Category Archives: IMHO

Love Notion #8: The Doll or the Dragon

Oh, I think I found myself a cheerleader/
she is always right there when I need her

– Cheerleader

Compared to women and their extensive lists of dealmakers/breakers, men have simple tastes.  From talking to guys in my life I gather this is a general outline of their ideal mate:

  • Makes me feel like I’m their hero
  • Encourages my hobbies
  • Motivates me to be the best man possible
  • Respects and believes in me
  • Doesn’t try to change me
  • Always sweet and loyal even when I fail

So a female version of Baymax, basically.

Sometimes I feel the pressure of performing the docile role given in Gone Girl. She’s every man’s dream: hot and understanding, “She doesn’t mind, she’s the coolest” – the definitive compliment because he is getting his way in whatever he wants. She enjoys sports, burping, video games, drinking, and junk food. When he is forgetful or inconsiderate there is no penalty, she just smiles and moves on. They’re not pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be.

Are all the above fair and realistic traits to ask for when considering a significant other? I comprehend these attributes conceptually but practicing them has been unsuccessful. It seems we have to compete to be like Samantha from the film Her, an operation system personality who loves without judgment. Of course I rebel at endorsement of easy going behavior, being contrary to the core, but others may not be so immune. Apparently image issues aren’t enough, women have to try to run a Stepford act to lure in a boyfriend as well.

So what is the type men try to avoid?

  • Opinionated and demanding
  • Criticizes decisions
  • Sensitive and amplifies situations out of proportion
  • Gets drunk on jealousy
  • Complains about everything
  • Acts like something is wrong but says it’s “nothing”
  • Plays mind games
  • Nags and brings up past grievances

The message is clear: chill = gold, crazy = fail. All the men in my tree tell me they steer miles away from women who possess these exciting features. Regrettably I have most of them in abundance and despair of becoming the former type that is so desirable.
Not that I would conform to popular standards for their own sake, but a lady who practices mercy, sees the good in everything, and never raises her voice – even if all that sounds so vanilla – is meritable.  I fail to give credit and assume the worst, acting as judge/ jury/ executioner. It doesn’t help that I forget guys have feelings since I’m so busy denying my emotions every day I inevitably fail to acknowledge them from others, which won’t serve in the long run.

I’m not quite sure which path to follow, but think there should be a fair balance of being one who is supportive and challenging at the same time. It’s a long unnatural road for me to restrain my cynical Daria voice. The best I have managed was to try setting aside my preferences and expectations.  That means everyone starts with 0 points and if something is done well, then it’s a pleasant surprise.  If things don’t work out, nothing is lost.  This immature strategy turns my regard into something conditional and any given situation is a test (but not for birthdays or anniversaries, sod those).

The way I see it, I’ll end up with someone who isn’t easily hurt by authoritative strength and enjoys bickering every day or find a peaceful drink of water who can handle the raging fires of my heart. Either way, I know that life is too short to pretend that I’m anything other than a moody hater so cheers to the brave soul who can tangle with a shrew like me. After all, even the psycho girls need love too.

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Many thanks to the inspirational post I Wasn’t Treating My Husband Fairly And It Wasn’t Fair

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Romance as Told by Movies

It’s just, people have these romantic projections they put on everything. That’s not based on any kind of reality.
– Before Sunrise

Love is tricky to define.  There’s the calm respectful type displaying logic and stability.  Alternately there are insanely passionate affairs involving extreme jealousy and control.  Or one can find a smoothie blend of something in between.  Mmm, smoothie…huh, where was I?  Oh yeah, every relationship has their own unique dynamic and cost.

Also to state the obvious: there is no such thing as “the one” person that’s right for you. There are various compatible options while we’re single and that shifts as we transform into different stages. Why stress out on whether or not you “missed” out on someone? The notion is absurd.

Movies will try to sell you on a lot of nonsense when it comes to love. But we can always take away a lesson from each couple’s example for better or for worse.

