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Down with the Sickness - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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February 11th, 2010


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10:49 pm - Down with the Sickness
On Monday, I felt fine.

On Tuesday, I woke up with an icky throat and hurty eyes. The next day, the symptoms worsened. Today, I was congested and sneezing and coughing and felt so sick that I actually went home from work. I have never taken a sick day from work before! I don't even remember taking a sick day from school.

I came home and rested, watching TV and movies and reading comics, as you do.

Then my dad called. I told him I was sick, that it was probably just a head cold, and I told him that I was taking medicine. He asked if I had started taking antibiotics. I asked him how he knew it was bacterial. My dad—who is a psychiatrist—said that if I wanted it to get worse, then fine, but I should take antibiotics as a precaution.

He gave the phone to my mom. "I'm sick," I said, "make it better!" She told me to take antibiotics, and I said that would just create more resistant bacteria. She told me not to "doctor the doctor." "I am not going to be responsible for the superbug," I said. I said that taking the day off work and resting had made me feel a little better; it had helped my physical and mental health.

I had hoped that by emphasizing that I wanted to take care of my mental health as well as my physical health in order to recover from being sick, my mom would not bring up my current potential future wife, but of course she appears completely oblivious to her effect on me. After some curt, evasive answers, I again emphasized that I was looking after my mental health.

"Mental health, what do you mean?"
"Mental health, we are not talking about this."
"Let me ask you something: do you have someone that you're—"
"No! I do not have anyone, and I am tired of that question!"
"You used to talk so nicely to me, what happened?"
"It's been years and years and years, and I'm tired of it."
"Do you want to get married?"
"Yes! Just not like this."
"Then how?"
"The old-fashioned way."
"How is that?"
"I'll find someone myself."

Unable to respond, she hung up.

That was not how I envisioned that conversation going. I had been putting it off since last week, and I had this whole thing where I was going to calmly quit the process instead of get all emotional like I always do, but I am seriously, seriously, seriously tired of her constantly assuming that the reason I'm resistant to an arranged marriage is because I have some secret girlfriend because if it weren't for her constant oppression and brainwashing, I might actually be capable of having a functional relationship with a woman. I've missed out on all the regular mating rituals during my development process. I don't know how to do any of it.
Current Mood: sicksick
Current Music: Three Days Grace - Animal I Have Become

(28 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:rowanceleste
Date:February 12th, 2010 07:30 am (UTC)
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Feel better! *hugs*

I'm glad you told your Mom that you want to try and meet someone that interests you, and who is interested in you, rather than trying to fit some pre-arranged criteria.

As for 'not knowing how to do any of it'...you're intelligent, you're aware of societal norms in the US and what people expect on dates, etc. I'd be more worried if you were raised Amish and you had no idea how people interacted, etc. Sure, you may not be able to read signals as easily and tell if someone is interested in you as more than a friend, but then there are also other people that just have had sheltered lives in relation to dating, etc, so they don't have confidence in that area either.

I think the most important thing is that instead of focusing on getting married, even though that's your end goal, you can focus on being happy now. If you focus on marriage or having kids first, then you're more likely to settle, rather concentrating on finding someone that interests you and attracts you and whom you interest as well, etc. Not saying you should date people you couldn't see yourself marrying ever, but I do think you should make sure having someone that makes you happy and who you make happy be prioritized, instead of it being more important that she's 'x' ethnicity or 'y' religion or any of the other things that are way more important to your Mom, than they are to your own happiness. My Mom hated the fact that my brother did not marry a Sri Lankan girl, but she's had to get over it (for the most part), because she loves her grandchildren and my SIL is a great Mom who loves my brother and her children, etc..not like my Mom is happy, but the world did not end! I also think like my Mom...that checklist your Mom has for you is more important to your Mom than it is to your Dad.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
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It almost feels like dating someone I couldn't see myself marrying would be a waste of time at this point. And she probably won't meet the checklist.
[User Picture]
From:ashfae
Date:February 12th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
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Don't start dating looking for someone you could marry, just look for someone you want to spend time with and leave it at that. I seriously didn't think I could marry Chris when I started dating him. I'm very glad I was wrong. =)
[User Picture]
From:rowanceleste
Date:February 12th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
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No, I understand that, but the question is whether your Mom's checklist is also your own? If her religion and ethnicnity is important to you, then it makes sense to start going to temple or join the local Indian cultural association, but if those things aren't important to you, then you can be open to some pretty Japanese girl that is intelligent, funny, appreciates great TV shows and amine and thinks you're also smart, cute and funny. I just think it's important that you figure out your criteria, not adopt your Mom's because you're worried she'll never speak to you if she finds who you're dating 'unacceptable'.
[User Picture]
From:being_fulfilled
Date:February 12th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
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It almost feels like dating someone I couldn't see myself marrying would be a waste of time at this point

When I started dating Colin, I told someone (I think it was Adina) that I was "dating with the intent to marry." She asked me what, exactly, that meant: did I know at 3 weeks in that I was going to marry Colin?

