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Blog #30: Would you fly to California for a girl you just met on Tinder?

Each post is a great fucking adventure

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May 6, 2019 0 comments

“Do you think I’m a monster?” To his credit, that was KJ’s first question to me.

A lot has happened in the last few months. After meeting up with me, KJ flew back to the midwest where he capitalized on his exotic popularity with white women as usual, had a lot of sex as usual, and then met an 18 year old Asian-American girl from California online that he is now planning to try and date. Okay, okay…. not Tinder. An app for Asian Americans.

Now, I’m here driving to a local Starbucks to meet up with KJ and this 18 year old. I’m remembering how he asked me the question – do you think I’m a monster? – and how I’d delicately answered: people who are younger don’t always know how to read your intention, because they don’t have the life experience to back it up. It’s easy to hurt or traumatize someone that young, because they walk in with expectations they can’t see in themselves yet. Basically, I’m trying to tell him to back off and not pressure her.

Obviously, my message got obscured in my general reply. I’d been trying to let him come to his own conclusions. Interviewer fail. I asked him how many people he’d slept with in the last two weeks – to measure his level of interest in this little girl.

“Two,” he admits. “I’m a thot, noona.” Another pause. He defended himself against an imaginary judge (not me): “I’ll give it all up if I’m in a relationship though.”

When we’d talked last week, I’d wanted to know, with all his midwest options, why is it he liked her so much? Why was he willing to fly across the country for her?

His answers in bulletpoint format:

  • she doesn’t ask him for anything
  • the women he knows are worse than the men he knows, with their “little black books”
  • she doesn’t care about his money and even offers to pay her own way, despite working a minimum wage job
  • she doesn’t care about his social status or job position

In his words, she’s “real.”

She’s also 18.

I learned long ago never to judge someone’s relationship, unless it’s totally out of my ethics: using alcohol to get sex, verbal or physical abuse, lying about intentions, or hurting a minor. This walks a fine line of age. I’m hoping I’m wrong in being wary. I’m hoping this girl had plenty of time to develop her identity online with him, which I hope will give her more agency in person.

I pull up to Starbucks to say “hi” to KJ, and meet his girl. He’s flying back home today, so they’ve really squeezed me in for an hour. I’m lucky. I’m thinking – if the weekend went well, they don’t want to see me.

I walk into the cafe, and they’re sitting at a table in the center of the store. The girl, Polly, is petite and very made-up. She’s wearing winged eyeliner and fake eyelashes that are an odd crisscross weave pattern. I have no doubt that, with her size, Asian-ness, and effort into her physical appearance, she’s already been asked out hundreds of times.

KJ, as usual, is prettied up in a button-down sweater pullover and his usual single hoop earring. He immediately offers to buy me a coffee, which I graciously accept. Polly and I chat for a little bit. She speaks assertively, with a sense of authority. Is she the oldest child? Yes, she is. I can tell from her responsibility for how people feel. She leans over and strikes up a conversation with me when I fall quiet. I congratulate her for graduating from high school, and ask her about her the job she is taking on to help pay her tuition. I’m trying to sound conversational, not teacher-ly.

The two of them tell me about their weekend, biking around San Francisco and exploring the Sacramento river. A few times, Polly puts her hand on KJ’s thigh. At some point, she tells me she’s “gotten partyign out of her system” and KJ rolls his eyes skeptically.

“I don’t think you know what partying is yet,” he says. I stop myself from raising an eyebrow. Is he trying to imply he’s been sleeping around? I look at him again. Yes. Yes, he is. Why would he say this in front of this girl though? Involuntarily, I grimace. KJ catches my expression and starts laughing. I roll my eyes at him.

“What’s so funny?” Polly asks.

“It’s an A-B joke,” KJ says, pointing at me and him. “A,” he says, pointing at me, “and B,” he says, pointing at himself. Polly changes the subject. She’s wearing a frilly flowered blouse I’ve seen at Forever 21.

“KJ says you’re writing about him?” she asks politely. Again, I’m surprised. What did he tell her? And why?

I nod slowly. I take the lead of my interviewees on these things.

“You’re so much prettier than that girl on your fake profile,” KJ says. “You should just put a picture of yourself on that instead. You’d get way more replies.”

Now, it’s my turn to switch topics. I ask Polly about the craziest thing that’s happened at her job, and she tells a story about her manager having to chase a thief across a parking lot.

Actually, that’s where they’re about to go next—to her job. Apparently, her coworkers have heard a lot about KJ and want to meet him in person. I nod, impressed. That’s a big deal. She’s serious. I hope he doesn’t fuck it up.

I say this much to him. “You can’t get by on your good looks,” I tease. Might as well boost him up in front of his girl. “Bring your A game.” I shake a finger at him. He’s been sitting back in his chair, watching most of the conversation happen. He looks almost bored, or slightly irritated, but it could also be that he’s overheated. The heat has been blasting in the cafe, and he still hasn’t taken off his sweater.

KJ thanks me for stopping by. I ask when he’s coming back, and he skirts the question. He has lots of travel, he says. Bangkok for the holidays, Texas, NYC, Florida for work. He doesn’t think he’ll be back soon. I’m reading his answer as disinterest in the girl. I don’t push it. Polly pats his thigh and mentions she’ll be on vacation soon, so maybe she can fly out to see him. He shrugs and nods. I keep an encouraging look on my face, but I’m reading this as a weekend-only thing.

We hug our goodbyes.

A few days later, I check my Instagram feed and KJ has posted photos of Polly. One is of her standing in the San Francisco fog, the Golden Gate bridge behind her, captioned “I finally found my ride or die.”

Was I wrong? Is KJ interested after all? Is he acting out of obligation? Is he “performing” love, because that’s what love is supposed to be? Is the sun shining more brightly because he doesn’t want to be alone? Or, is he actually, truly, believing he’s found the woman he wants to marry?

I’ll wait this one out.

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Each post is a great fucking adventure

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