Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Too Much Apologizing?

I'm the type of person who will be ridden with guilt, if you tell me that I've hurt your feelings, or hurt you in any way. I will feel absolutely terrible. I will rack my brains trying to retrace all steps that led to this situation, and I will apologize for absolutely everything that I can think of that has led to this. Then, I will beat up on myself for not having realized it soon. That's a pattern that I've noticed in the last few years.

It's true what they say, "It's a lot easier making friends than keeping them."

This weekend, I went out with a bunch of friends from my college class - kinda like a little class reunion of the "FOB" group. I wasn't particularly close to most people in the group, but we often studied together and hung out during college. The one person I was closer to in the group, J, seemed to be upset at me.

Just the distant kinda feeling, where even though it's been a while, they are not as super excited to see you as you are them. Ouch. She wasn't rude, or anything, but when I suggested we get together, she didn't say much.

I remember when Almond and I were on the verge of breaking up, he said something like, "I'm tired of always being the one who apologizes." I guess that's how I feel now.

J and I have had 2 major fights where I felt like I was fighting more than I should be for our friendship.

Example 1:
I went on exchange to Singapore with a classmate, P. We were all friends, and there was obviously chemistry and something going on between her and P. What I didn't know what that P had a gf in another city. Upon knowing this, and knowing that J and P's gf deserved better, I tried to convince J that this was a bad idea, but also tried not to judge her.

J and P try to do the "just friends" thing for a while, and J ends up getting hurt even more.

Fast forward to Singapore, P is the only person I know there. Even though I felt like I hated his guts for what he did to my friend, I can't explain to you the relief of a familiar face in a foreign country. So we start hanging out sometimes, though I did eventually meet new friends.

I also met P's gf (Note: They had broken up but had previously made plans to go on exchange to the same school in Singapore. Awkward.), and we hung out sometimes. I found out that she was actually a very cool person, and we had a ton in common, so we became friends. I told J that we were friends, but I didn't really go into much detail since I knew that J saw her as "the enemy." Even though there was a time difference of 12 hours or so, and we didn't talk as frequently, I felt that J had started giving me the cold shoulder.

After much prodding, I find out that she's actually de-friended me on Facebook, and has indeed been purposely giving me the cold shoulder. She said that she felt that I had betrayed her by being friends with P's ex gf.

I spent the next week trying to explain myself, that it was not my intention to betray her and I was still her friend. As an exchange student, you meet all the exchange students, and she was just someone I had a lot in common with. I never would have brought what happened between her and P up, or discuss it with her. This apology went on for almost a month, and things were still a little awkward when I came back from exchange, until she felt that she could trust me, again. Even last year, when I saw her MSN status as: "Why would you be friends with someone who hurt me?" when she found out that we had gone out for dinner.

I felt that I was always there for J when she was going through the P ordeal. But I never saw that P's ex gf had hurt her. If anything, P and J should have known better. But I still don't see anything wrong being friends with someone whom I click with. At the end of it, J believed me that I didn't mean to hurt her, and accepted my apology. But on hindsight, was there really a need for me to defend myself and my loyalty to her that much? Did I really need to apologize and practically beg for forgiveness? I don't know, but I did because I thought her friendship was really important to me.

Example 2:
Last year, we were all planning our graduation trips. Though, I'm no world traveler, I've done my share of traveling, and have a few suggestions / pointers when asked.

I lived in Boston for 4 months, and have traveled to New York City NY, Cleveland OH, Houston TX and some neighboring states. I also went on exchange in Singapore for 4 months and visited various cities in Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.

Mostly, I have backpacked through out and explored with my group of friends. The Lonely Planet Guides were awesome. (Not the best thing out there, but definitely very practical.) My friends and I (including LeBlanc) stayed in hostels and guest houses, took buses/ subways or taxi's to get around.

I was often surprised at how there was always some way to communicate, whether it be pointing at a map, using a hand gestures, or speaking a little broken dialect from one of our backgrounds. It felt like there was some sort of global connection anywhere we went. After these trips, I strongly believe that with a little research, everyone can plan their trip to almost anywhere in the world, and tailor it to their style and budget.

So when I heard that J's graduation trip was joining a Contiki tour to see Europe in 2 weeks, I kinda knew how it would be like, and how much she would probably enjoy it. She was seeing about 7 countries in 2 weeks. I knew it would be mostly travel time, and spending maybe only a few hours at each site before rushing to the next site, or a hotel. But when I tried to explain this to her when she asked for my opinion, she only saw it as me putting down her trip and being unsupportive.

We have a tight group (four of us) and what I didn't realize was that she had told my other two friends who basically saw it the same way she did, but also empathized with her, i.e., big bully Des picking on little J who was so helpless. I'm serious. It was only when I was getting the cold shoulder from one of the two other friends that I was confused.

Again, I apologize for hurting J's feeling even though I had done it with the best of intentions. And I knew that when she came back from the trip that she felt that it was just going from one site to the next. It's never a simple apology, I always feel like I need defend myself and prove to her that I'm a good friend despite the mishap.

