after I was 30.  Before that, I didn’t have any social interactions except with nerds, geeks, future-librarians and expats. 

Being socially awkward, I have always struggled with small talk, superficial conversation, mean-spirited remarks, and the natural flow of conversation.  If I recount an event, I always have witty or insightful replies observations and replies. But I only thought them rather than saying them.  Sometimes the perfect response comes to me later, after ruminating on the event.  That of course is perfectly useless.

That social ineptitude doesn’t actually get better in closer relationships that have grown over time.  It’s really that I can communicate only with a minority of accommodating human beings.

Additionally, I have a problem being present in the moment.  Life is on the other side of a glass window. I see life. I study life.  I do not experience life.  I overanalyze everything as it’s happening, trying to draw lessons from the past while anticipating other people’s reactions.  So mostly, I am completely lost in the worry and confusion in my head all the time.  It’s a wonder I have noticed the sky is blue, right?

Actually in aloneness, I can notice my physical surroundings.  But that is because I am a simple observer.  There is still the indirectness of all experience of reality being perceived through our limited senses.  But at least complicated human interaction isn’t in my way.

My conclusion is that my inability to act in coordination with the people and immediate environment in front of me makes it impossible to relish the fun times I believe other people to be having.  If even I had the same social opportunities other people seem to enjoy so easily, I can’t connect with truly being a part of it. I feel self-conscious and out of place, barely managing my unabated anxiety. There’s simply a component in me lacking.  And I am very jealous of normal people who have it.


The Numbers Game – Gender Double Standard

Ask E. Jean: My Boyfriend Thinks I’m

If you can count the number of lovers you’ve had on one hand, and that number is too high for your man, E. Jean has some words of advice

April 10, 2012

Relationship Advice Expert E. Jean
Gregg Delman

Dear E. Jean:  My boyfriend’s ex-fiancée is an overbearing, success-starved lunatic who dresses like a grandma and listens to Celine Dion. She’s 31 and has slept with two men in her entire life, one of whom was my boyfriend. Recently he compared me with her and told me I was too sexually “easy.” And last night he went so far as to call me a slut and state that I “may not be the girl for him.”

This sent me into a fit of hysteria for the rest of the evening. I’ve never had a one-night stand in my life! I barely enjoyed a boob-grope till college. I’m 24, and I’ve dealt with my fair share of men—but don’t worry, I can still count the guys I’ve had sex with on one hand. His comparing me with her cut deeper than any of his absurd accusations and insults. Can I write this off to his being intoxicated? Or to his being 10 years older? I don’t want to lose him! He’s the best man I’ve ever known, and I don’t know what to do. —Easy A

Miss A, My Little Artichoke:  If you want to keep “the best man” you’ve “ever known,” be ready to don a pair of iron underpants with locks. His worldview is medieval. He may be blessed with a thousand fine virtues, but he’s also a narrow-minded, sexist half-wit—cruel, vindictive, and a fool who’ll probably forsake you in the end for a 20-year-old spinster wearing puffed sleeves and a skirt to her ankles. You can’t change the man’s thinking. I advise you to ruuuuunnnnnnnnnn like hell.

P.S. Never tell a fellow how many people you’ve slept with—ever. No matter what your sample size, it will sound extreme.

The Numbers Game – Gender Double Standard

There is still a double standard where women can’t complain about how many (or how?!) sexual partners a man has had.  And every woman who has had a past sexual partner is a slut … regardless of the fact that the said soliciting male is asking for premarital sex which is presumably what the males before asked, demanded, or took (rape).

All this serves to make open communication between sexual partners more impossible: with men lying about experiences with prostitution and women pretending to be virginal because their only other choice is a whore.  And make men who choose love and sex over a mere physical act to be less masculine or capable and women condemn themselves for their sexuality.

Well, fuck that!  I want real relationships between men and women – not just destructive role-playing.  So, what can we do?  See each person as an individual … worthy of love, not to be compared to another, and as a continuing discovery and revelation of themselves.  Everyone is unique and everyone can change.

Daily Life in Korea 59

Sometimes I wish I had a personal space bubble.  Close enough to touch is too close!

But I don’t say anything, because I am ‘Asian’.  It is like when you see little kids get knocked over by someone and they just walk away, no apology or words necessary.  They know it is their fault because they are younger.  I, on the other hand, silently fume.


Daily Life in Korea 57

I went to the National Pension Office to receive a payment of my Korean pension which I suppose I should be treating like American Social Security.  But I probably won’t invest it or put it into a 401K when I finally do receive it.  It’ll probably go towards paying bills.

However, I want to point out that all the Koreans there were very old.  And I was a young, although sickly, foreigner who had a coughing fit.

And the lady helping me misplaced her copies so she tried to take my airplane ticket print-out away.  But I kept it and she gave me a quizzical look.  But it was mine and I was very understanding about her making the necessary copies, but it wasn’t my fault she hadn’t removed them from the copier.  But it might have caused her to lose face if I said that in my direct English.  So, I just pulled back my papers SEVERAL times.  She finally figured it out.

I wonder what the elderly people thought of all of this.


Daily Life in Korea 8

I taught kids to introduce themselves.  They spent most of the lesson making name cards.


They collected eight new name cards from their classmates and then glued them into their English textbooks.

Continue reading


Daily Life in Korea 7

After handing in my resignation letter, I was told:
You don’t eat enough so you have stomachaches.
Kyle* eats Korean food so well.
It is better if you work until the end of the semester.
Drink this milk.
How old are you?
The principal understands you.


*Kyle is not his first or last name.