Thursday, February 24, 2011

Being a Glee Fan

Guys hate Glee, and girls are crazy about it. Although this will reveal to the world what kind of person I am, I will come out and say it - I love Glee.

I will attempt to answer the question of "Why do you like Glee", as posed by Jeff.

Glee is about having dreams, achieving those dreams, and the whole way through, singing your heart out to get there.
More on Glee

Case 1 - Rachel Berry 

The true anchor of the show - Rachel wants to be a star. And with a voice like hers, every audience member can already see she is one. Yes, she is snobby, manipulative, selfish, and annoying, but she is determined to shine. One can admire her confidence and determination despite the fact that she is a nerdy Gleek. Rachel does not let her social status define her though, she knows who she is and what she wants. You can’t stop the Rachel Berry train - it’s best you just hop on.

Rachel finds a song for every feeling that she’s feeling – but we all do this in some way or another! Yes, she gets to perform it on stage 99% of the time – a little dramatic, but really, who wouldn’t love to do that?

Now, if the boy you were head over heels for finally confesses his love to you, why wouldn’t you sing Journey’s “Faithfully” with him?

And then, when that same boy tells you that another girl is more beautiful than you, why wouldn’t you sing Katy Perry’s “Firework” to remind yourself that you are better than that?

Case 2 - Finn Hudson

Finn is Rachel’s counterpart. He is Rachel’s dream come true and the missing puzzle piece for the Glee Club. He is the strong lead male vocal that the team needs, and with him on their side, they actually have a chance to succeed. Like a savior, Finn brings tremendous leadership to the team and brings them together in the clutch. He redeems the Glee Club’s reputation by being the only jock in school to be both quarterback on the football team and a Gleek. More importantly, Finn is able to find himself through song.

Now, if your mom, who has always been your only family, was getting married and you were confused about it especially since it would mean having a gay brother, wouldn’t you sing Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” to show that you could be a man and accept all of it?

Watch clip here!

Case 3 - Kurt Hummel 

Kurt is in the closet about his sexual orientation at McKinley high, but the Glee Club gives him the confidence to reveal who he is, because he knows he has their support. Being in the Glee Club allows Kurt to showcase his talent and also end the identity battle going on inside himself. Kurt is not only free, but empowered.

If you found a haven where you felt safe, and in the process made a wonderful friend who is just what you need, wouldn’t you sing “Baby it’s Cold Outside” with them during Christmas to express the new-found warmth in your heart?

Watch clip here!


As you can see, there is so much to learn and love about Glee. Glee tells you that your dreams are possible and if you believe in yourself, you can make them come true. I think that Glee is a little more realistic portrayal of this principle than most Disney movies, because seriously, there is real struggle involved for these characters. Glee shows that you can determine your success, but it won’t be an easy road.

I tried to get Nick to see the merit of the show, but he wasn’t interested. I think all the song and dance turned him off, but for me, that’s what makes this show brilliant. Sorry guys, but you're missing out.

Drinking Beer

Traditionally, beer is for men. And although I have learned to accommodate its taste, I will always think of it as a man’s drink. Here’s why:

It’s gross.

Why else do girls always request wine coolers for their “first” drink as a teenager? We females can admit that beer tastes horrible!

It’s one of those types of food like broccoli or spinach that when you have it for the first time, you cringe. It’s like when you were kid at the dinner table refusing to eat your vegetables, and your parents are forcing you. Your parents prod you on and encourage you to eat them saying, “It’s really not that bad!” You look at your parents incredulously because you would have to be insane to say that.

I remember being about 10 years old and finally fed up with the lies. I speared a broccoli, shoved it in my mouth, swallowed, and then defiantly demanded to my parents, “There I ate it, now tell me the truth, does this actually taste good to you?” And my parents, realizing that I was too old for the game of “We love vegetables”, reluctantly admitted to me, “Well yah, it doesn’t taste great, but we’ve learned to like it…”

Yes! Finally some truth than deception!

