relationships

Guys And Dolls

WordPress, I told you I’d be back, within a week no less.

I saw this photo the other day, and I can’t lie – I laughed my ass off:

suggs

Look, I understand it’s cliche, but it’s true. To women all over the world – we just don’t think as much as y’all.

This explains why dating, and even more simply male and female interactions in general, are so messed up these days.

I admit it – sometimes I check out our Reader feed and I find myself amused at the countless number of posts from male and female bloggers who lament about their romantic struggles. But fear not – I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. I mean, really, you have to find the comedy in single dating life, especially if it’s your own. Don’t worry, once you’re finally with that special someone, you’ll look back at these days and laugh even harder.

The general opinion is that guys are bad at texting. I tend to agree with this (not me though, I mean, can’t you tell by the Pulitzer-caliber writing quality of this blog that I’m phenomenal at texting) with a caveat – men and women simply communicate differently. The photo says it all – she over-analyzes and he over-simplifies. Maybe, just maybe, if women kept it a little more simple and men pulled back the curtain a little bit more in the text game, then singles would be better off. Just a thought.

P.S. By the way, Guys And Dolls, how did I come up with this oh so witty title? Well, Emily and I were in Netflix and chill mode the other night when we decided to watch Bill Murray’s Christmas Special because, well, Bill Murray is awesome. In the special, Murray sings Baby It’s Cold Outside. I think to myself, Hey who wrote that song? I go on Wikipedia and find out it was written by Frank Loesser. I think to myself, Hey, Frank Loesser wrote Guys And Dolls. And here we are. It’s been three days and I still can’t get this song out of my head.

P.P.S. If you haven’t, you should watch Guys and Dolls. Marlon Brando singing is horrifically awesome.

 

Chris.

Hanging On By A Thread

Back in the year 2000, I was a senior in high school. The year consisted mostly of college applications, goofing around in class, and playing sports. Any pressure of doing well in school was alleviated; the work, or damage, was already done, so it was left up to the college gods to determine my fate, as it were. I had a good time.

A big reason for why my senior year was enjoyable was my friends. There was about seven of us that did pretty much everything together. We’d play basketball, go bowling, go to the movies, and hang out on the weekends, and during school we would be in the same classes and have lunch and breaks together. There was a real sense of camaraderie and brotherhood, and though college was on the horizon where our paths would diverge, we felt like the bonds that we created during our formative adolescent years would carry our friendships through a lifetime of different experiences.

Today, I am still friends with only one of those high school guys.

It’s an all too familiar story that for the most part all of us can relate to – losing touch with high school friends. But it’s not just friends from back in high school. The truth is, no matter what stage of life we’re talking about, the friends we make and have can and will likely fall by the wayside. But why is that? Are having our lives go in different directions the reason for this? Is it because people change and are no longer the same version of themselves as they were at a particular time?

I think those are all valid explanations, but the one I believe in the most is this: friendships are fragile, and oftentimes a single instance can break them beyond repair.

It’s not as if I had a huge falling out with my high school friends. That was a case of time growing people apart. But let’s look at the friends that we have amassed in our lifetimes, and more specifically, within the last five to ten years. It could be a comment someone said, or what someone did or didn’t do in a certain situation, but little moments in time can have damaging effects on friendships. Maybe a one-time friend made an offensive comment or perhaps someone left us high and dry in a time of need; whatever the case may be, people are quick to bail on friendships.

It’s a combination of things, I suppose. As we get older, our personal thresholds for bullshit decrease. We become more set in our ways and oftentimes less compromising on certain principles. Our time becomes more valuable and in turn we become more selective on whom we choose to spend our time with. Whatever the reason may be, all of our friendships, no matter how close or strong they may seem at the moment, are all hanging by a thread. And the thread can break at any time.

