On nights like this, I want you to instinctively know that you should pick up the phone to call me. I know I usually shun attention that’s focused on my thoughts but there are moments that are different; moments when I want to let you in and have you know the thoughts that cross my mind. Instances where I want you to hear me on the other end of the phone and through the silence, string together the words I can’t verbalise. Points in time when I wish you could read me like a book, deducing the implications between the lines. And feel the kaleidoscope of emotions that come rushing out of me all at once. But those moments are short-lived because as much as I want you to know, I don’t want you to know. I don’t know why I’m scared, I’ve said it all before, everything, you’ve heard it all. Instead, I’ll hope that you’ll read my late night ramblings and realise that I’m referring to you. After all, who else would I be talking about?
Brb getting married.
Oh, what a great question. Let me try and word this right… I don’t get surprised anymore by people’s phony cynicism.
I promised myself I would only reblog one of John Mayer’s tumblr Dashboard Confessions Q&A answers, and I’ve finally found the appropriate one.
THIS IS EVERYTHING.
A couple of nights ago, while walking home with groceries, a man on the street called out to me and asked me whether I’d bought him anything. I didn’t respond and kept walking, so he called out a second time, “You ain’t get me anything?” As I walked by I said, “I’m afraid not, sorry!” and continued on my way. Now, I’m not making this out to be more than it is but I get hollered at often. Whether it’s the people who loiter around my block and say, “You have a beautiful smile!” or the people who border on the lines of verbal sexual harassment and catcall; like most other women, I’ve had my fair share of attention while walking down the street.
As I turned the keys to my front door, I realised that there was a crazy double standard. Men holler (or as some of you may put it, “holla”) at women more often than not, and it’s considered normal to an extent. However, if a woman were to call out to men on the streets, you’d assume she was mentally ill, doing it as a joke, or worse still, a slut. I ranted to my mother about it for a hot second as I entered the apartment, but then realised I accepted it as a part of life. This was when I realised I was probably the least feminist female that I knew, and I was okay with it.
The definition of feminism today isn’t exactly what it was decades ago when women were oppressed. The majority of feminists today are looking for the first reason to attack the male population (which is widely considered misogynistic, as a whole) for anything they might say. That’s not what feminism used to be. Feminists were people who believed men and women deserved the same rights (i.e. equality); feminists headed movements like The Suffragette. The feminism movement today is largely radical; it’s viewed as a bunch of women who dislike men and in some cases, believe women are better than men.
A couple of weeks ago, a user on Tumblr gave Frida Kahlo a digital makeover and the feminists of the world attacked him (I’m fairly certain the OP was a man) into deleting his posts. He said he knew that doing it was taboo, but was reimagining her as a person in society today. Give the guy a break! So what if he got rid of her monobrow and her put some make up on her? He wasn’t attacking feminism. Just because Frida made a point about beauty and took a stand against societal norms, doesn’t mean everyone needs to find her attractive. The artist reimagined her. He created a version of art, and all I could think was, “Frida looks a little like Megan Fox after the makeover.” For crying out loud, Frida might not have threaded her eyebrows but the woman wore make-up. Let it go!
Do you really think any of the women that had their portraits commissioned by the greats had skin as perfect as it was shown? Had da Vinci had painted the Mona Lisa today, I’m sure there would be so-called feminists out for blood for creating unrealistic standards for women. How dare he paint someone with such flawless skin? How dare he paint her a shade lighter than she really was? How dare he dress her with no skin showing (or with too much skin showing, as reimagined for art today)? How dare he consider this woman a muse? How dare he objectify her as art? The judgement would likely never end.
Being a feminist has gone from empowering women to believe that they’re capable of anything, to telling little girls they shouldn’t play with Barbies or believe in fairytales. In my opinion, that’s really (insert expletive here) stupid. That’s the equivalent of believing any boy who plays with his sister and her Barbies is gay. Playing make-believe or reading fairytales doesn’t automatically qualify you as someone who doesn’t believe in equality.
