Jul 17, 2007
Many of the things I take for granted on a daily basis are things my friend values very much, but none more so than being able to live her life the way she wants. To be more specific, we were talking about the next couple of years and her inevitable marriage to some bloke who her parents choose for her. The whole arranged marriage thing is something which irks me a great deal. I can't even fathom what its like to not be able to choose whom you want to spend the rest of your life with. Maybe its because I'm so picky about who I'm with, or so particular about who touches me (I don't like to be touched, hugged, poked, prodded, jabbed etc by strangers) but the thought of marrying a strange man gives me the heebie-jeebies. Now undeniably some, if not most of these marriages work out well; a friend of mine was married the year before this way, and she seems reasonably, if not very, happy. But there are some who are trapped in a 'duty marriage' so to speak, and are ever so unhappy.
As little girls we, at least most of us, dream of our ideal guy who, for me at least, is tall, dark and handsome. Then we grow a little older and a little wiser (debatable) and the list becomes a bit longer. He still has to be tall, dark and handsome of course, but also funny, should get along dandily with the friends, wouldn't hurt if he played a manly sport (rugby, rowing, basketball etc), wouldn't hurt if he was really clever, should dress nicely and the list, a tad material yes, goes on. And then we get older than that, and wiser also, and suddenly its more important that he's funny than tall, and intelligence and good conversation are more of a turn on than good looks. His popularity isn't as important as how he treats you, and nice hair isn't as important as the presence of hair.
Picky and choosy as we may be, the sweetest part of the deal is that we have a choice. The choice to pick who we like, the choice to say yes or no. And it's this choice that I take for granted, without fully understanding how many others don't have that choice. Now the little racist in me wants to point the finger at my friend's race and religion and say well you know it's a common practice for them. But the little racist is very small, and generally goes unheard, because the logical part of me knows that it has less to do with race and religion, and more to do with family and tradition. If your family is conservative AND Sri Lankan, basically, you're fucked. Because what will the family say is a standard boundary that is applied to every thought, word and deed. Every rebel has to deal with that issue. What's more important, your life or your family's reputation? Sri Lankan girls usually choose the latter. As liberal as I like to think I am, even I would think twice before doing something to damage the reputation of my family. I guess in a small country like ours it is rather important after all. Though of course you wouldn't think so to look at the political system, but that's an issue I will steer clear of.
So my friend explains to me the hows and the whys of the whole process, because as usual I have ever so many questions, and I try to wrap my brain around the idea. Arranged marriages were always something that never affected me. Like something done in India where you think 'oh my! That's so old fashioned'. Even when the friend got married last year it didn't really strike me, since I was out of the country and wasn't at the engagement or wedding, so I never really got a feel of the whole process. But now, sitting down with my friend, one of the best I have, and talking about it straight out, it really hit me hard. While I'm sitting here planning my future, wondering what I'm going to do next or where I'm going to go, those are all just vague maybes for her. And she's so brave, laughing it off, saying its custom. But I can't understand how any custom that is so unfair is still around and thriving. And so I'm angry. Angry at her parents for being so unfair, angry at her for not rebelling against it, angry at our culture which has such a practice in the first place, angry at myself for not being able to do anything. And then, after I'm done being angry, I'm just sad. I'm sad that her parents are so unfair, I'm sad because I know she can't and won't rebel against it, I'm sad because this is our culture and I'm sad because there's nothing I can do.
So I guess this post has turned out to be not so much a post as a wish. It's a wish that my friend, who I love with all my heart, gets to live the life she really wants. And it's a wish that her father won't do too badly by her when picking a guy for her. And it's a wish that if she can't marry the man she loves, he will at least be a man she can grow to love, but most importantly he will be a man who is man enough to let her be the exceptional person that she is without holding on to conventions and old standards that are outdated as they are oppressive.
Jul 13, 2007
Here’s how much I hate to take it off. When I first bough my ipod, nano might I add, I was blown away by the classy beauty of that little number. So slim and glossy black, with the color screen and the classy click wheel. Oh my! Now I knew I would scratch it. I just do. I’m the clumsiest person I know. I knew I would drop it within a day. So I went to walmart and bought a snazzy little black leather case for it. Now this is where the obsession comes in. I actually trimmed the edges of the plastic so that the part that was exposed after putting on the cover ie the screen, still had the plastic on it. THIS is how obsessive I am about the plastic.
I recently got a new phone and damn it looks fine, all sleek and shiny and new. And of course it comes with the plastic cover. So of course I leave the plastic on, reveling in the unscratched, untouched look of the screen. But a few days ago, to my horror, the corner of the plastic got bent, and try as I might to reflatten it, it just refused to oblige, as I knew it would. Why don't they make the plastic piece re-stickable?? And now little dust particles have gathered under it, giving it this dirty brown tinge. Gross! But I can’t quite bring myself to remove the plastic all together. See, the screen is quite large and the bent piece is approximately 1/7th of the whole thing, so I don’t think its worth baring the rest of the screen to the trauma that is dust and dirt and fingerprints. On the other hand, my perfectionist soul screams in horror at the sight of that little horror. The duckling’s precise words on seeing it were ‘Eww T, don’t be goday. Take it offf’. Sigh. If it only were that easy.
