Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ask, and You Shall Receive?


My life might be close to being shambles in many different, sometimes completely unrelated areas, I might drink too much, I might be home sick, I might be guarded and suspicious that my dude will never commit to me the way I want him to, I might be afraid, slightly insecure and a little bit angry.

But yesterday I took charge of one area of my life. I did something absolutely terrifying that took a lot of guts on my part. I did something terrifying and was (finally!) rewarded for it.

After six months of working at my company, I asked for a raise.

I was afraid to hear a negative answer. When my boss called me into his office for a chat at the end of that same day I sent him an email with my raise request, I was fully prepared to keep my face as straight as possible and not let any disappointment seep through to the surface.

He is always an intimidating dude when it comes to discussing serious financial things. He is the type of a person who has the "fuck you" face even when he says yes to something. I nearly crapped my pants at the thought of going into his office and sitting down, one-on-one, to discuss all matters concerning my personal financial security.

But I heard something entirely beyond my expectations. I heard that I am probably the best employee they currently have at the company and that even though it is typically not within the company's policy to give employees raises so soon after their hire, that I was absolutely worth being dangled a proverbial monetary carrot in front of.

And who was I to disagree?

Granted, the raise, as I was told, would not be a great amount. And I would not see the increase in my paycheck until the end of January...

But I did it. For the first time in my life, I asked for a raise. And for the first time in my life, not only did I received it, but I was also validated as a kick-ass employee that I always suspected I would grow up to be.

And, damn, it feels good to be rewarded!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Broken Teeth and Wounded Hearts


A tragedy transpired recently upon which I was left disfigured and disappointed.

Okay, maybe not exactly disfigured, but pretty self-conscious and a bit terrified at the same time. You see,Ii have had this filling in my front tooth for about a year. My last dentist was kind of shitty when it came to certain things, like performing routine examinations on one's teeth and I, unfortunately, was one of his involuntary victims.

A year ago, he blissful filed away at my front tooth that only had a minimal amount of cavity evidence and slapped a filling to cover up the gap. A year later, (this week to be exact) as I was happily munching away at a slice of cheese, I felt something chip off in my mouth. Suddenly, the previously soft and mushy slice of cheese in my mouth started tasting rather crunchy. I pulled out a little piece of white solid from my mouth and felt a newly-formed gap between my front teeth with my tongue. Much to my horror, my fears were justified as I felt a small chunk of tooth missing from the front of my beautiful veneers.

Son of a bitch!

I was supposed to see The Banker that night but almost canceled on the count of him seeing me looking like a beauty queen at a meth addict pageant, but he insisted on me coming over. He said that I would look beautiful even if I had George Washington's wooden teeth.

Whatever, man. That cheesy line worked and shortly after work that day I was on a subway to his place, trying not to smile to strangers with my toothless void.

The Banker gave me a hug as soon as I entered his apartment and, slowly but surely, I started to feel all the tension just melt away. I had all the intentions, mind you, to speak my mind and inquire him about his prowls on the dating site that night. But, just like my tension, I felt my anger and the sense of urgency just melt away as he wrapped his arms around me.

He hugged me, he reassured me, he made my worries go away, even if temporary, for a couple of minutes or so. We settled on his couch and he laid down, with his head resting on my lap as we eventually started drifting away to sleep after our respective days of work and health-related troubles.

It was not until shortly past midnight that I started to feel myself waking up. It was one of those lucid dream-like states, where I was aware that I was awake but I was still drowsily engrossed in a dream I must have been having just a second prior to waking up. I felt my sense of reality tighten around the fact that it must have been late and that I should be getting home. I wanted to say, "I am falling asleep.." to The Banker to let him know that I should be leaving to go home shortly.

Instead, I said..

"I am falling in love..."

Oh.

OH FUCK!

It sort of came out very awkwardly, like "I am falling in lov..shhlalalblahblahargh... I'm falling asleep! I mean I'm falling asleep!" I was trying to eat my own words and try to quickly think of what I really wanted to say.

The lights were dim in the room, otherwise, if he had been fully awake, The Banker would have seen my face turn beet red. I tried to play it off as a no-big-deal type of situation. But, really, I just wanted to turn back time and take back that Freudian slip of a tongue. Shortly after, still mortified, I gathered my things and left his place to go home.

"See ya this weekend!" I said and slammed the door behind me in a rush to get out of there and be left alone with my thoughts. I am foolish to even hope that he had not heard what I said.

I think he just wanted to ignore it and pretend like he did not hear me.

To be truthful, I just have this feeling (and whenever I get this feeling, I am usually right) that he is just not going to get involved with me past the point we are already at. And instead of keeping my distance, I say crap like that to him.

Careless. I am never this careless. I don't like this one bit.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Unsure.


I like boys
They like me
They look so good
in they jeans

Want you to be the one
And my on-ly
I wanna be faithful
But I can't keep my hand out that cookie jar

I am conflicted. And the fact that it is eternal summer here, and my man isn't say the things that I want him to say, and that the temptation is always there is not making things any easier.

I am just sort of feeling that he is full of secrets. Not a lot of secrets, but just some that he does not want me to know about.

Like the girl that wrote on his wall for his birthday yesterday..:

"happy birthday, babe. It was great seeing you in Chicago. x"

Okay she could be a friend, but not a lot of MY friends call ME babe. Well, I guess, she's not even that pretty. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself to keep away from feelings of jealousy. But still...

And I would not call any of my non-single friends "babe". Just saying.

Don't get me wrong. I want this guy more than anyone else in the world. He just has to show me more sweet, sweet loving, loving.

Otherwise, it's not like there aren't any other viable options for extracurricular entertainment...

I'm just saying.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Of Men and Creepsters


Out to Ladies' Night on a Wednesday night for the first time in about 4 years, in a different city, let alone country this time, was a lot less painful on my body than I had imaged it to be, despite my reservations and pessimistic predictions about the ordeal that I would have to endure the next morning at work. In fact, despite having free shots poured down my throat and gulping them down like I was some 21-year old hardly, I hardly felt any damage at all. At 27, I, apparently, can keep it together like the best of them can. At 27, I'm not sure it is something to brag about all that much.

But hey, I've been told I look only 24 on more than one occasion, so for the sake of the argument, I'll go with the notion and let myself indulge in free tequila shots despite vowing, over and over again, how I will never have tequila again.

The Banker is away for two weeks. He is visiting his family for Thanksgiving and I, despite all my suspicions and worries about his prowling around on the internet for God knows what, am beginning to notice that my missing him like hell takes precedent over any suspicions I might have had over the given situation. I gotta give him this - he picked a perfect time to be away, because this girl has been getting a taste of life without his sexy ass in her life and, believe me, it ain't all that pretty.

A prime example - last night at Ladies Night at Ku De Ta. A premier clubbing and drinking spot in Singapore and one of the top 10 in the world. In the WORLD, people. That has to count for the quality of the patrons that enter and leave this place, right?

Not at all. The whole place was swarming with creepy crawlers who kept their hungry eyes on alcohol-consuming, unsuspecting ladies in order to make their sleazy moves the minute a girl began looking tipsy.

I, for one, had at least two guys try to approach me AFTER I had several shots of Grey Gooze.

Oh. Hey. Didn't notice you there, buddy. Oh, you're from Norway? Sorry, nothing against Norway, but go back where you came from because you are just standing there, blocking the dance floor, sipping your watered down whiskey sour and, generally, being completely and utterly awful.

My friends were not having any better "luck" than me. Through the haze of the artificial fog pumped through the room at regular intervals, I saw the ladies get assaulted from different angles by men of all races, ages and nationalities. Creepiness, you know, knows no boundaries. If our nations of the world could unite under one common derivative only, it would be the ample availability of creepy male specimen across all borders and nations. Welcome to the true definition of globalization.

I ended up having fun with the girls despite everything. Occasional free drinks certainly helped the situation. But, through it all, I couldn't help thinking about The Banker. And what a truly fucking great catch he is. And what I want to do to him when he comes back to this country.

I texted him with a sexy and slightly filthy text message that I will keep to myself for the time being. He texted back with something that simultaneously made my heart skip a beat and made me wish that he could fly back to Singapore immediately so I could rip his boxers off.

And then it dawned on me... Maybe it's all going to be just fine. I've got a fabulous man who just happens to turn me on as much intellectually as he turns me on physically. What the fuck else could I possibly ask for?

