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The Cost of Dating Bebe… To My Car!

Just some fun statistics about changes to my driving habits as a result of dating. I personally manage my finances, so I have built nice little spreadsheets and visual depictions over the year, so these were already available to me. I’m not pointing fingers or putting blame, I just found the statistics interesting and thought some of you might like a laugh 😛
Cost of Dating Bebe (Car)As you can tell, the high cost of gas clearly reflects upon these figures. Bebe only has affected me (so far) 150 KM of additional mileage, compared to figures of the previous year when I wasn’t dating her regularly 😀 Although it is only a mere 150KM of difference, if you look at the COST of the gas, that’s $141 difference between the two years (and only 27 litres of gas!!!!) when I’ve driven only a 150KM surplus. My statistics are based off my every record of gas and odometer display and also these figures are derived only for usage from Jan-Apr of 2010 and 2011.

Anyways, just something mid-week for me to post, my eyes rolled at the price difference despite how little “extra” I’ve driven. I mean, obviously this doesn’t account for increase/decrease in personal driving or for work, so that would of course affect these numbers, but it’s cool to see that from my “normal driving habits” – that bebe’s impact on my gas bills have not been much 😆

Anyways, this was all just for fun tidbit and I’m not complaining or anything, psh!

Defeated by PMS

So I’ve always prided myself on being one of those guys that can handle a PMS-situation. With all my ex’s, whenever they were in a bad mood or whatnot, I’d always be able to make the situation feel right or at least “correct” those mood-swings positively. Yesterday was proof that apparently as much as I’ve been able to do wonders with my ex’s, it is not the case for bebe, LOL. Last night was our date night and we had spent a lot of time doing what most people would see as great “couples” activities. First, we went and ran some errands together for her brothers, then we picked up 2 of her friends at home and from a mall. Then we proceeded to go get some bubble tea and we spent a few hours at the place playing cards with those friends.

I was rather happy yesterday, because she’s letting me meet her friends more and more. Out of her group of closest friends, I’ve met 4 of the 5 already – so that makes me very happy because it was always hard for her to introduce me to them. Although I have yet to be introduced as her boyfriend, it’s nice enough just to meet them so they know of my presence in her life. We played cards for quite a while, got a new snack to go along with it and it was nice to see bebe talk to her friends and just “be her.” She asked if I wanted to go, but I saw she seemed to be enjoying playing cards and being with her friends, so I said I didn’t need to go. When bebe went to the washroom, her friends were all “teasing” me and they were like, “Oh, do you want to leave? We will help you…” and when bebe came back, they were telling us it’s ok to go, that we should go shop or whatever, but by then, the movie we had planned on attending was < 1 hour away, meaning we really had no time to effectively do anything. Driving to one of the other major malls (because the one closest to us was closing in 20 minutes) would take a good 15 minutes, which means we’d spend 30 minutes two-way just traveling, so it didn’t seem time-efficient.

I guess our “problem” occurred when both bebe and I were trying to be nice to each other, LOL. I was trying to be nice and not be like I’m pulling bebe away from her friends just because we’re ‘together’ and she was being nice to me by thinking I didn’t want to be the one saying I wanted to leave and be rude, so she kept on asking me if I wanted to go. Truth be told, I actually enjoyed playing cards with her friends, so I really wasn’t just “outwardly being nice” – my intents were genuine that I liked sitting there to do things with her friends. So here is where the clash came in as to her actually wanting to leave because she was getting bored, but I was also trying to be nice/enjoying her friend’s company that I didn’t want to drag her away. I suppose we need to ‘learn’ each others hinting more, haha… because I had thought she thought I was bored and wanted to leave, meanwhile, she was the one who wanted to leave and I didn’t clue into it… tsk tsk!

So we left for the movies and I could tell she wasn’t all too happy. Understandably, she’s been bored for a while just sitting there and playing cards with her friends and I was also fairly quiet in not wanting to try to force conversations in, but still, that shouldn’t warrant me be like I did something terribly wrong though. During the movie, I kept to my side to give her that personal space, because as we all know (lol), how much she likes her “personal space.” – I didn’t bother trying anything with her today because she just didn’t seem like she was in-the-mood. Prior to me picking up her friends, she seemed very cheery with me and stuff, so I guess it was something “inappropriate” I said while we were playing cards that didn’t make her very happy. Again, she never can tell me what the problem is, it’s sometimes frustrating because she doesn’t even seem to understand herself. It seems like there’s these “magical problems” that happen that she can’t define, making a solution to it hard as well.

She was hungry (during) and after the movie, so we proceeded to have dinner. We had some decent conversations at the table, but I could tell she still wasn’t very engaged with me today. I tried to make her day better, cheer her up, but it was clearly not working out. It seemed like no matter what I did or said, it was ‘wrong’ – even despite my best efforts to make the night better. I guess sometimes when it comes to that, she’s not very cooperative… whenever I ask her if I can do anything to make the night better, I never get a response I can act on.. it’s always a closed-end response where I can’t really do anything about it. Suffice to say, that’s just her and I guess if it was my choice to like her, I have to live with it. I sometimes wish she could express herself in a way that it allows me to learn what I can do for her, because it doesn’t give me an opportunity to gauge her feelings & interact with them, so whenever I don’t understand her, I’m not sure if she has a right to actually say I “don’t understand her” since she CLOSES those opportunities for when I do try to understand her.

So as our main-course ended, I decided to shuffle over to the bench-side with her since we sat across from each other. I really really disliked the fact she sat so far from me. I mean sure, the “feel” and the “mood” definitely wasn’t here for the night and was definitely disheartening and saddening, but it has been so long where she’s actually sat that far away from me it was bordering the line of worry, anger and stress. Sure, the night didn’t “go the way we wanted to” – but to sit almost a PERSON of space apart was just too much for me to handle. Every time I moved closer, she’d shuffle a bit farther and I just got so annoyed I pulled her close to me. I even had to make a verbal statement about it and really, I shouldn’t need to do that. When I hold her against me, it feels so natural… but she has yet to act on her natural bodily response either. Sometimes I ask myself, is it better to hold on to her and let her get used to my touch on her or is it better to not hold her once I feel the discomfort so that way she doesn’t feel trapped. It’s such a hard question as to which is “right” since BOTH have its merits.

At some point within our conversation, I jokingly touched on whether I didn’t seem to be able to make her happy tonight was because she was moody and “had PMS” and of course most women would respond, “NO, don’t blame PMS.” – but even tonight, she had thought that was it actually PMS as well, because there’s just “so many little things” that bugged her she couldn’t quite put her finger on it… and it seemed like she fluctuated from being unhappy and happy throughout the day randomly. The night wasn’t all bad and it wasn’t all ingenuity either because her smiles to me were all still very sweet. Maybe because I thought I could “handle PMS well” but apparently it’s a whole different monster when it comes to bebe, because I just couldn’t cheer her up. It got to around 10PM and I asked her if she wanted to go back, but she actually didn’t yet, despite the foul mood. I decided to take her on a joy-ride then, just to look at houses, be in the car and listen to music. I can’t even believe I did that given the crazy gas prices right now, but furthering the point that I’d do almost anything for her. We drove around for about 40 minutes before I decided I needed a place to just park and rest. It was nearing 11PM and I was getting drained and because I was just so stressed out over the day that it was more emotional exhaustion more than physical one.

As we sat there, we just had some small talk. All of a sudden, she goes quiet probably to think about what she’s going to say, then says asked me if I “wanted to know what she thinks about this relationship”… I literally FROZE when she says that. I said let me think about whether I wanted to know and I could already feel my pulse/heart rate pumping – not only that, but I was feeling short-of-breath. I had to step outside because it was cool and I could regain my composure, thoughts and just my sanity. I got back into the car and told her I’d listen… there was no doubt that my mind raced, heart pounded and couldn’t breath throughout the entire conversation. It wasn’t anything bad, suffice to say, wouldn’t say it was anything good either. I mean it’s great we can sit and talk about the relationship, but wish we could sit and talk about the GOOD things in our relationships, not just her “discomforts”  – but I did get to explain myself and my own feelings – things I don’t share with anyone, not even on this blog. The reason why I had such a big reaction was because of the night’s incident (with the PMS and all… lol) along with the way she “asked” if I wanted to know (since you don’t ‘ask’ when you tell people good things, you just blurt it out) made me feel as if it was another one of those “dead end” conversations. I was so tired from the night that when we finished chatting, I just wanted to hold her hand and take a short nap. She didn’t let me hold her hands, SIGH… so I held on to the back of her hand while I tried to take a snooze, not that I could because of all the worry. At least we did come to the “agreement” that we think it was mostly PMS which brought about the day’s negativity, because ever since she returned from Malaysia to Canada, things have been doing really well for us and our “direction” in the relationship is definitely there. I hope one day SOON when bebe and I had a solid relationship foundation, I can tell her the truth about how I kept tabs on her 😛 As much as she tried to emphasize my loyalty and niceness to her, we both know that’s not enough to lay the groundwork for a good relationship, so it was still a bit dejecting to know she still can’t quite “feel” it with me.

Let’s just say for the sake of an “example” I had a choice between forcing her to be with me, even though she doesn’t truly want to – or if I just let her go. Of course there are those who say the whole, “If you love her enough, you will let her go.” – well let me tell you this, that’s retarded. I suppose we’re all entitled to our own opinions, but it’s “easier said, than done” to let someone go who you truly love, it’s just downright stupid when I hear that sometimes. Call me greedy, but I think I’d still go for option 1. Why? Because a lot of couples who decided to get into a relationship even though one side was not fully happy. This usually occurs when “oopsies” happens with unexpected pregnancies or when people are forced into a marriage circumstance (arranged marriages) or even mail-order brides, people who never once thought about being together, ended up being together, but lived happily-ever-after. Likewise, even if I were to be so greedy as to force bebe to stay with me, she may very well end up being more happy than she ever expected. Sounds like a fairytale, but if there’s anyone who can do it, I believe in myself that I’m capable of that 😛 Of course the BEST alternative would she actually willingly be with me and feel that spark, haha. The way I feel about her is so deep and I’d actually be willing to (Chinese Astrology) 轉運 and give up 5 years of my life just to be with bebe. After all, would I want to live my life unhappily without bebe, or would I rather live 5 years less and be happy with her? I think the decision is pretty obvious for me… that’s how much I love her.

