Quote of the Week

"You can destroy your today by worrying about tomorrow."
-Janis Joplin

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Blood Donation

It is rational to be a freeloader and not donate blood despite being willing to accept it, despite it being not ethically permissible. In fact, it is likely more rational to be a freeloader than not. This is because rationality can be defined as making the best use of reason or logic. Not donating blood, while still being fully willing to accept in the case of need, is most rational because it accords with logical steps. This is because freeloading makes it possible for someone to potentially reap the benefits of blood donation, without causing themselves any trouble ever. One would never donate any blood and would spare themselves of the trouble of physically going to donate blood and possibly suffering from minuscule side-effects like temporary dizziness. Moreover, even if the situation arose and that person required a blood transfusion, they would then accept it and gain the benefits of it. This is very rational on the part of the person.

A person can rely on their fellow citizens to donate blood without ever doing themselves. That person can then potentially reap the rewards of his fellow citizens while having never caused any problem or inconvenience, as donating blood may be perceived to be, unto himself.

It is only true when personal benefits and costs are considered. Once factors, like societal moral and ethical ones, are considered, the questions becomes more complex and difficult. Once ethics are included, the question is no longer purely logical. Logically, it makes sense to do less and get more, which is essentially what the concept of freeloading is in this context. However, once a ethical viewpoint is included, it can be seen that not donating blood, but being willing to accept it in the case of a transfusion, is wrong and not morally acceptable. This is because it is impossible to justify that one should accept blood when in need whilst never donating it themselves, if they are physically capable.

The fact is that a healthy person, who is physically capable of donating blood, has a very small chance of ever requiring blood. However, that same person may be mildly troubled by donating blood, either by small physical side-effects, like temporary dizziness, or simply by the less convenient allocation of time (i.e. That person could be doing something more pleasurable with their time than donating blood). Moreover, even if that person did eventually need blood, they would most likely have some because of the goodwill of other people.

Therefore, when considering the personal benefits, it is completely rational to not donate blood because the chances of one needing it are smaller than the potential inconveniences faced when donating it, and because blood will likely be there for you should you need it.

This story changes especially when you consider the benefits to others. It becomes realized that other people can potentially rely on this resource and that, without donations, these people could suffer severe consequences. These consequences would not be brought about as a result of their own doing, but rather because of the fact that people did not want to donate themselves – a sort of collective action problem.

If all people believed that they did not need to donate blood because someone else would do it for them, then there would be little to no blood supply. This would cause a tremendous detriment to others (patients) in need of blood. So, from a societal point of view, not only is failing to donate blood immoral, it is irrational, too. No benefits exist to others when a person does not donate blood.

Overall, it is important to recognize the difference between rational and ethical. Though freeloading is rational, particularly in personal circumstances, it cannot be ethical under most circumstances. Also, it needs to be noted that though freeloading is rational on an individual level because it spares one from a small chore, it is completely irrational on a societal one because it fails to produce any benefits to other people.

It can be considered ethically wrong to not donate blood for a variety of reasons, but many scenarios need to be considered before making a definitive statement. Two major arguments exist to help determine the morality of donating blood. The first is the beneficence argument. This argument states that whenever a person has the ability to commit an act of good, they have a moral obligation to do so.

The second argument regards the wrongness of freeloading. This argument focuses more on immorality than morality (the beneficence argument does the opposite, in a way.) It states that it is ethically wrong, and makes you a freeloader, to reap the benefits of a collective good, to which others are contributing to, without contributing to it yourself. This argument elaborates that someone is only entitled to as big a portion of the collective good, as they themselves contributed.

Both of these reasonings do not apply to everyone. Most notably, a person who is physically incapable of doing good, as per the beneficence argument, or a person who is physically incapable of contributing to the collective good, as per the wrongness of freeloading argument, is not applicable under the reasonings. These people cannot contribute because they are simply incapable of doing so for no purposeful reason (since being sick cannot be intentionally self-imposed or purposeful).

When other reasons, like religious ones, come into mind, the arguments have a divergence in their beliefs. If someone follows the beliefs of a Jehovah's Witness, then that person is not permitted by their religion to donate, nor receive, blood. Under the beneficence argument, the Jehovah's Witness is still subject to donating blood. This is because blood is essential to life, and can therefore save the lives of people who need it for a medical reason. Any Jehovah's Witness, who is physically capable of donating blood thus has an obligation to donate blood because that provides society with a collective good and that is then their moral obligation. Under the alternative argument however, a Jehovah's Witness is not obliged to donate blood. This is because their religion also prevents them from accepting blood. This means that a Jehovah's Witness, though they would never donate blood, would also never accept blood. Therefore, they would not be freeloading because one is not a freeloader if they do not contribute to a system they do not use.

In another scenario, where the blood supply is already large and sufficient, the arguments have reversed stances. Under the beneficence argument, this scenario would not require anyone to donate blood. This is because their particular donation would not benefit the collective good, and is therefore unnecessary ethically. However, under the wrongness of freeloading argument, a person would still be required to donate blood if they ever need to use it. This is because if they did not donate blood, they would be using a public service without contributing to it equally and thus freeloading.

Selling blood, instead of donating it leads to a more complex situation. Under the beneficence argument, if you sell your blood and it ends up in the same place that it would have if you had donated it, then you are still providing the same good to people and fulfilling your moral obligation. However, if your blood ends up in a different place, where it is not providing a good, or as great a good, to society as it would have had you simply donated it, then you have not done good to society and therefore cannot be justified under this argument. For the wrongness of freeriding argument, the answer it situation-dependent. If the blood is sold and ends up in the same place that it will be withdrawn from one day by you should you require it, then it is not a problem because you are contributing to the collective good that you are using. Alternatively, if it is sold and ends up in a different place than the one where you withdraw the blood you need from, then you are freeriding because you are withdrawing the blood you need from a place to which you did not contribute.

In another scenario one may consider paying someone to donate blood on their behalf. This is ethically unjustified under the beneficence argument unless you are physically incapable of donating blood yourself. Under this viewpoint, you can still do more good if you go and donate blood by yourself, so if you simply pay someone else to complete this on your behalf, you are basically motivating that person to fulfill their moral duty under the beneficence argument, as oppose to actually satisfying your own. If however, you were incapable of donating blood for physical reasons and paid someone to donate on your behalf, then you are doing a good for society in the best way you possibly can, so you would justified as fulfilling your moral obligation. Alternatively, under the wrongness of freeloading argument, you would be backed-up ethically by paying someone to donate on your behalf. This is because if you ever required blood yourself, you would still have contributed to the collective good, albeit in a financial way. That financial way would have led to the same result as you physically donating the blood yourself and you could not be considered a freeloader.

