Jul 12

Donut (holes)

Bopping around a bar out in the Inner Richmond one night at my friends’ dance party I spot a tall, well coifed head of hair on top of a boyish face. Everything in my body perks up. But wait! It’s way too early to even acknowledge that he exists since the party had just begun. I wasn’t especially thirsty that night.

The bar is crowded with friends and acquaintances dancing in support of the party. I hop around until the night winds down and seats are filling up with tired, drunk legs. As I mosey past the bar I notice the cute boy lingering next to a friend on a barstool, skateboard in hand.

“Hey guys, anything going on after this?” I ask them.

The cute skateboarded looks at me and smiles shyly but decidedly. “I’m going to get a donut and go home. Do you want to grab some donuts? It’s nearby.”

WELL. That was easy. My friend looks back and forth at us and chuckles as if he knew a secret. I run to the bathroom and say my goodbyes to various people. I walk outside to the cool air, not knowing if cute skateboarder was still around. He is, standing patiently on the sidewalk.

“It’s donut time!” I exclaim and we walk away.

Another friend, whom apparently knows him, yelled after us “Hey! You know she’s like a decade older than you, right?!” I turn and flip him my friendly middle finger.

In the donut shop cute skateboarder asks me which pieces of fried dough I’d like and suggest that we should smoke some weed at his place, also nearby of course, before inhaling them. I shrug and think why not, let’s see where this takes me.

Another couple blocks away at his apartment, I see records and skateboards littered all over his living room. I ask him what he does and how old he is. He is 6 years younger than me and works at a skate shop. Not ideal, but hey, I’m not trying to marry or anything anytime soon.

We smoke, eat the donuts, and he immediately dives in to make out. I can taste the weed mixed with sugar and coated with his young awkwardness. Internally I shrug — just go with it.

We move to his bedroom and I spot a Mickey Mouse blanket covering his bed. I stand there and start to laugh hysterically. His shy awkwardness takes over again but I can tell he’s determined to seal the deal. I shrug internally again. He leads me to his Mickey bed and I have some of the most awkward sex of my life. Is this guy even fully developed? I ask myself. His bony hips are like blunt daggers and I feel like he is trying to eat my face whole. This is what I get for shrugging the night away.

Even though he seems to be enjoying himself, I stop to rest and check for bruises. I look down and gasp. The condom is shredded. He looks down and screams “Arrghhh, oh nooo!”

I sense his blood pressure and fear rise dramatically and I immediately change my reaction to put on a calm face. “It’ll be fine, I’ll take care of this tonight.” He stares at me scared.

He offers to come with, as if it were his manly duty. Fortunately, my car is parked nearby, but it is a very silent, brisk walk.

As I drive to the 24 hour Walgreens in the Castro, he keeps moaning “OH MY GOD, I’M TOO YOUNG TO BE A DAD. OH MY GOD, I’M TOO YOUNG TO BE A DAD.”

“Um, this doesn’t mean I’m pregnant. We’re going to prevent that chance from happening.” I shake my head at him, but I’m also shaking my head at myself. I keep patting his arm, but I secretly want to punch him as hard as I can to knock some sense in. Chunks of chewed up donuts may also come flying back out though.

How could agreeing to some donuts lead to this? He continuously groans the whole drive and I think he may start hyperventilating a couple of times. His hands keeps covering his eyes as if it’ll hide the situation. I want to close my eyes as well, but we would just crash.

At the Walgreens pharmacy counter I ask for Plan B like it’s just a pack of gum to keep the cool. The technician doesn’t bat an eye but skater boy squirms uncomfortably next to me as I stare ahead stone faced and collected.

I drive him back home and say “It’ll be fine, this happens all the time to girls.”

When I wake up in my own bed in the morning, I get a text from skater boy, who is no longer that cute to me.

“Hey, just checking if everything is okay.”

“Yup!” Internalize my fake smile.

“That’s good. I’d like to hang out with you again.”

I throw my phone aside and cover my face with my hands. “Ughhhh…”

I get another text from my friend who was at the bar a little later, “So how were those donuts?”

Sep 9

Planned Parenthood for the Soul

“So, what do you want to get checked?”


It’s always good to be sexual responsible. The nurse asks if I want extra contraceptives.

“Sure.” I shrug.

