During the subway ride back, a woman gets on board. I thought she looked beautiful. I didn't know why though. She didn't look any special…she looked normal with her glasses, long hair, and dress. Then, I noticed that she had a slight bump on her stomach and thought to myself, "She's pregnant. I should offer her my seat." Just as I was about to move up, I thought, "Wait, what if she's not pregnant? Wouldn't she be insulted? Wait, how do you know when someone is really pregnant? What should I do?" While I was contemplating, someone finally stands up and goes to the next subway car, allowing her to sit down.
Why didn't I just offer her my seat right then? Because I am a conformist. As much as I want to be a nonconformist, I am a conformist. Straight up conformist. I follow people. I hate the attention. I am an idiot.
T: "What do you want to drink? Americano, espresso or latte."
L: "Um…none of them. I don't drink coffee."
T: "How about apple cider or ice cream?"
L: "Ah, okay, how about apple cider."
T: "So, sparkling or regular."
L: "Seriously, what's the difference?"
T: "One is sparkling."
L: "Um, sparkling apple cider then."
Lily sees the receipt on the screen and gasps when she sees that it's about 4000 won for apple cider! Drinks arrive after a long awkward silence.
L: "Thank you" (said nicely to Hank)
H: "You're welcome"
T: "You're so shy and cute, Lily"
L: "Haha…thank you."
T: Do you have a boyfriend?"
T: Why? You're so cute.
L: No one likes me.
T: That's not true. Did you ever have a boyfriend?
T: Why? You're a grown woman!
L: Because I'm busy with school work?
T: You have to date.
T: How about Hank?
L: Ummm (smiles at Hank and Tammy awkwardly)
T: Haha. Hank is single!
T: What do you think of Hank?
L: (looks at Hank and stupidly says) Hi!
T: So what do you think?
L: He's okay.
We get back to the office and mind our business; she's talking to some male coworker. I hear my name and look up. One of the guys (Yoon?) looks at me.
L: (waves) Hi!
Y: (flustered) Hello!
T: (she's just cracking up)
A couple more minutes, she's talking to another coworker...
T: Lily! What about him? He's Chinese!
L: Hello again! (Goes back to work immediately)
Apple cider is almost 5000 won as oppose to coffee.
"Lily, just wear your running shoes. Your feet will thank you."
"NO! I'm okay. I told you I'd wear them when we finally eat."
"Stop being so stubborn. I have three sisters. I know they hurt."
"Too bad I'm not listening to you."
"Stop being so stubborn and full of pride."
"I don't caree..."
"This is what I do. I only point out things. I can't offer solutions."
"That's what happened with my ex-girlfriend. I couldn't offer solutions. Then we broke up after a month. She broke up with me."
"Just kidding. I broke up with her."
"Was it because she didn't live up to your expectations? She couldn't live up the image you made her up to be? Because she had flaws?"
"No…she was exactly the way I thought she was, flaws and all. Just, she--I think I liked her because she confused me. She was my first kiss. I kept thinking and getting confused and thought, 'Hey, I think I like her.' But, I broke up after a month."
Getting ready to leave, two of the guy coworkers from my new desk location spoke to me in Korean. In reply, I said, "Sorry! I speak English and Chinese." So, they started speaking to me in Chinese. Apparently, more than half the office spoke Chinese as their second language. This is how our conversation went; they spoke in Chinese and I replied in English because I was so self-conscious of my Chinese and they weren't confident of their English. I already forgotten one of their names, but one of them told me that his name was "Brad Pitt". Laughing, I said, "Really? You do look like him!" He looked surprised when I said that. Was I not suppose to joke around? OH, the joys of speaking with someone in Chinese--kinda.
"Lily, who do you think is cuter? Him or Him?"
"Haha. You have to choose one. He's A and he's B. Choose one."
"It's okay. You can whisper who you think is cuter."
"Okay" (she thought I said B)
"I really like your American accent."
"Hahaha. Thank you! I think you're really cute."
"You're lying. Americans always say insincere compliments after someone compliments them."
"You're right we do that a lot….(10 second pause) but seriously, you are so cute! You are so tiny and cute. I don't know. I thought you were so cute when I saw you earlier today."
I am such an idiot, sometimes. When Alvin haggled to buy a pair of USA boxers as a gag gift for his coworker and got what he wanted, I said, "He was just waiting for you to haggle." As we left the vendor, he said, "You know, everyone here speaks English right?" I said, "Yeah, I guess." He said, "Well, that means he understood you when you said 'he was just waiting for you to haggle.'"
I am such an idiot. I felt so stupid. SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO stupid. Can't believe how insensitive I was.
To explain this story, a little background must be established. Basically, I sit in a multipurpose desk--there are supplies and other important things located in the desk; it's a supply closet! Sitting in my desk, reading through my old blogs, one of the guys in the office came to get the key. He saw my candy wrappers all over the desk and took them all away to trash. How sweet, right? It's the small gestures that go a long way.