(Regarding going out with a friend, finding parking, not using debit cards, squealing at plushies, talking about boys, and soothing my skin with cucumber slices).
Yesterday I went out with my friend at nine, and we drove to a large park slash wildflower reserve, where we walked and talked for a few hours, and it was just nice, sitting with her and talking outside of school or school events. It happened that yesterday was also nice and cloudy outside, at least in the morning, although the sun came out with a blistering vengeance by the afternoon. Some of the flowers were crinkled and dead from the sun, unfortunately. So the most exciting things about the park were a striped snake we spotted zooming into the grass near some water, and a brick tower with a circular staircase that we stood at the top of for a while. We were hoping to see rattlesnakes, because quite a few signs as well as the handout guide told us we might, but we didn’t, and saw a lot of cacti instead. We both had the urge to cut open a cactus just to see what it looks like inside one (fleshy? like aloe?) but of course it didn’t happen, so we just admired the spikes instead. Such tough plants. Oh, and we also so a lot of lovely butterflies and encountered some adorable kids, which did weave their way into bits of our conversation.
Our conversation sitting in a nest-shaped thing in the park was great, because it really varied in topics. She did tell me that two religious women had cornered her by the door on her orientation day, and had guilted her into following their prayer, which made her super uncomfortable because they kept repeating that God had brought her to the uni, but since my friend isn’t religious at all, she was rather insulted because she said she’s worked her butt off to get into the uni, so she didn’t like how the women gave God all the credit.
She also asked if I had ever had a bf, to which I laughed kind of maniacally and said of course not. I did ask her why she’d thought to bring it up, and she said it was because her best friend, a Mormon who moved to Utah for college, is now expected to immediately find a boyfriend and hopefully (at least, hopefully for her parents) would get engaged and married by junior year. So they made a bet together that whoever got a boyfriend first by winter break of this year (seriously) would get a prize of dark chocolate from the other. I was shook by how soon the deadline was, but my friend said it was because her friend is like, expected to start dating a nice Mormon boy immediately, so.
After leaving the park we drove toward places near the museum district to eat and see if we had time for any of the museums, but it was mad crowded and parking was taken up literally everywhere. It really made me appreciate taking public transit that much more, since with buses, there’s some walking and waiting involved, but parking isn’t a problem. At first we parked briefly in this sandy lot, but it was hella sketchy and we couldn’t even see the pricing until we punched in a license plate (which we just did random letters for) and saw that it was like, $14 for 2 hours. The machine also only accepted payment by card, and we only had my debit card between us, which I didn’t want to stick in (because I’ve heard you shouldn’t use debit unless you’re in a safe, reliable store). Which is ridiculous, so we left and circled about for a while, until we saw another, similar lot that was slightly cheaper. We were debating whether or not just to stop there until a grungy dude came up to us and told us that there was cheaper metered parking a street away. We thanked him, but he asked us for spare change, and neither of us had taken our purses out when we got out of the car to look at the prices on the machine, so we declined. Once we were in the car, my friend considered going back out and just giving him some change, but I told her not to, because it seemed rather unsafe, as two small Asian girls who obviously aren’t familiar with the place, to come in and out of the car to give him money. I did feel guilty because he seemed nice, but… I’m just really paranoid about giving money to people who ask… I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person…
We did find metered parking then, where the dude said we would, and the machine accepted coins. So my friend just started feeding change into the slot. We tried pennies, but those didn’t work since they were too small, but nickels did, so we added nickels and dimes and quarters until we had three hours’ worth of parking, and then stuck the receipt to the inside windshield and walked towards a cluster of restaurants. We took a look at all of them, but the cheapest (since we’re both not rich, heh) was a fried chicken place that seemed to have decent business, so we looked at the menu, decided beforehand what we wanted, and went in and got seated and had our orders taken. We both had the same plate: two dark-meat chicken pieces, piece of white bread, and coleslaw and baked beans. Swapping one of the two sides cost an extra fifty cents, but I still swapped out the coleslaw for potato salad, because I was afraid I wouldn’t like it, wouldn’t finish it, and would waste food. My friend didn’t swap out anything, but for some reason her plate came with fries instead of the beans, but it was fine with her in the end. The food was pretty good, although the beans were a bit too sweet for my tastes; the chicken was fried really crispily and the skin was delicious. I made myself finish the whole plate so I wouldn’t waste anything. The waitress asked us if we wanted any pie as dessert, but we were both full, so we just asked for separate checks. The receipt had the recommended tipping amounts for 15% and 20% written on the bottom; since my total was $8.06 and both rec’d tip amounts had inconvenient amounts of change, I just left a ten on the table. I figured it wouldn’t be bad to tip just that bit more, since I know being a waitress is pretty tiring and most of the money comes from tips, anyway.
At first we had considered eating at the food trucks closer to my friend’s car, but she wondered how clean they were and I didn’t have an answer for that, lmao. But the chicken meal really wasn’t bad and I was full, and she didn’t finish so she was obviously full, too, so it worked out.
During the meal my friend showed me a picture of our Mormon friend, of her holding a baby, because I’d asked my friend how she thought the other girl would be at being a mom so early. The Mormon friend looked… freakishly like a mom in the picture. She looked the spitting image of a young mother, with the baby against her chest, and I think the reason she had that “mom” aura was because she’s the oldest sibling out of four or five, and she’s had experience with taking care of younger children. But she is torn because she doesn’t want to get married and have children so young, maybe not even out of college, because, as my friend said, it’ll make her degree seem almost worthless if she won’t even have time to work with it because of pregnancies and baby-rearing.