Why worry so much, after all.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Eat. Pray. Panic.


It's weird. I've been having these rather severe panic attack-like symptoms for the last several hours. My heart is racing, palms are sweaty, wrists are half-numb with tension, breaths are short and quick in an attempt to calm my body down.

Part of it is that I've been stressed with money problems lately. It's something that's been consistently consuming my thoughts. It's nothing Earth-shattering, I guess. I just have not been saving up as much as I wanted to. Living amongst the richest of the rich on an island that has the greatest concentration of millionaires in the world has not exactly made me feel particularly wealthy either.

It's funny how money concerns can become a part of your daily existence. Even when, by all standards, you can call yourself comfortably middle-class, it is keeping up with the ever rising life style expectations and comparing yourselves to the Joneses next door that can make you feel like you've been sinking deeper and deeper into debt.

I didn't think I wanted to be rich when I was younger. But you know what? Being rich just makes things so much easier. So hell yes, I want a million or two to go buy that nice dress that I saw in the Miu Miu store window or to get that nice hot stone massage I keep hearing about or to get my bills paid on time in the US and not worry about the exchange rate going up and down like a roller coaster every couple of days. (Thanks for that crisis, Europe!)

I want to be able to get my family a nice Christmas gift without scouting discount web sites for bargain deals on second-grade stuff that will sort of look like the real deal that I wanted to give them in the first place. I want to be able to fly to Hong Kong or Hanoi for the weekend without checking my bank account to make sure that I have enough money for my ever-sky-rocketing rent for the month. Or, hell, I want to go to the dentist to get that pricy root canal taken care of without worrying that one more unexpected expense will drive me to the poor house.

More so, however, I think that I am currently pissed over the fact that I bought my boyfriend a $300 dollar painting as a birthday present. And while that may not seem like much money to some people, this is actually the most that I had ever spent on any gifts for any boyfriends/friends/pals/family members. This is a testament that I actually want to impress this dude by buying something thoughtful that is, at the same time, on the pricier side, by my standards.

And no, I am not pissed that I spent that money. I wanted to spend it. And I found the perfect painting that I hope he will love as much as I think he will. It's just the fact that I know that he's been to that stupid dating web site again and it's bothering the crap out of me. Makes me feel a bit foolish knowing that he went to the site again, while I am sitting here and buying presents for him.

When I asked him about the site a couple of weeks ago (actually, the conversation about it was sort of brought up by him because he mentioned how someone sent him a weird message recently), he said that he goes on there once in a while when people send him random stuff that he can laugh at. He made it sound so innocent and straight-forward that I immediately felt relieved. I could see that he was being honest and that there was nothing going on behind the closed doors.

However, the question still remains. Why is he on the site? Why does he go on it, about once a week? Is it really because the "hilarious" messages from socially-awkward singles amuse him that much?

Or is it because deep down he is hoping for something different than what he has right now.

I don't wanna waste my hard-earned money on a guy who is not fully there and who will dash at the first sign of a better thing. I can be a damn good girlfriend when I put some effort into it. And now that I am putting effort into this, I want to see the same amount of reciprocation.

And I don't wanna have any more panic attacks over money/love matters. I think I deserve better than that.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Love Stoned



Falling in love is a fucking beautiful feeling. I can go through makeout sessions and awkward first dates a million and one times without so much as batting an eyelash. But I relish and savor every time Cupid throws his arrows my way which, I think, is not that frequently. However, I can firmly say that I've been in love more than once.

You see, there is not just one soul mate for us in our lives. People, men, women, come and go. They enter and exit our lives and we turn the pages of our chapters, hoping that some day, we'll have that memorable bestseller that is flying off the shelves everywhere from New York to Kuala Lumpur.

And once in a blue moon, there will be that special someone that will knock our boots off. We'll turn around, stomped, flabbergasted, taken aback. We might deny it at first, too afraid to admit it, fearful of getting hurt or rejected. But we will know... oh, we will know..

when we fall in love.

My first love was at sixteen. A very emotional, passionate love affair with a lad from London. I barely touched, hardly kissed the guy because, basically, our connection consisted of, primarily, late night longing, careless confessions that were taken back as easily as they were said, sleepless fantasies. My sixteen year old self sure loved the drama of that heartfelt sting....

I don't think I denied it even for one second. I knew that I was in love. I still believe, despite the whole being-immature-and-not-beng-sure-what-love-was-at-the-time, that Alex was my first true love.

My second love was Dan. That took a while to realize and to admit to myself. Dan had a girlfriend whom I had never met, but that did not prevent me from having an on and off thing with him for over two years. We dated other people, yes. He dated his girlfriend, his wife now, on and off. I dated guys here and there, running back to Dan when things got lonely or boring.

He was a bastard, in retrospect. He cheated shamelessly on his girlfriend and I was much too young to care. Though, out of subconscious guilt and knowing that he had a girl all along, I never gave him my real name. To this day, if he remembers me at all, I am a girl with a name that's not my own.

My third love was Mr J. It was the most adult kind of love I had experienced but also the most passionate kind. The kind that I thought I was too old for. I felt things, I smiled when he called, I giggled like a little school girl. I cried when he hurt me. I fucking hated his guts when he was being a dick. But I loved, loved, LOVED him unconditionally.

We met up in Cincinnati, Louisville, Chicago, Philly, St Louis. Our romance was whirlwind. He denied how attracted he was to me in the beginning; he made it seem like it was no big deal that he was driving to see me every weekend for 2.5 hours back and forth from Dayton to Louisville. But I could see he was scared shitless that I was the girl that made him sweat and wait. He said he only had one serious relationship before me and that she cheated on him the entire time. I saw this guys emotions unravel before me. I wanted him like I never wanted anyone before.

It was own version of a cross-country love affair. But we were never destined to be close, not even in the same state. It all ended, slowly but surely, when I left to go to Singapore, half hoping that he would stop me by asking me to be his one and only.

He finally did. He asked me, begged me to be his girlfriend. But only when I arrived in Singapore. Much too late. I wanted him to ask me that question for over two years, but when he finally did, I said "no".

Because I met my number four.

Ah shit, I think I'm in love again.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Seducing the Liar


I am the last person to admit that I am jealous. Mostly that is because I am, as I try to convince people when they inquire in disbelief, very hard to make jealous. I trust men. It comes with sufficient self-confidence which I only acquired in the last 4 years or so. But even before that, I was never the jealous type. Don't ask me why, I like keeping it this way.

But I must admit that I am jealous right now. Jealous because I am not sure what The Banker can possibly want more. I have two theories, though. Indulge me, please:

Theory Numero Uno: He got spoiled by money. Okay, maybe that is not fair to put it this way. He was always spoiled by money. He grew up in Beverly Hills (90210, indeed) and his family is all sort of ridiculously unfathomably wealthy.

And hey, don't mean to throw my own sex under the bus here, but a lot of girls, women.... tend to go for those rich types. Don't get me wrong, The Banker could get a girl if he did not have a penny in his pocket, as far as I'm concerned (those dreamy eyes...), but I am sure those hundred dollar dinners and VIP jet-setting lifestyle can make ANY man slightly more attractive. Like I said, to some women... and don't look at me with a side eye. I have dated so many penny-less stoners and broke artists that I can be absolved of a gold-digging title for as long as I live.

So maybe he's looking for Miss December 2012 to show off to his friends. I very well know men who, no matter how pretty their current girl is, are always on a look out for a fresh face. Chronic bachelors they are, always on a prowl. They never see a good thing when it comes or when it leaves, they only see the next thing.

Theory Numero Dos: His religion. Plain and simple, he is Jewish and I am not. And while it may not be a big deal to me, it could be a bigger deal than I think it is for him.

His mother is Jewish, his father is Jewish, his brothers are Jewish, his cousins are Jewish. I've always been attracted to Jewish men, so I don't care if I have to convert at some point to be with one. But to him? Maybe it's a different story and mom and dad won't approve of him dating a shiksa.

So there you have it. Two theories twirling restlessly about my head, clouding my mind with their nagging whispers. Leave him, stay with him, try harder, seduce him, dump him.

But tonight, jealousy fades into the background and I'll be taking the seduction route. Cooking has always been my forte though I don't do it often. But tonight, I will be cooking a three-course gourmet meal for the Banker and serving it to him in my itty-bitty pretty heels.

