or “all I ever needed to know about dating I learned from the Wongstar’s blog.” …NOT!
As promised, whatever happened to the dating shenanigans? Well surely that was a fun experiment, but now I’m back at training camp and focused on the only boyfriend that counts…to be introduced to you very shortly…
So in the span of 19 days in January, I went on 7 actual dates with the 4 eligible bachelors who passed my rather vigorous online screening process. They came in a variety of flavors (Chinese, Cuban, and two varieties of vanilla–one being ex-Mormon/ex-vegan). Heights ranged from 5’11″ to 6’3″–believe it or not, my favorite one was the shortest. See! I’m not such a height snob. Dates varied from a $130 basketball game (2 X $65 tickets which I found an insane amount for the guy to spend on a first date, not that I complained) to a touristy stroll on the Golden Gate Bridge ($2 in quarters for the parking meter).
Fascinatingly enough, my screening process was so successful that 3 of the 4 guys had all founded and ran their own companies (at the strapping young ages of 26, 31, and 32). Apparently I seem to attract guys who are also ambitious and pursuing their dreams. However, I did let one slip through the cracks…the 36yo currently unemployed former professional triathlete. (Big mistake. I should’ve known better.)
As an upcoming international triathlon superstar on the dating circuit, one contemplates various questions as she gets to know these bachelors…
- When do I tell him I’m a pro triathlete?
- How many showers does it take to wash off the chlorine stink after marinating in the pool for 3-4 hours earlier that day?
- When do I tell him I live with my parents?
- When do I tell him I’m leaving the country?
- When do I tell him I actually live overseas at least 6 months of the year? (last year was 7…)
Let’s start with question #1…when do I tell him what my actual job is? Well some of you wonder why that might be a problem, and indeed it used to be my favorite pick-up line at bars when I first got my pro card. Then I soon realized that as intriguing as it is to say “hey baby, I’m a pro triathlete,” it also tends to scare boys off. Somehow it sends this message:
Or as one of my guy friends has told me “You might as well cut their balls off.” Yes, I am one intimidating girl. Just like Kung Fu Panda, guys are afraid they might go blind from overexposure to pure awesomeness.
During the screening process, there was one candidate who wanted to initiate an online chat. Unfortunately I realized too late that my GoogleTalk had been set ages ago with my blog URL as its status. After some hello’s and mostly silence on his side, he finally eeps out, ”I’m reading your blog right now…” ”…damn you are intense…” ”…I need to spend some time reading this.” After having access to the wealth of information on me, he refused to tell me much about himself (oh! that’s fair), and so…no first date. Must suck getting your balls cut off.
For the boys I actually met in person, I tried a few tactics. A couple of them I told before we met in person. (and they still wanted to go out with me? Score!) On one first date, I tried not to mention the pro thing…but then I felt deceptive and there were some awkward silences that needed to be filled. The last one I just told right away when he asked me in person…”So, what do you do?”
In the end, I realized it didn’t matter because, dammit, I am just so damn Google-able that you don’t even need to know what my name is to find me on the internet. Great for marketing yourself as a pro triathlete, not so great when trying to stay relatively anonymous when meeting new boys to date. There was the one bachelor who I later learned had Googled me 2 weeks before we actually met. Before he even knew my name. Apparently if you search for “5’9″ triathlete pacifica california” and then hit “I’m Feeling Lucky”, you go straight to my profile on theWongstar.com. (Remember the dating sites have you list your height and current city.) Thank you Google Analytics…I’m still not sure if I should be creeped out or flattered.
I actually asked one of the guys I got to know if he had ever Googled me, obviously it’s a problem. He said one of the sweetest things… ”No, why would I Google you? Then we would have nothing to talk about.” THANK YOU!! Yes, I realize I have quite the online presence, but I would prefer new boys not to have preconceived notions when they barely know me. Believe it or not, the Wongstar online persona is only a part of who I really am.
Question #2: How many showers? Well, that nice swim block in January had some overlap with this nice dating block. Indeed, it was always at least 2 showers and extra vigorous scrubbing to try to get the chlorine marinade off my skin on swim days/date nights. Girls should smell like flowers and peaches, not like nasty pool chemicals. Although I did have a guy friend (former college swimmer) tell me he kind of likes the swimming pool smell. Yeah well, too bad that’s probably more of the exception than the rule!
Question #3, living with the parents… Actually questions #3-4-5 didn’t seem to matter if it was obvious there would be no second date. In fact, I found it rather useful to mention when trying to escape a really bad date. For example, the unemployed ex-pro triathlete who made me buy my own hot chocolate, and then asked if I was ready to make out with him. While we were still in Starbucks. Then asked how my libido was like when I was training so much. Then asked if I wanted to come up to his place to “watch a movie.” Good thing he knew I lived with the parentals, gosh look at the time, I had to get up *really* early to train. And at 45 minutes, that was the shortest date I’ve ever been on. There, done, BYE.
Otherwise, pro or not, there’s not too much shame being a 28yo Asian girl living with her parents in the San Francisco Bay Area. First of all, it’s super expensive living there. You save boatloads of money and it’s just smart (especially when you are only in the USA half the year). Secondly, in our culture it is completely acceptable to live at home until you get married. This is what I tell myself anyway. And if the guy understands the concept of making sacrifices in pursuit of “living the dream,” then that’s the kind of guy for me.
Only two made it past the first date. I learned that you can actually get a feel for a person through email before meeting them. Like the guy who kept mentioning kids and babies. (No first date.) Or if they’re kinda boring via email, they’re kinda boring in person. If they’re a bit too forward via email then you shouldn’t bother meeting them for a 45-minute non-date. Sometimes you meet people who are cute, and really nice, and you get along all right and try really hard to like them THAT WAY…but there’s just no chemistry. You can usually tell right away if you like them or not. If you’re not sure, well you probably don’t.
Then there was the one who actually made it to the third date. He was the only one that I told I was leaving, the others either found out via Google or didn’t really care. And then…I got on an airplane and left the country 24 hours later. C’est la vie. Dating is a little complicated with this pro triathlete lifestyle. (My FB relationship status should be permanently set on “it’s complicated”.) I try not to leave too many smashed-up broken hearts in my wake (including my own) but what’s a triathlon superstar to do? True love is out there for the Wongstar, and she holds out hope that she will find it someday.
(Hilarious comics are from Angry Little Girls by Lela Lee. She also makes bags and shirts with the potty-mouthed little Asian girl.)
Happy Valentine’s Day, I hope you get some!!