The Internal Monologue of My Wedding Day

Last October, I married my BFF for life. As I’ve mentioned before, I never thought getting married was a real possibility (see past references to eating Taco Bell in my car, making homemade turmeric face masks at 3am, and my devastatingly unsexy sleeping attire), so this was a huge moment for me. It was like winning a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes and getting a hug from pre-meltdown Britney Spears at the same time.

Our wedding day exceeded all of my Pinterest and Style Me Pretty-derived expectations. It was incredible – magical, perfect, unreal, and [insert other cliche adjective here]. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Then again, we weren’t that hard to please. My husband (!) and I only had two real requirements for the day: 1) That moderate-to-overtly sexual (think Ginuwine) 90s rap and R&B music would play continuously and 2) that I could mention Jennifer Lopez and Joe Buck in my vows without judgement. OK, so there were actually more requirements, but both of those things happened and and we were pretty thrilled as a result.

The thing about getting married is that you have to ride out a million different emotions in a short, 24 hour period. It’s the equivalent of locking yourself in a windowless room and watching Titanic 5 times in a row. Everyone you love has traveled really far to be with you, your father who you have never seen cry is crying, your mother is too overwhelmed to speak, your friends are twerking aggressively, and your corset is restricting adequate airflow to important parts of your body. You essentially transition from being a happy-go-lucky fat kid frolicking in a meadow while chomping on Gushers to a full-fledged adult in a single day. Plus, everyone is staring at you.

It’s overwhelming, in a good way.

Every bride who has gone before me has told me the same thing – that the day passes by quickly, and that I need to stop and embrace every moment. And they were right – it flew by before I could even begin to process what was going on (wait – there was a wedding)? Friends have asked me what was going through my head that day, and it has taken all of my residual brain power to remember – so here goes nothing. I present to you: The voices in my head on my wedding day:

Friday, October 18, 2013: The traditional Korean wedding ceremony known as a paebaek.

Weeeee, look at me! I’m so traditional and fancy! Wait – are these shoes for elves? No one told me I had to wear shoes for elves!

OMG. Is that my husband? He looks like a handsome, strapping prince from those imperial Korean dramas, minus the ponytail. Or Se7en. Or Rain.  Our future kids are definitely going to think their dad was a Korean popstar. Also, I’m weirdly into those purple pants.

Hold the phone – the number of chestnuts my in-laws throw into this scarf indicates the number of kids we’ll have?! Who gave them so many chestnuts? Why are they smiling evilly? I’m scared.

That awkward moment when you and your future husband have to simultaneously bite into a date to find out who wears the pants in the relationship. I will destroy him.

Really glad my fiance is strong enough to carry me on his back. The groom is supposed to carry his bride to show his strength on his wedding day. Side note: why am I addicted to cheese? Why do I eat meals composed of only taquitos? OK, I’m definitely starting that juice cleanse after the wedding.

I’m starting to get used to this outfit. Can I wear this everyday?

Saturday, October 19, 2013: GAME TIME

12am: Must finish vows. Currently Googling some variation of “how to write wedding vows”

3am: Still awake. I sure hope my makeup guy is a magician, because these under eye bags are going to be out of control.

9:45am: Today’s the day! Could not be more excited to marry the love of my life today. WHY DO I FEEL CRAZY?!

1pm: Panic time. HOW THE HELL DO I GET THIS DRESS ON? WHAT DO I DO WHEN I HAVE TO PEE?! Will someone have to pee with me? I have pee-phobia.

3:30pm: He looks so handsome in that suit. He’s crying! I feel like crying but this makeup was expensive. I will hug him instead.

5:15pm: Deep breath. Time to walk down the aisle. I hope they can’t tell that I’m wearing dunks. Oh crap, are they laughing because I’m wearing dunks? Dad, don’t forget to smile. We’re at a wedding.

5:35pm: Holy crap. His vows just blew my mind. Did I marry a poet? How come no one told me he was a poet? I love him so much. I can’t believe we’re going to spend our lives together. May cry now.

5:37pm: OH NO. My vows are so ridiculous. What was I thinking? He counted how many days it’s been since we’ve been together, and I just said “Gangnam Style.” I think I’m going to urinate in my Spanx.

5:40pm: Ooh. Rings. Shiny!

5:45pm: I’m a PARK! My name is Genevieve Park. Gen Park. Genny Park? Ew, no. That’s terrible. Genparkster@gmail.com. Yikes. I will never say that again. Genevieve Wong Park – whoa. Dear God, please don’t let me trip while walking back down the aisle. That would be embarrassing.

