Chapter 4 A Bar and Sappy One-liners
When I met Bob, I knew deep down that this relationship was designed to keep me confused, but I was smart enough to hide it from myself. The moment our eyes and he did the full-body scan look at me, and the sappy lines started. It was so familiar — it felt comfortably-uncomfortable. I was proud of myself because I waited at least a couple of weeks before I conceded and jumped into bed with him. I gave him exactly what he wanted: sex with no commitment.
So many lonely nights, while lying in bed, I’d repeated this to myself. “Fake it until you make. Or Pretend it’s real until it becomes real.” I believe that statement has truth to it. But it’s not true for this relationship, yet I don’t know why.
Part 2 of this book, rule 1
How do you apply the strategy : Fake it until you make it?
I remember using my secret whisper while laying next to him in bed. I continued to remind myself about the “fake it until you make it” affirmation, but then a creepy voice often challenged this belief. “Why don’t you say it out loud? Or make a comment to Bob about how you really feel in the relationship.” This voice challenged me weekly.
“Are you afraid he’ll hear you and explain you are wrong?” As the tears flowed and I again felt betrayed, it bothered me. I didn’t know what the “it” was that bothered me, but I felt it.
I remember another speech, “I have already been more successful than my mother, so I’m proud of myself.” The list of reasons for being more successful than my mother was short, so it was easy to remember:
01 I didn’t have a child that needs me,
02 I have a steady job
03 independent financially.
04 and most important — mom needed a man to help her feel normal – like she was part of a family – i reasoned i could leave this relationship at any time. Nothing holding me down. Freedom and independence.
Often, I fell asleep and had nightmares about my family life in Ukraine. Just when I thought I had made choices that were better than what I had learned from my mother, many of the feelings from those lonely early teen years flooded back. I didn’t ask them to, but they came anyway.
I reminded myself often, “I have companionship and the sex is good.” I gave myself this speech audibly, hoping I would believe it sooner or later. As an atheist, I don’t have a belief system that God loves me and has promised me a good life at some point, such as after I die. What I do have is a belief that I am worthy of a better life and a good man. However, I don’t know where that belief came from, so part of my journey was finding that answer.
Chapter 5. Ok, This is Strange!
!! Timeline — back to the present
I’m at work. I teach English in China. From across the foyer, I notice a man who just glanced at me. His glance kind of turned into a stare—but a short one. His stare didn’t feel sexual — I know what its like to receive what I call the bar stare. I’m in my mid twenties. I’m thin, sexy as hell, and my red curly hair helps me stick out in an asian crowd. I’ve learned how to be alluring.
!! bar stare.
Many non-Chinese come into this school for work, but there is something strange about this man. He’s different. I don’t know why. There is no way I’m going to approach him and investigate. In fact as soon as this meeting is over with my manager, I’ll head out.
And I’ve learned that even if I say hello to a male stranger and ask him a question or two, if he shows any interest, he’ll lie about whatever. I’m being a bit cynical — i concede – but its confusing to me. I don’t know where the line of gentleman and non-gentleman is. I inherited (allow to make this gross generalization) it from my russian / eastern european upbringing. Everywhere you look in my hometown, the young women are beautiful. But as life goes on, we (us women) develop distrust and cyncism. I’m not speaking from an academic statistic study. Instead, I’m drawing from only my life experience. After all, what else do I have to pull from?
Although Bob lies enough for the both of us, that’s not good enough. The game is the game, so I lie a lot also. Lying is part of life — its part of a relationship.
Act like you care:
My manager is approaching. This chat will be short. I know that look on his face. We never have meaningful dialogue. He speaks, I listen and smile, meeting ends, and I leave.
The short chat ends, so I look back across the room and notice the mystery man is gone. The obvious thought goes through my mind.
Oh well. I will probably never see that strange man again — not that I care.
The only reason that he probably got my attention is I was told that there is an American who also works here. The guy I just saw is the only person who fit the description: middle aged, kind of balding, offers a friend smile to all, and is some kind of therapist. He is also happily married to a chinese woman and not into the night club crowd.
So what thought came to mind when I heard this description: I can’t relate.