Finally, under the beneficence argument, participating at a blood clinic as a trained medical professional would not exempt you from donating blood yourself. This is because this argument requires that any good that ca be performed by an individual be performed in order for that individual to satisfy their moral obligation. So, if someone can both participate in a blood donation clinic as a medical professional, and donate blood, which are both good things, then that person has a ethical obligation to do both things. Likewise, under the wrongness of freeloading argument, the person would still not be exempt from donating blood. This is because if that person requires blood, they would taking it from a collective good to which they had never directly contributed to (the only direct contribution would be donating your blood), thus making them a freeloader.

Donating blood and being vaccinated are inherently different things. Being vaccinated for a contagious disease, like the mumps, makes it significantly less likely that you will get the disease and therefore be a carrier for it. This means that you will be less likely to make other people sick. Donating blood, however, is different. By not donating blood, you are not making anyone sick or worse off, you are simply making it more difficult for someone who requires blood to get better. So the difference is that in the vaccination scenario, you are directly contributing to causing people to be sick and worse off. In the donating blood scenario, you are simply indirectly making it more difficult for those who are already sick to improve their condition. Therefore, it seems sensible to prevent people from getting others sick and compromising their own health by making vaccination mandatory. But, it does not seem sensible to mandate donating blood because that would not prevent people from falling ill, nor would it compromise the health of healthy people – it would simply make it far more difficult for people to improve their health when they require blood.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Myths

It's been a while since I posted last, so I'm sorry. I'll try to post my university essays and other things here so as to leave you reading, but I'm not sure how much fresh material I'll be able to write. University is not busy, but I have become increasingly pathetic and lethargic. Whenever I am presented with the decision of blogging or doing nothing, I choose the latter. So, forgive me, but then again, thank me for bringing myself to write the following:

I have officially completed one semester at university, and am fresh into the second one. I am really looking forward to the super long 4 month break that university provides, and am quite enjoying the relatively short duration of courses. In high school, it was annoying, I think, to have to deal with prolonged courses in high school. They were always full of meaningless homeworks and rather meaningless people. Spending every other day with the same teacher also, in a way, forces you to hate them. High school was not a good learning experience for me; neither was it especially socially enlightening, but that's beside the point. University has proved to be quite different.

For the first time in my life, I'm a straight A student. I did a sparkling job in the 5 courses I took in first semester, which impressed my mother, which is really important. This semester I'm taking 5 more courses, three of which are distinctly political, which means that I have an even better chance of getting straight As this term, too. I'm amazing - let's just get that out of the way. But what is less than amazing? University.

When I started university, I was presented with a series of myths as to how exactly my university life would be. I will now provide you with a detailed description of the myths, so that you, dear reader, can start-up your university life with a realistic perception of how lame university truly is. 

Myth #1: "You'll meet so many cool people!"

I was told that university would be crawling with new friends; meeting new people would be a breeze. Moreover, the wide-range of people would ensure that I would be able to find some like-minded individuals and strike-up friendships that would last a lifetime. What a lie! University is far from that. Perhaps it has a lot to do with the fact that I live in Vancouver and go to UBC, but no one seems interested in making new friends and talking. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my generation of students -the kids that were accepted by UBC- have spent so long burdened under the darkness of AP courses, SATs and over-achievements that they have forgotten what socialization is. Perhaps they don't even feel an urge to make friends anymore; maybe they are perfectly content with the textbooks. No matter the reason, the fact remains.

Thus far, I have only met one person who has actually said "hello" to me outside of class discussions. This Indian boy called Animesh. He's cool. He really liked the fact that I introduced myself as someone who DJs  (the professors know that no one can make friends, so they forcefully request that everyone turn to the person sitting next to them in lecture hall and introduce themselves with a fun fact.) He, despite not at all looking the part, proved to be really into electronica. From that day forward, he always greeted me because he thought it was so cool that I DJed. Unfortunately, he was so timid that even greeting me seemed as though it caused him significant pain, so our conversations never really became anything more than pleasantries. I finished the course I took with him last semester, but I still occasionally see him on campus and he always smiles and says "hello". I don't know if it's appropriate to call him a friend, but he's someone distinctly new that I met at university and maintained some degree of contact with. Everyone else, well, they never speak to you again after the lecture ends. 

I would like to believe that it is all as a result of logistical reasons - each lecture has 300 people, so the chances of sitting next to the same person each lecture are slim to none. Sadly, I don't think that that's it. 

Myth #2: "People in university are paying to be there, so they'll be interested in the subject matter!"

Oh, if only. I'm studying Arts. I expected, as a result of the things I was told, that my classes would be brimming with kids who are really interested in politics and writing and humanities. These kids would love to interact and discuss topics akin to ones I enjoy, right? Maybe I'm deaf because that's completely wrong. All of the kids seem to be taking courses because they have to. No one has any real interest. Again, I think this is because no one had any time to develop interests in their textbook-burdened lives, but still.

Our professor asks a question and dead silence ensues. Our professor begs for a few responses and eventually the same handful of people that always raise their hands, raise their hands. The professor sadly chooses one of them and continues his lecture. Children who are vying to be the next Prime Ministers are too afraid to answer basic questions because 1. they aren't sure if they know the answers, and 2. they are horrified of speaking in front of people. These are not people who like to talk or who are interested in what they're learning. No, they're people who seem to be too preoccupied with holding in their poop from fear to think of anything regarding politics. It's really sad.

There are more myths that I'll reveal as university continues to unravel, but for now, that just about sums up my grievances. My next post will deal with some friend-grievances, but I won't pester you with that right now. Instead, I'll wish you a more eventful and fun time in university than the one I'm having. I wish you one that involves less unnecessary lectures and more normal children. 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Confessions of a Racist?

So, it looks like you know now. I'm a racist.

Apparently, that is!

Of course, to myself, I am not, in any way, racist. In fact, I would consider myself someone who strives for bettering the racial situation in society. I don't condone racism, and I would, of course, love to see it eradicated. I would love to see a dawning of a more perfect world, where no one is judged on the color of their skin. I would love all this, but my peer(s) believe me to be part of the problem.

Before the gist of my rambling begins, let me explain what inspired me to write this post after my rather long hiatus. You see, with this being the last summer break before my adult, university life begins, I decided to really exploit it. I spent little time at home, much to the dismay of some, and even tired myself out some days. I would go out, spend lots of time with friends and partake in very fun activities. I experienced many "firsts" this summer break, which is rather reasonable considering my age. Needless to say, this break expired very quickly, and I felt as though I hadn't caught up on nearly as much rest as I should have. That being said, I would rather feel like I did enough than as if I rested enough. Rest is for seniors. Plus, with the way I've organized my university schedule, I won't be missing out on much rest during the school year either, so I'll have time for recovery.

That is why this darling blog has suffered from a lack of words. I've just been tremendously busy. I expected to have a miserable summer break. One in which I would be cooped up and bored since my main friends had dispersed on various vacations, but it proved to be quite fun! And I still have a few things to do to top off my joy!

