Tuesday, January 26, 2016

More Engagement Updates

Guys, I have to talk more about engagements. Just a few more updates and then I will be done for awhile. Promise.

Okay, first the update. Do you remember Xena and Harry? You can refresh your memory here and here. Anyways, the one run-on sentence version was that Harry was in love with Xena, Xena hardcore friend zoned and used Harry, and Harry just bent over and took it.

friend zone
(Like this guy)

It was sad to watch and everyone kept trying to rescue Harry (including me). It was like the battered wife that kept going back to the abusive husband, (just not THAT depressing). Well they are engaged. It still is hard for my mind to compute. The short pudgy spineless balding homely looking guy whose only redeeming quality is his faithfulness is not supposed to end up with the tall shallow blonde bombshell. That just doesn't happen. I have never seen someone recover from being so badly friendzoned. He some how was able to slowly break down all resistance. Dude deserves a medal.

friend zone
(oh the feels, sorry I had too)

The second update. Do you remember Tattoo girl? Well she actually isn't engaged. She's freaking married! Only knew the guy 3 months before tying the knot. And guess what? Another pudgy balding homely guy! What is going on here? It only took her 3 months to marry a guy who looks like Paul Giamatti's less attractive and heavier cousin, and she couldn't even text me back!

 

I thought he must be really smart or rich or successful. Nope, studied communications at BYU- Idaho JV. Works as a customer service rep. Maybe he's really funny. He has to be really funny right? Well you couldn't tell from his Facebook page. A little bit of evidence suggesting he is weird maybe, but not seemingly funny or clever.

I didn't want to date either of the girls and props to both guys, it just makes no darn sense. Either pudgy and balding is in now in style (the next man bun?) or I don't really understand what women are looking for.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Engagements and Child Brides


Sorry everyone, I’ve been busy using up all my writing energy on another project. But I’m back with an overly long make-up post! 
 
 Oprah Winfrey Meme - You get engaged, and you get engaged! Everyone gets engaged!
Engagements! During the holidays (which I’m defining as a week before thanksgiving to a week after New Year’s) I counted just shy of 20 engagements among my Facebook friends. I don’t have that many Facebook friends! Honestly I think I might have zero single Facebook friends now. And it’s not just friends from my direct peer group, it’s people that I once babysat (more on that). 
The thing about Mormons is that get married young and they get married fast. For each of my friends that got engaged over that period, I kept track (as much as was possible) of how long they had been dating before any questions were popped. Then I took an average. Four months. FOUR FREAKING MONTHS! The longest was 11 months and the shortest was 3 weeks.
It feels a little short no? But relatively how short is it? After doing some exhaustive research (aka doing one google search and clicking on the first link) I found that the national average of time a couple is together before engagement to be about three years. Compare that to the Mormon average of four months (okay my number was not from a large or representative sample, but just go with it) and its almost 10 times as long! And I’m sure the difference would be even greater if we included the time from engagement to marriage.
All this made me think, why do Mormons get engaged so fast? I think it boils down to a combination of a factors:
  • No sex before marriage, duh
  • Hiding behind the shield of spirituality. Some people seem to think as long as they pray about it, then they are free to pull the trigger. Everyone is just so optimistic about marriage and thinks if they are a good Mormon they are immune to divorce
  • Self-propelling Culture. Marriage is so valued in our culture, plus everyone in your peer group is getting married fast. It becomes your reference point
  • Dating more intensely. It seems like when Mormons start dating, they spend probably more time than average with their significant other. Dating is less about fun and more about figuring out if the other person is suitable spouse (hence the first date questions about how many kids you want)
  • Our relatively homogenous society. We are generally marrying fellow Mormons so the process of learning and reconciling with each other’s views on religion, values, family expectations, gender roles is relatively easy