There was so much more during the reception, but I’ll spare you the details of my internal monologue because it was just a lot of me laughing, crying, reciting song lyrics, and generally being in awe of my new husband and the love of my family and friends. Lots of loud, unintelligible noises were being tossed around in my brain (and being yelled from my mouth), and I loved every second of it. The night somehow ended up like this:

Just kidding, it actually turned into a quasi-rave and was more like this:

#jonaweave2013

I Dreamed a Dream of Boy Bands and Zombies

nsyncThis may come as a surprise, but I’m kind of a boring dreamer. Some people have flying dreams, or time traveling dreams, or “Surprise: I’m Jack Bauer and I only have 7 seconds to save the world from a Jim Carey-lookalike psychopath” dreams, but my dreams are usually more along the lines of “Today I ate a footlong burrito. WHOA.”

So imagine my surprise when I had a full blown zombie apocalypse dream, guest starring my least favorite boy band members from the 2000s. Unfair, right? From what I remember, the dream went something like this [insert fog machine here]:

The year was 2270.

The zombie apocalypse was in full force, and everything had been obliterated at the hands of the walking dead. There was no North West, no Royal Baby, and – gasp! – no Jay Z and Justin Timberlake collaboration. The world was bleak, and looked a lot like that post-earthquake scene in the Land Before Time after Littlefoot’s mom died.

It was horrifying, and I was scared.

But in this tragedy, a band of heroes emerged. To my shock/horror/confusion, the boy band rejects of YM Magazines past suddenly appeared on white platform stages that magically rose from the ground – smack dab in the middle of the apocalypse. In my dream, I somehow knew that my hero would be from a boy band – I just didn’t know who it would be. Would it be Justin? (Please, dear God yes.) It wasn’t. Nick Carter? (Not the same, but acceptable.) Through the dust and wind, I could barely make out a silhouette (um, can it at LEAST be Brian Littrell?).

I screamed. Justin Timberlake and Nick Carter were long gone, killed in a particularly vicious zombie fight. Here’s who stepped up to the plate instead:

Chris Kirkpatrick

Although once mocked for having cornrows that eerily resembled a very large pineapple, Chris Kirkpatrick thrived in the post apocalyptic era. Those very cornrows had morphed into super glue strength spider legs, giving him the ability to scale walls due to their unworldly stickiness. His high pitched voice, which had been embarrassingly underutilized in songs like “I Drive Myself Crazy” became a ferocious weapon of mass destruction. A mere whimper from Chris was enough to torment the zombie community so much that they ended up sucking out each other’s souls and self destructing.

In other words, Chris Kirkpatrick was a futuristic Buffy the Vampire Slayer of sorts.

Howie D

Not to be confused with Justin Jeffre (aka the husky male in 98 Degrees, aka probably the reason 98 Degrees didn’t dance much), Howie D leaned into his strengths and took advantage of the same skill set that allowed him to be virtually invisible onstage for most of his career. His unwavering stealthiness led thousands of humans to safety. Unfazed by his victory, Howie D was just relieved that he no longer had to take rapey photos with trees [see above].

Kevin Richardson

Ah, Kevin. The man who could sing but two notes. During the apocalypse, Kevin’s standard concert uniform of black pants and a knee length trench coat served him well. He stayed warm, the trench coat held all of his weapons and food supplies, and he looked like one scary ass motherf*cker. An added plus was that the zombies found something about his long dark hair, goatee, and monotone voice absolutely terrifying. Still pretty peeved about not getting a longer solo in “I Want It That Way”, Kevin was able to channel his fury towards stabbing millions of zombies in the jugular and then erecting an indestructible fort composed of Backstreet Boys posters.

Joey Fatone

This is going to be hard to believe, but in my dream Joey Fatone was jacked out of his mind. He could barely even fit into his favorite sweater vest because his neck muscles were so thick. You could hurl a roll of quarters at his 24 pack abs and a crisp $10 bill would magically appear on your forehead. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s how jacked he was. His biceps were 15x the size that AJ’s ever were, and he evoked so much fear that the government wanted to harness his power as a nuclear weapon alternative. Good news for Joey: he just killed them all.

After escaping from the government, Joey rounded up a clan of people-friendly zombies and reigned supreme as their emperor for the rest of eternity. He also started a fitness bootcamp, similar to Hip Hop Abs, right in the thick of the apocalypse. It was pretty inappropriate.

Every Member of O-Town

In a Westside Story-like fashion, the members of O-Town approached the members of S Club 7, and immediately started bickering about who had the better Today Show performance back in the year 2000. Mid-fight, a swarm of baby zombies flew down from the sky and devoured every last one of them, JNCOs, halter tops, and all.

Side note: These guys obviously didn’t become heroes. I’m not sure how they made the cut for my dream.

And then I woke up, mystified by the heartfelt tale of B-list boy band members transformed into zombie fighting bad-asses. And I really wanted a burrito.

