12 April 2008

man plan 2008

sometimes dating in korea makes me feel like this (photo from ny times).

i'm fortunate to have been an odd child, so as i approach 30 years, i embrace evidence that in adulthood i've retained some of the quirks of yesteryear. after one week of 24/7 cohabitation with my mom and her 2nd husband, insanity is close at hand. perhaps this is why it feels appropriate to share with you my "man plan 2008".

i've been single 96.61% of my life. i'm really good at it. but after 7 months of deliberately not dating, i've restarted with gusto. "man plan" is my daily tally of prospective mates. since high school i've measured the emotional via empirical, and this chart tracks what i perceive to be the relationship potential of several (currently 17) dating prospects.

lest my lessor selves unduly influence the process, i rely on scientific means.

as a well-heeled internet dater, most days' fluctuations are based on msn or skype conversations, or emails exchanged via gay dating websites like fridae.com. while face-to-face encounters offer more dramatic point fluctuations (maximum +/- 5), i've yet to meet half of my mankubs. that said, cyber dating contestants can only go for so long before in-the-flesh encounters become mandatory.

fortunately, they do occur - 15 of 'em last month alone. one especially busy week had 7 penciled in over 7 days, but one guy cancelled last-minute. according to the chart, we don't have much relationship potential anyway, but there's still a tiny bit of hope for he and me, because unlike 5 of the chart's original contestants, he remains in play... though his going to a big sex party in bangkok this weekend will cost him a few points.

the few people who know about my man plan think it's weird. my kbs co-host eagerly awaits my date summaries prior to recording our radio show, but things got awkward when she discovered that my chart wasn't a joke. maybe she don't date much, or thinks "date" is a euphemism for butt sex (for me it isn't). to further clarify, a "date" shouldn't be confused with "dating" someone, which is the verb some use to describe what they're doing with their boyfriend/girlfriend. no, unlike some latterday version of an old-skool, promiscuous mormon homo, i don't have 17 boyfriends.


so, if you consider that my dates are innocent and quite quaint, really, there should be little discomfort with old-fashioned, 0.75-3.0 hour encounters, usually over food/drink and sometimes while doing something or going somewhere. when we meet, 90% of the time i'm disappointed that the real thing is less hot than the profile photo. i'm old enough to remember the good ole days before everyone had photoshop and digital cameras to ensure the most flattering mug shot, myself included.

i'm proud of my intuition and grasp of nuance. that said, korea's cultural differences present an as-yet, unmastered layer. but typically, by 30 mins into a date i have a good idea of where things are going. sometimes i feel like a therapist, a babysitter or a free english lesson. if our conversation is primarily in korean, i feel retarded. sometimes i actively cultivate awkwardness while other times i try to prevent it. lately i've noticed that i'm asking all of the questions. why? are you a celebrity? is this a job interview? while i'm too polite to role play the first time around, it's an ongoing temptation. in any case, i'm a self-conscious person but while dating i'm never nervous - the stakes are too low, what transpires is too predictable.

the handsome couple. what didn't she have? what couldn't we have been? alas... onward.

on a few recent couplings, a dubai-based korean flight attendant unexpectedly asked to spend the night (damn them cabin crew!), during a lunch date, i was reintroduced to the weird asian american homo phenomenon, and i quickly aborted a recent date with a cute korean youngster who refused to say the word "gay" and took three phone calls during our 45-minute dinner. while that's typical komo behavior, papa ain't having it.

of course, like any worthwhile plan, "man plan 2008" is goals-oriented. ideally in time for a tandem trip to this spring's samcheok penis festival, but definitely by the end of summer, i'll find me an upstanding korean man, 27-35, who satisfies all the requisite criteria, including what i admit is a shameless korean fetish (since i'm only half-korean i can't claim that it's a natural predilection).

ultimately, i hope that searching for him doesn't precipitate the overwhelming loneliness it did last summer... so far, my roster of hunnies has some promise, but it's time i cultivate another pool of potentials. fortunately, this city is huge, and koko - gay and straight, alike - are obsessed with relationships.

wish me luck!


Flo said...

can you post an enlarged version of the man plan?

matt said...

thanks for asking, but i can't oblige, of course.