I don’t write all this to paint a grim picture of humanity (even though I tend to be a misanthrope). I write this to point out that we should appreciate the people we call friends today. It’s human nature to take people for granted, so while we are in the good graces of those we call friends and vice versa, let’s do all we can to stay friends.

 

Chris.

An Abbot Kinney Anniversary

So how was everyone’s weekend, good? Actually, I don’t care.

Saturday was our two year anniversary. Yes, that’s right, someone out there exists that can actually stand being with me for two years. It turns out that I’m not so bad. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I am a h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s individual, and as long as you don’t mind the chronic flatulence, I can be a good time.

Anniversary day is code for doing whatever she wants (if you’re reading this, Emily, I am totally kidding). After a relaxing morning that involved Netflixing and eating breakfast burritos, we took a drive out to Santa Monica. A few days ago, Emily found out that a Philz Coffee existed in Santa Monica. The news gave her an orgasm – a coffee orgasm, that is.

Philz Coffee in Santa Monica, CA

Philz Coffee in Santa Monica, CA

I like coffee but I go out of my way to drink regular coffee on a regular basis. What do I mean? People get extremely snobby about coffee, scoffing at commercialized, “normal” brands from their high horses. I don’t want to be that guy who’s always drinking the premier brands that the hardcore bougie coffee aficionados drink.

I must say, though, Philz does make a legit brew.

Speaking of bougie, we made our way to Venice afterwards where we spent the afternoon on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. This street is basically a hipster’s wet dream. There’s nothing but boutique shops and restaurants there. I did come across a cool men’s fashion store called The Stronghold, and Emily was able to buy some treats for our dog at Modern Dog. By the way, bringing our dog with us – not a great idea. He’s more A.D.D. than a thirteen-year old Asian gamer.

The highlight of my time there was eating a mint chip ice cream cone and witnessing an older MILF-like woman throw up on the sidewalk from drinking one too many mimosas. I wish I had captured that on camera.

A shot of Abbot Kinney Boulevard

A shot of Abbot Kinney Boulevard


Emily and Kang Kang

Emily and Kang Kang


At The Stronghold

At The Stronghold

Of course, there was traffic ready to kick me in the balls as we departed Abbot Kinney to head home. I shouldn’t be surprised at this point, but yet I can’t help but feel a bit astonished to see that much freeway congestion on a Saturday.

At night, I took Emily to a sushi restaurant in Yorba Linda called Sushi Noguchi. When we got seated, the only thing on my mind was beer. We had some nice unagi, uni, salmon, yellowtail, and tuna. We were really able to taste the quality of the fish as the cuts were thick and smooth. And did I mention beer?

Cold Japanese beer on tap is magic.

Cold Japanese beer on tap is magic.

All in all, it was a good day. I won’t get into the gifts or what we hand-wrote in the cards that we gave each other. I’m also not going to mention the fight Emily and I got into that day (fellas: a girl will freak out on you from time to time; just weather that storm and roll on). Why spoil things, y’know? I just want everyone to know that it was a nice way to celebrate two years of relationship bliss. I didn’t have to break the bank (though that sushi wasn’t cheap); all we had to do was change it up a little bit. It was quite nice, minus the traffic.

That pretty much sums up Los Angeles – nice, minus the traffic.

Happy 2 years to us.

Happy 2 years to us.

Chris.

Sleepwalking In Traffic

Traffic sucks.

Day after day, I sit in my car, switching between the brake and the gas pedal in a sea of vehicles that move about as slowly as our lives seem to move in that moment. I can feel a glaze falling over my face as I enter a trance-like state, fueled by monotony, mindless.

I’ve sat through traffic so often that all the days coalesce into a singular memory. I can’t distinguish one day from another. It feels like I become a sleepwalker driving a car among other sleepwalkers.

The word sleepwalker reminds me of a song – not necessarily the famed Santo & Johnny tune, “Sleepwalk,” which is such a classic that, whether we know it or not, it’s burned within our collective subconscious – but the song “Sleepwalker” from the movie her, composed by Arcade Fire, one of my personal favorite bands.

