I learned an interesting thing about women recently. SN. Nowadays, being married and all, the frequency with which I find myself being the only male in a group has increased. Similarly with Jieun being in a group of guys I think. I guess it should be expected, but yeah, it’s one of those many things I didn’t think about beforehand.

Anyway, I found myself in such company recently and we were talking about the way girls dress. One person was outraged that on one occasion someone at church, a male, rebuked her for wearing a particular skirt. Her take was, it’s guys’ problem. If looking at that stumbles them, they need to look away. To which I disagreed somewhat. Everyone agrees that wearing just bikini to church is inappropriate. So you can’t be angry that there is a line, because such a line must exist. You can only quibble with where the line is drawn. But yeah, I don’t think girls can have complete impunity in what they wear and place all the blame in being stumbled on the guy not looking away.

We went on about that and whatever, not the main point. Anyway, one girl said something that was really interesting to me. I think I brought up the whole more half-naked women in women’s magazines than men’s magazines thing. And this is what she said: those pictures are there for women to look at. Which is obvious. But more interestingly, she said women in large part don’t dress for men. I mean, they do. But even if there aren’t men around, it doesn’t matter, because in large part, women dress for other women.

I’m talking about a particular kind of dressing, kind of… sexy for lack of a better word. You’d think they do that to get men’s attention. But that’s only half true, maybe not even that. It’s a lot to get women’s attention. A kind of competitive thing. Her take was that this culture has shaped women’s minds to think that being sexy is what makes you attractive. And she knows that but is still influenced by it. So for example, she might wear something “sexy” at home alone. Doesn’t matter that no one’s there to see it – it makes her feel more attractive.

I dunno, I thought it was fascinating. I wouldn’t have believed the whole dress sexy for other girls thing except the other women there all agreed. I’m still not sure how universal that is, and since no one ever responds to this page I’ll likely never know. But yeah, really interesting.

One more thing. I don’t know how true this is but I think girls are more into ambience and random stuff like that when it comes to restaurants than guys. Which I kind of knew already, but it still stuns me in practice. This came up with Fuki Sushi. So for me, when I consider a restaurant, I consider exactly two things – taste and price. By this standard I’m not a huge Fuki Sushi fan. The fish is just OK, and the prices are on the high end.

Anyway, someone was saying how they really like Fuki Sushi (more than Toshi’s) and I was stunned. But her reasons for liking it were enlightening. Like, the iron tea kettle they use, the floral arrangements, the service, stuff like that. Just, for her, touches like that which contribute to the dining experience were as if not more important than the food itself.

And you know what? That’s totally valid. I mean, you dine out for a dining experience. If that didn’t matter, restaurants wouldn’t have decorations on the wall and stuff like that. When you go out to eat, you eat, but you also go out, so of course it’s important.

It’s just so foreign to me. And on this point I suck. Because I fully know that Jieun is also this way, that ambience matters probably more to her than food. But because it’s so foreign oftentimes in practice I don’t give it enough due. For example, we’ve long ago removed Fuki Sushi from our rotation of sushi restaurants because of its rating based on my twofold criteria. I just assumed she didn’t like it. It didn’t even occur to me that she would.

But in light of recent events I asked her how she liked Fuki Sushi. Her response: she loved it. And she was sad that I didn’t. Her reasons for liking it were mostly ambience related, including their (I quote) “costumes”. Again, totally foreign to me, but perfectly valid, I think. I just need to be more sensitive to that, which is hard, but that I didn’t even consider it shows how much I suck.

So now that I think about it, the places that me and Jieun like best are the places where food and ambience are both excellent. Like we’re still really fond of Jardiniere. We were talking about this recently. I liked the food a lot, and could barely remember the interior. She loved the interior, and could not remember the food. I dunno, it’s just interesting.

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