With my mom a couple of months after being selected as SFVJACC Queen.
When I was a little girl, my mother told me that one of her dreams was for me to be in a Japanese American beauty pageant which was closely tied to a week-long festival in Los Angeles known as Nisei Week. The first Nisei Week celebration took place in 1934, and a year later, the queen pageant was added. With the exception of the years during which World War II took place, the Nisei Week Festival has taken place yearly. I knew how much my mother wanted me to participate in Nisei Week, but since I wasn’t that interested in vying for a queen title and being in a pageant, I tucked the idea of pursuing such a goal in the back of my mind and kind of forgot about it.
Shortly after I turned 18, I decided to contact the Japanese-American community center close to where I lived and inquired about the pageant, only to be told that the age requirements for queen candidates were changed to 19 to 25. The following year, I inquired again, but the area’s queen selection had already been made at that time. After that, I simply forgot about the Nisei Week queen selection. Then the year that I turned 25, I figured that I had one final chance to see if I could win a queen title and advance to the Nisei Week pageant. So I submitted my candidate profile and waited for the queen selection day to approach, while also keeping my plans completely hidden from my mom. I thought that if I wasn’t selected as the San Fernando Valley queen, I wouldn’t say anything to my mother, so as to spare her any disappointment.
While at the queen selection event, I noticed that I was up against only one other candidate, but that candidate had competed for the queen title for two consecutive years previously, and since she was also 25 years old, the event was her final chance at being selected as queen. I made an assumption that since the judges were familiar with the other candidate, she would most likely be chosen as their queen.
We were assessed on our physical appearance and poise, were asked impromptu questions while standing on a small stage, and were interviewed individually by every single judge. When it was time to announce the 1991 San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center Queen, who would then go on to compete at the Nisei Week pageant with 8 other regional queens, I prepared myself to hear the other candidate’s name, so it was a complete surprise when I heard my name called. Next thing I knew, the judges and guests were congratulating me, and the former queen placed a bouquet of tulips in my arms. When I arrived home, I called my mom to tell her the news, and she was incredibly proud and thrilled.
At Mayor Tom Bradley’s office with fellow Nisei Week Princess and WLAJACC Queen Alice Akahoshi
Over the next three months, I went to pageant practice 3 days per week, attended events with the rest of the court, and was primed and polished for business visitations and parades. It was like attending Japanese-American charm school, and I was grateful for the experience. I wore a tiara to many events, and also wore a sash whenever clad in kimono or in the matching outfits the court was expected to wear during events and visitations. We performed in front of 1,200 guests during the pageant, and though I didn’t win the Nisei Week Queen title, I was a Nisei Week Princess, still held the Queen title for my region, and became part of an incredible community.
During my final year at Occidental College, I was invited by my academic advisor to go camping in Yosemite with a group of other Exercise Science classmates. Since I had never gone camping before, I was a bit nervous about the prospect of answering the call of certain excretory processes by squatting in the woods, as well as the idea of sleeping in a sleeping bag on the cold forest floor in a tent. It turned out that my concerns were unfounded, because my advisor chose a campsite at Upper Pines, very close to restrooms and showers, and the sleeping bag which I borrowed was incredibly cozy, comfortable and warm.
We went on our camping trip in April of 1992, and though we were rewarded with relatively sunny but brisk days, the evenings were quite chilly, and we also experienced sudden torrential downpours during a couple of very random points during our trip. The landscape was ostensibly breathtaking, and the hikes we went on were strenuous and fun. We also had a great time cracking jokes while eating breakfasts and dinners back at the campsite. On one particular morning, we were all eating our breakfasts, when a sudden heavy downpour of rain befell us. Instead of us running for cover, every single one of us remained seated at the picnic table and continued to eat, allowing the raindrops to fall upon us.
The shower abated quickly, so we were able to go hiking that day, albeit on more level terrain so as to avoid slipping down any embankments. We returned to the campsite shortly before dusk, and prepared dinner. Once we finished dinner, a classmate and I decided to take a walk around the nearby area. We became so engrossed in chatter that at one point, we found ourselves on a paved road, but it was completely empty. My classmate said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we just decided to lie right on the asphalt and look up at the stars?”, to which I replied, “Let’s go for it.” She and I then proceeded to lie down on the asphalt, which wasn’t too uncomfortable since we were wearing parkas, and we turned our attention to the sky.