!! check for truthfullness
The tone in the voice of the woman who told me this also caught my attention. I can’t remember the details of what I was told because learning about the existence of a man is hardly exciting to me. The only reason I guess I’m still on the topic is the impression he made with his glance from across the room. He is a foreign man (non-asian) who did not give me the sex stare. I don’t know who invented this term, yet I use it because it fits.
!! sex stare.
I have formed a belief early-on as a Russian woman in Asia: If he is a man and he starts to give you that look, he wants sex. My life has taught me a handful of lessons since those days of being pudgy. Two important lessons seem to apply here: One is all men want sex with hot chicks like me. The second is, don’t trust men!
In my hometown, married men had sex with whoever they wanted often. In fairness, this is my belief. I never did a statistical study to discover if this belief is true. However, because of this belief, I concluded early on whoever that man was, it didn’t matter. He would offer no value to my life, and I was on my own path to disaster with my current boyfriend.
A few days have passed, maybe it’s been a week or 2. Timelines get confusing. I just arrived at the school where I will teach today. We (teachers and staff) typically meet at the front gate of the school before entering.
I’m chauffered to the location, so as we pull up, I notice that strange man, the american. I dont see the point of trying too hard to ignore him, since there will be an introduction of some type. Hopefully short.
My memory bank starts to do a scan for feelings and images. He feels foreign — nope; that word doesn’t fit. I’ll go with strange. He’s a foreigner, and a strange one. So many of the men I have met and I hadve seen before, either at the bars or other foreign gatherings, gave a different vibe. My mind scrabbles to offer context and meaning to these feelings, but—.
After our brief introduction, not worth noting and I don’t remember what he said, I’m starting to get the idea of why he feels strange. He reminds me of a father or uncle figure. You know the type.
In fairness, I’m probably overthinking this a bit. My RAS has been trained well. I’m not sure who trained it, yet it knows how to apply confirmation bias to support my opinions. I like saying “it” because if i say, “I use my RAS to act like sherlock homes,” this explanation sounds like I’m cognitively aware of this unconscious process.
Let’s offer a little context. I’ll make it short for now. What is confirmation bias and RAS? Confirmation bias helps you build arguments to support your ideas, whether the ideas are stupid or not. The RAS or ——————— describes that “part of the brain” that becomes aware of things that are of interest. If my explanation is good enough, keep reading. I don’t know the whole story yet, but i never stop until things make sense to me.
So why do I see life through a confirmation bias of cynicism?
I’ve been in a familiar place for a while now. Living in a community of foreigners, we RUssian women have built are reputation over the years as stowaways – easy sex targets – and needy. Looking for a thrill where we can find it because we know why we attract all kinds of men, especially the lonely ones who can’t imagine themselves settling down and starting a family. We attract the type of man who is looking forward to brag about the great one-night stand he just had.
European and Russian women in this community in China are known primarily for one reason in the night clubs. We are ready for sex or short term romance. Honestly, the word romance doesn’t fit too well because romance might include a relationship. You can call it what you want, both terms mean the same thing.
The most common compliment men give us Russian ladies is “She’s a good fuck.”
!! Back to now
I’m guessing I will not work with this strange man regularly, so offering to connect with him by phone seemed reasonable when he offered this connect info to me. One of his closing comments was “I’m an author and hypnotist.”
!! timeline. repeat.
Our day together ends and we go our separate ways. A few days pass, we exchange a few messages, and I travel back to my earlier thought about what he reminds me of. I feel a different vibe. It’s kind of felt like an uncle of father figure checking in on me — I like it. Yet I haven’t experienced this from a man, an older man, in a while. I know why it feels strange. By I won’t try using words to express it right now.
Why do I call him strange?
Let’s consider some context and setting. This is Asia. The companies we work for all have 1 thing in common: gorgeous young asian girls work at the front desk and many of the not-so-important roles. The foreigners hit on the girls consistently. Who can blame these men. These girls are about as sexy as can be if you like the asian body type.
Second is how he looks out for my safety. Weeks have passed and never once did he suggest a face to face meeting. Our meetings were by internet phone and often they are just a few short texts.
Like I said — this feels strange.