i don't have anything super substantive to say @ this juncture, so i'm just going to give a ridiculous recounting of a real life interaction.
let me preface all of this by saying that i'm not some kind of crazy bitchy feminist (or maybe i am?). i grew up as the only daughter (w/ 2 brothers) in a Korean American household. though that family structure may not seem to be something to blink about, i would guess that anyone who knows anything about Korean culture would know all about the...
submit damnit!--you're a woman!
respect your father!
did you greet the guests properly?
did you finish the dishes?
serve your brothers!
do the laundry!
you're peeling that pear wrong! ...while my brothers idly watched re-runs of Mcgyver. i was a a little resentful.
this family history causes some of my hypersensitivity to gender rights and roles and wrongs. my claws extend sharply and are not easily retracted. i'd like to think it's b/c i like to think and debate and have there be some justice in the world for womankind.
it's a bit of a problem.
but, i'm still a girl. i'm quickly melted by a sincere compliment or sweet gesture and probably embody some of those sparkly pink stereotypes in my more vulnerable moments.
10 years ago, i had much more of a man-hating Black Widow persona, dressed up in tight sexies, exposed skin, fishnets, dark eyeliner:
come hither, come hither,
you stupid little boy
let me tempt you
and curl around your body
and taste your jugular vein with my tongue
i will brush your face with my innocent lashes
as i leave you
with a hard-on
God. i know. unhealthy. pathetic. disgusting. embarrassing.
i realized a little late that maybe that wasn't too nice, but, i had a lot of issues w/ being subjugated simply because i was female. but let's be realistic here. i was not the only one w/ issues. that whole: "men are only after one thing" mantra is more a truism than not. you can actually observe the dopey desperation of men when they are in the throes of flirtation, hoping that maybe, just maybe...
i was a problematic person in a problematic system.
so it's 10 years later, and i'm newly single. (dating world? i'm not sure i remember what that is. what are the rules of engagement again?) i've imagined that i've grown and matured to some degree and have assumed that all those men my age had some similar growth?
enter iRoc. 38, single, Korean American stud who doesn't know the difference between there, their, and they're. he was the manager of the tattoo parlor where i was getting a tattoo to cover up a multitude of mistakes. he sent me a dozen texts after he had quoted me a ridiculous sum to get the tattoo. when he finally came down in price, he texted:
fine. i'll come down to ___ KRW. you'll owe me a drink for that.
mE: i'll owe you a drink? way to romance your clients iRoc. don't worry. i'm in.
no no no! romance? as a friend speaking to a potential client, i'll treet you well.
uh. huh? confused?
yes, iRoc. that's what i meant by romance... i realized needed to tone down my use of language. let's try monosyllabic responses.
(i know. bitchy.)
when i came in to get my tatt, iRoc was semi-inappropriate, but my girlfriends were there @ first, so maybe he was too ashamed to ~really~ put it out there. he did manage to puff out his chest and talk a little ghetto about all of his amazing (ridiculous) exploits. he kept surreptitiously glancing at us as he recounted. i think he was waiting for oohs and aahs from us females. he almost looked like a little boy--it was a slightly endearing.
being under the needle for 4 hours was painful--certainly worth a description @ some point in the future. anyway, after the ordeal, i was promised that i could come back and get a touch up after the healing process.
i came back alone for the touch up. i waited in iRoc's office while my tattoo guy (Kil Jun) was setting up. i might've been wearing make-up this time around or something, i dunno, but when he saw me:
iRoc: Mary! you're getting prettier every time i see you.
mE: arched eyebrow. huh? get outta here iRoc. i'm sure you say that to all of your clients.
iRoc: no--seriously. you're getting prettier and prettier.
mE: thanks iRoc. i'm charmed. he sat behind his computer while i cracked open a book.
iRoc: so can i ask you a pretty personal question?
mE: sure. shoot.
iRoc: when's the last time you had sex?
mE: did you really just ask me that question? i could hear snickering from the back where some famous tattoo artist was working on someone.
iRoc: i told you it'd be personal.
mE: uh... huh... when's the last time you had sex?
iRoc: last night.
mE: riiight. well. good for you?
iRoc: yeah it was. (this guy was a fuckin cartoon.) so, how come you're not having sex?
mE: i was just divorced. i'm not looking for sex.
iRoc: divorced, huh? well, people still need to have sex.
mE: sure. probably. we've all got needs.
iRoc: you got needs Mary?
mE: rolling my eyes. ha ha. i know you're joking around, but you've at least gotta buy me a drink before you're going to get anymore answers outta me.
(why did i say that?--i knew i wouldn't get anywhere if i actually engaged him about the 8 things that were wrong about his question.)
iRoc: i'll take you out to dinner. (?? uh??) i'll get you drunk and take advantage of you. (ah. there it is.)
Kil Jun (the tattooist) saved me from continuing this conversation.
or so i thought.
iRoc followed us into the room where i was getting tattooed and watched me grimace and wince as Kil Jun exploded his needle into the scar tissue of my old tatt. there was oozing black blood.
iRoc: does it hurt?
iRoc: yeah... there was this Kyopo girl that came in for her first tatt yesterday and she was making sounds and faces like oooh oooh aaah. you know... like she was... you know...
mE: having an orgasm?
iRoc: yeah yeah yeah, girl. i took some pics of her while she was doing that.
mE: i'm not into that.
iRoc: oh man. i was into that. these guys here... everyday i come in here and i give them lessons about sex and i know they're learning a lot from me. (Lord, help us.)
mE: i'm sure they're learning a lot. Kil Jun was almost done. thank goodness.
iRoc: so, where are we going tonight? i examined Kil Jun's touch up and smiled my thanks @ him.
mE: i'm going home and doing some laundry.
iRoc: no, i don't think you heard me. where are ~we~ going tonight?
i stared at him. my head cocked to the side. i wondered if i should actually tell him where to go. no no no--i had kept it together for this long--i decided to play.
mE: are you trying to ask me out to dinner? take advantage of me? hurriedly, i put on my coat and shoes. i slung my bag over my shoulder and trudged backwards towards the door.
iRoc: how about i'll get drunk and you can take advantage of me?
mE: riiight. i kept up my slow Moonwalk. i'd get you drunk and next thing you know, you'll be waking up all groggy and be asking yourself: "where's Mary... and where the hell's my wallet?" i slowly pulled open the door. no sudden movements.
iRoc: he laughed. hey, yeah. i'll call you this weekend.
i didn't delete iRoc's number from my phone. i simply re-labeled it: "uh uh #III". i wish i could say that i exaggerated what happened here, but i can't.
what is wrong w/this world?