I wasn't expecting my random venting to prove so interesting.
No, I'm not infuriated or anything at elzoog. He talks the guy talk, I can appreciate that. He said nothing my friends haven't already told me during this past year while I was in Wuhan.
First, a few facts. Like I said in the original post, this is really only my side of it. Now, after the argument calmed down, she gave way and explained her reaction to my comment on having a "well-rounded" life. And it was this, to paraphrase:
"Fine. I got angry because you are coming back to be with me. When you said you wanted to find other people I got jealous."
If she had actually said so in the first place, we'd have never argued. I'd have immediately reassured her. Anyway, there are a few other points I need to touch on.
Presumably there's something genuine between the two of you. For sure, if it's just that she's cute and fun, then I guess you should call it a day.
Her reaction isn't strange. She's isn't 'wrong' or being unreasonable, at least not from her cultural perspective.
She wants security. If you can prove to her that you have a realistic and achievable plan for financially supporting her, and maybe her family, then she won't be so worried. However, hitching her fotunes to an itinerant English teacher is not such a good move for her. Her friends and family doubtless worry that you have no long term plan for your life. You're just taking things as they come and trying to enjoy life. Perhaps you might not even want to marry her in the end. You're just seeing how things pan out. If this is the case then you need to let her know, as she'll probably want to bail, however much she likes you.
Does your plan for financial security involves her going back to the USA with you and establishing a life there? Won't she miss her family? Do you really think that's what she wants? Do you want to stay in China? What job will you do? I'm not sure the English teacher salary is going to cut it, but it'd be an option if you can teach privates and start pulling in 15-20k a month.
Just ask her. Ask her what she wants.
She's stated that very very clearly. I'll even give you her exact words:
"我就要大房子 我就要名牌的车 我就要我的孩子像个王子一样的活着."
"I want a big house. I want a brand name car. I want my kids live like princes."
My thoughts aren't too gathered here. I'll just hit on points as they come to me. Firstly, the issue of her only speaking about money. This is a bit hard to explain so stick with me. She's not a gold-digger. If she were, she wouldn't want to be with me. And, the fact that she wants a "big house" and a fancy car and her kids to live a pampered life is, I believe, not something most people would disagree with. Like I told her numerous times before, we do NOT disagree on the issue of money! I too want a big house, an expensive car, and I absolutely want one day to have my kids go to the best schools. So why do we argue?
Because it is ALL she talks about. For me, making money and being successful is a means to an end, so I can enjoy life. When she talks about it incessantly, it's as if money is a point in itself. That
is what infuriates me. When I get annoyed with her, she always tells me the same thing. She explains how when she was little, she lived in a village until her parents took her to the city to give her a better life, how many people in China are poor, etc. Again, nothing I disagree with. But the point is.. she says this CONSTANTLY. Constantly!
Yes. Yes, I KNOW people in China are poor. I KNOW when you were a child your parents still lived in a crappy old villlage. I KNOW these things, you do not have to constantly tell me over and over like a broken record until my head wants to explode from hearing you talk about the same thing for the umpteenth time. Then I always tell her my schtick: "What in the world are you worried about? WHAT?! Am I poor? Am I lazy? Am I unmotivated? Am I homeless? Am I going to make you live on the street? What is your problem?"
As far as my plan for financial security for when she theoretically would come with me to the States, I plan on starting a career in logistics. In April I will take the U.S. Customs Broker License test. I already have an excellent graduate program picked out for when I've built up a couple of years experience. The field has a expected 24% growth rate till 2018. I'm not stupid and I'm not lazy either. I understand at this point I've only said this, I haven't DONE anything yet, but how can I when I'm supposed to be in China working a crappy job for the sake of being close to her?
She has said many incredibly strange things to me in the past. One day we were about to go to sleep. We're in bed, I'm winding down, about to fall asleep, when suddenly she starts in on this lovely story.