I told her that, no, it doesn't necessarily mean that, but that everything I knew about him to that point lead me to believe that he would be someone I could marry. If that ever changed, and there were things that were incompatible with what I wanted and needed in a husband, then I wouldn't/couldn't continue dating him. It didn't mean that I was ready to marry him rightthisminute, but I continually saw our relationship as something that could head that way.

I agree--I think that dating someone I wasn't going to marry (or couldn't see myself marrying) would have been a waste of time. I was in a relationship for a lifelong commitment, and I wasn't interested in anything casual or something that would have an expiration date. However, that's not to say that I only saw marriage, and ignored everything else about getting to know him. It's just that the things I saw were things that confirmed that he'd be the right man for me.

So start with one date. Use your own checklist, and if you're looking to get married--to your girl, not your parents'--then use that and be picky, but give yourself the time to discover what it is about her that makes her right--or not right.
[User Picture]
From:lembeau
Date:February 12th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC)
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I've missed out on all the regular mating rituals during my development process. I don't know how to do any of it.

You and me both, babe. We're just going to flounder through it as elegant as that sounds.

You used to talk so nicely to me, what happened?

Hah, my mother is on about my tone all the time. We are such horrible, disrespectful children. Why didn't we become boozing pyros again? Because I can't imagine how that could be worse than how we already are. *eyeroll*

I had this whole thing where I was going to calmly quit the process instead of get all emotional like I always do

*HUGS* Yeah. You will but being sick and then the disappointment of her not not asking you didn't help. A friend of mine and I always joke about who has more guilt, Brown or Catholic, and I maintain that Brown wins hands down.

I hope you feel better soon, mentally and physically. *sends chicken soup and good chi*
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
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You and me both, babe. We're just going to flounder through it as elegant as that sounds.
Mars! Venus!

We are such horrible, disrespectful children.
If only we just bowed to their every whim, we would be angels.

*HUGS* Yeah. You will but being sick and then the disappointment of her not not asking you didn't help.
Why couldn't she just be my goddamn MOM? I WAS SICK. I WANTED HER TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER. THE END.

I hope you feel better soon, mentally and physically. *sends chicken soup and good chi*
Thanks. I'm feeling better this morning.
[User Picture]
From:tackdriver56
Date:February 12th, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC)

Marital Multivariable Optimization 401

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First: I think you're doing the right thing, health-wise. Our parents generation reaches for the pills to solve all their problems, and while it makes the pill purveyors rich and contributes to full employment, it's not always best for the short term health of the individual or the long term health of humanity.

Second: compatibility, like intelligence, is a highly dimensioned vector, rather than a scalar quantity. Intelligence, sense of humor, ambition, adventurousness, religion, etc., all have to be somewhat compatible. Heck, if your partner doesn't taste right when you kiss, the deal's off.

Third: Experience is important to knowing who is, or is not compatible. You aren't going to get any working 80 hours a week, or spending all of your free time HERE. You have to get out in the world and find something that gets your heart rate and adrenaline up, preferably something that involves fresh air and sunshine. Spend some time with the people you meet while doing this activity, especially if they are outside of your professional sphere.
Discover for yourself what your tolerable ranges of compatibility are. Find out what kind of person you enjoy being around and sharing meals with, how well you collaborate in the kitchen, cooking, and cleanup. Find out whether you can stand to be around a Night Owl, or Early Riser.

Fourth: Once you know what traits you like in a person, then think about something more.

Fifth: After everything above, be willing to accept suggestions for blind dates recommended by friends and family, AFTER you have told them the traits you are looking for.

Sixth: Be aware that some people will be very desirable in some aspects, and horribly incompatible in others. Be kind to both of you, and break up with those as soon as possible. Keep them as friends if you can, but it's easier to resist temptation if they're just gone.
++++++++++++
I dated beginning at age 14, didn't marry until 37. Still married to the same woman. She's a pain in my butt sometimes, and vice versa, but sixteen years is pretty good these days.