One of the sadder parts of my break has been watching my friends go away. Many of them, thanks to the academically rigorous mindset of my school, have chosen to go far away from Vancouver to study. 

It's a plan that doesn't make much sense to me. After all, you're always told that adapting to university life will be hard. Why make things even more difficult by forcing yourself to adapt to a new city and environment as well? My family is in Vancouver, my friends are in Vancouver (at least most of them are now), a decent university is in Vancouver, so it just doesn't make sense for me to leave. Then again, I'm not overly ambitious. But I digress.

Considering that I selected friends in high school who were, likewise, not overly ambitious (ok, that's an understatement, my friends were not ambitious at all), I didn't have to endure too much heartache from seeing people go. That is, because not many of them left. Only 3 people I care about have gone, or are soon to go. Their names are, in order of departure, Lucia, Steven and Nima.

Lucia is my therapist, who was discussed in my posts about my prom trip, and most specifically, the post "A Chat with my Therapist". I went to two sleepovers with Lucia and the same prom goers from the prom trip. Those only further cemented my adoration for Lucia. Then we have have Steven. Steven is one of the truest and kindest friends I ever found. He cared so deeply for me, and was so selfless around me that I began to feel as though he was the closest thing I would ever find to a soulmate. I felt as though every trouble he had was one of my own. Now I'm beginning to re-jerk my own tears, so I'll stop talking about him until I have to again. Finally, there's Nima. Nima has been a good friend to me since I started my new high school in grade 9. In grade 11, Nima began boarding school on Vancouver Island, but we kept so closely in touch that I never even noticed his absence too much. Moreover, with Vancouver Island being so close to Vancouver, Nima visited every long weekend and spent considerable time with me. He played guitar and I sang, and our relationship was very relaxed and hippy-ish.

We made a point of spending 3 whole days with Lucia before she walked through the departures gate at the airport to her new home of Mississauga. We celebrated her birthday by playing lazer tag, watching a movie and ending the night with a wonderfully authentic Japanese dinner and poker. I was unable to join the next day, but the girls spent it kayaking. And on the third day, the girls were treated to a fabulous (if I do say so myself) rooftop lunch and tour of downtown by yours truly. Then they treated me to a night of karaoke, which was made more fun by the lack of talent. (Note: the highest mark was 39/100). I saw Lucia off with a hug, an exchange of Skype addressess, and a promise of more fun to come for Christmas vacation. 

Yesterday, I went to see off Steven. It was one of the most heart-wrenching things I've ever had to do. Now, before you roll your eyes and laugh at the obvious inconsistencies amidst my hormone levels, note that I am a teenager. Of course I am prone to exaggeration and drama. 

I was not alone in my escorting of Steven to the airport. I was joined by two fellows from school. Between me and Steven's fond recollections, the two fellows would chime in. Okay, that's all a lie. The majority of our expedition was spent listening to me talk. I had a lot to say, as per usual. Steven and I restated, for the millionth time, our promise to write each other a letter per Friday. Can you tell why we get along so swimmingly?

We got to raiding a home decor store. Really, we just wanted to use their display chairs as seating. There we all began abusing the powers of social media. That morphed into chatting about something. That something led to me remembering a conversation I had once had with one of the present fellows. That conversation, which took place a number of months earlier while we were in school, ended very badly. That is how most conversations about "touchy" subjects end with this girl. She is somewhat of a hipster, but she tends to lose her cool incredibly fast. She is one of those people that considers herself a champion of everyone's rights. Feminists, minority groups, disabled people, she represents them all. And not just a mildly, no, she represents these groups passionately. She pours so much into her defenses of these people that she sometimes changes skin color. (I mean she blushes). It's awe-inducing. 

As our conversation changed course, we found ourselves discussing how beautiful it is for South-East Asian women to dye their hair blonde. I remembered that this girl once got very defensive when she showed me a photo of an Asian model, with blonde hair. Upon seeing the photo, I remarked "Oh, she's very pretty for an Asian girl!" This really struck a chord with her. How dare I say "...for an Asian girl"? I remembered our discussion and recalled how seemingly banal and stupid it was. I also recalled how in the right I was, so I took the opportunity of being surrounded by 3 Asians to pose the question once more. To clarify: Steven, and both of these girls were Asian.

I asked the group if saying "...for an Asian girl" was so offensive. Steven didn't speak on the subject, rather, he didn't have the chance to, because the girls' faces turned red with rage before I even finished my question.

Steven is generally laid back that's why I love him. He doesn't take things too seriously. And I do not recall him taking offence to anything I ever said. Perhaps that was because he loved me, perhaps it was because he didn't want to enter into debates with me and perhaps it was because he genuinely was not easily offended. I don't know, but I liked it. 

Anyways, the originally offended culprit stated that she didn't even want to discuss this again because it just got her so angry. But, once the other girl spoke up, the original girl couldn't resist retelling her problems with my words.

Saying that someone is pretty "for an Asian girl" constitutes the belief that the Caucasian race is superior to the Asian. By saying what I had said, I had cemented myself as a white-supremacist. I'll tell you, if that's the case, I'm the darkest white-supremacist ever, but hey, I guess the white Ku Klux Klan sheets will contrast nicely with my skin tone. But I digress.

Obviously I had no intention of saying that the Asian race was inferior to the White. I didn't believe that statement. But for some inexplicable reason, that is exactly what I had meant according to this girl. In her discourse, she explained that by saying what I had, I was practically saying that the ugliest White person is still more physically beautiful than the most aesthetically-pleasing Asian person. Again, not my intention at all. I'm not retarded. I am well-aware that there are plenty of very good-looking Asian people, many of whom look better than their white counterparts.

However, I won't lie: I do not find the Asian race as physically attractive as the White. Simple as that.

If you were to place your average Asian male beside your average White male, and then ask me which of the two I find more physically attractive, the chances are that I would point in the direction of the White man quite definitively. Of course, I don't need to mention that there are aberrations. If you were one of those geeky people, and you set up a simulation of the scenario I described above, you would certainly notice that I would sometimes pick the Asian person. But I do believe that that would be a rare-ish occurrence.

Upon explaining that to the two attacking girls, they seemed unmoved. The just continued bombarding me with their propaganda. I was a racist, and the fact that I would choose the White man more frequently than the Asian only made that point more crystal clear.

Then I brought up something else - Yellow Fever.

If you're young and cool, you'll know what I'm talking about. No, it's not the horrible acute, viral, mosquito-transmitted, hemorrhage-inducing disease. The Yellow Fever I'm talking about is the new dating trend. Basically, and I'm sure your deductive capabilities are strong enough to have figured this out by now, but just in case, I'll spell it out for you: White people who enjoy dating Asian people, for the most part, have Yellow Fever. It's mostly to do with men who date Asian women, but I think it works vice versa as well.