We spent a lot of time expressing our own thoughts about how we view the relationship and I mean deep down, I’m not ignorant to believe that this will relationship will for sure work out, but there’s no doubt I’d want it to work out… and that I’m willing to devote what it takes to win her over. Even though “time” is not exactly on my side, I’ve told myself that I refuse to give up on her and even though I’d normally try to push the relationship forward or whatever, I’m going to just give her that time she needs and that I’m not going to “set a deadline.” As she mentioned her talking to her friends about how she should definitely try to bring those feelings to surface about me, obviously if she’s tried and still doesn’t work out then it’s just not happening. Of course we’ve only been “trying hard” for the past 2 months, so that still gives us lots of ‘testing’ and ‘getting to know each other’ time… I’m not sure if she set a particular date/length of time where she thinks that’s enough time and it is/is not working out (and quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to know), because then it doesn’t give us constraints to time – otherwise we’d constantly be rushing rather than being realistic – I suppose we’ll just let time take its course while we do our best to make this relationship work. The GOOD thing is that if our relationship works out, seriously NOTHING will separate us, because we’ve gone through so much that we’d both be impervious, given all the obstacles we’ve had to go through to get to a great place.

I’m not sure how I felt last night. Even when I dropped her off, I’m not sure what I should’ve done. We usually hug each other before we go for the night, but I didn’t even bother positioning myself or asking for one, just didn’t feel right and I’m not sure whether I did it for me or did it for her. I mean quite notably, I wasn’t exactly happy or anything and she wasn’t very happy either – so maybe that’s why. I was kind of upset with how things turned out so I just didn’t feel very huggable. At the same time, I’m also not sure if SHE wanted to be hugged given all the things we talked about. I felt so empty when I went home, like the night wasn’t complete. I got to hold her a lot tonight, but it didn’t feel the same. I mean, I now know I’ve been defeated by PMS – it has never been that bad on me before, I’ve always been able to control PMS on my girls pretty well and have always done the right thing that could help them smile and be happy. I guess I just shouldn’t hold the night against bebe, I mean if PMS is really the culprit, then we’ll be ok once her period starts!

I got home at around 1:30AM after dropping her off and this has been the first time I’ve been so tired that on my drive home, my eyes were READY to close. I got home safely and just plopped on my bed and went to sleep. However, the repercussions to the night were rough. This morning when I woke up, I went to the washroom to puke. There was really ‘nothing’ to puke out since last night’s food had already been entirely digested, the feelings were all the “sick to my stomach” feelings over the previous night. I don’t even know what I’d do without bebe in my life. I don’t want to go back to “searching for another half” because I’ve FOUND her… I just need to be able to keep her. She’s still young and that’s why she’s not “rushing”…. had she been say, 28 or something, then she might be a bit more rushing in this relationship, because that biological clock is ticking against her. We talked last night about how anyone can survive without another person, but the reality is I love bebe so much that I don’t know how I’d be able to go on life without her… Today has not started a good day, I feel exhausted even though I got plenty of sleep, I don’t feel like eating (and even when I do, I feel like barfing) and I can’t breath/concentrate. I just hope I get over this feeling soon, bebe gets over her PMS and both of us be POSITIVE again.

One thing I remind bebe is that all it takes is one incident for her to feel that spark. When, where and how… neither of us knows, but we shouldn’t just give up on it, but simply wait for that spark to happen – because it will. I pray… I pray…

A Challenging Question of Devotion

A very short blog to stimulate some minds today.

The age-old question that women like to ask, “If your mom and I were on the boat together, we both fell off and you could only save one, who would you save?

Who is a son devoted to more, his wife or his own mother?

Which is the right choice to make?

Who of these two counterparts would be willing to give up their own life for the sake of the other? Should the daughter-in-law give way to the mother-in-law… or should the mother-in-law give way to the daughter-in-law?

Although I’m not sure how far “birthday wishes” ever go… I still have a habit of making it each year I blow out the candles. I’m sure for the millions of people who make a birthday wish to win the lottery don’t exactly come true very often, you never know when just that one time… your wishes really do come true. If you never try, you will never win… if you do try, you have nothing to lose.

Every year, I do not ‘wish’ for myself, but wish for the my parents good health and happiness. I suppose for the past few years, wish for my mom’s good health and happiness.

This year, I have a very special girl in my life, bebe.

Given the choice that this year I can only make one birthday wish… should I wish for my mother’s good health and happiness… or to wish that bebe and I will both fall in love with each other and have a successful relationship?

Who is more important in my life? Which side would be more upset if I were to favour the other?

Can there ever be a “true answer” to a question of morality and opinion? Some would say, certainly the girlfriend/wife…. others would answer, the mother. The merit of you can only have one mother, but can have many girlfriends/wives hold… as well as that your girlfriend/wife is someone you CHOSE to commit to

It is unlikely that I will reveal which of these I chose… but will incite everyone to think…

Please don’t tell me happy birthday today, because it’s not all too happy when bebe’s friends hold more importance within her schedule than I do. Where even any normal guy or girl friend would purposely set time aside to attend to someone’s birthday… I am not that lucky. Even my mom actually reserved today, the EXACT day of my birthday for bebe and I… it was not necessary. She asked me where bebe was today and why we weren’t doing anything… and whether bebe even knows it is my birthday today. The only answer I could mutter to my mom was that, “she is busy, but I will see her on Sunday.” My mom gave me a look and that was all. I truly have no words… fml

Accepting Responsibilities For Those You Love

For most, responsibilities pile on as you grow up, some earlier than others. While I consider myself unlucky, I also consider myself lucky when “compared to others.” My dad passed away when I was 22, leaving me with much pressure to “grow up quickly.” I consider myself lucky because I had a wonderful and unparalleled father for a whole 22 years of my life and because many others in this world, lose their parent, parents much earlier – some will have never experienced their parents love other than birth. Suffice to say, it is always nice to simply be grateful for what you have. Moving forward, I’ve had to take on the responsibility of taking care of my mother, something that any PROPER and FILIAL son should do… or I should say, something that any child should do.

Over the 4 years without the protection of my father, I’ve had to take on much of the responsibilities around the house – and by that, not necessary domestic chores as those are still handled by my mom who I wholeheartedly appreciate, but that of all the other “problems” when they arise – whether it is getting finances in order or making such the next meal hits the table. The stress sometimes is overbearing but at the same time, I have to stay strong. I am definitely not alone, in this vast world, I am like many… I do not claim myself to be a martyr or some kind of superhero that is above others. However, today I had a revelation about growing up and simply accepting responsibilities because you have to.

This all came to me as I was out shoveling the snow. Yes, weird place to be “inspired” eh? Today has been an interesting day, with me driving half-way to work before realizing that work was closed today. Good thing I didn’t go all the way there before finding out. If I had known, I could’ve just rolled back in my bed and snoozed again. It was pretty treacherous in the morning waking up to piles of snow. We had been told to expect 5-10cm, but it was definitely more than that. As I shoveled my way out to work, it was not unusual since I’ve been doing this all winter. I usually do it myself because I’m the one going to work, not my mom, so I don’t expect her to help. When my dad was around, shoveling was always considered the “men” duty and also the “fatherly” duty… so before I got up, my dad would usually have the driveway cleaned and I’d just hope in my car and drive to work. Yes, now I look back, I was spoiled, so now I have to hold up this responsibility now. Surely, I cannot expect my mom to do something like this! Furthermore, it wasn’t until recently she got her pills to control a thyroid problem which elevated her heart rate, so the last thing I need is for her to go out and shovel snow for me – that’s not right. All this revelation and stuff happened because the feeling of being out there was ominous and depressing. I was out there and as bunched up as I was, the sleet was slamming against my face, winds blown against me, fighting the cold and the snow blowing in my eye.. having to stop every time the wind blew hard trying to hold my balance – it was a very gray mood. I thought to myself why people cherish life so much when this is what you endure.. and I mean there’s bigger problems in life than snow, LOL!

When I came back home, I just lazied around the house for the afternoon until I decided to look out again. Holy, the snow had not stopped and the driveway was once again high. I got my snow-clothing on and out came the shovel from the garage. This time, it was HORRID compared to the morning shovel. As I pushed from HALF of my driveway width to the other, the snow was already tight enough where I could push no more. The snow was wet and heavily packed in and was not the nice fluffy stuff that’s easy to move around. I decided to bring out my (very shitty) snow-blower, which had failed the last 3 times I’ve tried to use it. In this entire winter, it has only worked once. I will endeavour to buy one for the next winter, however, this thing is a piece of shit. I’ve already been angry with it the previous times, but with how bad the snow has been, it only compounded the situation. As I tried to start it for the 5th time, I had enough of it. I took my shovel and slammed against it. I hissed under my breath that if it still didn’t start up, it was forfeiting its life. Pulled on the engine rope, sputtered and no-go. That was enough of that, I drew my axe out from my garage and beat the shit out of it. My mom was yelling at me since she hates it when I get furious. I admit, I can have a temper sometimes, especially when things fail me. I do not tolerate failure of things like this and it pisses me off, especially when I need it most. If it is not willing to cooperate, why should I keep it around? I now have a partially destroyed snow-blower. If I was any less rational, I would’ve loaded both my guns and shot the shit out of it. Things in my house do not defy me unless they want to be blown to bits. Luckily, I was still in the right mind to know that shooting a gas-filled snow-blower is not very smart.

