Got an ESL teaching position (paid this time, 오예).
I’ve come a long, long way from the times I swore, back in college, that I’d rather be dead than teach ESL for the rest of my life.
And I’m still keeping that retail job (@Mom)…
There comes a time when you just can’t take anymore language exchanges, shallow small-talk, and awkward gatherings. And on these nights, you just need to order a pizza, open a bottle of Trader Jose, and watch sappy feel-goods like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
I realized the other day that I was probably taking things a little too quickly. I’d been so gung-ho about starting a new life and getting “plugged in” to my new city (all a guise covering my insecurity about being able to fit into America), and maybe I needed to take things down a notch.
When you move and travel so often, you learn to settle. With jobs. With friends. With parties. Sure, it might not be exactly what or who you’d hoped for, but it’s all temporary, so just deal! This is a great way to break out of your usual social bubble, but it can create the habit of settling for the route of least resistance, rather than forming a social circle of like-minded friends.
Korean class, for example— sounded like a great idea!
There’s only one actual Korean woman who attends (the teacher) and she’s very nice, but everyone else is… not at the same place in life as I am. There’s a 40+ construction worker with an affinity for dramas, a 19 year old university student with an endearing laugh that more resembles a “guffaw,” and several other business men who are learning Korean just for the heck of it.
Anyways. Quality over quantity.
I have this dream/delusion that I’ll meet some really sweet girls at the store and make friends with them. We’ll see.
Overall, in regards to making friends and joining social circles, my main complaint is the following:
Drinking is NOT a meaningful hobby.
There are these special hours at the store where I work called “on call” hours. Having never worked part-time retail (and still waiting to do training next weekend), I didn’t know what these special (in parentheses) hours were.
So I called up the manager on duty an hour and a half or so before my shift was due to start, and I asked her:
“Hi! I’m JW, one of the new girls, and I had a quick question about my hours tonight. I haven’t filled out my forms or done training yet so—”
“Hi, JW, well, actually we won’t be needing your hours tonight. And, just so you’re aware, we typically request associates to call two hours in advance (that would’ve been at 4 o’clock) to check to see whether or not you need to come in. So next time, please call ahead of time.”
“Oh! I’m really sorry about that. Again, I, uh, haven’t done training so, thanks for bearing with me on this.”
I really hate to start off on the wrong foot, but what can I do?
And here I thought I’d stretched my patience to the limit in Korea.
Retail is a whole different beast.
“One of reasons that I got married is that my husband can kill cockroach but I can’t.
I really hate them.
Guess …most women are the same as me.
Guys! please don’t run away from the cockroach in front of your girlfriend.
If you wanna get married.”
Called a friend back in Korea who said, “Wow! Are you dating someone? Your voice sounds cuter.” I told him I was still seeing Red Shoes. He continued, “But your voice, it sounds so much more American. It’s much easier to understand your words.”
Your relationship sounds really complicated.
Yep. 7,174 miles will do that.
First day of training for the retail job. I can already tell it’s not going to be my cup of tea, but I think I’ll learn a lot. I do have to say, though, the employee discount helps soften the blow substantially.
Meanwhile, this morning, Red Shoes and I agreed on a 24-hour notice of whether I’m giving him the OK to buy the flight or not. I decided on writing an email answer tonight, then sending it tomorrow morning.
Actually, I already requested the summer dates of mid-July off of work: POSSIBLY. Just in case.
Lots of thinking to do tonight. I think I need to make another positives & negatives chart.
Today, in the car on the highway home from my last refugee class, I had one of those moments when, after finally having spoken everything that had been on my mind, poured out all of my concerns, played out all the arguments of devil’s advocate— I admitted defeat.
Something’s gotta give.
After three beers with my best college friends in DC this weekend (which is a lot for this lightweight), I argued my heart out in favor of Red Shoes. To each idea, I raised an objection, even if I agreed. I fought hard for my freedom and choice to continue dating Red Shoes while talking to and meeting other men. I fought hard for Red Shoes himself, for Korea, for finding and holding on to a good man.
Yet much as I tried to justify it on Tumblr, to my friends, my best friends, my family, I just can’t date multiple guys at once. Trying to play it cool and look at things rationally: “My biological clock is ticking… Red Shoes is a good apple, but I need to explore my options…”:
it’s all talk.
Not only is it obviously not fair to Red Shoes and obviously dishonest, it’s also obviously not working.
So I need to make a choice:
Simple. It’s very simple.
Red Shoes would need to buy his ticket to the US in May if he wants to get the best price, so that sets the timeline for my decision.
But I think we all know what’s going to happen…
Nothing like counting on your drunk best college friends to tell you how it is. I got an attack group hug after a stern and honest talking to about Red Shoes.
Sweet dreams to me.
Good Lord. I’ve had quite enough of people giving me crap about working retail. This is just for fun! The economy and my personal finances are not so bad that I have to resort to a part-time retail job at some mall just to pay my bills.
Thank you, friends and family, for the warnings against the trials of retail. But this is not so important that you have to be such a downer about it!
So I want to get out of the house and work at my top, all-time favorite store?? Does that tarnish my diploma, or something?
For heaven’s sake!