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Chang's Symphony, Fifth Movement, Opus 11

weather: sunny
outside: 21°C
mood: amused
Q5: B - from your username handle to your journal content, it's clear that married life is a very important part of your life. Of course, at one point in your life, Husband Guy was a stranger to you. Imagine if circumstances have kept you two strangers up until now; you just met him a week ago and agreed to go on a date with him this Friday. What would you be most curious about, as a single girl? Knowing him as you do, what are the things that you'd first notice if you were to see him for the first time, and what would you be most impressed by?pjammer

I have a stupidly high character constitution filter that automatically screens out 96% of the men I meet (Yes, yes — I know it's dumb. But I can't develop any sort of the necessary romantic affection/feelings for someone unless he is a worthwhile individual. Which, of course, makes me A Snob. *SNIFF*). Dude, I couldn't resist. >KD

When I saw this question from pjammer, the first thing I said was, "I hate you..." =D Off and on, in the past decade or so, my mind would wander to the question of what I'd be like if I weren't with toturi. I'd be dating, like many of my friends, online and RL. Invariably, these what-iffers very quickly turn into immense gratitude to all the appropriate Deities and Random Cosmic Occurences that we are together. I would fall flat on my face if I ever tried dating.

And yes, you may all laugh at how this reminds you all of your own "dating ideals" when you were first starting out. =) I did the Personal Attraction Test at Match.Com and it said that out of all the millions of men who filled out the survey, only 4% would find my personality remotely attractive. So, that 96% filter up there is not completely made up. It's probably even higher, like a 98% or 99% filter because I have constraints they don't consider.

All I can say is: I'm glad I was only 14 when we met. I showed this to toturi before I posted. "How did you EVER get stuck with ME?!", he says =D

What would you be most curious about, as a single girl?

Education

I had three basic requirements for a boyfriend when I was little (from age 7 or 8). He has to be:

1) Smarter than I am
2) Older than I am (toturi just barely qualifies =)
3) Taller than I am (I'm so short that this isn't very hard =)

#1 was obviously the most important to me. I value academic degrees from reputable Universities and professional training designations (for example: PEng, Oracle DBA, CA/CGA/CMA, and so on). It shows me a certain level of dedication and the capacity for long term committment, not just to me, but to success in general. Depending on the field of study, it shows me that neurons have actually travelled those synaptic paths. I have a lot of respect for that.

toturi is smarter than I am in many different ways. He makes sense and he has a good head on his shoulders.

Family

Where is his family? How and how often does he keep in touch with them?

Family is, of course, very important to me. I lucked out this way because toturi has a very strong "take care of family" attitude, both towards his side and my side. He and I are on the same page there. We're also not at all averse to living with the previous generations and other family members. If I were to grow up without him, I may possibly think differently of him — "eww, he still lives at home..." — depending on what friends I aligned with after highschool.

I say that I don't mind the "Mama's Boy" thing, but that's because I like his Mom. I love her like I love my own Mom and Dad. She's intelligent and rational, doesn't play drama games or gossip. Her role in his life is one of support, not to live his life for him. She knows and appreciates that I look out for her and she'll do the same for me.

Health

First and foremost, I cannot deal with a smoker. I have Asthma. I can't have anyone smoking around me. And, of course, social drinkers only.

I don't need a decathlete, a militant vegan yogi or anyone that extreme. Just someone who has a decent interest in reading about and making healthy lifestyle choices. Maybe does regular exercise once or twice a week.

This means I couldn't date an Emeril Lagosse... or someone who epitomizes his public persona anyway. =D I think he's really cute and everything... without a doubt, he's a charismatic and fantabulous chef. I won't question for a second that pork fat, duck fat and lard make things taste much better if you know what you're doing. But I couldn't be with someone who will not make the taste-health tradeoff. What can I say? I like breathing and I like that free-flowing circulatory system thing. =)

Behaviour

Chivalry is not dead. Chivalry is just kinda confused. Politeness and consideration for others are at the heart of chivalrous attitudes. The actions will fall out as corollaries.

