Of Fries And Can We Be Friends?

I got to talking to this girl during my weekend creative writing class, and I was telling her about my blog. The conversation happened over lunch – where I had a side serving of fries on my plate – of which I only had 3 pieces, yay! Sorry, just had to brag :)

Anyway, we got to talking about men, and this girl had a pretty strong belief that men and women can’t be friends. For her, the notion was absurd and impossible.

As for me, I’d like to believe that men and women CAN be friends, because most of my good/best friends are male (and if her theory held true I’d be left with virtually no friends!)

Having said that, I’m actually struggling with making new guy friends.

I grew up with brothers, so I always feel I get along better with men. Because of this, when meeting a new group of people, I find myself naturally gravitating towards men more than women. For some reason I feel more at ease around men, and the conversations seem to flow better.

So I’m in a new city, I’m meeting all sorts of people. I meet a bunch of cool people, some of which are guys. We talk, we click, we laugh. We exchange numbers and make plans to meet. I’m happy to meet this cool person who has similar interests and to have a new friend in the city whom I can catch up with.

The trouble, though, is that I wanted to be friends, but he wanted the benefits too.

I’ve had to deal with a couple of these situations in the past few months, and so I tried a few approaches to see which one works best.

The up-front approach
This is where, before agreeing to meet up with a guy, I say something like “I just want to let you know that I’m agreeing to meet you as friends. I’m not looking for more, so nothing will ever develop out of this beyond friendship. I want to be upfront to avoid awkwardness and unmet expectations.”

The results?
Didn’t work so well. One guy said he still wants to keep pursuing me in case he can make me change my mind. I guess the flaw with this approach is for someone who enjoys a challenge, saying this to them is like holding up a green light saying “come get me”

The hint-drop approach
I found this really useful for the new year, because people always ask what your new year resolutions are. If the guy doesn’t ask, I make sure to ask him so he can ask me back. To which my response would be “my resolution? Just trying to give up things that are bad for me, you know, alcohol, fries, men”.. He is intrigued and respond with “Men?” And I proceed to talking about how I have no place or time for men in my life etc. One guy responded with “but you’re talking to one”, to which I casually said “yup, guy friends are allowed”

The results?
I actually don’t know if this approach worked (hah!) It might have just made them less likely to tell me what they’re really thinking, but that’s fine by me.

The play-dumb approach
This is where I literally play dumb. If he compliments me, I pretend I didn’t hear it. Or if it’s via chat, I ignore it and change the topic. When saying goodbye, if I sense he’s leaning in for a kiss, I would just wave or give a quick hug and go off. I basically ignore all attempts and proceed as though nothing has happened.

The results?
I think this is the easiest one to do because it doesn’t require any confrontation or conversation, but it’s also the least effective. By brushing it off, he might think he needs to try harder.

I generally prefer to be upfront and honest, so we get it out of the way and just be friends. The whole playing dumb thing bothers me because I hate the idea of leading someone on. But at the same time, I struggle to bring it up especially when the guy isn’t being explicit about it. He might just go all “Woah chill the f*ck out girl I wasn’t into yo ass”

So, that’s my story. I’m still not sure what the best approach is but I stand by my belief that men and women can be friends. I’m sure there are male-female friendships which don’t work, and some of my new friendships may never work out. But there are also same-sex friendships that don’t work. The way I see it, some friendships are meant to be, and some aren’t – regardless of whether you’re male or female :)

What about you guys? Do you think men and women can be friends? And if you have any bright ideas on how to tell a guy you just want to be friends, please do share :)

Of Fries And Discovering Patterns

I was reading through my old diary entries recently, and realized two things:

ONE: I was such a DORK!!
TWO: Every single diary entry had something to do with boys. Like literally e-v-e-r-y one of them. I would blab on about my “crush” in each entry, and somehow managed to constantly find new boys to ‘crush’ on and write about.

I was 11 years old when I had my first crush. He was an American boy who came to visit for a while. When he went back to the US, I went through great lengths to get his address and sent him a love poem (which I composed), only to get back a ‘let’s be friends’ note. I was heartbroken, but I got over it pretty quickly when I met my second crush at the age of 12.