I continued to plow the driveway and while doing so, that’s when it dawned to me the thing about growing up, taking up responsibilities and also accepting the fact, these will likely be on-going responsibilities, sometimes with increasing complexity. As I was pushing the snow around, I thought to myself, this is going to be pretty much how the rest of my life will play-out. Whether I am plowing it for my own or not, my responsibilities extend beyond my “own” life. I thought about how in the future, it will likely be me getting up at dawn, plowing the driveway and making sure the kids and bebe will be able to get to work and school on time. I realized that I may need to be the one to drive them around, whether to school or to work on bad days – while still having to get myself to work. I realize that I may need to have breakfast ready when they wake up and pack their lunches… things I don’t have to do now and simply never bothered crossing my mind about having to just be grown up and letting responsibilities evolve from easy to hard. I have to return home, get dinner prepared, kiss the kids and bebe as they walk through the door, smile – even if my day has been shit. It’s just about being responsible to carry your own burdens and not pass them to your family. At night when bebe and I lie next to each other, I have to make her feel like she’s in the spotlight, even if I want to be the center-of-attention. I have to listen to her talk while I’m dead-tired. Nevertheless, she’s my baby, I chose to marry her and have wonderful kids together – these are my responsibilities and choices. Where once shoveling the driveway was to ensure I could get out to work, it will mean so much more when I have to do it for our kids and do it for bebe.

There are many obligations we have in life, whether we are prepared for them or not – life does not care. Life does not care whether you WANT to deal with them, they throw it at you anyways and EXPECT you to. I asked myself, am I ready to take on these responsibilities? Am I ready to be a good boyfriend, a good husband, a good father? The only thing I’m sure of right now is I’m ready to be a good son – or so I try. These responsibilities are something we choose to sacrifice ourselves for – I realize that once you have “others” involved… your life is not simple anymore.. you are not thinking for 1, you are thinking for 2 or perhaps many. Such is growing up and that is perhaps why some people choose to stay single or not have children. You’ll notice that many couples who do not have children are often much younger for their age – because they simply do not carry the same stress and burdens. They need not consider saving money for future-planning and they don’t have to worry about leaving money behind. They can earn a dollar and spend a dollar. They don’t need to stick to a schedule that revolves around someone else. However, as much as all those things sound alluring, I would have to say I still love the family life. As much as it will suck that I have to get up before bebe and the kids to and prepare everything, be the one to fall asleep last after having tucked them away, I’m willing to do so. Knowing that I have a world full of responsibilities waiting for me as bebe and I get serious and bring new life into this world, I stand steadfast and anxious.

These responsibilities are often sacrifices on our behalf. Responsibilities come with rewards and also comes with much juggling. What is the most important to tackle at X time or is Y-item more important? Everything bears on your shoulders and perhaps I’m thinking VERY old fashion, where the guy is the “man of the household” (I can hear the feminists knocking my door now), bebe and the kids rely on me to stay strong and to protect them. The protection may be physical, emotional, psychological or just a sense of security, but I cannot be the weak link… I’m not being strong just for me, when I may feel like breaking down to cry, but I have to be there for them. Just a few nights ago when bebe was yelling at me, she told me she couldn’t feel that happiness when she gives/sacrifices for me. It was like being stabbed in the heart and the knife being slowly pulled out. How would you feel if someone you loved and cared for told you something like that? I was stricken… I felt like as if my whole life had just washed away. Although now things have calmed down and perhaps those words were simply said in-the-moment, the pain still needs to be diluted. Honestly, I wish I could delete those words from my head, as easy as I could delete it from my phone, but alas… such is not the case. Even now when I reread what she wrote me, I get shivers down my spine.

In a way, I’m kind of looking forward to having more responsibilities and as tough as it may be, it’s a good indication of happiness. Sometimes there’s no way you can put into words how to pay someone back for how they have helped. You cannot put a price-tag on everything in life and although waking up at 6AM to make breakfast for bebe may not be the most thrilling prospect of my life, if even she gave me that smile and kiss before she goes past the doors in the morning, all of a sudden, that alarm going off at 6AM may not suck so much. It took me a lot of time, considering whether I wanted to buy bebe’s Valentine’s Present, because it is the most I have ever spent on a girl before. The present was very much from deep down.. that is.. deep down from my heart and from my pockets, LOL. I’m not going to kid you, that set my credit card quite a bit and that’s why I want her to wear it often. I hope she brought it out with her this time and wore it… and that I can see that beautiful necklace on her when I see her on Sunday. So many small things in life mean so much… more than what people could ever place a “value” on it.

My Uphill Battle with Learning Chinese-Mandarin

For those who keep up with my blog, I’m sure you’ve seen many references to me learning Mandarin, or Putonghua for those who prefer it being referred to as that. A little background on my “language” abilities. I have grown up in a household of speaking Cantonese, with only English “taught” to me at home, but it was expected I speak Cantonese at home. I remember when I went through that phase of ‘just’ wanting to speak English, my parents told me clearly that if I’m unable to ask for something in Cantonese, it was not happening – this included if I asked for something to eat. I’m sure in today’s standard, that would be considered child-abuse, but my parents idea was if you can’t ask for it in Cantonese, you aren’t getting it! I’m quite glad I was forced to learn Cantonese because it is so damn useful knowing a different language, especially your ‘own’ language.

I was enrolled in “Chinese school” (you’ll understand why I quote that later) for about 6 years. I met a lot of friends there and we were all native Chinese, with those varying from general communication vocabulary to those who could barely say ‘good morning’ to their parents in the morning. Nevertheless, through those 6 years, I cannot say I learn a great deal. Most of my learning just simply came from using it at home and watching Chinese movies. Although in class we were taught to read, write, speak and understand Chinese (Cantonese dialect), during recess or anytime the students communicated with each other, it was all in English. The class was much more of a place for you to “drop off your kids for a few hours” rather than true, hardcore learning. Then again, these classes combined kids from 5 to 15, making an “appropriate teaching level” incredibly hard, especially when you have those who were much more fluent such as I compared to those of my friends who could barely say their own names in Cantonese. I remember I used to loathe my parents for forcing me to learn a language that I would ‘not be practical’ – but let’s face it.. look around the world, Chinese (particularly Mandarin) is working its way up to being one of world’s “international business language.” I’ve seen many Caucasian people taking up an interest in learning Mandarin, mostly because it can move them quickly up the ladder and especially if you plan on doing business with China. Although when I return to Hong Kong I have problems navigating or ordering at places that have menus strictly in Chinese, at the very least I can speak and listen well enough to hold my own.

So before I started learning Mandarin, I had an excellent grasp of spoken/listening to Cantonese, very minor written/reading comprehension of Chinese characters and almost completely fluent in written/reading/spoken/listening of English. Although I had always known that knowing more languages never hurts, languages are not a particularly easy thing to learn… or at least not for me. Also, females seem to be a lot more adept at picking up languages than guys due to biological factors. I remember that I was one of the top 3 students in my grade during high school in French. My French teacher had highly encouraged me to continuing my pursuit of French due to “natural ability” for it. The truth is I didn’t have any natural ability in French, I simply studied very hard for my class, with many hours dedicated when I got home to learning enough to do well on my tests. In the end, I stopped taking French after my mandatory credit year because I just didn’t feel like it was useful in my future career field (in computers). Secondly, learning French was very hard for me, so as much as my teacher thought I had a knack for it, I really didn’t.

The reason I never took up Mandarin before was because I saw it as a language of little use to me. To me, speaking Cantonese was already enough, along with the most useful language in Canada, English. My cousin had always said I should definitely pick up Mandarin so I can hit on all those cute Taiwanese chicks. I’ve never found a Taiwanese girl I’ve really been interested in, so I never felt that desire to learn it. Furthermore, I have this unfortunate (and I’m not claiming it to be correct) equation of Mandarin and China-Mainlander girls who I did not have the most positive feelings about. Over time as I was deciding to pick up Mandarin so that communication would be easier between bebe and I and furthermore, hoping to bridge that gap of communication between her family and friends with me, it took a lot of effort for me to bring myself to learning a language which I have no grasp of at all. You may think, “Hey, you know Cantonese… so therefore, Mandarin must be very easy for you!” – this is not the case as much as you may think.

Cantonese, Mandarin and the many dialects spoken within China all share a common base, it is the written form of Chinese characters. Before my mom’s Mandarin was more fluent, she volunteered at an organization where there was a Mandarin-speaking lady. Although a lot of the communication were in English, when they could not convey what they wanted to, they wrote it out in Chinese. For me, it is harder for me to build the connection between Cantonese and Mandarin spoken forms is because I have a very minor understanding of written Chinese. It’s easy for my mom because she can put 1 and 1 together… “So this characters sounds like X in Cantonese and sounds like Y in Mandarin based on what I read.” and since I cannot read it very well, I can’t equate X with Y. As you can see, this makes learning Mandarin for me a very uphill battle.

Why did I start learning Mandarin? I began to learn it when I returned from Hong Kong this year. Bebe had expressed to me that she sometimes finds it uncomfortable that I am not able to understand her in her language. Suffice to say, although we share two common languages, Cantonese and English, I can understand her want of me to learn her language. Even I think it would make hanging out with her friends and spending time with her family much more convenient. As you may have read, I had a dislike of learning Mandarin, but sure enough, I feel that I can put forth much effort in learning this language to make future communication a lot easier. Learning languages when you’re older is not like learning it when you’re young. My brain is much slower to absorb and it takes actual effort. When I was young, I barely recall how I truly “learned” languages other than listening to people use it and it’d naturally kick-in. As I got older, this is no longer the case. Although I listen to a lot of people speak Mandarin around me, prior to me starting my lessons, it was just a bunch of words that floated in one ear and out the other.

Switching from Cantonese and learning Mandarin is quite hard because Mandarin is the “original” and “proper” way of the Chinese language. Speaking Mandarin follows the strict written form of Chinese, unlike Cantonese where we have lots of words that don’t even exist in the written form or even within the actual Chinese dictionary. In fact, a lot of my Mandarin-speaking friends have problems picking up Cantonese because we like to use “non-existent” words. Bebe has amazingly mastered Cantonese, probably from watching all those TVB dramas. My realization and pain was having to relearn many of the vocabulary I use. Something as simple as saying “house” 屋企 does not actually exist within the realm of Mandarin and written Chinese. Although those who speak Cantonese and Mandarin might be able to understand that if you were to use those characters together in Mandarin, it is definitely not the PROPER way of saying it. 房子 is the proper written and Mandarin spoken form of house. There is much slang used in Cantonese, so it has taken me a lot of reworking of my brain to deal with the “formalized” Chinese. Mandarin is easy if you have grown up properly learning written Chinese as written Chinese follows-suit with spoken Mandarin. Cantonese not only has a lot of slang, but literally, a bastardized version of Mandarin and Chinese. Mandarin is a very formal and cultivated (斯文) language and I never realized this until I began learning it. Before I started learning Mandarin, I also found it to be a very annoying language, because I suppose it sounded like screeching to me. I ended up relating that to the fact that the people I hear speaking Mandarin aren’t the more “elegant” types. Listening to a very gentle, Mandarin-speaking girls or even  Taiwanese ones (although Taiwanese people have their own language-set, they share a lot of the wording with traditional Mandarin) is actually very sexy. Mandarin really is beautiful when it comes out from the right mouth… haha, especially bebe’s!

