(Los Angeles, CA) As pressure systems collide, predictable patterns emerge. For one woman, a quick succession of events created a “perfect storm” of funk that translated to a poor diet, a messy apartment, and an unending binge on television.
Multiple triggers within a short span of time should have set off early warning systems. However, each event appeared in mild in nature, its accumulated effects only apparent in retrospect.
The storm began with the engagement announcement of a very close friend. While the news was overwhelmingly joyous, it also required the woman to confront her own stalled love life. And when the pending wedding was scheduled sooner than expected, without consultation, her singledom only felt more final. For it was unlikely that the woman would find a love of her own in time to attend the wedding as a “plus one”… plus have the time and diligence to look fabulous by shedding 20+ pounds.
Family can often create storms on their own. Soon after the engagement announcement, the woman became entangled in family responsibility with a request to assist her uncle’s friend with property taxes. It can only be presumed why the woman was specifically consulted for she neither deals with property taxes or has any connections to someone that does. However after much time invested into research and making calls, it turned out that they were not interested in learning the system, but in finding someone to navigate around it.
Already feeling used, the woman was then taken to see the property in question. The drive was an exercise in Asian brain-washing techniques, with questions about the woman’s faith (“Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour?”) reinforced by Korean worship music blasting in the car. Awkward hugs then followed, involving the family friend rubbing her hand up and down the woman’s back. And finally, when the woman thought it could not get any worse, it climaxed with a recommendation for liposuction (explaining that the awkward hug was in fact, a form of physical examination to gauge body fat percentage).
Filial piety is ingrained in most Asian cultures, along with respect for elders. As such, the woman, feeling constrained in responding truthfully, could only manage half-hearted nods and “I’ll think about it”s (even through details too personal, like the family friend’s daughter harvesting eggs for in vitro). But despite its absurdist humor, these moments subconsciously undermined the woman’s self-esteem and affirmed her already-poor body image.
Work often served as a safe refuge for the woman, where she felt knowledgeable and secure. However, the growing challenge for her as a supervisor has been to manage those with very different personalities. Recent incidents with her staff served as the final piece, and painful reminder, that even at work, the woman was far from perfect, and more should have been expected of her.
These events, in quick succession, manifested themselves in troubling conditions. An oil spill of greasy, fatty foods coated the woman’s intestines along with the apartment, leaving a thin but resilient film of fast food wrappers. A tornado of outfit changes and runs “out the door” left clothing and paperwork strewn across all corners of the apartment. And a brushfire of good television left the woman only counting days until the next Netflix disc arrival, leaving little else on any priority list.
But pressure can only build for so long, and soon the high pressure system moved… The anniversary of the woman’s birth was celebrated with a delicious dinner (complete with celebrity sighting of Cutty from “The Wire”) followed by a production of “God of Carnage,” where the woman vicariously expressed her anger and let go of frustrations. The celebrating continued with quality time with the woman’s month-old cousin once-removed, laughing hysterically to “Bridesmaids,” and overall quality time with close friends.
Funk storms are inevitable and while this one passed, the woman knows that more are in the horizon. However, she learned that by reading signs early, measures can be taken to shore up and minimize any damage. For it is one thing to experience localized changes in weather patterns; it is another to enable complete climate change.