2013 – My epic clusterfuck drama year: It should have been nice, I joined a writing group ad even got a newspaper job. But endless relationship drama kinda’ ruined everything, such as when I got a stalker and also some of that all-encompassing despair of heartache…
For me, 2013 was the most dramatic of years. It started slow, with early episodes displaying a simple lack of confidence and success. Then I tried to make up for lost time, and went too far. I found myself stuck in the quagmire of drama and heartache and stalking.
Throughout the year, while I did go to a whole other country for romance, in the meantime I tried my best to put myself out there and meet cooler girls, and was subsequently rejected multiple times. Chinese and foreigners alike. Former coworkers, girls I met on the subway, all those I met in real life seemed not to be impressed by me. So I went by the tried-and-true method of online dating, and that means the website of POF…
Early into the year’s journeys, I emailed a pleasant helo to Sonia. She was an engineer from Iran who lived in the outer suburbs of Shenzhen. (A suburb in a Chinese doesn’t mean picket fences. It means desolate places near factories and far from the interesting, modern parts of the city.) We flirted and I invited her on a tour of downtown, with me as guide.
Being from Iran, it was very interesting to talk to Sophia about politics and culture. Nothing was off-limits. I was left with a very good impression of modern Iran, which sadly is an impression that many Americans do not get these days.
I could put out a disclaimer to everyone: Not only am I Jewish, I was born in Israel. It is my heritage and my ethnicity, but I don’t think of it as having that much to do with my identity these days. My father is American and I moved to the U.S. as a baby. I know no Hebrew. I am basically an atheist — I like to call myself a “mystical atheist” but no time for an extensive theological discussion here — and I feel great antagonism towards organized religion. I have zero interest in going to Israel and joining the military to fight for an apartheid state surrounded by brainwashed lunatics, thank you very much.
Culturally, the Jewish people have brought great advances to Western culture as well as science. I think history has shown educated liberal Jews going to America is a perfect fit. Politically and culturally, Israel is another story. It is a somewhat messier and more complex place, and I do not think history has shown that Zionism has accomplished much of anything at all. Well, too late now. The region is what it is. I do not wish to delve too deeply into controversial politics, that’s not the point of this blog. Just letting you know how I feel, just letting you know where I’m coming from when it comes to meeting Persian girls.
Sonia did not seem to be racist against Jews whatsoever. She came across as a very worldly open-minded person, and she gave me a hell of a chance. She did tell me that it was hell to be in Saudi Arabia, and Iranians liked traveling to Turkey so they could act out more freely. She was politically very much against Israel, and on that I pretty much agreed.
Iranians abroad, from my understanding, tend to reject theocratic-conservative values and do whatever they want to do as 21st century human beings. Sonia confirmed this. She had no issues with being the naively feminine sort; and yeah there was intimacy that first night.
She wasn’t my type, to be perfectly honest. Attraction-wise. A big girl albeit with a pretty face, but I’m simply not into big girls. What we had between us was an opportunity I wanted to experience, and hence we shared an experience. I have now learned on an intrinsic level that young Iranians are absolutely not religious fundamentalists, I know it as deeply as possible, and hey I hope that can be good for American-Iranian relations.
So, it definitely wasn’t any potential boyfriend-girlfriend dating situation and she knew it. I guess we were supposed to be fuckbuddies, as certain expats abroad like to do to pass the time, but we never ended up repeating the experience.
She invited me to her place to cook one another time, and it was very nice of her. But I didn’t like that area. I didn’t stay over. We made some other plans but kept cancelling and it didn’t develop. I don’t remember the details, but I do recall a text saying that it was over and she got mad at me. Perhaps I was dating someone else, perhaps there was some overlapping drama at that junction. It all became something of a blur in the midst of that year.
I hope I wasn’t too rude.
I hope I didn’t leave her with a poor impression of Jewish Americans.
I met Jing on POF, and we corresponded a while before meeting. Always too busy, she was yet another girl who lived far away, and even our first date when we finally did meet it was a bad date. Luckily, she gave me another chance.
Somehow, over the course of the year, Jing became my most stable friend-with-benefits. For several months, she was my most drama-free of dates and for that I will forever be grateful to her.
2013 was my Epic Clusterfuck Year. I like to process it that way, because it gives me hope that other years will better. There’s no other way to describe it. I made some serious mistakes, and the drama caught up with me, and I hope to never go through that again.
I wish to reflect, but I hope I’m not coming across as whiney. My problems are my responsibility, I deal with them in my own way, and hopefully the point of this blog is not to complain but to look upon myself in the mirror as harshly as possible and grow from it. Hence I’m sharing.
