22 September 2007

being social is scary

last night i had some marinated beef with a friend whose even-temperedness and banality always suprises me. our friendship is devoid of a sexual history or future (is that why it's boring?). anyhow, he asked me if i ran my home korean or american style, which meant could he (and others) come over often and unannounced, or should he call first? i told him that in this case i'm unambiguously amurrican.

since most koreans live with their parents and siblings until marriage, a buddy with a bachelor pad is wow-worthy. online or face-to-face, the first 2 questions from komos (korean homos) are invariably: 1) how old are you? 2) do you live alone? initially, the thought of my place being a happy refuge for local gays sounded nice- i could finally retire my "posse-less" issues! but i know it would be only a week or two before my place would be overrun by the little fuckers who would think nothing of emptying "hyeong's" fridge and liquor stash.

i enjoy social opportunities like having people over... when i can adequately prepare. preparation means clean home and clean self, but most importantly it means preparing myself for the interaction. recently i realized that lack of preparation is basically why i don't like answering phone calls. sms/txt messages are better but email is best since the sender doesn't know when i read it so i can reply when i'm ready. this weird aversion to unprepared social interactions is exacerbated by living in a foreign land. even if i loved to talk excessively to everyone (like canadians do) i'd still feel like chewbaka since my well-meaning whiny grunts would be met with polite confusion from the locals.

i need to work on my aversion to spontaneous social encounters. luckily, there's a curious phenomenon to help me do it. almost every week, my doorbell rings and the little screen above my couch shows a 30-something man outside my door. usually i just tiptoe around until they leave rather than engage them in an awkward staring match where i say "hello. who are you?" in accented korean and they, surprised to be face-to-face with a foreigner, get flustered and usually say nothing (but still have the wherewithall to peek inside my apartment).

i don't know why they keep coming. they never have pizza or kimbap in tow so i wonder if my address has been written in a men's bathroom stall somewhere. hopeful thoughts of bad porn scenarios usually follow. ok fine. smelly, mud masked or naked, next time the two of us will have tea.


Anonymous said...

what's your myers briggs personality type?

matt said...

i took an online test a lil bit ago and my tendency to identify with all sides came thru:


introverted (62%) vs extroverted (38%)
intuitive (56%) vs sensing (44%)
feeling (54%) vs thinking (46%)
perceiving (52%) vs judging (48%)

pretty close to riding the fence on all of em, except for the introverted part.

INFPs (according to www.myersbriggs.org) are:

"Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are important to them. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and to help them fulfill their potential. Adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a value is threatened."