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Nellie McKay Wannas Get Married - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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December 27th, 2006


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10:23 pm - Nellie McKay Wannas Get Married
So my little sister thinks she's found me a wife.

We went to a wedding in Austin, and at the reception, she pointed out one of the women on the bride's side and told me that she had worked for the John Kerry campaign, had climbed the Himalayas, and was going to climb Mt. Everest.

"So she's cool?" I said, knowing why she was bothering to mention this. And then, against my better judgment, I added, "I noticed her at the garba; she was dancing up a storm."

My little sister seized upon that and came to the (um, correct) conclusion that I liiiiiiiiiiiiked her, which apparently meant I wanted to maaaaaaaaaaaaaarry her. It was true; I had noticed her dancing, and I had found it attractive. Even though I have no moves or grooves of my own, I'd like a potential mate to have some. Sometimes I think I want to marry someone who's just like me, but then I also think that I want someone who fills in what I'm missing. Who...completes me. (Ew, did I just say that?)

But it was just the dancing, really, with her. I had been checking out a few other girls besides that I found more attractive. A wedding is a good place to find Indian women, right? It's not like I run into them that often anymore. I tried to figure out what my Type was. I tend to prefer lighter skin, I think. And softer features. Not that sharp features are bad, but I don't mind a little cuteness in my women, and sharpness works against that. What kills me is a great smile. Like I said, fill in what I'm missing. I don't need to be happy as long as she is.

As a single guy of marrying age, I was supposed to Put Myself Out There so that the ladies would run to their mothers and ask, "My, who is that handsome man?" But I found that to be rather difficult because I am very, very bad at talking to pretty girls. So bad I...can't. Because I automatically assume they're too good for me. That I don't deserve to have them talk to me. Or find me the least bit attractive. The idea is unfathomable.

I thought I had that whole self-esteem thing under control, but apparently, not so much. I'm just going to hide away here on the Internet where it doesn't matter what you look like and girls think I'm awesome.

Besides, I couldn't talk to any girls with my family around because if they saw me talking to a girl, they would assume I was totally interested in her and totally wanted to marry her. And that sort of makes me uncomfortable. My little sister teased me about Himalaya Girl (her name) all night, and it was horribly annoying, and I was terribly afraid she would tell someone and the whole Process would start and before I knew it, I'd be married to this chick I hardly knew and was only moderately attracted to in the first place.

I have a feeling weddings engender the When Are You Going to Get Married? in any family, but you have to admit it's particularly strong in a culture that still practices arranged marriages. Because it's not so much a question of When because I've finished school and secured a job, and therefore Getting Married is the Next Step in Life. It's an inevitability. A cultural imperative. As we opened our Christmas presents, my aunt said, "Let's hope this time next year, we are going to Sunil's wedding." Relenting, she amended, "Or at least he is engaged."

I don't even know if I'm done sowing my wild oats yet. But I already have to make up some sort of "biodata," which is basically the Indian version of a dating profile that has such useless information as education, occupation, and names of relatives. They need this to exchange with families interested in securing me for their daughters. Apparently, they've already found me a pharmacist and an accountant. They'll look for a year, two at the most, and if that doesn't work, then it's off to India, where they manufacture wives.

None of this white or black or Mexican or Muslim business, of course. She has to be Gujarati. Mixing cultures just doesn't work, in the long run. There are too many differences. One of those differences is that I don't tend to run into Gujarati women on a regular basis, which makes it hard for me to find myself a good wife before they do. And the clock is ticking.

Why can't I just marry Pam? That would make things a lot easier.
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Current Music: Incubus - Drive

(62 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:aprilbegins
Date:December 28th, 2006 06:29 am (UTC)
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I don't even know if I'm done sowing my wild oats yet.

NO. Or at the very least, please keep them within a small waxed brown paper pouch, because that's where all oats should be. I actually have a section of my cabinet at work labeled "oatmeal and technology."
[User Picture]
From:etherealclarity
Date:December 28th, 2006 08:06 am (UTC)
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Man... I have enough of a problem finding someone I click with even without the cultural barriers. I wish you luck upon luck.