Jul 12, 2007
Old flames. The new theme of the summer. How appropriate I suppose. It’s either avoiding them, trying to get over them, getting back together with them… actually what CAN'T you do with an old flame?
One of my friends is trying very hard to get over one such flame. Says she’s over him. Denial. Its obvious to everyone but her that she’s not. But she will get over him. It’s not easy, sure as hell its not. But it can be done. Another one thinks there’s something remaining with her ex. Many dodgy FB msgs later, she thinks not. Shaaady. Yet another is playing the holding on game. The ‘we both know this is not gonna work out but lets keep up the facade’ game. And at least three others are ‘trying again’. Omg this is the one that cracks me up the most. Try again for what, pray tell? You broke up for a reason, did you not? Another friend was recently asked out by an old flame. Not so much a ‘try again’ but a ‘hey maybe we’re both in a place right now where this could work out’ sort of deal. Wow.
For me, it’s avoiding. The ex is back on vacation and had called and left a message. I was supposed to call him back. Debated for hours whether I should and finally decided I owe him that much at least. So I called him last night. We spoke for approximately 3 minutes and then ran out of things to say, so I made some excuse about being sick and hung up. Two minutes later he sends a text saying it was nice talking to me (haha) and we should meet up sometime. What?! Why?? What would we talk about? The days gone by, maybe. Yeah right. So now how to avoid this? This is honestly an it’s not you, its me situation. I just can’t stay friends with an ex. Strangely enough though, its only a person I’ve been intimate with emotionally that I can’t stay friends with. Why? I’m great friends with guys I’ve dated before. So why the awkwardness this time? I mean, this IS a guy I spent 3 years with, had great chemistry with, shared everything with. So why can’t I string two interesting sentences together when talking to him now? As I’m typing this, he’s IMing me. I find this amusing. For the last 7 months I’ve been blocked on msn. Did he think I didn’t know? The maturity kills me. He wants to meet up after work. Err no thanks. For someone who used to know me so well, you’re sure not getting the hint. I can see this becoming ugly.
I’ve changed. I have. I’m not sure he’ll like who I am now. Which is sad since I’m pretty comfortable with me. But he and I are on two completely different wavelengths now. I’ve moved on. I don’t know if he has, but I sure hope so. For me, a break up is just that. A break up. Its over and done. No need to try again. Lets not rewind and replay. Lets just fast forward. Or at least hit play and keep going. There’s a lot to see yet and a lot to do, and I can’t be responsible for you along the way. So to the ex, I loved you, but we’re done now.
Honestly though, is the world so devoid of interesting, eligible people that we need to keep going back? Maybe some people are just scared of not finding someone as they get older. I don’t understand that, simply because, damn have you looked hard enough?! You’ll never know if you don’t look no? Or maybe it’s a comfort thing? They just don’t want to step out of their comfort zone so they stick to what’s familiar. Maybe it’s because of who I am, but I shudder at the thought of missing out on something (or someone I suppose, in this case) because I haven’t looked or I haven’t been open to the possibility. I was reading Pissu Perera’s post and merrily nodding along in agreement. The single life IS funner, and easier on the heart and head. A relationship is all fine and dandy, but it’s not everything, and I pity people who live from one to the next because they don’t want to go it on their own, or those who are just too afraid of what might be.
So to old flames then. Haha. God bless ya’ll. Life sure would be boring as hell without you.
Jul 8, 2007
For the utterly confused, let me give some examples. Actually the necessity for this post arose when a friend of mine asked me what ‘juuust’ meant, because apparently I had told him to juuuust do something. “Was that a typo?” he asked me, “and if not, what does it mean and how do you pronounce it”. “No” said I, “juuuust is pronounced jUst but you drag the U for emphasis. So if I tell you to juuust do something, tis Perera speak for ‘just do the damn thing without asking questions’”.
That’s one of the simpler ones. Another is the word ‘tota’. This is a shortened form of total or totally, and can be used where appropriate. For instance, “yesterday I tota got smashed”. Also, the omission of the various forms of the verb ‘to be’ usually produces interesting results like “they not coming” or “he not talking to me”. Others include the addition of ‘the’ to a sentence (“come to the online”), addition of ‘-ly’ to the end of a word (“come fastly”, “do it soonly”) and so on.
As we delve further into the mystery that is Perera speak, we now approach the realm of restructuring sentences and this, I fear, is unchartered territory known only to the Pereras and a few select others. And knowing is not enough. There is a special talent involved in putting together an English sentence that is a grammatical disaster and yet gets the message across, albeit with a bit of deciphering involved for the listener. I have not yet quite mastered this art, as I feel rather foolish, being a stickler for correct grammar, but Colorful K, as I will call her from this moment on (how she will love that) has it down pat, and uses it liberally, much to the dismay of The Duckling and I who are rather socially conscious, she more than I, and can almost see people laughing at us.
Therefore, being a non-master in this sphere I will not attempt to put down the guide lines but I will show you what im talking about:
What did they say about it becomes what they said bout it
How was the movie becomes how it was the movie
I love you very much becomes love is there for you muchly
And it goes on… I personally feel privileged to be privy to this language. At best it can be described as nonsensical and fun, and at the worst of times, it can just be down right shady.