By Seth Kushner
What is it about Asian girls anyway? Or specifically, what is it about Jewish guys and Asian girls? I’ve long noticed the commonality of that particular interracial coupling.
My theory: stereotypically, Asian men are domineering and Jewish women overbearing, so perhaps the Asian female wants to date the opposite of her father and the Jewish male the opposite of his mother. I think that was certainly true for me.
Personally, I seemed to mix well with a certain type of Asian girl. Let’s call her the beautifully delicate, somewhat nerdy type. She is small and thin, has silky, black-as-night hair, often wears glasses, dresses mainly in black, and has more than a passing interest in comics, Anime, sci-fi and action movies. And, of course, she often has an attraction to somewhat nerdy, Jewish guys.
Aesthetically, Jenny was the ideal girlfriend for me. She met all of the qualifications above, and if anything, was far more beautiful than her “type” even averages. She looked not unlike Zi Yi Zhang, the actress from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and to me, she possessed the face one would see in the dictionary under “Beautiful Asian Female.”
For the six month we were together, I proudly had on my arm a young lady who possessed the beauty of a Hong Kong starlet and everything was great. Until she dumped me.
Even after I came out of my tailspin of depression months later, I was still obsessed with Jenny. I would see her everywhere. But, it was never her, just her “type.” Once, I even tapped a girl’s shoulder on the R train, and apologized when she turned and I realized she was simply a beautiful stranger.
When I first took to internet dating sites to meet women, I would often punch in the following criteria into the search parameters:
Body Type: Petite
Age Range: 22 – 28
That brought me to a page of the “type” to scroll through. I wrote witty and charming notes to a fair number of them and a few responded.
I felt like Jimmy Stewart’s character in Vertigo, thinking I would remake a new girl in the image of a lost love. Sitting across a table from Galand I couldn’t help but think she could have been Jenny’s stunt double, except her glasses were the wrong shape. Maybe she’d be open to a new pair? We went to movies and dinners and museums, and after a while she no longer looked exactly like Jenny, but at certain angles, she still did, and while I was trying hard to get to know her, a part of me wanted to keep my view to the Jenny angles.
She was 22, the same age as Jenny, lived with her parents, like Jenny, and even shared the same last name as Jenny, but it was a common name, the equivalent of Smith in China. Unlike Jenny, Galand was a med student and very serious and studious and didn’t like to drink. While Jenny could have been described as fairly “open” sexually, after five dates with Galand, I still couldn’t get a real kiss.
I tried to plan situations that would be conducive to a smooch. I thought I got close while on a bench at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s atrium one night after seeing a Richard Avedon exhibition, but a security guard interrupted us to say the museum was closing.
I became so frustrated with the lack of pucker that one night after a movie, I drove her home and when an opportunity failed to present itself I awkwardly blurted out:
In my head it was to be old fashioned and charming, but in reality, it was as far from smooth as possible. If “smooth” was the United States, I was New Zealand. She said she had to go.
We saw each other again the following weekend when we each brought a friend to the Guggenheim Museum. I brought Alberto and begged him to please distract the friend so I could get some alone time with Galand and hopefully make a more Han Solo attempt at a kiss.
The girls showed up, and I knew already I was in for trouble with Alberto, because Galand’s friend could have been best described as “unattractive.” She was heavy and had a bit of fuzz on the side of her face. I’d hoped Alberto would suck it up and take one for the team.
Right from the start, Alberto was walking way ahead of us up the spiral Frank Lloyd Wright walkway, which left me to entertain both girls. I acted very friendly and gracious to her friend, trying to compensate for Alberto, and wanting to get in good so maybe she would tell Galand later, “You know, that Adam is a cool guy; don’t let him get away.”
While trying to make insightful comments about the art, I noticed something peculiar.
“Does anyone notice that smell?” I asked.
“Yeah, I do,” Alberto said. “It smells like garbage.”