I actually went to a wedding over the holidays and it was too perfect not to share.
First the bride, who I shall refer to as “Child Bride”, was someone I use to babysit. Our families are super close and go way back. She’s 18 and pretty and sweet. Her family has basically bred her to be a Mormon wife/mother.
She had a boyfriend off and on through high school and just sent him on a mission in September. Meanwhile she left for BYU-Idaho. In her first month of her first semester of her first year at college she goes on her first date with a (25 year old) Returned Missionary. But plot twist! She doesn’t get engaged to that guy. But during that date, the (25 year old) RM’s roommate, we’ll call him the “27yrold”, starts calling her. Allegedly he calls and calls before she calls him back. Boom, three weeks later Child Bride and 27yrold are engaged.
At the reception (held the night before the wedding), she told us they bonded over both recently getting out of bad “long” term relationships (even though he had dated his ex-gf only 5 months and she didn’t technically get out of her relationship with her missionary until she Dear John-ed him AFTER she got engaged, minor details). Also she said one night they talked for 2 whole hours straight and after that she knew he was the one. That was revelatory to me. Personally I have gotten up to 1 hour of conversation with a girl a few times, maybe 1.5 hours tops, but I’ve never hit that legendary 2 hour mark. It makes sense why I’m still single. At least now I know what to shoot for.
So with that rock solid foundation they decided to take the plunge. It was basically was an arranged marriage, except it wasn’t usual wise parents arranging the marriage, it was teenager.
I honestly felt bad for being there, like I was an accessory to a crime or something. I kept thinking that the wedding wasn’t going to actually happen. Not because either of them seemed nervous or seemed to have cold feet (definitely not the case with them), just because it just didn’t seem like it should have been allowed to happen. Any moment I figured someone would bust down the doors and stop everything.
That didn’t happen though. Instead a bunch of weird crap happened. Despite Child Bride’s dad calling the 27yrold’s dad, bishop, and mission president to make sure the dude was legit, I was not sold. He seemed super dramatic. At the reception, as Child Bride sat in the middle of the dance floor, he sang James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” in a disturbing falsetto like right in her face (please look up the lyrics and join me in puzzlement). Immediately following that, his whole family surround her in a circle and sang a song (which I did not recognize) at her. There was a lot of this going on:
what confused wut huh michael bay

His mom stood up and talked about how he has been a hand full and that it’s crazy that it seems like just yesterday he was staying up all night with his friends playing video games. Then she salvages it by saying he is so driven and knows what he wants, only to end with saying he needs to decide what he is majoring in at BYU-Idaho. Next his dad took his turn and said that he was going to read a letter that he wrote to 27yrold when he was teenager, but that he felt was still applicable. He proceeds to read a letter that lists out all of 27yrold’s faults and weaknesses in TMI detail, and then he just sits down.
It was one wtf moment after another. But they got married. It’s done.
At one point Child Bride’s dad told us that his parents only knew each other for a week before getting married and that he only dated his wife for 2 weeks before putting a ring on it. Child Bride endured a whole 3 weeks of dating. I guess that’s progress.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Learing About Myself

After some internal deliberation, I decided to ask out Tattoo girl again. Why not?

I ended up texting her the day after our date (even though leading up to our date our text conversations had been painful to say the least). THE DAY AFTER. What can I say, I was really feeling confident.

I said: "Hey I'm glad we got to have dinner last night, it was a lot of fun. You going to the event tonight?"

It only took me like 45 minutes to craft that bad boy.

So a funny thing happened on our way to our second date. She never texted back. As a rule I usually text a person one more time if they don't respond in a orderly fashion (I call it the benefit of the doubt text). But not if I ask a direct question! Besides I thought that she would probably be at the event any way and we could just talk there. But she wasn't at the event, or at church the next day, and before I knew it, 3 days had passed without a response. Who does this girl think she is?

I just kept assuming she would text me back until so much time passed that it would be awkward if she did finally text you back. Then I started thinking: maybe my text didn't go through. Maybe it was lost in the interwebs or whatever. That happens right? Lost texts are a thing right? Maybe this whole time she has just been sitting around WAITING FOR ME to text her? What if this whole thing is just a hilarious misunderstanding? HAHAHAHAHA

That has to be it. It just makes more sense right? Who wouldn't text back me?

I can just imagine our conversation the next time I run into her. I will tell her and she will think it is so funny. And then I'll point at her and then she'll point at me and it will be a funny cute story we will always look back on.

funny friends california hilarious funny gifsmile laughing laugh lmao adele


Except the problem is I didn't run into her. Before our date she would come to our ward for church, FHE, and all kinds of activities all the time. But afterward I never saw her anymore. If I didn't know any better, I would have guessed that I creeped the freak out of her during our date. But of course that is impossible, so there must just me another hilarious reason why.