We walked back to the car after the meal, and went to another street to see a candy shop. The candy shop was very mildly disappointing, just because we’d hoped to see some huge oversized candy, but only saw one big Hershey bar, one big lollipop, and one or two other big candies, behind the counter. They were mad expensive; so was the candy in the glass plates on top of the counter. I was tempted to try things like like the white-chocolate-and-sprinkles pretzels, or some of the chocolate-dipped things, but they were either sold by (expensive) individual ones or (also expensive) pounds and one-fourth pounds, and I really didn’t need that much.
Afterwards, we just traipsed down the rest of the street, window-shopping, and found a store for weird things like tiny $0.75 plastic chickens, small hands for fingertips, gag gifts, and, in the back, an array of adorable vegetable plushies. We seriously considered buying something there, but of course, everything was pretty expensive, at least for our tastes. But it was fun just admiring everything weird and wonderful there.
At the end, we walked to the coffee shop where I took a picture with the mural that one time, and we took new pictures, one of which was us together, which was fantastic. Then we headed back to the (not sketchy this time) parking garage, although we did wait a while because we didn’t want to pay with card again, so we pressed a button for help and waited for a worker to come and accept our cash. I paid half of that time’s parking fee, although I do feel bad for not paying at least half of the first time’s either. Although the total was just $9, so I paid a third, which is better than nothing– but I still should’ve paid half. Regrets…
Okay. All throughout our adventures we also sporadically talked about boys, and apparently both of our types are tall skinny pale smart kind mostly dark-haired boys who know how to care about us. After she’d driven me back to my brother’s apartment complex, we idled outside and just talked for another hour, and we made a bet that if I didn’t find a boyfriend by the end of sophomore year (she gave me so much more time than the Mormon friend because she knows I’m not in such a parent-ordered hurry to find a guy and get hitched) she would make me drink a whole bottle of sparkling water, which, by the way, is the Devil’s drink. Lemonade is God’s drink, but sparkling water is the “refreshment” demons would offer you in the pits of Hell. Anyway, I accepted, so now she has two bets: buying dark chocolate for her Mormon bud if she doesn’t get a bf by this December, or drinking a bottle of sparkling water (that she doesn’t enjoy either) if she doesn’t find a bf before the end of sophomore year.
I did reassure her that it wouldn’t be hard though, because she said she really wanted to find a boyfriend. Her uni has a student population of 50,000 people, so halving that makes around 25,000 boys. (She did, of course, bring up the fact that she could also include all the girls, which would double the dating pool yet again). As of right now, all of them are her age or older, which is good, because she doesn’t want to date anyone that much younger. So if she really wants to, of course she can find someone that meets her standards. I refuse to believe that a smart, capable, cute, funny, and interesting person like her can’t find a decent, respectable, kind, worthwhile boy in four years of college in a state capitol. We did get to analyzing how awful some of the boys we met in high school were, though, and once we crunched down the numbers, we realized how much it made sense that we and so many of our high-school friends hadn’t dated at all:
There were around 400 kids in our grade, and three “levels” of classes: regulars, honors, and AP. If we split the 400 kids into even segments, there’d be around 130 kids in each “level”, but since AP is harder (actually, imo it only is some of the time), there were only 100 or less kids taking AP at all. Out of those kids, a slightly larger number would be girls (sorry, it’s true, I don’t want to stereotype but the girls in my grade tended to be harder workers academically and therefore more likely to take AP) so the gender split of F:M would be around 60:40. (Not trying to exclude enby’s, these are just estimates). Out of those boys that we had classes with… well… let’s just say that we eliminated all/most of the ones that were “tech kids” because we had bad experiences with them and all of their ilk– so many of them were either outright gross, or tolerated their friends’ gross groupchats, or just weren’t nice to girls. This elimination immediately made the numbers go all the way down to two or three boys who were taken, and a lot of forgettable, or otherwise just unlikable, not-our-type kind of boys… and a few boys who were “quiet” and “nice enough”. After this I felt a lot better at not having dated in high school when there were so few options. Of course there were still the one hundred fifty or so honors/regulars dudes, but I wouldn’t have come into contact with them and the ones I did occasionally run into were also either factually awful or just forgettable and not my type.
I mean, okay, there was that one dude I wrote about in my first entry on here, “sticky”. But he doesn’t count just because I didn’t actually know him, and just thought that, on a physical level, he seemed to fit my general type: taller than me, skinny, pale (he was pale as shiz :0) and dark floppy hair.
Also, we talked about my sister’s bf, and I showed my friend a pic of him with us. She agreed that my sister could honestly just marry him already, since she’s met his family, he’s met my mom and all of us, he cooks for her, brings her flowers, takes her out to eat, is sensitive and kind, is going to make hecka money (or at least as much money as her), and just seems to be an overall good egg that genuinely loves and cares for her and treats her right and makes her happy.
Okay. So after the hour-long car convo (which was GREAT, by the way, funny as hell) I went home because I was afraid she might get stuck in traffic, which she didn’t, thankfully. I’m so damn glad I got to see her and spend the day with her, just talking, seeing stuff. Eating chicken together. Ranting, and talking about boys. Yes.
And the cucumbers feel wonderful on my skin. It also tastes good. I don’t know if it’s like, just a psychological effect, but I really think my face has been looking more glowy since I’ve been rubbing the cucumber slices over my skin, which also helps my sometimes over-folded eyelids– a fun lil Asian problem when you have very folded lids like mine.
Today I decided not to go out simply because I have no idea where I’d go. Still self-conscious and slightly afraid of going out to swim and exposing my skinny boy body and also afraid of using the swimsuit that I still don’t know if I want to return or not. But we’ll see, we’ll see.