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In classic Animaniacs fashion, here’s a list of examples we have in media:

Twilight_(2008_film)_poster
Good idea: I cheered in the theater when Edward held off on sleeping together until they were married. Take that, society!
Bad idea: Bella fell apart when Edward left her and kept trying to risk her life in order to hallucinate that he was there.

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Good idea: Kitty and Levin did it right, timing is everything.
Bad idea: Anna and Vronsky ruined their lives and families because they couldn’t help but to put themselves first.

william_shakespeares_romeo_and_juliet
Good idea: File not found
Bad idea: Rushing into love at first sight, secret marriage, then double suicide?! Fools at their finest.

notebook
Good idea: Picture your life with someone in the long run before making a decision. Don’t take the easy way out by being with someone you think everyone wants you to marry. Also, get in the water!
Bad idea: How about let’s not cheat on your fiance with your first love that you never got closure from?

mza_8545322344390614507
Good idea:  Find someone who understands and is wholly devoted to you.
Bad idea: See previous entry, “It doesn’t make any sense. That’s why I trust it.”

Love-Actually
Good idea: Love should not be selfish. Take risks but don’t get too carried away.
Bad idea: That means you, stop dodging airport security you bad bad kid!

ever_after
Good idea: The other person should bring out the best in you.
Bad idea: Choosing someone only for their status is unwise.

sense and sensibility poster
Good idea: Gentlemen, keep your word and make sure not to lead a woman on when you have someone already.
Bad idea: Ladies, you’re in danger investing emotionally in a man without verbal confirmation and approval from friends and family.

Love is a choice, not merely a feeling.


Love Notion #7: The Parameters of Rejection

There’s a part of me hoping
There’s a chance
That you’ll look in these eyes
And hold these hands

– Nothing Without You

Each person may have this scenario at least once in their lifetime:

A surprising declaration that reveals the earnest hopes of a friend…
…the suspense that hinges on a groundbreaking response…
….that leads to an irretrievable answer that would change the course of both lives…

…oh bother what a headache.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying this over again.  Guys have it rough. They lay down their ego on the line to risk an epic strike out. They are told it’s fine to be their weird selves because women outwardly say they appreciate genuine and responsible men who listen.  That’s all hogwash of course. We are so much more demanding when evaluating the men around us.

What lofty illusions are males up against?  Not much, they just need:

– The body of Thor
– James McAvoy’s dazzling eyes
– Intellect of Sherlock Holmes
– Rugged charm of Hugh Jackson
– Mixed with Benedict Cumberbatch’s accent

Yum, heck yes. I mean, how dare we ask for that much?!

Then the minefield of dealbreakers. Not reasonable ones that help us to avoid druggies or manipulators. It’s the norm nowadays for women to condescendingly dismiss potential suitors on a superficial basis while failing to acknowledge their own issues. Character traits like loyalty and kindness count for little when focusing on minor infractions of status, style, or social aptitude.

Screws up the entire game, innit?

It’s a baffling world to the sincerely nice guys. They won’t be given the time of day because they don’t measure up to the charming swagger of every rom com star. An uphill battle if there ever was one, I don’t envy men at all for their situation. Walls are necessary but mocking attitudes of superiority are not. If I could, I’d apologize to the men dealing with that and say free will is a witch.

Mythical lists aside, how does a girl soberly gauge whether a guy is a good match?

Very high on my list of determining compatibility: conversation.  When they are on the same page on a lot issues (not necessarily hobbies), and can keep up with your meaning, and vice versa, like every good friend dynamic – PRICELESS.  We all should be looking for this kind of connection, because without it you have only a monochrome relationship.  A guy who speaks well still adds up to zero when you’re not interested in what he contributes.  They don’t necessarily need to say the right things at the right time but at least has observations that aren’t mundane.  This is quite an art to pair up individuals who can do this, because you can take one subject, such as movies, and have completely different discussions based on what they appreciate/hate/ get nothing from it.