Well several weeks later I did run into, at a city wide event that she was in charge of. Is it called "running into" if you are going to an event that you know someone will be at? Anyways, I brought up the whole text thing and I was smiling all ready to laugh. And I'm not going to lie, it wasn't as hilarious as I envisioned it. There wasn't even any pointing! For some reason it was mostly just awkward.

But never mind that, she said she didn't remember getting my text and that her phone asks weird sometimes (see what did I tell you?!?).

So the next day I texted her again. And then I waited.

black and white gif christmas gif cute gif waiting gif christmas break

She didn't immediately respond so I thought I will give her an hour. Then that passed and I was like, maybe just until the end of the day, and THEN I will just over will it.

Its been weeks and weeks now, still no response. Which is fine. Heck, I never really liked her that much and I always had to talk myself into asking her on a date. It wasn't meant to be.

But on the other hand, it is a little deflating. I mean one of the reasons I asked her out in the first place was because I thought she already liked me. And I seriously thought I killed it on our date. 

Sigh.

Looking back, I haven't exactly had the best win/loss record with girls the last year or so. Maybe I've lost it. Maybe I never had it. Honestly I'm probably just not as cool/funny/attractive/whatever as I thought I was. Kinda sucks.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Back in the Saddle!


So it had been awhile since I had gone on a date. Too long probably. I knew I had to move on and I felt like I was ready to move on. I just hadn’t yet really made it official by jumping back into the dating pool and going on a date. I needed to get back into the saddle so to speak.

back animated GIF

 Putin, my role model

The first problem was finding someone I wanted to go on a date with. Pretty difficult since I’m picky and the options in my ward are pretty sparse. Luckily one week there was a girl (who we will call Tattoo girl because she had more tattoos than the average Mormon girl (aka any tattoos)) from a different ward that was visiting our ward. She sat next to me an chatted me up a little. I didn’t think much of it. Later I noticed her making serious eyes at me during a different church event.

owl animated GIF

We only got to chat for a little bit, but the very next Sunday she was back in our ward (which I took as a sign she was interested) and she sat next to me again (which I took as a sign that she wanted my bod). Unfortunately she also brought her friend this time, who was super aggressive and flirty. It was like the new friend was boxing out (female equivalent of cock-blocking) Tattoo Girl and it was real awkward. It was even more awkward when I only asked for Tattoo girl’s number after church.

Even though I got her number, I wasn't sure I actually wanted to ask her out (I know, bad form). She just was not my normal type, but at the same time I did not have any better prospects on the horizon. So I ended up asking her out that same night.

The awkwardness continued the next day at FHE. I arrived a little bit late (as is fashionable) and walked in to find my friend Brett chatting up Tattoo girl (her friend from the day before was not around this time for some reason).  I found a seat and watched as Brett worked his game on Tattoo girl and eventually get her number. At  the same time another girl, Sarah, starts talking to me and I notice my other friend, Sam (who I know has a huge crush on Sarah) watch us talk.
 
Just in case anyone is lost, let's breakdown this awkward love rectangle:
  • Brett was hitting on Tattoo girl (who I wanted to be talking to and who I am pretty sure is very interested in me (cuz who isn't?) and kept looking over at me)
  • I was watching those two while Sarah (who I am not interested in) was being very persistent talking to me
  • Sam (who is very interested in Sarah) was watching us
  • And for all I know some other girl was probably looking longingly at Sam (as he looked at Sarah, who was talking to me, who was looking at Tattoo girl, who was talking to Brett).
At that moment I found a new reason to hate being single again. It all seemed very weird and inefficient. I didn’t like it. I wasn’t even mad at Brett, he had no idea I had asked out Tattoo girl the night before. Heck, I barely convinced myself to ask her out in the first place, and I wanted Brett to find love and all that good stuff. I was almost more afraid that I might be accidently screwing up Brett’s chance with her (because she was probably already in love with me, cuz who isn't (besides my last two girlfriends)). Then there was poor Sam with his puppy eyes. And on top of that there is the hypothetically girl pining after Sam. Its enough to break your heart.

