Incomplete… Part III

Expectations

I remember watching the movie “Up in the Air” with a sort of fascination. This scene (scripted below) between the young, idealistic 23-year-old, Natalie, and the thirty-something career woman, Alex, struck a chord with me–it’s like the current me having a conversation with the fresh-out-of college me, which I found to be slightly disconcerting:

Natalie: I thought I’d be engaged by now. I thought by 23, I’d be married, maybe have a kid, corner office by day, entertaining at night.  
Alex: Well, life can underwhelm you that way. 
Natalie: Where did you think you’d be by now? 
Alex: It doesn’t work that way. At a certain point, you stop with the deadlines. It can be a little counter-productive. 
Natalie: Sometimes it feels like, no matter how much success I have, it’s not gonna matter until I find the right guy. I could have made it work–he really fit the bill, you know. White collar, 6’1, college grad, loves dogs, likes funny movies, brown hair, kind eyes, works in finance but is outdoorsy. I always imagined he’d have a single syllable name like Matt or John or… Dave. In a perfect world, he drives a 4-Runner and the only thing he loves more than me is his golden lab. …And a nice smile. What about you? 
Alex: You know, honestly by the time you’re 34, all the physical requirements just go out the window. You secretly pray that he’ll be taller than you. Not an asshole would be nice. Just someone who enjoys my company, comes from a good family–you don’t think about that when you’re younger. Someone who wants kids, likes kids… healthy enough to play with his kids. Please let him earn more money than I do–you might not understand that now but believe me, you will one day… otherwise that’s a recipe for disaster. And hopefully, some hair on his head. I mean, that’s not even a deal breaker these days. A nice smile… Yeah, a nice smile just might do it. 
Natalie: Wow. That was depressing. I should just date women. 
Alex: Tried it. We’re no picnic ourselves. I don’t mind being married to my career. And I don’t expect it to hold me in bed as I fall asleep. I just don’t want to settle. You’re young. Right now you see settling as some sort of a failure. It is…by definition. Yeah, but by the time someone is right for you, it won’t feel like settling. And the only person left to judge you will be the 23-year-old girl with a target on your back.

…………………………………………………..

I find that my expectations of where I’d be at my age are FAR different from where I am–I thought I’d be married in my mid-20s, have a couple kids by 30, a successful career, a loving husband. Reality: I find myself single in my mid-30s, few relationship prospects, not sure if I want to have children (I am not one of those women who would even consider single-parenthood for the sake of having a child–to each their own, but I feel like that would be unfair to me & the child), and finally, after much struggle & hard work, a successful career. One out of four ain’t bad, is it?

I’m not going to let my 20-something self (or anyone else) judge me for being single, either.

I could sit & lament about how or why my life isn’t what I expected, but why? Am I unhappy? No. Do I feel unfulfilled? No. But most importantly–what if I did have all of those things? Would I genuinely be happy? I have no idea. Why is that? Because I am not that person, I am not living that life. I don’t see the point of wondering “What if…?” because I don’t want to miss my current life… the life that I’m living. I want to appreciate what I do have in my life–whether it’s my family, friends, things, or just how it feels to sit on the beach and bask in the sun.

I refuse to sit around & blame myself or how I’ve lived my life for the fact that I’m still single in my 30s. I may not always be happy being single, I may crave a shoulder or an amorous glance or touch from a man who adores me… I can’t stop myself from wondering when I’ll find someone to go on new adventures with.

I have faith that I will continue to figure out who I am, what I want, and someone that will appreciate (most) of me. I don’t know when or where we’ll find each other, but I expect to have fun (& have more ridiculous stories) along the way!

Say “Thank You” & Shut Up.

Please. Take one.

I hate it when I give someone a compliment, and the person side-steps it and says something like, “Oh, no–I don’t look great at all.”

Listen, if I didn’t think that you look fabulous in some way, why would I go out of my way to tell you? Think about it. Accepting a compliment gracefully doesn’t mean you’re arrogant or think you’re better than anyone–it’s a skill… one you need to master.

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So, say “thank you,” blush appropriately at the wonderfulness of the random compliment, and enjoy that spring in your step, would you please? Don’t argue with the complimenter–they may rethink that lovely little tidbit that they shared with you.

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As for the infamous backhanded compliments that Indians just love to give other Indians? Feel free to borrow my knife & do what you please, but a witty lash of the tongue will usually put them in their place.

Take a minute and look at yourself in the mirror… and don’t hesitate to love what you see.

Enjoy your day–you look wonderful.

Cleavage Appeal

In honor of National Cleavage Day, I present you with my own…

You Like?

What is it about cleavage? Male or female, straight or gay, I get comments on my cleavage all day long. I know I check out & appreciate other women with great cleavage.

Right, my cleavage may be peeking out of the deep V of my top, or bursting out of a strapless top, but is it my fault? Put the same shirt on a girl who is not as well-endowed, and it’s a much different look. I shouldn’t be doomed to a life of wearing crewneck or turtleneck tops, just because of a little cleavage though, should I? I refuse to be ashamed of my cleavage or feel as though I need to hide it.

My motto? Classy, NOT trashy.

So… tell me. What is the appeal of cleavage? 

(Un)Settling.

My best friend called me & we caught up. She’s deep into her mid-30s, and not looking forward to her next birthday.

She had recently gone on a couple dates with a guy who was nice, smart, successful, a little nerdy, and (important to her) Indian. When she met him a couple years ago, she wasn’t interested–he’s younger than her, and at the time, he was considerably overweight. He had recently lost a lot of weight, and asked her out–and she said yes.

