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Friday, September 24, 2004

The End of Summer

I haven't posted for a month, but I have been quite busy with business activities mostly irrelevant to this blog. But I should catch up on what's been going on for the last month. The blog title is "Sex and Relationships" and, although there was no sex, there was some relationship activity.

So if you're looking for a sleazy story, skip to another entry!

I've travelled across the country four times, and to several foreign countries, selling encyclopedias door to door to lonely housewives and lovely coeds all over the world. Ok, not really, but close.

Two of those countries were Korea and Japan, so I have revisited the site of many a previous adventure (Asia, Afternoon in Hell, Asia, Drinks are on Me), although with less free time than usual and therefore less time to get in trouble.

But let me get back to that.

Meanwhile there is followup to the strange "back to the future" experiences I had recently when I had four girls from my past call me on my cell phone. The End of Summer followup:

  1. Daniela wants no-strings sex and companionship. Seems attractive, but no time to indulge, and I admit I am put off by her having a son. Over and out.

  2. Cameron wants to be shown the world. I sent her to a spa, she enjoyed it and asked for next steps, I said there aren't any. End of story.

  3. May, no follow up. I was in Korea, but did not elect to spend the time to indulge again. And I'll admit that it's partly because it scares me to be so deep into my senses. May is a drug. But fortunately it's one of those situations: out of sight, out of mind. Or I'm busy enough not to dwell on it or develop any cravings.

  4. Jenny, the hostess with the mostess... well, that's a longer story to come below.

Wow. How did I get from an unliked, unwanted, usually couldn't get a date if he killed for it, foreign geek to being in demand from these attractive women? The saying "kid in a candy store," well, I never understood it until now.

(Ok... there's a cynical answer here...)

So... on to Asia.

I toured Tokyo a bit, but was way too busy with business to sample any delights. Only one item of note in Korea was meeting Jenny.

Before I went to Asia she had called me a few times, once on her 30th birthday. She had claimed she was 30 when I met her the previous month, but apparently it was that she was about to become 30. Or perhaps it was because they count age differently in Asia, typically being a year older than we count it here in the West. I swear she doesn't look a day over 22. Must be the secret Asian fountain of youth: did I ever mention that I am 65 and don't look a day over 35?

Jenny was trying to stay top of mind during my travels with several 30 to 90 second calls.

When I first met her I wrote:

I slowly start to notice that she is smart in a quiet way. She is also beautiful, although she says she is not; she claims the better word for her is something I think means charming. ... [she is] more outspoken than is good for her in a strictly hierarchical male-dominated corporate environment.

Some time during the evening she whispers in my ear that she is good at everything! everything, well, except for one thing: speaking English. Even across the language barrier I get her meaning. She says she loves men and treats them very well, but Korean men are intimidated by her.

But I ended that meeting by writing:

Jenny really charms the socks off me and being male, I can't help but be curious as to whether her skills are anywhere near to those of May, because she is obviously a lot smarter. Had I not needed to leave the next day, I would have been sorely tempted to take her up on her whispered claims of competency. But I also don't like a first encounter to be a drunken grope. ... Another opportunity with no future.

And my last note on her damned with faint praise:

So there's no future in this. But she's so damned cute, nice and helpful.

Recall that I have not slept with her.

My business contact "Young" has fallen in love with the place where Jenny works, a place to which I introduced him on my previous trip. Apparently he comes at least once a week, dropping at least $1000 each trip. So he is having our apres-dinner business meeting there.

I walk in, the owner is so very pleased to meet me, especially since I had introduced Young to her. She informs me that she immediately called in Jenny the moment she saw me. My feelings are mixed.

Jenny is quite happy to see me, if a bit miffed that I didn't tell her I was coming to Korea.

Over the course of the evening, it appears evident that Young and the owner have taken it upon themselves to try to get Jenny and myself together. It is equally evident that they have decided that alcohol will be lubricant for the relationship. Drinks flow copiously, and I rapidly achieve a state of poor thinking and judgement. Around this time, at a point when Jenny has visited the ladies room, Young leans over to me and suggests that Jenny likes me a lot, and I could ask her to my hotel. Consider that my brain is running at about one quarter speed, if that, so I am still mulling this over when she returns.

I boldly and drunkenly ask her if she would do such a thing as visit a hotel room, using an indefinite pronoun thereby not asking her if she would do it with me. But she turns indignant and says no. In fact, she goes further and says a word which means "hold it in!" or "control yourself!" using the superior form of address, as if I am an overeager boy or a dog jumping all over her.

Well, it was an indelicate question indelicately posed I admit, but I am offended that her reply was a rejection when I didn't actually ask her to my hotel room. I think I asked if she did that kind of thing. I guess I deserved that. I am left wondering if part of the problem is my imperfect command of the language.

At the end of the night, Young invites me out to meet him on the weekend. I agree.

And that should be the end of the story.

