#TheMarriageChronicles : Things You Should Never Ask Your Mother

When you are of a marriageable age, there are certain things that you should never ask your poor mother. Not for any other reason other than you don’t want to induce an early onset heart attack.

If you find out your parents have saved a few gold coins for your wedding jewelry, which now equates to a small fortune that can buy me a 1 BHK condo in Utah.  Never should you ever ask if you can melt the gold, buy a place in Salt Lake City, and wear wood jewelry for your (not yet planned, not yet having a groom) wedding.  Your mother won’t dignify it with a response. Only leave the room with a more than slightly constipated face.

If you find out your family is trying to mortgage their house for your (not yet planned, not yet having a groom) wedding. Never should you ever ask if you can take that money and invest it your friends startup. Which is currently doing 3 crore in turnover. And when you try to argue that hey, at least you know that this has a chance of return, just expect your mother to look like you just stabbed her in the appendix. Or saw Jesus rise from the grave and proclaim that George W. Bush is the savior of humanity.

If you find out your family is trying to put your profile on Shaadhi.com to find you a good husband. Never should you ask if you can add a box specifying “ok with pre-nup”.  And when you try to argue that you know, you can never be too careful these days and 49% of Americans get divorced, just saying, she will look at you like you just told her you have 3 butt cheeks. Or that pork, it is decreed, is actually a vegetable.

Just a heads up. In case you were wondering.

#TheDatingDiaries : Partner In Crime

Adding to the list of things I am terrible at, lets list down this concept of “dating”.  I am the first to admit that if you had to list all of my strengths, this would be a distant last (I would even say “maid/cleaner” is currently rated higher in my life at this point, and that’s saying something given the usual state of my room.)

There’s a lot of excuses I could make here, but I think for once I’m going to assume responsibility.  I recently came to the realization that the whole concept of having another person in my life terrifies the crap out of me.  Like no joke, makes me want to pee in my pants, I would probably rather eat cockroaches at this point than try to understand this concept of “dating”, terrified.

So of course, as soon as I know something terrifies me, I HAVE TO DO IT.  But I can’t do something unless I know why it’s useful.  Bloody hell, me and my need to understand the big picture.  So I have been thinking a lot about it.  Why would I want this?

I don’t believe in the phrase “You Complete Me”. Damn that Tom Cruise.  It makes me want to vomit and I think it’s so incredibly off base that it makes me want to cry my eyeballs out.  That’s just glorified codependency, divorce waiting to happen ish.  I just don’t believe people are born incomplete.  Unless you don’t have a kidney or something.  And even then you can get a transplant.  But point is, I don’t want to start with the premise that we are born incomplete, waiting for something to come our way, because it just doesn’t make sense to me.  So that train of thought was out right from the get go.

Love.  I believe in it.  But not really in the grand gestures, sweeping you off your feet sort of way.  I really believe that it’s one of the most important things in life, it comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s something to strive for.  I also think romantic love is something you have to work at.  Like all good things in life.  And I just don’t think it happens overnight.  I also don’t think it should take 25 years (unlike the premise of arranged marriage), but you know. I’m not exactly sure what that number is for me, but right now it’s between overnight and 25 years.  Small range.

Sex.  It’s a good thing.  And it’s different for different people.  The commoditization of sex over the past 30 years makes me a bit sad.  I mean it’s cool, and super feminist, but I think now, sometimes, we’re not allowed to have a differing opinion about it (and wasn’t the point of feminism, the idea of choice?) Unfortunately or fortunately, I’m in the camp of, if I’m not in love, I just can’t have sex. I mean I physically can, but I don’t want to.  I can’t bring myself to do it.  And I have been dumped because of it, (how do I know, because they straight up told me) but hey.  That’s just what I believe.  Not in a judgmental, this is how it needs to be sort of way, just more in a, this is the only way I know how to be and I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t live like this sort of way.

Partner in Crime.  I love this phrase.  Not only because I think that’s what Beyonce and Jay Z are (and I’m obsessed with them) but because this is what I have realized is what I want.  A partner in crime.  I truly believe that when 2 people (NOT incomplete, but whole people) come together, really amazing things happen.  I’ve seen that happen at our startup.  That’s when I became a believer.  When I witnessed that magic happen.  And that’s when I started thinking, wow.  What if that was the point of a partner for life? To be your partner in crime? For all the grand master plans that both of you have, Bonnie and Clyde style, making them happen and creating this wonderful thing called a life together?  And then with that Partner in Crime, adding the benefits of love, sex, shared experiences, memories, bun masala, friends, family, the kitchen sink, (kids?!), man.  That’s insane.  That’s something worth working towards.  The possibilities are endless, and really really inspiring.

I think that’s something worth having.  A partner in crime, that you love, and share the good things in life with.

Too bad I’m still effing terrible at this whole “dating” thing.  I have a lot of hard work ahead of me.  But at least I have some motivation.