Yeah, shoot me in the face. But after all, they say that the surest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, isn't it?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Color Me Confused


You know, I just don't get it. If a guy is not that into you and is looking for something better, then why is he making plans with you? Why is he asking you to meet your roommates? Why does he offer up an idea of you and him going on a weekend vacation together?

I am conflicted as to what kind of game The Banker is playing. I have not brought up what I know yet, because I simply don't know how to. It's not like I can just go:

"Hey, so you've been checking your online dating profile quite frequently, you little bastard. What's up with that?"

A part of me keeps telling myself that I am overreacting and that I should keep calm, keep my guard up and sleep with one eye open. But what kind of a relationship is that?

But things are so fucking good on the surface. I cannot comprehend why a man would put on such a front and continue dating me if he is just looking for a way out. Or for another woman for that matter.

A part of me wants to punch him in the face. Or kick him right in the balls in a middle of a busy street and walk away while he's grabbing his crotch in excruciating pain.

Another part of me keeps hoping that it' all just nothing. And while I can't come up with even one reasonable explanation to his prowling around a dating site, I am still struggling to understand his motives.

Like, why would he give me a code to his apartment, knowing that I can come in at any time and take anything I want from his place. Why bother going through all this trouble of putting on a sweet and innocent facade for four months now.

There was one time four years ago when I posted a guy's number on a gay dating site and told everyone and their mother to call him for a "good time". Yes, that was four years ago but, when push comes to shove and when I feel like I am being disrespected to no end... well, then I won't be above doing the same with The Banker's number. Hell hath no fury...

But really,

I just want things to be normal. For once in my love life. Not too much to ask for, eh?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Unofficial Official


You know that perfect moment that you keep telling yourself you deserve?

That you deserved all along? And that you fought all doubts and let down all those walls you built up because, finally, you thought, finally you found that person who could be everything they say they are.

The perfect moment where you let your guard down for a guy. And you say to yourself, in sheer surprise:

"Well, that wasn't so bad, was it? My heart is still in tact. I am still here. He didn't reveal his true ugly colors or confessed that he had a girlfriend or that he was impotent or that he had children or that he was emotionally unavailable. He is actually what he says he is. He is as close to perfection as they come. Hang on to him, you silly self, hang on to him, damn it!"

The perfect moment where he asks if he could list you as an emergency contact number when he gets somewhat seriously injured and has to go to a hospital over night. The moment that he gives you a door code to his apartment so you could let yourself in any time you wanted to.

The seemingly perfect moment where you silence your doubts and just let things take their natural course and let yourself... almost let yourself get swept away?

Yeah. THAT moment.

It feels damn good, doesn't it?

Until you find out, through happenstance, that your Mr Perfect has an active profile on a dating site. And, yes, Mr Perfect told you before that he was on the said site and that he was looking for a serious relationship, whether he met that right girl online or not online. And you were perfectly okay with it, and just assumed that he took the profile down when he asked you to be exclusive.

Until you found out that he logged in again just four days ago. And then again yesterday, just before he took you out on that date.

Until you try to convince yourself that, MAYBE, you are overreacting and it's just nothing and he is just curious. And then you realize that, MAYBE, just maybe, he is just fishing for someone else that is not you.

That you are not a girlfriend after all. You are just a girl he is dating for the moment.

Just a girl that is unofficial as the last one.

And you realize that maybe his last girlfriend did not leave him because he was working too hard all the time. Maybe she left him because she realized that she was not his girlfriend at all. She was just a girl he was dating at that moment.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Special Something-Something


It's a lazy Sunday morning and The Banker and I are lounging on his comfy living room couch, watching TV. Not bothered to get fully dressed, we are eating cereal in nothing but our underwear and flipping channels between Sunday morning cartoons on Nickelodeon and "I Shouldn't Be Alive" on Discovery. Our feet are stretched out on his coffee table (my mom never let me put my feet up on the coffee table at my parents' house, so I always take special pleasure when I get the opportunity to defy this childhood rule). He's checking the market on the Blackberry that's attached to his hip at all times and planning his next trade moves. I am not checking my phone at all, because in my line of work there is nothing important enough to deserve a Sunday morning reply.

This is as close to domestic bliss as it gets for me. For the first time after my post Mr J-dating, I am beginning to fully realize how damn lucky I am to have this guy. I couldn't possibly ask for anything more of him because he is as perfect as they come.

I've always been a firm believer that there is something there when I meet a guy who makes me want to be a better person. Well, The Banker makes me want to be the best person I can possibly be.

For real.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Drink to Calm Your Jitters


I am at a KTV - a Japanese-style karaoke adventure where you are basically given a rented booth for a couple of hours so that you and your friends can sing/scream your hearts out to dozens of your all-time favorite songs. That is exactly what I am doing right now.

The projector above my head is spewing rays of blue, green and red light. The small room with lounge-type chairs has been transformed into a mini-disco and The Banker and I are singing (badly), drinking our jugs of beer and rocking out to our favorite Guns'n'Roses tune.

I am wearing a form-fitting black dress with tussles and navy blue peep-toe shoes but I am one step away from classy as I take a full swig of my beer before turning my attention back to the microphone. The Banker doesn't seem to mind that my beer almost comes out of my nose right before I chime in to sing along to the chorus in "Sweet Child of Mine".

My mission tonight is simple: I need to get buzzed enough to ask The Banker where we stand with our relationship. Ever since I discovered that I was starting to develop deeper feelings for him, I'd been aching to find out how he feels about me. Am I girlfriend material or just a date to spend weekends with? I just had to get enough beer in me first to work up the courage to ask the question.

Back at his place, I chicken out a little bit. I am feeling the butterflies in my stomach despite my remarkable ability to consume two big jugs of beer in under two hours. Despite the alcohol assumption, I am, somehow, stone-cold sober.

I tell The Banker that I need to use his bathroom but I go and shut the door behind myself just to look in the mirror and give myself a mental pep talk. Tonight HAS to be the night. I don't need to get drunk to ask, I just need to ask and be done with it. Besides, if I WAS drunk right now, I'd probably puke from nervousness.

Back in his living room, I take a full breath, and before I have a chance to chicken out again, I slowly drag words out of myself:

"Soooo.... I've got a question for ya..."

No going back now. Just breathe and keep talking, damn it!

He says, "Yeah? What's up?" and looks up at me from the couch.

"I gotta ask you this... Because I was just wondering... Where do we stand in terms of this whole dating thing? Are we serious? Are we just chilling?"

I try to sound casual but, on the inside, I am finally thankful for those two jugs of beer I drank earlier. They are mellowing me out enough to stop me from being a complete emotional wreck or from studdering too much. Dare I say it, I actually DO sound like, oh, it's no big deal.

"I was waiting for you to bring this up," he says without hesitating, "You know when you just moved here and we started seeing each other, I told you I was looking for a serious relationship. I wanted to give you time to get acclimated with Singapore - a new city, let alone, a new continent. I figured you need some time to make your own friends and establish life here before we developed anything serious."

I hang onto his every word, "Uh huh..." I simply say when he pauses.

"So do you want to make this official?" he smiles.

"Uh huh." I say. I'm speechless but throw my arms around him and hold onto him tightly, as if afraid that he will change his mind and run away. He hugs me back and I look up into his eyes. I feel myself beaming with happiness and, for a moment, I make myself slightly sick with all this lovey dovey-ness and want to tell myself to "get a room."

And just like that, I am no longer single. And while my single life rocked my socks off while it lasted, I am happy to report that being called someone's, no, not someone's.... being called The Banker's girlfriend feels, excuse my language, fucking peachy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friends with Some Benefits


I am sitting in a dark movie theater, with a Hawaiian pizza on my lap and The Banker in his seat to my right. This is my first experience at the movies in Singapore and, I must say, it is an underwhelming one.

No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the cushioned red velvet seats, or the air conditioning, or the size of the projection screen. The food tastes pretty phenomenal for movie theater food and the space between the row of seats in front of us in aplenty for me to stretch my sore legs and feet.

But I'm puzzled and confused and a little mad. The Banker is not even trying to hold my hand. Why the fuck is he not trying to hold my hand? Never mind the Hawaiian pizza on my lap, I'm done devouring that. Here is my empty right hand, resting casually on the arm rest separating me and him. Why isn't he reaching for it?

