What is Love?

What is Love?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my dating life and not for a lack thereof. For months I always feel like I’m playing catch-up. Well, I’m just not writing much about anything so when I do write it is never about dates. Alright here’s a collection of short stories. Enjoy!

Wolf on Wall Street

I met this guy on Tinder. I initially wasn’t super excited about our date. However, he looked much better in person, albeit much shorter in person that I imagined or like. We went to an izakaya we found walking around and it’s become one of my favorite hidden gems in the city. I had a wonderful time with him. He spent a year living in the States so we’re able to communicate pretty well. We’ve been out on three dates.

Well, what’s the problem, then? His lack of availability. We had our first date in July. Up until our most recent date I still wasn’t convinced that he wasn’t married. What kind of guy is only available once every 3-4 weeks?! He had to be married. Well, in fact, he’s just Japanese. He works in investments or stocks or something and works 12 hour days. Plus, he lives almost an hour from his job. Essentially, he doesn’t go out during the week and is always busy drinking with his friends on the weekends.
While he may be a nice guy, I don’t think anything will come of it. I do have a great time whenever we go out, but since we don’t talk or text in between dates it’s been difficult maintaining or building any kind of feelings. After our third date I’ve decided that it’s best not to continue seeing him. Now I just have to cut the cord which is always the most difficult.

Sake Master

About six weeks ago I had a date with a really nice guy. I can’t remember his job, but that’s the least of importance. While at university he got his sake master license, basically making him a sake “sommelier.” He taught me also about sake from how it’s made to tasting and for pairings. Plus, through his company he volunteered on Saturdays, teaching Japanese and helping immigrant children with other subjects as well. Isn’t that sweet?I really don’t have anything had to say about him. We’ve talked here and there since the date, and perhaps I haven’t been the most active texter. It took nearly  a six weeks for our schedules to line up. This past Friday we had our second date at a really delicious restaurant, specializing in cuisine from Northern Japan. We spent hours in the restaurant talking and laughing. We talked about history, travel, art and museums, and a bunch of other topics. Hopefully I’ll hear from him again and finally get over my two date hurdle.

Mr. Lips

I don’t even know how to begin talking about Mr. Lips. We matched on Tinder and started texting. I was drawn to him because he’s tall, handsome, and has enormous lips. Our first date was in the beginning of August. He had returned to Tokyo a few weeks before. He was living in Madrid for a year to do an MBA, and now was back in Tokyo job hunting. We went to a dimly light fancy Italian restaurant we chose at random. The wine was good, the food was excellent, and the conversation was interesting. After dinner he took me to a rooftop terrace were we sat drinking more wine and talking. We talked about travel, food, and baseball. He started to list all the things we would do together. Thus, I had a good feeling about things.

I had some friends visiting later in the week so we didn’t meet again until about a week and a half later. We were both a little busy but wanted to meet again so we met for a quick coffee one Friday in the end of August. During coffee, we didn’t have much time to talk and spent most of it catching up or talking about Tokyo points of interest. We made plans for dinner on Monday after he finished his interview. Afterwards, we walked together to the station where he planted two quick goodbye kisses.

Monday mid-morning he texted saying he wasn’t feeling well and requested to reschedule our date. I said it was no problem at all and told him to rest and feel better. A week flew by without word of a third date, or any communication for that matter. Monday I happened to be climbing Fuji so I texted him a picture of the sunrise. He congratulated me on making it to the top and I followed up by asking if he was still up for rescheduling our third date. He replied of course but that he’d unfortunately be going to London and Lebanon Thursday for a wedding and he’d be away for 2.5 weeks. Therefore, he would text me upon his return. I thought it strange that he was going to both Lebanon and London. They aren’t exactly near each other. I decided it best not to pry.

Monday afternoon my work told me that my Tuesday class was cancelled. I sent him a text that evening asking if he was free Tuesday and I’d like to see him before he left on holiday. He said he’d let me know. Let me know?! It was Monday night. How do you not know if you’re free the next day. You either have plans or you don’t. That was a really douchebag way of saying, “maybe I’ll hit you up if I have nothing better going on.” 

Regardless, I have been through this enough times to know when someone is trying to fade out. I just thought it was a bit strange. So, I unleashed my inner creeper and did some stalking and found some pretty interesting things. First, his social media was way too easy to find. He was in Lebanon for a wedding…..with his girlfriend. Yep. Girlfriend. She lives in London, hence the London leg of his trip. I’m happy I realized this sooner rather than later. What a scumbag. I mean, he pretty much immediately moved back to Tokyo and got on Tinder. I hoped my assumption of him fading away was right and that I’d never hear from him again.

