Tag Archive | NYC dating

Finding Mr. Wrong

Remember my previous post with my first OK Cupid man, Kevo?

Well, this blog post should be titled:  7 Ways For a “Date” To Hit Southbound  

  1. Style your attire:  First impressions DO matter. Sporting a brand name outfit from head to toe is one thing (maybe even earning a few brownie points in my lookbook), but dressing like a haggardly hobo is a flat-out disappointment.  Just as a simple guy expects a girl to look nice and natural on the first encounter, a simple girl also expects the guy to make an effort on the fashion front.
Oh the suspense!

Oh the suspense!

I was in Newark for a residency interview, so my attire was business-fancy.  Here I was after a long interview day, ready to meet my first online man.  Even when I dressed down my bright green blouse with a pair of black straight-leg pants, I still looked at the very least … presentable.

I was both excited and nervous, getting ready to meet a stranger for the first time, despite getting to know each other only after a month.  Will he like me?  Will I like him?  Will I live up to his expectations, physically and personally?  Am I too bright and dressy?  Darn, does my breath smell like tomato sauce and garlic from the Italian lunch buffet?

There I sat at the run-down hospital lobby, my mind racing with scenarios on what to say and do and the anxiety building up like a towering game of Jenga.

“Hey … Connie?” speaks a young lad.  I looked up to find him standing there.


Jenga fail and fall

Jenga fail and fall

Someone pulls out that ill-fated piece and the Jenga tower implodes. Oh the numbing feeling of defeat … and disappointment.  This guy was utterly unimpressionable:  plain white tee over an old, washed-out pair of blue jeans with a red windbreaker and dirty white sneakers.  His hair was unkempt.  His face was popping pimples.  Not as fresh-faced as I imagined.

Plus, he was shamingly skinnier compared to my physique; I am neither Hong Kong beauty Angelababy nor Little Miss Piggy, but I felt the difference.  He missed the mark he made with his profile picture and statistics, even the video images.  Indeed, the camera and Internet do wonders for a person’s height and features.

Let’s be real, it’s hard not to judge a person based on appearance.  Physical attraction matters and is what triggers the initial connection and contact; it’s a hit or a miss, and this was a miss.  Of course, I was not going to let physicality be the end-all-be-all; he had opportunities to let his personality shine.





2.  Take care of your car:  Personal hygiene is reflected in the most minor acts and belongings, including your prized vehicle.  I have minimal expectations for what a guy drives to shuttle me around the neighborhood, but the hypersensitive OCD-side of me shivers to strange smells and stains.

So yes, there was an old car/old man smell that tickled my olfactory cells.  He drove a pretty battered dark green sedan from the Stone Age.  Seriously, who still drives a car with a cassette player anymore?  Well, this guy.

What did we listen to as he drove me through a tour of the ghetto?  None other than Korean pop, something we bonded over from the beginning.  Except, the cutesy squeals of Girls Generation was less than high definition.

Green Corvette versus ...

Green Corvette versus …

... Old Green Car still alive from the 1980s

… Old Green Car still alive from the 1980s

  1. Dine together, not solo, even if it’s frozen yogurt: We made it to Maplewood, his neck of the woods, safely. Whew!  No bullets, knives or machetes came for my blood.
... Barely Any That Night

… Barely Any That Night

He suggested his favorite pizza hotspot, Arturo’s.  Before the pizza place opened at 5pm, we went to eat frozen yogurt nearby.  He was ahead of me, while I took my time deciding my flavor and toppings.  He got his yogurt, paid and sat down at a table … and started eating.  I was not even done filling my cup and paying!!

Come on dude, no girl left behind!!!

  1. Dining etiquette, pretty please:  Even if you and I are casually chatting at a frozen yogurt joint, please guys, be mindful of dinner table manners.  That should include chewing with your mouth closed and not sitting back in your chair, arms folded behind your head, one leg up over the other.  It makes you appear sloppy and unimpressive, like you do not care about yourself or me.
  1. Deep in the cheap:  I’ll give him props for taking the lead to find an authentic, fancy and pleasant Italian restaurant,  Arturo'sArturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria, and explore his favorite pizza dishes.  One large pie was split between the Margherita (very popular selection with handmade mozzarella, tomato sauce, Oregon sea salt, fresh basil and EVOO from California baby) and the Montagna (tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, parmigiano, arugula and smoked prosciutto).

Needless to say, the pizza was truly phenomenal, particularly the Montagna with the perfectly sliced and flavored prosciutto.  I have the guts to say that Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has a competitor.

MontagnaI was not hungry, given I was still well satiated from the vibrant pasta lunch and I had just gobbled down a cup of frozen yogurt covered in fruits and mochi.  I ate two slices, one of each specialty kind. Let me rave about it again for a brief moment before I get fired up for the next paragraph.  Visit Arturo’s, with locations in NYC as well, and prepare for a trip to heaven with the Montagna.

Now back to the regularly scheduled blog post:  At dinner’s end, there was a third of the pie left. He asked me, “Wanna take the rest home?” Out of courtesy, I responded, “Oh no no, you take it home.  Share some with your parents for dinner or something!”

Without hesitation, he took it all.  Add to that, I offered to split the tab with him (again, out of courtesy) and ended up paying $12 for a couple slices of pizza.  And he was perfectly okay with this picture … not even so much as a gentlemanly, “No no girl, I got it.”  So I was not even that hungry, ate two slices of pizza and split the bill with him … while he took practically the whole pie back home.  How ridiculous is this picture?