Wedding Day Songs that Seem OK But Aren’t

awkweddingSo, to everyone’s surprise, I’m getting married. I’m sure that at one point in life (probably when I was a sophomore in college, probably when I would eat Taco Bell alone in a car, and probably when I occasionally purchased clothing items and accessories from Hot Topic) my parents thought this was a fairly far-fetched notion. Gen getting married? Nah, she’s just going to be that weird 47 year old who lives in our basement and emerges 3 times a day to eat dry ramen packets and then quietly goes back to watching TBS.

But, miracles do happen, and I’m getting married! And getting married means a whole new world – a whole new lens to view life through, really. Suddenly, topics that used to make me want to slowly shave off all of my skin with a dull Gillette razor blade (think table runners, Chiavari chairs, or spray painting wine bottles gold and then engraving them) are downright scintillating to me. I’ve developed a creepy sixth sense for wedding things. For example, I can enter a room and smell a homemade corkboard. I could be blindfolded and feel the aura of burlap-wrapped mason jar centerpieces somewhere on the premises. Thanks to Pinterest, I have heightened sensitivities to all things wedding related, and am basically the wedding-mutant version of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2.

Decor is not my strong point. Thank God for my very talented roommate who is a graphic designer and on call to ensure that my big day does not look like an episode of Hoarders. Music, on the other hand, I feel much more confident about. I have just one mantra guiding me through the wedding song selection process: If there are blind people at my wedding, they should think they’ve been transported back in time to a 90s rap and R&B concert. While curating the perfect song list, I’ve come across quite a few that I strongly recommend not playing for dear Mom and Pops:

1. Red Light Special – TLC: Although this might be a song to consider if you, your fiancé, or someone in the wedding party is a highway patrol officer, it’s actually not about a really fun, secret, traffic school party. It’s about having sex under a red disco ball. See?

Baby it’s yours

All yours

If you want it tonight

Just come through my door

Take off my clothes

And turn on the red light

Verdict: Not first dance song material unless your family is really, awkwardly close.

2. Daddy’s Home – Usher: Contrary to what the title makes you think, this song is not really about your dad coming home after work to play with a chubby, 5 year old version of you. As ambiguous as these lines are:

Is you say Daddy’s home, home for me

And I know you’ve been waiting for this lovin’ all day

This part makes it fairly clear:

Poke it on out poke it out right there

I’m a fall back while you work that chair

Do that damn thing let the neighbors hear

Verdict: Probably not as ideal for the Father-Daughter dance as you previously thought. Poking, in this sense, is not of the Facebook kind.

3. Freaks of the Industry – Digital Underground: Originally, I thought this song would be a no brainer in the case that I decided to have a Silicon Valley-Zombie-themed wedding. But then I remembered the words:

You’re lying on you’re back with your head on the edge of the bed,

The booty’s two feet from your head:

Should you: A, take the time to find a condom,

B, you walk right over and you pound ‘em,

C, tell her that you want her love,

Well the answer is D, [D], all of the above.

Verdict: A 90s classic. Reception, only after the parents have kindly been escorted out and at least a few people are starting to drunkenly do the Humpty Dance. Bonus points if your guests are good at multiple-choice tests.

4. Kisses Down Low – Kelly Rowland: ALERT: This is not a song about kissing short people! I won’t say anymore here.

So, if you’re planning a wedding yourself, I hope you found the fruits of my extremely diligent research useful. Heed my warning: there is nothing more uncomfortable than dancing with your father to 112’s Peaches and Cream (not about the actual fruit).  And, if you’re not married yet and want to be, know that there is hope for hopeless, and that eating Taco Bell alone in your car is absolutely no indication that your Mr. Right isn’t just right around the corner.

Originally featured in HelloGiggles.

Paleo, Faileo: I was Paleo for 1 Day and Hated Every Minute of It

hangryA few months ago, I attempted to go on the very trendy paleo diet, which meant that I was supposed to avoid eating carbs and any food not in it’s natural state – the caveman diet, it’s called. Shocking to no one, it sucks.

My decision to embark on this Spartan journey was fairly impulsive:

Friend: “Hey Gen. Do you want to go on the paleo diet for Lent? Maybe after 40 days we’ll be so skinny that we can stop selling ads and become supermodels.”

Me: “OK.”

It went something like that. Two of my friends from work and I embarked on a 40 day diet of deprivation, misery, and the hope of looking like we perpetually had food poisoning. #Protip: you should always go on a beach vacation after you have food poisoning because there is really no other time you will ever look that jacked. When life makes you poop incessantly, you should immediately put on a bikini.

Without carbs, time moved slowly. You will come to realize just how slowly as I recount every single interaction I had with food over my brief 1 day period of paleo hell.