Brian said...

haha and to think, all this time i thought your man plan was a unicorn--we've heard about it but never saw it. i'm impressed, matt

matt said...

impressed!? i'm touched!

your exclusion is solely due to my "must live in korea" criteria. otherwise there'd be a dramatic pink arc with your name on it!

oh wait, an arc suggests you've fallen out of favor recently... which you haven't. i guess i mean an erect, upward trajectory whose heights know no bounds!

wow, the potential and visual image are staggering... especially if you finish your dari article for me in the next 1-2 weeks! xo mk

C.Lou said...

Lol. I can't believe you have a chart! I hope to help you in your quest when I get there in July. I may need my own man plan too. :)

tony said...

Heard about your plan through our mutual friend Tina, best of luck to you!

It sounds like you have many candidates in the running, and as we all know, it's a numbers game.

I've heard there are "match" clubs in Korea where girls get dragged from table to table with guys offering them free drinks.

Would there be an equivalent option for you? Hope things work out with Orange!

matt said...

miss lou,
can wait to see ya. remember to come early so we can play. i'll make a chart for you, too.

matt said...

hi tony,
thanks for your note. i don't think i know any tinas... but the image of progressively drunker potential dates being "dragged" from table to table under the guise of a "club" is tempting. perhaps man plan 2009 will get into the event planning arena.

Ondae said...

perhaps you could forward an eager young soul details on man planning. he would be grateful :]

matt said...

well, for me, man planning is a "learn as you go" enterprise, to be sure.

i use the chart to provide some rational, results-oriented objectivity to what is otherwise emotional mush.

i'm kind of kidding.

Abby Rhodes said...

I still wanna know who's pea green! And . . . by the way . . . I don't necessarily think "date" is a euphemism for butt sex. I'm a sheltered country gal, but damn, cut me some slack!

matt said...

well, well, miss rhodes.

fancy meeting you here.

if u deserve slack cut, why the shock and awe? most of these guys are just single dates with lots of online shiz for padding. between, soldier ahem, tba coffee date ahem, and arabic service ahem, you've already got three!

you can't have it both ways! sophomoric bumpkin or sophisticated slicker! you must choose!

on another note, if nobody catches the clever insert of "latter day" in my description of the "promiscuous MORMON homo", i'm never writing again.

Abby Rhodes said...

Damn, I really SHOULD have pursued that acting career! Because, you see, I was feigning "shock and awe", or rather, disguising my bona fide feeling of utter intrigue (peppered with jealousy).

This man plan, complete with documentation of dubious, yet colorful, data is stellar, Matt, stellar.

Lastly, I wouldn't be nearly as intriguing if I chose between sophomoric bumpkin and sophisticated slicker. The awkward amalgamation is fun . . . and you KNOW IT!

Jonith said...

ommigod -- do you have a new f.h.??? and an expat caucazoid one at that??? i kind of love my life about that.

tony said...

Hey Matt,

Tina W. from Buzz... weren't you guys in a magazine spread together back in college? Something about how you all were such bright young things...

I'm sure you're an organizer at heart. You just have to find the right venue.

matt said...


abby got mad at me today and made me divulge what an f.h. was. but i was already planning to tell you that she doesn't comply with fh protocol. she's quite a man eater... and spitter-outer to boot.

matt said...

hi again tony,

ah yes!

of course i know tina. we were profiled with a number of folks in a college magazine. i had the privilege of being photographed laying on a red velour couch with my shirt showing some sagging midriff. that was during my wannabe black phase.

of course, she went on to rule the world and i fled to asia to become anonymous. anyhow, thanks for the reminder. i should check back in with her. mk

Adam W said...

I'm like a year late, but I think your plan is brilliant. I'm pretty sure if I had a plan, I wouldn't be single.

Oh, wait. I do have a plan. It's me looking desperate.

Anyway, I just found your blog and I'm pretty sure I just spent the last two days reading all your posts. It's not that I don't have a life (okay, maybe it's just one that's not worth getting out of bed for), I just really like your blog for some reason. Update more. Kthnx.

matt said...

hello adam w.

after so many months of not posting, your comment compelled me to update a few months of photos that had been turned into empty boxes when i transferred over from another account. thanks, dude.

anyhow, you should definitely manplan. it makes chronic dating scientific and socially awkward but acceptable.