Final Deadlines

OMG. I still refuse to believe I’m graduating, but here are last minute deadlines before I get so indifferent I forget and fail.

Human Rights – Final 20 page paper due 12/14/2012 (Friday) at 5:00 pm.
My topic – Something to do with genocide. Wait to receive Professor’s response and formulate a more focused prompt

Updated Skincare Regimen

More for my own referance than anything else.

I NEVER remember when I am supposed to do what 😛 So maybe this will help me keep track! So far, the right side of my face has improved drastically and is nearly clear but the left side…disgusting. I break out only on that side ALL the time especially in the chin/jaw area. And then there’s darker spots from acne scarring too and the whole side just looks a hot mess.

 

Daily Day Routine –

  1. Wake up 😦
  2. Eye drops in dry eyes please
  3. Splash warm water onto face
  4. Use Murad Clarifying Cleanser + pat dry
  5. Apply thin amount of Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel (2x per week)
  6. Boscia Super-Cool De-Puffing Eye Balm.
  7. Wait 10 minutes, prep food, let all that soak in and do its job
  8. Tiny bit of Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion
  9. Ole Henriksen Moisterizer with SPF
  10. Foundation. I use Revlon’s liquid foundation casually and my super expensive Cover FX when I want extra coverage/want to be fancy
  11. Eyeshadow + Eyeliner Usually from my handy-dandy NAKED Palette that Nabila gifted me on my birthday!
  12. Lip Balm – Burts Bees, the one with Acai berries
  13. Lipstick – Dior Model usually. Or a light patting on of this red Givenchy. Or whatever matches my outfit. But mostly Dior Model or a Revlon Lip Butter

Night Routine – 

  1. Take out contacts
  2. Splash face with warm water
  3. Use Murad Cleanser again
  4. Eye De-Puffing thingy
  5. Acne Treatment Gel again (2x per week)
  6. Spot treatment on pimples that refuse to go away
  7. Perfecting Lotion on face.

That’s the system I just started (I replaced the earlier system that just wasn’t strong enough for me but I looove the Ole Henrikson moisturizer that I bought last year so I just purchased a replacement tub of that since I ran out. It’s heavenly, especially in the winter!

Okay so I’m on this acne complex system at least 3 months. Why? You start seeing results after one month, but my acne is largely hormonal and this kit is meant to last 3ish months anyway.

Okay I’m off to do my night routine and sleep now! Good niiight

NaNoWriMo failed :(

I’m sorry…I’m dealing with a really disappointing and depressing LSAT grade and trying to re-evaluate where to go with my life from here.

I’m in a real funk right now 😦 I haven’t felt like studying and have done nothing except mope about the house and cause my parents even greater distress. The disappointment on their faces when I got my grade back was just so crushing.

Like I’m already beating myself up over it and then they look at me all sad and pitiful but I know they think I could have done better, that I could have studied harder, and that I’m wasting all my time having fun and doing extracurriculars and working instead of just focusing on my studies.

I get their POV, I do.

But I know I gave this exam my all.

So now I don’t know what I want to do. Maybe I will start applying for Paralegal positions and postpone law school for a while. A year, two? I don’t know.

My graduation ceremony is coming up December 3 and all I feel is this big LETDOWN afterwards. I’m not in the least bit excited to graduate, although I guess that’s because I’m graduating a semester early?

I don’t know what to say. I want to write but this story is just not coming. 

NaNoWriMo Day 2

A quick note! The “—” breaks in the story symbolize separate blog entries. When the story is in its final format with dates/times, it’ll read much more easily but for now, I am lumping everything together into one manuscript so I can keep track of word count and post how much I write daily 🙂

Getting to know Jay has been even weirder than all of the mandatory icebreaker games I’ve played in the beginning of every semester at college.

The events of the past two weeks are swirling around in my head and everytime I try to write them down, I end up rambling. Like I’m doing right now.