Also, I factor in emotions as sensibly as I can. It sounds shallow to say I want them to make me feel a certain way; agitated, ecstatic, more safe, less alone. You know how the hormone roller coaster goes. Thinking they’re so impressive they might as well have placed the sun and moon in the sky. Replaying past conversations with them and conducting imaginary ones. Desperately devoted and haunted until there is room in your heart for nothing else. Not unlike how soda gets a hold of me, come to think of it…  But I have to always tell myself as Richelle Mead aptly puts it:

Love fades.

There are many kinds of affection. Take the infamous agonizing pain that consumes and drowns you in sweeping waves, for one. But there is an understated value in the comfortable joy that grows with a person who knows and accepts you flaws and all. Feelings will always come and go with the tide. How we are supposed to tell what amount of fondness is “enough” vs “settling” is beyond me. I personally can’t justify being with someone that raises lukewarm esteem, but I wouldn’t label it as wrong in general since we all have our own modus operandi.

That is not to say I’m without temptation to relax my stance so I can alleviate my boredom. The dark side of me tells me to give into the cruel pleasure of playing with the feelings of those who show interest. If I weren’t conscientious of decency I’d be conducting sadistic projects using one’s weakness my advantage to flatter my vanity in true Scarlet O’Hara fashion. It would at least be diverting to have a chauffeur who pays for my meals and deflects unwanted admirers. Who am I to refuse if they want to give me attention, complying with my every request like a sycophantic butler…but such an uneven partnership wears out quickly and wastes time. In theory. Anyway, that’s another topic for another time.

I feel sorry for those testing the waters trying to get anywhere with me.  I’m signal illiterate but invariably freeze up with anyone getting close due to my guy phobia. If they pass the one year familiarity mark they get my default bossy and insulting self. My sharp demeanor is essentially the same to all men I friendzone or have a deep attachment to because I need my space. The cards are nowhere near the table. They are stacked haphazardly in the box and thrown into the house of the abyss slammed shut with a triple locked door. Better to be guarded than to look foolish because opening your heart letting someone in is giving them power over you. The possibility of undergoing the devastating hurt of losing the one you love is terrifying. All for a flimsy chance at lasting contentment.

We are each allotted a finite amount of chances. But I don’t fear saying no to a man if I’m not fully certain about committing to.  Why?

Just because he is a great guy does not mean he’s the right one for me.

It’s always been clear who I fall for by picturing him out of my life or with someone else. If there is no rioting tumult of panic then obviously they are not an important person I want near. Even though I follow the credence people change and no opinion is set forever I recommend refusing now and avoid any muddled consequences later.  Then the lucky dude can do us both a favor and move on.

Honestly I can afford to be picky and hold onto the unattainable prize who won’t give me the time of day because I get treated so well by my community. That and I’m gifted with awareness when it comes my heart much like Fanny in Mansfield Park stubbornly deciding on Edmund over all others even when her love was unrequited. I was never afraid of being alone because I lack a tendency to focus on my single status. There is no void that causes me to struggle with reaching for the nearest available guy most days since I’m well aware of the stress a boyfriend can cause.  I’m sure I’ll revise my conditions of tolerance as I grow older.  Meanwhile I’ll be enjoying my life of freely checking out all the attractive celebrities.

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Love Notion #6: The Online Prospects

It’s a blessing to observe many intelligent women around me who are independent and fearless. They accomplish much as they search and wait extensively for a caring leader who can be there for them.

Unfortunately I also see plenty of men who are lost. They may have faulty role models or none. And even if they’re relatively well-adjusted, they still have to overcome us females who won’t take less than perfection.

So it should be no surprise when both sides end up lonely and disappointed.

Luckily there is a convenient way for this passive aggressive generation to connect without having to leave the comforts of your own room!

spongebobdating

Ladies, is it logical to expect a respectably ambitious and socially competent man to need the internet to find a match? Let’s not pretend the odds are in your favor. Also, I have doubts that it’s really worth the risk of going into these worrisome scenarios:

Faker Level 1
Lying about age, job, nunchaku skills, fishing ability, etc.
Trouble Level 2
Not as into commitment as their profile indicates, they casually invite you to their place multiple times
Nightmare Level 3
Crazy stalker who slips something in your drink

Guys, let’s hear the ironclad reasons, what is it that’s so impossible about finding a date IRL?