I can’t be a feminist in today’s world because although I believe in equality, I also believe in chivalry. More often than not, I willingly accept a seat on the subway when a man stands up and offers me his. When a man holds the door for me and asks me to go ahead first (or if I’m holding the door open and he insists I go ahead first), it gives me a sense of joy. When a man offers to help me get my suitcase off the baggage carousel at the airport, I step back and let him do his thing. And when my male friends offer to fix things in my apartment or replace lightbulbs, I’m more than happy to let them do so. It’s not that I’m incapable of doing any of the above myself, (in fact, when it comes to household fixes and putting things back together, I’m pretty awesome) but I appreciate the fact that I don’t have to.
Moreover, if I ever get married, I don’t want to be older than or earn more than my partner. EVER. I do not want to be the primary breadwinner. That said, I do want to earn as much as any male would in my position. While I want to make my own living, I would like that if someday I chose to quit my job and just volunteer my time, I could do it without being resented. Should I ever have children, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be okay with the idea of my partner being a stay-at-home father. While I might not give up my career after having kids, I wouldn’t want my partner to give up his either. Maybe those are anti-feminist traditional values, but it’s something I feel strongly about. And for all the women reading, if you’re being honest with yourself, would you really be okay with earning more than your partner or having them stay at home while you work? I have the advantage of being in a field where I will never make more money than anyone else, so that’s how I justify my “anti-feminist” ways.
There’s this belief that the second you’re the primary breadwinner you wield all the so-called power in a relationship. And that’s where society today fails, because relationships aren’t supposed to be power plays. They’re about building a life. I don’t want power, I want to be happy.
I’ve seen feminists compare themselves to minorities, and they’re wrong to do so because women are not a minority, for every 101 males, there are a 100 females. Feminist agendas that perceive women as minorities are doing the entire gender a disservice. And I might receive a lot of backlash for saying this, but just because you see yourself as a minority, you don’t deserve special treatment. Learn to look at yourself as a person, as an equal. I won’t dispute the fact that historically women were viewed as second-class citizens, but that’s not the case any more. Women today should get jobs because they’re the most qualified person for the position and not to fill a gender quota requirement at the company.
The final reason why I can’t be a feminist is because I believe in the magic of makeup. Historically, makeup was used to define social strata, but as time progressed its purpose changed and it became widely adopted in society to beautify women and aid them in their mission to attract men (think: Mad Men’s Belle Jolie “Mark your man” lipstick campaign). Unless I’m staying home, I wear makeup on daily basis. I wear it partially for myself and partially because I like getting compliments. Makeup gives me the oomph factor and the extra boost of confidence that I want/need. Also, is being unlike Frida Kahlo and wanting to get all the conceivable unwanted hair on my body waxed, tweezed or lasered off anti-feminist of me? While it might have been influenced by society, at the end of the day, like wearing makeup, it’s a personal choice. When I get compliments while walking down the street, I willingly accept them and they make my ego swell. Which is precisely why I have to accept the slew of other comments I hear. If I didn’t, I’d create my own double standard.
Sometimes, I really want to shake people up and ask them to get over their preconceived notions. Unless someone is outright making a misogynist statement, they’re not anti-women. I believe in equality and I know it may not be perfectly implemented in today’s world, but we’re getting there. What we need are real feminists to bridge the gap. Being a feminist shouldn’t be about having all the power, or about man-bashing. Being a feminist should be about knowing you’re an equal, knowing you’re worthy. And until the definition returns to that, I’m not a feminist; I’m an equal-ist.
I recently met a friend I hadn’t seen since last summer. The ease with which we got talking reminded me of what it meant to like someone. We sat there for an hour and a half and my thoughts just flowed out of me. I didn’t pick and choose my words and I didn’t feel like I was being judged for the ridiculous stories that I recounted. It was ingenuous. It was uncontrived.
As I walked back alone towards the subway station, I couldn’t shake the sense that it felt right. We connected on a level where there was chemistry but I still functioned like a real person and felt comfortable being my crude self. While waiting for my train, a different realisation hit me: despite never having been involved with one another, I had willingly yet unknowingly given away a piece of my heart.