In all my years on the planet, there have only been a handful of times during which I was able to see such a shocking display of stars, and that night was one of those times. We were absolutely blown away by the massive collection of stars in that inky black sky, and saw constellations we had only learned about in textbooks. It was mesmerizing and magical. We enjoyed the moment, which lasted a good ten minutes, until the headlights of a pickup truck startled us and made us rise from the pavement!
During the summer of 1980, I spent 30 days in Europe with a group of girls from my high school, along with our ancient history teacher, her husband, and a German foreign exchange student named Jorg Eichhorn. There were countries which I absolutely loved (Italy, Greece), countries which were impressive in certain ways but which didn’t capture my heart (England, Switzerland, Austria, Germany), and two countries which I did not enjoy one bit (France, Turkey). Despite the fact that I wasn’t enamored with every country we visited, I truly enjoyed the entire experience immensely.
One major highlight we experienced was a cruise we took on the M/V Aphrodite, a cruise ship which we boarded in Ancona, Italy. We spent a week on the M/V Aprhrodite, which docked in Santorini, Athens, and Istanbul. Our first night on the ship, I remember sitting out on the deck, looking up at the sky, and being dazzled by a glorious display of stars, completely unobstructed by pollution, the distraction of electric lighting, or ominous storm clouds. The next day, when we docked in Santorini, I was even more awestruck by the gorgeous turquoise water of the Aegean Sea. Once I set foot on the rocky shore, I saw the waves lap against the rocks and realized that I could see fish swimming in the water. I had never seen such a shade of water, and for that matter, I had never seen any major body of water except for the Pacific Ocean until I went on that cruise. It was an experience which left an indelible impression on my 14 year old self.
I recently thought about what my ten favorite moments in my life have been, and I decided to compile a list. I was astonished to see that eight of the ten moments occurred while I was traveling, and six of them involved water. Every single one of these moments is special and sacred to me, and full of meaning. I’ve made sure to list them in chronological order. I will add ten blog posts in the future which will discuss each of these magic moments.
I was recently given the opportunity to try a self-massage tool called the Acu-Hump, which is designed for home use by individuals who are suffering from back, hip and buttock issues. Generally speaking, I am definitely a fan of at-home self-massage devices, and am happy to promote any such products which not only are effective, but also easy to use. The Acu-Hump fits the bill on both counts. Now that I have used the device, I am now able to write a review here so that you can learn more about it and decide whether you might want to purchase one for your own use.
Let’s start with the general design of the Acu-Hump. The Acu-Hump is made of a slightly flexible polyurethane, and is rigid enough to support one’s body weight if someone sits on the device or lies on top of it during therapy. Granted, I’m only 126 pounds, but it certainly doesn’t feel like the Acu-Hump is in any danger of caving in on itself when I use it. There are 14 humps on the treatment surface which work like shiatsu or pressure point nubs, and they are extremely effective at causing a release of tight, tense muscles, just like a deep tissue massage from a professional masseuse. In addition, the gentle curved design of the Acu-Hump gently stretches the muscles which are being treated, whether you place the unit under your upper back, your hip, or your buttocks. Simply stated, if you like deep tissue massage like I do, you will LOVE the Acu-Hump.
I am very impressed by how effectively the Acu-Hump causes a myofascial release in any area it is used on, whether it is in the upper back (latissimus dorsi, trapezius), hips (piriformis, sacroiliac joints), or the buttocks (glutes, muscles which surround sciatic nerve). You can use the Acu-Hump daily if you want, since it will cause a wonderful reset of overused or tight postural back muscles and muscles in the buttocks. It’s great for everyone from those who sit at desk jobs all day, to people who stand or move around a lot, and it’s fantastic for athletes who pretty much live with muscle aches and pains.
The Acu-Hump is well designed, and the pressure points sit in excellent positions for just about anyone who uses it. It is also surprisingly lightweight for how durable it is, so it can be taken to the office, to sporting events, you name it. My favorite use for the device is to sit on it, because I always have pain in the muscles of my buttocks, but I also love using this on my upper back right below my shoulder blades, and I also love using it at my sacroiliac joints in my lower back to soften the tendons and to get some relief from stiffness and pain which I experience on occasion. It’s so versatile that you can use it on numerous areas to get a great stretch while also benefitting from the self-massage properties of the device.