I try to hide my annoyance and concentrate on what's going on on the screen. This is the part of the movie where Justin Timberlake is talking to his father at the airport and is asking the father about a woman's name that the dad keeps saying.

The dad says this about the mystery woman, in his moment of clarity, "She was my one true love and probably the reason your mother eventually left me."

JT looks stunned. He always thought it was his mother's fault for leaving but now he is realizing that the fact that his father never acted upon his feelings for his true love hindered his relationship with his own mother. JT is also realizing that he, without a shadow of a doubt, is in love with HIS true love, miss Mila Kunis, and that he must do whatever it takes to win her back and prove to her that she is not just a friend with benefits.

I am too bitter to enjoy this part and I can't help but think about my situation with The Banker in terms of the situation between JT and Mila, except that at the end we don't end up falling in love and making out in front of a dancing crowd of flash mobbers in the Grand Central Station.

What if in real life my JT already knows that I will be nothing more than a friend with benefits. Maybe he does not see our affection as something that should be acted upon outside of his bedroom. Maybe he views hand-holding as something reserved for the girl that he will eventually fall in love with. A girl who is not me.

Maybe my JT knows that I am just his Mila Kunis - a fun chick to spend time with but not girlfriend material. And despite the fact that I might be cute, charming, witty, intelligent, sharp as nails, I am simply not the girl for him.

I look at my JT as the credits of the movie start to roll by and people begin hustling to the exit. He's occupied in his moment, trying to figure out if Emma Stone made a cameo in the movie (she did, by the way, but only for a couple of seconds, due to Singaporean movie editing skills). I am occupied in my moment, trying to figure out just what the fuck it is that we're doing.

In the friends with benefits scenario, I would be that friend that is starting to feel like she is in too deep. And as the 'friends with benefits' rules go, I should be the one trying to supress my feelings and get the eff out before my heart gets damaged.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hung. (Over?)


This morning, I opened my sleepy eyes to find myself sprawled on my bed, still wearing my cocktail dress from the night before, with a menacing headache, busted knee from (I GUESS) falling down at some point last night, lipstick smeared on my pillow, and my jewelry thrown about the room in the most careless manner than only told me one thing... I got so shitfaced last night.

It started off innocently enough. I met my friend, Chicago Dude, at 4pm to watch the England vs France rugby match at a local Aussie bar. For some reason, I thought it would be a grand idea to start drinking at noon, so I showed up at the bar with having already drank about half a bottle of Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. Watch out, boys, here comes a one classy girl!

I looked good but I imbibed a lot throughout the night. In fact, I am kind of afraid to log into my banking account and check the statement after last night, since I keep finding random receipts in my purse and on my table (and even one in my bed!), showing me, continuously, withdrawing money and charging my card for all the "beverages" I've consumed.

I ended up at Le Noir, a premier night club for professional partiers somewhere between ten and midnight, where I ran into The Banker's friend.

"Hey, L, what are you doing here? Where's your boy?" he asked me, while eyeing the Chicago Dude up and down.

Great. Every time I ran into The Banker's friend, I'm with another guy.

"I think, he's at a wedding! I'm gonna see him tomorrow!" I screamed, surely while holding a glass full of Chardonnay, so that The Banker's friend could hear me over the deafening pounds of the latest David Guetta remix.

I'm not sure if he believed me. But, hey, at that point I was beyond the point of caring.

I proceeded to drunkenly text various people with nonsentical syllables. I texted my coworker a letter L. I texted another friend with a simple "why??", which, I'm sure, she will ask me about on Monday. I texted The Banker as well. I guess, for him I gathered my last bits of sanity, because that text actually made sense to me this morning when I reread it, while trying to retrace the last night's steps.

"I miss you!" it said, plainly and vulnerably, but I was relieved that I could show him a bit of my feelings without worrying whether or not he's going to hurt me in the end.

But the best part of the night, of course, was me losing the Chicago Dude somewhere in the crowd at another night club, dancing with Some Guy on the dance floor and then following him to his VIP table, and then, somehow, making out with the said guy. A lot.

I mean, continuously making out throughout the night.

I mean, I don't even have the slightest clue about who he is, how old he is, or even what his name is.

Like I said, I got so shitfaced. And, to sum it all up, I don't think being shitfaced is a good look for me. Alls I hope for is that my late night makeout session was not recorded by the innocent bystanders who just might retell the story to The Banker.

I'm single. But still. I really like my smokingly-gorgeous, strikingly intellegent Banker and I don't wanna lose him all because of the dude whose face I wouldn't be able to recognize if I saw him today.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

High for This


I really love the phrase "He's not that into you".

Not that I would ever want to hear it in reference to me, but I get it, you know? I get its meaning down to its core. I've felt that way towards dozens of guys I went out on dates with in the past. They were perfectly fine, cute, pleasant, I just wasn't that into them.

Sure, I gave some of them a second or even a third chance. I waited for feelings to emerge, because some of my friends would say, when I told them about my dating escapades: "Awww, he sounds like a great guy. Give it another date or two." And I did, I obeyed and I went on more dates, always with the same outcome. I still wasn't that into them.

Things tend to fade when a person is not that into someone they are dating. There is just not enough energy or incentive to keep things going. Even when the sex is great, it's like, yeah, but what's next?

What is next? Pain? Regret? Indifference? Issues that come up later on when you start dating someone else who is actually into you? None of the above?

I can say this much: I am feeling scared. Even though I go about my day like nothing affects me the way that he (The Banker) does, I revert to being such a girl at night, analyzing every one of his moves, every red flag, every signal that can ease my mind as to where our little affair is heading.

There are plenty of red flags. Plenty. But I also see many glimpses of his tender side, especially when we are alone, resting skin to skin. It is those red flags and those glimpses of tenderness that pick me up and hurl me down with their madness. As much of an expert I can say I am on dating issues, with my own relationships, I make all the mistakes and, frankly, I just do not know shit.

So:

Red flag: he didn't invite me to a good friend's wedding coming up this weekend. I saw an invitation lying openly for weeks now on his living room coffee table. He mentioned he was going to this wedding a couple of times, very casually each time. It's not that he's trying to conceal this wedding or that he's taking some other chick to it. The question that lingers in my head, though, is why he didn't invite me. If I'm his main squeeze, I should have the right to tag along to this wedding, yeah?

Glimpse of hope: I mentioned that I wanted to go on a vacation because I was starting to feel homesick and wanted to just get off this island for a bit. He said: "Well, you should go take a weekend trip somewhere!" To which I replied: "God, I'd love to. But my friends' and my vacation schedules do not really correspond and I have no one to go with." He raised his eyebrows and he looked slightly surprised and insulted at the same time.... "Well, you should go with me, duh!" he said.

I mean, at least he wants to continue spending time with me, right? But just how serious is all of this. The question that's hurting my brain with its importance is.... is this for real or is this all until the next best thing comes along?

Is he just not that into me?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vexing



And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know,

My weakness, I feel, I must finally show...


-"Awake My Soul", Mumford and Sons

Somewhere deep down inside, I am a fragile human being, I'm sure. But sometime along the road of life, my constant longing for being fiercely independent has pushed my fragility deep inside. It is only something I know about myself when I feel vulnerable and only after a couple of glasses of wine. (Cheers, amigos!)

My friend asked me yesterday, as we were sharing a cab to our respective homes, whether or not I was in love with The Banker.

I did not hesitate: "I'm not. I don't know what he's thinking... don't know yet what he wants from me. And, really, until then, I have to prevent myself from developing any sort of deep feelings for him. For my own sake."

The reply was only partially true. I am conflicted on the subject and feel I could go either way with a variety of different answers. They would all be true.

One answer is true to my reply to my friend. I have been burned before. Badly. All because I opened up to a guy who did not have all of his eggs in his basket. I, to this day, do not know why the dude decided to drop me. I do not really care any more, on an emotional level; I am just still slightly curious.

And, truth be told, I do not feel that The Banker is completely giving into me. It's just this sixth sense that I have developed about these things; call it woman's intuition, I call it being "relationship smart". So, naturally, based on my prior experiences and on my own self-analysis, my choice to remain guarded makes sense.

Another answer is that I am not sure if my first answer really holds true. The way I see things is... love is something that cannot be controlled. I mean, if I was truly meant to fall in love with The Banker, wouldn't I have just decided to go with it by now. I mean, it's been three months and either I can control my emotions better and better with time, or it's that I, deep down inside, don't believe I could fall in love with The Banker.

