Strangers

“If you(A) physically meet yourself(B), would you(A) like yourself(B)? Do you think you(B) can become your(A) good friend?

Wow. That would definitely be a no. I think one of me is quite enough! It would be majorly weird and unsettling to have someone preaching at me about how to cook and parroting my opinions back at me. I think I really don’t like people who can do things better than me. Is that screwed up? Or rather, I don’t like people who behave as if they know better about things I’m awesome at, but I do dole out advice now and then (when asked anyway). It’ll be difficult to not be the best at something in my circle of friends! In fact I don’t think I’m friends with other supposedly good cooks, and those average ones who like to give me cooking advice randomly are particularly abhorrent. I’ll probably listen to my mum, or Kenji, but if you’re just an amateur like me there’s absolutely no reason for me to put any stock by your opinion. You have to either be much older or a professional for me not to be irritated by your well-intentioned advice.

Another problem is that I’m really patronizing a lot of the time and I hate being patronized. Haha. I think I’d make a really horrible friend to myself actually! I don’t know how my current friends tolerate me. Probably cause I feed them. And they’re pretty good natured to take any ribbing.

I’m also not really good friends with any good female photographers. (hope i didn’t inadvertently insult anybody lolol). I wonder if it’s a testosterone thing. Some personality problem perhaps. I probably wouldn’t mind being friends with someone who shares all the same interests and humor and beliefs, but is 90% more self-effacing and non-testosterone-y.

Perhaps it’s because I draw a big fat line between my friends and the people I respect for their art. I think its hard to be close to someone you really respect, because then you’ll realize they’re just normal people with all the same human foibles as you. I wonder if it’s easier to be vastly talented or to be a personable person.

The only thing that keeps L with me is that he thinks I’m cute for whatever reason and also I do stupid things in front of him sometimes. I think finding some area to be absolutely useless in makes one infinitely more approachable and human. L is incredibly smart (and good looking, if you like the whole geeky thing) but he’s also plumb helpless in so many areas that I would never think he was out of my league lol.

We’ve also started classifying boys as either cute or suave. Of course it’s not a dichotomy – we mustn’t forget the pretentious, schmuck-y undateables† – but they’re not pertinent to the discussion at hand. A cute guy is someone who’s got a helpless personality, is uninhibited at doing weird/stupid/cutesy things, and who you’d probably never depend on because he’s more like your younger brother. A suave guy is someone who looks cool, has unyieldingly rational opinions, and looks like he’ll stand up for you or protect you perhaps a little sexistly. We’ve concluded that L definitely belongs to the former camp, which as a girl who has been socially conditioned to like slightly more decisive/macho men, is not quite my cup of tea. I’m not sure it’s anyone’s cup of tea really. I think my ideal mate is a non-chauvinistic suave guy, someone who makes me feel secure, y’know? Who’ll always be looking out for me and protecting me. Then the more rational half of my brain kicks in with “Don’t be retarded, what kind of situations nowadays actually require a male to step in and protect you? Do you really hang around places where you are constantly in physical danger and can’t protect yourself?” The same way I’m amazed at how smart guys don’t really seem to have evolved past being attracted first to a girl’s looks, I guess guys must be amazed at how smart girls still seem to prize masculinity and strength in this day and age where neither are particularly useful.

I think I’ll stick with my scrawny, cute guy for now. He’s funny and he does the dishes. How often are you going to need a bodyguard and how often are you going to need a dishwasher? Do the math.

† We recently picked up one of my brother’s Monocle magazines and were utterly horrified at the kind of hogwash that was in there. So their editors decided it would be a good idea to discuss the hypothetical situation in which all Monocle readers (and other schmucks) set up their own country/town – What shaving style would they adopt? What kind of glasses and clothes would they wear? It was nauseating, all these guys reading this pretentious drivel that aspires to be sartorially authoritative but winds up being revoltingly self-absorbed.

Update:
We got into grad school! Well so far we’ve only heard back from about 2 schools offering positions to both of us (it’s still early, least for math anyway) and $$ for visiting them, so we’ll definitely be in the US/Canada for the next 5 years starting Fall 2014! Better start revising all that algebra :S We’ll probably also be in the area end Feb – early March for school visits. Do I hear chimezzz? Gosh I’ve missed the tower. Here’s a question: Is it unethical to accept the visiting stipend from schools you sorta know you’re not going to attend?
Two days ago we also found out that one of LZ’s papers was accepted to the ICASSP which is in Florence 4-9 May~ So I guess vacation this year has been mapped out for us ;) I hope to spend slightly over a week in Italy after his conference, either heading north to Venezia via Bologna (foooood) or south to Amalfi via Rome and Naples (or by the west coast).

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