2010/02 – Any Other Day…

A girl came and sat at the computer next to mine.

I had chosen that computer because I had been at that same computer earlier in the day.

I had just come from Japanese conversation meeting, a thing done by the Japanese club at the school.  Another girl was there as a facilitator, Joy, that had just been in my Mandarin class.  Her Japanese was a million times better than her Mandarin, which was average for her level (second-semester).  The Mandarin teacher brought some basted chicken for us to eat…

Before Mandarin, I went to my TESOL assessment class.  We did our final group presentation.  I hope I pass the class; I missed some of the work.  I still need to take the test.

That conversation meeting had been announced in my Japanese class, which I attended prior to the assessment class and following my Thai class.  Today I started going back to my audited classes; I’d skipped them for a week, maybe two.

Before that Thai class there was a devotional.  A Catholic cardinal named Francis George, the head of something in America, had accepted an invitation to speak.  He addressed the shared political concerns of Catholics and LDS.  I found it kind of tragic that here he was in Red Provo of Red Utah, giving his good message for human rights and against homosex and baby killing, but that we (as a community) for some reason accept baby killing and just recently espoused benefits for homosexuals.  I realized I would be sorely tempted to vote Catholic if it was ever Catholic versus LDS social politics.

I didn’t think I’d make that devotional, but for some reason, I got up very early today after going to sleep very late.

It must have been a special day, or something.  I thought it was just for the devotional…

So, the girl was named Crenshaw.  I had just started voice-chatting with Fan, and the girl overheard my false Mandarin and turned and asked (in Mandarin) whether I spoke Chinese.  I told her I was talking to a girl from China right then, and, having sensed that she wanted to practice her Mandarin, asked her if she wanted to have a go.  She did.  I quickly warned Fan, and then handed over my headset…

They went on and on… and on.  I imagined that Fan liked her a lot better than she ever liked me.  Before long, I started to work, with MSN open in the background and the girl kind of sitting off to the side of my computer.  About a half hour later, I visited the restroom and returned.  At last, Fan said she was going to eat lunch, and their chat ended.  I said a few pleasantries to the girl and returned to my work…

…Of course, I’d overheard everything she’d said…  At length I had to ask her where she expected to find a husband who would go travel the world with her, as she’d told Fan she’d wanted to do.  For some reason, her nature was to be totally free with all her thoughts, even to us strangers.  My conversation with her lasted nearly as long as her previous one.

I perceived that all of the hesitations I have conjured up against being with a white girl… fell impotent against this girl.

She not only would endure travelling; she actually wanted to live abroad herself.  She wanted to raise her children globally.

And, boy, could she explain herself well…  Although she used two words I consider anathematic, she was extremely well spoken otherwise.  She understood the one or two more advanced constructions I said to her…  Ha ha…

She wasn’t ugly by any means…

She wasn’t hefty…

She was from Virginia.  She…

…well, mostly, she thought very deeply about stuff, and she wanted to travel.

She was perfect…

I of course made no move.  We kind of stopped talking…  Both of us were a little busy with other conversations and things.  In the end, she asked me for my Facebook details, and added me.

…She commented that I was 28…

That, I think, is what saved me.  She won’t want to marry a much older person.  She’s pre-mission age.

I proceeded to voice chat with Maggie, a new contact from Hong Kong.  It was funny how different she was from the girl…

Earlier, I’d been talking with Munkhgerel, a fairly new Mongolian contact.  Munhzaya doesn’t really appear online so much any more…

Cheui Song also talked to me a little…

But, naturally, only one name and one face were in my mind as I walked home tonight.  I’d looked long and hard at her during our talk, asking myself again and again if I could love that face.

…I decided I probably could.

I was trying (successfully) to convince myself to continue to refuse to take any action toward the girl.  I started thinking how truly doomed I was from companionship, if, after finally finding a perfect match, fulfilling that impossible dream shared by all, I still wasn’t happy with it… wasn’t confident at all toward it, toward myself in achieving it… or in deserving it…

About halfway home, I started thinking that she wasn’t actually "perfect"; that the criteria I’d used to judge her "perfect" were just as worldly as any, and besides, weren’t even well defined.  She wanted to live abroad in abject conditions so she could be a photojournalist, while I would probably rather live in the capitals of cities.  Looking more closely, I find our differences in goals are as big as mine and Petra’s.

Oh well.

By the time I got home to Southridge, my mind was already jumping ahead from that strange, coincidental encounter.

-Steve

[post:
I’d been trying to find out why she hated the idea of marrying a foreigner so much.  I know there are surely some underlying pressures on her, besides what she actually expressed (a vague sense of impossibility to overcome what she saw as her cultural and communicative differences with foreigners).  She mentioned an unexpected romantic encounter she’d had with a Japanese guy…  I’d asked her who it was, but she didn’t say.  I don’t know many Japanese anyway.

I was more than a little amused when, coming home later and investigating her on Facebook, I found a note to her from… my Japanese study buddy. -__-  Ha ha.  The only Japanese guy I know… turned out to be a major reason she thinks she can’t marry foreign guys.  It wasn’t the best possible introduction to foreign interaction, I think.  She may not fully comprehend that he’s still a beginning or intermediate student with many struggles in English.

She, anyway, really was just a coincidence.  Today I’ve thought that I met her because, yes, there are some exceptions to the brainless, doll-like, hyper-feminine majority of girls, and sooner or later I was bound to come across some of them.  Her adventurism and self-awareness and poetry are things that are probably typical for thoughtful people, rather than being any special indicator that she was any kind of a better match for me.]

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4 Responses to 2010/02 – Any Other Day…

  1. Steve says:

    Nothing gambled, nothing lost.

  2. Thankful says:

    Touche’

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