Crush #2 was the first guy who ever rang me. Back then we were still using home phones. We would arrange a time for him to call every day, and I would wait by the phone at that exact time. If someone else (like my grandma) happened to pick up the phone, he would hang up and keep calling again until I was the one who answered. I still remember my family discussing a ‘prank caller’ who kept calling at 6 pm. Oops.

We hardly got to meet because I was too young to go out on my own (according to my parents). After a short period, it became difficult to sustain a ‘relationship’ only through phone calls, and even more difficult for both of us to be free at the same time everyday. So things started to fade. Also possibly because I met my new crush.

From ages 13-15, I had a series of crushes. One of them had dimples. One was tall and played basketball. Another was someone I met in an online chat room. My diary entries were a roller coaster of emotions from “yay, he talked to me today!”, to “he hates me.. I want to die :(” I wrote poems about each one, wrote their names and drew hearts around, took candid photos of them and taped them to my diaries. You would think I was some kind of serial killer if you saw my diaries!

When I was 16, I finally had my first real date. I remember we went to the movies, and this guy who was 4 years older than me had “forgotten” his wallet. I paid for his ticket and mine. Halfway through the movie, he turned to kiss me. It was my first kiss and unlike what I saw in movies, there were no fireworks, no sparks, no butterflies, no nothing. It was just awkward and sloppy and unromantic. I remember feeling horrible as though my first kiss had been “stolen”.

That relationship only lasted for two months. We got together on Valentine’s Day, and broke up on April fools day :D

After him, I met a guy who would become my first ever infatuation and obsession. We went on a few dates and spoke on the phone, but he wasn’t looking for something serious – which at that time I didn’t understand. I wasn’t (and still am not) good at taking ‘No’ for an answer, so I spent the next few years making it my “mission” to win him over. I bought him gifts, did chores for him (I went over to his shop and mopped the floor for him!), called him everyday, wrote him love letters. I was one desperate chick.

Until I met someone else at the age of 19. He was my first real boyfriend, and we were together until I was 24.

After we broke up, I had a couple of rebounds, and one of them became my second obsession. Let’s call him frenchie. Many of my blog posts are about him. Of Side Orders and Casual Relationships,  Of Unavailable Fries and Men, and  Of ‘Limited Time’ Fries And Men, to name a few.

When I turned 25, I decided I need to get over frenchie, and so I got myself into possibly the worst relationship of my life. I wrote about him in Of Fries and Trusing Your Instincts and Of Fries And Hope.

I wasn’t even 26 when I got back to my obsession with frenchie, and it became this on and off thing for about a year. During this time I also dated a few other men, since my thing with frenchie wasn’t exclusive.

Last year I was 27, and went through a series of short-term relationships. Some were more intense than others, but they all had one thing in common: they weren’t going anywhere. 

In my quest for ‘love’, I had gone from trying to find the man of my dreams, to thinking I had found him, to believing there was no such man and that I would be better off just having fun with men whom I saw no future with.

I turned 28 yesterday, and it dawned on me that I haven’t been free of men for nearly two decades!

I tried to think of a reason behind this.

Is it an act of rebellion? I grew up in a strict household and it was an unspoken rule from the day I was born that the guy you date is the guy you marry. It seems like I was rebelling, but then I was writing my first name with these guys’ last names, so I must have been thinking about marriage to some degree?

Is it a way to escape? I wasn’t happy with the way things were at home, and maybe being obsessed with these guys gave me something to ‘escape’ to / daydream about?

Is it low self esteem and constant need to be liked?

Maybe it’s all of the above and more, I don’t know. All I know is after having discovered this pattern in my life, I am more determined than ever to break the pattern.

I think now is a good time to focus on me and on doing all the things I want to do – without being worried about whether or not I have someone to ‘crush’ on.  That’s my resolution for 2015 and the years to come.

Another resolution is to cut down on my other obsession: fries.

