In which INP is mental.

I was going to get into the Korean studying thing. Fuck knows that would be a much more rational, much more useful post. But something else is on my mind this afternoon. I try not to get too personal with this blog, but this isn't entirely personal and anyway, what the fuck do I care? If you don't like it, then fuck the fuck off out of my blog. Right? Right.

Also, the S.O. is well aware of this and the other blog and has the address to both, and is free to read both at any time. Which might also make this slightly more inappropriate. Or less. I don't know anymore.

The point is, I'm mildly psychotic. Possibly minus the 'mildly'. And while it's not in my nature to fight, and most of the time I can't be bothered getting angry about a million things the S.O. seems to think I should probably get angry about, there are a very small number of things about which I cannot remain rational no matter how hard I try. And I fucking well try.

Today I was meant to head out to Bupyeong after work to pick up a present for the S.O. to cheer him up while he's working overtime during deadline, and change the scenery a bit for the two or so hours I'll spend studying Korean. And then I logged into Facebook and decided that the present was canceled. And that a bunch of other things were canceled, as well, which included a whole rotating list ranging from the absurd to the completely ridiculous. I got angry, basically, is what I'm trying to say. Why? Because the S.O. has R.S.V.P.ed for some stupid foreigner party.

He's seen this out of me before. A few weeks back we went out on a double date with HYF and her boyfriend and somehow the S.O. ended up seated next to some drunk foreign guy, with whom he ended up making normal friendly chit-chat. For about an hour and a half afterward, you could've offered to pay me a million dollars for the task, and I still wouldn't have looked the S.O. directly in the eye. Let alone touch him. Let alone let him touch me. Eventually, I managed to calm myself down and get over it without even bringing it up. But the next morning at breakfast, the S.O. pulled out the guy's card and voluntarily informed me that he wouldn't be contacting or meeting him. He's good at targeting the source of my emotions, even if he's not sure why they're coming from that place. And he's good at not needing to know why, as well.

Which is why he's probably going to notice this. If he's not already expecting it.

Why don't I just talk to him about it? Good question. Because I don't know what to say. Because I don't know why it makes me so irrationally angry.

Questions I have asked myself this afternoon while trying to work this out:
  • Would I be upset if he were going out drinking with his guy friends?
  • Would I be upset if he were going out drinking with his girl friends?
  • Would I be upset if he were going out drinking with a girl friend?
  • Would I be upset if he were going to an equivalent party sponsored and populated by Koreans?
  • Would I be upset if the party were populated solely with foreign men?

Answers to these questions:
  • No, definitely not.
  • No, definitely not.
  • A bit. The tiniest, tiniest bit. (Honestly.)
  • No, not at all.
  • Yes.
The last one. See? There's something. It's not about male/female. It's not about alcohol. It's about Korean/foreigner. Why?

Answer: Because it makes me feel like his hobby.

This is fucking stupid. The man has done nothing but play basketball, work and hang out with me practically since we met. Who gives a fuck if he wants to go to a foreigner party once in a blue moon? He's not an "English enthusiast", as I've mentioned before. He's lived abroad in more than one country, and considers himself to be quite Western-minded, in a sense, which is why we are able to get along as well as we do. So what does it matter if he wants to hang out with foreigners in his free time?

But I still bristle at it. And he seems to sense that, and know why. Which makes me feel equal parts relieved and worried. Does he know why because he gets it, or does he know why because there's a reason why I should bristle?

This all has nothing to do with the S.O., at the end of the day. This all relates back to damage that was done long before he got to me. You all know what I'm talking about. It's part of the reason why I react so violently to Head Teacher, as well. Because when someone sizes up your value based on your foreignness, even if they come down on the 'plus' side, it still makes you feel like shit. Or it should, in my opinion. Because they don't get it. Which would be fine, if I didn't get it either. We could go along treating each other like token morons and have the time of our lives. But I do get it. So when someone on the other side doesn't, it hurts. I choose to be around the Koreans I do because I like them as people -- I chose them specifically. But there's this suspicion in the back of my mind that that's not always the case for me. Sometimes I'm the only foreigner on tap.

You know what I'm saying?

Combine that with the fact that I'm not that good at this relationship/emotions bullshit to fucking begin with, and yeah.... I went a bit nuclear this afternoon. And I probably will go a bit Ice Queen on him again when he mentions the party, as he's sure to do soon. Even though I'll try really, really hard not to. And then he'll figure out what's going on all on his own, and make me feel better. But for right now, I still feel uneasy. And I hate that I can't explain why.

Why am I putting this here? It's really embarrassing, I know. And embarrassing is not my style. But maybe I know that I'm probably not alone on this one. And I want to be reassured. Or I want someone to help me understand what it is I'm actually thinking. Or I just want company in my misery. Or I'm hoping to give you some in yours. I don't know. But here it is.


