Occurred November 2009, Written February 2010.
I currently live in Seoul, South Korea. I will let that sink in for a moment. Breathe it in. Oh yeah, pretty awesome.
Many months ago, I broke up with my non-Korean and very Jewish Canadian girlfriend. She was beautiful and insane. We suffered each others existence for a year and a half. Recently I made the decision to start dating again.
I was ready to put my emotions on the line; to take a risk for love. If you’re not lovin’, you’re not livin’ (You can put that on a fortune cookie, I won’t sue).
Or was it because Mr. Dangles demanded it? Anyways, Mr. Dangles or not, I was going to give it another go.
As someone very experienced in the dating world, I can say with 100% certainty that the best place to meet women is the internet. It’s a gold mine of insecurities, lack of self-respect, and women who take pictures of themselves in their underwear and then ask, “Why don’t men respect me?” This was where I was going to find the future Mrs. Powers.
Long story short, I met a young lady named Choeun. Choeun is a brilliant artist and a very attractive woman. We exchanged emails and decided to meet in person. Choeun lived 3 hours south of me. I imagined that we would have to meet halfway in the middle and I would spend over $100 on a train ticket to see a woman I had never met before. Luckily, Choeun hates herself and is desperate for male approval, so she hopped on a train and met me in Seoul.
I picked her up at the train station and was a little let down. Her pictures online showed a beautiful girl wearing white undergarments lying in provocative poses on her bed. The Choen that met me at the train station was wearing black boots, black leggings, a charcoal gray skirt, a black sweater, a gray jacket, and a black scarf. Her hair was combed intentionally over her left eye and covered most of her face as if she was telling the world, “Stop looking at me, I’m hideous! (sobbing)”. Her eyeliner was, take a guess, black and piled on thick. Despite all this, the girl was still quite attractive in a teenage Goth kind of way.
Unable to see through her mass of hair, she didn’t see me approach.
Me, “Choen? Hi, it’s Matt.”
“Hi.” It was barely audible, a soft whisper despite us being in a loud, crowded train station.
“How are you? It’s nice to finally meet you in person. How was your trip?”
“My trip not good.” Her voice was strange; it was nasal, like what I imagine Santa’s elves to speak like. “My nose bloodying two hours. I not can’t make stop.” I take that back; it sounded like an ESL Elf with dyslexia. Her written correspondence, although not perfect, was a far cry better than this.
She lifted her head up from staring at the floor tiles to show me the scab near the bottom of her nostril. Lovely. “Ouch. Are you OK now? Do you need to go to the pharmacy or something?” Freak.
“No, I am fine. Thank you kind words.” This was not looking good, but the girl just spent $120 on a train ticket. “I got present you.” She reached into her mammoth purse, easily capable of holding a tent, and pulled out a jug of vodka. A jug.
“What you say?”
“Nothing. I LOVE it! Thank you so much. What would you like to do?” I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Go to the convenience store, buy a gallon of orange juice to mix with this vodka, a sleeve of paper cups, and then find a park bench where we could drink ourselves into oblivion like a couple of homeless people. I made the suggestion with a smile on my face, as if it was a joke, but secretly hoping she’d say yes.
I overestimated Choeun’s sense of dignity and she said, “Sound like good idea.” Maybe this date wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
We made it to the park and our conversation was pleasant, with just a few awkward pauses. Everything that came out of my mouth was met with oohs and aahs. After we finished half the bottle of vodka, the conversation got a little weird.
Choeun, “I think you perfect man.”
Me, fake laughing with a big cheesy grin on my face, “Oh come on. I’m not perfect. There are lots of bad things about me.” Such as treating you like a wino by taking you to a park bench to drink cheap vodka (that you paid for) until we puke in the bushes.
“No, no, no. You good man. Handsome.”
“You’re teasing. I’m not handsome.” Yes, I am.
“You baby. I want.”
“I want you me have baby.”
This was half a bottle of vodka talking; she must be joking. “Oh really? You’ve thought about this a lot?”
“Yes. I want baby with you.”
“Really? Are we going to get married first or just make a baby?”
“I want married. But you choose. It’s OK for me.”
This was too ridiculous. The gentleman in me would hold her hand and tell her that although flattering, this wasn’t going to work. I’d also tell her that it’s not healthy for a person to jump to such huge conclusions on a first date. She needed to take things slow and build a healthy relationship with someone special. She’d cry and thank me for the advice. We’d share a cab back to the train station. With her face pressed against the window of the train, her breath misting the glass, we’d wave goodbye to each other. “That,” she’d say to herself, “is a good man.”
But instead, “Hmm….my choice. I’m gonna go with make a baby and worry about marriage later.”
“What about names? Will they have Korean or English names? I think they should have both!”
Long pause for thinking, “Jack Juhyeon Powers if boy. Maria Soyoung Powers if girl.”
“What if you give birth to a half lizard half goblin creature?”
“I like those names. Which do you prefer? To live in Korea or the States?”
“I think Korea. My English no good. I no can get job.” You could easily find seasonal employment with the rest of the elves and Santa at Macy’s.
“Hmmm….I guess I could live here forever.” Never. I poured her another glass of vodka-orange, mainly vodka and asked, “What about schools? Korean or international school?”
“Korean schools bad. I no like. Go foreign school.”
“I agree. This is a good talk. We’ve made a lot of progress here.”
The conversation trailed off into awkward silence. When in awkward situations with women, I usually react the same way, I attempt to give them big frenchers. I don’t even want to make out with them, but it’s better than the awkward silence. Choeun responded by eating my face.
We were getting a little carried away on the public park bench. We hopped into a cab, Choeun holding the almost empty jug of vodka in one hand.
I decided to take her home and get to work on our future plans, but I didn’t enjoy it…much…