Fast forward to now-ish. She's been busy with her life, and I've been busy with mine. I try to keep in touch via e-mail or a phone call every so often to see how she is doing. But when my e-mails go unanswered and my phone calls go unreturned, I feel it is rude, and am a little peeved myself. She also cancelled out last minute on a few plans, and I guess I just feel ditched. I try to be understanding and shake it off, but I feel how I feel.

So at this dinner thing, I suggested we do something, and she said, "Well, the last time we did something was for your birthday." I think she was mad that I kinda forgot about hers. I guess she has a right to be mad, but it's way too late now. And I just don't feel like apologizing and fighting for our friendship. Again.

It's not that I have a problem with apologizing, it's just that it doesn't end with the apology. I feel like there are so many loops to jump through afterwards. To once again prove that I am a good friend.

Obviously I make mistakes, but so does everyone else. And so does she. She has hurt me before, but I don't make her feel bad about it for weeks or months at a time. J was supposed to go on exchange to Singapore, as well. We made plans for it, for almost a year. I was looking forward to spending 4 months abroad with my friend. The week we are about to leave, she changes her mind and cancels. When she first told me, I was devastated and angry. I was really disappointed.

But I thought that our friendship was more important than this trip, so when she apologized, I accepted her apology and made the effort to get together before I left. I wanted to let her know that I was mad when she first told me, but I was trying to understand and I wasn't mad anymore. Though I did wish she would be there to share all the fun with me, and would miss her.

I'm not trying to measure "sizes of mistakes" or anything, but on hindsight, that was a huge dissappointment for me, but I wasn't mad for long, nor did I want to make her feel bad. I mean, forgiving a friend is easy. But I feel like when I do something that has wronged her, it's always so much to get her forgiveness.

Is this bad??? I do feel awful, but I also just feel tired of it. I shouldn't have to keep proving myself every time, right???

Monday, October 19, 2009

So Cute :)

LeBlanc and I went to see the Cirque du Soleil performance of Ovo last weekend.

He got last minutes tickets for us and we weren't able to sit together. He was in seat 9 and I was in seat 11 (or something like that). It turns out that we were at the "aisle/walkway" seats. So no one was between us, but there was a walkway between us.

I was completely engrossed in the show -- it was fabulous, by the way. Those people are made out of rubber!

At half time, we head out to stretch our legs.

LeBlanc: You know, if you had moved your foot a little to the left, I could touch your feet.

me: Huh?

LeBlanc: You were sitting so straight, and I was trying to reach over and touch your feet, but it was too far.

me: Ohhhh. That's so cute!

After half time, I made sure that my foot was a little bit in the "aisle way", and when LeBlanc reached his foot over, our feet touched. So, even though we didn't get to sit next to each other to enjoy the show, we enjoyed it with our feet touching in the aisle. And I think it's even more romantic than him having his arm around me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


"Eight out of ten women believe that the first kiss will tell them everything they need to know about a relationship." -- Hitch, 2005

Kissing is important. To say the least. It's how we can express our emotions to each other. Whether they be tender, lustful, sad, desperate, mysterious, angry. Whether it's our first kiss, or not. A kiss on the cheek, forehead, nose, lips, neck or any other body part...

I have mentioned before that LeBlanc and I were friends. We had a common group of friends of the people we traveled with while on exchange in Singapore. He always seemed like a nice guy, but he seemed so carefree and goofy all the time, that I never really saw any other side of him.

One of the things that struck me about LeBlanc was the way he kissed me.

I'm thinking back to our first date, when what I thought I knew about him changed.

It was the way he kissed me, and the way he took his time to build up to the kiss. In a slow-flirtatious-shy kind of manner. Tracing his fingers along the length of my arm, and massaging my neck and shoulders. Tickling me. Holding me close, and then waiting for me to go the last bit.

From this kiss, I felt like I was seeing a completely new LeBlanc. Not the LeBlanc who leads our travel group on our crazy adventures, or the LeBlanc who does the silly things (like wear his underwear...). No, this was a LeBlanc who was gentle and sexy, and sensitive to me. His kisses were soft, gently, and teasingly. And it felt so good.

Even though I love all sorts of kisses. One of my favourites would have the be the forehead kiss. There's just something so sweet and simple about being kissed on the forehead. One time, it was before LeBlanc was leaving for Norway, and we went to his parents' for dinner. The taxi was going to pick him up at his parents, so we didn't really have a private farewell. We were standing in front of the taxi, his little brothers were watching. I gave LeBlanc a quick hug, and he held me for a moment and planted a kiss on my forehead.

How do you like to be kissed?? Would a guy have a chance if he didn't kiss well?? Would there be a point of a second date, if the kiss didn't go well???

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Yesterday, I got an email from someone I considered a good friend telling me she now realizes that our friendship is no longer a priority for me. It was a long and drawn out process, she told me, but she said she's glad that she realizes it now, and basically doesn't care.

