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Blog #26: When white lies don’t impress women and make you a little lonelier

(aka: Me and Owen try to set the record straight)

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As Seen On
by in Sex & Dating
September 5, 2018 0 comments

 

Owen’s intro Part 1 is here.

 

After confronting Owen about his wild white lies, he admits to his insecurity – to his credit.  And, he’s quick to resolve our misunderstanding and suggest we hang out soon, in the downtown area of his city. We agree to meet there for happy hour. I’ve set up a date with someone just afterwards, which means Owen and I are limited to a neat two interviewing hours. I’ve told him I have a “friend” coming by afterwards, in advance, so he’s not mad. It’s an escape hatch. An interview escape hatch. While I thought our last conversation was interesting, I need to keep everything professional.

I smell his cologne before I see him.

“I’m really excited because I was telling my friends I met an older woman who’s really cool and interesting,” he says as soon as he takes a seat. He looks like he’s dressed for a downtown nightclub.  I eye him silently. I raise my eyebrows. Is he trying to tell his friends we are on a date?  Because this is not a date.  The guy after him is a date.  “No, not you – I met a different woman,” he clarifies. Okay. Cool.  I congratulate him.

Our beers and chicken wings arrive. Owen mentions he’s read my blog. He wants to know: one of the guys on it is attractive, so why am I interviewing the attractive guy? Does he really have trouble dating?

“I’m not interviewing men with dating trouble,” I remind him; I’m interviewing Asian American men who are actively dating, because I wanted to write something for my Asian American guy friends.

We sit down and make small talk.  Owen has a job interview coming up, and some final exams.  He said he’s had to decide which to do, so he’s decided to skip the finals and flunk his class instead.  He’s testing to work in the service sector, with ambitions to help people from his community.  He wants to help “the poorest of the poor,” he says. “That’s cool,” I say.  I mean it.

Now, I want to know about this woman Owen says he’s been seeing.  And also, why would he sit and tell white lies about his life to me?  I understand not wanting to share personal information, but is having two parents really considered personal?  I feel it’s just the norm.  The golden standard that people with one or zero parents feel they need to attain.  Hiding that you have two parents is like having to hide that you’re heterosexual.  Heteros get all the privileges.

Like last time, Owen is friendly and put-together.  His hair is slicked back, and he wears the button-down shirt and khakis I see in the downtown area all the time.  I can smell his cologne across the table.  But, like last time, his ideas stumble out disjointed.

If we were speaking in Vietnamese, would he be a perfect philosopher?  In English, he says 25% of an idea, switches to the next 25% of another idea, then sprinkles in extra words.

Here are some quotes, as he tells me about dating this older woman:

“I put down my walls of ‘I’m a man.’ Put down my egocentrism. Put all that aside bc it is competing in the field of business”

(“Field of business”?)

He follows this with: “A woman has that too. A woman deals from an emotional side where there’s more EQ than IQ. We base it all on a judgment of emotional [sic] rather than intelligence.

(A woman has…”that”? What? We base …what?… on judgment? Whose emotion / intelligence?)

To be clear, I firmly believe grammar is not necessarily a sign of intelligence. And, Owen speaks two languages, so he’s ahead of the average American. But, his grammar is getting in the way of what he’s trying to say. I try to focus on his main ideas.

Mid-chew, Owen abruptly stops and leans across the table.

“You said you were busy yesterday…. but how do I know, maybe you had a job interview? How do I know you’re not just stealing my ideas to get ahead in your own career?”

Huh?

Is he serious? Like, what job would Owen be helping me with? An acting job, where I play the role of a confused single guy?

The average person is wary of talking to strangers, sharing personal info, and heartbreak. Owen takes these fears closer to one extreme: he believes I am going to profit off his ideas, or stalk him; he believes a woman will leave if he’s not “manly” enough.

Am I copying and selling his dating advice? At best, his dating advice works for him because he believes in it. And belief and faith in his actions is what draws women to him. At worst, his dating advice is based on sexist stereotypes where men have to hide their emotions.

And am I going to stalk him? I point out that people only get stalked if they are rich, famous, or romantically desirable to the stalker — so why would I stalk him? — but Owen doesn’t accept this. “I see what you just did,” he says, smiling, focusing on the part where I’m saying (yet again) I’m not interested in him, as opposed to his illogic.

I’m getting annoyed. I really dislike it when men expect I should have some type of romantic interest in them. Or when they misread my friendliness for sexual attraction. No, not dislike. Hate.

“How would talking to you help me with anything? It’s not like anything you’ve said is interesting enough as-is. What you say is interesting because I’m re-telling it in an interesting way,” I say. Wow. I sound like a super asshole. I need to calm down.

“But how do I know you’re not making money off me?”

“I could be. But this is my story, too. I can write about anything I experience in my life and make money, and so can you.”

“But I’m not a blogger.”

“So? You own your life experience and I own mine. I’m not stealing your story or views. I’m not even sharing your real name. I’m writing about my story and my views. If you don’t want to be part of it, you can leave. It’s okay.”