Speaking of her, that has to be my favorite movie of this decade. The story is set in the future, but really Spike Jonze is depicting modern relationships – what people are going through today.

I see, hear, and read about it all the time. People are lonely; in a world that “connects” individuals through more mediums than ever before, these mediums are the exact thing that push people away from each other. Our Facebook friends aren’t friends and our Instagram followers are just stats. Whether we know it or not, we are dehumanizing each other via cyberspace.

Dating is confusing. No one knows the rules. Are there even rules? If we text each other day and night, does that count as a relationship? What are we to make of the face to face interactions that are so different from the online exchanges? If we don’t want to meet anyone at a bar or a club and we don’t feel comfortable using these online dating platforms, what do we do?

Which brings me back to traffic. I live in Los Angeles, where everyone drives and usually alone. Everyday I am stuck moving like molasses on a freeway crammed with other solitary drivers. We’re all heading in the same direction, yet we’re going to different places. The people driving next to me are always random people whom I know nothing about, but we share a space for that moment in time.

And that’s life, isn’t it? It’s a bunch of people sharing space. We’re busy with places to go and we hardly take the time to be in the moment. We’re so caught up in our own shit that we don’t empathize or humanize in our minds the people around us. It’s like we’re constantly in the same state we’re in while driving: sleepwalking in traffic.

Hopefully, one of these days, we’ll wake up.

Chris.

Remembering Single Life

Yesterday I came home from work to an empty house.

Emily was away on a business trip, and I had asked my parents to dogsit for us while she’s gone.

It was definitely a bit odd arriving to a silent home. Originally, I thought that I was going to enjoy having the house to myself. Everyone needs their alone time, after all, and this would be a brief moment to soak in the joys of solitude.

We’ve all heard it before – the grass is greener on the other side. When we’re single, we look at couples in love with equal parts of wonder, contempt, pity, and envy. We may think, How pathetic, they depend on each other for happiness. Why can’t they just be happy on their own? Losers. Or, Get a room you assholes. But deep down, perhaps we feel jealousy creeping up our spinal cords, longing to be with that someone to experience life with, who can tolerate us just enough and not fill us with shame when they see how ridiculous our naked bodies look in bed.

When we’re in a relationship, we look at single people in the same way, don’t we? We almost resent them for being so different, yet we envy their seemingly independent lifestyles. Our single friends can fly off to Rome on a moment’s notice without any permission, we think. They have all the time to sit around and do what they want.

Despite everyone being gone and my having the house to myself, I really didn’t do anything different. I didn’t have a massive freakout session a la Tom Cruise in Risky Business. All I did was eat some leftovers and watch a movie on Netflix – I ended up watching Electrick Children; kind of an odd movie, I think I enjoyed it, but am not completely sure.

This blog is called A Couple Talks. Emily and I started this whole thing because we thought we’d enjoy doing this together. That was the point and still is – together.

Thinking about last night though, I wonder, where the hell would I be if I was single? Would my life be that much different? I mean, I’d be eating out a lot more and the interior design of my home would be a lot worse – I never gave a shit about that before Emily moved in – but what about me? What kind of person would I be right now?

The core of who I am is the same, and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t believe anyone should completely change who they are on account of someone else. It’s like a meat lover giving up beef to be with a vegan – why would anyone do that?

However, I must say that I’ve improved in many ways being with Emily. I read a lot more, have experienced new things, and have become more open to new possibilities about the future. In a way, it’s like I’ve stayed the same person but in a more enlightened state. And isn’t that what we all want from a relationship?

Don’t get me wrong, being single is great. There’s so much personal growth that can happen being single. I know a lot of people are sick of dating, viewing it as a waste of time to spend an evening with a stranger which will most likely end up nowhere. And I know a lot of people also feel like they are doomed to be single forever, feeling like there is absolutely no way that they will meet anyone compatible enough to be in a lasting committed relationship with.

