I finally submitted the truncated version of my re-first year paper to the conference in Princeton. It is actually ridiculous that I took days to finalise it considering it wasn't that hard to do. But I was really so sick of reading that paper that I procrastinated more than I usually do. I don't expect to be selected; I just thought I should submit because why not (apart from how it took a lot of time, that is)? It would also be a nice excuse to go to the US for the first time ever.
On Friday, I met this American guy for drinks at Loof principally because he had both Yale and Harvard on his Tinder profile, and I am obviously superficial like that.
Loof was packed, even at 7.30pm, and so we stood at the bar. I'd initially thought that there were a couple of seats that we could sit down at, but no, that didn't happen. I wondered if he was going to suggest that we looked for a table, but that didn't happen either. And so we stood at the bar for close to 2.5 hours.
He was obviously very clever. I enjoy conversations about Important Issues as a general rule, and it was actually interesting to hear that he grew up in a very conservative and racist small town somewhere in racist America (I can't remember where); for this reason, he wasn't surprised when Trump won the presidential election. We also talked about (or rather, he talked about) why there are more and more fat and unhealthy people in the US and also in countries like the UK and Australia; his analysis of the situation was interesting too.
But I was kind of bored after a while. It could be because I'd played tennis in the morning and I was actually quite tired; or maybe it was because I was rather mentally checked out for the simple reason that I wasn't staying in Singapore for more than a few weeks and a part of me didn't see the point; or maybe because dating is tiring and another part of me wondered, halfway through, why I was there talking to this new guy - objectively speaking, a random guy off an app - when I could have been somewhere else. Whatever it was, I was a bit bored. I also noted that he didn't ask if I wanted another drink when he got himself a second one (I didn't, but that's not the point).
I noted, too, that he tried to initiate physical contact. This was also quite obvious as he walked me to the train station and I felt his hand brush my right hand; it was lucky that I was holding my bottle in that hand. What was quite ironic about this situation was that I told him about the difference that I have noticed between Singaporean men and men from the West: that Singaporean men tend to be quite timid, are quite conservative, are not as forward as men from the West; and that I found Western men too casual, too forward.
Was he not listening then? If someone had told me that, it would have put some doubts in my mind when I am deciding whether or not to initiate physical contact. I have never been comfortable having any kind of physical contact whatsoever (except a handshake, a casual hug, a perfunctory kiss-on-the-cheek greeting that some Europeans have) when I'm on an online date. One guy tried last year and I felt so weird and uncomfortable. Yes, it is a date, but there is no rule stipulating that a date must end with a kiss, or that it is a blank cheque for you to hold my hand. Online dates are especially tricky, I think, because it's the first time that I'm meeting the guy. I don't know him, he doesn't know me, and I usually am not inclined to kiss someone after spending 2.5 hours with him, and so I can't understand why the other person would feel inclined to do so. Sure, it could be due to 'because men', but surely some of them are capable of reading body language, or listening to what the woman says, or detecting chemistry levels?
At the MRT station, he kissed me on both cheeks, said that he'd like to see me again. He texted me the next morning to the same effect. I think if I weren't leaving again in a few weeks, and if there was no one else in the picture, I would probably go out with him again despite the few blunders. I'm not sure how much of this is because of Harvard and Yale...and I'm not sure how much of what I just wrote is a joke. I am such an idiot.
So this 'somebody else' in the picture: Bruno called me last night. First, I think it's quite sweet that he'd wanted to talk to me considering the fact that we'd pretty much just met. Second, he is hilarious. It's as if he knows my biggest weakness: guys who make me laugh. I mean, sure, anyone who knows anything about me would have established by now that it doesn't take a lot to make me laugh, but because laughing is such an enjoyable activity, anyone who can make me laugh so effortlessly and easily would naturally ingratiate himself with me and endear himself to me quite effortlessly and easily.
For instance, I was feeling guilty that I didn't remember half the things that he told me the first time we met, whereas he remembers almost everything that I've told him (even things like how I used to play the piano which I don't remember telling him). To explain myself, I said, with no irony whatsoever, 'I usually have a good memory, but I suppose I don't really pay full attention when I'm meeting someone that I met off the Internet for the first time.'
He said, 'Oh, thanks for telling me that I'm some random guy!'
When I revealed that I forgot yet another thing that he told me - where his friend lives in Singapore; he even remembered my response to this location - he said, 'I think I should re-evaluate my life. How can I make my life more interesting to you?'
He is, in his words, my personal buffoon. He's taking the piss out of me half the time, and I was quite proud of myself when I dished it back on a couple of occasions.
Anyway, it's been fun, so we'll see what happens when I get back to Cambridge.