The Acu-Hump is available on Amazon. For more information on the Acu-Hump, and to visit their website, please go to https://www.acuhump.com
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was given free product and compensation for my time to put together this informative blog post, but the opinions expressed here are truly my own.
The word healthy is a broad term that covers a variety of topics. To ensure you are at your best, you have to be your own health advocate, and that means knowing what is going on with your health at all times. Start by considering these ways you can be your best and fight for your health.
1. Research Your Doctors
Think about the role your doctor plays and how important that is for your health. Use the weight of that role when researching new doctors. Research shows you should look into their educational background, their level of expertise, and what other patients say about them. Ask for recommendations from friends and family. That is a great place to start before you dig in deeper to learn more about the doctor’s experience.
2. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
A great way to take charge of your health is to start living a proactively healthy lifestyle. Start with eating better and getting physical exercise. If you are new on the health journey, try not to overdo it too quickly. Start by making small changes, such as eating more vegetables with every meal and going for walks. If you spend most of your time at work, get some physical activity by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You can find small ways to incorporate activities that will keep your blood flowing.
3. Stay Organized
Keep your medical records organized by maintaining them yourself. You can use an online tool to quickly combine videos and keep all medical images in a single file by uploading them to your computer and merging them into one pdf. Then download the new file to keep on your laptop. Be sure to back the information up to a cloud-based server so you can access it from anywhere.
4. Speak Up at Appointments
Don’t be afraid to ask doctors questions, and don’t worry about whether your questions are silly. Doctors are paid to provide you with information that will benefit your health. The only way to access that information is to ask questions. This can also be a great way to vet doctors. A good doctor is happy to answer your questions and will go out of their way to provide you with answers. You don’t want a doctor that seems irritated or uncooperative when you have questions.
5. Be Vigilant About Your Medications
Take your medications exactly as prescribed. Some medicines are ineffective if you fail to finish the prescription, and some can take weeks to start working effectively. If you skip days or leave a few pills in the bottle, your medications may not work as they should.
6. Prioritize Your Mental Health
Keep in mind that mental health is just as important as physical health. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are struggling or have questions about your mental health. Talk to your doctor about getting a referral if you need to see a mental health professional, and remember there is no shame in having mental health issues. The majority of people struggle with them at some point in life.
Part of you being your own health advocate is doing things that make you uncomfortable, such as speaking up for yourself. However, the more you do it, the easier it will become. Remember how important your health is and you will always want to fight for it.
There are few things more relaxing than spending time in the open air. Being outside, whether you are hiking, biking, camping, or gardening, is great for your health and can improve your mental well-being. Surprisingly, your time in nature can also teach you a lot about yourself and the world so that you can be a better entrepreneur, whether you’ve been in business for many years or are just getting started. Today, StaceyNaito.com covers a few of these lessons and offers insight on how to get the most out of your outside excursions.
Before you set out for an adventure, get your business prepared to run without you. Tips here include:
Hire the right staff. If you’re just planning a night or two over the weekend, you can probably skip this step. However, to get the most out of your time, you’ll want to be immersed in a natural environment for at least a week. Find the right staff to keep your business running even when you are unavailable. This begins by determining what functions need to be filled and thoroughly reviewing applicants. While most experts will recommend choosing only the most qualified applicant, don’t count out those eager to learn your industry.
Streamline your invoicing processes. Don’t leave town without making sure that you can send invoices and get paid on time. If you have not already, invest in a cloud-based invoicing tool that lets you send bills from anywhere. This is helpful if you do not yet trust your employees with sensitive information, such as customer credit card numbers. If you have recurrent invoices, look for software that will let you schedule your billing ahead of time and will also ping you when payments are made. Utilizing cloud technology also allows you to stay involved as long as you have an internet connection.
Make sure you’re available at least some of the time. Speaking of staying involved, set aside a couple of hours each day to field questions or handle tasks that your employees cannot. For this, you want to make sure to pack your laptop (Quantum Technologies recommends traveling with a locked case), a Wi-Fi hotspot, and an additional battery backup as you may not be able to charge your phone or devices.