  1. Again, no girl left behindDude, what are you doing, racing me?  At the beginning and near the end of the night, this guy was always 5 steps ahead of me, from the hospital to the medical school side and parking lot to the restaurant and train station.  What happened to walking side-by-side, getting to know the girl like an equal?  Must he make me sweat to play catch-up?  Why yes he did, otherwise I wouldn’t be complaining about power walking that eventfully cold night.

The night was downhill from the first moment’s glance.  After leaving the restaurant, I insisted I can make it to the train station right behind the place just fine.  He was nice enough to say he’ll walk me to the station, despite being consistently 5 steps in front of me on that walk.

  1. Shrug the hug:  At this point, I wanted the night to end and go home to my apartment on Long Island.  I had a long trip ahead of me from Jersey.  I wanted to be out and away from this guy.

The farewell could not have been more awkward.  He opened his arms, weak and wide, feet planted there at the platform, with minimal eye contact and looking off into the pitch-black distance, and waited for me to fall into his embrace.  Even then, it was not the warm and commanding embrace; instead, it was wimpy, yet wooden.  Wimpy because his arms created a flabby hold and wooden because his body was stiff, his feet cemented in place.  An epic awkward hug …

Manatee hug —————————————————————

One week after that epic encounter, we were supposed to meet up to have lunch at Wafel’s and Dinge’s and see a WongFu show at Columbia University.  It was prematurely planned in October, before we met.  The thought of meeting him again made me cringe.  Needless to say, after my interview at Mount Sinai that Saturday, I was ready to cancel and peace on this guy.  And he sounded pretty okay with it too, judging from his nonchalance via texting.


Finding Mr. Right

In October, I met Kevo on OKC, short for the popular NYC dating website OK Cupid.  He was the first “normal” guy I responded to, and I message very selectively. Soon enough, an “online relationship” began to blossom.  The connection was almost immediate.  To start off, we were both Asian American kids with a rekindled appreciation for our Asian food, culture and language.  Apparently, we both enjoyed karaoke jams to Asian songs.  Who goes to karaoke to sing Chinese songs anymore?  Well, he and I still do!  As an added bonus, we were both medical students!  He was planning to do family medicine and I was applying for emergency medicine.  Personally, there is little else more comforting than to find companionship with someone in your field.  Some people want partners who are far away from medicine, so when they come home, couples can unwind and talk about other stuff.  Medicine is taxing on the mind and body, yet exhilarating to experience.  To find someone with the same background and fund of knowledge to share my experiences with is liberating and relaxing.

Scaredy cat when it comes to online dating?

Scaredy cat when it comes to online dating?

For nearly a month, we talked by text, Google chat and even video chat.  Not like I had anything to hide, but the concept of remotely chatting by virtual means was foreign and strange, especially for the first time. It reminded me of the MTV show Catfish, where shady strangers in these “online relationships” try to hide for months to years, always with an excuse and never the time.  Check the show out, it’s shocking, yet entertaining.  You’ll understand why I (and perhaps you) tread cautiously on the World Wide Web.

Twice, we video chatted at nighttime, but not without technical difficulties on Skype or Google Hangout.  Hey, at least I made the effort!  A few instances I got nervous during the call and my camera would drift to my forehead. He’d say, “Uh, could you move your camera down a little? I only see your forehead now?”

I found him decent-looking and fresh-faced.  He seemed like an honest, smart and nice guy, your typical Asian with boyish features and characteristics, even playful.  One time we were talking about our love for WongFu productions, the Asian American trio based in California who make videos poking fun and sending positive messages about the Asian American culture.  He took his Toon Spencer plush toy and played with it, putting it on his head.  That was also his profile picture, him with the Spencer bear atop his head.


What a cutie bear!  Meet Spencer!

What a cutie bear! Meet Spencer!

I liked Kevo and there was nothing to strike me as odd about this lad.  I’m sure I struck him as more odd, given that I told him how I’m a blubbering, bawling fool when it comes to sappy Asian love songs, music videos, dramas and movies.  He must think I’m a histrionic, emotional wreck with chronic wet-eye syndrome and tissues within arms reach to last a lifetime.

Tell me you will not cry a waterfall after watching “童話/Tong Hua” (Fairy Tale) by 光良 Guang Liang.  This was memorably the first Chinese song I ever listened to back in 2008, and what jumpstarted my iTunes playlist, Asian Addiction.

Tell me you will not feel a pang to your heart (and eyes) when you watch this love song, “Because I’m a Girl” by the 90s’ Korean girl group, Kiss.

Tell me you will not need a tissue with this Chinese classic, “老鼠愛大米/Lao Shu Ai Da Mi” (Mouse Loves Rice) by 王啟文 Wang Qi Wen.  This song has been so popular, it has been remade twice since the original release, one by 香香 (Xiang Xiang) and Cantonese duo, Twins.

And lastly, but not the least, Hins Cheung, Hong Kong’s prince of ballads. We went off on a long discussion about his music and videos. I just started listening to his music, thanks to Spotify. Now, thanks to Kevo, I was on a marathon of his sappy music videos and performances.

Up Next:  A surprise for you … and me!