My mind travelled on various tangents to my original train of thought and I found myself wondering how many people I’d given my heart to. Apart from the obvious (family and close friends), I’d given a piece of myself to every person I’d ever been involved with and a couple more. For the most part, I had been meticulous about retrieving the pieces when things went south, or in the worst-case scenario, salvaging the remains – except in four cases.
The first piece resides with a person with a penchant for trippy stuff and Ebonics, and listens to me dole out advice over Skype (although, I’m not sure it’s being heeded). The second lies with the person who inspired this. The third lives with a person who I found myself with twice, despite all odds. And the final piece is with the last person I dated.
As I set out to write this piece my intended conclusion was to ask that the remaining pieces be returned; I thought the missing parts were keeping me from being myself. However, it soon dawned upon me that the people involved probably didn’t even realise that they had a part of me trailing alongside them.
Except for that fourth piece, I’m not sure I want to reclaim the others. The missing pieces aren’t holding me back; they remind me of what I want from life, of what I want from a relationship. They keep me believing that I’m not looking for something that doesn’t exist. They’re my proof that moral compromises and judgy faces aren’t part of the deal, and that the unexpected can be great.
So, to the three people who have random pieces of my heart, I’m leaving them with you. I’ll collect them at some point in the future, just not today.
I have a new segment in my life that I’m about to call, "While you were on Tinder, your ex decided to get back together with his ex."
That is all.
So when we first started dating more than a decade ago, Sarah and I had to hand out Halloween candy at her boss’s house, and because her boss lived in a very fancy neighborhood, there were a lot of fancy Halloween costumes.
And one kid—maybe eight years old—came dressed as Napoleon. Little dude looked exactly like Napoleon head to toe. Perfect costume.
All the other kids he was with came up and said “Trick or Treat!” And then little Napoleon made his way up the stairs and reaching into the huge candy bowl, he looks at Sarah and says, “L’etat c’est moi.”
And Sarah says, “That’s a quote from Louis XIV, not Napoleon.”
And I was in love.
STAAAAAAHHPPPPP IT, JOHN GREEN. JUST STOP. I’m going to keel over and die from all the cutesy.
If you’ve read my blog, you’d know I ramble a lot about my misadventures in the dating world. I think I’ve finally come to understand the dynamic of the relationship between men and women. When men don’t get their way they whine endlessly - which is why they’re labelled babies. And on a scale of one to ten, women tend to go postal when they don’t get what they bargained for in a relationship, hence the term crazy.
Things I’ve heard guys tell me in conversation (and/or on a first date) about their ex-girlfriends include the following masterpieces:
- "My ex was so fucking crazy."
- "She was incredibly clingy. Wtf, space, bitch."
- "She just had a lot of baggage and was emotionally unstable/damaged."
- "Don’t get me started on my psycho ex. She had issues. She should’ve been on crazy pills."
Women who fall in the crazy category (except for the certifiably psychotic ones) are usually the ones who want real relationships. They crave connection. They want someone who wants them back, someone who responds to texts in a timely manner, someone who calls on the regular. They want to wholly capture the attention of the person they’re interested in; therefore, they’re categorised as clingy and “crazy”.
Things that I have personally said or have heard my friends say about previous male significant others include:
- "He was a lying, cheating asshole."
- "He just wasn’t ready to commit. We aren’t in high school anymore; it isn’t cute."
- "He was so emotionally unavailable. He didn’t share his feelings. His ex really pulled a number on him."
- "I finally asked him to stop being a fucking baby and just man the fuck up, already. That’s when he said he wasn’t looking for a relationship, and he just wanted to keep it casual. What does that even mean?"
- "He was such a douchebag. He was just looking for some A."
After speaking to a couple of my male friends, I’ve come to learn that men need time to grow up. They need to take care of themselves first before they can be responsible for another human being (it’s like the safety video on airplanes tell you about the drop-down oxygen masks, “Attend to yourself first, and then help others”). They want to able to say they’ve done it all before they settle down. Apparently, guys remain “babies” until they decide it’s time to man the fuck up and get serious about shit (i.e. relationships and/or life).