And a third answer is the silliest one of all. The third answer is that my true love could still be Mr J.

He and I are broken up, it's true. But we talk occasionally and I see the man that I've always wanted to be with, I see him as someone I can't bare to lose. Doesn't that mean that I'm still in love with...

Well, let's not even go there right now.

I just want The Banker to tell me what he wants. I want him to decide for me. It's not really fair to anyone, but I think I have too many options right now. And none of the options are a sure thing.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Of Dating Types


There are two types of women in the world. Those that say that they have a "type" of a guy they usually go for, and those that say they don't. Up until maybe a year ago, I would say I belonged to the latter category.

Honestly, I've dated them all: geeks, stoners, tattoo artists, wanna-be rappers, good guys, bad guys, racist guys (once, and never again), guys who had girlfriends (once, and never again), poor guys, rich guys, skinny guys, fat guys (okay, like, American football quarterback-type kind of "fat", but still), models, hot dog vendors, "entrepreneurs", mafia bosses (allegedly), frat boys, musicians, bankers, lawyers, and so forth. Therefore, it might be fair for me to say that I do not necessarily have that one type of a guy I go for.

But it all comes down to looks. And that is where I DO have a type. As shallow and egotistical as it may sound, I've realized about a year ago that I date the same types of guys. And though the look that I went for when I was eighteen is not the same as the look that I go for now, it is something that has remained pretty consistent throughout my dating years, despite having gone out with men from all backgrounds and occupations.

From 14 to 16, I went through my discovery-of-boys phase. I didn't necessarily date anyone back then. I was way too skinny and awkward looking to land myself a date, but I was super attracted to boys with a little bit of Latino flava. Puertorican boys really rang my bell. So much so that I really wanted to name my first-born Marcus. My mother was not pleased but I thought Marcus was the most beautiful name for a boy I could ever pick. I really wanted to marry a cute Puertorican back then, what can I say.

From 16 to 20, it was a blend of Irish and German for me. It was the oddest thing because I truly firmly believed that all of America's single guys had German mothers and Irish fathers because that is precisely the blend of nationalities that I would encounter in every single guy I had dated back then.

At 20, I met several good-looking Italians, and that's when I realized that the Irish were out, and from that point on, tall, dark and handsome Italians were SO in. My one serious boyfriend at that point was like 110% Italian and I loved the fact that he had a big family, had dark spiky hair and was close to his mother.

At 22, I broke up with the said boyfriend and started my dating spree. It's been good, bad and ugly but I realized at that point that I was beginning to raise my standards significantly higher and was solidifying the range of guys I was going for.

I realized that I was very into Jewish men.

Okay, so not really hardcore religious Jews. It was more about these gorgeous Jewish Americans that I first started meeting back when I was in undergrad at UPenn. They were liberal, they were outgoing, they were like the next step of my dating evolution from the tall, dark and handsome Italians. The Jewish men were all that, plus more sophisticated (which may have had something to do with my dating demographic getting older), more intriguing, more worldly.

Basically, I am just going to make the long story short and say this. God bless America, God bless the Italians and, especially and specifically and more over and hereafter, God bless the sexy single Jewish men.

Mazel tov!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Today.

What prompts us to decide that 'TODAY' will be the first day of the rest of our lives?

Could it be something monumental, like a realization that the way we're doing things is not really working? Is it a promise to ourselves to live lives differently, to change those things that we dislike about ourselves, to try harder to get to the goals we've once set?

To me, it's a refresher and renewal of a vow that I have to do persist with my goal to something big, while I am still on this planet. So, today, I woke up and decided that 'TODAY' is going to be the first day of the rest of my life.

It has to start with small steps... trying to work even harder at work (I've got a big museum meeting tomorrow where I plan on dazzling the senior curator with my knowledge), trying to get some writing gigs (I so desperately want to be a legit writer some day), trying to sort things out on a personal side (which might be the trickiest thing of all).

And I am already getting myself ready for my first big reward (something that will keep me motivated). My first Christmas ever that will be spent away from freezing temperatures and parkas and next to or right on some of the most pristine beaches in the world.

I will be dropping it all in December and going to Thailand for a beach lounging, elephant riding, cocktail drinking, deep-water diving adventure. I mean, how can you go wrong with a view like this:


Forget money troubles, men, drama. Forget everything because this, ladies and gentlemen, is my ultimate version of paradise. And if I can get this piece of heaven for ten days staight... well, I'll take it with a cherry on top.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nighthawks


In this city of millionaires, lately I've been feeling like I'm not making a damn dime. This city's heart is so damn cold at night. Plus, my love life is a total hot mess. Plus, my attempts at a poetic prose just don't have the same ring to them when I write them out on a cocktail napkin.

Welcome to my world at twenty seven, where I can't sort anything out and the only thing I can't stop doing is making mistakes and continuing writing.

Writing like I'm some damn novelist-wannabe. Writing, writing, writing until my brain swells up and bleeds with words. Words that only make me more confused, yearn for the time lost, long for something that is only a creation of my mind.

You know what the most frustrating thing is?

No, it's not not knowing what you want. It's knowing exactly what you want and having no clue how to get it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

In This California King Bed...


We are not ten thousand miles apart... In fact, we are becoming closer than I though we would, skin to skin, with your warm breath on my bare shoulder. Yet, I am still guarding my heart and guarding my steps and guarding my sanity because I know that if I lose myself back again, I will lose myself for good and for a while.

You look at me and kiss the palm of my hand, and then each one of my fingers. I feel like giving in because it is better than feeling like I want to give up. Yet, I hold back because men like you are rarely an open book. Most often, men like you have secrets of your own that I almost do not want to uncover what you have got hiding in your pandora box. Though, men like you make my head go spinning, like I am still drunk from a night before.

The bell at the clock tower somewhere outside but nearby strikes noon, yet we do not move. I do not want to call a cab and go home yet. Yet, I know I have to leave and make my day off meaningful, filled with my dance classes, my futile exercises in writing and daydreaming about greatness.

Your skin feels so smooth yet rugged and masculine. Your ass looks damn good when you slowly get up and walk out of your bedroom to go find your phone. I sink my left cheek back into the heavenly pillows and sheets and close my eyes to shield them from the incoming rays of unforgiving tropical sun peeking in splices through the half-open shades.

I want to fall asleep again but I conquer my laziness and slip on some clothes and go find you. You're in the kitchen, cooking eggs in nothing but your boxers. I momentarily consider taking a picture of you just like that, blissfully unaware of my presence, and sending the candid picture to GQ magazine to brag about what it is that I am seeing right now. Take that, Ryan Reynolds.

Yet I simply stare for a few seconds and disappear back into the shadows of the hallway.

I just want to go back to your California king bed.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Too Little, Too Late?


The last several weeks had all been leading up to one question. I knew it. He knew it. It's like the moment I started giving Mr J a cold shoulder, he instantly turned into a big Cling-o-saurus and laid out all of his feelings on the proverbial table.

Needless to say, I wasn't surprised when Mr J, after 2.5 years of informal, on-and-off dating, finally popped the question.

Well, no, he didn't ask me to marry him but, what do you know, during our video chat he just blurted it out:

"So would you like to be my girlfriend?"

Well, well. Color me surprised.

With those eight words, Mr J had officially outdone himself once again with his own shenanigans. Let's quickly review the craziness: he waited until I crossed the Atlantic and flew all the way across the world to live in another country for God knows how long to finally decide that he was ready for a very formal, very official commitment.

Now I am faced with a new dilemma. The problem in question is that I don't know if I want the same thing as Mr J any more. So I basically had no choice but to dodge the girlfriend question. I told him that I had to Skype with my mom and that, with the way he and I had been fighting about my going-out habits, it is not really a good time to be solidifying our relationship.

What I did not tell him about is the fact that I am still seeing The Banker who, despite his flakiness, has been quite a little charmer. Yeah, omitting this (not so) minor detail is a major faux pas on my end, but I am just beyond confused about my personal life and sorting this shit out just seems like too much work for me right now.

I am going to try and ride this wave for just a bit longer with, perhaps, disastrous consequences.