Oh, and after years of picking women by myself, some of whom were fantastically compatible in some dimensions, the one who turned out to be the best match, was someone I never would have met, until she was suggested by a friend.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Marital Multivariable Optimization 401

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Air? Sunshine? Blindness? This seems like a lot of work.

Thanks for your input.
[User Picture]
From:electricmonk
Date:February 12th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
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Eh, I think there are people who've been doing that stuff for years and still don't really know how. I think you'll learn. I think I'm kind of excited for you.

Feel better. Kick ass.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
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I think I'm kind of excited for you.
OKCupid has not been that exciting. Stupid girls.
[User Picture]
From:electricmonk
Date:February 12th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I found a boy on there once, but he was kind of... well.
Hang in there. No one said it works out right away.
[User Picture]
From:ashfae
Date:February 12th, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
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The idea that there are regular mating rituals is a total, total lie. Really.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
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Are you saying Hollywood has misrepresented reality?
[User Picture]
From:ashfae
Date:February 12th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
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I know it's a stunning concept, but alas, this might be the case! *sob* I'll never date Colin Firth! Woe!
[User Picture]
From:equustel
Date:February 12th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
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IAWTC!

My friends ask me for dating advice because I'm married and whatnot, but I have NO idea what to tell them. "Hang out and do geeky things together?" That is the grand total of my experience.
[User Picture]
From:ashfae
Date:February 12th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
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I've had other experiences but "Hang out and do geeky things together" is the only one that ever resulted in anything good, short-term or long-term! =)
[User Picture]
From:obsession_inc
Date:February 12th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
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Thirding this! Which is really a good piece of advice, when you think about it. "If you both have something in common, take that and run with it!"

Geek girls, baby, that's where it's at.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:equustel
Date:February 12th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
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This is your first time taking a sick day at work? And you never took them at school?! Wow, you must have a helluva immune system. Or else a high tolerance for feeling miserable.

Unable to respond, she hung up.

Because she just could not contend with your Earth logic. Seriously, there is no response to that. Because it makes sense!

Really sorry you have to be dealing with all that on top of a cold. Blech. :| Feel better soon! TV, movies, comics = better medicine than anything if you ask me.
[User Picture]
From:rachelmanija
Date:February 12th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
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One thing I've realized as I get older: there are an awful lot of us who have no freaking idea how the whole dating/relationship thing is supposed to work. You are not alone.
[User Picture]
From:plazmah
Date:February 12th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
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"You used to talk so nicely to me, what happened?"

Is there some regulation that states that every Indian child must hear this exact phrase from their parents at some point in their life? I think I got it in grade 6 and once more when I was in my 2nd year of undergrad.

I can't believe she hung up when you said you'd find someone yourself! There's nothing wrong with that! Many desis do! It's strange when Indian parents move to a America or Canada and act all surprised when their kids think like, well, Americans or Canadians. It's like... WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
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I know, right??
[User Picture]
From:adnirem
Date:February 12th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
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You take a pen. And with that pen, you write "no sicky" on the back of your hand. And that will make women make out with you.

Or make you not be sick. I can't remember which. MAYBE BOTH.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
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I don't think women like making out with sick dudes. NO SICKY.
[User Picture]
From:obsession_inc
Date:February 12th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Oh, man, poor sicko. ::pets your head:: This is the best reason for going to the doctor when I'm sick: she is sweet and sympathetic and says nice things. I call my mom, too, but honestly she's not as good at it as my doctor. This is what I get for having very practical parents.

You do, in fact, have a hella immune system. I am IMPRESSED. You would get on well at my office; if you don't use any sick days all year (except for visits to the doctors office, which don't count), you get a free comp day certificate that you can trade in at any point the next year. You'd clean up!

I'm cheering for you standing up to your mom. YOU CAN DO IT, SUNIL! And, honestly, go with the geekiness on this. Geek girls are all over the place. Sadly, we do not to my knowledge have our own dating site; clearly somebody needs to get on that!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 12th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
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You do, in fact, have a hella immune system. I am IMPRESSED.
I have minor issues now and then, but they're generally manageable and not bad enough to keep me from going to work and performing properly.

if you don't use any sick days all year (except for visits to the doctors office, which don't count), you get a free comp day certificate that you can trade in at any point the next year. You'd clean up!
That would be awesome! On the one hand, I'm kind of pumped that I got to use a damn sick day since they normally just go to waste. On the other, boo, sick.

I'm cheering for you standing up to your mom. YOU CAN DO IT, SUNIL!
IF YOU SAY SO.
[User Picture]
From:etherealclarity
Date:February 12th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
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Feel better, Sunil. *hugs and chicken soup*

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