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If I ever happen upon the topic of “eyeballs”, and the number that I currently have, my answer will always be the same:
-I have lots of eyeballs, lots.
Illogical? Seemingly. But my answer goes beyond all physical meaning. Because for me each set of eyeballs was a view of life, which after an important turning point, was replaced and stored away for the coming of a brand new set.
This phenomenon used to happen to me a lot. Like I would go through eyeballs as quickly as a crackwhore goes through…crack.
Take the age of twelve for example. That was the year in which my child-like eyeballs were replaced with a socket-filling epic pair…
…We had six of us girls in our friendship crew. Ages ranging from twenty-three to twelve (that was me), we were the second generation of Indians to our parents, our parents who were all good friends.
This meant a lot of things, like weekend dinners where the unmentioned “boy contigent” would wrestle in the basement, and expert training sessions for the girls, in the art of Madonna’s latest moves. It also meant a lot of samosas, Indian sweets, and brownies drenched in mountains of whipped cream.
We grew up together, you know? So when one of us encountered a milestone, we all felt a certain ripple. It was almost like the “Sisterhood of Traveling Pants”, but never as painfully lame.
These ripples were significant at times, like when the rest of us discovered that the eldest was getting married…arranged-marriage style.
I had never heard of such a thing, unless it referred to our Aunts or our Uncles or our parents. That was the “old” generation we sang, but ourselves? We’d be carving out a brand new path in this Canadian land.
So when our eldest lifelong friend, who had grooved to the 8o’s tunes, who had crushed over New Kids on the Block, told us SHE was getting married at the age of twenty-three? And to an “early thirties” man who looked exactly like Saddam Hussein?
Well let’s just say it was a bit of a shocker.
I myself was still too young to muster any useful advice, and my teenage sister with the rest of the crew offered only support, though with worried eyes and an “are you sure?” kind of tone.
From all accounts she was ready, and happy even! She explained how she’d met the man over tea with the families present, and how they’d really hit it off. Even then it was hard to imagine how anyone “hits it off” with the stern-looking parents sitting right there, but that’s how the story was told. She went on to say that despite the age gap, and despite the fact that he was born in India, he was a very nice and modern man (by the way, I still don’t get what it means when a man born in India is specified as “modern”, and therefore irresistible. Do you mean that he drives a hover-craft? Please elaborate…).
We didn’t dare ask what she thought about “love”, because she genuinely seemed quite happy…in that “if you don’t get on board you’re not invited to the wedding” kind of way.
I can distinctly recall a “what about love?”-type moment, one in which my mouth almost got me in a lot of trouble. We were sitting there sorting through CD’s, looking for the perfect wedding song. The bride-to-be had a sudden burst of inspiration, pulling out Celine Dion from the mix, and pointing to the track entitled “Power of Love”…
…””Power of Love”?!?!? But you’ve probably only talked to the guy for like three hours total. Maybe you should try “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” instead”…
…and that was what I wanted to say…but thankfully my brain pulled those words from my mouth before they hit the airwaves. Phew.
And so it was, the “Power of Love” that carried these two across the floor, as they shared their very first dance, with his hand resting ever so awkwardly across her lower back.
And her? Well she looked gorgeous. A fairytale Bollywood bride.
As for me, I can still remember watching the two of them dance, and asking myself if all those talks on first dates and tenth dates and romance were in fact in the “not applicable” box, for all of us “second-gen” girls. Had I been dreaming in the colour of a lie?
I continued to muse at the thought, with mouth gaping wide at table twenty-six, and drops of curry spilling from my bottom lip.
Another night, another new set of eyeballs gained…
…And today, with my current set of “lookers”, I can tell you that this chick and her Saddam-looking man are totally happy. Happy with their decent jobs, healthy kid, and loving extended families. All of the ingredients for happiness…I guess.
So for her it may have worked to comply with parental wishes, but for me? I will only say the following:
-I won’t marry a Saddam Hussein look-alike, and you can’t make me…
I wonder whatever happened to the Saddam look-alike who used to be paraded around at official events where the real Saddam wasn’t expected to say anything?
Hey, how long ago was all this??
Yeah, whatever happened to him? He was great.
Saddam? Really? Mustache and all? That is incredible. Eyeballs huh… I refer to mine as lenses. I view many different areas and avenues of life with different lenses. I just wish I could keep my lenses clean, I have such a shitty memory. Your eyeballs have enabled you to write these awesome posts. So right on sister! Really though…Saddam? Ha
But I LOVE the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – how dare you mock it? 😉
My goodness. I think of all the guys I have voluntarily dated on first impressions…..and then how they turned out not to be suitable, god – imagine actually having to think ‘well, tough shit – you are married to him sister!’ Argh!
Wild stuff. I have two friends in the DC area who were both in arranged marriages. I only keep in touch with one regularly, and she seems really happy. Yesterday, CBS Sunday Morning had a story on arranged marriage and the consensus seemed to be that there is no difference in happiness levels when compared to regular marriage.
*shudders* No damn way would I be subjected to such a barbaric practice.
I’m sorry Maleesha, of course the consensus would be that there is no difference in happiness levels when compared to regular marriage – anyone who would be traded like cattle is not going to admit their life is rooted.
Well, consider Saddam Hussein’s execution as a positive sign. You’re strong willed enough not to fall into the trap of arranged marriage, despite your parent’s wishes. Women earned their rights on this continent, so put ’em to good use. 😛
Ok, good compromise! No Saddam’s, I’ll be ok with that! I have my opinions on arranged vs. unarranged of course, but my eyes are different than yours. Just yeah, no old creepy guys.
