Concerts Make Me Question my Relationship Making Abilities

I am normally not one to think about my single status. Not that I don’t want to be in a relationship or that I am actively avoiding it but in general it just does not cross my mind. It’s just kind of like it’s there.  It’s a fact about me that I am sporting that single statue and it does not bother me for the most part. I typically get on with my day just fine without a partner. But one of the times that I am the most aware of my single status is when I want to go to a concert. A concert that no one else in my life wants to go to. And all of a sudden, I wish that I had someone in my life that I can force this experience upon. But that is because, the role that music plays in my life…. is different compared to most. Almost freakish.

It’s not just the sound. It’s the experience as a whole. The feeling of the music pulsing through your body and it’s almost like your very blood comes alive. The bass throwing itself into your nerves, jolting your bones with ever beat. The hairs on your arms stand up and you can almost feel your pupils dilating. The way I’m describing my general concert experience right now, it may sounds like what happens to you when you get into a very lively club, which it sometimes true to some extent. But a concert to me at least is a whole different ballpark. For the most part, I will only go to concerts where I am devoted to the artist. And not to oversell the value, but having completely devotion to an artist is a big deal for me. Deal breaker quality stuff. It typically means that I had a connect to the music. And as I am writing that sentence, I know just how it sounds pretty fake on paper, I know but for me it’s the most real that I personally can get. There is a place/moment that I get to when I literally lose myself in music. (que Lose Yourself by Eminem) It’s almost like an out of body experience. I feel real and alive and strangely protected. Like I’m in my own sphere of sound and all that matters is me in that moment, listening to that music in this specific time of my life. I move, I dance, and as I mentioned at the beginning of this part, I fully throw myself into experience. So long story short, concerts are some of my favorite experiences of all time.

My only problem is that a combination of my strange taste in more unpopular music and my standards of seating (I will pay more than most of my friends for pretty terrible seats because the sound is all that matters to me, not always necessarily seeing the performer in question. Although that is fun too I’ve heard.) I normally have a difficult time finding someone to go with me. I have gone to concerts alone before (read the post about my first and currently last trip in a police car for an example) but it’s not always as fun. I also realize that my description of myself at the concert and what I go through out the show overall would make it seem that I would actually prefer to go to the shows by myself. And it also seems that normal people would not necessarily want to stand too close by me during a concert, even friends that I know and people that care about me. While both are true to some extent, I cannot help my fear of going alone. It’s human nature right? Or is it because I’m a girl and I partially worry about my safety. Part of my mind is constantly aware of my surroundings and I’m not able to fully put myself into the show itself. But in reality, if I’m going to honest with myself, it’s not just the companionship but the actual presence. The need to share the experience. Music should be shared….. but also and mostly the fear of being judged when seen going to a show by one’s self. How duplicitous is that statement from someone who just explain the impact that music has on her. Why should I care so much about going alone? What does that say about me as a person? A literal “losing of myself, in the music”.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

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Please Pass the Toilet Paper and Other Love Stories

Warning: This one has bathroom humor in it. It might be slightly disgusting to some. Just like many of my other post. I am growing slightly surprised and ashamed that this is actually becoming a trend in my blog.

“What’s so funny?” I came out of the bathroom just in time to see my parents cracking up over a story I definitely had missed somewhere in between peeing and brushing my teeth. Dad wipes a tear from his eye. “Oh it’s a great story about Mom. But I need to give you some historical context first.” Right, cause all of the best stories start off with that sentence right there. But before I begin writing, I’m going to be very honest/ I did not do too much research on this subject to check up after my Dad so I’m not sure how accurate this all is… but I think I got it generally right. At least for the purposes of this story. So apparently: Back in the day, in Korea where my parents both grew up, newspapers and book pages doubled as toilet paper for them. Literally, taking the reading material into the toilet with you and when you were done reading, you wipe yourself.  My dad actually makes references to ripping pages of a book to uses as toilet paper and it doubled as a bookmark. (I must take this time to confess how that broke my little bookworm heart if we are going to be frank but that was the very least of Dad’s concerns or cares so I chose to not bring it up just protruded my bottom lip in protest). Then around the 1980s, or at least this is around the time my parents remembered this happening, toilet paper started to get introduced to the country and it was revolutionary. This paper was specifically for the bathroom and was going to be less tough on the tushy. The problem was that compared to what they were previously using as toilet paper, the current version of toilet paper we consider ordinary was the softest, most luxurious paper that should not be wasted on bum holes. So apparently, it was not uncommon for around that time for Korean households to use toilet paper as napkins or tissues instead of in the bathroom. It doesn’t not seem that strange when you first read that but let it sink in first.