People have always complained that I speak English way too fast – most notably when I’m presenting. Teachers always used to say that I got too nervous when presenting and I’d begin to speak really fast, but then I explained to them that it is due to habit of speaking Cantonese. Chinese languages in generally are extremely fast and pronunciations can be VERY easy to miss. I never noticed I spoke very quickly in Cantonese though, but now when I listen to bebe talk on the phone with her friends, I realized that Mandarin is also a very fast-paced language… that is bad, from a learning perspective, lol. When I listen to people speak Mandarin slowly, I have time to notice the tones and decode the word. When they speak fast, I’m trying to absorb so much I only catch bits and pieces of it. Of course I need to adapt to listening to it and decoding it fast enough, but that will come with time and exposure. I always hoped that when we go out, bebe can use some easy communication with me in Mandarin, but I try to avoid it with her mainly because I don’t think she has the patience to teach me her language and all that would do is get her frustrated and then become even more negative. I’m not saying I could even hold up a complex conversation as well as I can in English or Cantonese, but that is a START.

Rosetta Stone - Mandarin

Rosetta Stone - Mandarin

I started using a program called Rosetta Stone. I did a lot of research into this program before getting it because it is a lot of money. It’s about $500 for the entire Mandarin Chinese box set. Yes, I am nuts, all that damn money right? Well, it’s for bebe and there’s almost nothing that I wouldn’t do for her to help our relationship. One could argue learning a new language is only for my own gain, but the reality is why ELSE would I need to learn this language otherwise? Everywhere I need to go I can get away with just English and if necessary, Cantonese. This program is incredibly long and built with much complexity – not complexity for the student, but the way they make it WORK. I’m absolutely amazed by how much I have learned. Even my mom, as rare as it may be, expressed how proud she is that I can pick up the language so quickly. Now, I’m not saying I’m a professional Mandarin speaker now, but compared to how crappy my Mandarin was before (or try, not even knowing any, lol) – it is a huge JUMP over a matter of 2 months. For the first few sections, I did relatively fast, however, I am beginning to slow down. This is not because I’m losing the drive to learn, but because the chapters are beginning to become harder, making fast chapter advancements much slower. I’d much rather take the time to perfect it and truly understand it, rather than trying to jump ahead for the sake of “getting further.”

What makes this program so amazing when there are so many language-learning programs out there right? Well, I’ve experienced it first hand myself, WOW! They use a method called “Dynamic Immersion” and while there are times when it simply tries to drill things in your head over and over again, you don’t feel it much – unlike at school. Honestly, there were times I quit a chapter and said to myself, “Damn, there’s no way I can even remember this” and then I walk away. When I think of it a day later, all of a sudden I realized I could remember it… in fact, almost crystal-clear. It makes me amazed at how well they’re able to make things stick in your head. I didn’t even know I learned that stuff when I actually DID! One of the biggest things about learning a new language is finding someone to speak it with you. Luckily, I have many friends who are native-Mandarin speakers, who help me along my way. However, I still find it tough to bring myself to have conversations with them. On the other hand, when I go out to places like T&T or even at the Chinese food place in the mall, I dare to speak it with them – however little I can do. I know that unlike a fluent-speaker, I spit out word-by-word rather than “smoothly” – but at least I should get credit for ATTEMPTING it rather bravely. The reality is that when I speak to these people, they may be laughing inside at my horrible attempt to ‘speak their language’ – but I may never see them again, so it’s easier to get over my follies. On the other hand, speaking to someone I know always seems rather embarrassing when I can’t get the right words out. I wish I was more like my dad because he told me when he came to Canada, his English still wasn’t “all the way there” and he’d often carry a dictionary around as he conversed and eventually, built up his language skills enough to be fluent. Nevertheless, he always said to me, “Sure, I’m sure those people laughed at me when I tried to speak English, but I don’t care what they think!” – if I had that kind of courage, I’d be much better off.

I think about this entire learning process, I must say, it is rather wonderful. Every time I complete each “section” just a small fraction of a chapter, I feel extremely proud. I know bebe is feeding me the willpower and the intellect to continue learning. I’ve lost motivation many times in the past, particularly with working out, lol, because I lack that DRIVE. This time, bebe is providing me with this drive, enabling my mind to stay concentrated and to focus on learning this language. Bebe is also giving me a reason to learn it, because it will help improve our communication ability with each other and also, making sure that I understand what’s happening around me when her family or friends are speaking Mandarin. Do I dare say that I’ll be able to decode everything that will happen around me? Well, maybe and maybe not. As I get more exposure to Mandarin, hopefully through her and interactions with family and friends, I’ll be able to pick up on “real” lessons through experience and immersion – rather than just through this program. Although I may only be able to communicate effectively after finishing the entire 3 sets , further immersion into her environment will truly help me to build upon what I learned and make my language learning practical.

For those who are learning Mandarin or perhaps even a different language, I will definitely vouch for Rosetta Stone being a great tool. I’m not sure whether it effectively replaces a “teacher” or “in-class lesson” – but I’ll tell you it’s definitely cheaper and less time consuming. The odd thing is this type of learning style doesn’t require “homework” – but reinforces the learning very well. Conversely, many of the “taught” courses all require in-class lessons along with homework to accomplish the same thing. According to them, you learn naturally, speak confidently and stay motivated. The way they teach the language simulates the way that children learn languages, therefore making it effortless for me to learn it. Like I said, I didn’t even realize I learned half the things I actually did. By matching apple with apple, it made the learning experience EASY. Speaking confidently, I definitely do it well in front of the computer. This programs has a state-of-the-art voice recognition system which is very important particularly for Mandarin because of the word enunciation and that tone is absolutely CRUCIAL. Sometimes I get tongue-tied saying something and it forces me to say it over and over again until I get it right! Of course when I actually speak it with people, they don’t ask me to “say it again” (unless it’s REALLY messed up) and we make do with trying to communicate with what I do know. Staying motivated is amazing how they do it. Because the program allows you to go at your own pace, repeat things, pause on things, fast forward and doesn’t hassle you – I feel very RELAXED when I’m taking these lessons. These lessons also feel very fulfilling after I complete them, I get a sense of, “Hey, I’m doing better!”

Looking at one of the words I learned, I almost know I’m going to trip on it one time and get my ass laughed off. Nevertheless, it’ll be pretty funny. Washroom is 衛生間 or pronounced wei sheng jian. Sanitary napkin is 衛生巾 or pronounced wei sheng jin. Whether or not you can properly read pinyin, as you can see, the sounding of those are EXTREMELY close, lol. Maybe to a native Mandarin speaker, they can easily separate the tones of jian and jin, but I can’t do it very well at the moment and I need to continue to ensure I hit the right tones XD Can you imagine the embarrassment if I said the wrong thing? LOL! Um.. “Excuse me, where can I find the WASHROOM?” 😆 — can you see the potential for major catastrophe there? HAH! Of course I wouldn’t mind being led to the sanitary napkins section if I was in a supermarket, but how weird would that be if I asked that in a restaurant? Oh man…

Anyways, so today, I was planning to have a lighthearted discussion with bebe. I told her I missed her while she was away and asked her if she felt the same. Obviously she couldn’t answer that, so then I kind of asked her why she still doesn’t feel like that. I was not planning on having a huge argument over it because when I asked her, it was simply of inquisitive nature and I wasn’t intending to imply she was “not being fulfilling enough” – which is what I guess she ended up perceiving it as. It was really just an innocent and perhaps grin-and-ask type question, one of those ones you never really expect an answer for. I expected a shrug and a “I just don’t feel ready yet” answer and then that would’ve been the end of that and moved on. Unfortunately, because of my stinking big mouth, it erupted into a very negative situation. The bad thing is that if I had just said nothing, it wouldn’t have caused all of this.

Sometimes I tell myself I’m so fucking stupid for saying things like that. I know that I understand myself and that I know when I am joking or just prodding at her – but sometimes she doesn’t know when I’m doing that and then she ends up taking things the wrong way. I was in no way telling her or wanting to making her feel she wasn’t “holding up her end” because she is – I can tell just from the past 3 months that she’s been trying her best to bring those feelings to surface, so there is NO blame at all that I’m placing on her. But unfortunately, by asking, I brought some negativity to the surface and that was purely my fault for bringing it up. Perhaps when I wanted just grin-on-my-face jokingness, it ended up not so well when I can’t convey tone/facial expression properly. It kind of pissed me off WHY I would even say such things… sometimes I question my own intelligence. I know that when she’s ready to take the relationship to the next step, she’ll tell me so, whether verbally or through body language, why would I be so foolish as to even ask her these things, particularly when she has problems conveying her thoughts? ARG. Can’t I just keep my mouth shut sometimes? I totally instigated this… she trailed into a conversation where it was a defining moment whether we would erupt this into something and I still stepped into it by having to make a statement about it. Why must I have an opinion on everything? I should learn what my mom taught me about just holding back sometimes. Ever since my dad passed away, my mom had always said she looked back and wonder why they got into arguments sometimes. It dawned upon her that sometimes if she had just held back her “thoughts” and not always “take a stance” on everything, there would never be a catalyst to start an argument. I know that if I just didn’t comment on what bebe said and I had to “throw my 2-cents of thought” into the conversation, none of this would have happened. I know that it doesn’t change the reality of the situation, but it DOES prevent something like this that gives her MORE leverage and negativity.