There is something to be said for being thrown together and expected to make it work. More than I can say for “love!”
Sure you don’t wanna rethink this whole “marry for love” thing?
It must be hard with those family traditions and seeing things work differently in the country you live in – young people marrying for love and not because their parents made some arrangements. I can’t even imagine. But it does not surprise me one bit that you would have some standards set in stone. Saddam lookalikes are definitely out of the question. How could you ever relax around someone who looked like that? 😉
I think you should run away. Escape, and don’t tell anyone where you are going. Only phone your parents when you are out of the country and/or province. Then find a handsome young man and have a summer filled with lots of romantic love making and beach tanning. Then dump his butt, cuz he wasn’t really right for you anyway. Then, well I’m not sure what you would do then, but I’m sure you can think of something.
Saddam? Really? I’d never be able to relax around someone who looked like Saddam…I’d always be worried he was plotting to invade my neighbors or something…
What an interesting post. Just think your road to love maybe a little longer and a little more different than your friends, but you are doing it on your own terms which is awesome!!!! It’s nice to be true to who you are. Also, because of that you won’t marry a Saddam look a like! How has the dating world been treating you recently?
I won’t marry a Saddam Hussein look-alike, and you can’t make me…
OK, but what if he had a REALLY great personality? And lavished you with expensive gifts? And promised NEVER to throw your parents into a basement chamber to have them caned and tortured?
THEN would you?
I’m not sure how I’d feel about arranged marriage, but given that my parents have been happily married for over 30 years, maybe they’d find me the right guy (if I hadn’t already met him that is!)
It’s hard to fathom being introduced and married that way, but it worked for them. I know the divorce rate is high in the US- I wonder what the divorce rate is among arranged marriages… that would be interesting to know. You are far to outgoing to be in any arranged situation- and that’s what will work for you!
ian in hamburg:…hmm..the wedding was in 1993…I believe he was paraded around after that…but then again I’m pretty sure her lookalike hubby travelled on “business” a lot.. 😉
iheartfilm: ya, like didn’t they also used to show the lookalke on yachts and on the beach and stuff…or was that the real one? 😉
Justin: dude, I am so NOT lying. Short hair and thick moustache and stern eyes and all!!!
Indeed..they may be lenses as well, but I prefer the definition that leans towards guts and gore…eyeballs it is!! 😉
PS: and seriously, he looked just like him…*shudder*
GYL: haha..I knew I was risking something by mocking that movie 😉
PS: I think somehow someway it might be different for those who take the plunge and do it…maybe it’s just a “suck it up and do it” thing at first, which translates into happiness over time..???? …but whatever, I’m stil not doing it, haha 😉
maleesha: hmm…well I’m sure there are tons of people in “love marriages” that are miserable (and why wouldn’t there be? love’s not perfect..), which probably balances out the score, and as for arranged marriages, they may have high happiness scores because they measure happiness differently. Maybe to them “love” is achieved through a professional husband who provides for the family, or a wife who takes good care of children and cooks good meals…just a thought..??
Anja: haha…ya there must be some denial going on…at the same time depending on how you grow up and what your values are, it isn’t what I’d call barbaric, I mean my parents did it and they seem pretty civilized and well-bred for me…but I get your point..for ME? Serious WTF-ness, haha 😉
omegaradium: ohhh yeah…well when you put it that way it all just sounds so easy…I’ll give it an earnest try 😉
Emerald: we can totally agree on “no saddam’s” and “no old creepy guys”…sigh..one of these days I’m gonna get that pot of “man gold” Em…one of these days 😉
dobeman: didn’t YOU marry for love? Would you have re-thought it if you had the chance? No, no, I’ll stay right here on the side of naive visions of true love and all that, haha 😉
teeni: yes, yes, and that’s the crazy pill to swallow: everyone else is doing it, why can’t I!?!?! 😉
PS: indeed I am a very chill-out person, I can’t constantly be sleeping with one eye open 😉
Kerplar: oooh, a summer of love eh? Well if the guy looks anything like Brad Pitt did when he was in his “thirties” peak age in the Curious Case of Benjamin Button..well then yes I will have me a slice of that summer love 😉
glassowater: plotting to invade my neighbours!?!?! Well I’d be more worried that he was plotting to invade my…hmm..never mind, hahaha 😉
sammy25: having a longer road to love is fine with me if I ultimately end up with the best fish in the sea that I can use to make all my friends jealous, hahaha 😉
PS: the dating world for me is non-existent at the moment…working on a different personal quest that isn’t love-related at the moment… 🙂
Nigel: well as long as he super-pinky-swear-promised not to cane and torture my parents…hahaha…maybe 😉
ramblelicious: my recommendation is: don’t even think about it!!! I’m glad you found yourself the right guy and we’ll leave it at that! 🙂
Javaqueen: I think the divorce rate would be very low as most probably wouldn’t consider divorce as an option…but I’m just guessing, no numbers to back me up at the current time (’cause I’m too lazy to check, haha 😉 )
PS: thanks for the vote of confidence…we’ll see 😉
Harry: oh…well HELLO there my 3-D amigo! 😉
I get how the “I’m your lady and you are my man” line got The Power of Love singled out as the wedding song, but… I’m guessing If you asked me to would’ve been a much better choice.
Absolutely Fascinating, as always. 🙂 I have no idea what else I should say but I wanted to wave a hello!
Well marriage had nothing to do with love, in the first place. It had to do with tribal/national alliances, money, child-rearing, religion, and having a spouse to help with hard work. This idea of “marrying for love” is a very recent one.