My day in pictures and then talk story local kine way:
I like to call it Pomessaging (helix pomatia is the latin word for snail). Remember that guy… Apple. The one who likes to give warm hugs yes, that Tongan guy…. So we were sexting. Well, my version of sexting. Which is that I send you pictures of flowers or slugs or whatever cute fluffy thing I happen to be adoring at the time (yes I have sent boys pictures of fluffy pandas shh) See what is happening in my head is that I want to get your attention! And usually- sending someone pictures of an oozing gastropod piques their interest. Example
Unsuspecting Person of Interest: “Hey that girl I like just texted me! Mmm I wonder what she’s up to tonight xoxo”
Opens this message
Looks up slowly
Nahhh… probably something more along these lines
Nonetheless you need to understand how I speak “boy” I speak boy as if I AM a boy. When I speak it at all. See this sending of the pictures of helix pomatia is just a cute way to get his attention it’s just me being friendly…
Actual events of that day so I have a guyfriend and he needed some chocolate for his girl and I looked it up and there’s a Manoa Chocolate Factory in Kailua… Over an hour away. But I am like hey I am unemployed minus my doctors appointments let’s do this so I got on the bus at 7:00 am and headed to Kailua. I stopped by the Ulupo Heiau on my way over.
It was a pretty rough bus connection twist to get to Ulupo Heiau. It’s right behind the Kailua YMCA but there’s this connection that’s at the highway by a university and I had to inch along the edge of the highway fighting off eevvvill thorn bushes that hooked onto me so hard they ripped some of my hair out! Hawaii’s got some thorny nasties and trust me they are not good news. So I catch my bus connection and it’s always interesting to take the bus here I have so many stories- which I will share later because this is already a long post- and I make it to the YMCA and walk up behind it and it’s this massive pile of rocks which is kinda cool. I wanted to see if you could really see all the way to the ocean from the top but I’m also a fan of conserving Hawaiian culture and legacy so I stayed off the rocks. There were food offerings left there at the heiau and yes there are still practitioners of native Hawaiian religion and they are huge on preserving these heiaus. And then there was this kalo lo’i! I will do a separate post about it I promise. In fact if it is in ( ) then I will do a separate post because I can tell you so much cool stuff about Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian chocolates and Hawaiian-ness in general.
(Chocolate Factory Tour)
(Queen Emma’s Summer Palace)
And then I get this text
“Chocolate is my weakness too. You should stop by later.”
“Why? You gotta tell me now because I’m on the bus.”
A few messages later I promise to stop by with chocolate. I rush through Queen Emma’s Summer Palace Tour and get back on the bus and all the way home I think about that mermaid story I want to write and listen to music and think this guy likes me. He likes me. What do I do with him? Can this even work? I really like his hugs and I want to spend some time with him, I don’t have to get serious with him. But what if he touches me and I have a panic attack? But he feels SAFE.
And he asked me to come to PCC to see him at work BUT I get over to PCC and he just got off work so I text him and I say “MMM unacceptable I’m coming to the dorm.”
And he comes out and for a minute we’re looking at each other and I have my head tilted because is it a Tongan or is it one of my Tongans and we recognize each other and my greeting is something like this
“Hey you, you are hard to find man! I mean you’re such a big guy but I haven’t seen you anywhere around this week!”
And here’s the thing… He seems nervous. Not in a bad way. In kind of a cute way. I’m watching him and he seems a little uncertain of himself like he doesn’t know what to do with his hands. And for me it’s kind of like when you go to the zoo and you watch with hesitant fascination at the cute little ground owl behind the glass, and then he starts puffering around looking from you to the food to you cause he’s nervous and you think it’s adorable so you laugh like “awwwww what a cutie”. Yes so in order for my brilliant analogy to work close your eyes and transmorph a tall, wide, strong Tongan into a ground owl less than a foot tall with big round dark eyes “puffering” around.
It’s a word now. Don’t question it.
