Well, that earwax thing was weird. Merry...Christmas?
Also how did her cohort of Asian friends (presuming she has those) respond to your relationship early on?
Those of you may have remembered my diaries from early about my Korean girlfriend. For those if you who drink like fishes (Rodriguez Era? What's that? I just remember drinking all the tequila on Saturdays…) or weren't around back then, allow me to explain.
It's a nice peaceful evening at home. I'm drinking a beer and doing laundry. So I'm wearing some stained undershirt and whatever else happens to be clean (not much) when I hear a knock on my door. I open the door to find three generations of Koreans standing there.
These three generations of Koreans represent my girlfriend's (now wife's) younger sister through grandparents. They're fairly confused as when she gave them her address she neglected to mention the whole live in white boyfriend thing.
We'd assumed we were safe from surprise visits since her parents didn't really like America that much (they had visited Michigan in February once when it was something like -17 and expressed a desire never to come back, understandable). So when we moved in we figured we were safe from visits. Even more so the "Let's show up unannounced and surprise our daughter for her birthday" kind of visits.
So I met my future in laws while wearing a torn up undershirt, holding a beer bottle, and trying to keep a pair of Alaskan malamutes from rushing out the door and slobbering all over them. All while explaining to them that yes they did have the right address and their daughter does live here too. My introduction to the extended family was when my wife's little sister took a photo of me on her camera photo in said condition and posted it on her social networking profile. For bonus points of course my future spouse is at the office, so I'm flying solo.
Back in the day I had some posts up about meeting the family, showing them around Ann Arbor and the like. Sadly I got a little to free with the personal information and some of her students (who also read this blog) put 2 and 2 together and got her name. So they're gone, however she no longer teaches so I figured I can end the saga for those who care.
All that said, lets do a story
The Genesis of our relationship and CRex being rather ungracious in victory:
So I met my future wife when she was my GSI (I'd play Hot for the Teacher, but Special K stole all my glam rock CDs, you'll hear it at the Air Force game though). At the end of class I Facebook friended her and she accepted. I knew she'd all be Ann Arbor for the summer, but that was all I had to go on. I Facebook stalked the hell out of her profile of course, but all her posts were in Korea and back then I had to rely on Google translate. I was wrestling though with when I should ask her out. Right after class would be creepy, but if I waited too long…
My best in was once before class I'd be talking about car racing with a fellow student, she overheard, and she expressed interest in American cars and how fast they are. So the first week of June the car club I was in was renting an oval track and letting members run laps. With nothing better I sent her an email asking if she wanted to come and see some American cars.
For two days she didn't reply and I alternated between compulsively hitting the "refresh email" button my phone and straight tequila. After work it was all "tap, tap, Oh god I messed this up, I should have asked her to the art museum, aaaaaaahhhh, shot, shot, tap, tap…". Then the "Sure, I'd love to" email came. I spent the rest of the week compulsively washing and detailing my GTO. To the point of running a 100 feet of extension cord and a work light outside so I could wax my brake calipers at 1 AM. Ah the things we do for love. As a side note, only the painted outside of the calipers. Don't wax the pad or the rotor, it's a bad idea.
Then I walk out on Saturday morning to pick her up and find my neighbor's cat on my roof. The only reason I didn't walk back inside, get my rifle, and send that cat to great litter box in the sky was because I didn't have time to clean both paw prints and blood off the car before I picked her up. That was literally my thought process "I'm going to fucking kill you, no wait that would make a mess…". No ethnical dilemma on animal cruelty or firing a weapon inside city limits. Had I walked out twenty minutes early that thing would have eaten a 3 round burst from an AR-10. For the record/animal rights, now that we're married I've let my grudge against the cat go. Although I don't exactly rush to call the dogs off when they chase it.
I also spent the first half of the date trying to covertly sniff my hands and make sure they didn't smell like liquid wax.
We hit the track and everything is great. The only real downside to the day is my car is a manual and she can't drive a manual, so she was reduced to riding shotgun on the track. Until my Uncle walked over, handed her the keys to his two month old Corvette (which was automatic, I have no idea why you buy an automatic Corvette, but I'm thankful he did) and tells her to take it for a spin.