Lunch, Day 1. Me: extremely overzealous, excited at the prospect of being a supermodel, talking to our chef at work: “Hi Lance, can I eat kale chips? Are kale chips paleo? For the love of God, give me some kale chips! Hmm, this seaweed salad looks fantastic. I guess I’ll just have this and some grilled chicken.” My famous last words: “This isn’t so bad.”

Snack, Day 1. 3 o’clock rolled around. Me: “Snacktime! Shit. shit. shit. I can’t eat CHEESE?!!!” A panic attack quickly set in, and I considered putting my head between my knees and then maybe hyperventilating into a small paper bag.

Dinner, Day 1. I slammed my glass of water onto the kitchen table, spilling it everywhere. “Oh hell no. No. NO. I can’t have dumplings? WTF.” Those cavemen must have been depressed, and were surely not Asian.  My conclusion: “The paleo diet was created by racists.” It was a low point for me.

Night time, Day 1. That night, I guest starred in my own dream. The dream version of me jumped into a large bathtub filled with pasta from Flour and Water, and then ate her way through a door shaped pizza to a room filled with MORE PASTA. It was majestic, and I was thrilled about it.

The next morning, I woke up and I swear to God my jaw was sore (you sickos, I know what you’re thinking) from all of the fake chewing I had been doing that night.

Breakfast, Day 2. Determined to not completely suck at life, I pounded a very paleo breakfast of hard-boiled eggs and fruit, and then proceeded to whimper quietly at my desk.

Lunch, Day 2. Was paleo and therefore sad and unmemorable.

Snack, Day 2. By 2:45pm, I couldn’t handle it. I sneakily escaped to the 8th floor refrigerator and grabbed two (yes, two) string cheeses. I took massive bites out of both – there was nothing stringy about the way I ate it – I just chomped on that cheese like I was a coyote and the cheese was a poor little bunny rabbit in the woods. I. destroyed. the. cheese.

Epilogue. In the end, I’ve decided to forgo the idea of giving up entire food groups. It’s great for some, but my extreme FOMO tendencies leave me powerless to cheese, chocolate, and anything with a high percentage of carbohydrates. I also learned that I don’t really care if I ever achieve a 6 pack. I’m fine just the way I am, and there’s a reason Spanx and sweatpants were created. #SpanxAndFoodPoisoningFTW

 

 

Celebrities I Had Majorly Creepy Crushes on in 1997

tigerbeatThe year was 1997. I was 12, and an avid reader of some very reputable journalistic sources like YM Magazine and Tiger Beat. My room was plastered with every single Got Milk poster that ever existed, and I had the Vengaboys on repeat on my discman.

Minor detail: I was also in love with 4 men (and by men, I mean 13 to 21 year-olds. As a 12 year old, they all seemed like men at the time).

These were those men:

1. Leonardo DiCaprio IN ROMEO AND JULIET

“IN ROMEO AND JULIET” is capitalized because I need to stress that I had a thing for Leo WAY before that Titanic bandwagon. This was the real deal. Keep in mind that this was shortly after he starred in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and looked more like this:

gilbertgrape

than this:

leoswan

Yep, that’s totally a swan around his neck.

I was an early Leo adopter, and proceeded to further unite myself with him by means of my AIM username. See what I mean?

leosnotbimarked

For those of you who read it “Leo Snot Bi,” you’re so very wrong. For those of you who read it “Leo’s Not Bi”, we’re going to be BFF. The only reason I made this my screename was because “LeOsHot” was taken, and this was the alternative suggestion AIM provided me. Thanks, AIM.

2. Taylor Hanson from Hanson. Not Isaac, who was definitely maybe from the paleolithic era,  and definitely not their hot 10 year old sister, Zach.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was watching TGIF and the yearly Christmas special was on. I LOVED TGIF’s CHRISTMAS SPECIALS! My reaction: “What’s this?! 3 long haired boys in the throes of puberty sitting on stools singing Little Drummer Boy?!” Yes, please.

You can watch the Christmas special here. Try and tell me that you didn’t just fall in love, you creeper.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsv-sxW5waU

Side note: It was later discovered that Taylor Hanson married a fan and popped out 5 babies, the first one when he was 19. How I wished I was that fan.

3. Prince William

princewilliam

What a sensitive soul. His mom died when he was 14, and he had to take care of his poor ginger brother, too. I watched that whole funeral from beginning to end like a morbid sicko. I was 12 – who let me watch that? In the 7th grade, I even wrote an essay about the impact Princess Diana made on the world, and somehow managed to mention William 4 times. It was a one page essay and Prince William was maybe 14.

I had mini fantasies about becoming the future queen of England, but not before being the first Asian duchess. Charles and I would bond over polo and chuckle about British things like the Spice Girls, David Beckham, Elton John, and his very terrible but intriguing affair with Camilla for hours before heading inside for tea.

