Confronting Traditions

Saw this post on Etsy today and my heart sang !

http://www.etsy.com/blog/weddings/confronting-tradition-weddings-and-feminism/

It talks about traditions of weddings that are gender unequal and how the writer of this post Meg Keene, a feminist, handled things when it was time for her tie the knot.

Let’s talk about some of it.

“The Engagement Ring: It starts on day one. Of course. Why is the tradition that you wear a ring that marks you as taken, while he wears nothing? Why do people act like the bigger the ring, the better a provider he’s going to be (or that it even matters)? Why in the face of all this unequal junk do many of us decide that we want a ring anyway? (The. Sparkles. Are. So. Pretty.) How can we learn to own our decision no matter what choice we make?”

Now this is something that used to bug me too. I always wanted to be asked but I didn’t want a sparkly ring.  I wanted the gesture not the bling. Which I got anyway. The sparkly ring I mean. It IS so damned pretty.  And I didn’t want the gesture to be exclusive , I had often wondered why men are not proposed to either. So I bought a ring, a considerably less expensive one, and asked him nicely. He loved the gesture and that felt good. One day, I will be able to tell my children, if we have any, how I proposed to their father after he proposed to me. 🙂 Should be a good story to tell.

The Name Change: I’ve written reams about the name change issue, but in short form: it can be difficult no matter what your situation is. Some of us don’t change our names and deal with people who refuse to acknowledge our choice (not to mention the endless assumptions that we will). Others do change their names, but really mourn the loss of identity. And still others change their name without fuss and agonize over what that means. And through it all, most men remain blissfully unaware of how damn hard it is for women (red flag, there).

This, is something we have actually fought about. I love him and I’ve always thought of it as a gesture to show off my love for him to take on his name. I would love to be called Mrs G which is what a lot of people will call me I am sure, but I love my name. Wouldn’t it be cool if we came up with a tradition of our own where we merge both names and use it as one?  He didn’t think so. He wanted to keep his name. This is one area men never have to worry about. They don’t even consider the possibility. If my parents gave me both their surnames, I would have been so proud ! But my mother kept hers, and my father his. While I love Darling, and I don’t mind going by his name, but I also want to treasure my sense of identity so I guess I will keep mine. We did come to an agreement that for the kids, if we ever have any , God willing, we will give them both our names. That would be a good tradition to start.

Who Pays: The tradition that the bride’s parents pay for the wedding, while the groom’s parents skate by relatively unscathed, has troubling roots in, say, dowries, and getting rid of that female kid that can’t earn any money, anyway. But the thing is, you may be in a situation where the bride’s parents are paying, and chances are that has nothing to do with a bride price. My parents (who contributed in an equal fashion to the wedding) actually pulled me aside to tell me that “it was very important to get to help pay for my wedding, and I needed to stop trying to take that away.” (Whoopsy.) Still, wrapping one’s head around this can be tough.

My father *insisted* he pays for the wedding. So we let him pay for the function itself, but, Darling’s parents are throwing us a homecoming, and Darling and I spend for everything else. We are just pooling in all our money and paying for whatever that comes. It works. When our children get married, if they ever do, we will let them decide. Hopefully they will let us help them out like our parents are doing now.

Witnesses. Darling’s side of the family, as a tradition has always gotten their fathers to sign for them. While I think it’s a sweet idea, I am also on the view that if a father is suitable enough to sign for their kids, a mother is too. When it really comes down to it, our fathers will sign for us, but my father AND my mother will walk me down the isle too. That’s the only way I will have it.

That’s it for now really. Will write about Sri Lankan wedding traditions some time soon.

‘I wanna grow old with you’

Darling is going through some stuff and I kinda realized tad too late that I wasn’t being as helpful as I should have been. Closer to the D-Day everything is really hectic and chaotic and while we are running around trying to get things done , it’s easy to lose sight of the really important stuff. Like keeping each other happy. It gets to a point where a lot of it is just work and that sucks. We’ve made a conscious effort to do the things we loved doing together, taking walks and boat riding and eating and such. We do a lot of wedding planning over meals , which is a fine way to deal with things. You can not make decisions on an empty stomach. That much I’ve learned.