So I innocently asked if having Yellow Fever is a better thing. And, of course, the fury was reactivated and the girls released a resounding "no!" Yellow Fever was no good. But why? If I'm a racist for finding White people generally more attractive, why are the white people that find Asian people more attractive also bad? Well, here's the answer, and I suggest you sit down to take it in because it's profound: Those White people like Asians for all the wrong reasons. These girls know exactly what the White people are thinking, and they were kind enough to lay it out for me: White men believe that Asian women are submissive, and that's why the White men have Yellow Fever. It's not because they actually find Asian ladies more sexually attractive, it's plainly because women of their own race have been too liberated by the feminist movement to be submissive. This is where I cut the conversation off since it was beginning to go off on a tangent about why Asian women aren't submissive and why they need feminism - a contradictory argument in itself. Get it? If they aren't submissive, why would they need feminism?

How did I reign the conversation back in? Simply, I asked the girls the very sophisticated question: What's the big deal?

So what if I don't find Asians more or equally attractive? Why is that such a horribly racist thing to say? I know that you've likely been indoctrinated, as have these girls, with the belief that statements like mine come from a high-and-mighty position from a white-privileged person. But step away from whatever has been drilled into your mind and take the time to give this issue some sober second thought. Just think.

If you walk into an art gallery and tell your friends "I generally don't like Picasso's works. For some reason, cubism just never appealed to me." No one looks at you and calls you a "piece of arrogant shit". People accept that. Aesthetically, you don't find the distinct features of cubism pleasing, and nobody sends you a barrage of insults for that. Why? Because it's just fine for Picasso to not float your boat. If you add on more to your original art critique and say "On the other hand, I love Dali's work; I find it immensely pleasing." No one will call you a bad person for finding Dali's paintings better than Picasso's. It is perfectly acceptable for you to feel that way.

What makes people so much different than art? When you judge the physical beauty of another person, you are using the same sensory functions as when you judge a canvas at the gallery. So why is it bad to not find one certain race as attractive as the other? You're not saying that that race is inferior, you're not saying that they're worse that you, you're not saying anything negative. The only thing that you're saying is that the distinct and typical features of that particular race are not eye-candy for you. And I don't think that there is anything wrong with that.

I think that there is also a subconscious factor that needs to be taken into account during this debate. I'm not sure what it's called, or if it even has a name, but I'll do my best to explain it: Imagine you're a kid in a white family. Your mom and pop are both white, your brother and sister are white, and you are white, too. You live in a predominantly white neighborhood, and most of the people that you see during your daily routine are white. You wake up, and you see your family. You see yourself in the mirror. You go to school or work and see your peers. What does that do to you? Your subconscious makes a note that white is normal. You feel most comfortable and most normal among the white people you've grown up around and amidst. They don't seem foreign to you.

Now, you can move to a place with many people of a different race, and you can accept them, come to enjoy their company and however many more positive things. And you can ask yourself if you find them attractive, and the answer may vary, but if the answer is no, that doesn't make you a racist, does it? You could simply not be used to their distinct appearance, and it could appear to be "foreign" to you. After all, you had really only known one race prior to your move.

So, when my offended friend extended her rant, after I said that my eyes were normal, to including that there is no such thing as "normal", she was wrong again. There most definitely is such a thing as normal, it just happens to vary from person to person. In certain cultures it is completely normal to slurp your food, in others it isn't. In certain places it is just fine to avoid eye contact, in others it isn't. What I would propose alternatively to my friend is that, because the definition of "normal" varies so much from individual to individual, she become accepting to all, or most, definitions, so long as they aren't harmful in some way. And, I think that I have effectively demonstrated that saying a certain thing is "normal" is alright, and should not be considered hurtful.

But, just to reiterate, if Steven called his eyes "normal" and implied that mine were abnormal, I wouldn't be hurt at all. I'd completely understand his stance considering the circumstances under which he was raised.

In my high school, Mandarin was the "normal" language. You heard more Mandarin when you passed through the halls at lunch than you did English. In fact, when I heard too much English on some days, I got a sort of strange, uneasy feeling, as though something wasn't quite right. The same feeling would be present if I walked through the halls and saw a lot of white people. I was perfectly used to standing out as "the tall white girl". In some other school, this definition of normality could be completely different, but that wouldn't make either definition incorrect.

By now, you've made a decision of your own. In your eyes, that question mark that ends the title of this post has evaporated. You either think that I am a racist or you don't, and either opinion is your prerogative to have.

As I was sitting in my sociology class a few days ago, the professor, a raging feminazi, brought up how women weren't on banknotes in the USA. My thought was "who gives a fuck?", but that was starkly opposed by the reaction of the majority of the class. Some girl sitting next to me turned to me to say "Oh my gosh! That just makes me so mad!" I, unmoved by her reaction, simply turned my head and smiled, as to acknowledge her statement. But the girl on my other side was profoundly affected by the statement. She responded to the first girl in question and said "I know, me too! Just to think what women have been through!" Her statement prompted the woman sitting in front of me to join the group therapy by saying "It's like it'll never end! Our struggle for equality just seems impossible!" The first girl responded to her by saying "Oh yeah, and it must be especially hard for you being a black woman." The girl nodded. And that is when something I can never forget happened.

The boy sitting beside the black girl in front of me spoke. He said "I know I'm speaking from a point of total white male privilege, but I can totally sympathize. What men have done to women throughout history is so appalling."

Well, what can I say? I utterly pity him. That poor boy feels like he has to introduce himself into a conversation with "I know I have white male privilege..." As though his opinion is easily voided otherwise. Well, what can I say?

I just wonder if that boy feels like he would be racist if he didn't introduce himself like that. I don't think that would deem him ignorant or racist, but I wouldn't be surprised if the feminazis around me disagreed.

I don't feel like a racist. A lot of my friends are Asian. Steven is a boy I adore and he's Asian. My current boyfriend is Asian. So, I obviously don't have any underlying prejudices or hates against the Asian race, or any race for that matter. But because of my statements on things I've observed, I'm still apparently a racist. How does that happen?

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Sorry

I'd like to take the time to apologize to you, my readers, for my sporadic and infrequent posting. I wish that I could write all the time, but I can't. Summer's are especially difficult since inspiration is harder to come upon. When I go to school, inspiration is everywhere, when I sit at home, it's not.

But, don't fret too much! The summer will come to a close and I will begin university. Once that milestone takes place, I will surely have plenty of inspiration for posts. I'm almost certain that an abundance of things will irk me in my new place of learning. All of those things should make for rather decent posts. Yay!

I actually have been writing. I've been writing about such horribly banal topics that no one would enjoy reading them, so I don't post them.

I'll try to write more often during the summer. I'll try to bring my lethargic body to begin typing. I'm sorry if I don't succeed.

As soon as possible, I'll give you an update on my summer and any upcoming plans I have so that you can revel in the ever-riveting state of my mind. You're welcome.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Chat with my Therapist

You should read Can You Take a Joke - Part 1 before reading this just so that you have some context.