Gomushin Girl said...

Ok, you know it has nothing to do with your SO, but that doesn't mean you can't talk with him about it. Hearing from your mouth directly how some people behave sometimes will bring home for him what you have to put up with. It's not his fault, and not what he's doing, but it's out there and so while slightly irrational, your response isn't unfounded or coming out of nowhere. You know him and trust him, but that doesn't mean it won't drive you batty.
Here's another way to look at it:
I taught and studied in Korea for two years after I got my BA, then went back to the states. During my time back home, I had a couple of good friends who I loved and cherished as people, who just happed to be Korean. I also really loved to go to parties where the vast, vast majority of people were Koreans and Korean-Americans. What I loved was the atmosphere - K-pop blasting from the speakers, soju in shot glasses, and dudes calling me 누나. It was a little bit of Korea in my poor un-Korea'd life.
And at least you don't have to worry about your SO running off to be a monk again! ^^;;; There's something really embarassing about asking monks to check and see if your boyfriend is still in the meditation room, and if he is would they kindly kick him out?

Sidney said...

so, basically all i have to say is that significant others make even normally very logical people act crazy at times.

that and i understand your fear of being the 'tolken foreigner' to people. but who here doesn't?

Burndog said...

I can dig where you're coming from.

It sounds like a trust issue though...maybe...a little. But...what the fuck do I know? Not much at the minute!

Hopefully it all turns to gravy!

Not much help today am I?

Sorry INP!

Mr. Spock said...

Please know that this is coming from someone who loves your blog and you as a blogger. BUT I have to say that reading this post made me thank the good Lord Krishna that I don't have a girlfriend anymore. I have NO idea why you are upset, even after the explanation. For whatever it's worth, he probably doesn't quite understand either. There is a difference between worrying about whether he likes you for WHAT you are vs. WHO you are--that I get. I have met women in Seoul (of different races) who are just looking for a "White Guy" (whatever the hell that means). But in this situation it seems like he is just going to a party that looks like fun. It just doesn't seem like something worth panicking over. Maybe I misinterpreted, but it seems like you are making a really big deal out of it, which doesn't seem to fit the situation.

Good luck!

I'm no Picasso said...

Trust issues? Me? Noooo.

I know it's mental and irrational. That's why I blogged about it. If he was like, "Hey! I'm gonna go fuck another girl now!" I wouldn't really feel the need to work through that.

Anyway, GG's right about the fact that he just wants to be in the atmosphere. And I already knew that. It's a matter of dealing with the emotions that come with it. Which, believe it or not, I've already managed without even making him aware of the issue: http://imnopicasso.tumblr.com/post/4022241883/i-made-a-post-earlier-and-then-threw-a-little

We will probably talk about it at some point. Because it's not going to stop coming up. But at the end of the day, I know who he is, and I know why I chose him.

Everyone has their bad moments, Spock. I really hope that doesn't put you off having a girlfriend forever. The important thing is working through the bad moments. If you can't manage that much with each other, it's probably not a relationship worth having.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot said...

This phenomenon is still a total mystery to me. I don't know if it's because growing up in America, we're surrounded by people who "aren't from 'round these parts" or what, but I've never been all "OMFG Look! It's my Chinese friend from CHINA, how cool am I??" Honestly, I didn't even think that that might happen to me until I got here and in typical WTF fashion, I react by being violently paranoid and unreasonably wary about every Korean who walks up to me and says hello, or any student who asks me to go for a drink after class, as well as every girl who pointedly looks at me and says "I want a foreign boyfriend". Consequently I don't have many Korean friends, which is, of course, my own fault.

However, I'm with GG on this one. The sooner you two get it out in the open, the better. He may be very good at pinpointing the triggers for your madness, but he still probably doesn't understand WHY they're triggers. At this point he has nothing to do but wait until you finally get angry about something and then try to piece together the common factors on his own. My 2 cents.

PD said...

hello INP, long time no comment.

when i was college-ing in america, i met, dated and lived with a white girlfriend for two years and i think i understand where both you and your boyfriend are coming from. here's my take. i think that your boyfriend is intentionally (or subconsciously) making an effort to mingle with white dudes because it's his way of broadening and protecting his turf (you). see, when i started dating my gf whom i deeply and genuinely loved, i had this irrational fear of her leaving me to date her own "kind" one day. i was never worried about her leaving me for another korean or asian in general, but for some reason in the back of my mind, i feared she may eventually gravitate to her own race and leave me for a white dude some day. so, to overcome that anxiety, i (sub)consciously made efforts to befriend more white dudes so that 1) my gf will see that i'm equal if not better than the white dudes she may find attractive and 2) i can get a better understanding of any potential threats. now, if you had asked me then, i would've never admitted my fears or intentions. hell, i don't even think i understood them at the time. but i always made an extra effort to mingle with white dudes to protect my turf and get a better understanding of her culture at the same time. yeah i know. it makes no sense, i was stupid and naive. but that's how things were for the first year. i guess what i'm trying to say is it seems to me like he's just trying to show you that he's worthy. i'm not making any sense, am i? well, i tried.

sounds to me like you found yourself a pretty decent guy. congrats and good luck to both of you.