If this is you, the truth is, I have no idea if you’ll ever find that person you can spend the rest of your life with. It would be bullshit for me to be like, There there, you’ll meet the one eventually, everyone does. I have no fucking clue.

What I believe is this – life can appear to be completely random, and most of it is, but it’s really up to us to make of it what we want. Whether we’re single or in a relationship, we should always be evaluating the state of our lives – Is this how we want our lives to be? Are we in a good place? Are we headed in the right direction? What can we do to improve ourselves and our situation?

Our fates are not sealed. We have the pen and paper, so let’s be the ones writing our life story rather than having someone else write it for us.

– Chris.

A Guide to Getting a Girl’s Digits

Last night, our friends got together to celebrate Chris turning another year wiser.

We went to this bar/lounge/club in Orange County called The Commissary Lounge. I would like to rename this place The Meat Market. I have coined it The Meat market because my girlfriends and I could feel the eyeballs scanning us from head to toe as we walked into the empty room at 9:30. Picture a big warehouse, empty in the center of the room, and the perimeters lined with couches, a full bar, and a DJ. As the time passed on and the center started filling in, I did notice some women whenever I scanned the room for Chris. But it was definitely a sausage fest from where I was standing. So much of a sausage fest that there was an endless rotation of men who approached we three girls the entire night.

Credit: Yelp

Credit: Yelp

As one of Chris’s friends puts it, “You know you’re a hot commodity when you’re drunk and you didn’t even pay for a single drink.”

Chris has written posts about how he thinks men should approach women. Given yesterday’s eventful night, I’d like to share a woman’s perspective of what works and what doesn’t work. Without further ado, I share with you a tactical guide to getting a girl’s number.


WHAT WORKS: Approaching a girl and asking her common questions like, A/S/L? I must have told at least 5 guys that we were from Arizona and I now live in Fullerton. *Yawn*.

WHAT WORKS BETTER: Small talk and basic get-to-know-you is okay, but what really stands out is when someone can spark a common interest or make an interesting observation off the bat. It is also refreshing when someone can show off their sense of humor or personality instead of interview you. Maybe I am annoyed by the interview questions because I’m a recruiter Monday-Friday. Leave me alone.

Example: A guy started asking a series of “Would you rather” questions. “Would you rather be fat with a beautiful face or have a model body with an ugly face?” … “Would you rather live life to the fullest and die at 35 or live a stable, ordinary life until 60?” … “Would you rather have hair all of your body and not be able to shave or be hairless everywhere?” The defensive shield lowered with every laugh.


 WHAT WORKS: Early on in the night when the room was empty, us three girls sat on the couches. We were engaging in conversation until a pot head randomly sat down on one end and proceeded to have a conversation with Ms. Hot Commodity. This approach was okay, as he ended up conversing for around 15 minutes. Apparently he was pretty deep with the aid of Mary Jane.

WHAT WORKS BETTER: A really outgoing, confident dude came up to all three of us on the dance floor. What was really smooth about this approach was he didn’t single any one of us out. But what he was able to pick up from this conversation was that I was in a relationship, another was engaged, and only one was available. Even then, he continued to engage with the engaged girl, making jokes like, “How did I not notice that? Look at that ring. That must be a VS2.” Girls look to their girlfriends for approval and by being friendly with a girl’s girlfriends, you’ve just made allies. Plus, if you are able to learn multiple girls are single, you can then make your move instead of strike out with the, “Sorry. I have a boyfriend.” move. Often told by single girls as a shield.

WHAT DOESN’T WORKA dude literally came up to me and introduced himself as we shook hands. The next question he asks is, “Where are you from?” As I internally sighed, I explain I’m from AZ but moved to Fullerton. He follows up with, “What made you move out here?” I replied, “For love.” What happened next? This fool literally walked away. Good luck getting close to my single friends!