My parents have been asking me to “find a nice Indian boy” since I graduated college. For two years, I put them off and romanced Dan. Loved him. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, I rebelled in every single way I could think of. I used my job as an excuse and went on dates with him. Movies, dinners, and “business trips” on weekends – I did what I could to steal away and live with him in our own little fantasy world.

Then it all just came crashing down so fast and one night when my parents were asking me, as usual, when I would find them a nice Indian guy, I just snapped.

He broke up with me. I cried and cried until all I had left was no willpower or desire. I told them to introduce me to one themselves if they were in such a hurry.

Clearly, they wasted no time and I found myself at Starbucks awkwardly drinking iced coffee with Jay that same week.

Damn, Indian parents move fast. It’s as if they’ve already planned shit out for you and just need you to trigger them so they can put their plan into motion. I was safe when my heart was enamored with Dan. I was strong and resisted and happy with my independence.

Then, I broke my own heart and gave them the push they were waiting for. I practically pranced right into this situation.

I’ve got nobody to blame but myself.

I’m coming to this blog now because if I don’t pen my thoughts I am probably going to spontaneously combust in rage. Suffocate in my own trapped fumes of anger. I don’t even know where to begin and what words to use that could possibly convey how I am shaking with rage as I write.
I have just walked away from overhearing my father discuss Jay and I as though we were a business distraction. Just fuckin great.

What an age-old story come to life. Jay’s father and mine planned our meeting for the future good of our families. Marriage is just some TOOL to them. What about our hearts? They don’t even give a shit about that.

“Marriage is compromise and adjustment. Look at your father and I. It’s been 25 years and we’re still together. These white people think they know all about love, until they get divorced. On top of that, they’re so besharam that they just go and get married again. What kind of love is that?”

I suppose if that’s how my mom rationalized it to herself all those years ago and it worked for her, she’s about as happy as she could be.

But I, for one, can’t imagine a life where we live together for so long without loving each other passionately, rather than just reproduction by copulation…

BUT ANYWAY back to why I am so angry – it’s nothing as drastic and ridiculous as dowry, because thankfully, our parents’ views have liberalized enough to the point of finding that idea antiquated.

I heard my dad ask somebody how soon we could expect to see the business merge. Then I hear him laugh about how “of course they’ll stay together and have kids, we’re giving them time to get to know each other right?” and guessed at who was on the other side.

THEN, they have the audacity to look me in the eyes like nothing is wrong and they aren’t ripping my heart apart and laugh as if I have told a very funny joke when I snap and yell that they might as well sell me off to the highest bidder.

I want to call Dan so badly and rant to him, but he will probably just shake his head sadly and wonder why I don’t have the strength to just say no.

I wonder all the time why I am talking to Jay at all but I remember how I can never be with Dan because in the end, my love for my family is tying me down to this arranged marriage.

See, if I say no to Jay, their family will play it off like there is something wrong with me. My father will be shamed and of course, as my mom constantly reminds me, “what will society think?”

Indian parents are all about that. What will society think?

What about your daughter’s heart?

—-

It’s been 4 weeks (and one day) since Dan broke up with me.

It’s been 3 weeks (and two days) since I first met Jay. After our first meeting at Starbucks, he took me out to dinner. It was something fancier and his sister tagged along, almost like a chaperone.

I complained to my mother and all she told me was, “People talk. You get married, then do whatever you want.”

So we endure the supervised dating for a little longer. I’m falling behind in blogging about all of this, so it’s time to play a little catch up.

I met Jay for coffee, and the conversation started out awkward. Then, like I just said, we took his sister out to dinner but after dropping her off at home, he asked me if I would like to go watch a movie the next day. I said yes but only because the way he suggested it was so cute – he told me to make up an excuse and meet him at the theater around noon.

It brought me back to the days when Dan and I used to do the same exact thing, and for some reason, the fact that he did the same thing as Dan had done, and that I had loved Dan just resonated with me. I don’t know if likening Dan and Jay or comparing them is the right thing to do, but I can’t help it. I wanted Dan. I wanted to marry him.