As my uncle said while she was doing laps "Look CRex I'm getting old and I might need a spare kidney or something soon. You'll be my first call and after today you better say yes." About three minutes after he said that she skids out and does a 180 on the track. So I guess I do owe him an internal organ of his choice (and some new tires).
I later found out she had been seeing a Korean guy for a few months before I asked her out. She'd actually been trying to come up with a polite way to decline, when…
She goes out for drinks at Ashley's with a group and wears a nice new summer skirt she bought. After they leave her boyfriend pulls her aside and chews her out for wearing such a short cut skirt and says he doesn't want his girlfriend looking like a sex worker. They fight, she goes home, and decides to take me up on my offer.
That same skirt was worn out when she came to the track. I was smart enough to compliment her on how fashionable it was. She officially dumped him about an hour after I dropped her off at her apartment. He would attempt to win her back, but he'd done a good job of burning his bridges already.
This also become relevant years later when I walk into the living room and say:
"Honey, how would you say prick in Korean?"
"Why would you need to know that?"
"I'm arguing with this guy online and I want to say he's a prick" (yes that was the best cover story I could come up with on short notice)
"Oh here, just use this…"
So I walk back in the other room, grab a wedding invitation and in Korean write out "Thanks for being a prick", sign it, draw a hand extending its middle finger next to my name, toss in our engagement photo and mail it. Closure bitches.
He did not attend.
Is not actually all that fun at times. For example lets say your significant other was taught English by someone that neglected to cover indefinites or the differences between past perfective and past imperfective. All kinds of openings for misunderstanding. Somewhere in Korea is a white dude who taught at her school and I kind of want to beat him with a hockey stick while screaming "There is a difference between I could care less and I couldn't care less". I'm weird like that.
Our best conversation though was when we at a Korean restaurant.
Her: I'll ask the server for a knife and fork.
Me: No I got this, I'm fine with chopsticks.
Her: No, no, let me ask.
Me: Seriously, it's fine. I'm getting the hang of this.
Her: You're so bad that all the Asians in the restaurant are staring at you, please use a knife and fork. It's so embarrassing to be seen with you.
She doesn't really do indirect hints that often.
The other weird thing East Asians do is clean each others ears. I think its trendiest in Japan, but it isn't really uncommon anywhere in East Asia. East Asians have really hard and flakey ear wax that you can scrap out, as opposed to the soft and gummy stuff most Caucasians have. So you take something that is basically a smaller chopstick and scrap the ear wax out. It's a bonding thing like giving each other a back massage. Or in Japan (Japan being Japan of course) you go to a salon and lay your head in a lap of a high school aged girl and have her clean it out.
I remain convinced this is a plot by Asian female kind. What they do is wait until you're laying there on the couch. You're helpless and they have a metal or wooden spike in your head, inches away from your brain. Then suddenly they have an announcement to make or a favor to ask. You damn well better agree if you love your ear drum at all.
The whole ear wax thiong sets up the trip to Mongolia, which I was hoping to get done but this Christmas season has been extra busy. So perhaps that will be pushed off until the offseason. My apologies. I normally try to stick around in these threads and answer questions, but I have a bunch of Xmas related stuff to do. So feel free to post a question and then check back in a day or two after I've had time to run down the thread and add replies.
Well, that earwax thing was weird. Merry...Christmas?
Also how did her cohort of Asian friends (presuming she has those) respond to your relationship early on?
I get along with all her female friends and a subset of her more Americanized male friends. I still get a lot of "You're stilling our womenz" from the traditional ones.
This is a vast over generalization, but the Korean guys on campus tend to break down into two groups. Guys whose parents groomed them to come to America for a higher education at some point (like sending them over to America for summer camps during their K-12 years) and guys who are over here for the piece paper and then moving the hell back to Seoul ASAP. Guys from the first group tend to be cool with mixed race and see no issues (a bunch of them chase white girls anyways), guys from the second group are less pleasant normally.
CRex - This is a great unexpected Christmas present. I wondered if their would be an epilogue to your previous posts.
Looking forward to more.
I've read about the Asian earwax tradition before but it was in an Orson Scott Card novel and I assumed it to be fiction. Anyway great post.... not the usual MGoBlog fare but interesting nonetheless. I definitely appreciate your struggles and triumphs with interracial dating. This country is not as diverse and open-minded as many assume it to be. Hope to hear more...
My question is about the age difference. How much older than you is she, and did that make things hard?
