Like other humans, I have chosen dates for unconscionably shallow reasons.
Did I ever tell you about the time I moved to Japan because I wanted to have sex with Japanese girls?
Well. I moved to Japan because I wanted to have sex with Japanese girls. I mean, that wasn’t the whole reason. As a whole reason, it would be blisteringly stupid; a two-week vacation could probably take care of that. (There used to be a nightclub called Vanilla in Roppongi. I heard that the cover for white men and Japanese women was ten bucks, but for anyone else the cover was about forty. I guess once they got inside, everyone sat around and talked about ice cream?) It wasn’t even the biggest reason, and it definitely wasn’t the best reason. Nevertheless, it was a reason.
How ugly is this truth? Is it uglier than other ones? I have hurt kind people because their teeth were different from teeth I preferred, or because their asses were fatter than other asses, or because their skin hung awkwardly from their cheekbones. I did these unremarkable crimes. There are varying degrees of preference. One time, I decided that I liked how Japanese girls looked.
A girl named Yuko and I dated. As an aside, I’m still friends with a different Japanese girl named Yuko. She is a lovely person who has an unfortunate, exclusionary preference for Western men. Typically, her feelings get hurt. Possibly she would have dated me, but we met through her boyfriend, my roommate, a greasy tub of Albertan suet who believed sincerely that PCP abuse led to cannibalism. He saw it on CSI. Probably he was the most sophisticated dude ever to come from his whole town, and that makes me sad inside. After he flew back to Canada, leaving a column of leaky garbage roughly his height and shape in the corner of our living room, I thought there might have been some interest, but nothing ever came of it. His name also was Dan. I think it was too weird for her.
Our relationship bracketed itself in confusion. Which is to say, I’m not really sure why she picked me up (which she did, from a nightclub . . . I’ve rarely been one to make an unprompted approach, so my first six months abroad had been appropriately sexless), and I’m not really sure why she dumped me. I have best guesses. For the former, it’s because she thought my penis was big (her words, not mine), and for the latter, it’s because I would tell her that I loved her in Japanese but not in English.
But I digress.
Kelly wasn’t Japanese. She was American. But her family had, at some point, emigrated from an East Asian country. Maybe it was Korea? These details escape me. But regardless, I found that attractive, despite that the part of my brain that knows things absolutely knew better. In her picture, a few tattoos peeked over her shoulder. Despite tattoos’ occasional use as a prosthetic personality by otherwise bland individuals, I still find them to be really, really hot. (Generally, anyway . . . they fall under the same purview as other cosmetic surgeries. Terrible tattoos look grotesque in the same way that terrible breast implants do). And her message to me saying that she’d stayed on Match because she wanted to talk to me spoke to my ego in a way that no one had recently.
Of course, on an equally superficial level, there were drawbacks. For example, she was shaped like me, except with breasts.