A million things

Doesn’t everyone, at any given moment, have a million of things to do, to worry?

To do before my departure on October 14.

Today is September 21. Already?!

People start to text me for the final meet-ups.

“We haven’t seen each other for ages” is usually the icebreaker line, the way-in for the lost connection.

“Yes, indeed.” I took the bait.

“Let’s meet for [coffee / lunch / dinner, depends on the other side’s perception of our relationship.]”

“Sure.” I’d say.

Sometimes I wonder if people would ever meet if they don’t make an effort and meet on a regular basis until something’s up. For instance, the person is leaving, like me.

Usually people just drift apart. Life happens. [Translation: You’re not my priority. Right now.]

I look at my schedule next week. The most interesting one is this: I have a dinner with my former company.

What shall I wear? What shall I say?

I’ve decided that I’m grateful for all the attention I’m showered.

In the end, it doesn’t matter who picks up the tab. Or how much is the tab. But the person makes the effort and shows up.

Come to think of it, doesn’t everyone, at any given moment, have a million of things to do, to worry?

Here is the script I’ll stick to:

Thank you for your time.

And I mean it.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

What’s wrong with the latest SK-II China Campaign?

Yes, it is about #LeftoverWomen. Surprise!

Yes, it went viral. Surprise!

Yes, it’s a tear jerker. Surprise!

No, I don’t understand #ChangeDestiny — the hashtag at the end of the video. All the 30-something female interviewees talked about their parents’ aspirations to see them married to good men. In tears, these career women reveal the humiliation from their overbearing relatives on their being still single at such an (appallingly old) age at the family gathering.

But back to the hashtag, who is to change their destiny? These women themselves? The country, the society? Or their up-in-the-air Superhero boyfriends too busy saving the world?


A side note to your entertainment—

In 2007, China’s Women’s Federation (中国妇联)coined the term “Leftover Women” for those highly educated, urban, professional women over twenty-seven who are still unmarried.

Yes, the Women’s Federation.


What interest me more is these women’s lifelong passions, what their typical day is like, how they become who they are now. Shockingly, the creative director gave us another tear-jerker making them the victims of social bully.

At the Nick Vujicic event last week, one thing he said that I will never forget happens to be this—

If you are not happy single, chances are that you won’t be happy married.

These single women must be quite successful doing what they do. Or why would SK-II select them for the taping? But from the campaign’s perspective, we fail to see that side, at all. I don’t know the vocations of these posh talking heads as they wipe tears away from their weepy eyes.

The end of the video lingers on the shot at the Shanghai People’s Square’s Marriage Corner. They set up installations with these women’s glamor shots captioned with touchy-feely quotes like, “I don’t want to marry for marriage’s sake. I will not be happy.



SK-II China Commercial — ‘She Finally Goes to the Marriage Corner’

Gosh, I cried. I pity these women. I feel sorry for myself. I miss my parents. I feel awful. I need my ice-cream.


I even composed a letter to the SK-II executives —

Dear SK-II,

You see, I had plans to buy your exquisite products. But I regret to inform you that after carefully studying your powerful video, I decide not to.

As a leftover woman, I feel guilty. You make it perfectly clear that I should let go of my pride and beg for people’s sympathy because I’m socially disabled.

Well, pride is all I had. Now I have nothing. I’d better think ahead and plan my spinster life.

As a single woman with no foreseeable love interest, I retain a sharp memory. Allow me refresh yours.

Wasn’t it Tang Wei who proudly claimed that—

“If I didn’t start using the Magic Water in my 20s, I won’t have the skin I have now.”

Wait a sec, how old is she? 40?

“The earlier you start using the Magic Water, the more profound changes you’ll notice later.”

How ‘later’ is later?

“560 RMB for a FOURTEEN-day treatment.”

Do you know the salary of an average single leftover woman? Of course you have all the stats from your CFO.

With the staggering inflation rate and unstable economy, I don’t think spending my hard-earned leftover woman money on your deluxe products is a wise investment after all. Now I am freed from putting on cream for the sake of pleasing a potential husband. Plenty options out there, like Vaseline, or any CVS lines.