Back to beer – you will never EVER hear a guy admit that beer tastes bad. When questioned, he will skip right to the part of “it’s an acquired taste”.

I had my first real pint of Guinness in Sydney, Australia. Nick was really excited to take me to Scruffy Murphy’s – this famously classic Irish pub in the middle of Sydney Central. Scruffy Murphy’s is notorious for its cheap $5 pints of Guinness – what more can a 21 year-old Irish-American male want? 

So my first time there, he orders me a pint, and I have true intentions to drink it. I can’t help but be excited, because the whole trip there, Nick can hardly contain himself about showing me this brilliant gem and treasure of the pub scene. We arrive, head straight to the bar, are served 2 pints, and “cheers”. But I literally gagged.

“Ugh, this is disgusting!”
“I love it!”
“But it’s so bitter?”
“Well it’s a stout.”
“How can you drink it?”
“I love it!”
“No, seriously.”
“Ya, I’m serious, it’s great!”
“You’re lying, this is awful.”
“It’s an acquired taste.”

I mean really, just admit to me that it’s gross. I promise I won’t think less of you as a man. Instead I will acknowledge that you are sane. I just want to be on the same page.

I think it’s totally a societal expectation in America for men to like beer. It’s a macho thing.

To me, beer is the broccoli in the story, and society is the parent telling me I must consume it. If not for the pressure, I severely doubt that beer would ever be my drink of choice.

What I think of Beer

Over time, I have learned to drink beer, but only because I don’t want to be a social outcast. Especially since Nick has made it very clear that gagging over a beer is a major party foul.

I will admit it’s kind of a guilty pleasure to be able to have beer with guys. Maybe it’s the fact that I can have whatever Nick’s having and not have to order a sugary girly cocktail.

I mean, what guy wants to be with that girl who can’t drink a beer?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Going to the Mall

We’ve all been on a shopping date at one time or another, and that's because going to the mall is the thing to do! A few reasons why:

Buying Stuff - Girlfriends want to shop because their new boyfriends can buy them things! This is what allowance is for. And if you are a boyfriend, you will soon realize (if you have not already) that your allowance has just become her allowance.

Gift Ideas - How much more obvious of a hint can you give your partner about what you want for Christmas than,

My graffiti of what happens in almost every store.

Showing off - All your other friends are hanging out at the mall too, so it’s a great place to show off your new shiny trophy. In other words, boyfriend/girlfriend = arm candy.

PDA – The mall is a public place, and you want to display your affection. Shopping at the mall sounds innocent enough, but who knows what could happen without chaperones around…

Food - You are too broke to go to fancy restaurants, but the food court offers a variety of cheap meal choices. Pretzels, pizza, sushi, ice cream – how easy is that?

Transportation - If you're a teenager, then you can’t drive yourself or your partner anywhere, but Mom can! You don’t have to be embarrassed – everyone can be seen getting in and out of minivans in the loading zone.

And lastly, perhaps the most serious of all:

Evaluation - Shopping with someone can reveal a lot about them. You can learn so much  about their likes/ dislikes, their opinions, their spending habits, their addictions, their guilty pleasures, their fantasies, and of course, their personality.


When we were teenagers, going to the mall with Nick was a frequent activity. As we've matured, I don't drag him along anymore. He hates it, and I try to understand that... 

Although recently we had to go shopping (haha), because I wanted to exchange some birthday presents. As always, he fell asleep within 5 minutes of following me around, but because of all the evaluation he had done in years past, we were fairly quick to find something else that I liked it. 

I love that we both know what I like.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Most boyfriends cringe at the thought of Valentine’s Day, and most girlfriends flaunt all of their expensive gifts on Facebook. Something is wrong with that picture.

At its core, Valentine’s day should be a day dedicated to love. It should be a day of presents, cards, and romantic meals.

It should NOT be a day with a price tag attached. It should not cost a trip to Tiffany’s, Hallmark, or ___insert overpriced restaurant here____.

It’s pretty sad that so many people hate Valentine’s Day because of the commercial pressure to spend. I don’t blame them in this economy.