You’ll also need to prioritize safety, especially if you’ve never been much of an outdoorsman before. Things you can do to keep yourself and your travel party safe are:
Let someone else know where you are going. Even if you’re planning to travel with a group, let somebody know where you are and when you are expected back.
Pack appropriately. While you do need to pack some of your professional essentials, make sure that you have room for all of the equipment you’ll need to stay safe and healthy while you travel. If you’re camping, for example, REI suggests making sure that you have a tent, pillows, sleeping pads, and a camp table if no picnic facilities are available. Further, pay close attention to the weather and dress in layers if significant temperature spikes are expected.
Know your destination. Even if you already know where you are going, spend some time really getting to know the area before you go. While this isn’t so important if you plan to stay close to home, when you’re traveling outside of your comfort zone, you’ll want to know everything from the location of the local police station to exit routes on your hiking excursion if you need to turn back.
What The Outdoors Can Do For You
Now that you are prepared to go, it’s time to take a look at the benefits of being outdoors. Obviously, it’s great exercise and a fun way to vacation. But, spending time in nature can also equip you to be a better business owner by teaching:
Patience. If you’ve ever talked to a child that went to summer camp, you know that a nature-centric experience can teach patience as these kids have to learn how to wait for the bathroom or to help with younger peers. As an adult, you will learn patience by having to wait out the weather, wildlife, or slower members of your party.
Team-building. There are plenty of outdoor team-building activities that can help you be a better boss and team player. Activities like swimming relays, target practice, and sailing are great ways to get your team to learn how to work together more effectively. Two other significant benefits of team building outdoors are learning to identify stronger potential leaders and establishing trust between your employees.
Preparedness. Anytime you’re outdoors, you have to be prepared for everything from rain to wild animals. As such, your adventures can also teach you how to prepare for all situations and to adapt if you’re not prepared. Things, like knowing which medical supplies to pack or having an additional set of oars available if you’re kayaking, might seem like insignificant touches, but if you need them, they can be lifesavers. You can apply the same set of principles at the office by having a plan in place in case an employee leaves, a vendor is late, or a high-value customer pulls their business.
Conservation. When you first step out into the big wide world, it’s easy to believe that the resources you see are infinite. They are not, and it is up to us to preserve the world around us for future generations. Air, soil, and water pollution, all of which are the direct result of human activity, take a toll on the natural world. As you get deeper into your adventures, you may notice things that you did not before, such as plastic bottles along the lake shore or animals looking for a home as deforestation drives them out of their natural environment. This can help you be a more responsible business owner by reminding you to preserve what you have and to be less wasteful every day.
Your own backyard. You don’t have to travel to take in the outdoors – just look out the window of your home. Consider creating an outdoor getaway in your own backyard. Remove tired landscaping and dead trees, install a deck or patio if you don’t already have one, and make a paradise of your very own. Some projects are best left to the pros, however, so bring them on to get the job done right. For instance, removal of a tree stump is no easy task, so go online and search service directories to find local contractors. The typical cost for such work ranges from $170 to $522, a worthy investment for hiring a company with the right equipment and experience.
There are many benefits of being outside, whether you’re planting a garden, spending a month-long sabbatical hiking the Appalachian Trail, or enjoying a week-long camping vacation. But, don’t forget to pay attention to the lessons that you learn that can help you as a business owner. You also want to make sure that you plan ahead by hiring the right staff and making sure that you can continue to get paid so that you can enjoy and make the most of your time outdoors.
Dr. Stacey Naito of StaceyNaito.com offers customized meal plans, exercise regimens, and natural hormone balance to people who don’t want to compete but just want to lose weight, gain weight, or get toned. Contact Stacey today for more info!
Here is another outstanding and motivating article from Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net which you will enjoy reading!
Are you struggling with your confidence? Signs of low self-esteem include being overly sensitive to criticism, having anxiety, lashing out, and being socially withdrawn. These tips, courtesy of Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog, can help you boost your confidence.
Exercise helps boost your confidence in different ways. Your improved health, strength, and appearance make you feel good about yourself. Working out gets your endorphins going, which boosts your mood. Feeling happier and improving your mental health can help you feel confident. Plan to fit in the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of exercise weekly.