And his friend comes to play with us and his friend is Ben which is a proud, strong Tongan name (or maybe not). I set my bag down on the table with the chocolate and the Gatorade because I know what men like and I stand there and look around while his friend gets the ball and the paddles for ping pong. And if you ever have a dull moment and you happen to have a Tongan man-friend around just ask him to say ping pong I have no idea what it is, but it’s adorable when they say ping pong. Makes me want to go “aww” and bake them cupcakes.
So we did some small talk. He asked about my day and I talk about how tired I am but tell him basically what I did. He says it was really nice of me to go all that way to get chocolate for my guyfriend’s girlfriend and I shrug and say it wasn’t bad, cause I got some chocolate for myself too. And I sit down and the setup of the lounge where the men bring the women on casual kind of dates to sit and talk or play games or sing to them with the piano is such that the ping pong table is in the middle and most of the furniture is shoved into the corner including the table where I’m sitting.
Apple: “So you’re out of the hospital, how’s your back?”
Me: “It’s not my back it’s my rib and it’s okay but I can’t work out this week.”
Apple: “What? Yes you can!”
And I gestured to my tummy and say
“I’m not supposed to do anything involving my abs” And Ben pops up and says
“No, you don’t need to go to the gym, you have the perfect body. Perfect abs. You’re the man!”
*Ben is the guy who bumped into me “by accident” when I was doing squats while holding a 10lb ball while standing on top of an upside down Bosu ball. And who bumped right up onto my fine ass because his “hands were sweaty” just to give you context that is the guy telling me I have the perfect body #sketch*
And I look over at him and raise my eyebrows
“Yes, I am the man.”
“Hey let’s play a bit, okay? You can watch.”
So the boys start the game and I admire Ben’s biceps because he’s wearing a tanktop which is against honor code which is what I got in trouble for because my dress went to my knees instead of over them (I was miffed about that. You seen men’s rugby shorts? They can wear those here at BYUH and nobody cares but I look way sexier in shorts than any man could pray to look like and I’m not allowed to wear anything above my knee. Excuse me.) But his biceps were beautiful. I liked watching them play for that reason and they got competitive. I have played ping pong with Tongan men before in that same lounge and I understand “Boy” pretty well. Allow me to translate
A typical girl would walk past this exchange and see only two men playing ping pong. But what a typical girl does not understand is that this is a reenactment of thousands of years of tradition. These two men are engaged in combat against each other in front of a strikingly beautiful woman (me), contesting for her interest. The type of format they choose doesn’t matter the point is to catch her eye and draw her interest to their form, their strength, their cunning. In their minds they are the noble gladiators in a fight to the death for the favor of a woman who can soothe them with love and hello-kitty bandaids after the battle is concluded.
I was confused at first because when he scored a point he would look over at me and smile and ask “Did you see that?” and I said “Yes, I did. You scored a point.” And just watching the gladiators of ping pong with their huge muscles and strong bodies chasing this tiny little ping pong ball over the room when they missed. And this big Tongan man looking over at me to see if I was enjoying watching him do this. And I was. But not because I was turned on. I enjoyed it because it highly amuses me when boys try to get my attention.
Whilst playing they lose the ball a few times and they don’t let me go fetch it. Instead of letting the person with the small hands and skinny arms reach under the piano to get it, they move the whole piano. And the table. And the futon. And the other table. And I offered to get it but they said no. One time it comes to me and I pick it up and hand it to Apple and our fingers brush against each other and I realize it doesn’t scare me. It doesn’t do anything for me, but it doesn’t scare me either. It doesn’t feel too strange it’s just a brush against my hand. Another time he walks behind me to get the ping pong ball and as he comes back his hand rests briefly on my shoulder before he goes back to play. And then the ball rolls into the corner between the box blue fabric chairs (think like a blue cube and the blue is burlap and there’s a thin layer of sponge inside as padding) and I stand up and say
“I’ll get it!” And I start to turn to get it and Apple comes over
“No, it’s okay.” And he puts his hands right on my shoulders and give them a quick squeeze “You’re tired, just sit back down and relax.” And he pushes a little and I start to sit down and he walks over to get the ball.