This is one of my favorite videos of all time and this one is for Darling, for he is such an awesome person to be with.

Tonga, the new dog.

So. All of you know The Bestest Dog I am sure.

We now have another one. A dog dad adopted. He used to come to our kitchen door while dad cooked in the morning and wait on the porch where he could see Dad. Dad fed him. And called him Tonga. Then Dad put a collar on him and vaccinated and all that and gave him to my aunt but my aunt left the country so Dad took him back.

The first few months were difficult. He had this crazy amount of energy in him still being a pup and all that but he never seemed to run out of steam. He could go nowhere walking. He had to run. Race through the flat knocking things to the floor. He would stop dead in his tracks if he found an interesting slipper. Or The Bestest Dog. Then he would start biting her , pushing her, demanding she should come play. Sometimes she would comply, and they would go out together raising a lot of dust outside, rolling in the mud, The Bestest Dog playing mummy dog and Tonga being the spoiled brat of a kid !

Dad’s immensely proud of Tonga.

But here’s the thing. While The Bestest Dog is calm and collected and matured , Tonga is bat shit crazy. He eats everything, but very little. He sleeps on dad’s bed when dad’s not around and when I scream and try to pull it out of the bed, he stretches and digs his claws deeper into the mattress. He follows Dad everywhere and is extremely curious. While the Bestest Dog lies on the floor in the kitchen waiting for dad to finish cooking, or sleeping in the living room waiting for dad to finish watching a movie, Tonga is interested in knowing how dad cooks. His eyes move from side to side following hand movements and facial expressions. Also it can’t keep still. He nibbles on your slippers, your feet, your chair, your carpet, your bedsheets, your phone, your boyfriend and his shorts, anything goes.

My biggest problems is in the morning when dad wakes up. Both the dogs wake up and the first thing The Bestest Dog does is to come to my room. She doesn’t wake me up though. She lies down near my bed and waits for me to wake up. First hugs advantage. But then comes Tonga racing in. He half climbs in chewing the bedspread , the pillow, my hair, my hand , my toes. If I fight it off, he takes that as in invitation to play. One morning I found it curled up near my face waiting to pounce. I’ve learned to lie still. He gets bored and walks off , trying to wake The Bestest Dog. She lies very still too. and it goes off looking for dad.

When my mother comes , she gives Tonga one look and the dog is tamed. She didn’t raise spoiled kids so she’s not happy with this one  but is very happy to blame dad for it. Dad agrees with my mother that the dog is indeed very spoiled but has the nerve to look incredibly smug.

I personally just want it to grow up a bit.

Daddy’s Girl

When I was small I used to have recurring nightmares. The same nightmare every night. I had a horrible first grade teacher and she was hell bent on ruining my happiness I guess that caused me my nightmares. I would dream a herd of kids , a sea of kids to be exact , after school , filling the grounds, trying to get out and my mother would be looking for me. I would go towards her, but would get distracted by some people playing cards so I would stop to deal a hand . When I go out, my mother wouldn’t be around. I was never able to find her. I would wake up, panicking, drenched in sweat, half crying and half panting.

Then I would collect my pillows and my sheet get down from the bed and open our room door. Dad would be sleeping on the floor right outside the room.

I don’t know why he did this. I never asked. Maybe I should have. But what I do know is that I would plop down next to my father and  go straight to sleep, not scared one bit. I did this for a long time until I got over my nightmares. Which took a long time, coz when I got over the horrible teacher, we had our little brother and I started getting nightmares that someone would kidnap him. I was positive back then that everyone around us were plotting to kidnap him coz he was the cutest baby ever !

Well, I digress.

last night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned and when I fell asleep I had a nightmare. The details of which I have completely forgotten by now. I woke up half screaming , drenched in sweat and for a fleeting brief moment considered looking for my father. Then I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I remembered that I thought of looking for him but didn’t remember the dream. And I remembered I should probably  note it down somewhere that when I was small, he always came to my rescue. And that’s why I am such a Daddy’s girl. And that’s why I will always be.