After a week since he returned, I still hadn’t heard from him nor did I expect to. Maybe his conscience finally got to him, granted he’s still on Tinder. Plus, he recently showed up in bumble as well. Yeah, he’s on two dating apps even though he’s in a relationship. I feel bad for his girlfriend porque ese hombre no sirve.

JAGuar

I met JAGuar on Bumble and we met up in Shinjuku a few weeks ago after work. He’s half Japanese and half German, but moved to the States when he was 10. He’s witty, funny, uncensored, and easy to talk to.  Up until this date, I forgot what a difference it makes talking with an English speaker on a date. I mean, most of the Japanese guys have amazing English, but for some reason I feel like I completely be myself around them. Instead, I’m more like the reserved Japanese version of myself around them. It was refreshing to use sarcasm and slang again. Plus, the conversation was so much easier to maintain.

We had a second date about two weeks after the first. Originally, we tried to go to a Mexican restaurant, or at least we assumed it was since the name was Mexican Beach Bar. We sat down, ordered some juice and he started to glance at the menu. After the waitress brought our juices, JAGuar spoke up. The juice, served in tiny wine glass, cost 900 yen each! That’s $8 for a tiny glass of orange juice. Yes, Tokyo is expensive, but not that expensive. Then he mentioned that the chips and salsa were 1400 yen. Thirteen dollars for a basket of tortilla chips and salsa?! This restaurant had lost its mind. On top of that, the chips and salsa was the most Mexican item on the menu. Everything else was pizza and pasta (and just as over priced).

We decided not to dine at the restaurant, regardless of how unhappy it would make the wait staff. We had been avoiding ordering anything and after the second or third time the waitress came to just on us JAGuar casually asked her if they had any Mexican food. Befuddled, she asked for clarification. He proceeded to ask if they had any tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. She replied that they had chips and salsa, a Mexican salad, and a Mexican pasta. We politely asked for the check.

When we finally got the check, we saw that there was an additional 500 yen charge per person for sitting on the terrace! The thrives! They didn’t even ask if we wanted to sit on the terrace let alone tell us that there was an additional charge for doing so. In the end, we paid nearly 3000 yen for two small glasses of juice. If you ever encounter Mexican Beach Bar in Yoyogi, turn away.

We walked around and settled on an Nepalese curry restaurant which was tasty and of course way too much food. We had a good time talking about our utter failures of the night and even adventurously chose an appetizer at the Nepalese curry restaurant thinking it was chick peas. Turns out we ordered roasted soybeans. It was like a curry, soybean ceviche. Not bad, but interesting.

He went out of town last week still wanting to eat tacos. Even though he was traveling to the States where he can get some killer tacos, I offered to do a taco night sometime after he returns. We both have been in the mood for Mexican food after our disastrous attempt. I picked up some tortillas from the exchange just in case. I am making tacos no matter what.

Iron Man

This was a very short lived prospect. Iron Man and I met on Bumble, of course. His alias is Iron Man because he’s completed one or two races, not because he’s some kind of superhero. I’ve learned my lesson about using superhero aliases. We met on a Wednesday in Ueno Park. He didn’t anticipate the park already being dark at 18h30, and neither did I. I had hardly noticed that since the Autumn equinox the days have become drastically shorter. Heck, the sun sets an hour earlier now than it did when I had that date a few weeks ago!

Anyway, we grabbed some tea and walked around the park, sitting near the fountain and later on a bench. It was the perfect low key date, and I was finally happy not to have a dinner date. Iron Man lived in Canada for a year or two and currently had his own business selling ads on websites. He traveled frequently and for long periods of time. As a result, he didn’t have many friends left in Tokyo. He was a super sweet guy, incredibly easy to talk to, and he even forced me to practice my Japanese with him. I found it incredibly nice and patient of him to speak in Japanese with me. He was a calm, good guy. I couldn’t help but think about how my crazy Dominican family would chew him up and spit him out again. So he wasn’t a party animal. At least he was sweet.

Things went really well on our first date. So well, in fact, that we had our second date two nights later on Friday. We met in Akihabara and he took me to this beautifully restored red brick building under the train tracks. Inside there was a brewery, boutiques, and restaurants. Our first date in Ueno was at 18h30, but all we got was tea. So, I was super hungry the whole time. This time around we met at 19h15, and I assumed we would be going to dinner. I mean, we were meeting at dinner time! Nope, we just hung out at the brewery. He told me he was already feeling tipsy from his one beer because only only drinks a few beers every year. How could I possibly tell him I consumed more drinks this past week after work than he consumed in the whole year?!

