Ok… so really, I’m not that shocked about my current credit card balance (and only ONE of them too, LOL), because I’m quite aware of my spending. If you have been paying attention to the blog, you’ll also know I’ve been trying to actually “utilize” my money and actually spend more of it to entertain and/or generate some monetary happiness, so it wasn’t like I “wasn’t expecting” to see these numbers. It is shocking only because I rarely see it this high 😆 .. and plus, I needed a catchy topic title, harhar.
I was going through my list of like 20 some-odd transactions, trying to figure out how much of it was pleasure-related and trying to separate it from business-related payments, since I also run purchases for my own company through this particular card. Looks like this month, I’ve spent quite a bit for ‘personal’ use and the numbers are starting to rack up. Just this weekend alone I spent quite a bit of money, particularly on food, haha! You know those weekends that you just go out and spend money like crazy? This was one of them. You’ll feel the pain a month down the road when the bills come flying in, lol.
And if you think these numbers actually included my plane ticket or spending in
Hong Kong, I’ll have you know those amounts were cleared a long time ago and all this spending contributing to the following picture is all from the past month since I’ve returned to Canada. I suppose I should really bend over now, lube up my ass and just wait until the next credit card statement lands on my desk.
Current owing amount and the billing period isn’t even over yet…
And so I proceeded to read an article which made me laugh because I realized why I spent more this year (other than my changes in spending habits) than any other during this-time-of-the-year…
Valentine’s can be considered an economic stimulus that helps to boost sales in between Christmas and Easter. According to Reuters News Agency, for Valentine’s Day 2011, the average American couple will spend $189, which is three times more than what singles generally spend on an average date ($67).
Man.. people go on expensive dates, LOL.. actually, I never calculated how much I spend taking bebe out. Come to think of it, I might actually spend more than that in a day with her 😐 Eep! There’s a good reason why bebe and I don’t go out every night, I’d be poor afterward XD
According to estimates from the National Retail Foundation, the average person will spend $116.21 on Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, this figure is up almost 13% percent over last year’s $103.00. Overall, this will bring total Valentine’s Day spending to about $15.7 billion.
Some people barely have money to eat, and here we are spending over $100 on gifts… ick.
The survey also found that overall spending is expected to be up this year. Consumers will fork over $3.5 billion on jewelry this Valentine’s Day, up from 2010’s estimated $3 billion.
Woooo, I’m part of the statistic this year! LOL.. I’m contributing to that 3.5 billion, haha.
No changes are expected on who will spend more; men will spend the most on Valentine’s Day gifts. The average man is anticipated to spend $158.71, more than double what the average woman will spend.
That’s bullshit 😛 Why do us guys have to pay more? 😆 I thought men and women were supposed to be equal in societal standards now, haha.
According to Reuters, young professionals plan to spend $255 for Valentine’s with their significant other.
Hrm… how to define young professionals?
I was just talking to one of the girls at work today and she pretty much said as well Valentine’s Day is really a waste of money – or rather – if you’re going to buy gifts or do sweet things for your partner, that can be done any time, rather than on a “specific day”… and yes, while I agree with that, it’s also nice to mark a special occasion like this. However, give it a few more years and when bebe and I get married, v-day may not really be all that special 😀 HAHA!
I think it’ll be very quick that the next time I check my credit card tally that it’s going to be pushed over the 3,000 mark.. ooohh boy. Looks like I’ll be eating Mr. Noodles for a while 😛
You know, having been with a few girls over my years of life, I must say this has been one of the most touching Valentine’s day I’ve ever experienced – well, at least for now – I’m sure bebe will make me love her more and more every year! Nevertheless, it took me a bit of time to consider whether I’d actually say this because it would seem rather unfair to my ex’s. With me ex’s, I never want them to feel as if they were an unimportant part of my life, because they really are and all with the exception of one, I still keep in (relatively) close contact with. My ex’s have helped me develop my relationship aptitude and helped me explore and engage myself in ways I never thought possible. Each one has paved the path of who I am today and that lucky for bebe (HAHA), she will hopefully get to be my final recipient of my love. So when bebe and I get married one day, she owes the way I treat her to all my ex’s who’ve made me the person I am today XD
But anyways, lets set the whole unfairness thing aside, this valentines I truly “feel” it… and I guess perhaps this relationship has delved into more serious emotions and connections than ones before. My most recent ex was probably the most unfortunate one because it was pure lust and perhaps we both used each other to satisfy our “rebounding” feelings. Having been with L for quite a few years, it took me a long time before I could even be with another girl… It wasn’t until 3-4 years later when my heart could even consider another person. L and I had some pretty good Valentines day and we certainly made it special for each other, whether nearby or afar, however, this Valentines with bebe so far away, I still feel super close to her, as if she was sitting right next to me with her head on my shoulders.