Dad had moved to American many years before Mom came (actually to get the story straight Mom moved after they got married). Because of this, Dad had figured out some of the more obvious culture differences while Mom was still getting used to everything. Soon after Mom moved, they were hosting a dinner party so she could meet a bunch of Dad’s friends. It was going to be one of those fancy dinner parties to impress. She made the most lovely spread of their favorite Korean foods. My dear mother is hands down the best cook in the whole entire world and I will fight anyone who dares to question me on that. Additionally, the thing about Mom that you wouldn’t really expect is that she is actually kind of a perfectionist. Her dishes actually have the appearance of top restaurant quality because in her head, presentation is just as important as taste. So here is the wonderful spread that she prepared that I can only imagine without a doubt looks insanely beautiful. My dad was marveling at it all when Mom suddenly runs out of the room saying something along the lines of “Oh my goodness, I almost forgot something important.” And when she returned, right in the middle of the glorious dinner she had taken hours to make look so fabulous, she plopped a roll of toilet paper. (At this point in the story, Mom interjects by saying that it was in a pretty toilet paper holder but Dad still adamantly makes the point that it was still a roll of toilet paper in the middle of the dinner table) Mom sighed, taking in all her hard work while Dad froze. How was he supposed to explain this to her? His new bride, who had worked so hard and was unbelievably proud of herself, just put a strictly bathroom only prop on the same table they were going to be eating on and also serving friends on. He was ready to drop the hammer when he looked into her eyes and felt unbelievable swells of love at this beautiful young lady who was doing everything she could to make him the happiest man in the world. So in the end, he didn’t tell her. Apparently he didn’t tell her until much later (like years).

Some may think of this as my Dad either chickening out or making my Mom look like a fool in front of his friends. And while that might be at least partially true to some extent if we play devils advocate, the real thing is that when he tells that story, you can still hear the pride in his voice over the hard work my mom put in that day after all these years. Sure they crack up over it all and we all poked fun at Mom, who takes it with grace and humility, but you can tell Dad knew exactly what he was doing. Dad didn’t tell her at that moment because he loved her too much. Because he appreciated her and her dedication. Because she was so happy not knowing. Because to hell with his friends if they made a silly comments or facial expression. Because in that moment all that mattered was that everything Mom did that night was absolutely perfect to him, including the toilet paper, and he wouldn’t change a thing about it. You see, to me at least, that is true love. My parents have been together for 27 years now as I write this. They never let anything like this get in the way of their relationship and I still hear them talk about how they love each other more and more every day. I was once borrowing my Mom’s laptop just a few years ago and accidently saw an email Dad had just sent her counting all the ways he loved her. P.S. if Mom or Dad ever reads this, I promise it wasn’t an invasion of privacy. It was a pure accident. (….are they gone? Do you think they bought it?). The point is that Mom and Dad set the bar pretty darn high and someday I can only hope to find love like that myself. One where I can put toilet paper in front of my spouse before we eat dinner with such pride and importance that he only complements me on a job well done because he knows that is only thing in the whole world that matters in that moment. Screw Cinderella. That’s my version of perfect fairy tale ending.

Putting the Fuse in Not-Confused,

~C

GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi

I am not a history person. At all. I cannot emphasize this enough. But for some reason, I could not put down this book for the life of me despite by years of historical boycott. (I will say that Hamilton is converting me a little bit but I won’t go into that because I’m sure there are plenty of people out there screaming in their heads “Enough with Hamilton!” and then us Hamilton fans are all “Never! I’m not throwing away my shot!” and then there is uncomfortable situations and arguments and splitting sides and….this I the longest side note/run on sentence ever…Summary: I didn’t like history when I first read this book, things have changed since then but for this context, I did not expect to love this book as much as I ended up loving it. Okay and we’re back!). WWII European War brides trying to make it in America with their brand new military husband, in concept seems, frankly kind of boring but I picked this book up randomly just because it was available in the audio library app, and it completely blew me away (….my name is Philip, I am a poet. Promise, last Hamilton reference). Honestly the random finds are sometimes the best finds. Following the true stories of 4 amazing women to find and follow their loves across the sea. They tell their heartbreaking stories of adjusting to this new life, of being outcasts, seeing right in front of them, the lack of acceptance from family, seek the desperately needed acceptance of other GI brides and unfortunately, for more than one, experience what it’s like to fall out of love. I know that it not much of a summary when it comes to explaining the book but one of the best things about reading this is the experience of going into this reading experience blind.

This book made me think about the will of people. Imagine what it is like to leave your entire life behind for a single person. What do you think about? I think about my dear mother who moved so far away to be with my dear father. I think about how the fast way for my mom to get back home would be a 14 hour plane ride. In a time, where phone calls were expensive, where letters days apart was the main form of getting any notice, where there are certain days that you know, you are going to be alone. I could not do it. I am not trying to be purposefully humble or gain self righteous empathy because I would honestly fall apart if I went through what some of these women went through. Their courage is what I aspire to. I think anyone who enjoys human interest stories are required to read GI Brides.


Seeking that Hollywood Ending,

~C

Reevaluation of Priorities: Books

My emotional connection to books has reached an all time high which has caused an all time low to my standards of living. These are three things that have happen in the past 2 weeks alone to prove this:

1. I have spent over $150 on books or book related events/merchandise and yet, I do not own a single pair of socks that does not have at least 1 fairly large hole between them and refuse to get more socks…because I spent all my money on books.

2. I will travel 1 and a half hours, round trip, with combination of driving and metros to meet an author for an event that last less than an hour and yet, I will continue to put off driving less than 5 minute down the street to get more milk and just eat cereal dry with my bare hands.

3. I have decided that instead of prioritizing my time between work, school and basic adult things so that I can read all the books I actually want to, I am just going to sleep less. My coffee intake (which is already pretty high) has almost doubled so far and I’ve averaging about 4 hours a night. And yet, I have no regrets.

For the love of books and all things book related forever and ever and ever,

~C

The Mantra

Don’t be afraid to laugh and Don’t be afraid to love

Remember all the little things that make you smile and Forget all of the little things that make you angry

Keep your heart gracious and humble and Keep your mind open and free

Most Importantly: Be Brave, Be Strong, Be True, Be Happy, Be You

 

~C