Please hold your laugh till I leave. Show some dignity, will ya?

So long. SK-II. And please send my best regards to your siblings, SK-I & III.

Sincerely yours,
A leftover woman who has to watch her wallet


PS. From the storytelling point of view, having the audience pity the hero is as expensive as chicken shit, which hurts SK-II as a high-end skincare product.

Water under the Bridge

Definition: Something in the past that cannot be controlled or undone, but must be accepted, forgiven, or forgotten. 
 — 
via Wiki

Picture Credit: Luc Coiffait

What are you waiting for?
You never seem to make it through the door
And who are you hiding from?
It ain’t no life to live like you’re on the run
Have I ever asked for much?
The only thing that I want is your love

If you’re gonna let me down, let me down gently
Don’t pretend that you don’t want me
Our love ain’t water under the bridge

It’s the one song I’ve been looping lately, which sort of summarizes my shitty arse relationships.

In their own heads, the following dialogues play this way—

Guy: Uh-huh, but I ain’t gonna say it. I smell trouble.
Gal: Ye bastard, you ain’t say it, huh? I ain’t say it either. Fuck off. 
Guy: Told ye, woman. I wasn’t serious. 
Gal: Always let the lady do the DTR (Define the Relationship) Talk. Fuck you. Ye ain’t gonna trick me to do that.
Guy: Let me be utterly honest with ye, woman. I’m just having too much fun right now. Can we just keep it at that?
Gal: Ye lowlife arsehole.
Guy: Ye started it. You wrestled me. Boy were you strong. 
Gal: Ye kiddin’, eh? Comparing to ye, I’m literally a midget. Ye lying bastard. I’m glad us didn’t work.


When they finally meet, this is what actually happened —

Guy: Hey , how’s your week go?
Gal: Good.

Then either the guy or the gal comes up with an excuse and exits.


Truth is, I don’t even dig the guys that much. But in my head I want to prove something — that I’m worthy of love. If only, if only a guy falls for me. “I really like you.” Then I’ll be complete. (Sorry mate, not the Jerry Maguire ‘You complete me’ bullcrap.) I won’t be the elephant in the room. You see, I don’t even need anyone to say “I love you” (yet). It’s too heavy a word, I know. Lots of responsibilities and etc. And I know, Rome was not built in a day. But I do need to have something to start with, something to work on. Nothing, really? Nothing, again?

Let’s be clear here, I don’t want to be another love cynic to notice the torrential water under the bridge and then get cold feet to refuse crossing the bridge.

I’ll keep my faith. Because I have to.

To be, or not to be

Lust is easy. Love is not.

I thought about the million possibilities of asking him out, and another million not to. Then I did — a simple text inviting him for lunch after the group rehearsal on Saturday. He simply replied, “Sure.”

What’s new? My therapist asked me the second I walked into her office.

Well, I am (sort of) seeing this new guy. Then I wanted it to stop because he said he wasn’t looking for anything serious. I told myself to stop, then I did. I moved on. But he began texting random things like how my week went etc. Well dude, I thought we were just having fun? I was not happy. I was passive aggressive. All this time he made all the initiatives.

I don’t want having-fun kinda guy in my life right now. I even give some thoughts about shaving off my hair to be so unattractive that no one would want to date me. So guys can just leave me the hell alone, save me endless trouble and headaches. And thenI can do nothing but write. How great is that!

I see your exhaustion analyzing all the possibilities. She replied. From the histories you described, I am coming to see this pattern — You never say the guy is not interested. So they are. But you always move faster than they do. When you are already up there (she made a hand gesture), they are still down here (and lower the other hand). You interpret it as “they are not interested.” What do you do then?

I deleted their contacts and moved on. I shrugged.

Does it occur to you it could be the reason why you haven’t been in serious relationships yet?

Okay. I see your point. I said.

How do you deal with friendship?