4. Rufio – aka That Kid from Hook

rufio

I’m not sure what it was – it might have been the red mohawk, but it was the probably the crop top that really reeled me in. Rufio was legit. He was the only Asian person in that whole slew of Lost Boys! He also had that special ability to make real food appear from his imagination, and then start an epically messy food fight. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve tried to do this myself at work. I cried when Hook stabbed Rufio, because Dustin Hoffman is such a bastard.

If these 4 teenage studmuffins had anything in common, it’s that they were all white, skinny, sensitive souls (well, except for Rufio). I clearly had a type. Ironically, my fiance is Korean and a 6’3 giant from the amazon. Let’s just say that if all 5 of these guys were quintuplets in the womb, he could have eaten them during the beginning of the 3rd trimester.

I’m so glad it’s not 1997 anymore.

The Most Epic Surprise of My Life: How It All Went Down

usual suspectsI feel the same way I did when I saw the ending of Usual Suspects. [Spoiler alert: if you haven’t seen the 1995 movie yet, you won’t have to. That's your fault.] I liken it to the moment Kevin Spacey finishes telling the detective his elaborate alibi about the crazy, vengeful, criminal mastermind Keyser Soze, and limps out of the police station scot free because of it. The person I empathize with most is the gullible detective who, in a moment of horror, realized too late that the entire alibi was improvised from bits and pieces of information found on objects in the police station. There was no Keyser Soze, and Kevin Spacey didn’t really have a limp. KEVIN SPACEY WAS KEYSER SOZE! Kevin Spacey, you are a crazy genius.

Basically, I was majorly Kevin Spacey-ed last weekend by my now fiance JP and all my friends. Here’s how it all went down:

The weekend began uneventfully. We had a few plans that JP wanted to bail on, and we did. A 9 year old’s birthday, a reunion brunch, Chinese NY festivities – all were canceled in favor of a “nice, chill weekend.” The only thing I had to look forward to was my monthly dinner and a manicure with my friend Stasia.

Henyay y Estasia. We thought of clever Spanish names for ourselves.

Henyay y Estasia. We thought of clever Spanish names for ourselves.

 

This should have been tip off #1. Stasia knows I hate manicures. I didn’t even get a manicure for her wedding, because right before my prom night I saw a manicurist accidentally cut my friends’ finger with a sharp clipper and proceed to stop the bleeding by painting over the cut with NAIL GLUE. To me, manicures are hellacious staph infections waiting to happen.

But, Stasia really wanted to get a manicure, and I was feeling particularly un-germaphoby that day, so I got one. With the weekend in mind, Stasia made sure I didn’t paint my nails rainbow colors or this ugly hot pink color that I was eying. This is true friendship. I went to sleep that night full and with very nice nails, suspecting nothing.

The next day, JP and I decided to eat lunch at Atlas Cafe in Potrero Hill. Tip off #2 happened here: Per usual, I was dressed like a borderline homeless person, and about to leave my apartment wearing glasses.

JP to me: “You sure you want to wear glasses?”

Me: “Yeah, why not?”

JP: “It’s sunny and the UV rays are bad for your eyes. Wear your contacts and bring your sunglasses.”

JP, thank you for preventing me from looking like a total hobo on the happiest day of my life.

While we were at Atlas Cafe, I tapped into my creepy Facebook stalker tendencies to walk right into my own proposal. As I was scanning my newsfeed I noticed that our friends Sean and Kerry were at Dolores Park with their adorable kiddies. I love adorable kiddies, so I suggested to JP that we walk over to say hi if we had time. In his own words, he thought this was “a great idea!”

Tip off #3 happened here:

JP to me: Hey, can you hold these headphones? I don’t like my fingers touching wires when they’re in my pocket.

Me to myself: OK, you weirdo. I’ll hold your wires and get wire poisoning.

We got to the park and ran into Sean, Kerry, and the girls having a picnic by the playground area. I attempted to hug the girls and they ran away because I repel children. Everything was right in the world.

And then things got really weird.

JP got up to go to the bathroom and left me with the kids. I immediately got 4 Tweets from my friends at work. They looked like this:

engagement tweets

Obviously, I thought someone had died, or that there were naked pics of me somewhere on the internet that I needed to take down immediately.

Me to Kerry: “Weird, I just got spammy Tweets from my coworkers. I’m scared to open this!”

Me to Myself: Did someone get their hands on that video of me falling down while dancing to Gangnam Style when I was in Austin (true story)?!! Shatballs.

Tip off #4: Kerry looked at me, then leaned back smugly and said nothing.

Me to Kerry, silently and telepathically: “WTF KERRY!”

