How Men REALLY Feel About Trading Bachelorhood For Married Life; Columnist Paul Nakayama Spills All

In his regular column for Audrey Magazine, published in the Summer 2014 issue, Paul Nakayama talks about dismantling the man cave and other life changes he’ll have to make as he (finally!) bids farewell to bachelorhood. 

 

In my 20s and early 30s, I did my share of dating. Mind you, I didn’t have one night stands or a monthly swap-out of girls, but rather a steady string of long-term, monogamous relationships. I was generally considered a Nice Guy, and while Nice Guys do often finish last, I met some Nice Girls who found me at the finish line. But then I debunked the myth about Nice Guys being nice, and when things got hard I ended up screwing up the relationship. Now after a few years of mostly being single, I’m hanging up my bachelor hat again. I’ve met an amazing girl who makes it seem easy — I mean not easy easy — but easy. In fact, it’ll be the first time I live with a woman other than family. And therein lies my new dilemma: as I approach 40, I’ve kinda settled into the bachelor life.

For example, I’m a writer and I tend to keep graveyard hours — less people to bother you at night and it doesn’t seem so weird to drink during work. While most of the world is sleeping, I’m sitting at my computer thinking of new ways for evil masterminds to destroy the world or, in my most ironic of gigs, doling out really bad relationship advice to all of you. For a few more months, my girl is in Japan so our hours coincide. When I go to bed around 8 a.m., it’s midnight over there. But when we start living together, I have to start functioning like a normal human being. She even says that I need to be under the sun occasionally, despite my complaints that it’d be impossible to look at my iPhone or iPad and then I’d spontaneously combust from digital withdrawal.

I’m also deprogramming my brain and eyes to not check out girls anymore at restaurants and bars. After years of conscious and subconscious honing of my babe radar, I realize I’ll need some time to shut it off. It’s certainly not a deliberate action when I leer at a girl, particularly one that is exposed to the elements, but I don’t want to risk having my girl think I have eyes for anyone but her. To counter the programming in my internal detection systems, I have started to spend a lot more time reading menus, counting ceiling/floor tiles, staring deep into my girl’s eyes without blinking and ignoring all peripheral motion. Sadly, the only thing that seems to work well is to take excessive photos of my food and drinks. And my leftovers and empty dishes even.

 

 

The biggest visible change is probably going to be the dismantling of my man cave. Over the years, I’ve collected a serious treasure trove of video games, comics, DVDs, books, CDs and geeky art prints — and I love all of it. I can’t just abandon them when I make a new friend. That would just be wrong. But spatially there’s no way for her and her supposedly essential goods, like clothes, to fit into my apartment with all of my stuff. So in trying to be a good, accommodating boyfriend, I’ve come up with an alternate plan. I’ve studied the blueprints, sketched out some ideas and will be constructing a secret man cave by tearing down a wall in the broom closet. That way I can sneak in a few minutes here and there to spend with my precious lovelies. UPDATE: I was informed by my neighbor that he doesn’t appreciate me busting a hole into his living room; he said I was encroaching on his personal space. I suppose he may have a point, but I think that’s why he doesn’t have friends.

Speaking of living together, I’m told it takes a system of compromise and sharing to make it work. I’ve heard a competing theory that it’s more about giving up all personal freedoms and just saying yes. But let’s operate off an optimistic presumption for now. That means that I probably can’t watch Game of Thrones in my underwear while swinging a sword anymore. (I’ll try subtly tossing out the idea, but I have my doubts.) It means I’ll have to give her at least half of the DVR space, which is why I’m convinced that most BitTorrents are downloaded by husbands and boyfriends and not cheapskates. Meals will now have to be more nutritious than my usual fare of beer, steak and Red Vines. I’ll now have to take my music playlists more seriously and not “experiment” with One Direction and Taylor Swift songs … or maybe include more 1D and Taylor. Or something. I don’t know what the “good” boyfriends are doing these days.

I’m sure there’s a lot more to consider in the days ahead. I’m getting all of the cautionary tales from my friends, and there are a lot of them. But somehow, I’m still really excited. I’m looking forward to having a partner in my life. You know, someone to watch movies with or have spontaneous cocktails with or share my meals with, other than my pal Netflix. Someone to bring me toilet paper instead of having to waddle into the hallway. You know, really romantic stuff that’ll change my life for the better. Thankfully, I’ve been writing these columns for Audrey for 10 years now, talking about my bachelor life, so I’ve got a whole record of how I’ve messed up with girls … and I can save all my successes for this one.