I had to completely steer clear of anymore relationship-related stuff because I didn’t want this to fester. The last thing I need is something to give us more reasons to throw at each other. Best to keep the calm and keep the peace. Unlike other couples, maybe we should not talk about the direction of our relationship, and just accept it as-is, lol. Oh, I definitely need less opinions on everything… or well at least not express them. As of the last time I saw her, things were beautiful and we were growing closer. Something happened over the past week with her friend that has really drawn this negativity out in her. I would think perhaps it was relationship or family-related that happened with her friend that seemed to throw a wrench into the crankshaft. Bebe had been so positive about our relationship, up to the last week when she was away at her friend’s and something was amidst. I need to work on embracing bebe’s comfort level with me, making sure that she doesn’t feel like she’s bad in this relationship or the failing point. NEITHER of us are a failing point and we can’t let this relationship fail. I promised bebe I’d continue to be whole I am and told her to stop feeling like she’s “not giving me enough” because I’m not asking for more, I’m asking her to be who she is until she wants to give me more. Sometimes I guess she feels like I’m pushing her or feeling like I’m implying she’s not being satisfying enough. I’m definitely NOT trying to convey that as much as sometimes I ask her things about our direction, I simply want to “know” things – but not with the intention of pushing her beyond her limits at the moment. I know that bebe’s the type of girl that when she feels she’s ready, she’ll step up to the plate – just like she did for us the first time and now is like no other – we will overcome these obstacles together and we will grow and learn to cherish each other in all the right ways to come!

Alan Tam 譚詠麟 – 小風波

如讓你看見這痛苦中的我
誰願再掀起小風波
其實我與你好知心好清楚
但偏要製造苦楚

還願看見你看你想不想我
還願看你心可苦楚
其實你也痛彼此一般的多
問可有快樂分給我

今天的當初我只愛你一個
心裡有句說話要對你說清楚
可否息風波你對我已不錯
心裡也暗暗認我也有一點點錯

還願你再約我到公園等我忘掉了往昔開始過
其實我共你好知心好清楚願此際你在想我
其實我與你過往真開心過留住那笑聲於心窩
其實我共你早交出心一顆應該帶笑入愛河
共墮愛河

OOH但願大家言你與我都有點錯
OOH但願大家言再與你相唱和

Oddly enough, I was JUST listening to this song yesterday so I thought it’d be very fitting today to post it. I blame myself for instigating this argument because I could’ve avoided it all had I just not pushed her buttons. Sometimes I even find myself annoying, why do I purposely do things like that? LOL. It’s kind of like the kid who sees a puddle and still jumps into it, knowing very well that he’ll get dirty! This song is about all the “trivial issues” that couples run into but in the end, he (the singer) expresses that no matter what matters come up, that she (the song recipient) is still the one and only person to him. I really believe in the power of words, because hearing these lyrics makes me think of these stupid little things I do to bebe and although most of it are misunderstandings. Even though bebe and I may sometimes do something that the other end “doesn’t like” – I still know that I need to make myself clear that she is the one and only special girl for me and that these little matters can be overcome. I admit I am wrong to her when I am, and apologize deeply for my mistakes.

I don’t have any pre-translated English versions of this, so if you can understand it – great – if not, oh well 😛 Just skip this part, haha.

Funny tidbit that I never realized how learning Mandarin would help me… I can (partially/fully) understand the pad/tampon commercials that are in Mandarin now, LOL! 😀

Sucks to be Wrong, but Great to be Loved

Hrm… maybe I should not have used the word “loved” – but hey, it’s much catchier title. Today, talking to my cousin about my many love concerns, his maturity really helped me see things through. I definitely consider my “ways of thinking” to be older than my own age, but it always helps to talk to someone you can truly trust for great advice. I’m an interesting person because I have friends of all ages, all from teenagers all the way to the retiree. Because of that, I make a great social networking (not the Facebook type) because I’m not afraid to reach out to those younger and those older. Although I usually do not burden those around me with my concerns, they are always willing to lend an ear, a hand or whatever help I need whenever I speak up. I’ve talked to handful of people only about my relationship with bebe, because it is complex, sometimes frustrating but then I also go on my very long raves about how amazing of a girl bebe is to me!

Kissing in a beautiful sunset - I can't wait until that's bebe and I!

Kissing in a beautiful sunset - I can't wait until that's bebe and I!

I look bad, thinking about how the past 2 years I’ve known bebe that transpired. Do I regret it? Do I regret reaching out to her in the first place, introducing myself and sending myself into a year of torment and half a year of being ignored – for the sake of the past 4 months of happiness? Do I regret that this will all be a waste of time if things don’t work out? What steps do we take from here? Do I play it nice or do I have to be a rough-guy to get bebe’s attention? All these questions floated in my mind when I talked to my cousin. I think to myself, there is nothing I regret about this relationship. Ask me to re-live it all over again and I would’ve made the same choice, to love bebe like I love her today, even if I have to go through the years of pain. The pain is not over however, as I still struggle every day worrying whether she will stay with me. Every day, I lose a few extra strands of hair over the stress she causes me – but I’d have it no other way. Ask a loving parent if they would still have that naughty child of theirs if they could turn back the hands of time and they will fearlessly say, “Yes I would.” That is the same way I feel about bebe, I will love her until death do us part and I want to take care of her in this lifetime to eternity.

So why does my topic title say, “Sucks to be Wrong, but Great to be Loved” you may ask? It is because as I was reflecting upon everything in our relationship, about me as an individual and about her as an individual, I take time to bring my thoughts together, analyze what she has conveyed and said to me and it makes me very happy. I cannot say that I do not wish more out of this relationship right now, but certainly, we are not moving backwards. Although I’ve briefly mentioned this in comments to one of my best friends on my blog before, I thought about all the things that bebe has pointed out to me – things that I perceive differently or only something that she can point out for me to see. Because we are both different people with a different mindset, sometimes she has to say to me, “You are important to me and I can prove it because…” because not everything, I hold in the same regards as she does or do not place the same value onto it. Let me explain further.

DISCLAIMER: I don't expect sex on the first-date, this pictures is JUST FOR LAUGHS!

DISCLAIMER: I didn't ask bebe for sex on the first-date, this picture is JUST FOR LAUGHS!

On our first date together, she let me into her room. In fact on several occasions, she walked out of her room, leaving me unattended. It truly shows her trust in me, even though our first date, we hardly known each other. Was she not afraid I’d steal something? Was she not afraid I’d leave something bad in her room? On our first date, we also laid next to each other. No one here knows bebe well enough to know that she is a very conservative girl – probably the most innocent girl next to being a nun. To have each other on the same bed (I stress we didn’t DO anything), is a deep sign of comfort. I had “gone further” that day than she had intended and she wasn’t comfortable with it. I held her hand and even her shoulders when we went out, she didn’t lash back. Later, she was honest with me that she was uncomfortable we did that on a first date (even though I had felt comfortable in doing so). To not make the situation awkward, she didn’t express it to me at that time. This shows the respect she had for me to have considered my feelings. Up to today, she’s given me second chances… in fact, LOTS of chances for us to rekindle our relationship and not have sought another guy, that shows lots of loyalty. Last but not least, recently she’s expressed a lot of things she’s been doing all along on our behalf – to make this relationship work. We have known each other for a long time, lots of downs and lots of ups… but the weird feelings she has not ever been able to express, she’s trying to fight it down and has put forth much effort because whether it shows or not, I am “someone special” to her. To me, this is above and beyond commitment.

Lets look back at everything I’ve highlighted in red. Trust, comfort, honest(y), respect, loyalty and commitment. These things are the core principle of any outstanding relationship. While bebe and I have many steps to take together, I feel so positive about it, more so than ever before. The difference with this time around, even SHE believes we can do it. Before, it was all optimism on my part (as far as I knew, I could be wrong) that my love will help light the path for her… but now, even she’s beginning to crawl towards this glorious path we have yet to walk together on. Although her feelings for me are still buried deep down within, she is willing to bring herself to draw those positive feelings out for me and that she can play a big role in moving this relationship in the right direction. I am touched and honoured, to have met her and to be given a chance with her. I am blessed that I will one day be able to “officially” call her my girlfriend, my wife and the mother to our children. Combine all those values stated above and we know that by no means is this not a sign of love, whether we’d like to believe it or not. The proof is in our worldly history, omnia vincit amor a Latin phrase from Eclogue X by Virgil – love conquers all.

Artist Caravaggio: 1601–1602 (Oil on Canvas) |Amor Vincit Omnia|

Artist Caravaggio: 1601–1602 (Oil on Canvas) |Amor Vincit Omnia|

The reason why it is so important to reflect upon things in life is you find yourself transcending above what normally passes through your mind. Also, it allows your mind to set into place of someone else. Bebe and I are individuals, we do not see things alike and therefore, what she holds in great value, she has to point out for me to understand. Likewise, certain gestures and things I do for her from my heart, sometimes she does not always see and I have to point it out to her that to me, such an action is of great importance or represents something that I do only for her. We both put innumerable and indescribable effort towards this relationships – most of which the other side is blind to seeing. I cannot even describe all the things I do for her to win her over and likewise, I cannot fathom what she has to go through to bring herself to a level of comfort to accept me. We both have our faults, faults – not as in blame – but faults, as in our inability to express the struggles that we BOTH put ourselves through… and for what? For the sake of each other! Still, what does this all have to do with my blog entry title? It is because it sucks to be wrong that I complain about bebe not putting in effort or seemingly blame her for not showing that I am someone special in her life. As much as I dislike being wrong in life (as much as it happens), this is one of those situations that I’d much rather be loved and be wrong.

She puts into perspective that if I’m truly not “someone special” to her… she would not have even bothered going this far for us. She could very well pack up, leave and have her “old life” back – something which as much as our relationship is strengthening, still a very worrying factor. She is letting me take her out of dates and regularly keeping in touch in an attempt to open the doors of communication to each other – that is something she repealed for a year until she felt like she could partially accept me in her life. By bebe making that step to talk to me again, she sealed the fate of my happiness and also gave HERSELF a second chance at having a guy who’s willing to love her 101% – which is not just what “any guy” can give her, THAT of which I am certain (yes yes, I can have quite the self-confidence sometimes). Now constantly, she is making great strides into bringing me from “someone important” to “someone she cannot live without” and that is an ABSOLUTE BLESSING for me. I cannot even convey in words, how much her actions mean to me. Someone on my blog said to me that it seems like I’m more unhappy with bebe, rather than being more happy with her. I replied saying that really, only the two people IN the relationship truly knows what it feels. I can only speak for myself, but without a doubt I am happy with her and count the day I have met her to be the most wonderful day of my life. A lot of people count their wedding or when they have their first child as the best day ever… but I’m realistic and consider that the day we met IS the day that I will cherish forever because without that day, the “best day ever” of being married or having children would all be impossible.