 WHAT REALLY WORKS: Be genuinely nice.  There were a group of guys towards the end of the night who offered to buy us girls multiple drinks. But then one of them realized Miss Anonymous probably had reached her limit, and offered to get her water. Not just tap water but bottled water. This doesn’t really matter too much to me because when I’m dehydrated I could care less if it is filtered but bonus points to this super considerate nice guy.

By the way, this guy was the only one out of all the sausages who ended up leaving with a number. 🙂

dwight the office

#Winning

~Emily

Summertime Beach Bodies

The June Solstice occurred this past Sunday, signaling summer’s official arrival.

What does this mean? It’s time to hit the beach.

It’s time for my pale-yellow skin to get some sun so that it can turn golden brown (maybe more like orange-brown). It’s time to take full advantage of the beaches that LA and Orange County have to offer.

Actually, the beaches here are not that great. They are dirty. The water’s cold. And there are way too many people out here. That Baywatch is full of shit.

Also, I have a bit too much pale-yellow skin on my body at the moment.

***

Most of us experienced Freshman 15. We go off to college and find ourselves in full control of our dietary habits for the first time, and what do we encounter? Buffet-style cafeteria food. Back in my freshman year, nutrition was not at the forefront of society’s consciousness like it is today. Carbs wasn’t a bad word, and shoving copious amounts of protein down our throats was reserved for weightlifters.

I sure miss my eighteen-year-old metabolism. Eating pizza and chili dogs at 2 AM was no problem at all. Now, if I eat a piece of bread after 10, my ass will be jiggling for a week and I’ll be gassy as hell when I go to work the next day. It’s okay though, I’m a professional crop-duster.

***

Emily and I have been living together for a little over 8 months now, and I’ve experienced another similar phenomenon – Relationship 15. Full disclosure – my diet as a single bachelor was bland and boring – Chipotle salads, teriyaki chicken bowls, and cereal. If my diet were a person, he would’ve been every character ever played by Ben Stein (Bueller… Bueller). But it got the job done, I was able to maintain a healthy weight this way.

Now that Emily’s around, she’s been cooking some great meals – pasta, stir fry, Asian noodle dishes, etc. They taste great and all, but damn I don’t remember these pants ever being this tight. I didn’t notice until a few months ago when I hit the scale and it read 170. Holy shit – I am going through my fat-Elvis phase. Given that I’m 5’9″, this means I am technically nearing the overweight category.

It was also hard to notice because Emily never gains weight. She’s an ectomorph – she can shit off pounds without having to do cardio. I am more of a mesomorph, which means that while she’s freaking out over gaining one pound, I’ll be sitting over here marveling at how I managed to gain fifteen pounds since we moved in together.

I guess the beers and sodas aren’t helping either.

***

Needless to say, beach season is not off to an ideal start.

Part of me is saying that I shouldn’t care at all about this weight gain. I can still fit in all my clothes, even though it’s getting a more snug by the day. I mean, who do I need to impress, anyway? We need to learn to love ourselves and feel proud of our bodies no matter what, right?

Fuuuuuck that.

The great thing about fitness and getting in shape is how poignant of a metaphor it is for life. What we get is what we put in. No pain, no gain. No shortcuts. Personally, being content at 170 pounds would feel like settling for less. I’m looking at getting into shape as a good challenge of discipline and willpower. If we push ourselves, I think we’d be surprised at how much we can accomplish, not only in fitness, but life in general.

It’s good to have goals, specific ones at that. We can all sit around and say we want to lose weight and get in shape, but what does that mean exactly? Setting targets and specific marks will sharpen our direction and give us greater drive.

With that said, I’m going to shoot for a weight of 155 by August. Hopefully, my body shape will resemble more like a yellow Mike & Ike and less like a Lemondrop.

Feel free to share any summer fitness goals. Writing them down and sharing them with the world will give you greater motivation to do the damn thing.

– Chris.