Food is very important in my life. No, I don’t just mean eating it (although I really do love that part and I am known to have an endless stomach), but the social aspects that come with it. I could go on and on about how much I love eating food, but that’s going to just make you (whoever you are) hungry and that wouldn’t be very nice of me.
What I mean by food is important to me, I mean that it always brings me together with people I love. Growing up with a Chinese grandmother who ordered at least 10 dishes for a family meal made me learn that it’s nearly impossible for me to just get up and leave after I ate, because there’s bound to be more food to come. I also learned that if you sat next to my grandma, you’d leave the restaurant 10 pounds heavier than when you came in. There was no hope to escape the eating when she was at your side. The rest of us were lucky enough to quickly adapt the “keep your head low and stir the plate with your chopsticks to make it seem like you’re eating” technique. It was almost shameful to have your plate empty at any time when there was still food left on the table. Maybe because I haven’t been home for so long since she passed away, I haven’t really realized how much I’m going to miss those dinners.
Anyway, food always has had more meaning to me than I expect for normal people. (In case anyone has noticed, I’m far from normal. Not exciting or interesting, but not normal.) I try my best to bring food to someone’s house as often as I can because I grew up in an environment that meant bringing food was a sign of respect and love. Usually the food I bring is homemade because that shows even more care.
So when someone rejects my homemade goods that I specifically made for them, I get really hurt.This happened last year around Christmas time when I brought my mom’s famous spice cookies to school. When I mean famous, I mean I have friends who ask me when she’s going to make them two months in advance. They’re delicious and several have told me that they swear there is crack in them because they’re that addictive. (You guys have no idea how much it pains me that my mom is making them right now in LA and I’m all the way up here in Berkeley.)
So my friend last Christmas was in a mood and he said he didn’t want them. I thought he was just sad so I insisted that he take the bag that I made for him that he could eat when he wasn’t being all angsty. He then practically yelled at me, saying he didn’t want them and that he didn’t like them anyway. My jaw dropped. It was like a slap in the face. It wasn’t that he was rejecting these baked goods of wonderfulness. It was that it felt as if he was rejecting me and my token of friendship. Also, no human can not like these cookies, so his deliberate lie was to make me feel bad which was another slap in the face.
I guess food for me is symbolic for “I care about you. See, I made this for you! Eat it! Taste my love!” It’s why I do my best to (I don’t always get to ) bring food, usually dessert of some sort, to friends I haven’t seen for a long time or people who are going through hard times. Maybe it means more to me than it does to them, but at least I know that I can scrape by as “The Girl Who Was Nice Enough to Make Me Brownies That One Time”. For me, that’s enough.
I have odd habits that I don’t know are peculiar until someone points them out to me. Here’s a list of some of them:
I listen to The Sex Pistols when I do calculus homework. Specifically them and no one else. I don’t know how in the world those two things connect, but in some way, hearing the screams of “Anarchy in the U.K.” help me focus on integrals…
I say I’m full and then 5-10 minutes later, I’ll be hungry again. Or I’ll say I’m full and then once I leave the restaurant, almost the exact moment that I step off the premises, I’ll be hungry again.
It takes me about 2 months to finally get around to removing nail polish off my toes. I don’t know why I always procrastinate on such a stupid thing like that. Because, you know, removing nail polish is such a long and hefty process.
My voice gets really high and squeaky and I start talking really quickly when I get excited about explaining one of my favorite TV shows to a friend. Usually it’s Doctor Who, but I think it’s starting to lean more towards Psych now since I’ve contributed to the conversion of a couple of Whovians.
I bake when I’m stressed. Cookies, brownies, cakes, muffins, pretty much everything. This isn’t to imply that every time I bake something I’m stressed, but every time I’m really stressed or worried, I throw on my really adorable apron and mix batter into a frenzy. I think it’s the idea of having control over something really just calms me down.
I attempt to call people I want to talk to, but before the first ring even happens, I hang up. I’ll do this several times because I am a coward (big surprise!) and I’ll proceed to wallow.
Every time I go to a bookstore, I have to run my fingers over the spines across a shelf, I have to smell leather journals, and I have to read at least three book summaries before I can leave the store. Don’t ask because I can’t say why.
I think that about covers it. Well, at least until more friends point stuff out to me (which I am expecting because I know them). Carry on.