"Today I was on the bus and I saw this pregnant woman on there...." She gives a pregnant pause. "When I'm married I really, really
don't want that kind of husband. If I have that kind of husband I'll divorce him." Another pregnant pause full of meaning.... Then she just keeps yapping and yapping about it. Pregnant women on the bus, pregnant woman on the bus, her husband doesn't make enough money, pregnant woman on the bus. I felt very uncomfortable. I asked her, in my usual exasperation tone... "WHY THE HELL would I let you get on a bus when you're seven months pregnant? WHY would that EVEN HAPPEN? Why are you even thinking about it???" Her response? Same old schtick: "Because here in China many people are poor and they don't have enough money." And, of course, I just look at her as if to say, "Yes... I know that. And?"
Look, I understand she's "worried" about security, but to constantly and ceaselessly harp about it this way makes me feel incredibly tired. It's not like she ever starved or had no clothes to wear or no place to sleep. She's not destitute. But she acts as if she is. Cue more endless talk about money. My god.
take the hard drive to three different places to have it repaired one day. It was during her noon class break. She walked a very long way to get to all three places, and that's after she had a three and a half hour track and field class in the morning (she's a gymnast). Oh, and it was while we had a huge argument and she had "broken up" with me. I thanked her profusely for trying. But, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, I would have been much more satisfied if she had given me a look of understanding when I said the music was lost instead of just staring at me blankly and then saying, almost as a concession, "Okay... I said, we'll have it fixed."
Is she controlling? Hm... I don't think so. But maybe I'm wrong. She doesn't ask me to do things. Anything. Even if it's something as normal as, "Hey, babe. My class got cancelled, wanna come over to my uni to have dinner with me?" She won't ask me! She said, "I don't like to make you do any thing." But... in a sense, I find that a bit distancing. It's not like I'm a stranger. You are free to request certain things.
Let's put all these things aside for a moment. I'll share something else with the good Salooners.
She and I met back in December. And our relationship has been incredibly tumultuous throughout. At one point, she was breaking up with me weekly almost by clockwork. Some reasons for why she blew up at me like dynamite, packed her things, and left:
- I asked her nicely to please throw out the empty soda bottles instead of leaving them on the table when the garbage can is directly next to her. I asked NICELY. With a smile on my face. Casually and non-threateningly. She said, "Why, you can't help me out a bit? If I have to do everything myself then why do I need a boyfriend?" Well, that wasn't quite the point I was making... but try reasoning with her. The next morning she "left me."
- I jokingly teased her that she picked out strawberries too slowly. "You said I'm slow! I know I'm slow, so what!" Gives me the silent treatment for an hour until I lose my patience, walk out of the house to take a walk and cool down, and then she's gone.
- Once she got pissed at me 'cause I asked her--NICELY--to please close the door a bit softly in the morning when she leaves for class 'cause it's heavy and the way she lets it glide makes a loud noise. Her response? "If you had a job and had to get up at 6 in the morning what would you do, huh?" So...me asking you to perform an act of common courtesy translates to me being too lazy 'cause I don't want to be needlessly woken up?
- We were watching a show ("Dexter," to be exact) and I expressed slight disappointment when she said she didn't feel like watching it any more. Not anger! I'm not insane. Just...a normal and fleeting expression of disappointment, as in, "Tsk..... sigh. Fine." Actually, the reason I was disappointed was 'cause of the rude way she abruptly got up and said, "I don't wanna watch anymore." I don't talk that way to people. Anyway, she got pissed. I tried to let it go and she kept pushing my buttons. I stepped in FRONT OF THE DOOR to have a cigarette 'cause I did not want to argue with her over something so ludicrous... and she locked the door. From the inside. At one in the morning. And put earplugs on, shut the bedroom door and went to sleep. And I banged and I banged until campus security came. And until my next-door neighbour came out and said, "Dude... enough. Sleep on my couch." She said she "didn't hear" 'cause when she's incredibly tired she sleeps very deeply. Yet people two buildings down heard it. She never apologized. Not once. Her reasoning? "You went outside so I figured you didn't need to come back in."
Fast foward to this summer, and I come back to New York early July. I fully expect that while I'm here we will have an argument on QQ and she'll tell me her typically cruel bullshit, "Go find another girl!" etc. and, in typical fashion, she'll delete AND block me off her QQ for good measure. And guess what? It doesn't happen. In fact, she turns into a complete puppy. She was already becoming increasingly docile before that time, though it didn't make a difference when the occasional blowout hit and she'd "break up" with me again. And now that I've been in New York for a month and a half, she is holding her breath for me to come back. It's just breaking my heart how much she misses me. She said she'll start cooking when I'm back so we won't get sick eating the crap from the street vendors, and she sends me pictures on QQ of food she cooked. She is a complete angel.