You must be wondering what would become of this blog if I was cutting down on fries and men. Hah! I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to find out :)

What about you guys, what patterns have you discovered about yourself and your love life?

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Of Fries And The Disappearing Act

I remember when I started dating – about 10 years ago (oh my!) – it was relatively easy for someone to ‘disappear’ if they were no longer interested in continuing a relationship with you.

Social media didn’t exist, so you couldn’t track their every movement.

There was certainly no Whatsapp, so you couldn’t track their ‘last seen’.

If someone chose to simply ‘disappear’ from your life, one of these theories could hold true – at least in your head, which was good enough to serve as some sort of closure: “maybe he lost his phone” (the classic), “maybe he got bitten by a rat and got rabies and died”, “maybe he went to climb Mt Everest and never made it back”, “maybe he was in Hawaii and a volcano erupted”, and so on and so forth.

Fast forward to NOW. While you may disappear by ignoring someone’s messages, you can’t stop them from seeing your movements in the online world.

In the earlier days of Facebook, things you ‘Liked’  wouldn’t show up on newsfeed – now they do! So all your Facebook activity is pretty much tracked. Even if you didn’t do anything on facebook – by just being ON Facebook, you’ll show up on the Facebook chat as ‘online’.

You could choose to *not* go on Facebook at all. But if you use whatsapp, it will show up if you’re ‘online’.

Sure, you could block someone from all your social networks & phones. But let’s face it, the world is getting so much smaller that you’d probably run into this person at a gathering somewhere, or chances are you have mutual friends, or if you’re really unlucky then you might live in the same neighborhood.

Point being: in today’s world, it is near to impossible to simply “disappear”. Yet, some people still believe they can get away with the ‘disappearing act’

Consider this (totally made-up but totally possible) scenario:

One day a guy shows up at my door and says he’s got a delivery for me.
I open the package, and it’s a box of fries – my favorite!
I ask him what it’s for, and he says it’s just because.
I smile, thank him, and accept his fries. We say goodbye.

Next day, the guy shows up again with fries.
And the following day, and the day after that.

Eventually, I let him inside because he is oh-so-nice for giving me all these free fries.

He comes back everyday with fries, and I let him in everytime now. He starts to grow on me. I’m fat but happy.

One day, my FryMan stops showing up.

Oh no.. did something happen to my FryMan..? Did he get hit by a truck? Did he hit his head & lose his memory?

3 days of no fries (or FryMan). I feel my world falling apart. I go for a walk.

I bump into FryMan on the street – the dude is alive and well – all body parts intact, memory intact.

I want to ask him why he stopped delivering my fries, but that would sound too demanding, like I was expecting him to deliver my fries everyday (even though I was). I decide to go with something less presumptious..

Me: Hey, how are you? (Translation: Where are my fries?!?)

FryMan: Hey.. tired (Translation: don’t ask me about the fries)

Me: Oh.. okay.. doing anything much today? (Translation: are you planning on delivering my fries at some point?)

FryMan: Not sure.. probably rest (Translation: No fries for you, lady)

Me: Oh.. okay.. I hope you feel better soon.. bye (Translation: WHY THE HELL DID YOU SHOW UP IN THE FIRST PLACE TO DELIVER THOSE FRIES I NEVER ASKED FOR, AND THEN GET ME ALL HOOKED AND FAT!! NOW TAKE SOME FREAKIN’ RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT YOU’VE DONE!!)

Him: Thanks.. bye (Translation: I’ve actually got another fry delivery to make.. it’s just not addressed to you)
————-

How many of you can totally see yourself as you were reading this scenario? (All hands should be raised up high at this point).

Which brings me to my real question: Is there some kind of etiquette one should adhere to before disappearing?

I mean, it seems kind of rude doesn’t it? You’ve been talking and hanging out for a while and things seem to be going well, and all of a sudden the person just… disappears. No calls, no messages, no nothing. (And I *know* for a fact that you didn’t get eaten by sharks because I *just* saw on my Facebook newsfeed that you ‘Liked’ Kim Kardashian’s ass).