No time for that 
It’s called go to social events or join an interest group, Dr. Busy. The point is figure out your priorities and invest accordingly. If you don’t know how to balance your schedule in order to build a relationship what makes you think you can handle dating, marriage, and eventually parenthood?

Honestly there is no one around that is suitable
Either hang out with a more like-minded group who is actively introducing you to people they know or start evaluating why your standards are what they are and maybe shift into possibilities that are already in front of you.

Don’t want friends/family to know their dating life so they won’t get questioned or bothered about it
That’s creepy. PS, grow up!

I have too much pride to buy into the ever so trendy Coffee Meets Bagel, eHarmony, or others since it all seems a little forced. Search me how people enjoy the pressure and strategizing with pictures, descriptions, the next move, blah blah blah.  Also, I don’t want to credit a cyber algorithm with the most important human relationship of my life (divine guidance or no). If it means I ultimately fail to land Mr. Right, that’s my prerogative.

I can kind of understand and agree with individuals who advocate meeting people online – as long as there’s group involvement.  There’s just too much room for deceit interacting one-on-one.  So those who tell me they’re “talking to someone” for a while and don’t include their circle in the process I would advise to ditch that asap.  I’m so glad when it does work out, but I have yet to hear about an amicable date where they meet a spectacular suitor that they would recommend to me or another person (work the system). It damages my calm when people produce significant others out of nowhere then have them sent into obscurity. There is no foundation of friendship beforehand and nothing left when they want a new model. Our consumer culture enables people to use a service to look for a sure thing, moving on to another product in their pursuit of one that satisfies them more.

For the minority who are intentionally genuine and take the whole business of internet dating seriously, hats off and good luck to y’all because there’s plenty rubbish to sort through before finding a like-minded compatible person.

match

Team Community-Based 3D Relationships


Bite Me, Common Sense

There are times where I would be going about my day, having a conversation and I indicate I don’t follow what the other party is saying. Then suddenly I find myself being told,

“It’s just common sense.”

Well, I find that statement to be useless and condescending (which, ironically, should be widely accepted, IMHO). It has no information explaining why I should know certain things then do them accordingly. So I didn’t think of that, big deal. Did I miss the program where some professional renaissance man dispensed applicable life hacks to all children at the same time?

TEST
If given snake to cook, what action would you automatically take?
A) Hunt for a long pan
B) Cut it into pieces

I am, sadly, of the A Team (aka Work Harder Not Smarter). I am sure I would be certifiably retarded if I were tested. So it seems I did miss that bus or whatever and I feel off once in a while because I don’t seem to meet this expectation. I’ve had this issue as long as I can remember. Rules and directions I can do well. Logical choices given precedents, sure. Abstract memes from nowhere, not so much.

But really why should I accept such a notion when many don’t seem to realize the same way I do:

  • Expect to be hit on by freaky or dangerous creeps when you are internet dating/clubbing/out at 2am.
  • Marriage was created by God and should be done per original design.
  • Don’t be a flake. If you say yes, be consistently reliable and stand by your word.
  • Sleep 8+ hours. You’ll be healthier for it.
  • Worrying doesn’t make a difference in the end.
  • Eggs should be kept at room temperature, especially when a recipe calls for medium to stiff peaks.
  • Staring at your electronic device constantly when you have good company is unacceptably lame.
  • Always have a towel handy.

I picked those up through observations, maybe borrowed from the Wear Sunscreen song, who knows. But people I know seem unaware or simply have trouble with those concepts. Yet I never throw out the dreaded above phrase like a royal know-it-all because I know I have my personal sense about things that are “obvious”.  There are levels to be sure, starting from hot beverages are hot, but for the most part it sounds like a made up system or conspiracy to distract us from the impending zombie apocalypse.

Due to our endless backgrounds there are very few decisions or solutions that we agree upon 100%. If it seems weird that a person doesn’t see it a certain way a little understanding would definitely be appreciated. Assuming the other person has the same thought process is frustratingly unreasonable.