Anyways the day of the date comes around and I’m dreading it real bad. I have zero desire to go on that date and was real angry with myself for getting in this situation. If I was a bad person I would have cancelled on her.
But I didn’t. I bit the bullet and picked her up like a man, exactly on time like a man (I actually was accidently like 10 minutes early because it was way quicker and easier to find her apartment than I expected and had to do the awkward creeper wait outside and then act like I just got there thing). Then we went to dinner and had a fine time. It was great, but why was it great?
Was it how she looked? No.

Was it how stimulating the conversation was? Nope.

Honestly it was how on my game I was. I feel like I was spitting hot fire! So smooth and so funny, not awkward at all. I would guess that this is exactly how a pitcher would feel if he came back from an injury and pitched a no-hitter.
 
 Chad Qualls falls on Twitpic

So will I ask her out again? Well probably, if only to marvel at own dating abilities and how incredibly not awkward this whole process is.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

7 Awesome Things About Being Single Again


Sorry for not posting for a while. Things have been crazy but I wanted to give you all an update on how I’m doing being single again. Spoiler alert, I’m loving it. Below are some of the many reasons why:

1. Financial savings: ChapStick® costs are down (I only use the real stuff). Also, movie ticket costs are way down! Did you know you can actually go to a movie by yourself? No really, it’s totally allowed at most establishments. It’s like half the price! Not to mention it’s much easier to find seats, no more silly arguments on where to sit (I’m a “front row, two seats to the right” type of guy myself). It also turns out to be a lot more comfortable sobbing uncontrollable in the theater when you are alone (Double Bonus!). That reminds me, I should probably note that some of these cost saving are being offset in an accompanying rise in tissue expenditure. But don’t worry, net-net I’ve been coming out way ahead.       
 
2. Increased desire to be social: For some reason, I’m actually going to all these church social events for singles, which is weird because I was somehow totally ignoring them before. I went to a church dance the other day did the Cotton Eyed Joe line dance twice! They actually only played the song once, but I was so psyched doing the dance of my people the first time that I did it again during the next song, just for the heck of it. (It was really weird when this shirtless guy started doing it with me instead of just slow dancing like everyone else, not cool dude)

3. Meet new people: I’ve met a ton of girls who are 18. Which is awesome, except every time I’ve gotten a weird feeling about them. Not sure what’s going on there. I also met a girl who is 23. She told me she has 10 cats! That has to be some kind of record. At first I didn't believe her, but the smell of cat piss really sold me.
 
cats animated GIF

4. Increased dedication to journaling: Apparently no one else cares to know everything that happened to me that day.

5. New motivation to finish old tasks that had fallen by the wayside: I finally found out what happened to Sherlock when he jumped off that roof, who the mother was in How I Met Your Mother, and why everyone has been talking about Breaking Bad. It’s crazy how much you can get done with enough free-time and dedication.

6. Rediscovered old hobbies/skills: Turns out I’m really good at determining if I would be happy dating a girl based solely on: her Facebook profile picture, her senior prom pictures, what level she is on Farmville, and what bands she has liked. Also, I haven't done it yet, but I'm really looking forward to going on first dates again. Like VERY looking forward to it.

7. No more annoying people scratching your back gently yet firmly during church – Because I hated when that happened and it definitely was not the best thing ever that sent me to a barely conscious state of nirvana.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Who Knows?

To set the stage, for the whole week leading up to my trip, I was itching to finish everything and go visit Opera. I had all kinds of plans for the weekend. Grand plans.

Friday night we had a double date with her friend (her plan not mine), Saturday we were going to belatedly celebrate her birthday so I had made reservations at this fancy restaurant she said had always wanted to go to. After that, I had a surprise something-something planned.

As you may remember in my older post, the first night we saw each other after an almost 2 year absence, we went to a church dance. The dance itself was sucky, even if it was still an enjoyable evening together. Opera had said that she wished we could have a “Do-over” dance with good music where we could just dance with each other.

So I had painstakingly made a curated playlist of her favorite songs and songs that had significance for us. And I had called and emailed all kinds of people all over her hometown to get access to a church (the venue of all church dances) and help set it with lights/decorations/etc for this “dance” (btw I hate asking people for favors so it was torture, BUT I DID IT ANYWAY GOSH DANG IT!) Anyways after dinner we would go to the pre-arranged church and fulfill her wish. And it was all a surprise. 