I want to see how he treats me with different groups of people. It would automatically be a red flag if there were any disparity between how he treats me when we're alone versus with his family; versus with his friends; versus with my family; versus with my friends; and even with strangers. I want someone who will treat me well, consistently, in any environment. If that's not the case, then there's no way of telling what's genuine and what's just an act. It would also make me think there were some underlying issue(s) that motivates the different behaviour — ie. why would he treat me better in front of some people and why treat me worse in front of others? What is he trying to prove? Why the difference?

Money

What does he do with his disposable income? What kinds of interesting things does he do with his money? Both in the way of tax deferal things (RRSPs, donations and what-not) and the way he spends it.

Maybe this isn't something you discuss on a first date. Which is why I might be interested in someone who works in or close to the finance industry because there's at least a higher chance they know how to do financial juggling. I don't need to know how much he makes or see his portfolio breakdown. I just want to know that he's smart about what he's doing with his money.

But how someone close to me handles money is very important to me. I'm not sure I could be more than friends with a Millionaire Playboy (though that might be interesting for a while). I also couldn't respect a man who was perpetually broke, lives past his paycheque and into the credit cards, having to get an advanced paycheque loans, constantly "borrowing" money with no plans to return any of it, etc. Especially when it's totally avoidable if he would just manage his spending a little better.

Does he make up and follow his own personal "spending rules"?

I always appreciate creative solutions to saving money. I know people who have Zero Expenditure Days, where they try to get by for 24 hours without spending a penny (gas up the day before, bring lunch, no vending machine visit, etc.). I have a co-worker who only goes out to dinner in the evening if he's cleaned the house.

I don't think it's gay to clip coupons, return drink containers for deposit refunds, pick up pennies or anything else. It's not sissy to wait for things to go on sale or tag along on a shopping trip with someone who has a Costco membership (as long as they're okay with it). I've always believed in being stingy where you can so that you'll have enough breathing room to be generous and enjoy things on special occasions.

Culture/Life

Does he speak and understand Chinese while being absolutely fluent in English?

This is a dealbreaker for me. I prefer Mandarin, I'll take Cantonese. I suppose he doesn't have to be Chinese, but I've noticed that every single guy I've ever thought was remotely crush-worthy, was Chinese. But he definitely has to speak the language and understand the way of life. The major point being Communication with The Parental Units. Being able to read and write is even better. Knowing the Lunar Calendar conversion, all the Festivals and he has my attention.

Does he speak English properly?

Foreign accents aside, I can't stand "nukular power", "the excape key", "acks a question" (there is one very specific, technical exception to this that I will accept), "drive a Jag-wire" (although, I've found that chances are if a guy owns or likes one of those, I wouldn't want much to do with him anyway), "supposibly", "irregardless", "kakhi" (meaning "the key that opens the car door"), "alas" (meaning "at last"), "aight", "fitty cent", "Ah own b'LEE dis" and most ebonics/gangsta dialects where consonants are dropped because of laziness. I will accept the svarabakhti in "vice versa". I will accept "fortay" (meaning "strong point"), but I'm one of the rare ones who say it's "fort". I would be most impressed with correct pronunciation and usage of the original French. =) He has to be able to put up with "DEB-a-cle" and not "de-BACK-kle".

I will not date George W. Bush or other men who speak like they were kicked in the head by a mule at birth. I expect a gentleman to speak like one.

----------

Does he eat out often? Where? What kinds of restaurants does he frequent?
Can he cook? Because I certainly can't. I'm incredibly Kitchen Challenged™.
Does he travel a lot? Business or leisure? Where?

There's a balance between wasteful hedonism and the knowledge, experience of fine cuisine and enjoyment. It's the wisdom to know this balance that makes the fine gentleman I could love.

----------

What kinds of music does he like?

I listen to Classical and Classical [European] Opera almost exclusively. I prefer the bel canto vocal technique over any other. Many times, I've wished I had someone to talk music theory with, go to concerts and operas with or just lounge around, have O Sole Mio reverberate through the floorboards and feel the hum on our feet. But there aren't very many guys my age who like Classical music.

I don't mind English, Cantonese or Mandarin Top 40, Easy Listening and some Alternative groups.

----------

Does he subscribe to some religious faith?