It is imperative that bebe and I continue to have the drive to move this relationship forward. Once we hit that point where we are comfortable enough to let things go on “auto drive” – then we know that nothing else could possibly go wrong. We have been through so much with each other that I think that hardly anything in the future would be as great as an obstacle as this. The good thing is that once bebe knows that I am ‘the one’ and that she can settle with me, things will simply fall into place and we don’t need to suffer through the latter trials which other couples endure. I suppose I’d much rather “suffer now” – than “suffer later”… and suffer I have already, LOL! I feel very lucky to be that ‘someone special’ for bebe… I just hope that soon, we can get rid of that love-sucking monster that’s inside of her so that she can EXPRESS that love to me and that finally, she can fully absorb the love I want to give her!

Although I had thought that love is an definitive moment of an accomplishment and that when bebe one day utters the words, “I love you” to me that it would be THE everlasting dream… all of a sudden, I realize that as my love grows for her each and everyday, that it is not about waiting for the final outcome, but that as a well known quote said, “Love is a journey, not a destination.” Although bebe doesn’t quite love me today or tomorrow, she will one day and her love for me will grow just like mine has for her, we will look back and remember how we got to that very day and that the journey we took to get there!

Every time I go to the temple to pray, I ask the heavens to bless bebe and I…
百年好合, 白头偕老, 早生贵子 and of course most importantly, 永结同心!

Cold, Hot, Cold — Warm?

Another date night, I’m starting to really like this habit. It’s great that we actually get to spend quality time with each other now. Although we have much to improve on to be a full-out couple, it can only be achieved with small and slow steps with a girl who is not as exposed to conventional relationships. My blog is sometimes a great output for my thoughts, frustrations and also, much happiness. One may wonder, why not confide in my friends? I do and certainly, I have many close ones who I can share the most private details of my life with, but also, there is sometimes solace into putting down thoughts where (in general), no one knows who you are. On the same note, some of my close friends live far away and across multiple timezones where they’re not always at my whining-disposal.

Today, I was a bit disappointed in myself because I allowed bebe to choose such a boring place. Partially, I misunderstood her in the sense that I had thought she wanted to stay “in-town” … I wanted to take her to somewhere nice, exciting and enjoyable. Instead, I took her to a not-so-exciting Casino. While it’s perhaps her fault for making the final say to go there, it was equally my fault for suggesting it. Last time I went to the casino, it was with coworkers for a conference and the horse-race tracks were open. Today, the atmosphere in there was dull and there are definitely no races going on in this kind of weather! Also, this particular casino because it is a ‘charity’ casino, offers lower payouts, less engagement and fewer game variations. For me, spending time with bebe is irrelevant where we are, but just that I enjoy her company and that having an activity seems to keep bebe more “in tune” rather than us just constantly talking and having nothing left to say.

We didn’t spend too long there, perhaps an hour and a half and we had already felt bored enough to leave. I spent quite a bit of money there I have to unfortunately admit. I normally do not spend that much money, but with bebe there, I wanted to “do” something as well just so that I wouldn’t constantly be following her around. I did sneak up on her since we had separated to play our own games and I lightly squeeze her sides. She turned, gasped and reminded me she was ticklish there (which I knew) and I smiled. Although she squirmed at the ticklishness, her smile was sweet and gentle, as if my touch to her is much more comfortable now. Sometimes I even have my own moments of shyness. As I was walking behind her, I accidentally stepped on the heel of her shoe and I tripped. As I tumbled forward, I had to leverage her back to keep myself from slamming down on top of her and I quickly drew my hands away after balancing myself. If I had touched her with intention, I wouldn’t have relented, but because this was a completely “unprovoked” and “surprize” touch which I did not expect to do, I felt rather shy.

We decided to take it easy on the food today and because we stayed in town, there wasn’t a lot of “choice” for us… and also resulting me in finding out bebe can be quite a picky eater sometime (can I live with that? LOL…) We went to a local Chinese restaurant for some simple food… we didn’t exactly expect quality nor cheap prices, but that’s what happens when you don’t have a lot of choices or alternatives for people to compare to… then you can make crap-quality food and still get away with it. We ordered a couple of items for her brothers as well which was kind of nice. She wanted to pay, but again, as a guy it almost seems unusual for me to let her pay. Also, her brothers… will be my brothers too one day, so there was no need for me to be so “calculating.” Unfortunately I don’t think bebe told them that I treated them to dinner 😦 So they probably don’t even know. However, as I sat around the restaurant today, there were many people are speaking Mandarin and also bebe ordered in Mandarin, so it was rather nice to actually be able to listen-in to conversations going around you and having an idea of what they’re talking about, even when I’m not capable yet of picking up every single word. I feel proud, because picking up a language is quite hard and also I feel that I can gloat about the fact I only began to learn just for the sake of bebe.

We have nice conversations in the car and although there are moments of silence, I’m actually ok with them now. To me, silence before was just an awkward situation and I’d always try to stir up conversation or just run it in circles until either of us came up with something to say. After talking to bebe last night about how we perceived things, it made me more comfortable with the idea of silence some times. We came to common ground on things too which really helped us connect. I always thought that silence would just kind of give off a bad vibe, but it’s a good thing that we agreed on that silence can just be as effective and relaxing as engaging in a conversation. Her home is starting to feel very warm to me now… I feel as if it’s just a part of my regular life now. I come and go through the allowable (her rented portion) of the house and I even do my own things unattended. She brought up a very good point in the fact she does show a lot of trust and comfort with me, as even the very first time I went on a date with her, she allowed me into her room – which is where her most private haven of her house is. Although I qualified it before as simply that students living in a rented house just usually invite people into their rooms since it’s “their area” – bebe said it was not the case as many ‘normal’ friends simply stayed in the den downstairs.

So for the next few hours, I spent it getting a monitor mount attached to her wall. It took a lot of make-shift work because we didn’t have all the tools at our disposal. It’s a good thing I had already borrowed a co-workers power drill, otherwise we would’ve been even more screwed (literally). We had to use a small drill bit to first punch a hole into the wall and to make an opening, because the wall-screws that were designed for the mount were to be mounted by-hand only. These bolts were long and thick (just like my penis… harhar, just joking) and we needed to get 4 of them in to secure the mount. Getting the monitor on the mount was easy because I’ve done it a lot for work… but getting the mount on the wall which I’ve never done was a different story, but turned out very well! However, because the I had to attach the monitor first, we also had to hold the monitor AND the mount while doing this drilling/mounting process. Sure, 20lbs for a minute or two isn’t hard, but we had to hold it up for prolonged periods of time while manually screwing in the long bolts which a WRENCH. It was so accomplishing when the mount was up and the monitor angled to bebe’s liking! I felt like I just cured cancer or something, it was simply a proud moment and more importantly, I felt happy to know that this is what bebe wanted!

With the mount in place, things were looking damn good. I then proceeded to work on the computer having to transfer some hardware on her existing desktop to the new one. The logistics of transferring hardware is simple, however, a piece of antiquated hardware did not function and it’s a good thing I brought something more “modern” just-in-case. Also the computer has a lock on it, so I actually had to remove the lock every time I wanted to crack open the case. It wasn’t until after I had asked bebe to grab the keys from my pockets that I realized I had left a Stayfree Overnight Maxi in my jacket, lol. Then I double-thought and this is bebe we’re talking about… she already knows all about my interests, so then my immediate reaction of embarrassment died down. Had it been someone else, that would’ve felt weird, haha. She didn’t even flinch anyways when she grabbed my keys from my pocket. When I had asked her to get my keys, I also lacked being specific which was my fault. She was like, “What keys?” and then she started to tug at my wallet in my pant-pocket. It’s not so much that I had a problem with that, but rather, her hands were stroking my leg at that point and seriously, had she done that any longer and I would have ripped her clothes off and started going at it with her 😆 … whether she liked it or not, HAHAHA. Although I don’t get hard in bebe’s presence out of respect, I have to say that was a wonderful feeling because her touch is so gentle and beautiful.

Getting the software to cooperate was a bit of a pain, but once we had the desktop working properly with all the peripherals and stuff, it was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment! I was happy mainly because I thought bebe would be happy too, which is very important to me! We also got to “do something together” when putting up the mount which is something I really think all couples ought to do more often, find something to cooperate and work on with each other, whether it is something as household chores or building something together. In general, the good portion of the night I had little complaints over, other than my failure to find something “exciting” to do or a place to go, but our night was simple enough. I think bebe needs to show some excitement sometimes though, particular if someone has done something out-of-the-ordinary for her. Even after I had everything done, she lacked the “enthusiasm” as if what I did disappointed her. I spent money, time and much effort on behalf of her, I at least expected a bit of “Wow, I’m so happy!” or “This is great, thanks so much!” … but I truly did not see the gratefulness or happiness – or perhaps it was more dull than I expected. I know she helped me get things set up, so she definitely had credit for participating, but ya…

I mentioned to her, “Cool! Now we can watch things together” and all I got was a grunt. Well, she said it wasn’t a grunt, but it wasn’t much of an answer either I suppose. It was very anti-climatic and disappointing when she showed no signs of “yay” so to speak. She seemed like she wanted to get me out of the house fast so she could go watch her damn shows, rather than taking the time to appreciate all the fine work that had gone into planning this. I had promised her I wouldn’t linger and had already done my best to pack things up and not sit around all night for her to entertain me. I mean we both have an understanding now that we’d much rather spend short amounts of time with each other, then learn to slowly accept seeing each other for longer periods and I’m cool with that. However, how fast did she expect me to leave? Should I have had half my body out the door as the computer turned on or something? Oddly enough, she RUSHES things like this so much, but then how come I don’t see her equally RUSHING our relationship to go further? Inconsistency I smell?