Le Sigh.   So much to work on. So little time.

#TheDatingDiaries : Online Dating is the Modern Equivalent of Arranged Marriage

If you think about it, I think that’s what it really is.  I mean, it’s two people that would have normally probably never met, coming together for a common stated purpose (hey lets see if there’s anything to this), and committing to try their hardest to make it work.

It doesn’t surprise me that 1/3 of the marriages that happen in the US started from couples meeting online.  You know what you want, go and find other people who want the same thing (and instead of caste or last name, prospects are filtered by common interests and life goals)

And although online dating has the walk out clause (unlike arranged marriage) maybe you get the same benefits.  Maybe this is the new way to meet really great people who you try to make it work with, but for some reason or other, it just doesn’t work out.  No fault of either party.

Maybe this is a way to continue filling my favorite BFF category from college: The “I Love You, But I Could Never Date You” category

As you get older, maybe this is the new way just to meet your new best friends.

Some food for thought

Happy Tuesday

 

I’m Sorry But I REALLY Don’t Want To Be Married by 25

I am pretty sure success, for Indian parents, is having a daughter married by 25.  I know this because it’s what my dad told me when he came to visit me this weekend.  Of course, a passive aggressive/sardonic argument ensued (because that’s the type of relationship my dad and I have), and we both were left angry, upset and probably hurt too.

Completely random tangent: But I find it somewhat ironic and hypocritical that Indian parents, who push education and academic excellence to no end, define ultimate success for women by things that require absolutely no intelligence, skill, or thought whatsoever.  And in many cases, those same things we worked so hard to master actually work against us.

I know there are a lot of people who, deep down, really do want to be married by the age of 25, and that is fantastic.  I absolutely see merits in that life choice, and I am very happy for those in that situation.  And the thing is, contrary to what anyone might think, I do see where my parents are coming from.  How is it not good to find someone to spend the rest of your life with?  Marriage at its best is amazing.  How is not wonderful to have someone to grow with, and share life with?  And starting a family is the next big frontier- I know a lot of people say that having kids is the best thing they ever did.  I don’t actually disagree with anything they are saying.

What frustrates me is that they don’t try to understand where I am coming from, and more importantly, believe I could actually be right

Lets say I do get married right now.  Then what happens?  Some would argue that nothing changes- you can still discover, explore, and live your dreams.  Maybe the argument is that I shouldn’t get married to someone who wouldn’t let me do that anyway.  Fine.

But here’s the thing- at the end of the day, I have someone else I have to think about.  I would be a selfish and awful person if I didn’t take what that other person said into account.  You know how amazing it was to just be able to decide to pick up and move to India?  I didn’t have anyone to answer to, didn’t have to consult anyone, or really have anyone or anything holding me back.  Giving away most of my belongings and just moving to India was one of the most liberating things I have done.

Here’s the other thing- I think my parents are scared that I will never want to settle down.  They are scared that I will always have things that I want to do and accomplish in life, and will never want to get married.  And maybe they’re right.  But maybe a lot of those other things I want to do can be done with someone else.  I mean, I actually think a lot of those things are done better with another person.  So yes, I do want to be married at some point.  But that point is not now.

Because at the end of the day, I think that theres a time and place for everything.  Right now, I want to start a company and make it work.  It’s not some abstract thing I have been meditating on- it has a start date and a (potential) end date within the next few years.  It’s very, very real.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid.  I mean, how many people can say they are doing exactly what they wanted to be doing since they were a small child?  This is not someone else’s dream I’m living, it’s mine.  And honestly, even if I found someone who shared my same dream and wanted to pursue it with me, I really don’t want to share. Why can’t I have something that is completely and solely mine?   Is that so selfish? Let me have this one thing of my very own, and then I will be ready to settle down- then I will be ready to share.  Promise.

And the baby argument?  Not being able to have children?  I don’t live my life with regret, period.  If the choice is between concretely pursuing my dreams right now and potentially not being able to have children in some version of future reality, then I am ok with that.  I am ok with not being able to have my own children (if that’s the best reason anyone can come with to get married right now).  I can’t know what I will feel like at 35 or 40. There’s absolutely no way to do that.  All I know is that I have learned never to live with regret, and never look back.  I have made my choice and I will be happy with it.  Because I am pursuing something real, right now, that makes me happy.  And that’s just how I live my life.

Honestly, I don’t know how you “try to get married”.  That was what upset my dad the most. He said I wasn’t trying hard enough to get married.  I tried to understand where he was coming from, and this is what I understood: I am not married because I don’t want to be married.  I guess his argument is the power of positive thinking.

Well then, if that’s the case, then that’s absolutely true- I am not married because I don’t want to be married.  But by that argument, in a few years, when I DO want to be married, I will just positively think my way into a wedding, now won’t I?

For some reason, he was not so fond of that argument.