I mean really, no money has to be spent at all to make the day special.

In fact, unless you are dating a genuine gold-digger, your girlfriend will love you for spending time with her and making something from scratch.

I get that some women NEED/EXPECT really nice gifts, but maybe that’s because that’s all they get! If Valentine’s Day was the one day out of the whole year that I got spoiled, then yes, I would expect a lot too.

But really, how can we blame guys for resenting the holiday when they already are forking out the dough for beautiful birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and anniversary gifts?

As women, we need to let our guys off the hook a little when it comes to Valentine’s, because if they are TRUE gentlemen (as I am sure they are), we need to recognize that they treat us well all year long. It should not be mandatory for them to spend a lot today, when they are good to us everyday.

Now, for all the jerks out there who ARE horrible boyfriends 364 days out of the year, then no, you are not allowed off the hook. You SHOULD be endorsing Tiffany’s, Hallmark, and taking her to ___insert overpriced restaurant here_____. But hopefully ladies, you are not dating this kind of jerk, otherwise, you should be dumping them and moving on today!

And for those guys dating gold-diggers, let’s be honest. If your girl always wants to be spoiled with expensive gifts, and Valentine’s Day is breaking your bank and your heart for not being able to please her, then you should be moving on too! Dump her, because she really does just want your money.

Your loved one just wants to be loved by you.

If they want to hear your words - instead of buying a Hallmark card, make one! Write a little poem and create your own card out of good ol’ construction paper. A little reminiscent of kindergarten, but so fun! And for people that hate crafts, I swear if you try, you will succeed! Your efforts will be appreciated, always so sweet. (The only exception is the gold-digger, she will probably throw it away after).

If they simply want your time - take a walk together! On your lunch break in the park (if that’s all you can do) or when you get home from work, a stroll under the stars. No distractions (no cell phones)  - just quality time being together.

If they want something special to eat – stay in! Bake your own cookies! Especially if you are newly dating, then guys – she very well might appreciate your effort in making a nice meal at home, then seeing you cringe at the fat dinner bill. You don’t want to make it awkward. Awkwardness is NOT HOTT on Valentine’s Day. Now, I’m not proposing for everybody to boycott restaurants today; I think the idea has actual merit. Hey, if you can afford it, go for it. But ladies, don’t expect a $200 dinner, and guys, please don’t blow a paycheck just to impress her.

Valentine’s Day is great opportunity to show your affection, and if you can find creative ways to make it cheap, it can be that much more sentimental.

I took my own advice this year and made some cupcakes for Nick. As I was writing this post, I realized that in all years we've been together, I haven't baked a single thing for him! You can imagine his surprise when I explained that not only did I make them, but also they were his! He honestly didn't believe me.

My baking: so rare that it needed to be documented.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Picking Movies

When you are on a first date with a guy, let’s be honest: you either see a scary movie or a romantic comedy.
This is easily explained.
If you are seeing a scary movie, the guy is being a slickster by getting the girl to NEED HIM on the first date. The girl is put in a situation where there is fear and stress, and the guy is there to comfort and protect. The girl is forced to cling to her guy when it gets rough.
Now, if you are seeing a romantic comedy, the guy is being a gentleman and letting the girl INDULGE HERSELF on the first date. He knows that she believes that if she gets to watch a wonderful love story unfold in front of her eyes, the very same magic might happen to her with the guy she’s sitting next to.
A scary movie promises a physical connection, but a romantic comedy promises a lasting connection.
This is why I believe that guys who really want to keep their girls will watch an infinite number of romantic comedies to keep them happy.
I have yet to meet a girl who says, “ I just watch all those slasher, zombie, war, and gory movies so that he won’t dump me.”
It just doesn’t work that way.
After probably a year of dating, I slowly started to offer to let Nick choose the movie. Nick at first refused the offer of watching ____insert guy movie here____ and still let me choose. I, being a reasonable female, aware of his patience and efforts in trying to please me, gradually continued to encourage him to choose the movie.
So, with the promise of having a wonderful movie date done his way, Nick and Emily finally choose a guy movie.
As typical, it’s violent, deeply disturbing, and filled with dirty jokes. It’s rated R.
Unfortunately for Nick, this goes horribly wrong.
Emily tries to sit through it. She endures the bloodshed with a queasy stomach, she muffles her screams when body parts get hacked, and she refrains from storming out of the theater at all the offensive jokes.
By the end of the movie, Emily is scarred for life. And she is in a terrible mood.
The plan was crap.