High school was a glistening journey for me. I was socially quite well-off. I endured so few of the problems that children in high school generally do that I think it is fair to call myself lucky. Unlike others, who went through heart ache and bullying and growth spurts and whatnot, I remained in a rested stagnantly in a peaceful bubble of familiarity. My friends stayed the same, my teachers didn't change too much, my social status never trudged through hateful gossip - high school was good to me. Of course, I too saw some adversity, but not nearly as much as I could have. I was largely spared by the vicious claws of society and my high school peers. In fact, up until recently, I had no perception that high school, especially the studious, non-Hollywood-like one which I attended, could have caused anyone any sort of social pressure. (Academically, it was a different story because 98% was an upsetting mark to some.)

Upon attending the prom trip with my 3 friends, my eyes were opened to the obvious struggles which I either blissfully ignored, or was not asked to face. The three of them all despised high school; they argued that elementary was far better. Quite the contrary, in my opinion. I hated elementary school; everyone was rabidly cruel. I arrived in high school with a fresh slate, and loads of luck. By having certain important people take an interest in me, I was propelled up the social ranks and came to be tolerated by all -- at least I think so. Nonetheless, my three girlfriends discussed the torments and adversities they faced almost daily in their partly drunken stupor. I, as best as I could, consoled them with hugs and kisses, though I lacked any personal experiences to share.

Each girl poured her heart out, and when my turn came, I had nothing to say. So, I spoke truthfully and said "high school was really quite alright for me". They, still mostly in tears, blessed me and told me how lucky I was. I nodded faithfully along in hopes that their depression would wear off, as their bodies metabolized the alcohol. It did to some extent. 

We all went to sleep and I hoped that the morning would prove more peaceful and joyous. It did. We went grocery shopping and I made some amazing chicken crepes, which the girls said constituted the best "white person food" of all time. We hiked through a forest during a torrential downpour, which made hiking seem more like a water sport than anything else.

The trail
And though I complained an uncountable number of times that we were going to catch colds and regret our decision to do this hike, I really did enjoy it. As we made our way up and down the trail we discussed the events of the night prior, and we came to the realization that the forest was a safe place to vent. So, into the emptiness, we screamed confessions in hopes that they would help us find closure. 

I had only one confession which I felt warranted my vocal strain into oblivion. That confession was to do about my dislike for the only boy who had caused me significant pain in high school. No, surprisingly, he wasn't a romantic interest at all. He was the romantic interest of my best friend. He, after nurturing a rosy friendship with me and my best friend, woke up one morning and decided that he would not speak to us any longer. He never told us why and we could not unearth any plausible cause except that he was indeed crazy, but after 6 months of silence, he found the nerve to come sit next to me in class and speak to me as if nothing had happened; as if those 6 months had been wiped from the time continuum altogether. I couldn't bear this disrespect and I angrily moved my chair to the farthest corner of the classroom to indicate my disinterest in speaking with him. I hated him.

Despite the sincerest wishes of all of my family and friends to render myself indifferent to him, I couldn't. So, I walked through the hallways of my school and felt a stabbing pain in my chest each time I saw him. I couldn't physically, nor spiritually, bear the burden of the hate I felt for him. There was no logical reason to so passionately dislike him for 2 years of high school, yet I did. I think that the reason why lies in the damage he inflicted onto my enormous ego. He was the only stain on the nearly spotless white t-shirt that was high school to me. For that reason, that stain was evermore visible and ugly. 

I knew that I needed to let that burden go. I needed it desperately, so I sought closure in the forest. I yelled that I hated him and felt remarkably better. As if a certain weight had been alleviated from my shoulders physically. It wasn't the closure I had envisioned, but it was something, and I felt decent enough to go forwards with my life in that way.

After we arrived to our house, blistering cold and wet, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking to the budding psychologist in the group. She, after seeing my only confession, wanted to pick me apart in her scientific way. So began an absurdly long conversation. 

From her perspective, the discussion would provide immense material for the university-psychology papers she would be writing in the fall. From my perspective, the heart-to-heart would possibly find me at peace with the one blemish of high school that I had allowed to cause me unreasonable amounts of fury.

We talked. She insisted that I saw the matter as bigger than it was, which was undoubtedly true. She explained that life would throw a great deal of equal, and even worse, people my way and that the only adequate way to deal with them would be to learn through this experience. She claimed that I'd be quickly somatized by every bad person if I couldn't cope. All this was true, but one question remained: why did someone with as fabulous a high school career as me allow this one negative event to over-shadow my existence? We came to the conclusion that it had something to do with the fact that it was my first time experiencing hardship in high school. Up until that boy, my high school social-life was A+ and my ego could not sustain that extremely unexpected blow. This is where my new psychologist said "God dammit, I hate you. Why did high school have to be so good for you?"

Umm, unprofessional! You never say that to a patient!

Regardless, this is where the discussion took on a lighter tone. We began talking about my triumphs in high school. I was far from the best student, but something about my extroverted nature made my social life very easy. Speaking to people came very naturally to me and I never felt awkward in social situations. This allowed for me to carry myself through the halls with a certain air of dainty happiness. In the words of my new-found and dearly beloved psychologist that air made it ok for me to not wear make up, which is something that the other girls had all done for a long time. Apparently, no matter how I looked, and no matter how dark the circles under my eyes were, I managed to exude enough confidence when I walked through the halls that the dark stains under my eyes would be voided. Thanks for that confidence booster, girl!

My therapist now wanted to explore what exactly made me the extroverted, dainty, happy gal I was since, apparently, high school's purpose was to ravage happy children and create insecure conformists. I couldn't answer her question since I didn't know myself. I told her that I felt that it was simply my nature. Just like some people are born blonde, and others are born brunette, I believe that some are born happy and chatty and others are born sad and quiet. She told me that that wasn't the case. The color of your hair is determined by nature, but your approach to life is determined by aspects of nurture. So, to find out what nurturing brought me to the denouement of high school with a happy glow, my therapist went back... way back.

She asked what I remembered of my days before elementary school. I really didn't remember too much, of course, but what did remain in the crevasses of my brain was exceedingly happy. It is literally sunshine and ice cream cones. I remember waiting for the ice cream truck and turning to my father, who always had the right amount of money in his hand to give me. I would get a pink panther ice cream because it was my favorite. I remember playing on the park, being a little bit of a bully to the other kids when I wanted to play on the things they were playing on. And though I did live in a place with distinct seasons, my only memories are of sunny days. I don't recall any gloomy clouds or rains or snows.

How was my familial relationship? Excellent. I told my therapist that my parents and grandma had never been less than supportive. That was the eureka moment for her! Apparently, Asian parents tell their children that they are bad and dumb and whatnot in hopes that they then feel motivated to do great things. That, for lack of a kinder term, seems fucked up to me. 