Then of course, many years ago, those teenage relationships you never expected to go real far. High-school relationships were either, 1) for pleasure, 2) for status quo and mostly, 3) experimentation. Unfortunately I never dated a girl for #1 which I’m not sure if I regret or not 😆 HAH! For #2 I thought was absolutely useless because a person should not rely on “a partner” to have a specific status within school and so of course I dated for #3. Back then, girls were just someone you’d hang out with after-school, do things with when you’re bored or just someone you could confide in private with… but really, I don’t think at that point a person can truly appreciate what true, lasting relationships are about… people come together and people fall apart in a whim, without repercussion. “Easy come, easy go” was a serious reality. I always thought to myself how disgusting it would be if I were to sleep with a girl who I know every one of my best friends have slept with or “been inside” with – urg, the thought is sickening.
I think it’s very common now that people adapted to the whole, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy – if you’re with someone, it’s best you don’t know about their relationship-past or sexual-history. To be honest, I would think 4-5 years ago that I expected any girl that I’d be with to be a virgin (and by virgin, I mean REALLY virgin, as in no sex of ANY type, whether oral, anal or vaginal), but truly, I don’t expect any of the girls I know to be virgins anymore 😀 lol – it’s just not realistic. Bebe has always been interested in my past relationships, as she was always curious in knowing why my previous relationships failed. For me, I probably prefer not to know how many guys she’s been with, what they have done together and I just pretend that there was no one before me, haha, it’s much more settling that way.
So I came to this realization that this valentine is probably one of the most heart-felt one was due to the fact I truly truly FELT COMPELLED to get something for bebe. I know that she’s not big on receiving gifts from me, she’s one of those modern “financially independent” type of girls, but she certainly didn’t reject it either. I actually gave her a few necklaces to choose from and go figure, from all the choices I gave her, she chose the diamond one 😛 how typical girl, haha. I don’t mind though because if I offered it, then obviously I already budgeted to buy it for her initially. It was just amusing that when I was at the jewelery store, all the girls there that I know quite well from buying there a lot, all agreed that bebe would likely pick the diamond one because you know, girls just LOVE diamonds 😆 They said, “A girl will always buy the most expensive one that their boyfriend offers” and I laughed – because bebe did indeed choose the most expensive one.
Getting this present was not without hardships though. When I asked bebe the first time, they actually had a 10% sale going on and by the time she responded, the sale was over. I was still going to buy it even for regular price, but I decided to go to the store to bug them like a typical Asian to see if they would honour the discount even though it was technically over. Luckily, they told me they were restarting the discount due to popular demand the next day, so I told them I’d go make the purchase then… however, I also found out the necklace that bebe wanted was also out of stock at the store I usually go to, BLAH!
I was like OMFG, lol. I was trying to figure out whether they’d get it in and they suggested me to go visit other stores. Alternately, I could order online, but I’m not big on buying something before I actually get to see it, ESPECIALLY, when it comes to expensive things or jewelery. If I’m paying this much for it, it better be the guaranteed quality, correct diamond and gold karat composition and be the exact style as shown in the picture. So I was frantic of course, HOLY SHIT, I started scrambling to every store around the area possible to find it and if I couldn’t find it here locally, I’d drive to nearby cities to get it if I had to. So finally I found a place that sold the exact one bebe picked up and I was so happy! I always watch those movies and think how nutty guys are to look high and low just to get a gift for their lover, but now I truly understand the feeling and reasoning behind it… it’s such a huge disappointment when you can’t get the thing you wanted for someone you care about – so you’ll do ANYTHING just to get your hands on it. So I ordered it and then picked it up just yesterday after work. I left work early so I could “beat the rush” as many guys and gals would be picking up there Valentine’s gift after work due to the discount.