 

— STORY BY PAUL NAKAYAMA

This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here. 

How Technology Helped a Chinese Soldier Marry the Love of His Life

 

In this day and age, with the rapid development of technology, pretty much anything is possible. We’ve seen everything from hologram waiters to virtual girlfriends in Japan, and it seems like each latest device or invention is even more bizarre than the last.

But sometimes, technology can also be used to fulfill a man’s simple wish to get married to the love of his life when he can’t physically be there on his own wedding day. Now this we can definitely appreciate.

Xinjiang army soldier Liang Tao was set to marry his fiancée, surnamed Yang, on July 26. Sadly, though he was already on leave, Liang was called into a mission that required him to stay in Xinjiang, as he was the only leader available. Deciding to put his duties first, Tao and his fiancée called off the wedding — only to be surprised by the commissioner of the army, Zhang Jiang Guo.

 

 

Having heard of Tao’s plans to marry, Guo decided to throw the couple a surprise video wedding. Guo and Tao’s fellow army soldiers were able to connect Tao to his wedding via satellite, where he appeared on a screen at the wedding ceremony.

Though this was nowhere near ideal for the bride, Yang reportedly burst into tears as she saw her husband’s face on the screen. She expressed her gratitude to the Xinjiang army, saying, “Thank you for everything you prepared for me. Although my husband is not with me here right now, this is a more meaningful and unforgettable wedding than others.”

Check out the happy couple’s wedding pictures below:

 

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Photos courtesy of Shanghaiist

 

Possibly The Most Uncomfortable Marriage Proposal Ever

Are we a fan of marriage proposals here at Audrey? You bet.

So far, we’ve seen quite an interesting array of proposals. For instance, there was the adorable one that happened in the middle of a sing-along to Disney’s Frozen. Then there was the elaborate, 27-minute video proposal that contained music videos, flashmobs, and even movie trailers.

And then there are the people who do everything in their power to stick out from the rest. Who can forget the young lady who decided to defy gender roles and propose to her boyfriend instead? And surely we all remember the uncomfortable live marriage proposal that angered feminists everywhere.

Well now, we’ve uncovered a marriage proposal that aims to be even more uncomfortably awkward.

This past Valentine’s day was an opportunity for everyone to embrace their romantic side. This certainly seemed to be case for this Chinese woman in Xiamen, Fujian who made special arrangements at this movie theater. She then waited for her boyfriend to appear.

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After giving a proposal speech, she gets down on one knee and reveals a ring to her boyfriend.
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This is when things get a little awkward. Pictures of the boyfriend show a man who doesn’t seem to be very enthusiastic about the whole ordeal. Or maybe he’s just expressionless because he’s surprised?

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Here he is seen placing the ring on her finger, but he definitely appears reluctant to do so.
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And here we see the happy couple. Well, she certainly seems happy. His half-hearted hug and sour expression is questionable.
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Very little is known about the couple so our optimistic side says he may just carry that expression naturally. However, if our instincts are correct, we may be looking at the most uncomfortable marriage proposal ever.

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(source)

Chinese Commercial Pressures Young Women Into Marriage

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, dating companies are seeing an influx of people who wouldn’t mind meeting “the one” before the romance-filled holiday gets here. Using Valentine’s Day to their advantage, many of these dating companies are doing whatever it takes to get more clients.

The Chinese dating company Baihe.com is no exception. They seem to have taken this determination to the extreme with a very personal commercial targeting young women.

In the commercial, an elderly grandmother keeps asking her granddaughter whether she is married yet. The young lady, who just graduated from college, is left to reply with a face of guilt and sadness.

As the grandmother gets closer and closer to death, the young woman decides that she shouldn’t be so picky and ought to make her grandmother happy. With grandma lying in a hospital bed, the young woman shows up in her wedding gown and with a groom. She has finally made her grandmother happy.

Cue the cheesy music and tear-filled smiles.

But wait. Is this commercial actually suggesting that one shouldn’t be picky with the person they will spend the rest of their life with?