But it isn't.

Young calls me at an ungodly hour in the morning and says he can't make it. Instead he'll send me tickets to an event that evening (an Elton John concert), and take me to the circus the next day (event tickets are related to his business). I tell him I don't want to go an event, especially alone. And then I go back to sleep.

Several hours later the owner of the place calls. She says Young called her and told her to ask Jenny if she would go with me to the concert. I start smelling something fishy, but the owner is insistent that Jenny is going to come over with tickets, that the owner couldn't cancel this without losing face with Young, that Young is out of touch, and so it was up to me to cancel directly with Jenny.

Ick. I'm not good at rejecting women.

So to make a long story short, I end up taking Jenny on a date.

Make no mistake, although initially reluctant, I had fun. We went to the concert, although it rained for some of it. We went to a nice, massively overpriced restaurant.

Jenny graduated as an engineering/business student, but she surprised me by saying that she also was in a pop band in Seoul which lasted three years before breaking up. She shyly showed me one of their CDs (she had also a mix CD of karaoke music she had promised me before). I protested that her singing wasn't that amazing when I had met her in the drinking rooms. But Jenny claimed that when she was at the drinking rooms she deliberately toned down her vocal and dance ability.

I like karaoke, I'll admit it. So I challenged her to prove her story at a karaoke room over drinks. And, heck, we have to try that mix CD.

Well... she was a fantastic singer. And dancer.

I very much enjoyed singing with her. I haven't made music with a woman since college, when I had a deep relationship with an alto to my tenor-baritone. We would sing duets and accompany each other on instruments, and it was surprisingly moving. I touched a bit of that experience that evening. We sang almost four hours, until my vocal cords felt raw.

But we also talked. She talked more about her business aspirations, which were around a pretty creative idea for a private sector play in kids science and technology education, which I hadn't realized. Her plan was to start a small pilot project in November. She was moving very fast and surely, even in the face of doubts and uncertainty. She had a schedule of her finances, and was not counting on external investors. All pretty cool.

The evening was more pleasant by the fact that there was no smoke. Jenny had quit smoking cold turkey three years ago after four years of smoking, which in her culture of daily smoking and heavy exposure was pretty impressive self-control. Asians smoke too much, especially when they drink.

Anyhow, the evening revealed a suprising number of common activities and skills. And a suprisingly good conversation given our weaknesses at languages.

I found her self-assuredness, playfulness, and business attitude very intriguing. I admit some of it was the exotic and unfamiliar mix of unrepressed morals and submissive Asian culture; heck, I learned a lot about culture and thinking that evening. Among other things, she teased me by saying if a woman says "no" regarding coming to your room, you should ask again! ;)

But some of it was not that. She really was charming, and I could see why Young thought we should get together.

So at the end of the evening, I took her to her home and dropped her off. And went back to my hotel and went to sleep.

Now many readers might be surprised by that ending, given my past behaviors.

But I was liking her as a teacher, associate, and a friend: conversation was fun, stimulating, and a learning experience. It may sound rude, but very few conversations are learning experiences for me. Sometimes they are lecturing experiences, and of course I'm always learning, but those are qualitatively different from a real learning experience. I love to learn. So much that it overrides sex.

Anyhow sexually it would be difficult to think she could compare to May. So really sex wasn't the issue. Was I starting to rise above sex? God forbid!

Interestingly, at one point at the peak of inebriation, we shared a kiss. (We had also shared a rather chaste drunken kiss once at the previous meeting in Asia.) But it really didn't work. In one sense it was an overwhelming physical sensation, but in another sense we both agreed (although she suggested it first) that it wasn't worth ruining a perfectly good mental interaction.

The next day she calls and suggests that make it a habit to meet for dinners when we are visiting each other's country. I would have stayed away from this idea previously, but after that evening, it was an easy one to agree upon.

So to recapitulate the End of Summer followup:

  1. Daniela wants no-strings sex and companionship. Seems attractive, but no time to indulge, and I admit I am put off by her having a son. Over and out.

  2. Cameron wants to be shown the world. I sent her to a spa, she enjoyed it and asked for next steps, I said there aren't any. End of story.

  3. May, no follow up. I was in Korea, but did not elect to spend the time to indulge again. And I'll admit that it's partly because it scares me to be so deep into my senses. May is a drug. But fortunately it's one of those situations: out of sight, out of mind. Or I'm busy enough not to dwell on it or develop any cravings.

  4. Jenny, the hostess with the mostess... a new friend, dinner companion, and teacher. Not a close friend, and definitely not a lover, but still... a friend. And in some ways friends are the simpler, less demanding, and more enduring relationship. I have written before about how I do have some platonic female friends. Frankly they have lasted longer than my other relationships with females.

Any summer where you can make a new friend is a worthwhile thing. Right? Boy, doesn't that sound all warm and fuzzy? Stay tuned...

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