So can you believe it? Today, my mom goes on to “casually ask me more” about bebe. Not only that, but she “advised” me that I should make sure I take [bebe’s full name] out for valentines lunch/dinner to make up for the fact she’s not in Canada now. I can’t believe it, my MOM actually told me I need to take bebe out (not that I didn’t plan to, lol).. but she made it very clear that I SHOULD, haha. Since when did my parents become that involved in girls I like? 😛 Not only that, but I’ve never had a girl in my life who my parents cared so much about whether we actually stayed together, lol. Other than L, my parents didn’t care much for these girls, haha… in fact, the last one I had they utterly hated XD – ok so I guess that proves they did care about the results of my last relationship because they didn’t want me to end up with that girl :lol:… on a totally AWESOME note is the fact my mom: a) wants to get to know bebe more, b) actually remembers her name, c) seems to approve of her, and d) interested in helping me keep bebe and have a future with her … and of course not many people who read this blog know my parents, but if you did, you would realize that a, b, c, and d mean a lot given how little my parents have ever shown approval for a girl I got involved with. They did inquire (or I could say “blame”, hah) me for failing that relationship with L… and funny enough, even though my parents never met her, they seem to really like her. Who knows why… maybe it was ‘cuz she is SUPER PRETTY, haha. I still remember when I went out to Toronto to visit L one year, my dad was picking me up from the GO Train station and asked me why I didn’t try to kau (date/woo) L, but at that time, we had already broken up because she left me for a better looking guy 😦
In case anyone wonders what I got bebe… here it is! I’m actually quite proud of getting her something, not that I shouldn’t or something, but you know – I just feel good about myself and I don’t think there should be something “wrong” with that feeling. It makes me feel warm and tingly inside and even though she might not be quite ready to reciprocate my love for her, at least she acknowledges it, which is important 😀 I cut out the picture below so no one (unless you really like to backtrack links…) can find out where I bought it from and mainly that I’d get in so much shit for buying something so expensive for her, LOL… My friends were like, “You know.. most people only start buying diamonds for their girlfriend when they’re like… about to get married.. not just when you guys are starting out” – but hey, we’re not really ‘just starting’.. or well, the whole situation is complex, but at least we’ve “been seeing each other” for a good year and a half now, so it’s not like we’re total strangers or something and plus, bebe is such a good girl that she’s totally worth spoiling!
How bebe has somehow mesmerized my entire family into liking her, I have no idea, LOL. She’s managed to meet only two of my aunts plus my cousin and my whole family is all happy over her already. She only exchanged a few words with my aunts and maybe a few paragraphs with my cousin 😛 I mean, I know my family has a habit and talent of judging people quite quickly in even the smallest exchange of words and obviously, they all seem to think she’s an excellent girl for me to be with and that we’d make a great couple. I don’t mind them thinking that of course, because it gives me the support/encouragement, as well that I know she will be a great “fit” into my family since everyone’s already given her the “thumbs up” – and particular in Asian families or I should say my family, that approval is extremely hard to earn/obtain! Even my mom agrees that I should “put forth effort” towards bebe, so I can always claim that my own taste/judgments of girls can sometimes be questionable (à la my last relationship, lol), but so far, everyone I know really want to meet her and think we’re definitely relationship-material and I’d say if I couldn’t trust myself in my own feelings for bebe, I can definitely trust others who are normally quite demanding of girls I’m with! All in all, this is a great sign – or at least for the family part. I still have to of course, win bebe’s heart over 😛
I went to Niagara Falls today to enjoy a show and a dinner and it was a great day, but at times like these, I really wish bebe was around here with me. I know she’s having a wonderful time with her family back at home (in fact, even HOME home!), so I while I do miss her greatly, I have to hold back my greediness back and have to respect the fact she has her own family and there’s more to her life than just me. Nevertheless, even if she’s at least thought of me once a day, whether for a split-second or for minutes, I’d still feel really touched and special in her life anyways! There are still a lot of struggles for us in the coming days, weeks and months, particularly with getting her settled here and solving “geographical” issues. I really want this to be the last relationship I’m in… because I love bebe so much! Surely given that there are so many people who can clearly see and even feel how much I care about bebe, that soon bebe will truly feel that she means the world to me and stay by my side and let me love and care for her – forever and always.
and of course… I like when people ask me questions like what’s posed in this song, I can answer using a music video… HAH:
The Temptations – My Girl
And because EMI Publishing is a bunch of fucktards and won’t let people stream off WordPress but can off of Youtube, you have to go there directly to listen to it. When I have time, I’m going to find a way around that. And you wonder why people don’t buy music legally anymore? Why the shit should I buy music when music companies do stupid stuff like this? I hope everyone keeps downloading illegally and puts those idiots out of business until they start embracing the real world. When I see their CEO’s begging on the street for food, I’m going to shit on their heads.