She grabs a brown paper bag and counts out my prescribed year’s worth of birth control pills. Then she peruses the shelves and grabs a few boxes of Plan B and places them in the paper bag. The nurse asks if I use diaphragms. I just shake my head ‘no.’ I continue to sit and watch for what seems like slow, tick tocking minutes. She grabs a large handful of condoms from a Costco size box, puts them in the bag, and grabs more.

 I start to laugh hysterically and she looks at me bewildered.

“I really don’t need that many condoms!” I exclaim.

“You never know.”

“I’ll probably hand them out to my friends like I’m the condom fairy.”

I leave the clinic with my bag over flowing like I’ve won the lottery of contraceptives and thinking it’ll probably last me a loooong time.

Once I exit the doors on Valencia, I am relieved to see that it’s pretty dark outside now, shielding me from any possible familiar faces driving or biking down the street.

I take a few steps and hear my name.

I turn around and come face to face with an old co-worker who art directed at Apple.

“Oh, heeeeey.”

“What are you doing here?” he asks as his eyes dart to my bag.

Is that really a question? I clutch my paper bag bulging with condoms under my arm even more tightly.

“Uh, oh you know… for funsies… and making sure everything is all good.”

“You didn’t have to answer that.”

Then why the hell did you ask???

I awkwardly acknowledge that it was a pleasure to see him, nonetheless, and scurry home with red face in the dark evening. Once I get home I disperse a range of multicolored condoms to my roommates, who accepted them gleefully. The rest are still in the brown paper bag sitting under my bedside table.

Jun 18

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo

  • Mom: So why don't you have a boyfriend yet?
  • Me: It's hard to find one.
  • Mom: Bring home five boys to me! I will pick one of them for you!

May 7

Speed Dating and Smoking Crack

My old roommate asked me to attend a speed dating event with her one night. At a bar in the Marina. My initial reaction? “HELL NO!” But, actually with more thought and debate, perhaps it’d be a good evening entertainment to watch the tortuous spectacle, instead of participating.

So we trek to the Marina and peer into the bar. We see four girls sitting at tables and a line of men waiting to talk to them. Cringe. 

After some more hushed debate outside the door, my roommate just shoves me in and we sit at the bar and watch from afar.

Then a couple guys from the end of the line approach the bar and we stare at our glasses in hopes they don’t talk to us.

“Are you ladies here for speed dating?”

I look up. “Ahh… no, we’re just here for the alcohol.”

“Well, we’re going to head to a hookah bar, would you like to join?” one of them asks. 

“Hookah??” He starts to explain what a hookah is, because of my reaction.

“I KNOW what hookah is. But I don’t smoke it… I only like to smoke crack.”

“WHAT?” He looks perplexed.

 I can see my roommate turn away to stifle her laughter to my left peripheral vision.

“Where do you even get crack?” he asks.

“It’s sooo easy to buy crack in the Tenderloin or SOMA.”

“Ohhh…” I can tell the guys don’t know whether to believe me or not and my roommate is still trying very hard not to laugh, so she remains quiet.

“Well, okay, how about some food then?” He’s persistent. 

“Ohhh… I’m not eating. ‘Cause I’m running for Miss Chinatown next weekend.” This stems from seeing the Miss Chinatown pageant posters I saw earlier in the day posted around the city.

“Oh, really? Oh you know what, I think I saw your picture on the poster!”

Basically, all Asians look alike, right?

“Yup, that’s me! You should both come and vote for me!” I give my most toothy grin. 

They still try to get us to eat but I’m adamant about my supposed crack diet in preparation for my big competition. So eventually they storm out and we snicker our way back home soon after.

A few weeks later my roommate texts me from a dental conference she’s attending. “OMG that guy from speed dating is here! I’m ducking under my table, because if he sees me, he’ll think I’m a crack smoking dentist!”

Mar 12

David Choe, the Artist

Recently there has been news about well known eccentric artist David Choe acquiring $200 million from Facebook stocks. I walk into work and my co-worker looks up and says, “Dude, have you heard of David Choe? He’s getting $200 million ‘cause he did art for Facebook back in the day!”

“Yeah, I know him. He tried to hook up with me before.” 


So when I went to grad school in Boston years ago, my work sponsored a live art show by David Choe. I was intrigued by the art but also interested in the free Sparks they were serving.