So if Jay is like him in these small little things, maybe that’ll make life a little more bearable?

3 weeks and 3 days since I met Jay now. Our parents are getting antsy. We have been talking to each other more and more. I don’t know whether it is from necessity or because he is genuinely interested in me.

He hasn’t rejected me yet. My father came up to my room last night, sat down at the edge of my bed, and just sighed.

Like he is disappointed or maybe even sad?

He asked me – “Is there somebody else, beta? You can tell us everything.”

But that’s always been the problem. I cannot tell them anything. I can’t tell them I have tasted alcohol, I have had a boyfriend, and I have lost my virginity. I cannot tell him that I have loved a man. And, because I don’t want to be ostracized, I definitely can’t tell him that the man I love is not Indian.

And you know what makes me cry isn’t that I can’t talk to him. It is that the reason I can’t tell him any of my reality is because I still love him and I know that telling him all of that would just break his heart. How can I tell my dad everything if I know he will forever feel that I have shamed him.

No matter how much they love me, Indian “society” is cruel. They judge and gossip and if I tell him anything, he will never hold his head up high like he should. It is ingrained in their minds that what I have done is shameful. So I can’t tell him anything.

There is never a choice. In anything. In their eyes, I have lived by the book, and that’s how it has to stay.

I caved. I gave in. I can’t hurt my parents so I’ll just hurt my dreams instead. No, I’ll just try to build new ones around my new reality.

I don’t know what I will do. My words from last night are still resonating in my head.

“Okay ma, I’ll do it.”

Jay is the reason I tipped over the edge. Last night he called me and I think you guys need to hear this. Maybe I just need to write it out so I can process. Explain myself to my readers.

“Hey, how are you?” he said as I called him last night. “It’s late, are you okay?”

It was only 11 at night, but I guess that’s the latest I’ve called him so far.

“Yeah, just wanted to talk to you.”

“Uh oh, you gonna break up with me? Over the phone? Ow.”

“Uhh no, not exactly. You would have had to ask me out first for that.”

A pause. “What’s wrong?”

“Why are you still talking to me Jay? It’s a setup. You and I both know that we aren’t the arranged marriage type but here we are. It’s been almost a month and neither of us have said no. We’re still talking. Why?”

Another pause. “You’re not crazy.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re not crazy. I think we’ve got the same reasons. You love your family?”

“Yeah.”

“Me too.”

“Is it that simple? We barely know each other.”

He laughed at that before saying “Well that’s why it’s called an arranged marriage.”

Another pause. I briefly frowned at how long this guy took to get his thoughts out before he added “Besides, you’re the least crazy girl my parents have introduced me to yet.”

I hung up at that, annoyed that he hadn’t told me that he’d been introduced to other girls before.

A few things hit me that night. Aside from the fact that he was right, he wasn’t crazy, he didn’t get on my nerves yet, and I was jealous he had met other girls.

It’s like everything is accelerated because we are forced into a situation where we know where the end result isn’t just a boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s a life partner.

I thought I needed a lot more time to overcome my feelings for my ex-boyfriend. I guess that maybe if I talk to Jay about it, we can overcome that obstacle together?

So I’ve said yes. AHH. What am I getting myself into?

NaNoWriMo Day 1

I don’t know where else to turn, so I will rely on the anonymity of the internet and the chance of gaining an online support group of readers who will help me soldier through this really weird period of my life. You don’t really need to know me – only that I’m 23 and about to make the craziest decision of my life.

No, I’m not about to quit my job and backpack through Europe or streak around the block…twice.

What I’m doing is probably much crazier. I’m about to accept an arranged marriage. I’m about to marry Jay, the man my parents picked out for me, and I’m about to convince myself that somehow, we will find love at the end of all of this.

Arranged marriage is a weird concept and very scary as a girl who was born and raised in the United States. As somebody who went to a very liberal university in New York City, I still cannot believe that I am going to allow my parents to make the biggest decision in my life thus far rather than try to blunder about until I find my man by myself.