I cannot put up with religious fervor, not even in a friend. I think I'd even back away slowly if my date weren't hugely religious, but his family were. I believe that you're not just choosing the partner, you're choosing the family as well. I can't be with someone who has a blind, unthinking, unbending faith in any religion. It's one thing to understand and incorporate religious doctrine that resonates with yourself. But people who swallow it whole, really send me.

----------

What types of cars does he like to drive given his current circumstances?
What type of car would he drive if the money constraint were taken out?
If he were a car, what car does he think he'd be?

There's very little denying that the automotive industry is one of the most sensitive to and reflective of the psychology of its end users.

I know the car ones are kinda job-interviewie, but hey, don't knock the JobInt questions =) Behaviour Based Interviewing is a pretty good tool and you see it applied in date situations constantly even if they don't like to call it that.

Knowing him as you do, what are the things that you'd first notice if you were to see him for the first time, and what would you be most impressed by?

Physically, I'd first notice that he's quite tall. 5'11" to my 5'2½". He wears glasses and if it were a date, he'd probably be in his white shirt, black slacks and the matching blazer. He'd be wearing the burgundy, speckled, crosshatch, zip-up tie and the zip-up tie would fool me. =)

He's changed me and I've changed him in the course of our lives together. So, I honestly don't know what he'd be like if we had never gotten together in Grade 12. This question is really hard to answer because there are things that I know from years and years of being with him that wouldn't come out on a first date.

toturi is very soft spoken and sensitive, but he's no Fairy™ (by Al Pacino's intonation). He swears for emphasis and effect. He usually only swears in front of me, or close people and very infrequently.

I think I'd be impressed that he's a Software Game Developer and all the different platforms he's worked with. I'd probably be impressed by the titles he's done. The current one would make my eyes widen but he wouldn't tell me that yet. Most of the date would probably be going from one geek discussion to another.

If we were on a first date, I might be impressed at his dedication to his work and at the same time, questioning how much time he'd have for me. But he may not let on that work is that crazy on a first date. Of course, I would know and understand the work crazies in the software industry.

He may or may not be open enough to me on the first date to show the incredible humour that I now know. toturi makes me laugh and just when it's starting to hurt, he says something even funnier... and funnier... and funnier... and funnier. =D He's brought out the lighter side of me by making me laugh, helping me get past the tension and near debilitating pessimism in my life. And I've brought out more realism and seriousness in him.

Maybe as early as the first date, but for sure, as we saw each other more, I'd notice that the simplicity and straightforwardness of his life and thoughts lend a calm to my ferociously action-item driven rampage.

[pjammer's first 4 questions]


Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
aliasa
Aug. 13th, 2003 09:37 am (UTC)
hehe, love the creative subject title! ;p

It's funny, I know a few couple who have started the same way both you and husband have: met at a very young age and married later; stable marriages and they're some of the happiest couples that I know!

What you wrote about incredible humour ... I find that is one of the most important aspect that I'm also looking for in relationships. Off topic, they say that comedians have one of the highest wit/intelligence -- just for being able to think quickly on their feet and those rapid fire come backs. ;p




bride
Aug. 13th, 2003 01:42 pm (UTC)
Heehee, thanks =)

Yeah, *buff nails on lapel* I thought that title was pretty clever. Mine was the 11th question in that list, so the Opus number is 11. I'm so dorky sometimes it scares even me. XD
ducks
Aug. 13th, 2003 01:25 pm (UTC)
This was a wonderful entry. I really enjoyed reading it. And I whole heartedly agree with Chivalry is not dead. Chivalry is just kinda confused. What a great sentence!! (Well, 2 sentences!!)
bride
Aug. 13th, 2003 02:52 pm (UTC)
Hee, I could put a semi-colon in there and it would be one sentence =)
pjammer
Aug. 20th, 2003 05:42 pm (UTC)
Great entry! Now if I can find a single girl who wants these things, I would be SET! Do you have a cute sister by any chance who shares similiar values? :)

My brother was also impressed - "she mentioned cars in a way that was both insightful and didn't make her sound like a materialistic wench. No wonder she was off the market at age 15!"

Ha.
bride
Aug. 20th, 2003 06:27 pm (UTC)
Do you have a cute sister by any chance who shares similiar values? :)

I don't have a sister, but if I did, she'd never pass your looks filter =D
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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