Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Your boyfriend is a foreigner

And your girlfriend.
And your friend.
And your mother.
And yourself.

If I ever write a book, it will carry the same title as this article.  I feel this title embodies (whatever the hell that weird word means) every single idea, theory, and muse my brain has created.

If there were words that follow the title, you know, a catch phrase that gives a glimpse into what the book holds, maybe they would read like: "The illusion of words"  This I am still working on.

But what do I mean by "your boyfriend is a foreigner"?

Imagine this situation.

There is a guy from England.  He speaks perfect Korean.  He has a Korean girlfriend.

They are dating because they connected through music.  They met at a concert and both saw each other dancing to the same song and after much conversation, many more similar interests were revealed. 

It is a healthy relationship, they talk, they play, they fuck, they fight.

But they fight over things other couples don't.  The girl gets frustrated because he doesnt understand her on her cultural level.  Even though he speaks Korean perfectly, there is still a culture gap.  On his side too.  She doesnt understand his English culture.  So although there is perfect verbal communication going on between them, a lot of what they MEAN gets lost in cultural ignorance.  In order for them to have a successful relationship, this gap has to be given the correct respect and understanding.

This is understandable.  It would be very detrimental to your well being as a tourist to go to a foerign country and get mad at people for not understanding you.  Regardless to their preficiency in your native tongue.  When culture is involved, there seems to be a huge girth of forgiveness with meaning comprehension.

So then why do men and women in general not seem to understand each other?  Why is there a huge business built around this expert sharing his idea or this show expressing its idea about the man woman gap.  Even if you are paired up with someone who not only speaks your language natively but also grew up in your community and therefore shares your culture as intimately as you, there is still miscommunication with each others intended meanings.

Why is that?

It appears culture (as we understand it) and language (as we understand it) are not as important as they are made out to be with communication.

If that is so, what is really happening when miscommunication happens between a couple?

How can I understand perfectly what you are saying, but have no idea what you mean?

The reason I feel this could be the title of a book if there ever were one is because I feel all the ideas I have expounded upon in the blog can be related somehow to the hypothesis that would become the answer to the above questions.

I will save you and me the time of writing and then reading a book and will now shortcut to the answer.

Just like a group of "koreans" make up Korean culture, a group of whatever you feel a human is, makes up each person's individual culture.  So although you speak the same language as your lover just like our proverbial couple above did, by just being yourself, you automatically have a different culture from evey single person you will ever meet, and just like the English boyfriend didn't understand his Korean girlfriend's culture because he wasn't raised Korean, your boyfriend/friend/mother don't understand your culture because they weren't raised you.  Your boyfriend truly is a foreigner.

Every couple should have the same girth of forgiveness for each other as do natives of a certain country with foreigners.  This girth will become thinner and thinner as time passes because it will become expected from each other to understand just from the sheer amount of time spent together.  the sheer amount of experience shared.

This all seems logical.  by now, no one reading this has yet donked their head in utter disbelief with anything I have said.  But no one in the world can say "no" to "have you ever gotten frustrated with someone for not understanding you?"  That is the duality I can write a book about.  How obvious we don't understand.  How close our hands are over our eyes yet we ask who turned the lights out.  How we are standing over a freshly baked apple pie and yet we ask what smells so good.  How we feel the fart seep out our asses yet we question our neighbor about the foul smell.

When you meet someone, and you say "I like movies"  the actual meaning expressed to the recipient with those words is equal to a dogs bark.  Every single person you talk to has no idea what you mean with anything you say.  All they understand is what you say.  With time and patience people can learn and hopefully understand the meaning your culture attaches to the words that come out of your mouth, but as far as that meaning is concerned, every person you meet is a foreigner.

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