So that just leaves me here wondering what the hell is going on?

To be fair, I guess I can understand that sometimes people lose interest. It’s happened to all of us. Maybe I was hoping to receive a notification, something like: “Hi, I will no longer be delivering fries to you, sorry about that and thanks for your understanding”. I’d probably still be pissed off, but it will at least give me some closure.

What do you guys think? Is the ‘disappearing act’ is an acceptable way of ending things?

Of Less Fries And Men

You wanna know something funny? Ever since I started this blog nearly 3 years ago, my life has been revolving around fries and men.

Why?

Well, because I figured now that I have a blog about fries and men, I need to immerse myself in those things so I can be true to my blog.

At certain times when fries and men didn’t feature much in my life, I would feel like I was doing something wrong. Like I was betraying my blog by not feeding it stories.

I moved to a new city recently though, and decided I want to change my life in a positive way. For starters, I wanted to focus more on me. I realized that by being in and out of flings and relationships, I hadn’t been able to truly focus on the single most important thing in my life – Me! I also decided I would start taking better care of my health and fitness.

In simple terms, I wanted my life to be less revolved around fries and men.

But what about my blog?

I shared this dilemma with a very good friend (also an amazing human being), and he said something really powerful:

“You’re a person with a blog, not a blog with a person”

He was completely right. Here I was, living as though my blog was my life, when the simple truth is that my blog is just what it is: a blog.

And with that realization, I’ve started my journey of living a balanced and healthy life which doesn’t revolve around fries and men.

I still allow myself to have fries from time to time – but it is no longer an addiction or something I crave for. And no, I didn’t become a hermit or a nun. I still go on dates and have my fair share of fun, but I no longer make men the center of my universe.

I am spending more time discovering myself and doing things I love. And you know what, I feel more empowered and happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

And I want to invite all of my readers to try it. Try making your life more about “YOU”, less about fries or men (or whatever else that your life has been revolving around). I promise you’ll see a positive difference :)

Of Fries And Never Lower Your Standards

Today I threw away a box of French fries. No, not an empty box. A box-full of uneaten French fries. Yup, that box is now in the trash can. And no, ‘trash can’ is not a nickname for my fridge :D

I’ve been eating healthy these days and decided I would reward myself with fries today. I waited with excitement for my fries to be ready, and finally the box of fries – which felt like a box of treasure – was handed to me. I sneaked my fingers inside the box, took out one fry, and put it in my mouth.

It was.. hmm..

Well, it wasn’t horrible.

But it wasn’t that great either.

I sneaked out another piece of fry and took a bite, anticipating that it would taste better. But it only confirmed my first reaction.

Don’t get me wrong, the fries weren’t bad – they were edible. And if this was a few months ago, I would have added some sauce & finished the whole box anyway.

But I guess I love my body a bit more now, and I’ve been making an effort to be healthy. So if I’m going to allow JUNK to go in my body, it better taste so bloody amazing that it makes my tongue go to heaven! There’s no way I’m going to lower my standards and make do with just ‘edible’ fries.

no-fries

Which reminds me of something my sister always says (in fact she just said it again today):

Don’t ever lower your standards. Not even one bit.

Obviously she didn’t mean it in the context of fries :P But I’m sure will be happy to know I’m also applying her wise words towards men & dating.

It’s been a series of dateless weekends for me, and well, there are guys I could probably meet just to fill my Friday or Saturday nights. But I guess I love myself a bit more now too, and I’d rather spend my weekends alone than spend it with someone who isn’t bad, but just ‘isn’t that great’.

So here I am, it’s 10 PM on a Saturday night, I’m sitting on my couch, in my pj’s, eating oranges for dinner. And I couldn’t be happier about it :)

Of Fries And F*ck the Rules

I had an enlightening conversation today with J – over fries of course ;)

We were talking about how sometimes women hold back even though we’re interested in a guy, because we believe we should follow a set of ‘rules’ or ‘steps’ in dating. Rules like ‘no kissing on first dates’, or ‘no spending the night at his place’, or ‘no sex until the third date’ or ‘never text him first’, you get the drift. The list goes on and on.