Faith, rewarded.

My biggest issue with people is that you can not trust them. There was that time when I was naive and young and had an abundance of faith. But I am too world weary now. And protecting Certain People from the world has turned out to be a full time job ! These are people with zero expectations from the people around them. They are constantly happy with themselves and don’t mind if the world snubs them. They are completely enthusiastic and happy-yuppy. They are completely compliant and absolutely helpful and want nothing in return. And never suspect that they are being taken advantage of. They are not disappointed.

It drives me nuts !

But once in a while, while I grumble on about how unfair and selfish people are and that they are taking advantage of the Certain People I speak so fondly of , the selfish unfair people take a moment to be good. These (fleeting) moments are a massive consolation and make me happy because I see that blind faith is some times rewarding. But this is merely for my satisfaction. I am grateful that I am wrong and my Certain People are not hurt.

I guess I will continue to look at the world through my narrowed skeptic eyes and be over protective of C.P but I am relieved in these rare moments that makes me think that no, not everything is bad.

It’s a very good feeling.

Early Morning Drama

I was in a state of glum when I woke up today.

I woke up worrying about things I can not and can control and wondering what will happen if I didn’t control them completely. Such control freakishness is not characteristic of me and I am yet to become a bridezilla a fact which I have checked with my family and friends and *The Friend* and they’ve all assured me I am ok for now but I couldn’t help feeling a little blue today. Maybe it’s that people keep asking me if I am stressed out yet, like a million times a day already ! I always smile and say no I am not, should I be??? No really. Should I ???

So I was getting ready to go work in my pensive blue mood after gloomily trudging around inside the house to the great annoyance of my dad while doggie’s worried brows followed me around.

Suddenly, noise. A lot of it which is rare to mornings at the Flats. Lot of women it sounded like , were fighting. Fists and everything. Slap ! I even jumped at the sound. More slaps were being handed out. A man’s voice, my neighbor’s obviously, was feeble and not very threatening, trying to save his wife from the beatings of another woman. What, oh what was going on!?!? The two women fighting exchanged a lot of filth and I covered my ears while trying not to laugh , and they exchanged a few more slaps.

I was reminded in the middle of it all that I had been distracted mercifully, if not at the expense of the lady of the next door house being slapped silly by what it sounded like another woman while the said lady’s husband was not doing much to save her. And I was kinda glad I was no more stuck in my own head pondering the bleak nature of my bank account.

I went out and got the driver to tell me the whole story while he drove me to work. The man next door, apparantly has had a family elsewhere ( two kids ) and the woman, the two kids in tow had barged in today morning and had started slapping the woman of the house the moment she opened her door in the morning accusing her that she stole her man. Now this family next door, they are newly married and have a little boy on their own.

The man didn’t do much it seems. oh the drama. I wonder what will happen, I feel so sorry for the kids.

The heat oh god!

This hippo looks happy

This hippo looks happy

 

So yesterday we were driving around doing wedding stuff and as it happens it took a while. It was hot and humid outside and we got stuck in traffic. The Peterites were walking. I had only had a banana for breakfast and later two milos.

On the way back, I decided to stay in the car and let Darling go do some chores on his own poor thing.

But I realised I was wilting. No really, my skin felt weird, instead of the shirt soaking sweat I should have been producing I only had a trickle of sweat on my forehead. My head felt really heavy, and my limbs started to hurt. I was feeling increasingly sick.

The moment we got home, I took a bath but I couldn’t eat. I took panadol and slept a bit. Then we decided to do the Sunday evening rendezvous but I couldn’t get myself to stay up.

I think the symptoms add up to what they call Heat Exhuastion. I am no doctor and I don’t pretend to be one. And I am not pregnant . Haha. It can only be heat related. I don’t sweat all that much.

So now I am like all hurting all over and it feels like a fever but it’s not.

I tell you, drink plenty of water, submerge in water like a hippo who btw can’t sweat and that’s why they stay in water to cool themselves and don’t go out in the sun if you can help it.

I feel sick I tell you. Urgh.