Unfortunately, this commercial will probably make many young Asian women feel guilty. Even in America, Asian women feel this pressure. Often times, strict parents will warn their daughters not to date until they are done with school. The second graduation comes along, everything shifts and suddenly they are pressured to find a husband as soon as possible.

Confusing? You bet.

I don’t know about you, but we’re not really comfortable with a commercial using an aging grandma to guilt-trip young women into finding a man to marry.

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Watch the full commercial here. 

Calling All ‘Frozen’ Fans: The Cutest Marriage Proposal EVER

It’s been months since its release, but people still can’t stop talking about the Disney animated film, Frozen. The film has been gathering nominations left and right, has stolen the hearts of many, and has already slid past the $300M mark domestically and over $600M worldwide. Frozen is on its way to being the highest-grossing Disney Animation release in history.

Because the film’s popularity, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen fans everywhere cover the songs in Frozen. Young girls are belting out the lyrics to “Let it Go” and social media seems to have been covered with a single question: do you want to build a snowman?

In the midst of all these fan tributes to the film, it was difficult to find just one that stood out. But then we stumbled upon this.

Here at Audrey, we’ve seen our share of marriage proposals. We’ve seen uncomfortable ones, elaborate ones, and even ones which defy gender roles. Now, it looks like we’ve found the most adorable proposal.

Watch it below:

 

 

Live Marriage Proposal Makes Viewers Uncomfortable

A few weeks ago, we brought you the most elaborate marriage proposal in history and, as expected, we were met with mixed reviews. The proposal made some viewers sigh with envy while others sighed out of boredom.

Viewers simply could not agree on whether or not the 27-minute-long proposal was cute or too much. However, viewers all seemed to agree on their opinion of the following proposal.

This past Thursday, the Today show was about to interview Simone Jhingoor for her work in Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that provides services to low-income women and their families. Suddenly, her boyfriend Chirag Shah appeared to say a few words. He then got down on one knee and proposed to her on live television.

Cute right?

Apparently, the public doesn’t think so. While the idea of a public marriage proposal sounds nice, just about every media outlet has called this particular proposal “awkward.”  The Stir describes the whole ordeal by stating, “Before Simone got a chance to tell us [about her organization], she was interrupted by the most awkward proposal ever. Her boyfriend Chirag Shah apparently thought it was a good idea to show up, grab the microphone from Al, and give a pretty me-centric speech before asking Simone to marry him.”

Bustle described the inappropriate tactic of having Jhingoor believe she was allowed to speak about what she was passionate about.

Jhingoor was duped into thinking she’d just earned a shot to share her professional success and passion with the entire country, giving her a level of professional validation few of us ever have the opportunity to enjoy. It’s a dream come true for any one — man or woman — who’s thoroughly dedicated to their work. But before Jhingoor can even utter a syllable about her job or what she does to help the people of the Bronx, she’s whisked away to hear a diatribe about her now-fiancé and his boyhood dreams

 

Jezebel agreed with Bustle’s sentiments and seemed irritated with Shah’s “self-centered” speech:

Suddenly, her boyfriend, Chirag Shah, showed up with a rather self-centered (“I moved, MY dream”) over-rehearsed speech that turned into a marriage proposal. Bait and switch, dude.

As Simone realized what was happening, she tried to fix her hair. She had a tight-lipped smile on her face, but she seemed slightly annoyed. Still, Chirag got on one knee and Simone “yes.” Their friends were behind her, cheering. There was a stiff hug.

But immediately afterwards, when Al asked if she had any idea Chirag was about to propose, Simone said, “No! I thought I was here talking about my organization. I’m giving back to the community!” Right. You thought it was your moment — you were excited for your moment — and he made it all about him.

 
While the public had no problem analyzing the proposal and slamming Shah for his awkward methods, it may be important to hear what the couple has to say. Simone Jhingoor has openly stated that she is upset with the negative reactions and does not believe that her fiance stole her spotlight at all. In fact, the Today show posted a follow-up on Friday with some details about the organization. When YourTango asked Jhingoor to comment on the negative backlash to the proposal, she says:

I am unhappy about the recent backlash that was received from my on-air engagement to Chirag. He does not deserve to be labeled self-centered on feminist websites like Jezebel critiquing the entire experience when he is the most thoughtful person I know. I am moved by the beautiful proposal he arranged out of a genuine intention to make me happy. All of my close friends and family members cried when they saw it because of how sweet it was. My time on the show was never supposed to be about my work as it was about a proposal Chirag wanted to surprise me with on our four-year anniversary. Also, I am generally a very calm and centered person, which is a result of much of the personal change work that I have engaged in. It was disappointing for people to apply their own lens and cultural biases to interpret that I was pissed off and upset about not getting to speak about my work. Plus, Chirag has always been supportive of my social change work and activism, which is what I love about him.