My parents always told me that I was a very pretty, very smart and very wonderful little girl. And yes, they repeated it so many times that I came to believe it. Despite my staggering height and my adorable beer-belly, I walked with such an unparalleled fierceness. I went to the beach unaware of the fact that the 2-time-daily jumbo croissant with Nutella was causing me to have a less-than-perfect beach body. My body was ideal - that's what my grandma told me when she slobbered my plate with ridiculous amounts of greasy, but oh-so tasty food. I was the prettiest girl in my school - that's what my dad told me when I asked him if my bowl-haircut looked nice. And I was the smartest kid in my entire school - that's what my mom told me when I justified a bad mark on a spelling test by saying I was just plain stupid. 

So yeah, I guess you could say that I had a really happy childhood. And yeah, that happy upbringing stemmed into a happy future.

But my therapist was not completely content yet. She asked if my relatives still say those things to me and if they still hold the same value to me. The answer was that my relatives obviously still complimented me, but in a lesser degree and less frequently. Of course, as I got older, I did recognize that my beer belly wasn't as hot as I thought. I came to terms with the fact that a bowl-haircut was not "in", nor had it ever been. And it also dawned on me that there were smarter people out there.

Now my psychologist found herself at a bit of a crossroads in her dissection of me. She knew that my ego was quite big, but if my family was no longer providing a consistent flow of praises, who was? My family had simply laid a foundation for the person I was to become. That foundation, however, could have been very easily shaken and even demolished by my external environment. For some reason, it hadn't been, and that was why that strange boy's actions crippled me as much as they did. The reason was right in front of me. 

The darling psychologist asked about my friends. They were nice, of course. In my largely Asian school, it had just so happened that the majority of my friends were not Asian, so perhaps they had similar upbringings and we connected that way. I can't be sure.

My therapist was determined to figure out where my tremendous confidence comes from and so she persisted. Do my friends compliment me? Well, of course! Violetta is a prime example. When I read my blog posts to her, she lauds them as being equivalent to best-sellers. Does she tell me I'm pretty? Yes, sometimes! But, I tell her that too. We're very supportive of each other and enjoy dishing out the praises. I don't think that there's anything wrong with that. Well, my therapist firmly believes that those reciprocal compliments allow us to walk through the halls with out heads held high. That seemed logical, but then I recalled that Violetta had recently begun wearing make up , which meant that the psychological Sherlock Holmes I was sitting with would have to dig even deeper to find what exactly made me so whimsical. And the answer lied in the revelations of this year and the last.

Boys!

Wild, I know! I wonder how we had managed to talk for 3 hours and not touch on that subject, but we did. Now it was 1am. The other two girls were washing the dishes, and though we should've offered help, we were both far too enthralled with our own conversation. In the middle of a sentence, we were interrupted. The other two girls wanted to go star-gazing since it was a clear night. It sounded romantic enough that my therapist and I decided that we could continue our discussion on the dock 15 minutes away, under the endless shimmer of the sky, beside the vast glimmer of the ocean. We all left. Once we made it, we laid down some sleeping bags and began listening to the astronomer of the group. She showed us the big dipper and the little one and a plethora of other constellations and celestial bodies. That was too much education for my therapist and me. We were eager to get back to boys. Oh, how hormonal we sound!

What happened with boys this year? Wow, so much. Like I said at the very start of this post, you should read Can You Take a Joke - Part 1 to get some flavor of my predicament. 

They adored me. Up until last year, really, I was an exclusive friend to basically all boys. They thought I was cool like a guy, but not cool as a girl - if that makes any sense at all. The point is that no one seemed to be interested in me in a romantic way, though I had plenty of male friends who treated me very well. They would ask me for my opinions on girls they were interested in and tell me some of their personal secrets - the types of secrets that you don't want your potential romantic partner to know. I was very comfortable with the position I held with guys, actually. Then last year someone had to see me in a different way and start a perpetual cycle of life-ruining.

Wait a second.

You're not supposed to know that this all accumulates with "life-ruining" - you're still supposed to think everything is rosy and my ego is being boosted. Which is genuinely the case, for the most part. Let's pretend that I haven't definitively foreshadowed the ending of this post, though. That will make it easier to follow. But then again, what is there to follow?

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The Title

No, I didn't make a mistake when publishing this post. I intended to name it "The Title" because that is exactly what I will be discussing in today's angry post.

With only about one week left of school before I graduate, the pressure is on. Generally, the ends of terms are harried with various tasks that you would rather not do. All those assignments you procrastinated on during the months; all those little things that cause you far too great of a hassle. That description is only valid when you exclude grade 12. See, at the end of the year in grade 12, things are even worse. Not only do you have to do all those missed assignments so that you can maintain your university acceptance, you also have to deal with all those things that come with graduation. 

In fact, tomorrow, I walk across the stage and grab my diploma from my principal, thereby signifying that I have persevered and achieved what has been my societally imposed purpose for the past 13 years. Really, it hurts just seeing it written out - "13 years". I spent 13 years in school everyday to get what? A piece of paper? How sad. What's more sad is that those years feel nearly totally wasted. I can't figure out why I did the daily grind, and that's unfortunate. But, I'm not going to whine about that right now. I'm going to count my blessings as a student gaining some minimal amount of freedom from the shackles of my community-college-educated teachers. At least now, when I begin to pay for school by attending university, the capitalist system should allow me voice dissatisfaction and potentially have my grievances be sustained. Right, hopefully university is better. 

Back to the big final weeks.

One of the major things that usually follows graduation is prom. Prom is that amazing day, filled with wonderful people, beautiful dresses, lots of liquor and plenty of fun. At least that's what it's supposed to be. From my experiences, and through ample hearsay, I have learned that prom is seldom that. Most of the time, you aren't friends with everyone in high school - far from it. You're generally friends with a small clique. Why? Because that small clique is the group you choose to spend you're time with, supposedly because they are most similar in ideology to you. Not necessarily political ideology - you get it, I'm sure. 

Then there's the second aspect - the outfits. Those "beautiful dresses" that all look like they were made by a blind, candy-store owner. Hideous and tacky, sometimes outrageously colorful, and sometimes made of fabrics akin to those of spacesuits - these are the dresses for prom. Worst of all, they are all strikingly similar. The same ugly sweetheart necklines and the same ugly lengths. They're horrible. I'd argue that prom dresses are just re-purposed curtains, but that's just me.

Then there's the liquor, which is supposed to exist, but doesn't because parents stand on the perimeter and inspect prom-goers. At least that is the case at my upcoming prom.

Did I mention that this all costs you a hefty 175$? 175$ for dinner and a dance and 3 hours of your life. Obviously, if you have a date, the price will double.

So, does that all sound like fun? I'll tell you something: Of the 150 people in my graduating class, only about 65 are going to prom, and the price is the least of the concerns.

