OT: CRex-Part 3

Submitted by CRex on March 29th, 2010 at 11:13 AM

History:  This was restored in June 2012.  They were pulled down for awhile because some of my girlfriend (now wife's) students were reading these and figured out who she was.  Now that she is no longer teaches here, they return.  If you're reading this post 2012 be sure to go posbang M-Wolverine for having a copy of these for me to restore.  

So you might be asking yourself, why the hell is this guy posting this big
long wall of text? If you are, I advise you read Part
1<http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/ot-awkwardly-met-future-laws>and if you
make it through that, Part
2 <http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/ot-korean-facebook-stalking>, then read the
below. They're long, you've been warned.

If you're just here to see Part 3, it's below. Enjoy my pain.

Sorry for not posting any updates, I’ve been a bit busy. The worst/weirdest
thing over the past few days must have been the “exotic food” talk my
girlfriend got on Thursday, at least for her. She’d gone out to walk the
dogs, mostly an excuse to get outside and escape everyone. I was off at work
and her grandparents were checking out our apartment. Her maternal
grandfather had asked her point blank “Why is there only one bed in here?
You’re not married.” Anyway her mom decided to come along on the walk. As
they’re walking her mom launches into this really tortured metaphor, which
I’ll paraphrase:

“You know honey, it’s normal to be attracted to exotic things. Sometimes
when I want something exotic I’ll get some Japanese food or some Mexican
food because it is different and exotic, but at the end of the day I find
eating a nice Korean meal is more pleasant and easier on the stomach.”

The moral to the story is, date within your own race, it’s easier on the
stomach.

Over the past few days we’ve hit up Saigon Garden, Blue Karaoke (since
everything there is in Korean) and the Taste of Taiwan Night Market over in
the East Hall on Friday. If you didn’t go on Friday, you missed a great
event. Five dollars for dinner, three snack tables, a dessert table and
skill games. I stole the show in the chopsticks challenge. You had to move
metal marbles with your chopsticks and I pretty much destroyed all comers,
including the gf’s father. He got 4 marbles, I got 11. Finished the night
off at Momo Tea playing Go Stop, a traditional Korean card game. Her
grandmother dominated all comers in that.

Things went well, on Thursday it was dinner and karaoke with some Korean
friends, including a married couple that teaches here. They kept the
conversation focused on all the various Korean cultural things that go down
around here. Ranging from the grocery stores to the film and lecture series
that Center for Korean Studies runs. Sadly the Korean Students Association
event for this month is bowling (I assume traditional Korean bowling in
Ypsi, complete with rednecks one lane over drinking Bud Light and watching
NASCAR, just like in Seoul), but the Taste of Taiwan thing made a pretty
good substitute. To be fair, she’s not active in KSA (we neglected to tell
her parents that), so I have no idea what their events are like.

The biggest drama point on Thursday / Friday was the grandfathers. They were
amusing themselves by testing my knowledge of the Korean language. One of
them would ask me a question, using weird syntax and big words and then as I
was figuring out what he said, the other one would ask me something. Then
they’d stare at me like I was an idiot while I trigged to figure what just
got said. I normally had the second speaker to repeat what he said. After
this did this a few times my gf got up in their faces and called them out
for doing it. She went on a little rant about how their poor manners
reflected poorly on her. She even managed to sneak in a little comment about
how my family never tested her knowledge of English and it embarrasses her
that her family has worse manners than mine. I thought things were about to
go nuclear at that point, but her grandparents backed down. They didn’t
apologize, but they toned it down and most importantly they backed down and
didn’t argue with her. In private her father later apologized to me and said
he’d speak to them about it as well.

After doing some Asian culture on Thursday and Friday, we moved over to
embrace some American culture, namely hockey. Saturday during the day was
introducing them to my parents, everyone walking on eggshells a bit type of
thing. Then we sat her family down and called up the DVRed Wings vs Wild
game and started to cover the basic concepts of hockey. We both play and her
parents had seen our six million sticks (give or take a few million)
littering the apartment. They were impressed by the speed of the game and
shocked by the hits. Right after a rather vicious one her mother looks over
at my gf and goes “You play that sport?!!?” We tried to explain there is a
major difference between our caliber of play and the caliber of the Red
Wings, but everyone seemed shocked my gf played and hadn’t been snapped in
half. My mother also didn’t help:

My mom: “I know, really. Everyime I see my son play I’m worried he’s going
to get hurt. You know he’s hurt his knee four times in seven years.”
Me: *glares at my mom, clears throat*
My mom: “He had to wear a brace one time and….”
Me: I’m going to the kitchen for a drink, anyone need a refill? *glares at
mom, my dad elbows her while everyone is looking at me*

*Bemidji State*
Things started to get interesting during the Bemidji State game. Started off
pretty tame, everyone in the living room, with some extra chairs dragged in,
a bunch of snacks ranging from Gimbap to Doritos. Gimbap is basically Korean
sushi, although the contents of it are normally cooked (Gim = dried seaweed,
Bap = steamed white rice, just add some pickled radish, seasoned beef, crab,
etc and you’re in business). Her family was impressed when I actually made
some all by myself.

The bad was the tequila came out. I’m a tequila whore, I have an entire
cupboard of tequilas (I love blue agave tequila the most, but they’re all
good). I actually used to have one cupboard for tequila and one cupboard for
non-tequila liquor. More recently the overflow from the tequila cupboard has
been invading the other liquor cupboard. I should build a little Alamo and
put the vodka and whiskey in it. So we mixed up some margaritas and figured
it might do well enough for everyone to have a mixed drink, just one mind
you, enough to be a bit of a social lubricant.

Well my girlfriend is kind of stressed out right now. I worked a full day on
Thursday and a half day on Friday, so she was alone in the shark tank with
the parents for those time periods and getting badgered. She’s running short
on sleep and just generally a little ball of nerves right now. On her way
into the kitchen to grab some more food, a soda, whatever I guess she was
also taking pulls off the fifth of tequila to calm down. By pulls I mean she
killed about a half a fifth of tequila in one and a half periods of hockey,
plus two margaritas.

Midway through the second period she comes back out from the kitchen, now
seating it tight, she was kind of squished in her mom and sister on one of
the couches before she got up. I had a crappy little Ikea chair all to
myself for most of the game. She walks over and plops down in my lap, puts
her arms around my neck and buries her face in my chest, since she tends to
get rather cuddly when drunk.

Now there is just silence in the room for a moment. Everyone is looking at
us, my parents quickly look away and over at the TV, although you can see my
dad’s expression going “Oh shit.” Lil Sis is raising up her camera phone,
but her mother swats it down. I’m looking at her like “Are you trying to get
me killed?”. She’s my girlfriend, so I can’t exactly shove her out of my lap
and be like “Go sit with your mom”, but her entire family is just staring at
us. Aside from hugging each other when we met after work, this is the most
PDA they’ve seen between us.

Now my girlfriend kind of lifts her head up, gives me a peck on the cheek
and goes “You’re kind of stiff, do you want a back massage later?” She then
grabs my left arm and pulls it around her shoulders, closes her eyes and
starts to drift off. She’s pretty out of it by this point. I figure “Well
it’s not like they can unsee this, full speed ahead.” So I spend the rest of
the Bemidji game with her using me as a pillow. She’s like a little angel
when she sleeps, a little angel that started drooling on my shirt with 8
minutes to go in the third. She slept through a lot of it, something she’d
normally never do during a Michigan sporting event, but like I said she
hasn’t been getting much sleep recently. On Wednesday night we were up to 4
am. I think she actually faked falling asleep because she felt guilty since
I wouldn’t go sleep as long she was up and I had work the next day. Once I
dropped off I think she got up and went out for a run with the dogs at like
5 am. Then came home, crashed and was up to see me out the door at 7 am and
then to hang out with her family.

So after the Bemidji game, her family said their goodnights and got out of
their rather quickly. I think they just had no idea how to act to their
daughter behaving that way, drunk in their presence and rather direct in
contact with me. It’s changed and PDA is more common in urban Korea now, but
with the parent’s and grandparent’s generations, you didn’t even hold the
hand of your wife in public.