Part of me is excited by the challenge of an arranged marriage, and part of me is revolted that I am feeling this excitement at all.

Mostly, I am just trying to reason through why I am saying yes, and explain myself to my friends and family. I don’t want to become bitter and resentful before I even give marriage a chance, although I admit that I feel as though I am giving up on love by saying yes to Jay.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him – that’s not the problem. The problem is just that we don’t love each other, and I don’t know if marrying a man I don’t love will ever work out.
I wish that I could live out our possible futures in a dream and then pick the best possible path to happiness. I think Sabrina was lucky enough to have that chance in one episode of Sabrina The Teenage Witch. I think I am rambling.

The first time I met Jay was sufficiently awkward enough to convince me that I was right in despising arranged marriage. I think I was skeptical because I have kept so much of my life hidden from my parents that I don’t expect them to know what kind of man I can see myself with. They’re sheltered, you see, and what they don’t know won’t really hurt them. I don’t kiss and tell. (Except on this blog, and I’m going to enjoy the anonymity and blog away)

—-

I’m going to try to remember as much of our first conversation as I can.

“Hey, it’s nice to meet you,” I said to the guy as he slid into the seat across from me. We were at a Starbucks in the city located geographically in between my office and his.

“I’m Jay.”

“Yeah, I know. Hi, what’s up?”

I could already tell it would be awkward. We’d spoken on the phone once before when setting up this meeting and then texted earlier today already to make sure we were going to the right Starbucks. Clearly, he was Jay.

“Trust me, this is weird for me too,” I said to him.

“Oh. Yeah, I don’t often meet prospective wives either. Talk about pressure”

“So you mean you’ve met other prospectives before? Should I be flattered I’m getting a chance?”

He smiled a little and then the silence stretched on uncomfortably.

“So what do you want to drink?”

“I’ll take an iced coffee. Love the smell, can’t stand the taste. Of hot coffee, I mean”

“I’m basically addicted to coffee so as long as you don’t mind the smell, we’re cool.”

Then we settled into another silence as we contemplated what it could possibly mean that our first conversation was about whether we liked the smell of coffee or not.

A minute later, he got up to go order our coffees and I sat there mentally running through my checklist. The fact that he didn’t have an Indian accent was the most relieving part of my day.
“I’m sorry, this is really weird for me,” he says to me when he returns with our coffees. I made a face and shrugged. It was a weird situation, period. We just had to make the most of it.

“So pretend that this is our first date then. We met at a party last week and exchanged numbers. And now here we are.”

That’s what broke the ice – it was something we could both relate to because we’d both grown up here and it was a more comfortable introduction than a contrived meeting to discuss if we were compatible for marriage.

I won’t bore you with all of the details, but I think the beginning of that conversation was worth blogging about. Something to look back on and laugh at? Maybe despair over. Not sure yet.
So yeah, coffee. He loves drinking it, and I love smelling it. So far, so good.

I have this list of questions I wrote in High School when my parents threatened to marry me off to a guy from India if I didn’t get into a good college. It had been a joke, but I wanted to be prepared.

1. How many kids do you want?
2. Do you smoke?
3. What’s your opinion on women who drink?
4. Are you a virgin? (Probably NOT a good idea to ask this one at our first meeting unless I really want to scare him away)
5. Do you like to dance?
6. Are you a morning person!?
7. Favorite food? Cuisine?
8. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
9. Do you like to travel? (He had better answer yes to this one)
10. Pets?
11. Have you ever had a girlfriend?
12. Ass or titties? (Okay this one was mostly just for fun. Maybe a good test of his sense of humor?)
13. How religious are you
14. Do you like long drives?
15. How athletic or into sports are you?

When I was younger, I thought that list was a good rundown of the basics. The simple questions that I didn’t want to come later as a surprise, and the small things that I know I wanted in the perfect life partner that I fantasized about.