On the good side of closeness was that throughout the earlier portions of the day, we could walk close together now. Even as she was lying on her bed and I sat close to her, she didn’t shuffle away or have any weird body gesture. In fact, her body-language is much more “inviting” now. However, it is still unfortunate that if I lie on her bed first, she won’t come sit beside me, she’d rather sit on the floor or somewhere “away”. It kind of makes me want to scream and say, “Come on! What the fuck – do I have a communicable disease you have to sit so far away?” – but of course I won’t, I just come on my blog to vent or go shoot a couple of rounds to release my tension. It’s not fair for me to release my upset-feelings sometimes with things on her. I did today, catching myself looking at her body much more – and I don’t mean “those” types of areas – just places where I’ve never bothered looking at before. What a pretty little girl she is – I just want to squeeze her for her cuteness. She was hesitant to let me look through her pad-stash, so bleh, although I couldn’t come up with the courage to ask her when she had her last period because I’m dying to know! Maybe if I’m lucky enough, she’ll tell me? Hehehe.. that’d be wonderful if we started going out more often when she has her period 😀

The night ended ok… neither extremely happy nor saddened. Her hug today was unlike last time, she didn’t pull me in and it was again, very quick. I must admit my annoyance with the way she hugged me today. When I kind of motioned for a hug goodnight, she kind of gave me that look, almost an incredulous one like, “What, you expect a hug from me?” or a very hesitant, “Um.. sigh, fine ok…” rather than a receptive one. Maybe sometimes I analyze too much to her body-language and cues, but hey, I had spent a lot of time learning to understand body cues and emotional language when I took my business-management course. Perhaps sometimes she doesn’t even mean to make these gestures or consciously do something to make me fume, but every once in a while I just want to roll my eyes back and feel exasperated.

I dedicated my entire night to helping her out, deep down from my heart, I wasn’t trying to “buy” a hug from her or expect some kind of payment, but surely, I should not get that type of resistance asking for something like this. This isn’t a kiss, this isn’t sex on the street, it is just a hug and worse off was that she kind of gives me this pat when she’s hugging me. Perhaps she doesn’t not intimately hug guys a lot and not aware, but patting someone in a hug is often a “there there” comforting type of hug you give someone when you’re trying to reassure them, like when you go to give regards at a funeral or something 🙄 – so patting is not the thing to do under an “embracing” circumstance – it was downright weird for me. Last time was a beautiful light squeeze, which left me dazed and feeling appreciated. This time, I just felt like she wanted to get back in her house, because the computer was much more important than me. I know such close physical contact for her is still on the ‘hard to accept’ side, but it’s a very small step in the right direction for us. I just don’t know why the last hug was more “intimate” than this one, even though she should be even more appreciative and happy with me today, albeit going to a very shitty casino. We need to begin embracing each other on hugs, because that is what they’re about. It should not be a sloppy, arms up, wrap, squeeze (if that even exists) and then drop them and run away. It should be a very smooth hug with some time in between a graceful letting-go. Often our bodies show a lot, when I let her go, it is a “lingering” type of letting go, almost a, “Please don’t leave me, I miss you already!” but I get the, “Hurry up, I have more important things than you.” type of feel. In the end, both accomplish the same thing, it is an “ending” of the hug, but it’s the results of the overall feel afterward. Equate it to the idea of that people are born, and people die. Would you rather die in some miserable, horrible and quick method or a natural and peaceful resolution?

Perhaps as I mentioned, I over-analyze everything, even when it is not her intention to express such things. Maybe she’s also unaware of some things that in our culture, perhaps is a different than hers. I know that over time, we will establish further comfort, but I need to encourage, foster and perhaps even educate her on these things. I admit, I had to be educated on these things as well by ex-girlfriends because sometimes, I had my follies as well. As I write this, I’m feeling kind of down just from the mishap of the hug (why the hell is the hug going backward when it was so spectacular last time?) and perhaps the lack of “care” she seemed to have about all I did. I’m not asking her compensation per se, only the matter of feeling that warmth of being cherished. She should feel even more comfortable this time because I played by her rules as to not over-reach my staying limits, so how can she still treat me so rashly? I also noticed towards the end of the night (because it’s not like I purposely stare at her chest) she wasn’t wearing the necklace I gave her. Apparently it didn’t match her clothing. I try hard to not doubt what she said to me, only because the necklace I gave her was something that is pretty much perma-wearable. However, I should give her the benefit of the doubt since after all, I am supposed to be trusting of her.

I look forward to our next date as usual and of course these dates don’t always have to involve going out. Now that we got something nice in her room, we could really just make it a simple evening… perhaps dropping by at her house after work with some take-out or “easy-to-make” foods, hang out around the house, run some errands or help our with chores, have some food and lay back to watch something together. If we’re feeling full, find a park or somewhere nice to walk around and just enjoy each others’ company and then call it a night. I can lead both simple and complex lifestyles, but when I’m with the person I love, what we do really doesn’t matter – but a matter of who you’re with, and to me, she IS the person who I want to be with.

Friday Night in Heaven

Friday Night HeavenYou know what a Friday more awesome than Friday’s already are? Getting to spend it with the girl you love! Damn tonight was pretty great… and I was totally surprized by bebe sending me a message to see if I could pick her up. I mean, there’s two ways I can see this… 1) she looks for me when she wants something from me, or 2) she wants something from me but would also like to see me. I’m hoping more so #2 is the case rather than #1. I don’t mind killing two birds with one stone, picking her up from her friend’s place in another city, bringing her back and also spending some quality time with her – but I also don’t want to become this “slave” to her bidding – I do want a nice balance of “I’m more than happy to be a nice guy and do things for you, but I’ll expect I get some appreciation from it” and I think that’s a pretty fair expectation. Appreciation can be shown in many forms and tonight, I felt pretty warm inside when I went home.

You know, bebe and I aren’t the typical couple at all… you know, most “new” couples go through the whole attached-at-the-hip stage. I don’t think we’ve really gone through that phase and that’s why I always consider bebe and myself to be living more of a “matured” relationship rather than a new one. When people first get involved, they find themselves not being able to be apart for more than second. The second the person leaves their sight, they want them back. When going home, you just want to tell them, “Aww.. can’t you stay for just a few more minutes PPULLEEASSEE?” – those are the true signs of a ‘new’ relationship! For bebe and I… we can pretty much survive without seeing each other for a while, yet pick up where we left off. And no doubt, I do miss her when I don’t see her for a period of time, but we’re also not exchanging 500 text messages a day or chatting via IM. We are more like the “been together for a while” type of couple – we do our own things, get together ‘if we have time’ and very docile couple.

Inseparable CoupleI suppose one of the few complaints I have about when we get together is that she always makes it seem like I’m more of a bother being in her presence than when I am not. For instance, I was just lying on her bed and I wanted to just rest my eyes because I’ve been so exhausted driving for 3 hours. A bit of understanding and a girl would offer to let you get a few moments of shut-eye for a SAFE drive home. Instead, she tells me I’ve “seen her since 3” and it was 9PM at the time. So I saw her for a total of 6 hours when I haven’t seen her for a week and that is already “too long”… I mean, really, fucking really? When I think of spending dating time, even “once a week” is too little, let alone less than half a day of time spent together is not enough and she’s already complaining about me staying too long. More so of the fact I just wanted to close my eyes just so that I can concentrate on driving home. I would not dare expect she even offer to let me stay the night, because we all know that won’t happen, but to even let me rest a moment – I was denied that.

I left her a spot for her to sit beside me, she purposely moved her laptop to the table to use it rather than sit next to me. I was slightly perturbed and wanted to hit the wall, but I decided against letting my temper take the better of me. So I finished taking her to buy groceries, out for dinner, bringing her home from a different city, helping her with her computer and she can’t even sit next to me and have a nice talk or something together before ‘suggesting’ that I leave. I hate the distance she casts between us… yet at the same time, many moments throughout the night, we’re so close to each other and things are like having heaven on earth. There’s a major issue when you feel 6 hours with someone is too much, what happens when you’re under the safe roof and have kids? You want to throw your kids away after they’re born 6 hours later? I mean if there was consistency though with her actions, I would consider it legit. Yet, she sees me for 6 hours and thinks I’ve stuck around too long, but she’s stayed for week-on-ends at her friends place, seeing them for many more hours in a day than she sees me, yet she doesn’t get tired of being with them – that’s the only reason why I get frustrated with her claims, because it doesn’t match “all around”…

Bebe and I tonight had some pretty lighthearted conversation 🙂 I’m quite happy and content with how tonight turned out, minus being a bit grumpy when she practically kicked me out of the house, LOL. Ok, so it wasn’t that severe, but it was rather unprecedented. The reason why I usually spend so much time with her on a single day is because we don’t spend enough days together. Let’s just say that we regularly said, we’re going to see each other several times a week or even specific “date nights”, then that’d be all fine and dandy. But we don’t have set days we see each other, so it may be 1 week or 1 month that I don’t see her again. It’s kind of shitty that way, because that’s the REASON why I always linger around, because I don’t know when the next time she’ll be available again. If we spent more smaller periods of time over a week together, I’d be less inclined to always stick around after activities. The thing is, she already has this super bad habit of ignoring me, whether by Facebook, MSN or whatever.. I’m starting to lose reliable methods of contact, when I send her a MSN message, I don’t fucking know whether she gets it because she likes to block, unblock, hide and all that rude shit that who-knows-why someone can justify doing that to someone who cares so deeply about her. This isn’t a matter of blocking the random freak you met at a bar or your ex-best friend who stole your boyfriend, she’s finding ways of “hiding” herself from the man who wants to give her a world – is that fucked or what? I’ve already told her, I’m insistent that the more she hides from me, the more I will find things out about her and her friends in more resourceful and probably, more defiant ways.