*The Dong Punch of Dong Punches*
Since the weather on Sunday was so terrible. We were restricted to indoor
activities, we had a nice long conversation about my dad’s car. Her family
was impressed by it and seemed to take it as a positive sign of my family’s
economic standing. So my dad and her dad talked cars and got to know each
other. We also prepped for the Miami of Ohio game in style. My dad brought
over a big party tray of wings, which were a hit with everyone. I made up
nachos, got a fire going and figured we’d do this in style. My girlfriend
spent the entire game hanging out with me (or on me). At one point she was
sitting my lap and feeding me a wing, while giving her parents a look
basically daring them to say something. When I needed a beer she’d get up
and grab it for me (since she was on my lap she had to move anyway). I’m
thinking “You know, you guys are really welcome to visit whenever you want.
Hell, you guys should come out for all the football games next year.”

Then came the Great Dong Punch of 2010, the one where Angry Michigan Hating
God awoke from his torpor and violated me in ways I did not know I could
still be violated. First overtime, 17:23. We should have been on the phone
buying tickets at that point, but instead Angry Michigan Hating God bent
over the largest alumni base in the world and had his way with us. “Oh I
missed a spot after The Horror? You mean after making you stand through 3-9
and 5-7 in the student section I can still inflict further trauma upon you?
Here, let me take care of that.”

There was some good from this, my gf was worked up by now, we both were
amped up. There was that early fluke in the 3rd, where the Miami shot
bounced off the post and we’d been pumped ever since then. She was in my
lap, we threw our arms around each other, I stood up, we’re both cheering,
we kiss and as I’m looking past her at the TV…

I SEE THE FUCKING REF WAVING IT OFF!!!!!!!!!! *RAAAAAAGEEEEE*

She’s out of my arms now, unloading her multilingual swearing capacity at
the TV, I’m working through my mastery of English obscenities. Her family is
staring at us as if we’ve both gone insane, my mother is also yelling at the
TV. Okay the play is under review, we calm down, they show the replays. Puck
in the net, great, here we come……what the hell, whistle? What kind of shit
is this?

Her dad is getting into this. He’s gotten the basics of hockey, puck in the
net equals a goal. Look you dumbass refs, even the guy who just learned the
rules last night get this. Put the point up and send us to Detroit. But as
we all know, Michigan Hating God wins in the end.

There is a silver lining though. I caught just the tail end of the
conversation about us, it was between her father and his father. They’d gone
outside to smoke and were discussing how passionate her daughter is about
all this, how she never acted like this in Korea. They might not be thrilled
by it, but it sounded like they also understood in some ways she was too
Americanized to just happily throw it all away, move back to Seoul and go
the traditional route. Given the fact she stood up to her grandparents and
some of the things like that, her dad seems to feel this is an actual
relationship, not just her doing a white guy for the hell of it.

I also found out her paternal grandfather thinks I’m not a real man, because
I let her boss me around and a real man wouldn’t take that kind of shit. You
never hear good stuff about yourself when you eavesdrop. Her dad though did
stand up for me a bit and say he didn’t think I had a weak spine, just that
I “spoiled” her. All I can say to that is, she freaking sat in my laptop and
fed me wings for the entire hockey game, she even deboned them for me first..
Who exactly is spoiling who here?
The other good news is my parents have offered to stay in town for awhile,
so while I’m at work they’ll hang out with the gf and her family and give
her a bit of break from any more of those “easier on the stomach” lectures.
Her mother definitely does not approve of me so far.

We’re still setting up stuff for this week, so I don’t know when I’ll have
time to post next, but it’s likely going to be hitting up some of the Asian
things in this area and showing that their daughter isn’t rejecting her
parents’ culture, so much as becoming multicultural and she’ll have plenty
of exposure to Korean culture even if she lives over here. I think she is
planning to crash some Korean Studies classes this week, so if you’re in one
and a family of Koreans walks in, feel free to flirt up the little sister.
When she posts photos of you on Cyworld I’ll let you know how the voting
goes.

In some ways we’ve made some progress, her standing up to her parents, me
showing I’m at least somewhat up on Korean culture and things like that. The
downside is her parents are used to her doing what they say. When she goes
back to Seoul they impose a curfew on her (she is in her late 20s), tell her
which friends she can hang out with and things like that. That’s always been
how things worked in Seoul, she lived with her parents and did what they
said. Over here, she’s starting to dig into her heels. It’s kind of like she
had dual personalities, a standard college student one when in Ann Arbor and
more of a child one where she obeyed her parents when in Seoul. Her parents
are just meeting this other her for the first time in. After Bemidji when I
mentioned that PDA might have been a bit of a shock to her parents, she went
off on how she’ll do whatever she wants with her boyfriend in our apartment,
which likely prompted the sitting in my lap on Sunday. So it’s a good sign
for me, but we’ll see how it plays out when she tells her parents get lost
when they try to her what to do.