Improve Your Nutrition
What you eat can affect your attitude and how you feel about yourself. Pay attention to how different foods impact your mood and enjoy more of the healthy foods that improve your outlook. Filling your diet with nutritious, whole foods also helps you stay healthier and either lose or maintain your weight, which can boost your confidence in your physical appearance.
Change Your Career and Update Your Resume
Millennials held an average of six different jobs by reaching the age of 26, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether you’re on track to reach that number or you’ve been in your current job your entire career, looking for something new can help with your confidence if your job is stressful or you deal with difficult coworkers.
Before seeking a new position, you can create a slick and professional-looking resume by utilizing an online resume creator. You can choose from a library of professionally designed resume templates, and then add your own copy, photos, colors, and images. What’s more, this tool is free to use and a resume can be created in minutes.
Master Positive Self-Talk
Negative self-talk about the things that make you different chips away at your confidence. You might tell yourself that you’re too nerdy, aren’t worthy, or don’t fit in. You may not even realize you’re saying these things to yourself. Realizing you’re using negative self-talk and switching to a positive internal voice can boost your confidence. It might seem awkward at first, but keep saying positive things about yourself to change your thoughts and grow your confidence.
Learn to Relax
A survey from the American Psychological Association shows that 49% of people surveyed had negative effects on their behavior due to stress, including tension, getting angry, and yelling. Feeling constantly stressed can interfere with your confidence. Make time for self-care, try yoga, do breathing techniques, or meditate to relax.
One of the benefits of volunteering is enhanced self-confidence. Feeling good about helping others can improve how you see yourself. You might also discover new skills and talents as you volunteer. Look for a cause that speaks to you and find ways to help.
Improve Your Circle
Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel better about yourself can help your confidence. If your friend circle constantly breaks you down, it’s difficult to overcome your insecurities. Find a group that accepts you as you are and has a positive attitude to uplift you. If you want to meet new people, check Meetup for groups in your area that match your interests.
Boost Your Confidence
Little changes add up to increased confidence. With the tips above – including sticking to an exercise regimen, eating nutritiously, switching up your career and updating your resume, and learning to relax – you’ll be able to improve your self-esteem.
Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog is as varied as the blogger herself, who works as a physician, certified nutrition coach, body transformation coach, fitness trainer, model, writer, researcher, and sponsored athlete. Read more informative articles today!
I recently hopped onto a dating site in an effort to keep myself in circulation, and convinced myself to consider men who weren’t my type, but who might be suitable potential partners. One member who contacted me had a very interesting profile, and though he wasn’t physically my type, I was intrigued enough to chat with him. Once the message stream ensued and we switched over to text messaging, the man (I’ll call him Adofo) began texting me on a daily basis, not to say hello, but to ask me if I was free to hang out. Since the nature of my daily life rarely allows me to be spontaneous and make last minute plans, and also since I was preparing for an international trip, I made it clear to Adofo that my time was limited. He then agreed to meet me on a Sunday, so I added the meeting to my calendar.
Adofo texted me two days before our planned date, asking if I was free that evening, to which I replied that I was not. He then texted me the following day, and since the plans I had for Saturday had fallen through, I told him that I did indeed have the evening open. Adofo instructed me to meet him on his side of town, which bothered me for two reasons: I had driven all over town the entire week and wanted to take a break from driving long distances once the weekend arrived, and also because I am a bit old-fashioned and expect the man to come to my neck of the woods for the first date. When I told him that I had no intention of driving to Venice, he told me he would schedule an Uber. I then waited for the Uber, which never came because the app wasn’t allowing Adofo to schedule a pickup at my location.
He told me that I needed to hurry up and get to Venice before 5 pm, not considering the fact that he tried lining up the Uber at 4:15 pm. He also told me that we would grab a bite to eat at an Italian restaurant, to which I replied, “Italian isn’t good for me because of the gluten”. I asked if we could find a restaurant with cleaner fare, to which he replied, “oh, you’ll find something to eat there”.
I tried to schedule a Lyft, but the soonest pickup time was in 20 minutes, so I told Adofo I would drive in my own car. I asked him to tell me where to meet him, and he simply said, “Alehouse”, as if he expected me to know the place. I told him to please send me the address, since I was already annoyed by the fact that I had to drive out to Venice. He said, “look it up”, and I bristled, telling him that I was making the effort to come out his way, that I had been standing outside for the Uber which never came, and that I had attempted to schedule a Lyft. I insisted on having him text me the address.
