Spring of 2012. Upon returning to Shenzhen, I was in a bit of a dry spell. Or rather, continuing a bit of a dry spell. Life was going well enough, I was productive and working out often and biking and writing and generally getting used to my newly familiar setting. Self-growth, nicely, for the most part. But I guess I was out of practice in one regard. It happens.
Various rejections. In person and online. Whatever. Finally, I decided to take some dreaded pickup advice. Ach, that whole thing. Off and on I must admit I’ve been into that. Not something I need consider these days, but at the time I figured why not…
I went on POF and made a new profile. I took a blurry picture of myself in goggles and a funny hat – a bit apprehensive that anyone might recognize me – and proceeded to create the most ridiculous profile possible. The kind of thing you can’t even mock, a total caricature of an entitled prick who thinks he’s some gift to women and is totally arrogant about it. All intentions put out there. It is total bullshit, and I’d have no need to do this thing nowadays, but it was the time to rack up experience. What can I say?
“Run away,” I wrote. “If you know what’s good for you.”
That’s called disqualification, or some such shit.
Wouldn’t you know it? The damn thing actually worked.
Thing was, I was funny. Nobodytook it seriously, they just enjoyed the crass humor because was something different than the usual horde of desperate lonely men on dating sites.
First, I met a nice girl named Emma. I peaked her interest; we chatted for a while.
I do like communicating by email. I am in control of my thoughts, no awkward pauses, and I can edit accordingly before hitting send. People usually get my sense of humor, although I sometimes can get myself in trouble. Naturally, the emails then upgraded to phone texting. Which is a medium I am also well experienced in though not my preference.
Everybody has their own preferred method of communication. Some people like long phone conversations. Some, a dying breed, write actual letters. I guess even my breed’s long emails is slowly becoming endangered. Most everybody is cool with just texting these days, for sure.
After texting upgraded to talks, we made plans. She bussed over to my neighborhood. Upon meeting in person, I immediately had to give up the facade and just act my usual dumb self.
She’s cute, I though. She was short. She wasn’t a knockout, but she had a certain style about her I could appreciate. I took her to a little whole-in-the-wall pub, escalated and so on, made out a bit.
She was a Chinese English teacher. That is, she’s a Chinese person who works as an English teacher. Hence, her English was rather good. We had good conversations. I liked talking to her.
My dateable standards definitely preclude fluent speakers of English only. Though I’m studying Mandarin as much as I can, to go on dates and make a human connection I need to have real conversation.
I don’t get that breed of expats who fuck girls they can’t even talk to, but those are a muddy breed indeed.
Emma was chill. She hung out at my house often in those days. We never actually sealed the deal, to be perfectly honest. We made out plenty, we went somewhat further than that, but not all the way. (Nudity was involved, if I may say so) We were to be friends, we weren’t meant to be a couple. And that’s very okay.
I introduced her to some cool people, she got into the Shenzhen scene. She later became a somewhat-successful a writer herself. That’s a story for another day.
Oh yeah, and her being a professional teacher and all I started employing her in tutoring me in Mandarin. Not her specialty, but it made a big difference in that she could explain grammar and vocabulary. We went through a whole half a textbook together. Thanks Emma.
It might not have been professional way to meet a tutor, and I am in no way condoning. Just how it worked out at the time.
We are still friends.
Now, I now know that I tend to project bullshit. It takes me a while to figure some things out, but come on. I project too much upon the idea of having a girlfriend, and then I disappoint myself and disappoint others. It happens every once in a while.
And bullshit process it may be, I did ultimately meet someone special. For a while, it was nice and I was happy.
Summer was coming up…
At last… There was one other girl I met. She too thought I was funny.
Her name was Jeanie, she was great, and for the next six months she became my new apparent so-called “girlfriend”.
Next: on girlfriends…