*hugs*
[User Picture]
From:latropita
Date:December 28th, 2006 08:19 am (UTC)
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Man, this sounds exactly like the stuff my boyfriend goes through. Except with the added awkward for him of, you know, having a girlfriend.

I'm just going to hide away here on the Internet where it doesn't matter what you look like and girls think I'm awesome.
Aw. That's because you are awesome!

I know one Gujarati girl, but she's 19, so I don't think that would work out.
[User Picture]
From:minim_calibre
Date:December 28th, 2006 08:20 am (UTC)
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So I was telling Jilli tonight, as we ate dinner at India Bistro, I saw a girl (Indian) while I was having lunch the other day at Taste of India (err, it may be clear by now that I like Indian food). She was cute (tall, which I don't know if that's a dealbreaker, but that's not the point), and geeking in a cool way about math stuff. So of course, I thought, "Hey! I wonder if she's Gujarati? I wonder if she's single! I don't even know her, but she should date Sunil!"

And then I thought, "Self, Sunil has enough meddling women trying to set him up with prospective brides in his family, he doesn't need his friends to start up with it too!"

Which is probably a good thing to have thought, considering the total stranger aspect of it. It's also probably good that my local Indian friends are a: from New Delhi; and b: married already.

In conclusion, I promise I will not be randomly throwing women in your direction. Because you should randomly bump into one in a made for the movies meet cute who goes and throws herself at you, and after several wacky misunderstandings, joins you forever in wedded bliss. Or something.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:December 28th, 2006 08:27 am (UTC)
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In all honesty, I'd rather you people throw women in my direction than my parents. You'd be much more likely to find someone I'd like. Though perhaps good call on the total stranger part.

But I would totally prefer the movies-meet-cute-wacky-misunderstandings route. Whee.
[User Picture]
From:electricmonk
Date:December 28th, 2006 08:45 am (UTC)
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You know Nellie McKay? 'Kay, we are getting married.
Only I can't dance.
[User Picture]
From:harper47
Date:December 28th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC)
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Interesting post Sunil. I have two Indian students who I have worked with over the years - pro and amateur shows, that have afforded me interesting glimpses into the culture from time to time. They have both traveled to India several times.

Anyway, at least you have a whole slew of internet friends who will babble on about all your wonderful attributes, aid in filming your dating audition (ala Legally Blonde) and help in any way on "The Marriage Quest". (not to be confused with Galaxy Quest).
[User Picture]
From:cindywrites
Date:December 28th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
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I thought I had that whole self-esteem thing under control, but apparently, not so much. I'm just going to hide away here on the Internet where it doesn't matter what you look like and girls think I'm awesome.
And why do they think that? They think that, because you are, so actually, they know that, but bear with me, because I'm getting to my point, slowly. So...how do they know that? They know it, because you talk to them.
[User Picture]
From:kibarika
Date:December 28th, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC)
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What she said.
[User Picture]
From:lynevere
Date:December 28th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
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Stupid question revealing my ignorance, but how many Gujarati are there? (ie, what percent of the people I'd think of as "Indian"?)

Also, is internet dating allowed? It seems that theoretically might let you show your awesome side first, so you can get more comfortable being meeting said women. (And of course you can filter to meet appropriate women.)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:December 28th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
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Stupid question revealing my ignorance, but how many Gujarati are there? (ie, what percent of the people I'd think of as "Indian"?)
Hm. I'm not really sure. Gujarat is just one state, and, according to Wikipedia, it's only the tenth-most populated state in India. So.

Also, is internet dating allowed?
I...suppose? Dating isn't so much "allowed" to begin with.
[User Picture]
From:kibarika
Date:December 28th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
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Sometimes I think I want to marry someone who's just like me, but then I also think that I want someone who fills in what I'm missing. Who...completes me. (Ew, did I just say that?)

It's actually possible to find somebody who kinda does both. For future reference, if you want to sound less Jerry Maguire, go for "complements" instead of "completes." It also conjures up a nice math image. (But be careful if you start thinking of yourself as an angle because I just did and I thought "I'm the acute angle of course" and then I thought "That makes Will obtuse. That's not very nice!" So perhaps we are both right angles. Yes, that's it.) Anyway, it seems the best way to do this (and I know you don't have the same luxury I do about picking whomever I like) is to find someone who has similar tastes/interests to yours, but is different in some other way. As an example, Will is rational and I'm intuitive/emotional. Just one of us is a disaster, too far in one direction or the other. (At least, I am. I haven't really been with him when he wasn't with me.) Together, we're nicely balanced.