"...did that make things hard?" Now what kind of a question is that?
I wish I had read your story last night. We live in an area with a fair number of Koreans and Korean restaurants, one of which my family attended for our Christmas Eve dinner. Your story made me smile. Merry Christmas.
Did she ever learn to drive a stick?
uber learn to drive a stick"?
Now, what kind of question is that?
She has 5 years on me, that did make things tricky. The good thing is that a lot of her Asian friends have difficultly pegging my age down. So they think I'm a year or two younger than her (which is weird but no big deal). Her parents hate the fact I'm paler than her and make her look tan (pale skin is a sign of beauty for most East Asian girls) so they've yet to make it to the bitching about my age stage. Mostly her parents seem to care about age in the sense of "You've had time to start your career and get rich so you can support our daughter". I'm decently along in my career and have a savings account, so that's cool with them.
She can drive stick. The GTO is actually "her" car most of the time these days. I did have to replace the clutch on it though after teaching her.
dratted double post.
I'm glad you're back posting these stories haha. I went back to find them a few months ago for my friend who is now dating a Japanese girl (mainly the little sister part facebooking part) and couldn't find them.
Keep them coming. Epic wedding invite, by the way.
Without going over all the "lost" stories we never got because of lockdown, what I wondered was-
Lil Sis must be like 18 now...is she a holy terror for the parents, running wild? Because in the screenplay that is your life, you two may create the drama, but sis was the comic relief.
I really should repost them with some strategic edits in the hall of fame. I mean they got copied over a few places so they're out there if you spend enough time on Google. I know they're somewhere on my old laptop, but I might have to hit you up.
Little Sister is hanging with us this summer and starts college at Yonsei in the fall. I'm supposed to teach her to drive then (hooray). I gave her a copy of Skyrim for Christmas which has bought her parents some respite, although I hear they need a crowbar to get her away from the PS3 now. She got absolutely loaded at the bar we rented out after the wedding and face planted in a table.
I was orginially going to give her an air rifle, but man does Korea have strict gun control laws...
Get kinda obsessive about finding the answers to things. Had a hard copy on the bottom of some papers on my computer desk (made a printout for some Asian/Korean friends), and at the top is where I copied and emailed it to myself to print. So it's probably in the deep recesses of my umich account. So if for some reason it's lost to you, let the mods know, and they can give you my email. I'm not all that secret about my ID. Besides, should have taken the chance and shook your hand at the game, just for the amusement you've give me (and us all). So if you want a copy to repost, or even just for your own memories (if you don't find it), let me know. I didn't save the posts, because some of those diaries were epic, and had tons of responses, and didn't want to kill a redwood. Not sure outsiders would get MGoBlog anyway, and it'd overwhelm them. Though I do miss seeing those...some were truly great responses.
There's a diary in your summer. Your story was an Asian soap opera. Her's was a whacky sitcom. And now she's older when she says or does inappropriate things, it'll be at least one level less squirmy. Just don't teach her to drive the GTO. Not sure it'd be worse for the transmission, or your heart if she's as gung ho with driving as shooting and everything else.
There was recently some local Groupon for a NASCAR driving experience. My wife grabbed three of them and we're taking Lil Sister when she shows up. So I figure that should let her embrace her need for speed. I just pity the driving instructor that gets strapped in next to her, because she clearly embraces the thought process of "Hold the pedal down until you see God and then hold it for three seconds more".
I'll dig around later this month (the wife is off at job talks so I get free time at least) and see about editing copies in for the user HoF or contact you. Thanks man!
Let me know if you didn't save your draft, pre-posting copies of your original saga and are regretting deleting it for personal memories. I'm pretty sure I've got a cut and paste I sent to my wife in an email, or one master hardcopy somewhere that I could scan from when I was showing my Asian friends.
And a lot of great dates start or end smelling like liquid wax.
Really looking forward to more adventures from CRex. Thanks for coming back to this when you could!
Haha, I can confirm the Asian earwax tradition! I actually had no idea it was a thing until I read this post, but my mom is from S. Korea and she would clean out my ears when I was little . I would put my head in her lap and she used a bobby pin (the semicircle end to scoop out my ear wax)
You can't write too much for me. I'm really hoping you've spent time in Korea and can write about your experiences there.
of the ear wax cleaning utensils (from Japan, of course) by simply identifying what they were for. I probably still have them in their original package somewhere...