They went on a few dates and had a nice time together–no earth-shattering chemistry, but they enjoyed each other’s company. They kissed, they made out… and then he found out how old she is. And suddenly… She found herself in the ‘Friend Zone.’

She described her reaction, and I was shocked at how much I related to it. “I can’t believe he broke up with me–I’m definitely more attractive & dynamic–but that’s not the point,” she said. “When he said we’d be better off as friends, I was sad. And a little part of me was relieved. What is that about?”

I thought about it, and I understood. We’re getting older. We’re alone. We want to find someone (worthy) with whom to settle down. Isn’t that why we go on dates? We want to find someone that we enjoy spending time with, and spend a lot of time with them–in a relationship, in a marriage, or something a little more unstructured. As we get older, and the dating pool of eligible people gets smaller and shallower, there is an unspoken desperation that slowly creeps into our blood–we find ourselves hoping, clinging, clawing for the connection, to make it into something that, perhaps, it may never fully become. We end up staying with someone too long, clinging to a guy or girl with whom we don’t have much of a connection or chemistry (or even anything in common), all for the hope of a future together. Not necessarily with that person, but just… SOMEONE.  When that connection dissolves, we may experience sadness, but relief, as well. Why? Because we knew it wasn’t right in the first place. Realizing this can be the hardest thing of all–because we really want to find someone great, someone we adore, but we find ourselves settling, just so we don’t have to be alone.

And now we have to find someone else to date… and hope we don’t settle for the wrong reasons.

WTF, America? You’re Saying It Wrong.

I love being unique.

I am a person. I am of Eastern Indian descent. My parents gave me a traditional, Eastern Indian name. It’s a simple, beautiful name. Five letters long. The meaning suits me well.

The problem? People who don’t want to take a moment to read my name or try to pronounce it correctly. Seriously, people. It’s MY F-CKING NAME. No, you can’t shorten it (it’s five letters long, for chrissake!). No, you can’t call me (insert Anglo name here). I find it highly unprofessional/disrespectful/ignorant/pathetic when people tell me my name is too hard to pronounce.

It's okay to be different. Don't be ashamed of it.

But you know what makes it worse? Those fellow brown people who allow these ignorant morons to mispronounce their names to the point that they begin to introduce themselves to others brown people with the same affected tone. I met a great (brown) guy at a party one night–great personality, good-looking, etc., but I couldn’t get over the fact that he introduced himself to me as ‘Ka-PEEL’–not ‘Ka-pill’, as it’s meant to be pronounced. I had to walk away after I asked him why he mispronounces his own name–‘It’s easier for the Americans. My name isn’t normal, you know.’

Americans are striving to give their kids new and original names. Failing that, they try to spell them differently to set their kids apart (Madison becomes ‘Madysyn’ or some other BS like that). We can’t be proud of being different? Why can’t we be proud of having a heritage that values names & having a language & culture that dates back thousands of years? Just because it makes you uncomfortable when you have to correct people so they can say your name correctly?

Nothing wrong with being different.

When I meet people (& I get out there & meet a lot of people on a daily basis), my name often gets mispronounced. I know, it’s different. I patiently (& kindly) correct them. And you know what? People always make an effort if they know there is an expectation. Try it out sometime.

And remember… If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will.

The Pedestal

Respect (v) – To consider worthy of esteem; to regard with honor.  (n) – Esteem; regard; consideration; honor.

Do you respect yourself?

It’s an important question. Can you answer it? Do you know how to answer it? …If so, what’s your answer?

Why do I ask? Because if you don’t respect yourself, no one else will. That means: your coworkers, your family members, your friends, your lover(s)…

If you allow someone to walk all over you, they will have the expectation to walk all over you… If you stand up for yourself, they will understand that they must work with you, and if they choose not to… Well, they can walk around you and right out of your life.

It’s excruciating to see amazing men and women (mostly women, sadly) in my life that do not think themselves worthy of respect. If you allow someone to treat you like sh*t, they most certainly will take advantage of that situation. If you don’t, no one else will.

So… Put yourself up on that pedestal. You’re worth it.

Things That Weren’t Meant To Be…

Classic Mary J--fantastically done blonde!Like brown people with blonde hair. Unless you’re Mary J. Blige, you’re just not allowed. It looks terrible–which means YOU look terrible. (And she can also afford colorists that many of us cannot–which means that her look is as close to perfect as you can get.)

Yes, I know–this isn’t a very nice post. Especially if you’re a brown person with blonde hair. But let’s be honest… your friends are never going to say, ‘Seriously?! You look terrible, and your cultural complexes are showing right through.’ That’s where I come in. You don’t look good as a blonde, my brown friend… what inspired you to do it?

I can understand wanting to be different, and having fun with your appearance. Hell, I have a section of my hair colored with a color not found in nature. But you brown girls that are rocking out the blonde? The ones I know pretend that they have always been that way. Uhhhh… your mustache tells me otherwise, my dear.

Kim went blonde... and hated it.

Even Kim Kardashian felt the need to check out the ‘blonde’ appeal… and hated it. She went back to her natural color in a matter of weeks. Embrace who and what you are–and what makes you different.

If you think I’m being a bitch–that’s fine. But just remember–I have nothing to lose by telling you the truth. Your ‘friends’, on the other hand, just may.

Good luck, and good fashion sense to you.