Whoa. Is this the beer talking? Or my last breakup? Or both? Just like I shouldn’t go grocery shopping when I’m hungry… I shouldn’t interview egotistical men if I just broke up with a egotistical man. It’s like pulling the trigger of a Smith & Wesson .500.

“Okay. I see you feel strongly about this so I’ll let you win,” Owen says. It’s one of the most logical things he’s said to me.

“Listen, if you’re not comfortable with this setup, let me know,” I repeat. I compulsively beat dead horses.”You gave me permission but you don’t have to.”

“Well, you could be lying to me about all of this,” Owen continues. “You lied when you catfished me.”

“That may be true,” I say. I’ve come to terms with the catfishing long ago. I don’t feel guilty. “But, that picture was the only lie I told. As soon as we started making plans, I told you right away I was a writer so why would it matter what I look like? Also, you set up a fake number pretending you thought I was an escort. You have no moral high ground to criticize me for lying. Therefore, I don’t take your complaining seriously.”

“Well, why would you give me your number if you weren’t going to go out with me?” Owen defends himself.

“Listen, it happens. Women get busy. I got busy. Also, we’d never met, so it’s really weird that you got hung up on that.”

“Well, I wanted to know why you’d give out your number and never get back to me.”

“Fine, I get you were curious. But that’s really weird you took it so far,” I say bluntly. Whoa, I am not holding back. “We never even met before. Why would you care so much about someone you never met?” I say, already knowing the answer is “fragile ego.” “I didn’t owe you a text just because I gave you my number. I didn’t even owe you a date.”

It looks like Owen’s going to say something, but now I’m on a roll. In my heart, I honestly feel like someone has to tell him that he was acting entitled to women’s time, and I’m willing to be that bitch.

“And, if you don’t believe me, fine. You can go. But you gave me permission to write about you. And so did my other interviewees.”

“Oh, your subjects give you permission,” Owen says. “That’s all you had to say.”

I close my eyes so I can thoroughly roll them.

My annoyance passes and now I feel badly. Does he need to deal with rejection better? Yeah, because, that’s life. Rejection happens. We need to deal.

But, it’s clear to me that…deep inside, Owen has a sincere heart for helping others. He passionately speaks of wanting to help those in need as a social worker. And his devout Catholicism is evident: to the point he has a story about approaching a woman at a club and telling her he sees she’s a woman of God who has gotten “lost in darkness” (her response: to burst into tears). Is it possible he’s trying to protect himself to the point he feels like he has to put on a mask — some cartoon of a “man” he has in his mind?

We finish our conversation, and I make some jokes to smooth out the awkwardness I’ve totally created. Owen accepts it and lets the conversation continue.

Eventually, he lets me listen to his SoundCloud, a series of Christian-oriented tracks that he said he made while he was in a dark place. His lyrical style is identical to his speaking style, which is: a mishmash of thoughts, musings on the demon and darkness, and finding God. While I’m having trouble understanding him in conversation, the abstract format of lyrics works for him. Through his music, I see he’s battled depression in his life, and his spirituality has helped him through. I put down the headphones and he looks concerned. He wants to know what I think. He’s opened himself up and now he’s worried I’ll judge him.

I nod encouragingly. I liked it, I say honestly. “Thanks for sharing.” Owen looks relieved.  He still won’t show me his online dating profile. But, he tells me now, he’s not in school, after all. He’s looking for a job.  Another lie?  Oh my god. Why?

For all his talk about “putting down walls,” he’s built a lot of them. I mean, I get it — I over-think and over-analyze with the best of them. But at least, I’m not afraid to tell someone I have parents. At least, I freely admit I sometimes feel sad. And, at least, I fully recognize the value in opening up to a trustworthy and deserving partner.  But, maybe I am just being judgmental.

This time, our second time around, Owen has toned down the whole “be a man, be dominant, be mysterious” red-pill bullshit.

I check the time. My date will arrive soon. I let Owen know, and he immediately asks if I’d prefer that he leave, or if the three of us could hang out. He’s very polite. I circularly say I’d rather that he leaves, and we’ll catch up later.

“Is he a good friend of yours?” Owen asks. I lie and nod. Actually, I’ll tell this reciprocal white lie because I don’t know my date well enough to put him under any scrutiny from anyone but myself.

When my date arrives, he and Owen acknowledge each other briefly. My date, a tattooed Asian American guy, enters.  Owen abandons his empty beer glass on the table.  Owen leaves.

“I was wondering if I should make him think I am part of a gang and scare him,” my date says, amused. Asian American gangs are ubiquitous in the South Bay.  “He wouldn’t even look me in the eye,” my date explains. “It would be fun to fuck with him.”  So, this is how Owen is around other men? I’m surprised.

I put away my notes and decide to hold off further judgment.  Now that I don’t need to pay meticulous attention to every word, it’s time to have a drink.

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Each post is a great fucking adventure

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