Hrm… something happened to me the other day that made me ponder how judging someone hastily may end up costing yourself! Suffice to say, we all judge people immediately from the first time we see them to the last time we see them – but some judgments are more educated than others. On Tuesday, I had a day off and decided with nothing better to do, I joined my aunt, uncle and mom to lunch which they originally had planned. Since it was not a “formal gathering” I decided to dress simple (especially on a day-off where I don’t have to wear “work clothes”), a t-shirt and jeans. This is definitely a rare treat for me to be able to dress-down since other times I’m either in dress pants/dress shirt or at the very least, business-casual collared shirt w/ slacks or khakis. To be honest, I think in a way, I’ve grown out of dressing down, even by choice. Perhaps to me, I want to ensure I maintain a professional-look even on my “off days” because you never know who you may bump into, whether an existing or potential client.
Nevertheless, we had a lunch at a nearby family dining restaurant, one of our favourites because they have 5.49 lunch specials (Includes coleslaw, choice of potatoes and an entree)! We’re also regulars there, so we also get our VIP card “stamped” for a free meal on the 5th visit and as well we have a $5 off coupon on each of our visits (with minimum restrictions of course). After the meal, we decided we didn’t want to head home since I had a day off and our aunt/uncle had came all the way in from Mississauga, so we wanted to go wander around a nearby mall.
My mom enjoys walking at this mall every day because it is close-to-home and to her, all it matters is that it’s an “indoor mall” because she does it for her morning exercises and a place to have a muffin and coffee. We passed by one of her favourite jewelry stores. Recently, my side job has been providing me with some extra income so I thought I’d spoil my mom with something nice. We usually aren’t very picky with our salesperson, but out of all the ones available (about 5-6 on the front counter), we only knew 1 of them. I would hardly say we’re “regulars” but my mom goes into the mall a lot and is recognized by many of the employees there.
As I walked in, I noticed several salespeople who looked up and simply put their heads back down. It was very unusual because of the many times I’ve walked into this establishment, I’ve always been greeted and asked if I needed assistance. The lady who we usually deal with was busy with another customer and it isn’t like we “had” to talk to her, so any other person would’ve done. At that point, we didn’t have a plan of buying anything, but certainly, even random people who walk in to browse usually get a lot better treatment. Maybe it was the fact I wasn’t wearing a suit or “looked rich” and therefore received no attention. The lady who we normally dealt with saw us, smiled, waved and politely gestured that she was attending to another customer.
My mom peered into the displays as usual, checking out a variety of rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. We looked from everything from the cheapie stuff (a couple dollars) to the more expensive thousand-dollar ones. Yes, I realize there are also diamonds which exceed the $10,000 amount, but it wasn’t like we were planning on buying those. My mom and I spent about 20 minutes looking at all the displays and all the salespeople just seemed to have ignored us. Suffice to say, it wasn’t like I was dressed “off the street” like a bum, unruly, dirty and smelly – I didn’t feel like having to “dress up” just to go for lunch.
The lady who we normally dealt with finished and she approached my mom and I. She looked around and thought it was weird that none of the other salespeople asked if we needed assistance. We explained the usual pleasantries and we said we were just browsing but would let her know if we wanted to see something out of the display case. The several times I’ve been to this shop, I had been looking at getting a bracelet for my mom since I had already gotten her a necklace, ring and pair of earrings. I always ask her why she doesn’t wear them, but she says she likes to save them for occasions and also because those accessories are easier to lose. She said a bracelet might be a bit easier to match with her clothing. I noticed this one…
It’s not “the best of the best” but I have been looking at it for a while. It was rather expensive at it’s original price of $750CAD, but was on sale so I asked my mom if she wanted me to buy it for her! It’s a nice 10kt yellow gold, but unfortunately the diamond wasn’t a full carat 😦 I did spot a 1 carat diamond ring, but she said she didn’t want me to spend that kind of money.