It’s strange because I made this list right after I went with my cousin to meet a girl our parents had picked out for him. “She comes from a good family, beta,” they told us both over and over. I was skeptical and I’m sure it showed on my face when I first met her. They had exchanged pictures before and were meeting in person for the first time today. With the whole family in tow.

I am so thankful that my first time meeting Jay wasn’t my first time meeting his whole family as well. I’d have blown it for sure.

See, I write things like that and wonder why I am trying to please them all. My parents, his parents, and him. Why should I care? Why didn’t part of me choose to rebel and dress in really repellant clothing and eat a lot of garlic before meeting him?

“I’m American,” I tell myself over and over. Growing up, that is how I have justified all of my unique thoughts. So now, when I could have easily worked myself out of an arranged marriage, why am I even contemplating marrying this man?

—-

I have thought some more about what I wrote earlier and tried to figure out why I am okay with arranged marriage.

I think it is time to introduce my readers to Dan. Dan is the ex-boyfriend. The first serious relationship I had with a man.

We broke up when I realized I loved him.

In a word, Dan was perfect. How can I go from loving perfection to loving anything else? He is my first everything, and no matter what happens, I cannot imagine a plane of existence where I will not be powerfully attracted to him.

But we broke up because he’s not Indian, and I realized that as fun and amazing and spectacular as our relationship was, I could never let it deepen into anything more because my parents didn’t even know he existed.

If you are wondering how one can possibly hide a five year relationship, just ask a brown girl.

There is no Hindi word for “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” For too long, Indian society has gone on pretending that it’s still alright for the community to play matchmaker, and honestly, I am sick of it.

I used to wonder what reasons there could possibly exist that would allow an educated Indian girl in today’s society to accept that age-old destiny and enter an arranged marriage.

Whenever Dan and I spoke about it, I would tell him I would never be one of those dumb girls without any ambition or desires of their own.

I still don’t think I am one of those girls, but I have found a reason nonetheless. That’s why I’m here in this predicament, blogging about how I might possibly be marrying a guy I don’t know. Clearly.

The reason is family. It’s an extremely unfair reason, but if I had to show you how compelling it was, I’d say envision all of the emotional blackmail, peer pressure, guilt, persuasive arguments, and bribes you have ever seen, and add them all up. Then throw in a really cute puppy for good measure.

My family is something that I have grown into and am inseparable from. I have a large family with many cousins, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and elders. They have been there to give me life, love, advice, friendship, gifts, and wisdom.

If marrying an Indian man is the only way to sustain that family, then that is a small sacrifice to pay. Who am I to be so picky and declare that I won’t marry an Indian man.

I think that when I began dating Dan, it was to rebel against them and try to declare my independence in some contrived way. My own personal secret. But our relationship didn’t just end in a few months, and now trying to imagine a life without him is really, really hard too.

The problem is that I can’t just forget him. He didn’t cheat on me, and we didn’t have a really big argument that brought out any irreconcilable differences.

I am the problem. My ethnicity and the family that raised me is the problem. I love them, and that’s a problem.

Because the way I see it, I can never tell them about him. I can’t keep my love at the expense of breaking all of their hearts. So I broke off my relationship with him before we would get hurt anymore and now I will weep and grieve and mend in time.

NaNoWriMo & Arranged

This is the last post that you will read in the voice of “Pryanka”, owner of Controlled Derangement, for the month of November!

Want to know why? You’re going to find out right under this line of text so I mean, just stop reading now if you don’t care haha.

~Yep. I am attempting NaNoWriMo 2012~

 

Novel November is what I always called it until I realized that this was a really super organized event that thousands of authors and wannabes like myself participate in, and that’s REALLY cool! I hope I’ll find a support group I can stress with and rant to and maybe even participate in a write-in with! I’m really excited to begin the whole affair actually.

I’ve scheduled this post to go live at 8AM and it will be followed thereafter by my story.

