Tag Archives: marriage

30 Dollars

A few weeks ago, a cousin I have not spoken to for about a decade invited me to his wedding in Hawaii. I knew almost right away that I would decline the invitation. Yet, I felt guilty about saying no. I talked with one of my best friends about it a few hours after receiving the invitation which helped me feel better, and I decided to donate $30 to my cousin’s honeymoon fund instead. Still, his ask and my reaction to it lingered with me.

I felt a small drop of guilt for a few hours after I made up my mind to say no even though I had several strong reasons not to attend. Continue reading



Filed under Personal, Society

When All Your Friends Abandon You for Their Husbands: A Contingency Plan

Some people prioritize their romantic partners. I prioritize my friends. My close friends have been with me through the best of times and the worst of times. One of my good friends consoled me in an H&M when I got the text that my grandmother passed away. Three close friends sat with me and comforted me on the cold, hard floor of my dorm room right after the friend breakup that triggered my PTSD three years ago. One friend drove me to see the therapist I had a life-changing relationship with in undergrad when I could not do so myself, and another friend drove with me to secure my first apartment near Washington D.C. earlier this year. With a handful of friends, I have exchanged the rawest emotional intimacies, the loudest of laughs, and hours-long conversations about feminism, relationships, the state of society in Trump’s America, and more. My friends have acted as one of the most major influences in my life, and I would not hesitate at all to dedicate my first book, or any of my accomplishments, to them.

I hope this backstory explains why I feel afraid of losing my friendships. Ever since starting this “adult” stage of my life a few months ago, I have noticed a striking pattern: we encourage women (who comprise most of my friends) to get married, and as they date and get married to men (or women, or whomever), they spend a lot less time with their friends. Continue reading


Filed under Personal, Society

No Men, No Marriage, No Problem

Yesterday, I went on a date with this really cute guy. The reasons why I decided to see him: his profile included a picture of himself in front of a mural of Barack Obama, he felt skeptical of the law because it oftentimes serves as “a tool… to uphold dominant ideologies,” and his face (I know, super shallow, please shame me.) The date itself went well too, I thought. Yeah, he may have said that he has never resolved an interpersonal conflict in his life in a satisfying way, but I put that on the back burner when he talked about his interest in advocacy work and used the term “emotional labor” unprompted because most men literally cannot even articulate any emotion, aside from anger, so my bar was low, like, beneath the ground low. Afterward, I journaled about my feelings for half an hour in a nifty D.C. cafe, and I decided to ask him out again. And, after encouraging me to add him on Facebook – I know, how odd – he essentially said no to a second date.

I feel bitter. Some of that feeling stems from the rejection of my interest and vulnerability, sure. But a lot of it also comes from how I wasted my time on this date. Continue reading


Filed under Personal, Society

The Truth About Appearances

I’ve always been told to look my best. And to be honest, I do care about my appearance. I comb my hair every morning, choose clothes that are appropriate for wherever I’m going, and attempt to prevent anything ostentatiously unattractive from showing. You may accuse me of being shallow, yet society has shaped us in such a way that appearances are a definite aspect of who we are. Appearance-based discrimination exists, which is why so many of us struggle to attain an attractiveness that really should be unnecessary.

Even science has revealed that we are naturally attracted toward people with symmetrical faces. Image via viewzone.com.

But in the end, appearances are simply that – appearances. They are the way that something or someone looks, but not what or who that thing or person truly is. I’m not only referring to physical appearances either. Too many of us pass up opportunities to meet other people just because of the way they talk, how they walk, who they hang out with, etc. All of these things, while not directly associated with their actual physical appearances, are shallow assumptions and possible misrepresentations of who that person really is.

One of my friends once said that a marriage is 50% based on looks and 50% based on personality. I hope I’m not the only one who disagrees with that statement. I understand how at first a person may be attracted to another individual based on their appearance, but could you really build a bond that intense with someone – we’re talking a life time commitment – giving equal weight to their appearance as to who they are? Once you spend time with someone and become more deeply acquainted with them, isn’t it true that you notice their physical appearance less and less compared to their personality? Perhaps this is why the divorce rate in America is on the rise. If your spouse suddenly became ugly overnight, would you immediately decide to divorce them?

Allow me to use myself as an example because I’m lonely and I need attention. If I were to approach one of my friends and tell them that I’m black, I doubt they would believe me. In fact, they wouldn’t, because to them I am clearly Asian. But just because I’m Asian doesn’t mean that I like rice, or that I can’t write well, or anything else – really, it only means that I’m Asian. Sure, appearances (and how one’s ethnicity contributes to their appearance) is a part of us, but it is by no means the sole factor determining who we are.

I'm sure you know not to judge a book by its cover... but in this case you can, because Jem is gorgeous and so is Clockwork Prince.

I’m not saying that all attractive people are brainless imbeciles. All I’m suggesting is that we should try to get to know people before judging them. Before deleting that person of your friends list for that one ugly picture they uploaded, strike a conversation with them and see if you have things in common. Before casting away that Caucasian guy because all the other Caucasian guys you’ve met turned out to be duds, ask him whether he enjoys reading books in his free time or playing tennis like you do (these things apply to me, but, you get the point).

Maintaining one’s appearance is necessary, but ultimately personality and ethics are more important. Some of the strongest people on the planet are disfigured, such as Nick Vujicic and Jacqui Saburido, but that hasn’t prevented them from inspiring others and making an impact on society.

What do you think of appearances versus reality? I’m interested in hearing others’ opinions, especially on the marriage question. I’m writing this at 11:30 PM on Christmas Eve but I’ll probably publish it the day after Christmas, so, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!


Filed under Society