Actually, the last time I bought my mom something, I was also eyeing something for my girlfriend and you know what’s great about her? It’s the fact she doesn’t try to “compare” herself with my mom. I told her the one I thought that would look great on her wasn’t as expensive as the one I got for my mom, but she said it’s very normal for me to prioritize my mom over her. She also mentioned she wouldn’t be jealous if I had spent more on a present for my mom rather than her. She’s understanding and holds family hierarchy and traditional values tightly and that’s amazing. It’s very rare that you hear girls being so 大方 (generous attitude towards something). Honestly, one of the greatest pains about being a son when it comes to family is the fact he always has to be stuck in a position where he has to chose girlfriend/wife or mom. Something like that is the bane of every son in this world (with a living mother). Luckily for me, I can happily know (err.. hope) they won’t get into petty squabbles, because I care about both of them in different ways. In jest though, women always “say one thing and think another” so although she says she wouldn’t be jealous, I have a feeling if something like that happens in the future, I’m sure that night I’ll be sleeping on the couch 😆 HAHAHA.
Ah shit, back to the story. So trying to get service was pretty hard and you know, I’m used to walking into a store and being asked if I needed help. This has nothing to do with me being “high up” – it’s just that I dislike bothering people if they are engaged in other matters. I will usually wait for a salesperson who is free before I ask them something, whether it is in a jewelry store or the supermarket. The lady who went usually dealt with noticed that my mom and I were discussing whether we wanted it (in Chinese) and she came over asking us if we wanted to see something. My mom tried it on and she liked it, so we proceeded with the purchase. As the lady took it to the counter to perform the transaction and wrapped it up, all the other salespeople suddenly flocked over and asked us if there was more we needed assistance. Funny that just moments ago, they didn’t even bother to lift their heads and acknowledge our presence until we actually bought something. We received the bag and we happily left the store.
It’s interesting how we as humans often perceive people based on outward appearances. I will not say I’m one of the guys with impeccable tidiness or dress-for-success (when I go out casually), but I’m certainly presentable and clothed. I dress for the ocassion and I dislike it when people make the assumption of whether I look “fit to purchase something.” I suppose all the other salespeople didn’t bother serving us because I looked poor (not that I’m claiming to be rich either though) or even if I did buy something, it would be something cheap where it wouldn’t be worth their effort to serve us. In the end, we bought something that could easily equate to commission worth a full days of work or at the very least, half a days pay for your average household (in a matter of 30 minute serving us). I understand when it comes to serving customers, there are no guarantees they will buy something and many “experienced salespeople” will say they can spot those who are truly interested in browsing or ones who are actually buying. Maybe these people just weren’t experienced enough to spot us or perhaps a misjudgment on their part, but it was a foolish act because any other one of those salespeople could’ve been the one to win this transaction had they taken the time to even reach out their hands in assistance.
I learned this lesson at a young age, that it is a grave mistake to judge people too hastily. I remember when I went to meet one of my dad’s friend (we respectfully call our elder male friends “uncle” in Chinese relations) at a high-class hotel for lunch. We did not pick the place (since we’re not of that wealth-level) and I thought it was very awkward that when uncle arrived, he was dressed in some shaggy shorts, had sandals on and looked like he just got out of bed. I quietly whispered into my dad’s ear whether that is “actually the person we’re meeting” and sure enough, it was. It turns out this uncle owns about 3 buildings in Hong Kong and is a major shareholder across many 5-star HK hotels. What I also didn’t see was that he arrived in a personal limo, the CEO of the hotel came down to greet him and call him by name when he arrived and that all the workers bowed their heads and called him Mr. ____ as he walked by – all this, I did not see and could not fathom for a man who could easily pass as a guy who picked up cans off the street. From then on, it was a great lesson at a young age to not judge people by exterior means, unless you have something to back up those judgments. “Wealth” is not always something that can necessarily be seen either. As I was told by my dad later, uncle’s bank account balance more trailing 0’s (zeroes) than the number of holes I had on my belt.
The next time (especially for people involved with sales) you decide to judge someone based on exterior appearances, think again for they may have surprizes you don’t know about. Don’t overlook people until you have the facts!