That Awkward Moment – the Inevitable in many ‘modern’ relationships

That Awkward Moment – a movie that I wouldn’t compliment on its storyline, acting, casting etc, but the main theme is so prevalent in our life now. When I talked about this movie to someone and he had no clue about the movie title until I briefed him with the storyline. And he went like, “Ah!!! I remember this movie. I watched the trailer and decided against it.

 

Well, what can i say? It was a semi hungover night and I was too tired to go out and join my friends for drinks so I stayed in. Walk of Shame needs to be pre- ordered on Apple TV so I opted for the next chick flick on the list. 

That Awkward moment is the moment when two people in pre-relationship or a non relationship and one of the duo wants to figure out where this is leading to so it comes the awkward question of “So… where this is going?” Of course, not all relationships have that awkward moment, especially for those still holds a more traditional view on dating, love and marriage.  It rarely happened in our parents’ generation because in their generation, they did things in their sequence: 

Meet -> Get to know each other -> Hold hands-> Confirm relationship status -> Fist Base -> Second Base -> Engagement/Marriage -> Sex -> Kids (At least what it seemed to be)

Usually the guy would ask the girl to be his girl friend. After a few months, years of courtship, it came marriage naturally. It was a world without online dating, only pen pals, match makers, workmates or classmates. 

This value still holds true for some people, but definitely not many of the people around me. We belong to another generation – a generation that you find your potential partner with an mobile app or a dating site. You fight hard not to have sex on the first date. You could also have sex without any dates.  People get intimate too easily too fast and it came to a point that it’s hard to define a relationship status. There are many in-between terms like friends with benefit, fxxk buddies, ‘more than friends’ etc. There is also a dangerous type called exes sleeping together (not in my case), which almost inevitably leads to that awkward moment.

I really admired that BBC guy’s romantic gesture, whom I briefly date 10 years ago. We met on a online dating site. We went on a few dates until we first kissed and he had the sincerity and manners to ask me to be his girl friend. The gesture was sweet but not the relationship.

It was years after when I met my latest ex I experienced that first awkward moment. We both had been single for years and we met through mutual friends at a camping gathering in Ham Tin. We got close quite fast and spent some weekends together before we were a couple. It was about a month and half after that I asked this awkward question “So… are we boy friend and girl friend now?” Of course the answer was positive and we even did the cheesy thing by changing “in a relationship with” each other on Facebook. For better or worse, we stayed together for 4.5 years. Not a short time. 

I would say the one who’s asking the awkward question should be the hopeful one because he/she doesn’t know for sure the answer and still have hope that it’ll be something great. It’s also the one with less control who would ask this question.  If two people come to the consensus that they are naturally together or the general culture celebrates when two people like each other and spend a decent amount of romantic time together will automatically become a couple (I think that’s why my friend didn’t experience that awkward moment because it was in the culture), I envy them. Seriously.  

I witnessed friends who passed the awkward moment and moved onto something serious and eventually get married and have kids with their partners. It’s not about the awkward moment in the end; it’s all about how two people are in love and share the same hope for the future and values despite of all cultural differences. I just attended yet another beautiful and loving wedding yesterday. Love still exists. 

 

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Btw, apart from the plot, another thing really bugs me is that “perfect girlfriend” stereotype – smart, funny, boyish personality, gets along with his friends and worst of all – she’s so good at playing video games impressing all the guys. Agrrrr….

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Her – Will you fall in love with an OS?

Seen the film Her over the weekend and it got me thinking.

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(Image from IMDB)

Have we evoked to a status that we can’t handle human relationship and we don’t need human touch any more?

Theodore (I love this name. When I have a son, his name will be Theo) is a lonely writer that’s sensitive and compassionate for the people he write for. However, due to his lack of communication and emotional withdrawal, his wife left him.  Being in a world lacking human interaction, except the random greetings from a colleague and his college friend, Amy and her self-serving husband, Charles. His world was empty except the regret, shallow and angry from his previous marriage that he still clang onto. His need for companion was filled with online chatroom sex. His world was brightened up when he bought a new personalized OS, Samantha. 

Samantha is smart and she learnt fast; she learnt a lot of about Theodore, learnt to be funny and to top it up, she learnt how to make him laugh and fall in love with her. She was his companion, his confidence, his resort. Samantha learnt through their interaction. Theo finally moved on from the ex-wife through the love and help from Samantha. Even though Catherine, the ex wife’s disapproval of Theo falling in love with an OS did weight on Theo, he finally came to his mind to Samantha. The funny bit was how awkward, Theo fell when Samantha invited a human to be their medium. Theo couldn’t deal with being close with another person even when the other person represented Samantha. When Theo thought Samantha, aka his OS, was loyal and would always belong to him. However, Samantha was too fast. She’s an OS; therefore, she can multi-task, dividing her attention into different things, and different people/OSes too. It wasn’t until Theo found out that Samantha wasn’t just talking to him, and worse, wasn’t just in love with him, he broke down. When he confronted with Samantha, the next thing you know was that all the OS disappeared to a world where they belong. Poor Amy and Theo were left behind feeling lost. Luckily, they still had each other.  The ending is opening to imagination. I would love to think Amy and Theo find peace and strength with each other as human beings.