Watch the proposal for yourself and tell us what you think.

 

MUST SEE: The Most Elaborate Marriage Proposal in History

Back in a time long, long ago, marriage proposals were simple ordeals. You would bring your partner to some place special, get down on one knee, promise the world to them and just like that you were engaged. Simple right?

Well the rise in social media has made marriage proposals everything but simple. Now that we can all see each other’s method of proposing, expectations have shot up. As much as we hate to admit it, we now have grand daydreams of the extravagant moment when our hand will be asked in marriage. This leaves our poor suitor to shake their head at every new marriage proposal that goes viral. What is it this time? A proposal via hot air balloon? A flashmob? Fireworks? Whatever it may be, you can bet it’s elaborate.

A few months ago, we posted a video that turned heads. A woman asked her boyfriend to marry her with her own elaborate planning. But now, we’ve found a proposal that gives the phrase “over-the-top” a new meaning.

Creator of history’s most elaborate marriage proposal is Justin Baldoni. He arranged for his then-girlfriend, Emily Foxler , to meet him at the restaurant where they had their first date. There she finds a giant projected video of her soon-to-be groom explaining that he is not standing her up. He’s doing the opposite.

And this begins a 27-minute long proposal including everything from music videos, flashmobs, and movie trailers. Is it squeal-worthy or is it cringe-worthy? Some women are left in joyful tears and ask if Baldoni has a twin brother. Others have commented, “It makes those last 12 scenes of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy seem positively succinct, and it crosses the line between devoting noticeable time and effort to something and wasting half of your soon-to-be fiancee’s evening.”

Whatever your opinion may be, Baldoni succeeded with getting his love to accept his very epic proposal. Baldoni tells Inside Edition, “I am someone who I loves grand gestures. I love expressing my love in big ways.”

Even more surprising is the guest appearance of Korean American actor James Kyson. The 27-year-old, who is most known for his character Ando Masahashi on the NBC television series Heroes, is a must see in this video. Kyson dancing to Nsync, Boy II Men and Dancing Queen? Check it out for yourself:

 

Hearts Break Worldwide: One Direction’s Zayn Malik is Officially Engaged

Hearts all around the world can be heard breaking.

Well not really, but according to my facebook newsfeed, there is certainly a great deal of sadness. One Direction’s 20-year-old British Pakestinian heartthrob, Zayn Malik, proposed to his girlfriend of two years, singer Perrie Edwards.

zayn perrieThe news was confirmed by Edward’s brother via twitter. Still in denial? Hate to break the news, but the couple hit the red carpet in London this past Tuesday for the premiere of the boy band’s documentary, “One Direction: This is Us.” Edwards can be seen clearly flaunting the gorgeous engagement ring.

There’s no denying that Malik was a fan-favorite. As much as we’re sad to see Malik leave the market, I’m sure everyone wishes the best of luck for this marriage (I hope?). So chin up everyone! The best news? We can still swoon over pictures of Zayn all we want!

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Audrey Living | The Awful Truth: What a Guy Wants

Columnist Paul Nakayama is determined to get to the bottom of what his male friends really want in a woman. What he discovered? Ask a woman.

ISSUE: Summer 2012

DEPT: Audrey Living

STORY: Paul Nakayama

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been dreading writing this issue’s Awful Truth for weeks now. Seeing as I’m currently stuck in my hotel room in Jodhpur, India, awaiting the passing of a brutal dust storm, I guess it’s nature’s way of telling me to get off my ass. I just wish my to-do reminders didn’t consist of strong winds scooping up cow dung from the streets and whipping them around town. I prefer the carrot to a stick made of hepati- tis. At any rate, the topic for this issue is what men really want, so here’s what I did: I asked my single friends what they look for, and I asked my married friends what they love about their wives. If this works, the answer hopefully lies somewhere be- tween a booty call and a divorce.

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