No communication accessIf she was just honest to me or say if she didn’t feel like chatting to just tell me, “I don’t feel like talking right now” or “Sorry, now’s not a good time” rather than treating me like I should be ignored, I’d be much more amiable and feel better about myself. Today, we ran over the topic of confidence and I was about to mention to her that sometimes that lack of self-confidence I have is because she steps on my confidence level. To me, I like to reassure her that she is my one-and-only girl on my mind, that she’s absolutely beautiful and not even her most ‘beautiful’ friends could beat her out and that practical and justifable things that she does, I would support her without a doubt! To me, when it comes to communication, all she does is make me feel like shit, make me cry and completely hurt when she feels it is NECESSARY to hide/block me from communication methods. It’s a good thing that having some knowledge about breaking Facebook and MSN that I can still manage to get by some of the sneaky things she does to me, but lets face it, I should NOT have to do those kind of things against the woman I love. The communication sometimes even has breakdowns where I may say something and she’ll just have no reply. This isn’t just even by text, she even does that in person 😆 and sometimes just replies to me in grunts… I thought replying using grunts was a guy thing to do? Like when we watch TV and girls are disturbing us, we just grunt as a reply, HAH.

You know, most girlfriends keep their boyfriends as the one person who can find her in the MOST ways possible. I let bebe know every way she can get a hold of me, even a private number that I don’t tell most of my friends. I have her able to see me on Facebook, MSN, or any other communication method even if I don’t let others see me, because I want to be fully accessible to her. In her mind, she needs to be fully accessible to everyone BUT me… that is a shit-can-in-a-toilet-bowl. Please feel free people to tell me how such an action is justifiable under the scenario where we are supposed to be open, trusting and loyal to each other? So I had left my remote session desktop open on her computer, luckily I didn’t have any of my tools active, LOL… and I just casually mentioned to her she hadn’t talked to me on MSN since Feb 26th and she says, “Oh, that isn’t so long ago”… um.. it is Mar 4th today honey, that’s quite a friggin while. Anyways, enough of a bitching, I just get frustrated with all the excuses she has because it “only applies to me” and no one else 🙄 The good thing is that I can be assured bebe will never be a criminal… or at least not a good criminal, because she’s a terrible liar 😛 she couldn’t hide the most important of things if she wanted to XD

So we finally did some domestic stuff today like buying groceries together. We are such a wonderful couple XD I mean, I look like a servant ‘cuz I follow behind her, but I feel so gosh-darn happy just seeing her shop and being able to walk around with her, help out, discuss things – very “family-like” feeling, just like mom and dad. In both of the markets we went too, I was being a good boy and avoided going to my favourite section as not to have to drag her to look at stuff with me, haha. Although come to think of it, I do need to ask her to buy a package for me at T&T which apparently for some reason, I seem to be afraid of buying that stuff at Asian places – maybe because there seems to be more eyes and people here tend to be more judgmental!

So what a beautiful night and we wrapped up it nicely with a nice tight hug. I was even surprized at her pulling me in close and the force she managed to do it with, LOL. I’m a pretty big guy and not easy to move… and she’s this cute tiny girl who apparently has quite the power to pull me in an inward motion successfully 😀 I felt so close to her, her body so warm against mine and for a moment, we were one – our hearts beating one on another… soooo sweet it’d make anyone melt. Nevertheless, it was rather rushed as it was quick, abrupt and out the door, rather than savouring the moment. When you give people intimate-type hugs, you hold them and want to be inseparable. For her, she hugged, wrapped up and practically threw me out the door, lol. We just need to work on some physical intimacy and getting used to the feeling of each other and that’s it, our relationships is flying up, up and up! 😆

Improvement is goalI feel so blessed today at how great my Friday was,  despite my complaints, they’re just areas of improvement for us! I hope everyone else had a beautiful Friday, good night 🙂 Amy, I won’t lie… I’ve spent the entire night fantasizing about bebe, LOL… such an awesome experience 😉

Credit Card Shock

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…

My ass hurts... $$$

My ass hurts... $$$

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 😛

Top 10 Commandments for a Successful Relationship

Found a nice little article written by expert Dr. Teesha Morgan.. thought it’d be a nice post for everyone who struggles in their relationships with their special-someone. I know I’m not alone in my situation and there are many more like me, perhaps even some who are more deeply pained than I am, so perhaps if people just took a bit of time to acknowledge that love is not just all easy and painless like we see in movies and dream-up in fairy-tales.

Top 10 Commandments for a Successful Relationship

1. Thou shalt drop the Hollywood love theme and acquire realistic love life expectations

Relationships may start out in a blissful state of awe-inspiring romance, however this is called a ‘state’ or a ‘stage’ for a reason. When two lives eventually meld as one, the result can be tedious, mundane and exhausting. It is therefore up to you to keep that spark alive because no fairy godmother is waiting to hand you glass slippers and a prince reared to perfection.

2. Thou shalt combine duties and chores to become a team

Science has shown us that women often take the brunt of household chores, even when they are trying to juggle a job as well. Ask your partner to help split chores more evenly; the lessened household workload has been shown to increase sexual desire in women and decrease stress on all accounts.

3. Thou shalt banish your acting prowess and quit pretending nothing is wrong

Pretending you’re fine when you’re not benefits no one. This simply chokes communication lines and creates resentment and anger. Become an adult, and express your feelings.

4. Thou shalt not strive for the title of gossip queen

Although tiaras are fun to wear, this crown should not be one you’re proud to prance around in. Gushing out all your relationship problems to your girlfriends may help you blow off some steam, but bashing your man behind closed doors does nothing to improve your relationship, or your image.

5. Thou shalt be yourself

Faking an interest in hockey or a love of video games will do nothing more than place you on a phony pedestal and lead you on a pathway of misguided love.

6. Thou shalt take control of one’s own sexual satisfaction

No man is a mind reader, so if you’re not communicating a solid and specific thumbs up or down on his performance, then you have only yourself to blame for not reaching the highs that true orgasmic intimacy can bring.

7. Thou shalt not take on another lover (unless your partner may do so also)

Enough said.

8. Thou shalt have a life outside of the ‘we’

If we become too consumed with our partners and our relationship, we forget about ourselves and our goals to become a better individual – individual being the key word. Don’t become so involved in the ‘we’ that you lose a piece of yourself.

9. Thou shalt not obsess about obtaining bodily perfection

No one is perfect, even the airbrushed models we glamorize. The more we worry about our weight and stress about our imperfections, the more reserved we become sexually and the less beautiful we feel. Opening up your imperfect self to another is the first step to true intimacy and acceptance.

10. Thou shalt not try and ‘fix’ one’s partner, as they are not broken

The more we view our better halves as in need of mending, the more we project faults onto them and blame them for our unhappiness. Work from the inside out. Whether it’s personal or relationship based, only you can start making changes for life-long happiness.

I really like reading love articles, because I enjoy pursuing self-improvement. I know that I, along with every human in this world always has space to improve upon themselves. Although I know bits and pieces about love, I always enjoy learning more and seeing how I can be a better man and a better lover. Suffice to say, this is kind if like school… you can only learn so much, as experience is where you face the real-deal, but at least having a good foundation and knowledge will only help to better the situation! I want not only to be able to love bebe even better, but I also want to help her find ways to love me even more. It’s much harder for you to love another person than to give them reasons to love you, or at least, perhaps in my scenario.

I know some view it as silly to bother with reading relationship articles because it seems worthless, but to me, it sheds light on things that sometimes I don’t seem to be able to find answer to or things that I see from a different angle. Remember we all have different perceptions of relationships and love and sometimes being able to “hear the story from someone else” allows me to readjust my thinking. Sometimes when I spend time with bebe, I try to remember things I’ve learned, experiences I’ve been through, while maintaining my own individuality. I’m not going to “follow everything” like you do in school as if this is a ‘manual of love’ or ‘instructions’ – but rather, extract ideas and concepts pertinent to our situation to help us love each other.

Someone said something beautiful to me...

Once in a while, I have to rely on my friends just to cheer me up and set my mind straight when it comes to dealing with bebe. Every day, I endure a lot of stress, headaches and pains over trying to steer our relationship in the right path and having support gives me that strength. I really liked what my friend said to me XD gave me such encouragement, haha… and a good feeling! Of course I wish I got the same encouragement from bebe herself, but I guess I’ll just have to rely on friends to cheer me on until she will 😆 For those who didn’t know, Chinese New Years just passed a few days ago and getting excellent greetings and kind-words carries far into the year! Isn’t this great what my friend said to me about bebe and I? 😀

Uh huh, now let’s just hope this dream comes true soon, haha. Actually, I’m not so much concerned about the marrying part… we still have tons of time, but I’d sure like to get some progress into this relationship.. something realistic. It’s going to be an uphill battle because I’m trying hard to help bebe ‘have a life’ here… she’s kind of returning smack in the middle of winter and it’ll probably be super-depressing for her and it’ll really make her frustrated with how life is in Canada… it’s kind of a bad time to return since she’ll just be stuck inside her house and that is why I really want to give her a lifestyle that’s a nice mixture of realism and fantasy. Of course I want to help her find a job or at least something to make her days bearable as well as be able to spend time with her so she doesn’t feel like she came to a country to sit inside a jail-home. It’s cold and the conditions are bad outside, but I don’t want her to feel as if she’s alone here, she has ME whenever she needs me. I know she doesn’t have a habit of “relying” on people, but it’s a matter of simply having time to spend together so we don’t feel as lonely… this goes for both her and I.

We are a great couple and I can be a great boyfriend, she just has to give me a chance! I find that trying to secure a lifestyle for her in Canada is giving me more stress than when I was trying to find a job, LOL! But hey, what kind of guy would I be if I don’t show any type of effort for her right? This better pay off… hahahaha… I’m very easy to please, I just want her love! We’ll put all that physical intimacy aside until her arms are ready to open up, I just want her heart for now, especially for valentines day!!

Something for everyone to think about.. people ask me why if bebe shows so little towards me, that I can endure all the pain and somehow, cry myself through the night and wake up in the morning as if nothing happened… and I give them these quotes:

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong
1942-, American Author


And why is it so persistent that I’d rather stick to bebe than to look for another girl who may more easily submit to me and love me with a lot less effort than her?…

Love (understood as the desire of good for another) is in fact so unnatural a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself, the soul being unable to become virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the ocean of another’s soul.

James Joyce
1882-1941, Irish Author

Bebe is worth fighting for, being brave for and risking everything for…. and my love for bebe is not as simple as giving her up, moving on to another girl and believing that I can love that girl like I love bebe. It may sound like I’m just “settling for her” just because… but you misunderstand, I am settling for her because I love her and I want to spend my life with her, however short or however long that may be.

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