Sistah From Anothah Mistah

Have you ever run into your doppelganger?

When I saw mine, I said out loud, “Is that me?”

I’m sure everyone has experienced someone telling them that they look like someone they know or some actor/actress. And in most cases, you feel like you don’t look like your supposed twin at all. You might even feel a little insulted.

But when I saw mine, I did a double-take. There I was, in Zumba class with some friends, and I saw myself on the other side of the room next to the small stage where the instructor dances.

“I think that’s me!” I said excitedly, nudging one of my friends.

She was Asian, wore rectangular glasses, and had my face. How much more me can you get? Her hair was much shorter than mine, but it looked exactly like mine after it had grown back a few inches.

Biggest difference?

Sistah can dance.

I don’t think my body can move in those directions all at the same time. Or any time. And her personality was much bigger than mine. Turns out that she was one of the assistants, because at one point she got up on stage with the instructor. My friend’s daughter covered her mouth in surprise when she saw her. “She looks just like you, but more gangsta!”

Well said, my little friend, well said.

That was a few weeks ago and I haven’t been back to that particular class. Not because I can’t face my more gangsta twin; the class is crowded and I don’t like it when a lot of bodies and booties are shaking all up in my grill. Do I seem more gangsta now?

I’ll go back though. If anything, I want to go up to sistah and say something like, “MeYou? YouMe? Huh? Wha-?” or something equally as intelligent.

Hopefully, she won’t be insulted.

Lions and Tigers and Thighs, Oh My

Ever since I got back from Hawaii, my legs and I have seen the light. These burritos ‘o mine are now wearing running shorts. It’s somewhat liberating to make visible something I had intentionally kept invisible in the past. To let myself be seen. As is.

When I had it – at least I thought I had it at some point – I should have flaunted it. I took my young, firm skin for granted. But I was much more shy back then. Now? Yes, I’m still an introvert at heart, but I don’t look too bad for my age, so part of me wants to flaunt whatever it is I have left while gravity is still my friend. I have ab muscles. I don’t know where they came from, and they might look a little like a wrinkly four-pack of King’s Hawaiian rolls during the rising process, but they’re there. I believe that they’re a product of my intense overthinking. After all, something good should come of overworking my brain in circles. Problem is, I might look good for 48 – we Asians hold together well – but not so good for 38. Get my drift?

[I can’t believe I just outed my real age. Oh, what the hell. I will display my age proudly. I just won’t display photos of it here on my blog. I may be crazy, but I’m not insane. Yet.]

See, I live in a small, coastal town. It doesn’t get warm enough to wear shorts very often, so people don’t see a lot of skin around here. Hawaii? No problem. Young skin, aging skin – what does it matter? Everyone looks like bronzed demi-gods over there. But here? People pull on their t-shirts, light wash jeans, sneakers, and their Patagonia jackets to go out on the town. They might even wear that outfit to the beach.

The sun is out and it is unusually warm. I am tempted to go for a run wearing less clothing than I ever have before. I want to feel free to do this. If I didn’t have to wear my glasses, I would absolutely wear sunglasses. That way, I could feel anonymous. I might mistake a fire hydrant for a dog, but if it makes me more brave, I will trade clear vision for shades. I’m sure I’ll be able to determine whether or not that object coming towards me is a car, right? Maybe I need a sacrificial running buddy.

Suddenly, I’m not so concerned about my thighs anymore.

Different but the Same Match #2: The Motorcycle Chef

I know. I was beginning to exit through the dating door and leave The Chef behind because I didn’t think he was attracted to me. I swear to you, he had given me no signs whatsoever on our first date. No obvious body language, no touching me anywhere (I actually wanted him to touch my elbow), no walking me to my car. The last time I heard from him was through a late-night text apologizing for not calling. All I thought was, oh, he didn’t have to do that – he could have simply faded quietly away into the woodwork. Four days after the text, I got a phone call and we set up Date #2. I can’t believe I made #2! (this poo poo joke is dedicated to my more sophisticated reader. I love you bunches, you one person reading this post.) Two days after that, I got another call to change the time of our date. We ended up talking for over an hour. But I’m hesitant to take this as a sign. I think we just get along, you know, buddybuddy-like. It’s not my place to understand the minds of men, so I’m not even going to try. I say that, but since I’m a woman, the urge to know what they’re thinking is incredibly seductive.

“How about a hike?” He asks after telling me he can’t get together for dinner.

“Hiking makes me grumpy.” Every hike I’ve been on has been hot, dusty, and strenuous.

“How about a walk in the woods?”

I take this as a completely different suggestion and happily say yes. He laughs. Wait – did he just trick me?

“Or we could go for a ride.” He offers.

“Ride?”

“On my motorcycle.”

“M-motorcycle?” My voice cracks. YesNoYesNoYesNo! Good Japanese girls don’t get on the backs of motorcycles! 

But I’m not a girl anymore and good is a relative term, isn’t it?

“Ever been on one?”

Now I have.  

I didn’t become Asian roadkill like I thought I would. Images of me tumbling off the back of his bike flashed through my mind during the first few 45 minutes of the ride, and I wondered if I would be able to tumble onto concrete skillfully enough to survive. He told me I could hold on to the rack behind me or hold on to him. Uh, yeah, like I’m going to sit away from you and reach back to hold on to two skinny little handles while we’re going 50 mph? I prefer to hold on to your handles, thank you very much. As soon as we sped up the hill from his place, I was like a suckerfish. A suckerfish using a Thighmaster. I haven’t been that scared since…well, I can’t remember. I don’t verbally freak out when I get frightened. I get quiet. And I was very quiet.

