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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sam Falls in Love, Part 2: First Date

[Disclaimer here: this series of posts were written fall 2010 but never posted. I’m posting it now because there is a follow-up story. And I can’t post that without first posting this. Part one of this story is here.]

The Date

I am nursing my drink when I receive a text message. Yu-na is just about to arrive. I text back: I am at the front table awaiting her. I go back to skimming emails. A few moments later she arrives.

For me it is an event. Wait, no. It is an Event. 

She looked like an anime character – an amazing figure, beautiful face, luminous eyes, long limbs, elegant hands and fingers and a well-turned ankle. One of the few times I can recall having my breath taken away upon first seeing a woman. She is wearing a simple dress, multicolored, demurely cut. She has a small cross pendant. Simple earrings. No watch, rings, or bracelets. Short jet hair with a hairpin. Natural short working nails. Slim, pink phone. Light makeup, mostly on her eyes.

I thanked the gods for the dress code at the club which put her in a dress.

I thanked Jenny for not setting my expectations high, to enhance the surprise.

I thanked the Fates for not letting Sigmund meet this woman first.

I stumbled through some greetings, tried to arise to pull out her chair but was beaten to it by the maitre d’. I had liked that maitre d’ before. Now he appeared to be a smarmy interfering sod.

I’ll cut to the chase. The meal was excellent. But the conversation was divine. To have discourse on topics both technical and philosophical, with a woman with such stunning looks, it was otherworldly.

Had I ever had a more interesting technical discussion? Absolutely.

Had I ever had a deeper or more challenging philosophical conversation? Sure.

Had I ever seen a more beautiful woman? Yes.

Had I ever had a combination of the above more scintillating? Never.

The experience was like a deal that just gets better and better with every passing moment. One where every expectation is exceeded the very next minute.

Hours passed. We moved to another part of the club for a few drinks. She drank sparingly but conversation continued. We ranged from the future of robotics to the philosophical implications of the Many Worlds interpretation. We debated eastern and western philosophies on cognitive development. Educational systems. Objectivism and humanism. Current events and business climate. Improvements to Jenny’s business. My approach to business deals in Japan. The politics of the sex in media. The effect of globalization on poverty in first world countries versus developing economies. The styles of Chopin, Bach and Beethoven. The Beatles. The roots of K-Pop. Rococo art and its cultural reaction from Mannerism. I learned a lot and taught a lot.

All in all an evening well beyond expectations.

What Happened?

Later she told me that she had never accepted a dinner invitation like that before. She didn’t know why, but then she remembered the fortune teller. It was March 2010. Was that a reason?

I was only in Korea for a few days. I spent every possible moment with her, just talking. I was smitten in a manner that was unprecedented. I was addicted to her voice, her mannerisms, her way of thinking. Puppy love at my age? Ridiculous. At the time the why and wherefore were not important. I wouldn’t even try to figure out those things until after things went awry, too late, too late.

She told me that she loved me after our third date. I would find out later that she had developed a sophisticated set of conditions for men. She was a snap decision maker. She had decided on me quickly. She was tired of protecting her heart. She put it right up front with me, in the line of fire. I, of course, was very skeptical, a classic cynic.

In retrospect this was where my heart jumped into the fray. I didn’t know it, of course, being clueless in the matters of love. I merely felt Yu-na was an amazing woman. But still just another woman in my journey of experiences. Somebody to pursue. Somebody I wanted to continue to meet. But not somebody to believe was in love with me. That was too fast and too unrealistic. I left Korea telling her I didn’t believe her. Perhaps worse. What I said was: “I have difficulty believing you. What you say to me... you could say to any man. How would I know it is truthful?” Much later she told me she cried after she heard that. Nice guy, aren’t I? After she bravely put her heart squarely in the line of fire I took cowardly potshots at it.

But over the subsequent few months she completely won me over. Her complete openness and candor was impossible to resist.

By May after a few trips abroad and in the United States I finally acknowledged in my head what I already knew in my heart: I was head over heels in love.

Yet by late June I stood at JFK airport regarding the ruins of a relationship I had destroyed.

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