the laid.back Buddhist has MOVED...back!

Thursday, November 29

Validity of Singlehood

Yet another sleepless night due to jet-lag for me.

Not having my Mon/Wed classes anymore is seriously screwing yours truly over. So, I’m not lacking in sleep and in fact, I’ve never slept MORE in this unsuccessful effort to get myself onto the right cycle (as if there’s one for college students?!).

I’ll be depending on some real strong black coffee to save my sanity today because I have a full day of classes AND the trio (Kath & Vy) plans on going to see Enchanted tonight. Hope I make it, I’m a big Disney fan. If not through sheer will, the prospect of melting into heaps over Patrick Dempsey's twinkling eyes ought to guarantee it.

In the meantime, let’s talk vacation.

Coming back from break, I feel different—

Sort of like how you don’t see any physical change in yourself because you look into the mirror every day and it’s the same face staring back atcha. Often for me, it’ll take photos from a year or two ago to fully realize how all the minor changes added up…and changed ME.

But this time, I’m not talking about looking but feeling different.

I think this family trip to the other side of the world made me realize that a part of me had been unhappy not just from nursing a broken heart, but also because I wasn’t quite comfortable with being single again.

It’s hard for me to admit that. And, to be completely honest, I can probably only admit it now because I am A-OK with it.

Well, no…as I was “okay” with it these past 7 months or so. It’s more that I’m finally happy for it.

YES, there’s a difference.

Has to be. Because like I said, I feel different and I think it has something to do with this undone knot that had been twisting itself sore in my heart. The realization came from an epiphany that all the bewilderment I’m causing my relatives at being single doesn’t annoy me or embarrass me in the least.

It amuses me!

And if truth be told, I even think I’m some kind of flattered...

1. The first relative to ask about my love life over Thanksgiving break: my dearest grandaunt. The lady’s a hardcore Buddhist and loves me like one of her granddaughters (actually, her decided preference for me makes it hard to be truly close to her real granddaughters, my cousins).

Always a ripe straight-shooter, she pulled me aside one morning to ask, “Do you have a boyfriend yet?”

My sheepish smile turns into an indulgent grin as she gives her head a quick shake and makes a really cute series of clucking disapproval.

“Don’t worry, Ah-Ma,” I call her the Taiwanese version of grandmother because growing up that’s what I heard my cousins calling her and it stuck always felt right to continue to do so, “When I do have a boyfriend, I’ll take him back to see you. For you to see how great he is, okay?”

She responds with some more disapproving clucks before finally giving in to my smiles.

2. The second to ask was my favorite uncle. Even after all these years, I still can’t get over the fact that everyday people of Taiwan will know his name and recognize him on the streets of Taipei.

“Soo, Joanne. Do you have a boyfriend?” It’s a question he always asks every time I see him.

“Nope.” And, it’s the same answer he always gets.

“Now, are you just saying that because your parents are sitting here?”

I laugh at the way he’s grinning at me. “There really isn’t a boyfriend in the picture.”

He proceeds to give me a look saying that he thinks I’m lying before changing the topic.

3. Third (and last, I lucked out because I didn’t get to see my 4th/3rd/2nd aunts this time) were my godmothers. Yes, my sister and I have 2. They are my mom’s college friends and they’re friggin’ hilarious.

“No boyfriend?”


“No? Really?!” She exclaims as I chuckle over my bowl of really good Japanese rice.

I nod and offer a half-shrug.

“Or is it because kids these days have different definitions for boyfriends? You might not think so, but it might mean boyfriend to us.”

My mind briefly flashes with an image of my former lover.

At this point, my mom interjects the conversation, “Joanne won’t bring a guy home until it’s time to go to the altar.” She purses her lips while giving me a meaningful look of displeasure, “When she should BEFORE then to let her wiser parents take a look at him. She’s so protective! It’s not like I would chew the boy to shreds.”

Raising an amused right eyebrow, I call her out, “Oh, mom. You know you so would!”

She picks up her chopsticks to continue eating, “Well, only if he deserved it and couldn’t hold his own. If he was a good boy, there isn't anything to worry about, is there?”

I laugh.

She makes a valid point.

27 Musing(s):

Alexis said...

You are going to LOVE Enchanted, it's so so good!

What an awesome place to be in, that's really exciting. I love your stories about your family, they sound like fun. :)

Michelle said...

your mom is hilarious!

and by the way i hope i am "happy" about being single like you sometime in the near future. i know what you mean by there being a difference. i'm used to it now, but not yet happy about it.

brookem said...