It didn’t smell like garbage, but garlic…enough to stop even the most ardent vampire in his tracks. Alberto and I joked about it. As we continued through the galleries, I noticed the garlic scent following us.
“Damn, there’s that smell again,” I said.
“Whew, it STINKS!” Alberto exclaimed.
“Do you smell that, Galand?” I asked.
She didn’t answer, and she looked embarrassed. Then it struck me—
It wasn’t garbage, but garlic, emanating from Galand.
She must have eaten something, and the smell was still clinging to her. Shit…I wished I never said anything. Just then, Alberto made it even worse.
“Jeez, that garage smell is getting even worse. It’s like being in a dump.”
“Dude,” I whispered in his ear as the girls walked ahead of us, “shut up; it’s her…the smell is coming from her.”
Jenny always smelled wonderful.
I thought if I could get Garlic, er, uh, Galand, alone in one of the video installation rooms, I could make my move, but the garlic had killed any vibe there could have been.
We covered the whole museum, and when we found ourselves back at the bottom of the spiral, I asked the girls if they wanted to have dinner, trying to salvage this disastrous day., but they said they had plans.
Between the failed kiss attempt the previous week and the garlic at the museum, the situation was unsalvageable. I tried, sure, but Galand fell away, just in time for:
To be continued…
Read past installments of SCHMUCK and THE SCHMUCK DIARIES
Whenever Seth Kushner did anything foolish growing up, his mother would call him a “Schmuck,” that beloved Yiddish term of not-so-endearment. So, of course, it’s the title of his new comix semi-autobio on TRIP CITY, an online multimedia arts salon. Renowned for his The Brooklynites book and CulturePOP Photocomix, photographer and author Seth Kushner now throws his hat into the comics arena. SCHMUCK chronicles the period after his being dumped by a girlfriend, and the ensuing cascade of blind dates, Internet hook-ups, and comically tragic situations he endured with the hopes of finding “true love.”
SCHMUCK sheds a brutally honest light on 20-something relationships. Adam Kessler, our “hero,” is based on Kushner, ten years ago – a pop-culture-obsessed photographer torn between pleasing Mom by finding a “nice Jewish girl,” and figuring out what he really wants. His internal monologue is filled with the standard inane, perverted and self-deprecating thoughts we all have but are ashamed to admit. Meanwhile, his shit-talking, sex-obsessed Brooklyn boys stand by with their own, often wacky, advice.
Chapter One “Beer, Babes and Bowel Movements,” illustrated by Kevin Colden, (with “Photocomix” by Seth) debuted on Monday, January 9. From there, a new chapter will appear on TripCity.net every second Monday for one year. Every fourth Monday will see the release of a prose piece, “THE SCHMUCK DIARIES,” which will act as supplements to the comics. 2012 will see the release of 12 SCHMUCK comix and 12 SCHMUCK DIARIES.
SCHMUCK is an anthology series with different artists illustrating short “schmucky stories,” which can be read individually, or together to tell the complete narrative. Some upcoming SCHMUCK artists include; Sean Pryor (Pekar Project), Bobby Timony (Night Owls), Omar Angulo (Hurricane Wilma), Shamus Beyale (The Grimm Fairy Tales), Ryan Alexander-Tanner (To Teach), George Schall, (Dark Horse Presents) Nathan Schreiber (Power-Out), Leland Purvis (Resistance), Stephen DeStafano and more TBA.
What to expect: heartbreak, diarrhea, painful STD removal, rejection, Kung-Fu, Natalie Portman, vomit, boobs, self-loathing, unkempt genital regions, sex with an ex, drunkenness, sexual dysfunction, depression, misogyny, and somehow, hope.
Influences on SCHMUCK include; Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, Alex Robinson’s Box Office Poison, Bob Fingerman’s Beg The Question, Dean Haspiel’s Street Code, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, Curb Your Enthusiasm, works by Nick Hornby, Jonathan Ames, Woody Allen, Adrian Tomine, Jeffrey Brown, Chester Brown and Joe Matt.