A few minutes after I began driving, Adofo texted me and told me to meet him at his place because I would be able to park my car there. I didn’t respond since I was driving. I got a second text from him, suggesting that we meet at the Italian restaurant, which I also did not respond to because I was driving. I already had the address for Alehouse in my GPS and I wasn’t about to change it. By this time I was extremely irritated and had actually thought of turning around and going home, but I didn’t want to come across as a flake, and drove out to Venice.
Of course Venice was packed with traffic, and I couldn’t find any parking. I pulled over and texted Adofo, informing him that I had passed the Alehouse and was looking for parking, and he called me. He said, “Hey, where are ya?” I told him I was in my car, that parking and traffic were major issues. He said, “Get over here!” I told him that I was a couple of blocks down and that because the traffic was terrible, he needed to understand that I needed a few minutes to return to the Alehouse entrance. He then said, “Pick me up in front of Alehouse, I’ll get into your car and we’ll find parking”.
When Adofo got into my car, he immediately said, “Wow, you’re really fucking cute! You’re so pretty! Give me a kiss!” I refused, which prompted him to say, “Wow, you’re spicy! A sassy bitch, I like you!” I told him that I had to start driving, that there were cars behind me, so he relented for about 20 seconds, then asked me what my sign was. I said, “Moon child. Cancer.” His eyes widened, and he remarked, “Me too! When’s your birthday?” “July 9th.” “Mine’s June 27th. Wow, I can’t believe you’re a Cancer. And you’re 56, wow. You don’t look 56. I’m 52. You’re 56, you’re older than me.” I told Adofo that he needed to direct me to the parking lot he wanted me to park in, that we could talk later.
Adofo seemed annoyed that I wouldn’t humor him, but proceeded to direct me to a parking structure. I parked the car, and as I was walking from the car, he grabbed me by the waist, exclaimed, “Give me a hug!”, and squeezed me tight, which annoyed me even more. Adofo then said, “Give me a kiss!” I told him no, so he said, “Dammit, you’re so fucking stubborn! Wow.” We walked to the restaurant and took two seats at the bar, and as soon as the bartender saw Adofo, he approached Adofo and said, “Hey man, you’ve got some open tabs to pay”, and he placed 4 receipts in front of Adofo.
I had forgotten my cell phone in my car, so I excused myself to get it. For a fleeting moment, I seriously considered just driving away, but once again, I didn’t want to be that kind of person, so I reluctantly returned to the restaurant and took my seat at the bar. Adofo immediately scooted my barstool closer to him so that my thigh was touching his, and he slipped his hand around my waist and pulled me in tighter. By this time I was so disgusted, and figured that the evening was probably going to go downhill, but I tried to make the best of it and ask him questions about his life and career. Oddly, Adofo didn’t ask me a single question about me or my life, but in true narcissistic fashion, was delighted to talk about himself.
Adofo proceeded to ask me three more times when my birthday was, and each time, he said, “Oh wow, you’re a Cancer!”, which made me think that perhaps this man was suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s. He also kept mentioning my age, and at one point, he told me that at 56, I was near 60, that I needed to hustle and get a man and get my life in order. Another thing Adofo kept saying was, “You’re gonna be my girlfriend, I just know it. Will you be my girlfriend? You don’t have to give me an answer today, tomorrow is fine.” At one point in the evening, he said, “I know it’s very 5th grade of me to ask you to be my girlfriend, but I like you”, and then at another point, he said “I know it’s very 3th grade of me to ask you to be my girlfriend, but I like you”. He certainly was behaving like someone in grade school, but I guess he didn’t remember what grade he was in (hah!). He wasn’t acting like a 52 year old man, that’s for sure.
We ordered drinks, and when I asked for a vermentino, Adofo scoffed and said, “Oh, you like WHITE wine. Whatever, I like red wine.” I guess in his estimation it was unacceptable for me to prefer white wine. He also told me to order food from the happy hour menu, not the main menu, and while I was perusing the happy hour menu, Adofo said, “No, don’t look at that, I’ll order for us, you’ll like what I order. I’ll get Arancini (rice balls with cheese, battered and deep fried, full of gluten), penne pasta (full of gluten), chicken meatballs (gluten), and bone marrow (served with bread, another gluten bomb).”