A lot of these rules are carved in our brains through magazines, books, relationship blogs, friends, mothers, and hairdressers. We have the rules memorized, we recite them before going on a date (do *not* go home with him!), and we refer back to them throughout the course of the date.

For example, suppose I’m on a first date, and there’s this perfect moment where we are both sitting under the stars, and the guy leans over for a kiss. My immediate reaction would probably be to pull away even if I wanted to kiss him, because in that split second I have consulted my rulebook and Heaven forbid if I were to kiss him, I would be letting my hairdresser down!

I’ve never really questioned these rules or given much thought to them. They were just something you followed because you’re supposed to.

But J said something today that really made me think:

‘You’ll always have different dynamics and connection with each person you meet, which is why it doesn’t make sense to apply the same set of rules to everyone. That’s not how dating works.’

And J is completely right. By following certain rules, you’re preventing yourself from reacting spontaneously to someone based on how they make you feel. There might be people you connect more with, which means you’ll behave differently towards them than you would with others, and that’s absolutely fine.

Just like it’s absolutely fine to eat your fries whichever way you want. J had his with ketchup, while I had mine with mustard – yum :)

Of Fries And Being Fearless

So recently I had a ‘last date’ with this guy I’ve been seeing. Relax, he didn’t die or anything (thank God!). It was our last date because I was leaving the city.

Before I tell you how our last date went, let me first tell you that he’s the same guy whose text I was waiting for. He’s also the same guy who made me realize I may want more. And the same guy I was holding back from.

Looking back at these posts, there seems to be a pattern in terms of my thought & behavior. I get insecure around him, perhaps because he’s quite secure with himself and seems to ‘have it all’. Or maybe it’s because he doesn’t get in touch with me as much as other men have (or as much as I’d like him to). Or because he’s the first nice & sane guy I’ve met in a long while. Or it could be that I actually like this guy (more than I’d like to admit). Well, I guess it’s all of the above.

Anyway, being insecure around a guy you like –> SUCKS. In case you haven’t experienced it, let me paint you a picture of what it’s like:

Every time he sends you a text, you spend hours decoding it with your girlfriends (picture a scene from CSI or House). And when he hasn’t texted, you spend hours wondering why (most of the time you automatically assume he’s with another girl).

When he asks you out, you’re excited but also wonder if it’s because the other girls on his list aren’t available. You then start panicking over the fact that you’ve been pigging out lately and now have nothing to wear. You finally pick your best dress after trying about a kazillion outfits, and manage to convince yourself that you look pretty.

When you do meet him, he’s even more attractive than you remember, and you forget how to speak English for a few minutes! You also now feel like the ugliest thing on earth and regret wearing that horrendous dress.

When you’re hanging out, you’re constantly analyzing everything he says to figure out if there’s a deeper meaning (OMG he just told me what he wants his daughter to be named. Does that mean he wants me to be the mom? OMG!)

And constantly worried that you’ll say the wrong thing so you stick to safe topics like animals and food (after all, who doesn’t love talking about dogs and tofu!)

So that pretty much sums up most of our dates. Not to say we didn’t enjoy ourselves, I mean, we did have good laughs. But there was always this fear at the back of my head that prevented me from really enjoying it. Fear of doing or saying something that will turn him off. Fear that he wouldn’t call me again. Simply put, fear of being rejected.

Our last date, though, turned out to be the best date we’ve had.

Why?

Because, for the first time, I didn’t have any fears or insecurities in my head. I guess it’s because I was leaving, so I didn’t really care how the date went. I was able to just relax and be myself, without worrying about what he said or what I said. We ended up talking for hours about all kinds of things – real things – not just dogs & tofu! I genuinely had a great time and I know he felt the same way.

It made me realize that in dating, you can never have a fulfilling experience if you spend your time worrying and over-analyzing. The same way you can never enjoy fries if you keep worrying about the calories while you’re eating them. So, ladies, get out there and be ‘fearless’ (as Taylor Swift puts it).