My school wasn't even planning on having a prom. In fact, around March, I asked the social coordinator at my school if and when prom was happening. She told me that prom was "Such a white girl thing to do", and that, if I wanted a prom I should go and organize one. Well, thanks for the advice, social coordinator. Regardless to those remarks, a short while later, my social coordinator went on the school Facebook group and asked how many people wanted to have a prom. Lo and behold - many. Then, she began preparations.

After spending 4 years at my school, I realize that I am not friends with many people. We're all very different in ideologies. I don't like to take caffeine tablets in order to prolong the amount of time I can physically study my physics homework. They do. I like to do things other than study. They don't. You get the idea. 

So, when the prom plan was revealed. and the price was announced, I considered all options. I realized that I probably wouldn't enjoy being cooped up in a window-less ballroom with those people. I wouldn't enjoy paying 175$ for that experience and I wouldn't enjoy picking out a bubblegum colored curtain to use as a dress. So, I decided to do my own thing. My parents encouraged me, and a lot of the other kids at school were also doing it. After all, everyone wants celebrate the end of school, and, if ~90 kids aren't going to the official prom, that means that there are a lot of "mini-proms" happening. 

I decided to organize my own mini prom. My parents had told me that they'd gladly give me 175$ if I wanted to go to prom, but they'd give me that money if I wanted to do something else too. I figured that I could book a trip for a few days somewhere close by for about the same cost, and I began preparations. Oh, the obstacles just seemed to never end!

Initially, there was plenty of interest, but that just kept dwindling. Some people decided that they would go to school prom, others had overly-protective parents who wouldn't let them spend 3 nights away from home, others couldn't afford the price tag, which I set at 200$. I advertised my trip as being basically the same price for 3 nights, as prom is for 3 hours. I expected it to be fantastic. Eventually, the 17 people who had initially expressed interest dropped out and left only 6. It was going to be only 6 of us girls. The group of the girls actually was formidable. I feel highly comfortable around all of them. Moreover, boys would have detracted from the comfort-level. Even moreover, the smaller the group, the less the chance of something bad happening. When you're in a house with 20 teens, it's risky. When you're in a house with 6 teens, the odds are much better.

Things seemed perfect.

I finally had the money from all 6 and was ready to book. All those obstacles I had had, had melted away. I just needed to find a nice place for 6 and book it.

Of course, that would be too easy. The universe needed to throw me another curve ball.

It came in the form of my best friend telling me that she would like to reschedule the trip. Why in the world would she want such a thing? Because she wanted to go to school prom. "I just think that we could do both." is what she said to me. She wanted to go to school prom, and then go on our trip some other time. Obviously, I wasn't going to agree to this. 

First of all, my one friend didn't warrant the rescheduling and restarting of planning for this trip. Second, she wasn't special. I wasn't going to alter everything for the other 4 girls and myself in order to accommodate her current whim. Third, I had no intention of going to school prom. I don't fancy those people. I don't fancy their over-priced price. I don't fancy 3 hours of parent-supervised dancing to top 40 music. Frankly, I'm too cool for that. I thought that my friend was too. After all, she had seemed very excited and had given me her 200$ just a few days prior. So, what could've possibly instigated this drastic change? I asked.

She first told me that she had hoped that more people were going. How she had realized it, a lot of people were going to go, and they were all going to be our friends. Well, that deserved two responses. The first was that yes, a lot of people were going to go, but fewer people was easier logistically, and I also personally preferred it to the discomfort that would come with having a large group of acquaintances. The second was that our only true friends through high school had been each other. She wasn't highly socially active when I met her, and I was. I had had many acquaintances, she hadn't. Nonetheless, those people were all acquaintances - she was my friend. Now, however, those acquaintances of mine had become hers, apparently. And apparently, she was so close to those acquaintances, that she wanted to spend the night with all of them rather than 5 of us. 

I think she missed the talk about quality versus quantity. 

After a day or so, she told me that her reasoning was different: Now, she had done some introspection and stumbled upon a big philosophical question: How would she feel in the future, when she reflects and recognizes that she had never gone to "official prom"? She didn't want to risk that potentially negative feeling and therefore needed to go. That was all fine, and I was not going to hold her back. She worried if I was mad. Well, of course I was. Here she was, posing as an enormous obstacle to my success of planning this trip. But, I wouldn't tell her that.

I don't want to hold her back from her desires in what is her last week of school. Obviously, we aren't going to stay friends forever, so what's the point of trying to force it in this home stretch of high school. She had changed a lot over the years, and perhaps I had too. After considering this all, I told her I would do my best to accommodate her. And, really, I am going way out of my way to make this pleasant for her. I am doing her a giant favor, really.

I know what her two reasons are in actuality. The first is the lack of people. When I met her, she was new to the country. She didn't have enough connections in order to get invited to parties and social gatherings. She was quiet and not particularly social. That was attractive to me. I was a social butterfly with plenty of connections, but I needed someone quiet to keep me grounded. I genuinely thought that she was the way she was authentically. I didn't think that it was any facade. But it was. Because as soon as the opportunity presented itself, she jumped on it. As soon as she found a group that invited her to parties, she was partying well into the nights. She wasn't actually a quiet person at all. It's just that, at school, I had fulfilled that niche since the start, so there was no space for her to be a partying, loud kid; she felt pushed into the shadows.

For her, a party of 6 likable girls isn't fun. If there aren't going to be police coming or if there aren't going to people choking on their vomit and nearly dying, it just isn't worth it. 

The second major reason lies in the title of this post. The title of "official prom" is a difficult one to miss out on. It doesn't matter that it will be terribly lame and boring, it is called "prom". It doesn't matter that everything about it is tacky and gross, it is called "prom". It doesn't matter that all those people there are acquaintances, at best, to her, it is called "prom". You have to go to prom. That's just a rule. You can't go against the grain and do your own thing, you have to conform to prom. 

It's like Bachelor and Bachelorette parties. You know? People go to Vegas and get wasted, and get with strippers and hookers, but it's ok. Even though they have a fiance(e) and are going to get married within a week, they can have guilt-free sex because it's their Bachelor party, and it's their last bit of freedom. Why? Didn't their freedom disappear when they started seriously dating their significant other? No, their freedom will only go away when their significant other attains the elusive title of "husband" or "wife". How sad. That's the reality. 

It causes me some sadness to think that my friend falls into that category; to think that maybe she has always wanted to be someone else, but that I have held her back by being louder and more social. I really shouldn't be worrying though, I too am graduating, I too should be happy-go-lucky. I have wanted nothing more than to escape the confides of my uninspiring high school and my uninspiring peers. The time is finally here. 

Is my friend doing anything malicious? No, she's just following her heart, and who could blame her for that? Certainly not me. So, is this a smear post? No, it's just a sort of pitiful expression of sadness. Why did I hold her back? 

I think far too much. I graduate tomorrow! I'm free tomorrow! Life is upon me and it's all going to be perfect. I feel so loved by everyone around me that I am a fool to let something so minuscule in the grand scheme of things upset me. I shouldn't. I'm going to book that trip now, and I am going to have a great time knowing that I was cool enough to let "official prom" pass me by. Furthermore, I'm going to have a great time with those girls, whether my friend decides to show up or not.