This is getting long, like pushing 4 pages in Word, so I'm going to end it
here. I have some background drama about what prompted the parents visit and
some erroneous assumptions they made and I'll get that in Part 4.

Comments

M-Wolverine

March 29th, 2010 at 12:01 PM ^

I could handle the next update right after the Final Four next week. To cheer me up again.

I fear that this will not end well.

(The Final Four, not your relationship drama. She seems like a keeper. So don't F it up, dude).

CRex

March 29th, 2010 at 12:18 PM ^

It used to be C-Rex way back in my high school days, but after I came to Michigan people started taking it like CRex when they saw it online (it was my Counterstrike handle back in the day). So kids on voice chat would say "CRex", so you can take whichever way makes your life easier.

NYC Fan

March 29th, 2010 at 12:37 PM ^

So I was on a first date with a Korean this past weekend and your story came up. She was able to relate with what was being said and thought the situation was hilarious. She is from Seoul and moved here about 2 years ago. All in all it was great to be able to use your life story in conversation that may have otherwise been an uncomfortable topic to discuss (I grew up in Livonia and had little interaction with other cultures my whole life)

I would start my own series of posts to see where things go, but you have set the bar to high!

CRex

March 29th, 2010 at 12:44 PM ^

Best of luck with her ma and glad I could help out. I assume you got a second date and all is well?

For what is worth:

1. Any Asian fetish porn you own, feed it through a woodchipper or store it a friend's. I had a friend with the yellow fever who had a nice little DVD selection of Asian porn, which a Chinese girl found on their third date when he brought her home. Boom, full stop, relationship over.

2. If you go out drinking, always pour for her and let her pour for you. If have to pour your own tea from the pot, beer from the pitcher or whatever you get liked cursed to be single or something. I'm a little hazy on it, all I know if I'm not allowed to pour my own beer anymore.

3. 100 day anniversaries are important. My girlfriend doesn't do like "6 months, 12 months, etc." Our stuff in hundred day increments. Do something nice for the first 100 days, 200 days and 300 days. You can slack off after that (of course women still love flowers), but for some of the big factor of 10 anniversaries, like 1000, etc, do something.

NYC Fan

March 29th, 2010 at 12:52 PM ^

Yes, moving to NYC a year ago was quite an experience, but I really am glad I made the move.

CRex, I haven't called her back about a second date yet, but I am pretty sure it's going to happen. Thanks for the background on the pouring of drinks and allotment of days for anniversaries, both actions are noted.

CRex

March 29th, 2010 at 1:04 PM ^

There is a totally sweet mandu bar in K-Town, simple called Mandoo Bar. The seafood mandu was amazing when I was there. They're also cool with mixed race couples, I've been to some places where they've been dicks to me, but the staff there was friendly to everyone.

NYC Fan

March 29th, 2010 at 2:44 PM ^

So when I had to plan the first date I was thinking of K-town, but then I thought, is that to stereotypical?

Is your current gf the first Asian that you have dated?

CRex

March 29th, 2010 at 3:08 PM ^

She is my first Asian girlfriend. In general I've found listening to her and her friends talk it can be a bit of a fine line. If you known too much about Asian culture, just go to Asian restaurants, etc you run the risk of coming off as one of those creepy guys with the 'yellow fever' that targets only Asian women. That will scare them off. I've heard the girls talk about dumping guys because they get a feeling they have the yellow fever.

On the other hand it looks good to have some interest in her culture, understanding her and willingness to go eat comfort foods that remind her of home. I got points for my willingness to learn the language and watch Korean movies with her. I might not bust K-Town out on the first couple of dates, although it's likely fine to express a willingness to try Korean food but let her pick the place / guide you. Or be like "That weird ginger kid on MGoBlog mentioned his girlfriend loves the Mandoo Bar in K-Town, do you think it is good?" She'll either agree or else say "No it sucks, place X is better." Set up dinner at the appropriate place.

