Monday, January 11, 2010

1. WHAT IF?

Nobody. And I mean NOBODY subscribes to an Indian (as in from India) matrimonial Web site thinking they’ll become the subject of someone’s work of non-fiction. Then again, I never thought my Internet groom-hunt would become a conversation that included a flasher, a sex freak or two, a stalker, a mute, an Indian cowboy, and a man with a speech impediment, to name a few. But it did.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So I am either insane or insistent, and spent three unsuccessful years online dating for desis (the slang word Indians use to describe ourselves). Yeah, well ... I don't think I am down with brown any more.

In fact, when I think about it, I resisted the concept of online dating for a very long time. I cited vanity --- I was too good/pretty/smart/young/insert adjective here --- because, really, who other than freaks, geeks, losers, undesirables or untouchables did it? This was followed by my loud proclamations that the Internet was ONLY filled with liars and creeps (this I wasn’t actually wrong about). And finally, with Indians numbering over a billion worldwide, equipped with an international network of sari-clad aunties born to arrange marriages, should getting married really be this hard or become the subject of an entire blog. Yet, it did.

I suppose growing up in Minnesota, where you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting an attractive white boy, didn’t help. The Land of 10,000 Lutes wasn’t the ideal place to set up base camp and date in a niche market of Indian-Hindus, hoping his Honda (driven for fuel efficiency) or Mercedes (driven for status) got stuck in a snow bank outside of my house.

This led to insomnia --- did I really want to marry an Indian man? Or was I doing it to please my immigrant parents? I used to think I was battling being American and Indian, Minnesotan and Punjabi --- but really I think I was suspended between the Indian goddesses Sita and Durga. Sita is considered the perfect daughter, wife and mother who spent her ENTIRE life sacrificing and from my point of view, suffering. And Durga (created by the male fraternity of Hindu gods) restored law and order on earth when the MALE GODS lost control. While Durga is revered for her strength, she is never associated with a male counterpart. Additionally, I began worrying my ovaries were rusting out and that I was giving myself gangrene.

Then one August morning I had to do something before I woke up at 80, a spinster draped in a caftan, with cats, drinking Cutty Sark straight out of the bottle. Then it struck me, if American companies could outsource jobs to Bangalore, I could move myself from the Minne-Apple and plop myself into the Big Apple, home to one of the largest populations of Indo-Americans in America. So I took control, packed up my stuff and got the hell off that iceberg.

Because writing is very cathartic for me and I actually heal this way, I decided to blog about my misadventures in desi dating. It was also a very effective way to share my stories with friends. In time though, all of this became a lesson about my resilience and my ability to forgive the most important person in my life, myself. I might be the only person in Manhattan without a shrink!

I acknowledge that these entries involve actual men, women, children, dogs and locations. Accordingly, I changed names, jobs, events, hometowns, and places of origin to protect the innocent and guilty, the un-expecting and the informed.

For anyone who has been single or has a single girlfriend, sister, friend, mother, cousin, mentor, etc. please take the time to celebrate the woman warrior inside of her.

And if you have a story to share ... bring it on! I would love to hear it!


IMPORTANT PLEASE READ (this paragraph is added Thursday, December 22, 2011 to Post 1: This blog is being written in present tense about past events. It is journal/memoir/blog all in one. I am trying to comment in present time too about the present posts. If you have any questions, let me know. The comments are being monitored as I received A LOT of hate and venom comments this week and had to begin censoring. I do read all comments and will release the ones that add value, I have no issue with discourse, please just respect one another and no name calling. I have been called everything you can think of and I won't tolerate readers and commenters go through that!

xo,
DG (Desi Girl)

6 comments:

starlight said...

I read an article in the NYT - Sunday edition - you know that section where they highlight love/couples/etc. Anyway, the article was by a woman who after many, many years of dating the wrong men, finally met, fell in love with and married - when she wasn't looking - the man of her dreams. Anyway, the last sentence of her story goes something like this: "The men she dated was what she had to go through, her mountain to climb in order for her for to be ready for and to appreciate the loving relationship she now has." Maybe your search for THE Desi man of your dreams is your Mount Kilamanjaro (sp?)???? I can't wait to read more...

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Hello Starlight (sidebar LOVE your name!) ... I do think that part of the bad dating has something to do with me. Perhaps my feelings regarding my struggles, family issues and friends in crisis were projected while I was dating. Some of my dating missteps are just a part of learning. So I have spent a lot time thinking about my goals and life and what it will take to get there. I have stopped obsessing and whipping myself into a frenzy about being single. And I think when I ready to meet him, whether he be desi or not, it will happen. However, I do often wonder ... where IS he already ;) thanks for your faith and support! Looking forward to the journey with everyone!

Raji said...

That is so true. The right guy comes when you put no effort. It just happens. You learn from your past mistakes and relationships and appreciate the loving relationship you have.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

I think you just have to believe in destiny, and have faith. I think it is normal for life to kick you around, but you have to resist and move forward.

Samosas for One said...

Nice to know someone else is sharing all the same concerns as I, a single desi woman in this city, carry with me.

How could you leave out the trusty desi Toyota? I know the company is having troubles right now, but be not so quick to abandon them! Desis used to LOVE Toyotas.

I've never seen these issues through the Sita-Durga lens, but now that I think about it that way I'm wondering...is it possible for one person to embody both Sita and Durga?

Of all the cities you could have picked to go to for exposure to a larger desi milieu you picked one of the hardest (if not the hardest) one to date in!

What did you have to forgive yourself for?

Remind me to tell you offline about my recent online dating experience.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Samosaa for One ... yes, I did indeed move to the HARDEST city to date in, but I thot with the high volume of desis I would be fine...not so much, but it is okay. I like a challenge :) and oh you just WAIT for why I forgave mysef and started writing :) I dont want to ruin the surprise :)

I love Durga and I often think abt (and argue with Meera and my mom) Durga-Sita.

And sister! You are not alone and I would love to talk offline. You can email me at:
101baddesidatess@gmail.com.

Looking forward to chatting!