Black Day 2016

The reason why you can’t pressure me to talk to the cute guy in the navy blue gi at jiu jitsu training is because in my head I’m facing a battle with my 23 years of never having dated, wondering why men I’m attracted to are never attracted to me, even though I’m blessed with a confidence in myself grown of so much support around me by my loved ones, because who needs lovers anyway when your heart is already bursting from the laughs and truth shared with your own people, and I think celebrating Black Day on April 14th in Korea (following Valentine’s Day, February 14th, and White Day, March 14th) is a perfect way to illustrate every interaction I’ve ever had with someone I’ve pursued, in that my friends, all six of us crowded around a table in a restaurant in Chilgok, awaiting our jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles), urged me to invite the one single man we spotted to come eat with us, in observation of the custom where singles dine together, and when I expressed my doubts, they dared me that if the waitress delivered him jjajangmyeon, I would have to invite him to eat with us, and so when his noodles arrived, black bean sauce a dark abyss in his bowl, I swiftly got up from the table and crossed the room–because confidence sometimes takes swiftness–and asked him if he wanted to join us, hoping that English was a thing that he spoke; I waited for him to finish the huge pile of noodles he had just chopsticked into his mouth, and after the awkwardness grew drops of sweat on the nape of my neck, he responded, “I have an appointment soon,” and I thanked him and traipsed back to my friends at our table now crowded with beer and jjajangmyeon, and so I’m not saying that this rejection traumatized me–and, really, the spirit of this Black Day could only be compared to my birthday, I was so excited about it and had been looking forward to it for months–but this scene of a man being more interested in his noodles and his “appointment” than in my socially-stilted invitation is right on point with the mystery and confusion and fear and inconvenience that conglomerates for me on days like this, when I happen to be eating jjajangmyeon, too independent to be sad, but too lonely to overlook such a lifestyle-acknowledging day, and maybe I’m just too unaware of how romance works or maybe I’m confused about how to be lonely, because talking to the guy in the navy blue gi with the really good English and the three stripes on his belt just seems like so much work and effort that I believe in my heart of heart of hearts that he has a girlfriend and/or there will be no opportunity for him to like me because, really, I’m not interesting until you get to know me or I’m comfortable enough to be witty, and why do you care anyways, when I just want to celebrate Black Day every day because what a fun way to observe a lack of romance in your life, with a heaping bowl of black bean noodles and your friends around you helping you be more than you think you can be.

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