Sounds like you've seen yourself come full circle with this one- and that's a good feeling, huh?

Larissa said...

Ugh...disapproving clucks from the family members is the worst!

xtina said...

Good thing I have plenty of pics to document the EVOLUTION OF THE JO.

You left out the other highlight of the day: dinner with me. tsk tsk.

Yay for Enchanted!

dcr said...

After a while, they learn not to ask.

Okay, no, they don't, but you learn not to care. ;-)

Joanne said...

Alexis: Haha, thanks. Yeah, I caught up on your post when you blogged about seeing Enchanted the other week. So unbelievably looking forward to it!

Michelle: Hah, aww thank you! Well, I don’t know if it’s completely true for me to say that I’m 100% completely happy with being single but I think it’s good enough for me to say that I’m at least happy with where I am now (because I know what it took to reach this point).

Brookem: Damn straight. =) Love full circles, more so when it happens unexpectedly.

Larissa: Hahaha, it’s not that bad from my grandaunt. The real stingers come from my mom—boy, she knows how to getcha where it counts, lols.

Vy: And so, good thing YOU LOVE ME! I mean, right? ;)

Dan: Haha, I just take it to be that if it bothers me so much, it means I feel insecure about the issue. Regardless, I think I’ll always care…just wired like that.

Lisa said...

I was supposed to watch that movie on two different occasions already, but friends and a rather large amount of alcohol got in the way. Good thing, too, because me drunk? I would have probably licked the screen.

I call my grandmother Ah-Ma, too! And p.s., you mom rocks.

jon said...

On my last trip back from the Philippines I had a LONG rehearsal the very next day, PLUS there was a rare showing of the original Alien on Halloween which I believe I may have slept through most of it. But I made it damn it!!

Black_Mamba said...

Your mom seems like a totally amazing woman.

I'd have to agree with you though, you do 'seem' different. You seem a wee bit happier ;)

dcr said...

BTW, since you've been back, I've had a 42% increase in readers at my blog.

Unfortunately, Google/Blogger won't let me leave my URL anymore in the comments box. So, when are you switching to WordPress? ;-)

Valley Girl said...

Still not sleeping? Maye an Ambien or whatevs will help?

•゚ღJoღ゚•™o(‧”’‧)o said...

should enjoy ur single hood for time being :P

thethinker said...

My relatives are like that too, always asking and always getting a "no" for an answer.

And I'm so jealous! I really want to see Enchanted.

meleah rebeccah said...

Your family is funny.

I have been single for 2 years. I havent even been on a DATE in one year.

I was OKAY with that for a VERY LONG TIME...but lately...not so much.

PS.... Unfortunately, Google/Blogger won't let me leave my URL anymore in the comments box. so I had to sign this comment with my un-used blogger account.

Bar Advice said...

Kind of like the family in "My big fat Greek wedding"

You're funny

dcr said...

PS.... Unfortunately, Google/Blogger won't let me leave my URL anymore in the comments box. so I had to sign this comment with my un-used blogger account.

Seems to be a new Google/Blogger "feature" or something, unfortunately. :-(

dcr said...

Can't fool it either. :-(

mcgee said...

it's funny because in high school my family was always bothering me about not having a boyfriend, but when i finally got on my senior year then all of a sudden everyone was all "oh don't get too serious! you're still young!"


brandy said...

Nicely said lady. I'm happily single right now, and not 'happily single while scouting out new men', I'm just happily single. And that feeling, of just being happy with where you ARE, is such a relief, isn't?? Also, let me know if Enchanted is good. I can't imagine it being bad with Mc Dreamy in it, but I still sort of worry.

skinbeatergreg said...

True dat! Single-ness is great. That is until someone else messes it all up...

I concur--a review of Enchanted must be forthcoming!

I dated a girl a few years ago and her parents (Columbia Profs) actually live in that building on 116th and Riverside. Gorgeous pre-war. Not exactly a princess' palace, but I wouldn't turn down an apt there!

Check out the flick Vanilla Sky. There's a scene where Cruise is driving south on Riverside drive and you catch the building gliding by in the car window.

Princess Pointful said...

It is funny how you suddenly notice a change in perspective... and how sometimes it takes something out of the realm of the every day to do that!

Joshua David Hall said...

ha, don't sweat the questions on relationships. It's twice as worse when you are recently out of a relationship and you have to explain why they're not there! ugh.

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