I was travelling in January of that year. It was nice but it wasn’t my most confident time, seeing everyone else settle down except for me. Though I had fun. Some fun in America, that is. Then I completely embarrassed myself with a friend in Hong Kong. After that, I felt the need to rush into Internet dating. Two websites: OkCupid and POF. I’ll write about OkCupid next post. Mostly it was POF. Seems to be a fairly popular site in Shenzhen and China and Asia; I’ve met Chinese and foreigner women alike over that year.
Generally speaking, while Internet dating is obviously growing more mainstream, people who are into it tend not to be the cream of the crop. Me included! Some people are simply too busy or shy to pick up at the club or meet through mutual friends or whatever more natural methods, and other people are the desperate socially-awkward who use websites. I’ve been lucky enough to meet the cool people, for the most part. My luck was about to run out.
I lowered my standards, I admit it. I accepted anyone who would have me, and I paid the price for that.
It all started with a woman whom I shall now refer to as The Stalker. I won’t even think up a name.
She was a bit older than me, very thin, an independent businesswoman with various streams of income. You’d think she would have her life together, but you can never know for sure.
It was standard fare at first. Met up and went to dinner and walked in parks and went to some parties and got to know each other. She stayed at my house on occasion. It was supposed to be causal. I wasn’t looking for a deep relationship, and I said as much. We did specifically talk about it; we agreed we weren’t going to be boyfriend and girlfriend. I bloody had that conversation, I truly did. Like that ever works.
That spring, my beloved old flame Julia came to visit me from abroad. I was so excited. And I had to be completely honest and told my new date that a previous girlfriend was to stay at my place and I think we should break things off. Nothing romantic came of Julia’s visit, although I was extremely happy to see her and show her around my current life. Well, it was as good an excuse as ever to get over this woman and move on.
The first time The Stalker came to my apartment crying, I had no idea what to do. What a terrible feeling. Was I guilty of some horrendous crime? How was I supposed to handle this?
When she started demanding that we meet once a week, it was initially just annoying. I wouldn’t necessarily mind staying friends, if it was natural and organic, but she made it into this chore. And I’m busy; I don’t see most of my friends as often as once per week so why should I focus so much more attention on her?
I tried my best to gently push her away. While simultaneously letting her down easy. She begged me to be with her for three months or she’d die or something. I said no way. That’s ridiculous, that’s not how it works. I still answered the phone, replied to her messages, read her rambling emails, and met up from time to time. This lasted months and months and months. It didn’t work at all.
This strategy to let her down easily was a bit ill-conceived.
This ‘friendship’ I was stuck in was no fun at all.
Suicide threats in particular are a real downer.
Before I get into the suicide threats, here’s a funny convoluted story. Coulda’ been a sitcom plot:
Some people just attract chaos to them, you know those kinds, for some reason they always have a dark cloud of complications hanging over them (I dare hope I’m not that kind of person). So The Stalker had a sort of stalker of her own. There was some creepy guy that would call her and harass her, that was her own issue from before she even met me.
She decided to tell this guy that she married me. Then she asked for my help. I’m not above pretending I’m in a relationship with a platonic female friend so guys at parties won’t hit on her and so on, that can be a thing, but the lengths this particular deception went to were getting ridiculous.
There is no sucker in the world like me, I can’t believe I agree to things like this.
It’s like this. Chinese people really like to take wedding pictures. More than they like to have actual wedding ceremonies. You see these studios all over the place, where they seemingly take pictures of the couple in European cafes and pirate ships. So she paid a photography studio and I spent a hellish 5 hours waking up early and going to this studio and dressing up in their wardrobe. She promised it would only be two hours. My lord I hate having my time wasted. Hours of makeup and changing clothes and going outside and faking smiles. I can’t believe I had to have a cheerful face through it.
She always was a black hole of time. The endless conversations all night. Morosely and silent long walks to bus stops. Making me meet her at train stations after her random disappearances. She loved taking my valuable time – time I could be doing something productive and happy – and making it all about her darkness.
If she thought this photo session was some way to seduce me, she was way off. It really pissed me off. After it was finally over with, the more I thought about it the more I realized how stupid I had been to get in this situation.
Later she gave me the picturebook thing and they were jut cheap remnants of the stupidest memories ever. She put them on her Facebook or something, I made sure she didn’t tag me, and I went along with it for a while.
Occasionally she’d buy me gifts, like clothes. I didn’t like that either , it made me uncomfortable. She wasn’t going to win me over, ever, and if only she could accept that and moved on long ago. Instead of letting it turn out the way it did.