Since she moved over here there might be elements of her culture she choses to leave behind, and elements she wants to keep.

topgun161

March 29th, 2010 at 1:53 PM ^

A few years ago I heard some stats claiming Livonia to be the whitest city in America over 100k and Detroit was the second blackest (behind Gary Indiana). What I find amazing though, is that 2 mile wide Redford is all that seperates them. That's like going from Central Campus to North Campus...

TTUwolverine

March 29th, 2010 at 3:21 PM ^

I was also on a date this weekend, and although it was not with a Korean it was with a PhD student in psychology who is doing research on how to take into account different cultural backgrounds when practicing therapy. She was very intrigued as well. CRex, you are the gift that keeps on giving.

Wolverine96

March 29th, 2010 at 12:32 PM ^

How long are the future Mrs CRex's parents staying?? I know they travelled 10,000 miles but a two week stay is ridiculous.

It makes for some great stories though.

Wolverine96

March 29th, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

This could just be a diabolocial plot to keep the MGoBlog community focused on Korean-American international relations, while CRex and his crew attempt to steal $140 Billion in Gold Bullion from the Bank of Ann Arbor.

I'm not sure but I think I may have seen that movie before.

Plegerize

March 29th, 2010 at 1:02 PM ^

This is Gold! Keep up with the updates. This might be eligible for an MgoBlog Board Award at the end of the year. I have never been so enthused for the next part of a story since I read "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" haha

Ernis

March 29th, 2010 at 1:08 PM ^

It’s kind of like she had dual personalities, a standard college student one when in Ann Arbor and more of a child one where she obeyed her parents when in Seoul.

Interesting, as I am sure her parents' understanding would be that it is child-like to just do as you please without regard to duty, honor, respect, tradition, and so on.

Best of luck to you both in navigating this maelstrom.

Dark Blue

March 29th, 2010 at 1:24 PM ^

CRex, Thank you. After the mother of dong punches descended on us last night, this almost makes it all OK. I've laughed so hard reading about your escapades, I can't wait for the next one.

Feat of Clay

March 29th, 2010 at 2:00 PM ^

I told the outlines of your story to my co-worker, who grew up in South Korea but chooses to live here for a whole bunch of reasons (including many you mentioned were factors for your girlfriend).

The sympathetic look on her face was something to see.

Sgt. Wolverine

March 29th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

IT GETS BETTER!

I laughed a lot, but I think I laughed hardest at your mom's recounting of all your hockey injuries.

Is it time for part 4 yet? Is it time for part 4 yet? Is it time for part for yet?

CursedWolverine

March 29th, 2010 at 5:44 PM ^

You are a great story teller and this sounds almost scripted with every Asain family member stereotype. The traditional grandfather, the intense mom, the techno-wiz rebellious teen. Too good! Looking forward to the next one to be sure.

Sambojangles

April 1st, 2010 at 1:43 PM ^

When someone decides to make MGoBlog: The Movie, this needs to be a special feature on the DVD. Can we take some artistic liberties with casting, and make Ken Jeong the father?

Seth

April 1st, 2010 at 2:30 PM ^

Hang in there, man. You've reached the montage part of the story where you are doing Korean activities and winning over the family.

Next there will be a major twist, like your girlfriend and her sister will have a heart to heart about her new American self, and how to incorporate the two cultures into one life, but the kid sister will ultimately be jealous that her screw-up, Americanized sister is actually well-adjusted and successful and the family is respecting her again, so the kid sister will run off and you'll lead a massive man hunt for her because her family is paralyzed by the idea of her ending up coked out in some American coked-out place that Koreans imagine their daughters getting coked-out in (like the 8 ball?)

The craziness of the place you finally catch up to her depends on who's making the movie (if it's the guys who made Juno it'll be a like some freshman dorm room; if it's John Woo it'll be captured by international terrorists) but it doesn't matter because you will be victorious over whomever this is, and you will rescue the sister and promise to keep it just between the two of you that she bought the vodka herself (at Stricklands 'cause who else would sell to a 16-year-old Korean girl who can't speak English), and warn her that with great American freedom comes great personal responsibility.

You will wink, and bring her home, and her parents will thank you and have newfound respect for your American white boyness, and your girlfriend will kiss you while everyone claps.

I know it sounds pretty rough man, but I hope it will be at least as fun as it has been for me to read your saga today!