Ten hours from now I am scheduled to hop on an airplane-shaped time machine that will once again take me fifty years back in time until I reach the rapidly developing capital of Hubei province, Wuhan. Fifteen hours, and that's only the flight to Shanghai. She is literally jumping with excitement. The other day she woke up and texted me saying was crying 'cause she had a bad dream where I didn't go back. She knows I'm reluctant to go back. She's known it all along. And she's constantly tried to reassure me of how well she will treat me and the rest.
I am trying incredibly hard to be objective and I'm not succeeding. Do I love her? Yes, despite all the bitchy things she's done, I do. Yes, I even found a way to get over her locking me out in the middle of the night. Don't ask me how. But what bothers me is the suspicion that, even though her happiness to see me is very real, it won't change the FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH of the relationship, and that is this:
- We can't laugh together. Well, don't get me wrong, we do, but that is a result of things and situation that happen when we are together. If I
make a joke or try to tease or amuse her somehow, she'll just ignore it. LITERALLY. Just...blank look. No reaction whatsoever. Look, I don't mean to sound insane analyzing things this way, but if it were me and someone made a joke I didn't find funny, I'd look their way, give a half-smile and go, "Hehe.. yeah? Cool." Isn't this sensible? She just has NO reaction. When I quizzed her, she said, "I don't find western humour funny. It's a cultural difference," she said ever so matter of factly. Great, so it's a cultural difference, therefore you cannot communicate in the manner of a socially sensitive person?
- If I go off on a tangent during a conversation (funny story, random fact, profound rumination, whatever), she stares me with an utterly dull look in her eyes. It's almost as if she's asking herself, "What the fuck is this guy talking about?" You gotta understand, I'm merely talking about the kind of random little twists in the conversation topic that people engage. That's what makes conversations interesting, isn't it? Then, when I'm done talking, she'll start in on a completely new topic. She'll just do this COLD. I'm done talking--bang! New topic. I just look at her in disbelief. "Hey, babe. Are you ignoring what I told ya...? hehe..." Her response is, "I heard you." Just..."I heard you."
There are just so many of these tiny little things that have gradually sapped my enthusiasm. Now I've been away for nearly two months and she is.... Sigh. If I tell her I am not getting on that plane in a few hours, I seriously feel like I will deeply, deeply hurt her. And I DON'T want to do that. Despite her fits and "money" talk, I do NOT believe she is a bad person. I think she's a very sweet, lovely little girl and all I ever wanted to do since the first day I met her was take care of her and give her whatever she wants and treat her like a princess. But there is a harsh edge to her personality and an impossible to ignore rift in our values that I just...don't know what to do.
it's now 6:30am EST and my flight departs 4:30pm. If I am to go to the airport, I"d have to leave 1pm. I don't want to leave her, she's just so.... She's the most beautiful girl I've seen in my life is what she is. And, despite how difficult she can be, fact is she truly loves me. But my heart keeps telling me this is NOT right. Then I argue with myself. "You're being a nitpicky, judgmental bastard, dude. This girl is trying her best for you, she's trying to change." Then I make myself feel guilty. But guilt is obviously not a motivator. But if I don't go back, then she or her friends or all of them together will surely start talking that typical Chinese bullshit about how, "Foreigners are no good because they don't want to marry a girl the moment they hold her hand" or whatever. I don't want to abandon her. I'm trying to be practical.
I feel ridiciulous saying this but I'm seriously at a loss. Plus delirious from not having slept all night. The most sensible thing for me to be doing right now would be looking for work in the field I want to get into, start gaining experience, save money for graduate school. Going back to China until April (when my Customs Broker exam comes up) to be with a girl I already feel I might have no future with seems like a waste of time. I don't know what to do. Though, I do know what elzoog would say.
Pardon the misspellings and swallowed up words. Really tired.