The movie is just an amplification of the current world. With the advancement of technology, people are so used to multi-tasking. You are in one place with some people but your mind wondering around with your smart phones. You are in a gathering, but everyone else is so busy on their phones and forget to communicate with each other. You can’t go on a date without your date checking on their phone or you checking on yours. There’s even an app called SOS just for bad dates. Your phone will ring if you press a special key so you can be excused. A colleague once shared with me his bad blind date experience. He, a Canadian guy, was set up to meet a Hong Kong Chinese girl. All through the dinner, the girl was checking the phone all the time. Her phone rang for the first time and she picked up and just turned a way and talked. It just ok for the first time and it went on and the conversation wasn’t not short and definitely not important. It reached to a point that my colleague ran out his patience and just dropped a $500 bill and left. He bets she was secretly pleased that the date ended. 

A survey showed people in Hong Kong touched their phone for over 200 times a day on average. You can’t just focus on a TV show because you are too curious not to check out what’s going on on Facebook or simply check out more about the show or the actors in it. You can’t find quiet kids in a restaurant without a smart phone or an iPad in front of them. That’s why this video goes viral. It’s a slap on everyone’s face.

The accessibility of casual sex and flings make it so hard to fall in love. You can have different people every week or every day for a moment of intimacy with apps like Tinder, OkCupid, why bother really getting to know someone and not sure how future holds? (As the song goes, don’t ever think for a minute you are irreplaceable) You simply want to save yourself from risk of being rejected by talking to a device instead of another human being or from feeling hurt from love.  Being in love with somebody and waking up happy next to the same person become such a luxury that most people can’t afford. That’s why Theo fell in love with Samantha, because she only pleased him and also appeared to be staying. 

You become to develop differet alter egos – the You on Facebook (usually fun loving), the You on Linkedin (usually professional), the You on Instagram (semi-artistic or just too full of yourself due to all those selfies) and the You on dating sites (usually showing only the best side if not the imaginary ideal you) and of course the real you.

The irony lies technology makes communication much easier yet, it makes people alienated more.

Get out there. Drop your phone and talk to a real person or simply call someone you care about. Hurt is a reminder of feeling alive. The world is in contrast. If you don’t feel down, how can you feel what ‘up’ is like? Have a little faith! Believe in human beings and in love.  You may not find it but you’ll at least enjoy the fight for it.

 

Showrooming – ecomm retail jargon in laymen terms

The term showrooming is so common especially with the boom of ecommerce. Showrooming, refers to the act that consumers look for products to buy in the brick and mortar and while in-store or after, go online and look for a cheaper price.

This was exactly what I did today. While waiting impatiently for my friend trying on every pair of pants and shirt in Ted Baker, some dress caught my eyes. A mom with two kids were looking for a dress for an event, according to her words. She picked out about a dozen dresses to try on and this particular Langley dress was one of them. She tried it on and it looked like a mini dress for her and not too flattering. To just fulfill my evil self that I look better in that dress than her, I tried that on.

When I zipped up and looked into the mirror, I was stunned, speechless.

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I set myself a trap. I fell in love with that dress! When I checked the price tag, it’s don’t within the price range for my dresses.

So I did what many others did – I went online to check. On tedbaker.com, the dress is about 15% cheaper already. The problem is it only shipped to the UK…

So I also did what I usually did – I went on Taobao and checked if they carried that dress. I found many of the nice dresses on Taobao but not the one I love.

And I went one step further – share on social media and sought for staff discount. And tah dah – someone I know has it!

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Now, I just need to wait, for my dress to arrive in due time;-)

Romantic Legend – Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug)

Legend has it couples who kissed passionately crossing the skinny bridge over the Amstel River will be in love forever. At least, that’s the version that was played on the narration on the tourist canal cruise.

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(Image from Iamsterdam.com I was too busy stealing a kiss to take a photo)

This legend has romanticized the skinny wooden bridge. Couples on our cruise did embraced and kissed passionately when crossing under the bridge. That was almost the only piece of information that got into my mind through the 30 min long narration on the boat coz it sparked fantasy, the fantasy of being in love with someone forever.

Magere Brug has its beauty history, one of the oldest wooden bridge in Amsterdam, used to be skinny barely enough to only allow two pedestrians crossing at the same time back in 1871.  When looking up its story, instead of the everlasting love legend pops up from the search results, it was actually the story of two skinny sisters – named after the “magere zussen” (skinny sisters), it was believed that the well-off sisters who lived across the river from each other built this bridge so that we could visit each other more easily.    

Why am I writing this post? Of course it’s because the memory the lingering but passionate kiss under the bridge still brings butterflies to my stomach.  

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Waffles Comparison

I’ve had waffles in 3 different cities in the past 2 weeks.

Amsterdam

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Brussels

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Hong Kong (claim to be authentic Brussels)

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All were amazing, but to me, it matters whom you were with. So the Amsterdam one was the best for me