Romantic movies are going to be my downfall. I mean it. I’ve watched way too many of them for my own good. I’ll also add any TV shows with romance in them, which is pretty much all of them.
What I mean by this is that my whole perception of what relationships are like or are supposed to be like is skewed from this mess. I’ve grown to believe that a relationship cannot function without that necessary essence of romance. I have no one to blame but those movies. And my father, maybe, for showing those movies to me in the first place.
So I’m a hopeless romantic, sue me. I don’t think anyone cares that I am and most of the time my friends go “Aww, isn’t it sweet that she thinks reality is actually like that?” The problem that I have isn’t how others view my romantic self, it’s simply how I view my own reality.
The problem isn’t that I can’t distinguish reality from fantasy. It’s that I don’t think it’s possible for any of those fantasies to come true because, quite frankly, who would do any of that romantic crap for me? No, this isn’t me having low self-esteem (that would be a much longer post), it’s more of “I don’t think any of the guys I would date would be into that stuff even though I am.” No, I don’t think I’m the girl worth running to the airport for, or the girl worth having a specially planned evening for. In my head I am, but in reality, I don’t think many view me as this way. I don’t think I’m Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Roman Holiday in that some really attractive guy thinks I’m worth having adventures with for a whole day. I know I’m not her, because let’s face it, if I was anything like her, I would not be rambling like this and would instead be more awesome than writing on my Tumblr in between classes.
I have really high goals for my future. They include but are not limited to:
Interning for Anderson Cooper
Joining a roller derby team
Traveling around the world and hardly ever stopping for a moment
Living in London, Paris, New York, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, and Cape Town, but not necessarily in that order
Running a non-profit organization that will ultimately end world hunger (yay!)
Getting a Nobel Peace Prize for ending world hunger (I’m so humble aren’t I?)
Becoming Secretary of State (mainly so that I can have my own private plane but not pay for it. I did say that I’m humble right?)
Writing several books that make people laugh because I am so witty and charming and perfect. (HUMBLE!!!)
Becoming a professor at a university (so that I can brag about all of my accomplishments and be humble)
Retire somehow with a lot of money so that I have my own private library that is a replica of the one in Beauty and the Beast. Nothing less will suffice. (HUMBLE HUMBLE HUMBLE!!!)
I often daydream about this future because I sometimes find myself not being able to deal with the present. It’s nice to think that all these things will somehow happen in my future, but I know they aren’t very likely. I think at most I can live in two of the cities that I listed, try out for a roller derby team, and attempt a million times to write a book but then discover that I am incapable of finishing it. Maybe it’s due to procrastination, but it’s more likely that I’ll start it and realize that I have absolutely nothing to write about. I know since I have already tried writing at least three different stories only to find out that they aren’t stories because stories generally involve having a plot. None of my stories had that. I guess that would be important then.
Sometimes I fantasize about these things more than I actually try to resolve problems in the present, which is a problem in itself. I don’t know if it’s exactly my way of “coping” with current issues or just sheer cowardice of facing the present. I’ll say it’s a way of coping so that I can get out of bed in the morning. The issues that make me want to stay in bed don’t just include personal ones, but the plain old “humanity makes me want to die” argument, i.e. any sort of prejudice or discrimination, famine, rape, genocide, you know, all that crap that if anyone dwells on for too long they’ll end up jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
It’s midnight and I’m rambling and I don’t know how to stop and oh dear god someone please stop me before I start writing even more blither.
I have a serious problem when it comes to books. I cannot go into a bookstore by myself because I will end up leaving with at least 6 more than I planned on getting. On more than one occasion, I’ve had to have someone with me to hold my hands together to make sure I didn’t grab anything and magically end up at the cash register with books that I don’t quite remember looking at. Luckily for me, I’ve had a good mom, (ex) boyfriend, and friends who quickly slap my hand if they noticed that I picked up something that I shouldn’t.
I have some sort of weird logic where if I’ve finished a book, I can reward myself by buying 5 more. This mathematically makes no sense. This economically makes no sense. Basically, the only place where this makes any sense at all is in my head.
I cannot go anywhere without a book, even though I know I’m not going to read it where I’m going. It’s like a safety net or something; I know it’s there in case I need to use it. I’ve brought books to parties, dates, dances, lots of places where I know I’m not actually going to sit down and read, but just knowing it’s there somehow makes me feel better. I know there is some sort of analogy that I could use to compare this problem of mine to some bigger and more serious problem, but I can’t think of it.