But what's a girl to do when she's not sure? When a guy she's been fancying for what seems like a lifetime now had always refused to define the relationship in specific terms, until now? When a guy she's been fancying now lives a 25-hour flight away? When a guy she's been fancying went from telling her that he's not sure if he can ever fall in love with her to professing his commitment?

And when the said girl no longer has all of her eggs in one basket.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back to Basics


I mean, it is what it is. When a man says to you that he has to "watch the volatile stock market" and, therefore, can't hang out with you during the week and then doesn't follow up and doesn't offer to make any plans for the weekend.. well, that just means that a man is simply not that into you.

Now, I don't care how busy that man might be. The world might be crashing all around him but if he really wants to see the object of his affection, he will find a way. So while he says that "watching the volatile stock market" is his prerogative for this week, I am not naive enough to buy it for a second.

I mean, I often work 12-hour (sometimes 12-hour-plus) days, write for two blogs, write articles for a web site and am currently learning how to design a web site of my own and still... I have time for social obligations.

But it is what it is. And it's one of the reasons that I don't let myself start opening up my heart to a guy if we'd known each other for less than 4 weeks.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Big What If...


There was one fine day in the middle of May when I checked my application status to Georgetown MBA and, after having been waitlisted for two months, I finally saw the words I so longed to see:

"Congratulations! We would like to welcome you as a member of the Class of 2013"...

But I was already in Singapore, for my work trial here in this far far away country. Oceans away from Georgetown, and DC, and America, for that matter.

So, I decided to waste away the money I had spent on b-school prep courses and the time I had spent preparing for my GMAT and writing my essays, and I said "No" to Georgetown.

Should I have changed my careers? The funny thing is, after all the hoopla and after so badly wanting to have been accepted to that prestigious university, I didn't feeling like getting my MBA was my calling. I was not excited. Proud, yes, for getting in. But not excited.

But if I hadn't picked to go Singapore, I could have been closer to Mr J. I would have never met The Banker (who I am on the fence about...) and I would have never lied to Mr J about The Banker (or the fact that I am not seeing anyone here). I could have been closer to my friends and family, only a three hour car-drive away. I wouldn't have had to sell my Jeep. I could have gone to my best friend's fiance's bachelorette party in Vegas. I could have....

Some decisions are really a big leap of faith. I am still trying to figure out if my decision to move thousands of miles away from my friends and loved ones and give up Georgetown was the right one.

Singapore is, amazing, after all. But my heart will always long to be closer to home sweet home.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Where Did You Go, Love?

I'm gonna try and make it my first blog post with a video snippet. This is what I did last night. You can hear The Banker and I in the background talking...


video


Basically, to make a long story not so long, I am getting about neck deep in this shit-filled lake of juggling two guys on two different sides of the world. I can't get the courage to confess about what I am doing to either of the men and, as bizarre as it might sound, a part of me is hoping that I get called out on my devious doings by one of the dudes, so the final decision is made for me.

Now that was a paragraph that I'd never thought I'd type in my entire life.

And with the double life that I am leading right now, well, I am just hoping that I have more time to figure out if The Banker likes me for me (cause, honestly, I still think he's hiding something) or if Mr J can handle us being apart for two years. It's this double life... it's becoming so polarizing, a game of two extremes. The extravagant lifestyle beyond my wildest dreams by weekend and a homely version of (almost) playing house with Mr J that I am living during the week.

Last night, it's dinner, drinks, bottle service... with The Banker and his finance friends. Flirting over vodka drinks, dancing suggestively with my dude du jour.... deliberate hand touching, hips swinging in his direction, body heat between us... Music, enveloping us in its seductive spell.... Me, forgetting for the nth time about the other man on the other side of the world... Giving into the temptation that is right in front of me, like a dangling carrot.

The Banker, taking my hand and whispering in my ear if I want to get out of the club... Me, in a half-dazed state, nodding, smiling, brushing the strands of my hair off my face in an attempt to look sexy before I tighten the grip of my fingers around his hand and follow him outside into the warm night...

Late night making out... clothes falling on the floor...

I wish I could say it was all unplanned and not premeditated. But I would be lying. I knew damn well what I was doing.

And this afternoon, a different story. Skyping for three hours with Mr J...

"So you found some new friends in Singapore? You're hanging out with investment bankers now, you say? Anyone flirting with you?" He asks me with a not-so-subtle hint of jealousy in his voice.

"Yeah, sometimes... but I brush them off..." I say. I look so convincing in my mirror image on Skype.

"So there are no other guys in your life? Does that mean you still like me and wanna make this work? You're not gonna cheat on me, are you?"

"No, there are no other guys..." I feel like a fool, trying to convince him of something that I know is a lie, "But are we even together at this point? With all the fighting we've been doing lately, I am confused..."

"Yeah, we're together. Of course, we're together..." he says. He seems so sincere and tender and I see the unspoken love in his eyes. It's 2am on a Saturday night in Chicago, and he's talking to me. He doesn't care about any other women... I know it for a fact.

I think he loves me. I think I am getting what I've been asking for for the last 2.5 years.

Except now I am not so sure that I want it any more....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Heart Full of Deceit


I'm being a bad fucking person these days. And excuse the following, profanity-peppered post, but this is what I do when I'm in distress. I curse.

Funny thing is, I wrote this whole long post that I am about to rewrite from memory earlier today and when I clicked "Publish Post", the whole thing got erased. It's like even this blog doesn't want to be associated with my insanity.

But I need to get this off my chest, otherwise, I feel like I'm going to lose my marbles for good.

It's just that.. I've always followed rules when it came to dating. Not even rules, but more like guidelines. Never fall for two people at the same time, never date one guy right after another, don't do anything but kiss on the first three dates, be upfront and honest, etc etc. But apparently, the fucking rules are out of the window on this little island or, at least, the rules no longer apply.

How was I supposed to know, when I met The Banker for our first date at the alley bar, that I'd actually start falling for him?

Regardless of what I expected or didn't expect, I should have told Mr J that I needed space and time to cool things with him and that I wanted to date other people. But I'm a fucking coward because here I am, three dates deep with The Banker and having him - this seemingly-wonderful, sexy, funny, smart as hell man - telling me that I am a girl like no other, and I still haven't told Mr J about any of the high-jinks I've been up to.

Why haven't I been upfront up to this point? Why am I still not upfront even as this sting of guilt is beginning to weigh down on my conscience more and more with every passing day?

I know why. Because Mr J has been less than pleasant with his refusal to tell me that he misses me because "it's no use to talk about emotions while we are half the world apart". Because his incessant fear/controlling behaviour over what I am doing and am I "hooking up" with people has reached a boiling point way before I even met The Banker.

I know why. Because I am selfishly looking out for MY best interest... Because I am still not sure if The Banker is for real and all of his wining and dining has been happening because he is genuinely smitten by me or if he is just waiting to sleep with me and be done with it.

I mean, like yesterday, I was sitting in this five-star Mario Batali restaurant, and as cultured, sophisticated and classy as I consider myself to be, I felt like the whole experience was so beyond and out of my league. My legs were nervously shaking as I was picking my $40 "first course" and hesitating which $70 "second course" I wanted to order, all the while sipping on $200 wine. And there he was, across the table from me, with a million-dollar smile and the most beautiful deep hazel eyes I had ever seen. It was so out of my league but it was more than perfect.

This man, I don't care how rich he is, cannot be just doing all of this just because he is smitten. If he's smitten. I don't care how attractive he thinks I am, I'm sure he could buy anything and anyone if he wanted, so why me? Is he trying to buy me, which would be absolutely vomit-inducing in my book? Or is he so fascinated with my boring chitter-chatter about architecture and construction documents that I blabbered on and on about during our dinner? Fucking yawn.

With all of this out of the way, I have no excuse to keep leading Mr J and to lie to The Banker. I don't care whether the latter is an international playboy or a truly one-in-a-million absolutely genuine, incredible guy that he seems to be.

I just can't seem to bring myself to tell Mr J the truth. We've been on and off and doing this hamster wheel game for 2.5 years now and there is no end in sight, that is unless I put an end to it now. But I loved or love or something.... him and a part of me knows that it is way too soon to jump from one man to another.

I sicken myself thinking than only 45 days ago I was helping Mr J with his web site, making plans with him to come visit me for Christmas when I fly home from Singapore. Only 45 days ago I was so, so, so into loving him even though the word love was never said once.