PD said...

after posting my comment i realized, shit, maybe he just likes chilling with foreign dudes because he enjoys their perspectives and empathize with their circumstances since he too has lived abroad. i know i enjoy talking to americans in random places because i can relate to them in a way i can never relate to fellow koreans. whatever. who cares? just be happy, INP. don't think too much. thinking isn't good for relationships. :p

I'm no Picasso said...

WTF -- I don't blow up at people unless I feel justified. I wouldn't blow up at him about this, because I know he's doing nothing wrong. I will speak to him about it when I've figured out what it is I have to say. There's no reason to point it out now and make him worry without being able to explain it. He's the kind of person who will change his behavior if he knows it's bothering me, no matter what. So I have to be careful where and how I speak about things. There's no reason for him not to go. It's my problem and not his. If I say anything at all about it, he won't go. That's part of why I need to try to sort it out on my own.

PD -- I don't think he's worried about his turf. If anyone is being territorial in the situation, it's definitely me. But maybe that's because you and I are both in the position of being the minority in the situation. At any rate, he just wants to go and have a good time. And there's nothing wrong with that. I guess. Haha.

FromNoonaWithLove said...

"But there's this suspicion in the back of my mind that that's not always the case for me. Sometimes I'm the only foreigner on tap. You know what I'm saying?"


OK, erm, my two cents. For what they're worth.

It might sound strange, but I imagine that it would actually make me feel better if I knew ‘deep down’ that his going to the party had absolutely nothing to do with me. Which kind of goes against the reassurance that PD offered. But oh well.

Do you think his going to the party has anything to do with you? (No). Would it make you feel better to know that he *was* going to the party, like PD said, as an attempt to somehow consolidate his relationship with you? Or would you prefer his going to the party to be absolutely nothing to do with it?

Ignoring the fact that these things are inextricable and inseparable and blah. Like Goshumin Girl implied: The man has lived abroad, can relate to foreign culture, is somewhat ‘western minded’ (something that came before or after? Who knows. Is that a silly question?) and probably has more than a little sense of nostalgia when it comes to his time spent living abroad. I’d say then that him going to the party is the latter? And that yes you know it’s the latter? He’d be going to the party either way?

Of course that doesn’t completely stop the unease. At all. It can be flipped around. It can be turned into a symptom of some kind of penchant (substitute ‘penchant’ for ‘fetish’ if you like) for foreign culture – or draft beer, to stick to your earlier metaphor - on a wider scale. But honestly the more questions arise, the more utterly impossible it becomes to answer or even distinguish any of them from one another, really.

I can't relate completely because I've never been in a relationship with a Korean man who has lived abroad. In terms of elusive concerns like the ones you're experiencing, that does I think put a slightly 'different' slant on things. But I do know that your only option is to just ask yourself if you trust him and his motives for being with *you*. If the answer is ‘Yes’, which you’ve said you know it is, and honestly fucking olleh for you, then there you go. There is nothing - nothing - else you can do.

I'm no Picasso said...

Noona -- You are right that I would prefer it to have nothing to do with me. And it does have nothing to do with me.

This man has never said one single thing that even made my ears prick up in regards to foreigners, learning English, Westerners, so on and so forth. Never one time has he set off my extremely sensitive alarms there. It's nearly a fucking miracle, to be honest. So I have no reason to hold this against him. But I'll put it this way -- if your last seven relationships had ended with your boyfriend cheating on you, would it be terribly easy for you to remain completely unsuspicious of the next one, even when he'd given you absolutely nothing to be suspicious about?

Of course, I'm sure you understand that. And it is something I just have to get over. I knew that even as I made the post. It's just a matter of getting over it. I guess I was making more of a point about the past than the present.

FromNoonaWithLove said...

Yes. The miracle of which you speak I've experienced with just one person. Which may partly explain my reluctance to let go of him.

That paranoia is not an easy thing to try and shake. And I don't even think it's about having to. If he really is a Good Man, your Korea-acquired sensitivity will eventually go away by itself, and then there'll be nothing left for you to have to 'get over'. Fighting~

Eve said...

All I know for sure is that men make me crazy. Men make women crazy. Men do things that, for complicated reasons, make a woman totally lose her shit and freak out. We all have our psycho moments. This one sounds relatively mild. Good luck, INP. The S.O. sounds like a really intuitive one, and those are hard to find.