This, however, isn’t to say that the roles can’t be reversed. Men are equally capable of being crazy. A boy once accused me of using my eyes to draw him in and then fuck with his feelings. Why? Because, apparently, while I have big expressive eyes, he couldn’t tell what I was thinking. Newsflash: You’re not a fucking Jedi, you don’t possess the ability to perform mind tricks. SPOILER ALERT: Both Jedis and Star Wars are fictional.
In another instance, a boy I dated thought it was his duty to be a paranoid psychotic fucktard. Whenever I said I was busy, he would ask me what I was doing and then proceed to text my friends to find out where I was. A year after we broke up, I corrected his grammar in a facebook message and he responded with, “you are an uppity bitch. fucking bitch and a half hahaah" [sic]. That was the end of our communication for an extended period of time until he sent me the following message out of the blue, “yo I met ABC couple of weeks ago and we were talking, and he was like Aditi was dating XYZ! Are you guys still together?" [sic] One, it’s none of your fucking business. Two, learn to type. Three, ewwww #singleforever.
Like the man child, women are also equally capable of taking hold of their sexuality (or as I like to call it, being sluts) and whining when boys get too serious about relationships. I have girlfriends who take pride in dating (read sleeping with) multiple people at the same time. While I severely judge them for it, I get the feeling that a lot of women act like men to feel like they’re winning the mind games of who can act like they care less. I would elaborate, but the stories aren’t mine to share.
The above leads me to ask the question: Are we doomed to date the wrong people? It seems like whenever the babies and crazies mix, things end catastrophically (and it’s not just in the ‘never promise crazy a baby’ way).
Despite being the same physical age, men and women have vastly different emotional ages. Is this what perpetuated the current norm of women marrying men older than themselves? It’s possible that some ancient misogynistic patriarchal man child decided upon it. Are women only crazy because they’re dating babies? Are men only babies because they’re dating crazies?
Was I actually not crazy, but just dealing with a man child when I sent that one kid I dated an essay of a text that included the gems, "YOU FUCKING SUCK." and “The next time you try involving someone in your life, know what you want before you let the other person in. Because letting someone four steps through the door and then pushing them ten back isn’t normal.”? I don’t know.
The more I think about it, the more I wonder what people I’ve dated label me as. Am I the crazy/psychotic/clingy/needy/bitchy type? Am I the prude? Am I a baby? Am I too focused on the fact that I’m usually single? Do I even get a label?
What would the people you’ve dated label you?
A couple of months ago, this kid pointed out to me that I had a habit of braiding my hair into a single side braid that sat over my left shoulder. I’m fairly certain he was merely making an observation and wasn’t attempting to be malicious, but for some reason it’s something I haven’t been able to do since.
I left the apartment last night on a mission to buy superglue. Somehow, I ended up on a 9.6 mile late night walk across the neighbourhoods of New York City, over the Brooklyn Bridge and into Brooklyn.
On 7th Ave and 14th St, Sakshi joined me and we headed further downtown. At some point we realised we needed a game plan, and decided to head eastward towards Brooklyn Bridge before heading back. We walked down Chambers St, and leisurely strolled around to look at the courthouse and Supreme Court.
It was just past midnight when this well-dressed man in a fedora called out to us and said, “Hi! I just got out of jail, would you know where the nearest open subway is?” Creeped out by his opening words, we apologised and said we had no idea where the closest subway was, hoping he would disappear back into the darkness. Instead, he called out once more and asked if either of us had a cigarette he could bum. Again, we said we didn’t, and scurried away as fast as possible, laughing the whole way.
We hadn’t planned to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, but we were right there and the temptation to do it was far greater than any impending threat it could pose to our safety. After all, as my favies (the back row bros) taught me: You only YOLO once.
As of this afternoon, I still don’t have any superglue. But it doesn’t matter because I really just love you, New York!