But another part of me wants, wants, WANTS what another man seems to now be so willingly wanting to bring to the table. It wants what I couldn't ever get with Mr J. Affection, companionship, proximity. And in order to have this from The Banker, I have to move on from Mr J.

This is a fucked up mess and I don't see a clean way out. No matter what I do from now on, I will be a cold-hearted bitch in someone's eyes.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In Which I Find Out the Answer...


It's crowded at the bar and our bottle of Grey Goose nearly falls on the floor, after some random accidentally brushes her elbow against it. I am surrounded by people from all walks of life - Singaporeans, sure, but also Chinese, Australian, American, European men and women. The music is loud and everyone is basically yelling at each other, trying to scream over Neyo's "Give Me Everything Tonight".

Out of the corner of my eye I notice a girl in a neon pink wig pour vodka straight out of a bottle and into the mouth of her friend wearing a while veil. Bachelorette party, nothing shocking there expect that they're all doing it on the dance floor, right next to the sign that says "No drinking on the dance floor."

I look back to our table, to The Banker and his friends. He smiles at me and asks if I want to dance. I nod and as we walk toward the dance floor he reached back and grabs my hand with his. I look around, did anyone see this? Did he just make a move on me? Are we on a date?

A few hours later, as we walk up the riverfront to the taxi stand, he asks me if I'd like to go have a drink at his place. I've already had one too many, but I have a feeling this is not just about having one more drink.

"My place is only five minutes away, we can walk there," he says casually.

It's 4am and much too late to be doing anything, but there is something that prevents me from telling him that I just want to go home and get some beauty sleep. His place is only five minutes away, after all, and I want to check it out. I feel the butterflies in my stomach and I can't tell if it's the warm eternal-summer air or him that's making me feel the way I'm feeling. I have a pretty good idea, though, that summer air alone is not capable of wrapping me up in a blanket of infatuation like this.

We get to The Banker's place and it's huge, especially by the Singaporean standards since rent is so expensive on this island. Floor-to-ceiling windows with a wrap-around balcony and a scenic view of the new residential high-rises and little restaurants and shops at the waterfront nearby - this place has just about everything. The Banker cracks open a bottle of wine and we settle in the comfy lounge chairs on the balcony.

"It's hard to meet a girl like you.... and it's a bonus that you are HOT," he actually stresses the word hot as he just drops a bomb like that, in the midst of our conversation about interior design and the like.

Say whaaaa? I'm stomped and I'm glad it's dark enough on the balcony that he can't see that I'm blushing.

"So was this a date then?" I ask.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. I should never even attempt this thing called "flirting".

But surprisingly, he nods and then pulls my chair closer to him and goes in for a kiss.

I think I got an answer to my question.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Date or Not a Date?


Why is it that the popular myth states that WOMEN are the complicated ones?

Maybe I am the only woman in the history of the world who's ever thought this out loud, or at least let it out in a blog, but I can't figure men out for the life of me!

Like the dating situation. You'd think, I am, after all, twenty seven years old and have dated plenty of frogs and princes in my twenty-something life. I've loved exactly (probably) twice in my life and I even had the misfortune to live with one of the exes for three months.

However, I have yet to learn the very basics of men's behavior. Like, how to recognize when a guy is interested in you and, most recently, how to figure out whether I am going on a date or not.

So this new guy, The Banker... he seems different from the rest thus far. For one, he is making me feel all those things I haven't felt for any of my other casual dating partners. The thought of him is actually making me, gasp, smile! I recognized this feeling all too easily when it came over me for the first time on Sunday - I was developing a crush.

The Banker and I had drinks at a quaint little wine bar, sneakily tucked into the depths of a Singaporean side street. It was all so very casual, but I kept catching myself not being able to take my eyes off his eyes, his smile. I was fairly captivated, intrigued by what he had to say. Our conversation was effortless - instant commonalities in every aspect of our pretty different life experiences. I felt like we clicked and then some.

But I couldn't be absolutely sure.

Upon his offer towards the end of the night that we should get together again, perhaps for dinner, I wholeheartedly agreed. The little schoolgirl in me jumped giddily in excitement.

"Ooh, ooh! I can't wait, I can't wait until I hear from him again!" she was squealing in my ear in pure delight.

The next day, much to my delight, The Banker made contact by sending me a text message that followed up on a conversation we had over drinks. I responded back with something rather generic but was still a little let down when he didn't text anything else.

On Tuesday, I tried to stay calm as best as I possibly could. I turned my iPhone off in the evening as to avoid the temptation to text The Banker. I occupied myself by playing Angry Birds, by checking my email, by trying to find the pesky gecko that decided to make my room his home. To no avail.

At around 9pm, my fingers involuntarily and without any permission from my brain typed:

"So, any plans for this weekend?"

Oh sure. Plans. Any plans for this weekend? Trying to act casual but who was I kidding? There was not an ounce of casual in that frantic text message. Super.

I didn't hear from him until two hours later. Two hours that felt like two years, mind you. But he finally responded! He texted back with:

"You beat me to it! How about meeting up Saturday afternoon? If you like outdoorsy stuff and are fine with heights, we can check out the Treetop Walk. Otherwise, we can beat the heat at a museum you haven't been to yet."

We had a brief text conversation after that, where basically I could hardly contain my excitement over the impending course of events but acted polite and cordial by saying that yes, in fact, the Treetop Walk sounds like a lot of fun. Our text exchange concluded with him texting, "Looking forward to it. I think it'll be a lot of fun!"

I won't read into this. Even though I already have 1001 outcomes in my head of how this trip to the Treetop Walk could possibly go. Basically, I want a freaking date out of this. I want the damn Treetop Walk to BE the date. But is it? And how can I tell?

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is a prime example of how a twenty-seven year old can revert back to being fifteen, in a quick blink of an eye.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dating Dilemmas


I did it. I had my first date in Singapore.

Well, I think it was a date. It was all so freaking uncertain. After all, I didn't meet him at a club where it's instantly known whether the attraction is there or not. He's like the CEO of the universe but before you start thinking of me as one of THOSE girls, let it be known, he's only 29. Not much older than me.

He's not Mr J, but he's a dashingly good looking American banker and he lives in Singapore. From what I've gathered he's allegedly ridiculously rich, but honestly, what I care about right now is that he's ridiculously handsome and charming.

He reminds me of an ex who broke my heart, brutally and dishonestly, about three years ago. The fleeting romance with that piece of crap left scars on my heart for a while and I had to work my butt off to completely heal the wounds of a heartbreak. My heart is healed, thank you very much, but the cautious part of me is forever under alert, in case another one of these dirt bags decides to come around my way.

So where was I... the good-looking American... he seemed into me. It was hard to tell though - there were no obvious signs coming from him, except that I'm pretty sure that he looked at my boobs (not so discretely) a couple of times. Oh well. Not like I minded, I guess, but also it's not like it made things any clearer for me.

At the end of the night, in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Singapore, we said good night to each other. He was standing up right and his smile was plastered all over his face. He was freaking cute and I wondered if it wasn't for this busy street, if he'd attempt to kiss me.

"Would you like to get together sometime again? Maybe have dinner?" he said as we were waiting for his cab.

Have dinner. It's all I have to go on, deciding whether he likes me or not. Sure it seems like a good sign. But maybe he was just saying that to be polite and I will never hear from him again after tonight.

It also seems like I'm rushing into things, like I am letting this lust take over me and cloud my eyes so that I momentarily forget about Mr J.

But at the same time I want this new guy to call me. It's been a very long time since I wanted any guy besides Mr J to call me. This... this just might be BIG.

Now I have to wait and find out if the attraction is mutual. Fuck. This is the worst part of dating.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chocolate and Heineken


..or as I like to call it - my dinner of choice in Singapore.

When you live in a hotel room, in a close proximity to touristy gift and snack shops, I can't be bothered to go anywhere and explore any more of the city than I really have to. This week, every dinner, it's been a gourmet selection of Dove chocolate bars and Heineken and Budweiser (U! S! A!) beers. I am quite a picture of healthy living these days.

I might switch up my evening diet for something a little more delicioso as, I think, I had found a perfect place to call my home. I'm hoping to sign my tenant agreement as soon as tomorrow as say "Peace out!" to this hell hole of a hotel room, where a decent internet connection is as hard to find as a fountain of youth.

