The Fire Is Out (#350)

Once upon a time, I was good at dating. Like, fire emoji good. If I didn’t have a serious boyfriend, I was usually dating several different guys (and very open about that fact, don’t be thinking I was a serial cheater or something). I was always on the lookout for potentially new, more interesting boyfriends. Every place I went, I automatically assessed the men:

Like every other woman in the world, I sometimes ignored my own assessments and made some Very Bad Choices. I also dated some very nice men where our timing, our religion, or our goals just didn’t work out. By the time I met my future husband Andy, I had accrued quite a few gifts from those exes. Plus a bunch from the messed up ones, too.

Once Andy and I were dating, those gifts not-so-mysteriously disappeared (i.e., Andy broke them or threw them away). The only survivors were jewelry I hurriedly gave to my younger sisters.

After we got married and Andy heaved my box marked “Romantic Correspondence” into a dumpster, he declared victory. (What? Doesn’t every writer keep a box like that? It is was potential material!)

Andy hasn’t been jealous or competitive with other men since. Not that he had reason to be. Other men? An affair? When the fuck would I even have the time, let alone the interest?

Baby D and his army of plushies. Wars staged daily.

 I was (and still am) too busy with our pets, raising our tornado of a child WHO NEVER NAPPED, running our household, volunteering at school/ soccer, and trying to squeeze in writing to even think about men. Except in a smash the patriarchy kind of way.

I figured other moms felt the same. Until the fire department arrived.

Every year, a nearby fire department goes around our neighborhood, stopping at each hydrant to test new recruits on connecting hoses to the hydrant. Every year, the fire truck collects a mesmerized audience of toddlers, preschoolers, and their caretakers. The first year, I followed fire department aficionado Baby D in his little cozy coupe car, grateful I didn’t need to entertain him with stuffed animal wars or Nerf weapons for a whole 15 minutes. (All I had to do was listen as Baby D lectured me on the differences between the pumper truck, the aerial ladder truck, and the urban search and rescue truck.)

When the fire pumper truck finally drove away, one of the moms said, “Some of those firefighters were pretty cute, huh?”

I looked at her blankly and said, “What?” because I literally could not comprehend what she said.

She winked, laughed, and said, “Yeah, right” before spotting her kid scootering into the street. “Wyatt! Back on the sidewalk!”

I don’t know if those firefighters were all male, let alone “cute.” What men looked like no longer registered. One of them could’ve started dancing and stripping down and I’d’ve been like, “Hey, can my kid have your hard hat so he can pretend to be a firefighter and maybe entertain himself for 5 seconds?”

I don’t know where my neighbor mom got the energy to assess firefighter attractiveness.

Maybe little Wyatt took naps.

A College Story (#233)

(Trigger warning for sexual assault.)

My father once told a less than suitably deferential Homecoming date, “Bring her home safe, early, and happy, and you’ll stay in one piece.”

I was mortified. I was also home safe and right on time.

I went to college thousands of miles from home. Continue reading A College Story (#233)

An Anti-Valentine for America (#175)

The roses are blackened
The violets are dead
Your liver is poisoned
By sugar and bread.

The news is disheartening
An Orange Cretin is King
Republicans gloat
And won’t do a damned thing. Continue reading An Anti-Valentine for America (#175)

When Turned Down Turns Ugly (#136)

When "stop" and "no" must be wreathed in roses...
Why do “stop” and “no” have to be wreathed in roses?

When my mother discovered that I had discovered boys, she told me a story about the first time a boy asked her out. He’d called her and asked her to a movie. She’d been so horrified she’d hung up on him. Her much older brother, who had listened in on the conversation, was also horrified – horrified that Mom had been so mean. He’d immediately found her and reamed her out for not considering the boy’s feelings, for being rude, and for not “letting him down gently.” Continue reading When Turned Down Turns Ugly (#136)

Black Valentine (#115)

IMG_6085

About three years before I met Andy, it was A Very Bad Year for Dating. My boyfriends were:

The Cheater

The Emotionally Abusive Dude

Broody, Moody, Emotionally Unavailable Dude

Sometimes, you just have years like that. Continue reading Black Valentine (#115)

Don’t Do Dick (#64)

Will the sun finally go down on Dick?
Will the sun finally go down on Dick?

When I read Susan Blumberg-Kason’s Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong, the book took me back to the relationship I had with Dick, the man who introduced me to competitive dancing. If you want to be taken back as well, check out Dick The First and Dick The Second. In short, Dick morphed from charming into controlling as fast as I turned into a decent dancer. Continue reading Don’t Do Dick (#64)

Dancing with the Dick, Part II (#63)

One cannot overstate the number of rhinestones found at dance competitions.
One cannot overstate the number of rhinestones found at dance competitions.

For those of you tuning in for the first time, I’d suggest reading Part I first. Don’t worry, this post isn’t going anywhere!

I didn’t say much to Dick on our way to my first dance competition in Palm Springs. He drove. (Have you ever noticed how the dominant personality always drives? Useless info I learned in film school.) Continue reading Dancing with the Dick, Part II (#63)

How to Tell the Dancer from the Dance (#62)

IMG_4135

Until last January, I had no idea that other people had noticed the dearth of Asian Male, White Female couples. I certainly had no idea there was a whole AMWF cyber community. And while I was kinda bummed that I was not, in fact, the first internet interracial love pioneer, I was delighted to find so many other unicorns. Some were even authors! Susan Blumberg-Kason, for example, wrote a memoir entitled Good Chinese Wife. Continue reading How to Tell the Dancer from the Dance (#62)

Once Upon a Time, When We Were Just Friends (#50)

IMG_3776
You can learn a lot about a guy when you’re stuck in airport lines.

My Chinese-American fiancé and I were friends and dance partners for a long time before we got romantically involved. We spent a ton of time together at airports and hotels, not to mention the dance floor. We got to know each other very well. Continue reading Once Upon a Time, When We Were Just Friends (#50)

Dating Horror Stories, or, How I Met JM (#47)

IMG_3728

Jocelyn Eikenburg, unofficial President of the AMWF Cyber Society, recently posted several pieces on Speaking of China about the perception that interracial dating and interracial relationships are more difficult than coupling within your own race.

Well, I can’t speak for everyone else, but dating my Chinese-American guy Andy was SO easy. Continue reading Dating Horror Stories, or, How I Met JM (#47)