Also, why would I want something “common” anyway? Advocating the mundane status quo stifles creativity or daring to use a new, possibly better perspective.  Whether it’s skills, manners, or street smarts, we all can contribute in some area so we should teach each other. It would certainly be a friendlier world if this communication took place more often.

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5 Terrible Tropes

Usually I’m insufficiently hateful or verbose enough to tear apart a book or movie.  I tend to cover media in fan-girl mode, that’s why they’re “A” Reviews.   But not all tropes are rainbows and butterflies.  If you’re a writer or filmmaker who utilizes these, I’m begging you, cool it!

Eye Open
No, I’m not ready for a close up.  For some reason they like to shove a camera into a person’s face for emotional effect or something. I especially hate it when someone who was peacefully sleeping wakes up violently.  My vote: maintaining a healthy distance hurts no one.
Ahhh!: Catching Fire, Resident Evil, Avatar, Breaking Dawn, The Matrix

Fourth date marriage
Accidentally in love, then bam, they’re at the altar.  The average time it takes to fall head over heels with your soulmate is 3 days in movie time, and that might be generous.  Why is romance so often cheap and careless?
Happily Whatever: While You Were Sleeping, Hitch, Romeo + Juliet, The Proposal, Shrek, most Disney and Nicholas Sparks stories

Framing device
Narrator: “This is a story about…and then this happened…and then the end”
Me: No thanks, for adding nothing interesting at all. 
Unnecessarily setting up scenes that switch back and forth to the storyteller the whole time.  Unlike using significant minor flashbacks that would be far more efficient they decide to throw in inane details and useless extra characters throughout the entire film, testing my patience.
GTFO: Titanic, The Notebook, Forrest Gump, Great Gatsby, Water for Elephants, Ever After, The Princess Bride, Life of Pi

In medias res
Argh, is it too much to ask for stories to be told in its proper chronological format? I have such a grudge for its lack of order plus that it’s become ultra trendy. My friends practically stop the DVD and run for cover whenever there’s a prelude cutting to an earlier scene and I would scream, “NO!!! This is out of context!!!”
1) hacked and unartistic
2) useless the story
3) insults the viewer
4) completely overdone
5) distracting and choppy
Oh bother: Inception, Miss Potter, The Illusionist, The Help, Mrs Winterbourne, Moulin Rouge
Well played exceptions: The Prestige, Crash, Memento

Charade
You lied to me?! All this was to get that woman’s money? – Anastasia
Holding a secret or feeding into a misunderstanding.  I’m too lazy to keep up a false cover so I’m not keen to enjoy an entire premise where a “hero” is caught up in a lie.  It may be they are trying for humorous consequences or drama but I just feel like when it hits the fan there’s just destruction and betrayal, not entertainment, in its wake.  It’s one thing if the duplicity was given as a sophisticated double cross or by a evil manipulator with an end game. Sometimes it can be done well, in the style of Shakespearean comedies but unsuccessful investments otherwise.  Usually they involve an harmless reporter or a bet, which is less than riveting.
Wtf: Rango, Brave, Just Go With It, Something Borrowed, She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Hitch, Dan in Real Life, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Never Been Kissed
It’s for a good cause exceptions: 21 Jump Street, Ever After

What do I know, my taste runs the same as the average vampire-loving teenager anyway. There’s no accounting why certain themes push our buttons.   Let’s just agree that we all like stupid things. Counter list coming soon!

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Conceal, Don’t Feel

“Are you incapable of talking about anything except your own life?
You must have some feelings.
– Two Weeks Notice

Introverts like me just want to avoid all the noise that has taken over this country.  You know, the one where abysmally immature social media personas shout that such and such is THE BEST or THE WORST.

  • OMG THIS NEW CAR/FOOD PLACE/PHONE IS AWESOME!
  • HOW DARE THIS COMPANY SUPPORT MORAL STANDARDS?!
  • ED SHEERAN IS BRILLIANT & I WANT HIM TO MARRY ME!
  • WHY IS THIS SHOW CANCELLED, I DEMAND YOU BRING IT BACK!
  • OUR PRESIDENT IS A – aaand I’ll stop there.