My graffiti art of what happens when he gets to pick.

As Nick and Emily continue their relationship, Emily gets better about watching guy movies, but rules are established and enforced.
1. Nothing rated R for violence.
2. Nothing over PG for being scary.
3. Nothing over PG-13 for inappropriate guy humor.
Emily watches movies that Nick wants to watch, but it’s a risky situation every time.
You know, sometimes I feel bad that Nick has to watch so many sappy movies with me, but the truth is:
The night is just better for both of us if I get to watch what I want to watch.

Sharing Food

I don’t remember the exact date that my boyfriend and I started sharing food, but what I do remember is that HE HATED IT.
My boyfriend is not good with sharing with food, and he made it very clear to me that HE WANTED HIS OWN FOOD.
I can’t remember the first instance, but it was probably when we were ordering ice cream at Coldstone, or buying donuts at the bakery, or choosing candy at the movie theater. I probably wanted a little bit of whatever he was eating, just to try it of course, and he flatly refused.
I found his response to be very hurtful, “Why doesn’t he want to share food with me? What is the big deal? I only want one bite – what’s wrong with that? It’s not like I want the whole thing; I just want a little! Why can’t I just taste it? I only want to taste it!”
BUT NO. I was not allowed a taste, sample, or bite.
All I got was a “Whoa whoa WHOA – GET YOUR OWN!”
I was a very confused girlfriend.
But I quickly moved from hurt to offended.
I couldn’t believe this was happening! Such a small bite was turning into a very big deal!
I looked at my boyfriend with a look of disgust. “Who is this guy? Where is this even coming from? Who is the man behind this fa├žade of niceness that I’ve been seeing until this point? …. In fact - who are you???
When I was little, I always had to share my food. My parents taught me to share everything with my brother. My family is Filipino, and if there’s one thing about Filipinos – we share food.
Filipinos have a communal attitude when it comes to food. If you ever visit the Philippines, or the home of a Filipino American family, you will be offered food. Nay, not just offered food, but FORCED food. Filipinos want to feed you, and they want to feed you THEIR food.
So as a kid, when our family was out, and us kids wanted a soda, or candy, or a bag of chips, or ice cream, of course, we had to share.
It was quite the opposite for my boyfriend. Upon spending more time with his family, and learning more about their home culture, I realized that no one had to share.
If one sibling was snacking on ice cream, and another was drinking soda, and the other was eating candy – they never asked for a nibble of anyone else’s food. “How funny,” I would think to myself.
Because in my family, if anyone was ever eating something from the kitchen, another family member would say, “Oh, what are you eating?” And the response would be, “Oh here, have some. You want some?”
I never observed this kind of dialogue in Nick’s family. Everyone had separate snacks and separate desserts and separate everything. Upon more questioning, I found out that in Nick’s family, sharing was never an issue. As a kid, Nick always got to have his own snacks, and never had to share with his siblings.
I thought this was so bizarre. I could not relate to Nick’s upbringing because it was just so different from mine. Sharing food is such a common practice in my family, that when Nick acted differently about it, I was insulted.
After a string of small arguments over sharing food, we concluded it was a small, but challenging, cultural difference that needed to be overcome between us. I know every interracial couple faces obstacles, and for us – sharing food is one of them.
Since those first stages of dating, we have learned to handle it a little better. I respect the fact that he wants his own portions, (especially if I want more than just a bite) and he respects the fact that I will always want just a little bit of what he’s having.
But I’m not gonna  lie – even now, after years of being in a relationship:
 We STILL argue about sharing food.