Awesome plan right? Adorable plan right? I thought so.

So things go according to plans at first, I get to her hometown and do my last second preparations for our dance thing while she is finishing work. We go on our double date and it was fun. Plus the guy who was her friend’s date was so weird and awkward that it made me feel all confident and smooth by comparison. 

Then we go back to her place where I am hoping to finally have some one-on-one time with her. But unfortunately there are a ton of loud boisterous people at her house speaking Spanish (I’m more of a Portuguese type of guy), doing magic tricks, and just generally killing my vibe. At like midnight, she finally suggests we just take off and we end up driving up to a parking lot up on the hill overlooking the city. Think prime make out real estate.

We idly talk for a little bit and just when I’m about to start making things happen, she asks me “Why are we dating?”

Now that is an ominous question, but I was oblivious and totally still planning on kissing her face after I answered it. Anyways, I say “because I like you and want to date you and I am guessing you feel similar?......”. But instead of confirming, she stares out the window and says nothing for a while.

And riiiiiiight about there, I FINALLY realized that a sneak attack smack down was in store for me.

Tags: prank water-thrown trash-can-on-head kicked-into pool

So that happened.

After like an hour of each of us talking in spurts, I just wanted to get the out of there. I felt like a caged animal in her car. But unfortunately there was just a slight problem, one hour earlier, the guy I was staying with had texted me saying not to come back or interrupt for the next few hours because he was having “private time” with his girlfriend haha. I of course had responded to him, “Don’t worry I’ll be out late having private time of my own.” Haha I am such an idiot.

Anyways, I eventually convince Opera to just drop me off at the guy’s place. Where I dutifully sat outside for over an hour waiting for the guy to finish making out (no sense in ruining both of our nights) on the couch I was to sleep on that night haha (its all so funny in hindsight). That same night I purchased the first plane ticket home for the next morning, canceled all the stupid (yet adorable) plans I had made, and flew back home. Within 24 hours, I was back to where I started.

So what happened?

I don’t really know. Does anyone really know why someone breaks up with them or why their relationship reached that point?

Oh sure, the person breaking up with you might give you reasons. Sometimes they might even believe those reasons. It might be 100% clear to them, or maybe they don’t really understand it themselves. Maybe they will come up with reasons that assuage their own feelings. Maybe reasons that assuage your feelings.

Of course, as the person being broken up with, you will think of your own reasons, no matter what the other person tells you. Likely alternating between blaming yourself, the other person, and the other person’s stupid cat who you never got along with (ITS ALL YOUR FAULT MR. MITTENS!).

So I have all kinds of explanations furnished by her and me, but again, I honestly don’t know.

Two things I do know and one thing I suspect: I do know this whole situation sucks. I do know that have no ill feelings toward Opera. And finally I suspect and hope that this is all for the better (even if in the moment it still sucks and I don’t understand it).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some mopping to do.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Long Distance Mitigation Plan

So I came up with a plan. Every other week I fly to Opera or fly her to me (luckily I’m not poor, which is nice). That way we would see each other relatively often and hopefully ease the pain of long distance as much as possible.

We’ve been doing that and I think it’s working. So far I’ve just been flying back and forth every other weekend, although I bought a ticket for her to come visit me in a few weeks. This plan has definitely made my weekends pretty crazy, which has cut into my blogging time. Sorry.

But not sorry, because it has been awesome to hang out with Opera on the weekends and finally be in a relationship again. I think I have thoroughly won over her whole family: her parents, her siblings, her sibling’s spouses, her nieces and nephews, her crazy uncle (we all have one), her cat (even though I’m allergic and secretly hate Mr. Mittens and hope he chokes on a hairball and dies). 

You should all try relationships, they are awesome and I highly recommend it. Or at least the first few months seem to be pretty good haha. And if the blog suffers a little bit, so be it. I am plotting ways for this long distance relationship to just become a normal distance relationship, but that is still months away. Until then I’m content with the current setup.


Recently, I was talking with my colleague about it and she posited that it is a lot harder for non-mormons like herself to have long distance relationships because non-mormons actually sleep together while I’m not having sex with Opera. To which I responded, "yeah, well at least you sometimes get to do it."

burn animated GIF

Okay, it wasn't really a burn. But I just felt like this post could use a gif. Sue me.