The tweets linked to a video, so I played it on my phone. OH! Coincidentally, I had a pair of headphones in my pocket thanks to stealthy JP (see “wire poisoning” reference above).

Tip off #5: The video was a photo montage of me before 2008 (the year we started dating), found via Facebook Graph Search. Trust me, there is nothing more terrifying than someone tweeting you a slideshow of your own photos from Facebook Graph Search. Then, a similar photo montage of JP before 2008 flashed on the screen.

This is where I started quasi hyperventilating.

What didn’t help was that my other friends Texas, Cal, Jae, and Andy started popping out of nowhere taking pictures with monster-sized SLRs. I actually noticed the fact that they were wearing sweet disguises like fedoras and beanies first, and the SLRs second. As each friend came into my line of vision, I was unable to do anything but half shriek-squawk loudly to greet them.

Having not even finished half of the video, I spun around to find JP down on one knee. Frozen, I didn’t know what to do, or even what I was feeling aside from a complete lack of bladder control. I was pretty certain I was going to pee in my pants. I stared at him, and he stared at me.

JP to me: “Gen, come here.”

Me to JP: “MERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRP!”

I could not find words, nor could my feet find movement. Finally, I stumbled over to him and we both blacked out. I don’t remember what was said, but I do remember that we ended up like this:

JPGenEngaged

There were tears of joy all around, and then suddenly everyone had a Chinese New Year dinner to go to. Tip off #6: They weren’t all Chinese.

Sean to me: “Sorry Gen, I feel rude leaving now but the girls are so tired.”

Me, still somewhat blacked out: “No worries, see you tomorrow!”

I called my parents to share the good news. They didn’t pick up and I figured they were totally over the engagement news already and at Costco or something, so I called my brother Garrett.

Garrett to me, jokingly: “Gen, did something happen? Why are you using your excited voice? I’m at Mission Bowling Club with Steph and it’s on the way to your car – stop by so we can congratulate you!”

After walking a few blocks, I was able to calm down. I was so happy and relieved, and just ready to have a nice peaceful weekend.

But then this happened!

suprisemissionbowl

Thanks HANA for taking these awesome pics!

More tears, hugs, and tears ensued. This is where it was confirmed that everyone I knew had been lying to me from anywhere between a week to a month. Even the photographers + Sean and Kerry had just lied to me, saying that they had to leave early –  just so they could get to the surprise party on time! As I looked around Mission Bowling and saw my family, friends, coworkers, and especially friends from out of town, I started bawling behind my giant Lady Gaga-themed sunglasses. Not cute bawling, either.

I clandestinely swallowed a baby aspirin to prevent myself from having a heart attack. It was the end of a perfect day, and the beginning of a new life together.

Well played, fiancé. Well played. :)

Cautionary Tales For My Future Daughter

awkmotherdaughter

6 years ago, I never thought about having kids. I was eating In N Out on a biweekly basis, and shamelessly sauntering – yes, on foot – through any drive through to get it. Drinking Melon Vodka in a Ralph’s handicap bathroom was a regular pastime (I was with friends, OK. Put your judgy expressions away). You could feel the springs of my polyester couch – mainly because you could also visibly see them protruding through the cushions.

No, I wasn’t homeless. I was in college.

Today, I’ve watched friend after friend get preggo, stop eating sushi, and pop out a child. There have been countless baby showers – and although I am creepily obsessed with each and every one of these babies – I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of watching people open presents for little people. WHY DO WE HAVE PARTIES TO WATCH PEOPLE OPEN PRESENTS FOR LITTLE PEOPLE THAT DON’T EXIST YET?

But I digress. Times have changed, and 6 years later, I have come to the terrifying realization that I will one day have a child of my own. Likely, it will be a crazy-haired daughter who will cause as much trouble as I did to my poor, frazzled, adorable Mama. For the sake of this story, I will call this daughter-to-be Dolores.

Dolores Park (Nope. Don’t worry Mom – I’m not engaged, just making wild assumptions here).

Dolores baby, this is for you.

On PE

PE will be a confusing subject for you. You will like PE because you hate class, but you will hate PE because you will probably not develop strong hand to eye coordination until the 6th grade. Kickball and dodgeball will be a bitch. You will kill it at sit ups and sit and reach, but you will probably be the slowest runner during that fitness test at the beginning of every school year. Do not try to compete with the boys that run 7 minute miles, because you will die.

This all sounds fairly crappy, but relax – at the age of 2, I vow to enroll you in Cheryl Burke’s dance school, and you will be a hip hop star on America’s Best Dance Crew. All them bitches will be laughing when you’re the one hugging Mario Lopez on MTV.