I'm going to go book that trip now. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Can You Take a Joke? Part 1

I am about to speak to you from vast experience, so buckle down, grab your notepad and listen up.

A few weeks ago, my rather uneventful romantic life took a drastic leap. All of a sudden, as of what I firmly believe was a curse, boys left, right and center, were very interested in me.

The curse? Well, one day, while I was sitting plainly in my music class with a group of friends, someone brought up romance. Everyone shared a story of love - crazy girlfriends, current crushes and whatever else. There I stood completely silent. That's when Gavin, the leader of the conversation, who also happens to be one of the biggest players in the city, turned to me and smirkingly said "So, Nat, how's your love-life going?" I smiled politely, and responded "Oh, you know, it's not moving." Both of us giggled. Gavin found my reply cute. Our conversation progressed onto other matters and all that was spoken about quickly found itself buried into the depths of our minds.

Until the next day.

The very next day, everything began tumbling and, like any tumbling object, gaining momentum. It all started with my friend of 4 years asking me to prom with romantic intentions. This situation was dealt with effectively. I simply expressed my desire to remain friends, and friends alone, and my friend agreed very easily. We made the mutual decision to forget the event and continue on the happy road to graduation as nothing more than friends. According to my friend, Violetta, however, a man and woman can never just be friends - the man always seeks more. I disagree, but that's a discussion for another time. 

Soon after the slight misunderstanding, as I'll refer to it, with my friend, I had to deal with a whole other issue. A house party.

Seemingly banal and regular, I attended a house party hosted by a friend from school. This particular friend didn't have many friends at our school since he was new to it, so the party consisted mostly of people I didn't know from his old school. Initially, I was afraid that it would be awkward for me to be at a party where I didn't know anyone, but my friend assured me that all of his friends were very welcoming. I took the risk and it paid off. True enough, all of his friends from the school in the suburbs were pleasant and friendly. They made me feel very comfortable.

I spoke with most of them and they shared stories about each other to me. I learned about the notorious alcoholic, the desperate dater, the celebrity, and a plethora of other fun titles. I envied the group a little because of the level of comfort they felt amongst themselves. They felt completely free to insult and taunt each other, like true close friends. No one ever got legitimately angry at anyone. At my school, that seldom seemed the case: People get highly offended by joking remarks and seem generally less free in their speaking amongst themselves. But I digress.

After I spoke with however many people at the party, I had to go home. What a bummer because I was really enjoying the company. So, I rested through the rest of my weekend and showed up to school on Monday. This is when I received some confidence-boosting news. 

Violetta, myself, and the host of the party I had just attended, all walked home together. This was rather typical for the three of us. Violetta and I needed to reach the bus stop, and he lived on the way, so it was logical. He usually was even kind enough to wait for the bus with the two of us -though sometimes it was just me- for as long as it took. But, as I mentioned, that day's stroll brought with it some exciting news.

My friend asked me if I remembered a certain boy from the party, I did and I told him so. Then, my friend tried to elaborate on that boy, but I, in my usual fashion, interrupted him. I believed that it would be rude to speak of matters that Violetta was unaware of without filling her in, so I took it upon myself to first do that. Violetta, obviously, hadn't attended that party and therefore needed filling in. I explained the boy to Violetta, and, after about 10 minutes, asked my friend to continue with his story. By now, the story had slipped his mind, but, after insisting he pour every ounce of his energy into recalling the tale, he remembered it.

The boy from the party had told my friend to pass along to me the message that I was cute in his opinion. I was flattered. 

No matter how many times I get told I'm pretty, no matter under what circumstances the compliment is received, it never gets old. I love it. And, of course, I do wish that someone would see something more to me than my outstanding facial symmetry, but I'm not going to complain. So, I was cute and that was the end of the conversation.

I got home, and after having a bite to eat, received a text message from the party host. His words (and emojis) were full of vibrance and happiness. Something had apparently made him so excited that he simply had to share it with me. I was in shower, and so ignored his messages. By the time I was finished, I had approximately 10 unread messages waiting in my inbox from this boy. I was surprised and asked him to please share. The line of questioning began first with what my opinion was on being told I was cute by his friend. I again expressed that I was flattered by the remark. He told me that he had a similar message to share. According to him, I was very popular with his friends from the school in the suburbs. A second friend of his had confided in him that I was cute. Contrary to the first friend, this one expressed an interest in dating me by asking if I was single. 

How flattering.

The party host asked me if the romantic interest was mutual. Of course it wasn't. I had known the boy in question for 1 hour, and in that one hour, he was slightly under the influence anyways, so I didn't know him nearly well enough to feel anything romantic towards him. Moreover, at the party, the particular boy had come across somewhat full of himself. He told me about so many achievements of his and all about how great he was. This, in and of itself, was a turn-off for me. I don't need you to advertise yourself to me - if you're great, I'll see that, thanks. Naturally, I didn't say any of this to the party host, who was texting me this and acting as an intermediary because I didn't want to offend his friend.

After I explained that I was not interested in his friend, the party host decided to do what is known as "wing-man-ing". This is when you talk up your friend in order to entice interest in him. I read the host's messages and grinned. How utterly cute it was to play wing man; what a friend! Nonetheless, I wasn't changing my mind. And that's when the weird thing happened: The party host, who has been passing on messages to me and talking up his friend, stops replying to my messages briefly. This is highly unusual for him; he is the type who is readily available on phone. So, I put my phone down and went to chat with my friend, who is the guitarist in my band, and who will be discussed in greater detail later on. I made plans with the guitarist to get churros and bubble tea. I can't remember why churros, but that's irrelevant anyways. After I made plans, my phone lit up again. I pulled my thumb downwards to display the message that I had just received and there it was, in all of its adoring glory.

The message, from the host of the party himself read "Maybe I'm interested, listen, fuick everyone else wanna go out?"

My-oh-my! Well, wasn't this just grand?

A third suitor altogether. That tumbling object that was my love life, was tumbling and even gaining momentum. Of course, the message was, again, highly flattering. This boy knew me more so than the rest of his flirtatious counterparts, so his disclosure of interest was even more flattering. And so, everything was looking just rosy, except for one small detail - this amor was a one way street. 

Personally, I had never seen the boy in question as anything more than a friend. Though he was a fun guy to be around, and always had interesting stories to tell, something about him guarded me from feeling anything romantic towards him. I adamantly believe that it is the height-ist inside of me. See, I have always pictured my significant other as someone significantly taller. This boy is shorter than me; not a lot, just a little, but still. Furthermore, his appearance is just generally not one I envision myself with. I know, it sounds superficial, but that's not all. I think that, if I actually really enjoyed his company, I could overcome the physical barriers, but I don't enjoy it that much. Why? Well, because of the title of this post, of course!