A series of events have led to this path, and I am sorry to say that I have neglected my friends while LeBlanc and I have been dating. Except that I never really saw it as neglect until we chatted about it yesterday. It was hard to swallow that a group of my friends who I was once closer to, has felt for some time that they are my back up friends when LeBlanc is not around.

I wish someone had told me, but I guess it was something that I should have known. I just honestly thought that everyone was busier with their lives, and that it wasn't a big deal, if I don't make all the outings. But I guess I just missed one too many.

It kinda sucks. I feel like posting up the conversation, but I don't have the energy to post it now. I just want to go to sleep for a few days, and wake up feeling less rotten than I do, now.

Have you done this before?? Any words of wisdom to pass along??

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Standards

My girl friend, B and I went our for dinner last Friday night.

Throughout dinner, we talked about the usual: work, goals, money, boys.

B was just starting to see someone new, and I wanted to only know ALL the juice. As she spilled the beans, and we proceeded to pick this guy apart. We realized that the things we are looking for in a potential partner have changed a lot. From when we were in our high school days, to even our college days (and we only graduated last year -- 2008!).

One of the things that stood out about this new guy, lets call him "D", was that he had a spice rack in his condo. Imagine that, we were both so impressed with this spice rack, whereas a couple years ago, I could really care less.

I guess it's not so much the spice rack, but what it could mean for both B and I. To me, it means that he is somewhat of a cook, and takes pride in his culinary skills. He doesn't have to be an Iron Chef, but I can picture that he might cook me delicious meal on a date in, or be able to take care of himself (and hence, perhaps me!)and eat fairly yummy food .

We went through our list of what qualities qualify and which ones gets boys axed. I think this reflects not only our personalities, but also where we are in life, and what we have now come to expect in terms of quality of life.

We have both come to agree that "love is not enough."

In addition to attraction and caring for someone, which are important. But just as important would be to have similar life goals, similar views on finances, similar culture (and I don't mean the same race), respect of individuality. I would like my guy to be ambitious, but also financially stable.

1) Similar life time goals
I'm not sure what my ultimate goal is, but I would like to live a life that is relatively simple (minimal material possession) and be able to help others who are less fortunate than myself. I want to be able to contribute to sustainable development, whether it be through my work, or through other experiences.

2) Similar views on finances
I see money as a tool to live a lifestyle that is in line with my beliefs. I don't believe that we need a lot of material possessions to lead a full filling life, and I don't want to spend my money on the upkeep of things that do not add value to my life. However, I do see money as a tool to free myself from things that I do not want to do, and pursue my own interests. For instance, nto having to work at a job I do not like simply to pay the bills.

3) Similar respect for culture
My background is Chinese and I was born in Toronto. I think I am very open to new ideas and new cultures, and I think that it is important that my guy also has similar thinking. Whether it be heading out for a night of Indian food, or supporting the Gay Pride Parade.

4) Respect of individuality
I want to be trusted and respected for the decisions that I make. We may discuss it together; however, we may not always agree. This may be a big decision like going back to school, or studying abroad, or maybe a small decision, like buying an expensive pair of shoes (after saving up, of course!).

5) Ambitious and financially stable
Since I am an ambitous person, I find it attractive that my guy is also in the same boat. He doesn't have to super love his job, but he should be proud of what he does, and always aim to improve his skill set and always seek to learn. This was something that I found really unappealing about Hagan Daaz. He was super happy that he could watch 4 episodes of House at work...Yeaa...

I am no gold digger, and don`t think I have super expensive tastes. However, I refuse to support someone who does not try to help themselves. I worked hard to get where I am now, and no one is going to mooche off me. My guy should also be responsible for his finances, and be able to take care of himself, and maybe have some investments. Again, I am not asking for something in a guy that I don`t already do myself.

To summarize, the bar has been raised since my first dating days in high school. However, I think that I myself, have also raised the bar for myself. I hold myself to the same standards that I am looking for. I think that`s fair.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Outfit

LeBlanc and I are going to one of his high school buddy's wedding, and I'll be his guest! I'm so excited - to dress up, and of course, to dress LeBlanc up. teehee.

Side rant:
My aunt from Houston is visiting for about 3 weeks. She usually visits twice a year for that amount of time. It seems that during these visits, we are obligated to put aside our lives for the 3 weeks, and go out every weekend. That's the thing with Chinese families. They are always so big, and there are always so many occasions to remember. This is sort of one of those times. And if you don't, you are guilt tripped that you don't care about your family. Sigh.

Anyway, I had promised LeBlanc I would go way back in August, and I am really looking forward to this! So, I am going to have to put up with the guilt tripping, and suck it up. I love my family, but sometimes, there are just too many occasions to keep up with.

So, this is the dress I have in mind. I think I can wear this to both the ceremony and reception. Maybe throw a shawl over it at the ceremony. I never know what to do about accessories. Any feedback and suggestions would be much appreciated.

My dress.
My shoes.

My accessories (green shiny earrings and my Movado watch).

Any suggestions for accessories?? No necklace right?? I'm always afraid I'll look overdone... Help!!