I like the notion of a special online dating service to help you find a woman that satisfies both yourself and your family.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:December 28th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)
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For future reference, if you want to sound less Jerry Maguire, go for "complements" instead of "completes."
Oh, good call! Duh.
[User Picture]
From:eirefaerie
Date:December 28th, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
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Girls like you on the internet because girls know you on the internet. You're funny, you're compassionate, and you like both science AND language. WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?

The Houston Press had a big spread about a local Indian wedding this week, and they spent a lot of time talking about the biodata, etc. It made me think of you. Oh, kid. I wish there was some way I could help you. However, if you ever need me to spice up your biodata with such tidbits as, "Besides being an excellent cuddler, Sunil is also a master at inventing new recipes for chicken," let me know.

P.S. I got your message. I dunno why, but it only said I had one yesterday. Stupid phone. I was going to call you back when I got home, but then there was a Situation. But, yes. DOWNFALL OF SOCIETY.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:December 28th, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
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It was SO WEIRD, Erin. I mean, I've even joined the flock, and I think it's weird.

I am going to attempt to spice my biodata up. You shall all see my efforts soon enough, as it has been requested ASAP. I don't know how they'll go for it, though.
[User Picture]
From:kammgirl
Date:December 28th, 2006 02:42 pm (UTC)
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I don't need to be happy as long as she is.

Man that got me. Any girl would want you.

[User Picture]
From:soleta_nf
Date:December 28th, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
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But you ARE awesome!

Are you open to an arranged marriage? I have a Muslim friend who got married that way and is happy. She figured she had just as much of a chance falling in love with someone her parents thought would be compatible as it would be to try to find that on her own.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:December 28th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
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That may be true, but I'm not really keen on the idea. The whole system bugs me. Maybe I just watch too many movies and TV shows and read too many books, but I want something to happen. I don't want forced coupling.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:December 28th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
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Umm... you talk to me. What are you saying? (I kid, I kid)
Well, I don't have to look at you over the phone. OH SNA—wait, I think that's sort of a compliment.

Not that you can suddenly change your fear, but do you see what I'm saying?
Yeah, I know what you're saying. It's just a Thing that's hard to get over. When you're me.
[User Picture]
From:punzerel
Date:December 28th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
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My dad every week says a blessing that we will all find our soulmates. Last time he went to Israel, he went to some higher-up rabbi and got HIM to give my older sister (age 23) a special blessing that she will get married. My mother, usually a reasonably lady, sometimes sighs sadly that she didn't send us to Stern College for Women - a religious Jewish university in New York where people basically go to get married [I very much prefer going to my secular school where I mingle with non-Jews, horror of horrors]. I hear every couple of weeks from a friend-of-a-friend whose sister is chasing an arranged marriage like nobody's business; it all sounds very terrible.
So yes. Traditional families, I think, are all the same in this way (no matter what the culture), so, you deserve lots of hugs for dealing with it. *insert said hugs here..if you don't mind hugs from total strangers*
Is there a Gujarati version of JDate? You could always try something like that. Or you could join me on the heretical path and fall in love with an outsider, of course, but that's really hard.

Also, don't forget many girls have seen your photo on the internet and still think you're awesome! You are definitely not unattractive, and also you are a really great guy. I'm sure pretty girls will not run away screaming if you talk to them. :)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:December 28th, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC)
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*insert said hugs here..if you don't mind hugs from total strangers*
You're no stranger! *hugs* Thanks.

I'm sure pretty girls will not run away screaming if you talk to them.
Probably not, but they could just shrug and walk away.
[User Picture]
From:vaspider
Date:December 28th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
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I wish I had some words of wisdom or something to offer you, but I think the best thing I can offer is that your brain yanked me in your direction, and I really enjoy that you're in my virtual life, because your brainmeats, as my ex would say, are tasty tasty brainmeats.

Everyone else has said everything I would have said so much better than I could do, so I'm just going to leave it at that.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:December 28th, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
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Aww. Thanks.

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