On Following Your Dreams

It takes courage to dream, and you should do it. If your dream is to write weird stories about your teachers turning into aliens or to start a dancing puppet show troop, I will still love you even though no one else does. You are creative, strong, and unique, and someday someone is going to think you’re cool.

On Heartbreak

I will add no other context other than this: If a shitty bastard breaks your heart, do not follow your gut. I repeat: DO NOT FOLLOW YOUR GUT. If you are like me, your instincts will tell you to mail him a fiery piece of poop or pour Diet Dr. Pepper down his gas tank. Avoid this. Although it may feel like a better option than inhaling gallons of ice cream or crying in your bed, it is only marginally so. One day, you will be 24, and you will encounter this boy or girl and all their friends at some random bar, and you will want to rip your skin off because it really is that awkward.

Be cool, man.

On Being Asian

This is part B to the aforementioned point about heartbreak. There are about 4 million Asians in America, which is not very much. You need to know that almost every Asian is connected by 1-2 degrees separation, max. This is like playing the easiest game of 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon ever. Hypothetically, If you mailed that fiery piece of poop, there is a good chance that some other random Asian dude from New Jersey will be your potential future employer, and having already stalked you extensively on Facebook because he heard about the fiery poop story, he will promptly stamp REJECT on your resume before you walk in the door for the interview. Very uncomfortable.

On Choosing a Major

Unless you want to be a doctor, engineer, astronaut, or biochemical engineer, you can major in whatever you want because it won’t matter. I will think you’re amazing regardless, unless you’re a lazy bum. Years out of school, the only time I utilize my English degree is when I drunkenly recite the prologue to Romeo and Juliet at parties. Then again, I was an English major, the language I also speak. <Asian parents, you can insert your disappointed sigh here.>

On Bullying

Be nice. Don’t be a bully, because bullies suck. If you are bullied, the answer is and always will be Krav Maga.

Dolores, you are my world and I love you. If I ever catch anyone playing in, around, near, or next to Dolores Park after hours, they will have hell to pay.

Love,
Your Mom

The Slow, Steady, Descent into Humiliation

awkFor the record, I love corporate holiday parties. There are only a few days out of the year when you can wear a sparkly dress while not in Vegas, eat hors d’oeuvres until you’re sick, and then drink yourself into a sloppy obliteron for free 99. There’s also the incredibly exciting challenge of trying to engage in awkward small talk with the tech elite, ie. Dick Costolo, Mark Zuckerberg, MC Hammer (?), and Sheryl Sandberg. Please refer to this link for a complete recap on how my 2010 Facebook holiday party encounter went with Uncle Zuck himself.

This year’s holiday party started out as expected. I accomplished all of the below very early on, and was very proud of myself:

  • Consuming 2 dungeness crab sliders, 8 pieces of dim sum, a box of chow mein, 1.5 empanadas, and a bowl of butternut squash soup. I may or may not have eaten 3-5 pieces of kobe beef on a stick in addition to that.
  • Drinking 3 gin and tonics.
  • Getting a head nod and a “hello!” from @DickC while reaching for nachos. Classy me.
  • Dancing the entire 2nd half of the night wearing an astronaut helmet from the photo booth (because I am a badass.) See photo:

photo(2)

In general, I was feeling pretty good about myself when the party started winding down around 11:45. I had even made it up on stage next to MC Hammer! Success. And then -

Just as I was feeling smug for remembering to wear my Toms instead of my patent leather stilettos, things went extremely wrong. At last call, I bolted down the stairs to get off the stage. To preface this, I was not drunk at all (See above food list. The food vs. alcohol ratio made intoxication impossible at this point). I took a step onto what I thought was the first stair, but actually stepped on the middle divide of the staircase, which is by my definition a ramp-like death structure. I stepped on the ramp, lost my balance, and slowly slid down about 6 steps, scraping my poor forearm along the way. Look, I have battle scars to prove it:

photo(1)

The tumble was embarrassing for a few less than obvious reasons. 1) I fell really slowly. It felt like a full 5 minutes from the time I stepped on the ramp to when my ass hit the bottom step. This means you could have counted to 300, and I still would have been falling. In a dress. 2) I was still wearing my astronaut helmet, so it was pretty obvious to everyone around me that Houston had a problem. There was no way to blame the fall on another Asian girl wearing a dress and helmet. 3) My freaking forearm was bleeding, and the red didn’t match my outfit.

I was very embarrassed.

Somehow, I mustered up the strength to stand, pretend like I had not just fallen 6 steps, and nonchalantly grab my coat. I was still wearing the astronaut helmet.