We get it, you’re in love with your opinion and want attention.  In general I wish people would calm down and instead display rational educated opinions/ reactions (on obscure blogs, maybe?).  It’s so unproductive to rant and rave publicly over trivial matters. I have only a few ranges of feeling.  I try to lean towards this:

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Emotions are messy pesky hindrances.  As children we may show our delight, fury, or sadness plainly. Then into adulthood we learn to curb our impulsive responses and quit indulging in care free behavior.  Most people know how to play into their proper roles and go through each day with an appropriate mask.  Some stay in their young state without thought to others like Marianne Dashwood, reacting and displaying their wild love and hate loosely. It’s immature and unattractive to me, even while I admire her freedom and passion.  I can relate so much to the older sister Elinor with the burden of responsibility and cutting off her attachments  (bye, pet horse!). Her aloof exterior covered her disappointments.  She avoided the trouble of going through the up and down extremes, expected nothing but dealt with what was in front of her. That is more ladylike even though being numb to everything is not the best way to handle things.

Mostly I don’t bother to examine what I’m feeling since it’s confusing and unpleasant. The only time I’m certainly jubilant or clearly upset is over fictional characters. Investing emotions into dramas isn’t as risky and there is no pressure or maintenance involved. When out with people I’m usually taking too much time processing to function.  My default mode is to downplay everything which makes me poor company indeed. It doesn’t help that my preference is to be staying home in the first place. I just need my friends found in books and movies  Why bother with real relationships when they’re all going to fail and hurt you sooner or later? Who cares if they accept you or not? I’m just minding my own business and they should do the same. Let’s not trouble ourselves to find out what’s beneath the surfaces we display to the world.

Men especially are told to keep their feelings inside. It’s not okay to rage, worry, or break down in tears, only girls or sissies. Also noteworthy in British and Asian culture it’s expected to swallow any sorrows and put on a show of strength rather than succumbing to distress as it is improper. Be a good girl or boy.  What constitutes “good”?  Don’t rock the boat, keep your head down, behave in a quiet collected manner. Those who fall short of it may have trouble fitting in. Repression, though, over the years will demand a price. Maybe through compulsive behavior or obsessive disorders. In some cases it may even drive a pretender to suicide.

All the fear, elation, depression, and guilt. You can choose to let it all in. Or turn it all off.  I wish I could just flip the switch on my humanity and stop feeling anything to avoid pain. I told someone I’d rather cut away all of my emotions off and they brought up The Giver dystopia as a result. I said a world where there is complete order lacking no necessities sounds lovely, even though the government would control who lives and dies at will. It’s easier to shut people out like Queen Elsa.  Walls protect you from being hurt but they will also keep out rewards and actualization. I know that a well developed individual shows brokenness on dark days and joy when there are favorable circumstances (with degrees of self control). An extremely detached person is an unhealthy person.  Avoiding risk and potential disappointment does not help a person to grow.  What does?

Belonging. In life we take risks in intimacy, lose jobs, hear important medical news, these moments go on and on. There is pain and rejection we go through every day.   I am still so insecure and afraid of losing people to others or death. I may be slow to recognize love when it’s there since I’m not prone to reading into words or actions past what is conventionally polite. Also, I don’t expose my thoughts easily to just anyone, I not only have to trust them but usually respect them as well. So it seems I interact conditionally with those close to me and there’s no apparent strategy to fix it.

I know absolutely I am loved by God and think highly of myself enough to receive it from those who care about me. I know we are weak and should readily admit it. We can hide and stay crippled in a locked up cell of our own making.  Or walk into freedom and enjoy its benefits while becoming stronger through accepting pain (thank you Xavier, from Days of Future Past).  It’s our choice to keep our burden or give it to God and hold onto faith, hope, and love. It’s not easy to surrender, but it is required for healing, so I have to keep asking God to give me a heart of flesh and to remove my apathy.

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