After a while, I realized that it seemed wrong goodjapanesegirl to be clinging to him like a baby chimp. My thighs and crotchal-area had become way too neighborly with this new man’s behind. I didn’t even know his last name. But what a thrilling, beautiful ride. We had a nice lunch at an outdoor cafe with a spectacular view, and we lingered there for a few hours before we had to head back. I was much better on the ride back. Less chimp-like, but my legs refused to stop clamping on to his no matter how much I told them to relax. I proudly call this “survival flirting”. Did I see any signs from him? No, unless I’m incredibly dense. I clung to him like brown on rice and he didn’t touch me once, although I suppose I did enough touching for the both of us. No flirting from him, no innuendo, nada. I thought I felt him looking at me when I was glancing at the menu, but he could have been looking at my chin hairs or thinking about Chihuahuas. How am I to know? And how can I compete with an adorable Chihuahua??!!

When we got back to his place, we stood on the sidewalk talking. I told him that I had to go to the local farmers’ market for work the next day and he said he would drop by. We made more small talk, and I started to get the distinct feeling that we were eyeing each other like two gun slingers – who was going to move first? How were we going to end this date? I finally went in for a hug, he kissed my cheek, and then HE over hugged ME.

Finally. A sign I can sink my teeth into. Now we’re getting somewhere.

Postscript: I texted him from the farmers’ market. He wasn’t coming. He didn’t want to fight the cold, windy weather to get there.

I’m beginning to hate signs.

Single Gal with Smallpox Seeks Non-Judgmental Single Guy

Did you miss me?

I knew it.  You didn’t even know I was missing, did you.  That is just the reaction my cat would give me when I’d come back from a trip:  “You were gone?”  And then she’d go back to licking herself.

So where was I?

IMG_0841

Just another day at the office

Just another day at the office

The beautiful island of Oahu.  I had a great time visiting friends and eating multiple meals and desserts all throughout the day, every day.  Before I left for the trip, I was feeling vain and didn’t want to wear shorts, but being in Hawaii made me realize that a lot of the native and local women are comfortable with their bodies.  They just owned what they had.  It’s simply too uncomfortable to wear pants all of the time.  I mean, I brought a pair of jeans.  What was I thinking!?  And look ovah dere, yah?  My legs look like the others’!  Sure, there were skinny-legged women there, but I also saw my gene pool represented in the short, strong (well, I’m working towards strong) category.  So I put my shorts on and went native.  Well, until a few days later when I broke out in a hideous heat rash all over my feet, legs and arms.  I eventually covered myself up – I didn’t want to scare people into thinking I had a nasty case of smallpox.

So there I was in Paradise, minding my own heat rash, when I get a text.  From Wine Guy.  If you recall – which I barely do – I last left him a voicemail and got no response.  But WG moves sllllloooowwww…two and a half weeks later slow:  Hi, are you interested in going out to a movie or coffee?  Unless I’m missing something, is this a taste of what dating is like?  You get to know a person by not contacting them or responding to them every few weeks or so?  Call me a sucker, because you will, but I texted him back, told him I was traveling at the moment and asked if he wanted to get together at the end of the month.  Again, no response.  Well, it’s only been ten days, so I expect to hear from him in another week or two or three.

My behavior is indicative of someone who doesn’t have very many choices.  That’s why, despite my better judgment, I’m thinking about online dating.  A few weeks ago, when I was doing my research, I noticed that I could actually look at guys’ profiles.  I like knowing things, so I thought it was super handy to find out if a guy smoked or wanted kids or was crazy athletic.  And because I’m a non-smoking, non-childbearing, half-activewoman/half-slug, information like this is really important.  I didn’t anticipate that the filtering process could be so helpful.  The idea still scares me, but I’m getting closer to trying it out for a few months.

Don’t attempt to figure out who I am.  I won’t give out anymore clues.  You already know too much about me – after all, you’ve seen my right hand and both feet, and I’ve admitted to my Asian heritage and short, stout-leg nature.  You won’t catch me using these profile names:  sugahmama10, dontkrossmi, and ladeeyakuza.  I checked – they’re already taken.  All the good ones are.

The Dating Jitterbug: Lesson One

After a few days of silence from WG (Wine Guy), I took the lead last week and followed up on our previous agreement to meet for coffee.  I left him a message one morning, asking when he might be free, but didn’t get any response from him that day.  After telling myself not to over think the situation, I realized that it might be a good idea to try and date different guys so that my neuroses would spread out a little more evenly rather than concentrate its full power on one person.

But how to find more dates without going the online dating route?  I don’t exactly appeal to the masses.  How would I describe myself?  I’m like Tina Fey’s Asian cousin – not exactly Tina in all her brilliance, but it’s as if we share some of the same genes.  Mm, that made more sense in my head.  Anyways, I do wear smart glasses like she does, so it means I’m pretty much just like her.  How about this:  I’m an ice cream flavor that appeals to very specific, sometimes odd people.  A scoop of vanilla with basil and chicken liver, anyone?  Hello?  And as I’ve mentioned before, every few years a guy comes along and thinks that flavor combination is intriguing.  When that happens, it’s in my best interest to take a critical look at his tastebuds.

Recently, a friend tried to jog my memory about the time we took a screenwriting class together when I was 19 years old:  “Remember that older guy in the class who was interested in you?  You said he wanted to build a home under the ground and that he only had the best of intentions for you.  You didn’t want to go back to the class after that.  Remember?”  I thought it was a little cruel of her to try and make me remember such a horrifying moment in my past.  Luckily, my memory was gifted enough to have blocked the whole thing and now I can use it as part of my ice cream analogy.

While I was in deep contemplation over all of these issues, WG called me the following day and left a message telling me which days he was free.  I made my friend listen to it.  She said, “He sounds nervous.”  So I gave her his name and number just in case he went mental on me and decided that my liver would taste pretty good, too.

No one eats my liver and gets away with it.