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.

Incomplete… (Part II)

No One Ever Marries the ‘Fun Girl.’

Years ago, in my carefree 20s, I dated a really great guy for a while–he was smart, cute, funny, and we had fantastic chemistry. We met for cocktails one evening after work, and we talked, we laughed, we flirted… He took my hand in his and looked into my eyes. I remember my heart beating a little faster, & my breath caught in the intensity of his gaze.

“God, I always have so much fun with you, even when we’re just hanging out, doing something lame, like laundry, or going to the grocery store. You’re so great!” I smiled, maybe even blushed a little. His smile faltered. “It’s just… I’m looking for something a little more serious. I want to settle down, you know?” My eyes widened. What’s going on?

“No one ever marries the ‘fun girl.’ I mean, you’re great, but… I need to be with someone more serious.” He signaled for the check. “It just can’t be this easy all the time. I really like you, but…” He trailed off, and never finished the sentence. I stared at him with my mouth hanging open. He signed the bill and sighed. “I’m… I’m sorry.” He patted my hand, got up, and kissed the top of my head before he walked away. I turned and watched him walk away, my mouth still hanging open.

The bartender caught my eye, and wordlessly, fixed me the strongest shot I’ve ever had. I slammed it, flashed a watery smile at him, and walked out. I hurt, but my heart began to harden, just a little.

No One Ever Marries the ‘Fun Girl.’

Really? Why not? I don’t know the answer. Years ago, I determined that I needed to live my life in a way that makes me happy, and I have done my best to live up to that. I work hard, play hard, pay the bills, & save for retirement. I can’t wait around and live my life for someone else, someone who has yet to materialize.

I have met & dated a variety of guys, but it doesn’t last long. They’re happy to date me, be with me, be seen with me, but a long-term commitment? No.

I’m confused. I would like to be with someone who is intelligent, who challenges me, complements me, wants to be with me… and I want to have fun with that person as we work to build a life together, deal with the ups & downs as they happen. I won’t give up hope, but I also won’t put my life, my personality, on hold just to find someone to love me. He has to love me for who & what I am, just as I would for him.

You know what KILLS me? I have run into some of those guys who told me they couldn’t settle down with me, the ‘fun girl.’ They smile wryly, tell me they miss me, my personality… and proposition me. I don’t think so. You found the ‘serious’ girl of your dreams, go live your life, buddy.

Life isn’t all fun & games, but if you can find the joy in it and celebrate it when you can… it makes it all a lot easier to deal with, I think.

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? 

Incomplete (Part I)

I’m fast approaching the mid-thirties mark, and finding myself bewildered & anxious as the new number becomes clearer in the distance. Where has the time gone?

I have plenty of milestones to look upon–degrees, graduate degrees, getting my own place, moving cross-country to change my life & career path. I’m proud of all of my accomplishments and have worked hard to achieve the things that I have. I have messed up, I have failed–but I have done my best to learn from each and every thing that has crossed my path, whether blissful or wildly unpleasant. I have discovered new friendships, lost more than I can count (& mourned them all), I have found love, I have enjoyed lust, I have reveled in the pleasures of the tongue & the flesh. I have travelled the world, danced the night away in Spain, immersed myself in the flavors of Italy.

And yet… I feel incomplete.

I recently had a conversation with my father–the closest we’ll probably ever come to a heart-to-heart. He’s a good man, a good father. But at his core, he is a simple man, who wants the best for his only daughter, the girl that has been the apple of his eye since…forever. He loves me and is proud of everything I have accomplished, as well as the things I strive to accomplish every day. The conversation has made me think hard–with an open mind and an open heart. My defenses? Nonexistent.

My father told me about a family friend, whose daughter is a surgical nurse. She is one of the best nurses in her hospital–hard-working, compassionate, and always willing to spend time to help a patient or a colleague–and dedicated to her family. I’m proud to know this girl. My father beamed as he told me about the purchase she recently made for her mother, and I smiled at his evident joy.

“We have wonderful daughters who have accomplished so much. I’m proud of you, I just want…” He stumbled, his eyes searched my face. He was waiting for my defensive reaction to his poorly disguised reference to the fact that his darling daughter, quickly approaching the next big number, is still single. I had nothing to say… My brain was a blank slate. I chose to smile.

“I know, Dad. I know what you mean,” I said quietly, trying to keep my voice from breaking. He smiled back, visibly relieved. I held the smile as long as possible, my heart heavy. I refused to let myself think about it… but here it is, in my face.