Hmm, I do have a tendency to cut off when I see things are “beyond repair.” Once I wrote a break-up letter to a girl friend who not only did not back me up but humiliated me along with the others. It was junior high. But still, it says a lot about my character.

How long does it take you to move on?

A week. Or less. I stated matter-of-factly. I do tend to get back on horse much faster than most people.

Your decisiveness is a great asset when dealing with chaos in work. But relationship is something different. It takes two to make it work. As you realize that it takes less time for you to commit and to start a relationship, it may also dawn on you that it take a bit more time for others. While they are still weighing the situation, you think they are not interested and cut them off. I want you to think about this for the following weeks before we meet again—Try to go with the flow. Try not to seek for answers too soon.

Try to balance your decisiveness with a willingness to explore possibilities.

But what if it’s just me again? I can’t invest in something that has zilch return-on-investment. I have to protect my energy and well-being. I defended.

I can’t answer that. But also know this, you plant a seed into the soil, you give it sun and water. Then you wait, for weeks maybe. Nothing is there yet on the surface. You grow impatient. Would you just pluck it out and plant something new? Give it time.

What about the guy?

Well, I’d suggest you try. Try hanging out without pressing the other to commit. Be in the moment. Enjoy his company. And decide from there.

I did. I took out my phone. Found his number in the email (already deleted it in the contact). I debated with myself for half an hour. Then finally, I sent a lunch invite. He immediately replied yes.

Simple it seems. But I wish it could be simpler.

Sometimes people do and say things that is not what their real intentions. My therapist said before our session ended.

Inhale. Exhale. Try not to overthink. I’ll try.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

Postscript:
The guy is just looking for fun. It’s an official.
You see, you can make someone lust after you, but you cannot make someone love you.
Lust is easy. Love is not. #LessonLearnt

 

 

La vie aux Amérique

It’s easy to get laid en Amérique. Not that I am a sexpert, but the environment here seems so much more tolerant. The pressure back in China about women wanting to relax and have fun is mind-boggling. Plus, you almost live right around the corner to, if not at, your parents’… An immediate turn-off.

I haven’t yet found my way around Chinese men. Or maybe it’s simply because I’m not their cuppa tea. All the guys I’ve been with are non-Chinese. So I really won’t know what the Chinese fellas are thinking. I find guys in America won’t judge you (or so I assume) if you two are just having fun. But, there is a price to pay. It hurts when the guy doesn’t contact you as often, or at all, after you’ve been this sizzling close. I try to be cool about it now. If dudes can handle it, I can too. Or so I think.

I was seeing a guy. We had a good time. I then came to realize that I did not dig him that much after all. His attitude towards love is the biggest bummer — He was dumped thrice comparing to the five times as the ‘dumper.’ That three times he claimed that he was in love. It took him the longest to recover, and it hurt (Duh). He now decides that no more love for him, ever. He’s only 27; I just turned 28, and I barely started — See that? The gap between China and the United States. Then and there my crush on him was squashed. And poof! It evaporated without a trace. I just can’t be with a love cynic.

Most girls get men in bed because they (sort of) like them and probably want the men in question to like (aka. love?) them back. On the other hand, guys often get women in between sheets just for fun and nothing else. I find this particular sport a good tool to observe the true quality in a man — whether he’s generous, whether he’s tender, whether he’s thoughtful, whether he’s creative, whether he’s energetic, whether he’s bold, whether he’s seasoned, whether he likes to be dominant, whether he knows about women, whether he’s a good listener, whether he’s patient, whether he’s a good communicator, whether he really exercises as much as he claims he does, whether he’s sans judgement with his partner’s kinks and etc.

Those intel could take girls a much longer time to gather if they persist to just observe their men’s table manners.

At the end of it, you will know if the man is a good fit to start a relationship, or you should just get it over with and get on with your marvelous life. I delete and shred their contacts once my guts tell me that they’re not the boyfriend material. Women, observe cats. They are our role models.

Having fun is one thing; hanging around is another.

After all, life is too short to dance with wrong guys.

 

Yours truly,
YZ