fall 2006. pasadena. peet's coffee and tea. i'm sitting outside, studying one afternoon...
this older guy, late 30/40s, caucasian, walks by me, and stops next to my table. he looks as if he is about to ask a question. thinking that maybe he wants the extra chair at my table, i look up and smile politely (mistake)... and he asks,
"what nationality are you?"
for those who don't know me: i'm chinese, but i tend to get mistaken for filipino/southeastasian/
he seemed to be a little caught off guard by my answer, but catches himself and says,
"oh.. like, filipino-american?"
then he proceeds to talk to me for a good ten minutes, asking me questions about my ethnicity, showing off his extensive knowledge of asian culture: he likes dim sum! goes to hawaii a lot because of work and is exposed to asian culture! loves sushi! loves asian food!
and then...he asks what i'm studying and then about mft and fuller theological seminary,
"so.. this place does more than just prepare people to be bishops?"
and then...he asks where i'm from and even after i say the bay area, still tries to see if i'm from china mainland or taiwan (like i said, i'm from the bay area).
and then...he asks how old i am and then says,
"i assume you've had many marriage proposals"
and then...he asks if i have a boyfriend (to which i respond YES, a blatant lie) and asks me about the boyfriend
and then...he asks if i've lived overseas and when i said no, he asks surprisingly,
"oh, so you were born here?" (ok seriously. why is it always assumed that i am not born in the US of A?)
and then... he asks if my favorite drink is a cosmopolitan (because... what? all young, hip women drink cosmos? a la sexandthecity? huh?)
and then... he asks where my name, "charissa" originates from (i tell him it's greek), he says,
"its greek? oh, so like greek mythology? and it means greece? like the country?"
"no, not the country, i said grace, "it means grace. g-r-a-c-e.
as he's talking to me the entire time... i never ask a question, never offer a seat... he just keeps asking question after question. finally, he leaves. just ends the convo and leaves. maybe he got the hint when i kept looking down at my book, not fully engaging in this conversation.
a little less than an hour later....
there was a man sitting at the next table over, had work and stuff he was doing... he looked late 30s/ 40s; jewish, maybe. he gets up, as if to go inside the store.. and as he walks by me, he says,
"wow, i was noticing how you flip the pen around your fingers! that is amazing!"
so yes, a habit of mine is that i tend to flip pencils/pens around my fingers. it's...not as cool as this guy is making it sound.
"yeah, i see you studying hard, and able to do that with the pen. i mean, if there was an olympic event for that, you'd win"
oh wow. that...was pretty lame. and with a sympathy laugh, "...thanks."
there is some awkward small talk.. and he starts to walk off. but, i notice that he doesn't walk far, and then he's stopped... as if he is debating something. he comes back over to me, and asks...
"so... what are you studying?
are you kidding me? so i have this conversation again...
he's asking me a lot of questions about school, fuller, and then he says,
"im sorry, this is weird standing over you, do you mind if i sit down... i know you're studying.. so...."
UH. before i could really answer, he pulls out the chair, sits, gets all comfortable, crossing his legs, etc... and just starts to talk.. about mft, psychology, religion. and i'm... just wondering, universe? what is happening to me today? of course, i'm polite in the conversation and after a few minutes... he seems to gets the hint that i don't really want to talk to him, as i keep looking down at my notes/book. finally, he says something about me having to study and he gets up to go back to his own table.
ok. so maybe they weren't actually hitting on me, but seriously people, what is it about me and my i-look-like-im-still-in-high-