Happy Holidays/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Merry Christmas to all, klutzes and coordinated people alike. #celebrate2012

The Armpit Violation

 


It was 3:30pm on Wednesday, the time when I usually opted for one of the following scintillating activities at the office:

  • Talking to Glen, the mail guy about his preference of packaging evelopes
  • Purchasing a package of Babybel cheese from the corner store, and then eating all 5 cheese circles at the same sitting
  •  Reading a coworker’s boring baby blog, and then having a large black man named Leroy read it back to me via Text to Voice online
  • Purposefully trolling the office  to find the douchebag who stole my lunch container

On this particular Wednesday, I was fully committed to activity number 4. I got up from my desk and darted toward the hallway. My coworker Jaime was there, so we started discussing the latest entry in the boring baby blog.

3:37pm Jaime: “Did you read Becky’s blog?”

3:38pm Me:  “Yeah. She took a photo of herself by the fireplace holding her discounted subscription to US Weekly. She looked so happy.”

3:39pm Jaime: “Last week she wrote about going to a Powerpoint class and then to Kohls.”

3:39pm Me: “Lame.”

Then, something strange happened involving Don.

Don was another coworker, a  5”11, pudgy old white guy who generally hated people and looked like his body was chock full of Cheeze Whiz and products made by the Keebler Elves. It’s not that he was fat per se, but more of a slovenly, narrow-shouldered man whose pale neck jowls had not seen sunlight since the early 80s. He owned lots of sweater vests.

The Don incident went like this:

3:40pm: Don starts walking with authority down the hallway, and makes a beeline for Jaime and me.

3:41pm: Without speaking, Don grabs my hand. [Serious HR violation].

3:41pm: Still not saying a word, Don lifts my arm over my head and brings his face inches from my armpit. I  believe he takes this time to smell my armpit. This too is an HR violation.

3:42pm: Don removes his face from my armpit crevice, and gives me a slow, creepy stare. “ALL CLEAN!” He exclaims, far too jubilantly.

It’s been over year since my armpit was violated, and I still have nightmares. Word on the street is that Don is a free man, still inhaling armpits whenever he gets a chance.

People like Don are everywhere, and if you’re not careful, they’ll prey on your vulnerable, pale, deodorant-smothered armpits too.

Protect your armpits: wear sleeves.

Tuesday = Muni Hugs


It was 7 PM, and like on most days, I was pretty ecstatic to step away from my laptop and stop myself from becoming a cross eyed office robot. It’s hard to be a professional email writer for a living (#jokes).

Also, as on most days, I ran out of the office and made an awkward mad dash for my train. I’m convinced Muni has schizophrenia, or maybe moderate-severe bipolar disorder. On good days, Muni is like Danny Tanner – reliable, caring, and I can imagine him reassuring me that I WILL get home in under an hour just in time to watch the Bachelor, as soft interludes play in the background. On other days – most days – Muni more closely resembles Danny’s alter ego and true self, Bob Saget. He’s crass, inconsiderate, smells like pot and garbage, and would leave my ass on the street any day.

And he often does.

This day wasn’t unlike any other. Anticipating a Bob Saget-esque Muni day, I forced myself on a packed L train and took a moment to celebrate my mini victory of squeezing into a minuscule standing spot right beneath a very tall man’s armpit. I had made it.

But there was a problem. I looked to my right and immediately became concerned. Tongue. LOTS of tongue. Tongue everywhere. #Lengua! is what I would have exclaimed if I happened to be at a taco truck instead of on the bus. Two 15 year olds, clad in their Invisaline retainers and clear braces, were furiously making out. Both of their tongues were inches – no, mere centimeters from my cheek – the moving, oblong, petri dishes of germs approaching my comfort threshold all too quickly. It was like I had walked into a slimy sea cucumber sword fight, and I could feel a panic attack rising.

As Muni approached Van Ness station, I finally got some room to move. Yay!. But, as I turned to move closer to the open door, I was stopped in my tracks by a homeless woman wearing a velour sweatshirt tied around her head like Erykah Badu. We made eye contact. She asked for a dollar. I said I didn’t have one. She had crazy eyes. I mumbled something inaudible while I shuffled toward the other end of the car. She held my gaze, and then laughed. Cackled, really. She pointed at me, and then cackled some more. I was creeped out, but also increasingly concerned that there was leftover guacamole on my face.

The train became packed again. My new crazy eyed friend found her way next to me on the crowded train and leaned right up against me, her entire back and hair completely superglued to my body. Awesome. Periodically, she would crane her neck around to look at me, sense my fear, and keep laughing to herself. I made awkward, pleading eyes with my fellow passengers in hopes that someone would help Not even the horndogs making out next to me batted an eye.

After a period of time elapsed that felt almost as long as watching Titanic back to back 3 times in a bikram yoga studio, we arrived at my stop. My new cackling, crazy-eyed friend turned around, pointed and laughed at me one more time, and then gave me a massive bear hug right before I elbowed my way off the bus.

And that was Tuesday.