After the show I walked up to the bar for more Sparks. David Choe is at the bar so I turned to him and said “Hey, I’m from the Bay Area too” to strike up some convo. He was interested that we come from the same hood and gave me some spiel about how giving away free Sparks is ruining the kids of America. I just nodded my head and said “But there are no kids in this bar.”

We exchanged numbers and agreed to hang out some more that later that night. He sends me texts in the meantime about tagging on walls and getting chased by the Boston police.

That night I met up with him at his hotel. We bantered about art, commercialism and his stint in a Japanese jail for graffiti. He picked up a hanging piece of art on the wall and showed me an illustration he drew behind it. Apparently he does that to many of the hotels’ art and furniture along his travels. My first thought was to steal and sell it.

“You’re so cute. You should stay the night,” he stated since we started making out.

“I actually have to get up really early and go to a corn maze with my friends.”


“Yes, I’m serious! I made these plans with my friends!”

I left shortly afterwards without doing much else with him. I did go to a corn maze and pumpkin picking the next day since it was a beautiful Autumn day in New England.

A month later I got a text from David, “I’m in NYC now. A bum is massaging my feet and it feels so good.”

Today, I’m watching an interview with him by Barbara Walters.

DAMNIT, I should’ve hooked up with him. 

Feb 15

Valentine’s Day

My mom calls me after dinner.

Mom: “What are you doing?”

Me: “I just ate dinner.”

Mom: “Oh, did a boy take you out?”

Me: “No, I made it myself.”

Mom: “Well, did a boy send you flowers?”

Me: “No.”

Mom: “… There is something wrong with you.”

Me: “WHAT?”

Mom: “What is wrong with you? Why don’t boys like you???” 

Dec 6

Water Cooler Conversation in Front of the Whole Damn Office

Earlier today, I’m sitting at my desk, minding my own business as I organize my emails and files. My creative director abruptly stands up in front of all of us, puts his hands on his hips and addresses me.

Hey, I need your worldly advice.”


 “You’ve hooked up with someone in your building before… would you recommend it?”

“Ummm…” Why the hell does he feel the need to announce this to the whole studio??

“Well, it’s pretty convenient but it can also get really awkward.”

“Yeah, I would assume so. I’m just wondering about the girl in the building I gave my number to.”

Our coworkers just look back and forth at us over their computer monitors.

“I was actually propositioned by another neighbor to hook up because it would be convenient, but I denied him. So he defriended and blocked me on facebook. When I run into him, he looks away and walks very quickly in the opposite direction.” This really did happen a couple weekends ago.

“Hmmm, okay. I’ll think about it.”

He then goes and gets the mail to distribute.

“Your Victoria’s Secret catalog is here!” He announces as he tosses it onto my desk.

Nov 18

Let’s go find boyfriends. Together.

My old roommate and I are walking briskly down Valencia one Saturday afternoon. We were on a mission to brunch. More importantly, a mission towards bottomless mimosas to soak up whatever happened the night before.

My phone rings and MOM pops up on the screen. 

Me: “Hello?” I say breathlessly as we cross the street.

Mom: “What are you doing?”

Me: “Going to get food.”

Mom: “With whoooo…?” My mom sounds accusatory, as if I’m with some secret lover. 

Me: “My roommate.” I’m not in the mood for 20 questions when champagne is on my mind.

Mom: “Does your roommate have a boyfriend?”

Me: “What? No… she doesn’t.”

Mom: “Do YOOOU have a boyfriend?”

Me: “What? NO!”

Mom: “You both should go find boyfriends. Right now. Together!”

She hangs up me. ::Click::

Nov 13

Goodwill Hunting

I like to make terrariums. People ask for them and sometimes I sell them. So one sunny afternoon this past summer, I walk into a large thrift store in the Mission and start shifting around endless amounts of glassware to make more terrariums.

I stare at all the clear glass on the shelf and suddenly feel a presence next to me. I look up and a guy is standing next to me. We look at each other for a good  two seconds and I look back down at the bowls, since that was kind of awkward. What’s this dude’s problem?

 “Hey, I have a question for you,” he says loudly.

Startled, I look back up. “Um, okay. Shoot.”

“Would you buy that painting?” He points to a watercolor painting of a waterfall that looks pretty cheesy.

“I can’t say, it’s not really my style.”

“I have a lot of more pop art and graphic art in my apartment, which is pretty modern, but I thought this was a good change of pace.”