On our first date I did the scandalous thing and let him kiss me, even though it’s my general rule not to kiss on a first date. In the first half of our second date he casually mentioned that he had wanted to invite me to his place for our second date. However, since he lives with his sister he won’t be able to invite me over until she goes out of town. Without hesitation I firmly responded, “well, luckily you didn’t invite me because I wouldn’t have gone to your place on a second date.”

“I’m not saying you would have. How long do I have to wait?”

“What?! I don’t know, it’s not like I have a set number of dates.”

“Oh? It sounded like you maybe had a rule or something.”

Regardless of this award exchange, things went really well on the date. Well, we had good conversation. Well, except when we got on the topic of Japanese and Western culture and the conversation somehow steered to grooming habits. Iron Man tried to tell me about female Japanese landscaping habits, and trying to finish this theme I responded, “you don’t have to tell about this. I’ve been to an onsen.”

He proceeded to mention that Western women do some major landscaping and he asked me what my habits were. What the hell? You don’t ask someone that! I kept my composure and slyly responded that I’m not answering that.

Regardless of these conversation blunders I was still willing to see him again. He however, felt differently, and about five days later I noticed that he randomly blocked me on Whatsapp and deleted his Bumble account. I guess whatever my number of dates was before I’d have sex with him was too big in his mind and he wasn’t willing to wait. No matter, we saw a cockroach in the park and he confessed that he is absolutely terrified of them. Like, one almost made him cry terrified. Wuss.

Minnesota

Minnesota and I met on Tinder and immediately hit it off texting. While, for me, he wasn’t the dreamiest guy out there, his great sense of humor came though via text. We have a lot of similar interests, mainly our currently obsession with learning foreign languages. I was quick to accept a date invitation, and last Thursday night, I met him out for dinner in Minato ku. We went to an Italian restaurant he chose. We got a glass of wine and started to look through the menu. Even though I can’t read the description, and most of the time the name of the dish, I at least make an effort. He told me was gluten intolerant and my heart sank. Ugh, you’re missing out on so many good things. In his defense he says he became gluten intolerant after living in Asia. Very strange and better him than me.

We had a really nice dinner, sharing risotto and roasted chicken. I love that people automatically share their dishes in Japan. It pleases my inner indecisiveness. After dinner, we decided to find dessert somewhere. We finally stumbled upon a gelato place. He encouraged me to get two scoops so we would have more flavors to share. I chose a pumpkin and paired it with dark chocolate. It may sound a bit weird but it was the best choice and it actually worked really well together. I saw the pumpkin and absolutely had to get it. I love getting unique flavors that aren’t available everywhere, or I love a good pistachio. There was a Gorgonzola honey flavor that I wanted to love, but the Gorgonzola taste was too strong. I think goat cheese and honey would be better. I realize now that my taste buds imagined goat cheese and honey, much like the pizzas in France.

For the life of m, I couldn’t remember what his weekend plans were. In fact, I think I asked him two or three times on the date during moments when I had nothing else to say. The date wasn’t absolutely spectacular but it wasn’t a bad date either. I realize that since being in Japan, I haven’t been blown away on most my dates. Maybe it’s the person or the fact that all the dates are virtually the same. They are always pleasant but I’m never heartbroken when they fizzle. Here’s hoping that my inability to remember his weekend plans doesn’t affect my chances of seeing him again.

Camera man

This last guy grabbed my attention on Bumble because he was half Dominican. He lives in Saitama, which is a bit far, but we met in Omiya one day for sightseeing. Omiya actually isn’t too far from my house, about 30 minutes on the Express train. He showed me around Omiya and we sat in a coffee shop talking.

I told him about my obsession with the Olympics and my failed attempt at convincing my family members to be the first Winter Olympic athletes to represent the great nation of Dominican Republic. I had it all worked out. We would of course make it as world class curlers! I could imagine the future inspirational Disney sports movie with catchy theme song now. I’m not sure how we got on this subject or why I shared such a random and slightly embarrassing thing with him. He was kind enough to indulge me and even supports this endeavor.

Anyway, we had a great time talking and laughing and he introduced me to this incredibly delicious muffin bakery chain. I met up with him five days later when I was close by in an assignment. That’s when he dropped the bomb. He’s still not over and ex, and I know better than to get involved. I told him we can still hang out, but didn’t explicitly say we should instead be just friends. We’ll see what happens next, but I’m thinking friendship is the best route for this one.

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