Have not had that treatment, but have had the "ear candle" treatment (which Straight Dope debunked) from my girlfriend's (now wife's) family.
Waxy ears bring out weird behaviors
I traveled on ANA (All Nippon Airways) business class for work, and their travel gift was a sterling silver ear scooper. I still haven't tried it out.
I consider myself a reasonably intelligent human being with a decent grasp of world culture, but I find it amazing that I have to come to a Michigan sports blog to learn about the cultural aspects of Koreans. Very interesting, thanks for sharing.
Together a long while. You don't need to go to a 'salon' to get your ears cleaned - happens at home. Lived in Tokyo 10 years, often saw the little wooden ear cleaners aroud people's houses. Once almost used one to dole out green tea powder.
Wife is seriously addicted to the small stick in the head, had it once, bizarre. Some things you never get used to. Our kids however are subjected to the treatment more than once a week.
Strange place east Asia, as strange to us as this place is to them I suppose.
Great diary, thanks, bringing back memories.
How has this not yet in the User-curated MGoHOF? Please, someone with appropriate standing/abilities, rectify this oversight in short order.
CREX's original series of posts on meeting the parents we're immediately put into the hall of fame. This one will be there soon.
I have been waiting for this story to continue for over a year! Thanks CREX... This story is one of the better Christmas gifts I've received this year
Deleted out of the HoF at his request?
You are a very good writer and storyteller.
I always had serious hots for Asian women but never had the guts to ask any out. They just seemed too exotic to be in my league.
I am glad I didn't now. I have the best wife a man could ask for and she is tall, blonde, and Dutch. Funny how things work out.
You'd actually be surprised. If you're a typical white guy the odds are the ones you consider to be attractive are the ones traditional East Asians consider to be ugly. If you read any forum like Huaren.us (which is for Chinese in North America) a weekly topic is "How come the white folk always ask the ugly Chinese girls out".
I know a number of Asian girls who realized "Hey Asian guys are meh on me, but white guys will kill for a date with me" and now date solely white guys. Any girl who has likely been in America for a few years (give them time to get over the shock of how weird us white folk are) is likely receptive.
The thing to keep in mind is traditional Asian culture has the concept of pre-date. This can run for up to a year (sometimes longer) and involves things like group dates and stuff I consider "high school stuff". So if the girl turns your offer for dinner down, but does invite you bowling with her friends, don't despair. That means you're in on the pre-date level. Give it some time and you can get to dating level.
(Or just ask an American born one out and save yourself like six million headaches.)
Tells us more about the GTO (from a former GT-350 owner)! Also, you'll trade internal organs for a simple 180 spin? Let's do business! =D And, yeah, has your wife learned to operate a manual tranmission yet? With all the torque in that GTO, it should be pretty simple, for both of you.
It was one of the new era GTOs (the rebranded Holdens). It was mostly stock 6.0 LS2, but I have the Harrop supercharger on it (the one they sold as a factory option in the UK) and that gives it 507 HP and 500 LB/FT of torque. Someday (likely never) when I have the money I need to overhaul the entire transmission and do things like shorter gear linkages. She moves like a hellbeast, but is heavy on the turns and pure terror to drive in the snow (even with snow tires).
She also gets a lot of dirty looks and angry revs from people with classic GTOs. I rev back and let hear the supercharger and that tends to be that. It's a good car, the styling is just lightyears from what a GTO is supposed to look like.
that's a strange combination...
I once engaged in sexual intercourse with a Southern girl who drove a Kia.
Meanwhile in Korea, I've lived here long enough to see two (2!) victories over Ohio, learn the language and procreate. All CRex's points are belong to my son.
I'm Korean. My mom always cleaned out my and my sister's ears when we were little. My wife cleans out our kids' ears, too. These days, I do my own ears =P
edit: my younger daughter a couple years ago, just because
Seriously cute, even without the Michigan T.
But she must have Korean in her family history somewhere. Same story with the ear cleaning thing. It's almost pathological with her.
>> Hot for the Teacher,
Not quite correct - the song is "Hot For Teacher". And now I have Van Halen's "1984" album playing in my head. Yes, the whole thing. Not all the songs at once, of course. Just rotating through each song at a time...