If I don’t have to get out of my pajamas, I won’t. I will just refuse to. I’ll go take a shower on those days, and then change right back into my pajamas. If I have to go to the video store at 9PM and I’m in my pajamas, I’m just putting a sweatshirt on and letting everyone admire the fact that I’m 19 and own Wonder Woman pajama pants. And I’ll probably forget that I’m already wearing Wonder Woman pajama pants and end up putting on my Wonder Woman sweatshirt as well. Yeah, I become that girl. Luckily for me, I’ve known the people at the video store since I was 5 so they don’t seem to mind. Also I doubt I am the weirdest person that comes in there since the hipster takeover of 2007 of my neighborhood. (On more than one occasion, I have mistaken a hipster for a homeless person. It was only until I saw their Vespas that I noticed that they were just being that ridiculous “fashion” of homeless chic).
So if any of you in the Silver Lake, Los Angeles area who see a girl who’s dressed as though she’s a sick 5 year-old at Video Journeys, picking up all four Die Hard movies with a giant bag of potato chips and a 2 liter bottle of ginger ale under her arms, that’s probably me. Or if you’re in the Berkeley area and see a girl whose hair looks like a cross between Janis Joplin’s and Slash’s because she hasn’t bothered brushing it since she ran out of conditioner, and also is carrying a take-out box filled with only fried food to take back to her room to watch the mindless blither that is Merlin, then that’s probably me too. Not that I mind. I think I pull off the Janis Joplin meets Slash look quite nicely.
I am the worst quitter ever. If there’s something I’m really bad at, it’s giving up. A lot of people would think “Hey, isn’t this a good thing? Doesn’t that mean you’re a hard-worker?” Yes, I am an incredibly hard-worker, but that means that I don’t give up even when I’m supposed to. I absolutely love “lost causes” which probably explains a lot of past emotional damage that I have inflicted upon myself. The truth is, I don’t believe in lost causes, even if it’s so obvious that there are such things as them.
When I say that I’m bad at giving up, I mean I’m really bad at giving up almost anything. I don’t care how long it takes me, the problem is going to be solved. It’s no wonder why I sometimes spend 30 minutes on one math problem that I’ve tried to redo over and over again because I’m too stubborn to give up on something that I obviously don’t understand. This little problem of “giving up” might also explain why I am impossible to get rid of as a friend (unless I don’t want to be your friend. Then I’m totally out of there, but this usually isn’t the case since it has been pointed out to me several times that some of my friends can be real tools). If you don’t want to be my friend, but I want to be yours, too bad; I’m going to be your friend and you have no choice in the matter. (The trick is I bring them baked goods. Spice cookies, brownies, cake, all seem to do the trick of me instantly becoming somewhat noticeable. One minute it’s “Oh, Victoria is nice, but I don’t really see us being friends,” a couple bites of something I baked and BAM you’re my friend. A lot of people think I put crack in them but they’re so out of line when they say that. Meth, anyone?)
Besides my problem of not being able to give up, I have the absolutely wonderful attribute of being impatient. These two problems don’t go hand in hand, and if I wasn’t enough of an emotional basketcase with the first problem, just add in some impatience and I become absolutely intolerable. So although I will wait it out to finish that impossible math problem, I most certainly won’t like how long it’s taking me to find the answer. In fact, I’ll probably get incredibly frustrated, erase the damn work for the eighth time, throw said work across the room, and sit on my bed and swear at Newton for discovering calculus. I might pout a bit too. And then devour a chocolate cake. But then because of my refusal to quit, I’ll start that ridiculous problem again until I get it right.
How I react to such impossible math problems is also how I react to people problems. (Do people even say that? People problems?) I’ll try and try again to fix the problem, to find the solution, even if there seems to be none. And every time I try but seem to get no closer to fixing the damn thing, I will proceed to throw something across the room, sit on my bed, and swear at whoever it is that I’m trying to fix things with. And I might pout a bit too. And then devour a chocolate cake. Pretty much the exact same thing as I would with an impossible math problem.
Except in math, there are problems when the answer doesn’t exist. But even that’s an answer. And even when my people problem’s (person problem?) answer seems to be “You can’t fix this. You just have to sit there and do nothing,” I can’t accept that. I refuse to, because I refuse to give up on someone. Or maybe it’s just that I refuse to give up on myself. (Ooh, that sounded a tad dramatic didn’t it?)