So here’s the “novel map” I envision in my head
It is based on the fact that many of my creative writing classmates felt that my story read like a blog post

  • My “novel” for this year will be a retake (and major extension) of Arranged. I will use the same people – Dan, Jay, and my unnamed female protagonist, and the story is the same. Arranged marriage is fascinating and I haven’t had my fill!
  • Each day’s update will be a blog post she writes unanimously, to be compiled at the end for a vignette effect to their story. I want to convey their arranged marriage in a more fractured sense to allow for time lapses as they build their relationship with one another.
  • I plan to really hone in on creating Dan’s character because I feel as though I merely name-dropped him into the original Arranged I submitted to the class
  • I will also focus on her dilemma and mixed emotions when she “chooses” to marry Jay, and how that choice was not really one where she could have chosen other options. A lot of people simply didn’t get why she ‘chose’ to marry him if she did have a choice. So some rewording and some more showing of how trapped she was is needed.
  • Hopefully the story will be cohesive enough at the end that I can still pass it off as a novel haha.

You guys will let me know if you think this is going nowhere right? I can always rewrite it more traditionally if you guys think it could benefit from that!

Thank you guyss, I hope you stick around to the end. I am sure that it’ll be tough going but I am determined to get there. 50,000 words by the end of the month. I got this.

At the end of the month, if I am able to complete the challenge and the story, I will make all of the edits I want and then publish this on its own blog  one post at a time (aka schedule them all) so that you guys can all just “live” through the story whenever you want to. I don’t want to actually publish this but letting it live out its own online life through the interwebz will be cool. I just have this awesome experimental idea in my head of this becoming some sort of viral online phenomenon sparking other writers to attempt this style of novelistic writing. Yeahhh, I know it sounds crazy. Blame it on the oodles of coffee I’ve had today.

Cheers to what this month will bring! I hope to keep everybody happily engaged with my story though, so your comments and wishes will really keep me going 😀

 

xoxo
Pryanka

Relationship Preferences

Freshman year, I was convinced that I had a very limited range of age requirements for the kind of boys I would let myself like/date. I was absolutely CERTAIN that he couldn’t be younger than me, and I wanted him to be studying at NYU with me too. I couldn’t even fathom dating somebody I couldn’t see all the time especially since my first relationship was long-distance, we never met, and we broke up because it felt like it was a pointless and fruitless quest for romance if we could never meet in person.

Then in Sophomore year, when I met my first “real” boyfriend (As in, one that I could touch and hug and kiss as much as I wanted to), it wasn’t all that I expected. He was my age and went to my school. We even lived in the same dorm building and that definitely made it easy to hang out with him. BUT he was Vietnamese. That definitely wasn’t in my “plan” and well…three months later, THAT relationship fell apart because we both realized that we couldn’t really let our feelings deepen if I couldn’t envision any possible future with him.

Junior year I was in the slumps and just sort of partied around and hooked up a little bit. One night stands? Yay. Every time I got close to a guy, I ran away. None were Indian.

Until early this year. Technically still a Junior, I was a Senior by credit this spring semester. And that’s when I met a guy who was much older than me. (Okay fine, 5 years older) and Indian. He’s like the first Indian I’ve ever been that powerfully attracted to too, so I was eager to see where this would lead. I even dressed to impress LOL. But I don’t really see that one going anywhere though we still talk now and then.

But as a Senior, I feel now that I am much more attracted to older guys. Guys that have got at least 3+ years on me. I think that they’re a lot more mature and are looking for more serious relationships rather than one night stands, which seems to be the norm for NYU. What’s also scary is that I am trying once more to restrict myself to only seeing Indian guys because I don’t want to enter another relationship that will fail because the guy will realize that I can never show him to my parents or let them find out we are dating. It’s just so much easier if the guy is Indian. I’m sort of tired of sneaking around all the time. Also, I’m commuting.

Just found it interesting how my relationship preferences have sort of changed and grown and maybe even matured over the years. Also, let’s not kid ourselves…I am totally procrastinating working on my novel.

Le sigh, I will miss blogging in my own voice. Clearly, it is a bajillion times easier haha.