Sometimes I am most profound sober – free of caffeine and alcohol.
And when I feel like being kind to myself, forgiving myself for my mistakes – I can be honest. And admit. I am a collector. One does not have to go beyond my shoe collection to unearth my inner collector. I guess on one hand you can cast my addiction to shoes off as a girl thing. Or as a Carrie-Bradshaw-Fabu-Girl-In-the-City-Thing. (Unlike Carrie I am not spending $600 per pair. For $600 I can buy 12 pairs bc I sale shop). I also come from a long line of shoe lovers. Massi (my mother’s older sister), me, and my niece (I realize she is a toddler) have some innate need for shoes. Lots of them.
But you know what? I am picky about my shoes, I need them to be attractive, comfortable and under $100 – no small feat for my feet. And once I get a supersonic Sofft pair, they never let me down. Take that Jimmy Choo.
A good pair of shoes is more reliable than any relationship I have in my life. The make me feel like a million bucks. They are cheaper than a therapist. And they are more consistent in being an emotional upper than drugs, alcohol or love. And I don't curse my shoes for taking over my apartment. This is when it strikes me. I collect something else. Brothers.
Yes, brothers. Brothers are a gift, they really are. First of all a brother is someone who more than shares DNA with you, but history and a deep understanding of who you are. You have the same parents, relatives, and stories about growing up. And whether he is older or younger, he is your protector. Hinduism is pretty clear about this and we have rakhi and bhai dooj (festivals to celebrate the unbreakable bond between brothers and sisters). I am not knocking sisters, I am one – and I am sure most days Desi Brother is not totally annoyed to be my brother. But in the Real Life of Desi Girl, I am realizing that I have a lot of platonic male brother relationships in my life.
In addition to Desi Brother, I have my cousin in London. And while I have a sh*tload of cousins, my male cousin in London has always treated me like a sister, rather than a cousin. He has said to me that if I need help (he means financial, that I should ask him before burdening my folks). Then I have Rohit, married to Meera, but very stern with me when I attempt to do stupid things like ride the subway at 2 am. There is Jack. Desi Girl says; help me install a 70 pound air conditioner, Jack says no problem. Lend me some boxes, Jack says no problem. Let’s explore Manhattan, Jack says no problem. Sometimes I think Jack is the glue holding me and Jane together. And then I have a whole host of male friends who I know I could pick up the phone and make an ask and if they could help – they would.
Hhmmm. Interesting. Even in work environments, I turn male co-workers into brothers. And I begin to realize that brothers provide a very stable, nurturing, non-sexual and emotionally safe place for me to be “Desi Girl – unabashed and without apology.” They get me, they tolerate me, they let me have my fits, hits, shits and gits. And while I pick totally normal, stable men to be my brothers, I gravitate towards romantic relationships with the emotionally unstable and unfit. Clearly I know the difference between healthy and unhealthy.
Ugh. Maybe I should stop buying shoes, delete my profile from the desi matrimonials and get myself a therapist. Stat.