The place that I had the pleasure of viewing yesterday and that I'd like to call my home soon is a little townhouse in the middle of a beautiful neighborhood in the heart of Singapore. See, with Singapore being one of the top 5 cities in the world known for expensive living, it is nearly impossible to afford a place to live without having any roommates. The cheapest apartment for one is around $5000 USD a month. Yes, a motherfucking month! That's almost as much as I had been spending on my one bedroom apartment in Cincinnati, freaking Ohio. But I digress.

The potential roomies are an American/French couple, and a French girl. They don't believe in TV, are sickeningly into art and alcohol, and like to party hardy after a long day of work. In other words, they sound like my kind of people (though, I will be watching Jersey Shore on my computer as soon as the new season starts!)

As for chocolate and Heineken... say what you will, but it's better than some of the food choices I had encountered in Singapore thus far. I mean, I am one of the most adventurous people when it comes to trying (and loving) new culinary creations, and I keep hearing how Singapore has the most diverse and unique food scene in the world (allegedly). But I am just not seeing it! I've had some rather questionably-tasting meals here, and the only food that I had enjoyed thus far were chicken rice and anything Western.

I know, I know. I sound like I'm being close-minded, but I am trying! Week 1, though.... so far, not so good in the culinary aspect.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Time to Hang Up My Clubbing Shoes... and Sign Up for The Next Round of Bingo...


...Because I am turning 27 today, bitches!

I'm joking about Bingo though, for the most part. I am not one of those people who bathe in self-pity on their birthdays and reminisce about the years less ravaged by time. Yessir, I feel more fabulous than I did one, or two, or three, or four years ago. I also feel content with the person I am becoming, for the most part. And, for the most part, I am looking ahead to the years to come. Also, I probably would rather hit myself over the head with a shovel than engage in a game of Bingo, and I think I will retain this sentiment even when I am an eighty year old woman.

I've got a bunch of money from my parents and from the sale of the car. Always a great gift, especially when one of my number one goals in life right now is to pay off my student loans as soon as possible so I can start saving money for important things in life, like cars, houses, and Portuguese pool boys.

It almost feels like an outer body experience telling people that I am 27. I remember when I considered 24 as "old" and when I was telling my friends that I was not so afraid of turning 30 as I was turning 27, because it was the age that I'd imagined I'd start feeling my twenties slip away, slowly but surely.

Today, I agree with nothing but the last part of the last paragraph. I do feel like I am beginning to see the end of my twenties, though I am not longer scared of this nor do I view 27 as being "even more old than 24".

I also didn't think I'd still be writing this blog. Guess some things never change, after all!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Reality

Tomorrow I'm flying to Chicago to see my love(r) before I fly to Singapore for my job gig for what right now seems like a zillion of years.

I kind of don't want to go. To Singapore that is.... Call it whatever you want, call it cold feet. Call me a wimp. I mean, after all, I was pretty damn excited for, like, the last two months or so, ever since I found out about this international job opportunity. So what the fuck happened?

It's not like I think I am making a mistake and should have never chosen to move across the world in the first place.. It's just this never ending feeling of bitter-sweetness as I'm saying goodbyes to my friends, my family, the guy I love is becoming almost unbearable.

I don't want to lose the relationships I have with the people I hold so closely to my heart... and I know that some will remain close friends despite us being oceans apart. But others will inevitably drift away, fade out with time, or will simply forget about me whether or not I want them to.

Suck it, life. Sometimes you can be such a bittersweet bitch. And, sure, sometimes I can be such a near-sighted simpleton and not see the bigger picture... how this is good for my career and how I am basically moving to a fun, exotic location and will inevitably make new friends and blah bah blah... But still.

It just sort of sucks to finally face reality and no longer talk about moving like it's some hypothetical idea. Because I am basically packing up most of my shit and arranging international shipping and canceling my gym memberships and telling my cell phone company that I'm moving and I need to cancel my data plan. And it's becoming more real than I'd ever thought it'd become.

It also sort of sucks that I already know that the last day of this trip to Chicago will be me realizing how much I heart the guy and me fighting back the tears like I usually do before our goodbyes....

Only I've never said goodbye and I then jetted off to live in a foreign country before...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Money Matters


Let's talk money for a moment. What we all spend most of our days trying to earn. After all, regardless of what our ultimate goal in life is - love, acceptance, power, popularity or expensive yachts and Brazilian models - money plays an important part in every achievement.

I was always the kind of person who believed that if I worked hard enough, money (a reasonable amount) would come my way and I don't have to worry about making more or less than the person sitting next to me. Basically, that I would be rewarded for the labor that I put into my work. From the age of 16 to approximately the age of 26, I was kind of following the mantra of waiting until I get rewarded for a job well done, instead of going into my boss's office and stating it directly to him or her. Like, hey, I think I need a raise.

But a couple of months ago, when I was in the process of looking for jobs, my former co-worker sent me an article from, I believe, The New York Times or some other legit and important source. The article didn't come as a surprise but it alarmed me. Above all, it resonated with me because I recognized that I was probably one of those people that the article was talking about.

You see, the article stated that women entering the workforce even with a higher education expect to receive less pay than men.
"Whoa", I thought, "And here I am just expecting my future bosses to give me a just salary, on par with everyone else's pay. Here I am, too scared to say that my salary might be too low for my level of expertise and dedication and what is expected of me..."

I read on. After five years at the same job the difference in pay gets larger with women expecting that they will make eighteen percent less than men even with increased experience. Women also expect to see promotions at a slower rate than men. The fact that women expect to earn less than men could be causing them to take jobs that pay less. The fact that men expect more could have an effect on them getting more in the way of salaries and promotions.

Mind-boggling. But, like I said, not surprising. I always got slightly uncomfortable when asked about an expected salary at a job interview. I was always afraid that if I aimed high, I would be denied a job position. I was scared to ask for a higher starting pay because I thought that I needed to prove myself first.

"I'll prove myself," I thought, "And then they'll see how good I am and reward me."

But the article contradicted my predictions. I actually had to ASK for more money. I had to believe in my self-worth the minute I stepped my foot into that door for salary negotiations.

And that's what I did for my job in Singapore.

You see, prior to flying out there for a two week trial period, I was offered a salary range in the email from an HR manager at the office there. I eyeballed the salary and decided for myself that the lowest range was pretty unacceptable. Regardless of the amazingless level of the job opportunity, I simply would have had to refuse the job offer because I crossed out the possibility of living under a cardboard box half-way around the world.

After almost two weeks of me being there and seeing what my job position would be all about, the HR manager called me into her office to see if wanted to sign my contract to move to Singapore and to also talk salary figures.

Now in architecture, we don't have any fancy sign-on bonuses or additional monetary incentives, like many of my counterparts with similar education levels might be getting. No, what I was given was a flat all-inclusive salary and a housing allowance. It was slightly higher than the lowest number in my salary range. I could have settled for it. I could have said yes.

But I remember the article. What's the worst that can happen if I say no to this offer? They can withdraw the job offer? So what? I have skills and capabilities that can probably lend me a fine job in the US, even in this struggling economy.

"What do you think," the HR manager asked carefully.

"Um..." I paused, "Well I have to be honest... I was hoping that the offer would be slightly higher. I have to consider all of these expenses that I will have each month. I have to think about my student loans that i have to pay, in US dollars."

I froze in my seat waiting for an answer.

"Well, you have to keep in mind that the standard of living in Singapore is slightly less expensive than in the US. You also have to remember that as a US citizen, you will already be getting more than an average Singaporean would. You have to consider all these things..."
"I know.. but I just don't feel comfortable accepting something that I am not sure would be enough to cover all of my expenses. Can I think it over tonight, and talk about it with my family, and get back to you tomorrow?" I said.

The HR manager agreed. She didn't seem too pleased but she also, contrary to my expectations, didn't leap across the table in rage and tried to choke me out after hearing such a bold refusal.

Three hours later I came home, ready to sit down and figure out my budget, expense by expense. I checked my email. There was a new message from the HR manager.

Without even mentioning a word about her previous offer, she restated the new offer, term by term. She was raising my housing allowance by $6,000/year. The money that would be left over from my housing allowance I would be free to spend in whatever way I wanted. The new offer was only a grand lower than the highest maximum of the salary range I was promised.

I sat there speechless, excited beyond belief. I did it! I kicked some corporate ASS!