When the food came, I wanted the bone marrow, but Adofo dumped portions of the other dishes onto my plate, and said I HAD to eat the other items. I carry one of two genetic markers for celiac disease, and I also suffer from leaky gut, so my trepidation over consuming gluten is very real. I guess the only good thing was that the portions were small, since they were appetizers. Adofo ended up wearing some of the meal because he was such a slob, and the sauce stains streaked all over his shirt made me want to avoid him even more.
As soon as he wolfed down the majority of the food, he said, “Let’s get out of here. We can hang out at my place, get a bottle of wine.” I told him I was still hungry and would like to get a small salad, to which he replied, “Nah, we’ll order one to go. We’ll also get another bone marrow appetizer.” He ordered the to go items, asked for the check, and paid the bill. Once we had the to go order, we walked to my car, got in, and I began driving. As I was driving, Adofo said, “Hey, let’s watch the sunset!” “Adofo, there is COMPLETE cloud cover, so we won’t see a thing.” “Ah come on! Let’s go!” I told him no, and he once again accused me of being stubborn.
Adofo directed me to a parking spot in back of his place which I was comfortable with since it was out in the open, and in a well trafficked alley. We then walked up to his place, and when I mentioned that perhaps we could go to the liquor store which was across the street for wine, he brushed me off and told me we would do that later. His apartment was plain, old, and indicative of someone who really hadn’t made it in life, so I wasn’t surprised by it. I excused myself to use the restroom, and when I walked into the living area, Adofo went into the kitchen and opened a beer. I asked him if we could go to the liquor store, since I can’t drink beer, and he replied, “Not right now, hold on.” Sigh.
I took a seat on his very tiny sofa, and he sat at the small round plastic table which served as his desk as well as his dining room table. He opened his laptop and was staring at the screen while I spoke with him, a lapse in manners which I had learned to accept from Adofo at this point. I asked him how long he had been living in his apartment, and he told me he moved in there in 2020, right after his father died. I told him that my father had died in 2020 as well, and how that year was difficult for many people. I asked him if he had lived in Malaysia (he had mentioned that to me when we first began messaging each other) immediately before moving into his current space, and he said he had. He mentioned that people in southeast Asia are different, that the life there is in many ways better. Then he said, “You’re going to Thailand, right?” “Yes I am, in a week.” “You’ll like it there.”
I told Adofo that I had been to Thailand before, that it would be my second visit, and that I had been to 18 countries. I started listing the countries, and he interrupted me in mid-sentence, barking, “Come here.” I told him that I was in mid-sentence trying to talk to him, and he responded with, “What were you saying?” “Okay Adofo, clearly you weren’t listening to what I was saying. Never mind.” “No, come on, tell me.” “Nope, I’m over it.”
“Well, just come over here already.” I walked over to the table, and he grabbed me by the waist, telling me to kiss him. I said no and took several steps back, then happened to glance at his laptop screen, on which he had Murray Head’s “One Night In Bangkok” music video occupying the entire screen and cued up to the beginning. I said, “I’m well acquainted with that song and with the video, so unless there’s a specific point in the video you want to show me, I’m good.”
Adofo then looked at me and said, “You’re 56. I still can’t believe it, you look really good. Do you want babies?” I told him, “Listen, I’ve been through menopause. The factory is shut down, I can’t have kids.” Adofo’s gaze sank to my crotch, and he said, “Let me see.”
“Let me see it. Let me see your vagina.”
I turned to the sofa, grabbed my handbag, and rushed out of that apartment as fast as I possibly could, and once I was in the alley, I ran to my car. Adofo chased me the entire way, and tried to block me as I drove away. Within a couple of minutes, I blocked him on the dating app, on Instagram, and also blocked his phone number. Thankfully, it was still light outside, I was in a very busy urban area, and I was actually relieved that I had my car, because I was able to make a quick getaway.
Ladies, make sure to carry pepper spray to protect yourself in a similar situation.
Guys, please don’t be like Adofo! Such behavior is one sure way to keep women at bay for good.