 

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Of Fries And You Don’t Know Me

We’ve known each other for a few months now, but you don’t really know me.

Today you asked if I wanted some fries from your plate, and I said no. You weren’t shocked by my response, because you don’t really know me.

I’m not blaming you; because it’s me who’s holding back.

I’m holding back.. because I don’t know if you really want to see everything there is to see.

I’m holding back.. because it’s easier to put up a wall than be exposed.

I’m holding back.. so that it won’t hurt when it ends, because at least I can tell myself that you never really knew me.

I’m holding back.. maybe to see if you’d care enough to dig deeper.

I wonder if I’ll ever let you know me well enough to ask “What’s wrong?” when I say no to fries :-)

Of Fries And Let’s Be Honest Here

If you love fries the way I do, you’ll understand that when looking through a menu and choosing what to order, there is a 98.2 percent chance that I would choose the meal that comes with fries. Never mind if the main dish doesn’t sound very appealing – if it comes with fries, I’ll take it!

This time was no different – I looked through the menu and ordered something that came with fries.

But when my order arrived, I was absolutely horrified to see that there were no fries! Not a single one. I demanded for my fries, but the waiter informed me they had changed the menu and that meal no longer comes with fries.

I was disappointed because I was really looking forward to the fries. In fact, I was more excited about the fries than I was about the rest of the meal.

Yet here I was, stuck having a meal without fries.

It’s not a pleasant feeling, and I went through the same feeling again recently with my so-called casual arrangement.

‘But didn’t you say you wanted casual?’, my friends asked when I complained about how the whole thing was.. ermm.. ‘too casual’.

I couldn’t answer that question. Sure, when that really cute guy with a really nice body told me he wasn’t looking for something serious – my response to him was “Cool! Neither am I”. And I meant it at the time. I actually thought that’s what I wanted – a non-serious arrangement with a really hot guy.

But as it turns out, when I finally got what I ordered, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted at all. All I really wanted was fries!

So why didn’t I just order fries in the first place?

I guess I was embarrassed.

I was embarrassed to admit that I wanted fries as a main meal.

And, let’s be honest here: I was embarrassed to be that girl who wants a relationship instead of a casual arrangement.

Of Fries and Why Hasn’t He Texted Part II

After two days of waiting and wondering why he hasn’t texted (and stuffing my face with fries in the process), I decided to consult J, one of my best guy friends who’s also the sexiest man on earth (J, I’m sure you loved that).

And I’m glad I did that, because it gave me some really useful insights on what goes on in a man’s mind when he doesn’t text right away. I’m summarizing my conversation with J into a list of Frequently Asked Questions as to why he hasn’t texted:

We had a good time, and he did seem interested, but why hasn’t he texted me?

Well, it depends on the guy. Every guy has different rules. Some might text the next day. Some might choose to wait a few days. 

But if he likes me, shouldn’t he text me everyday?

Do you expect him to do that? Because not every guy will. Some guys prefer to do as little messaging as possible, so that the conversation doesn’t become boring. If you’re texting all day, you can run out of things to say.

Could it be that I did or said something to turn him off?  

Usually it’s not about you. It’s more about them. Since you don’t know what they have going on in their lives.

So it’s possible that he wants to see me again, even if he hasn’t texted?

Sure. Just give it a few days.

**************************

My conversation with J was really eye-opening and made me realize that I was obsessing for no good reason.

First of all, why did I expect a guy I had just met to suddenly start texting me everyday?

Secondly, even if he did do that, wouldn’t the fact that he was ‘too keen’ turn me off anyway?

And finally, what possessed me to tie my self esteem to a text message from a guy?

Having realized all of that, I decided to get a grip and remove this obsession from my mind space. And well, it was at that point where I stopped waiting & checking my phone, that I finally got that text from him ;)

I hope this post is useful for all of you who’s been wondering why he hasn’t texted. I think the most important thing to remember is not to doubt yourself, ever!

P.S. If you have any messages or questions for J, feel free to leave them here and I’ll make sure he gets them :)

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