No matter what I am able to accomplish in my life, my parents will never truly be happy unless I find someone to love, to love me as I deserve to be loved. They don’t want me to settle for a warm body (with a good biodata) by my side–they want me to find a good man that will love & care for me the same way I would for him. Someone who would complement who I am as a person, just as I would for him.

You know what? I want that, too. I just have no idea how to find that kind of love, and no idea why I have been unable to find it for so long… even though I’ve never stopped looking.

 

(It looks like this will be a series of posts, as I explore this. I’m opening myself up in a way I’m not necessarily comfortable with, but I think it’s important… I know I’m not the only person to have experienced some of these emotions.)

How Many Licks?

The other night, I was thinking about dating, relationships, sex, and dealbreakers. So, a thought came to mind, and I tweeted, “If a guy can’t/doesn’t get you off the first time, how many chances do you give him (if any), ladies?” I expected a variety of answers… and while I got them, some people were conspicuously silent.

I was surprised by the number of women who said that guys had one chance–if they didn’t hit a home run on the first try, they were sent home. Then again, I received a couple responses from women who said they would give the guy a few MONTHS to figure his way around. What does he need, a map & a YouTube video for instruction? Oh, wait. Guys don’t ask for directions…

Most of the people who responded (yes, men weighed in as well) to my question stated that they would give the person 2-3 times–along the lines of the ‘3 strikes, you’re OUT’ philosophy. I fall into this category, as well. After all, it’s hard to figure out what someone likes and enjoys in one night, usually while you’re both in the heady rush of being attracted to someone. I feel that if you take the time to feel it out, magic can happen.

I have to wonder about those who remained quiet, despite my asking the question a number of times. Have they never had oral sex? If not, why? If so, has no one gotten to their ‘center’? I have to wonder…

What do you think? How many licks does it take to get to YOUR center?

Well?

(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.

Not Your Type.

How many times have you met someone & immediately thought to yourself ‘This guy/girl isn’t my type?’

Let me present you with two scenarios:

Scenario #1: You meet someone–a friend of a friend, a coworker, someone at a party. You think to yourself ‘He/she is nice, but not my type.’  Then you may see them a few more times… exchange a few pleasantries, maybe a laugh or two. You start to think ‘I like this person. Maybe we should hang out again.’ So you do… platonically, of course. You find yourself looking forward to spending time with this person, even though he or she isn’t your ‘type’. Your hands may brush as he hands you your beer, or she grabs a napkin to help you wipe the BBQ you spilled all over your shirt. Suddenly, and despite your best intentions… there it is: attraction.

Scenario #2: Your parents hand you a photo & a biodata (for those non-Indians reading this, a biodata is, essentially, a personal ad listing one’s profession, hobbies, family members’ backgrounds, and (if especially ignorant) skin tone). They ask you to review it (while they watch you like hawks) and determine if you think you want to meet this person. Honestly, if the person isn’t a looker, are you going to want to say yes? You know NOTHING about this person, except what is on that piece of paper. Even if they have an MD/JD/Ph.D. & are independently wealthy, will he or she make you laugh? Will he open the car door for you after a date? Will she make you feel better about that bald spot forming on your head? You don’t know that. The only thing keeping you from throwing the biodata in your parents’ faces & saying ‘HELL NO!’ are the inevitable groans & sighs from your parents, and the inevitable grumbling that ‘this is why you will never get married.’

Our parents think that we need to make a decision based on certain desirable characteristics: race (our own), caste (our own), education (Let’s just be honest. How many doctors have we all been set up with that can barely tie their own shoelaces or talk about something besides themselves?), family background, their purported interests (how many people’s parents have listed their interestes as ‘working out, cooking, travelling’? Raise your hands). There is so much more to attraction & relationships than just those factors.

The criteria for a significant other that many of us typically hold are much different, aren’t they? Looks, personality, compassion, charisma, sense of humor, intelligence, ability to communicate… just to name a few.

But really, when it comes down to it–there is no rhyme or reason for the people that we are attracted to or love… we just do. No explanation needed. He or she may not fit all of your criteria–but then again, you probably don’t fit anyone’s either. Get to know the person–focus on the good things, the things that make you happy–and love them. You’ll find that the rest of it will all fall into place.

What made me blog about this today? In all of my timelines, I see people that are looking to share their lives with someone. They’re smart, attractive, wonderful–but alone. My perspective? Their standards are so very high, and not always about the right things… He may not be as toned as you want him to be… She may not be very organized. But when it comes down to it, it’s what’s in the heart that matters. Focus on that.

And good luck.