“You know I’m smaller than you, right?” I ask
“Oh, what are you trying to say?”
“That I could have gotten the ball for you! But you won’t let me! I am totally good at getting into small spaces, just wait, if we ever play hide and seek, I’ll win!”
“I don’t know, I’m pretty good at hide and seek.”
So then they finish up and I stand up to take my turn at the pingpong table and we start to play. And as we’re together we are doing small talk and it’s fun and we laugh. He keeps looking at me and I’m not sure why he does it so often but okay. And we start to hit the ball back and forth and then his boss calls for him to go to a meeting so he has to go sit down. At the table. From which he can see me at a pretty good angle
*I will leave it to your imagination as to how I know it’s an advantageous angle 😉 *
And I start to play against Ben, who won the last match.
“Oh, I have to go against the champ? Oh I might as well not play.” But I play anyways because I’m a girl and I’m kind of badass.
And we start to play and the dialogue that starts to come up is interesting because Apple and I do more small talk between points. I ask him where he served his mission. I tell him about my older siblings both expecting kids and him saying “oh you should get married.” “Nope.”
But by far these were the two highlights of the entire experience. The first highlight was when Ben had to go fetch the pingpong ball and he said “I will fetch it, princess” And I hold up my hand
“Holda holla holla, I am the Queen. I am not a princess, I am the queen.” Complete with
“Oh, I’m sorry. Wait, don’t you have to be married to be the queen?”
“I have been the queen since high school no, no you don’t”
Then we get “down to business” and I hit him 4 times with the ping pong ball.
“Okay, I’m sorry, my Queen!”
After about nine rallies we are down to the last point and he says
“How am I cheating?”
“There’s a hole in my pad!”
“There’s a hole in your… omigosh you did not”
And I burst out laughing so hard because if you’re a woman you know exactly what that would mean once a month.
“Wait, what do you call this thing?” Ben holds up the paddle
*me still laughing*
“It’s a paddle.” *me choking now*
“Pad’s not short for paddle?”
“Pad is not short for paddle. I’m sorry I just haaahaa.”
And then I beat him. Because I’m the Queen.
And then they have their meeting and Apple comes over to give me back the rest of the Gatorade and he says “Okay I’ll just give you a hug before I go” And he almost picks me up in a hug I feel my weight lift off the floor and I’m pressed up against, one with him. And it’s warm and it feels good. It’s comforting but also sort of exciting. It’s like he’s saying I like you and I want to hold you close. That holding me makes him feel so good that he never wants to let go. I start to feel warm and fuzzy and just want to stay there but after a few seconds my ever-helpful brain goes hey is this awkward and then I sort of let go and then I “rehold” but then he releases because he can read body language and I can’t.
That’s the impression I get from his hugs. He feels safe but my brain is hard-wired that men usually get physically close with me when they want to screw me over and leave. There’s often… Never a good outcome for it. Like why is he hugging me? Is this what people do when they like each other? Does it feel good?
I texted him a picture of a snail, okay? I obviously lack experience in the art of seduction. But considering how good I am at reading people I’m sure if I wanted to become the seductress, the woman of every man’s fantasy, I know I’m capable of that. But it’s up to my choice. I have an idea that when I do have a boyfriend I am going to let that part of myself out to play.
I have a hard time understanding the effect I have on men. As we were playing ping pong or even just talking and he kept looking at me and when he seemed nervous but tried to cover it up with a smile… When I chased the ping pong ball and bent over to pick it up his eyes brushed up over my body. When I was playing ping pong and he watched from the side. I realized that maybe he was nervous because he wanted this to go well. And whenever I think about him I just get that feeling “He likes you.”… If my spidey senses are telling me that then it’s probably true
Fast forward to today I send him this picture because it’s funny and I love to joke and he says hahaa that’s cute. And I say you know honestly I’m messaging you because I’m interested… So get used to the snail pics. Snails are cute.