That was too much info. But he is simply well dressed and well groomed; pretty handsome actually, probably works in the design and/or advertising industry. Since I do too, I can spot these guys a miiiiiile away.

“Well, I guess you could put it in your bathroom… you know, something calm to look at while you take care of business.”

He laughs and says “Yeah I guess, but I didn’t think girls pooped.”

“Oh, yes we do. I just pooped an hour ago.” This was the honest truth.

He stares at me a couple seconds to let that sink it. He laughs since he doesn’t know how to respond to that and I just smile.

 “I’m actually here to look for supplies to build terrariums. I want to start a side terrarium business.”

“Funny, that’s why I’m here too.” It does feel like a weird coincidence that now he is my terrarium competitor. I show him pictures of my terrariums on my phone and he gets REALLY excited. He runs around each aisle collecting different vases to show me that I should use.

“Look, this one would be AWESOME for succulents!!” as he shows me a grossly large vase that could house a small tree.


“But I’m keeping this one for myself, you can’t have it!”

“That’s fine, I can find more awesome succulent vases.”

Is this dude nuts?? Or just super friendly? You can never really tell the difference in San Francisco — some people are just outwardly insane or can be mental on the down low. Either way, it intrigues me.

I keep perusing the shelves but don’t really see anything that appeals to me. I look up to glance at the fervent terrarium dude every so often and chuckle to myself as he digs around. Once in a while he’ll hold up something excitedly to show me.

It’s been half an hour that I’ve been shopping with this stranger and I need to leave. I debate in my head if it’s worth getting to know him more or to ask for his number to make terrariums together.

“Hey, I’m taking off. What’s your name, by the way?”

“Oh, Chris. Well, good luck with your terrarium business.”

“Yeah, you too.”

We linger in the aisle but I decide not to pursue it since I can sense some hesitation on his part as well. I depart the thrift store and he follows me out with his ginormous vase. We look back and wave to each other, then walk in opposite directions down the sidewalk.

Nov 10

The Joy Luck Club on Steroids

My mom is the most overbearing little Asian woman ever.

Since she has no reason to nag about my education and career anymore, now it’s all about finding a man to take care of me. Every conversation we have, she sounds like a broken record spewing out ridiculousness in Chinese.

She wanted to go shopping one weekend so I meet her at the mall downtown. We grab a bite to eat at the food court since I try not to have prolonged conversations over meals.

“You don’t have time for a boyfriend?” my mom asks in Chinese.

“I’m really busy.”

“How are you going to find a boyfriend if you’re so busy?”

“I have more important things to worry about.”

“But you should have a husband. You know you have to get married by the time you’re 30, right?”

 I scoff so hard in my head it’s like a huge brain fart because I don’t think I’ll even have a boyfriend in the 1.5 years my mom says I should be married by.

“The weekends are for you to hang out with your husband and kids. And to take care of your yard.” she states.

I just stare at her. “I don’t have a yard at my apartment. I don’t think there are a lot of yards around downtown San Francisco.”

A guy that looks around my age puts his tray down and sits at the table next to us. My mom looks at him. OH HELL NO. Do the gods hate me right now? The world just has to put a guy in my mom’s line of sight at the very moment she’s lecturing me on how I need a man in my life? I instinctively look the opposite direction. 

My mom continues to talk about the benefits of having a family and that time is running out, but in English. Oh, NOW you decide to speak English? How convenient for him to overhear.

I don’t ever glance to my right and just keep eating, hoping that my mom will switch topics as I try to steer the conversation away. When I look up, my mom nudges her head in his direction over and over again. I still don’t twist my head at all and I feel like veins are popping on my forehead as I stare very intently at my basil chicken.

Then I feel my bladder telling me that I have to relieve it. IMMEDIATELY. Why is timing so bad right now?

I jump from my chair and run to the bathroom. I pee as fast as I can, praying to all the gods in every religion that my mom is not doing anything stupid out there. When I come back the table next to us is empty. Holy shit, did she say something that actually scared him away? 

“You should have talked to that guy! I was about to do it for you.”  

"DID YOU?!" I yell even though we’re surrounded by people dining. But the thought was that horrifying. 

“No. Do you even know how to talk to boys?” She shakes her puffed up hair at me, as if I need a guidebook in life, authored solely by her. 

“I’m done eating.”


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