Sunday, February 21, 2010

And so it begins

Listening to: 'Cosmic Love' by Florence + The Machine [Lungs]

200 words down. 64,800 to go.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A day in the life of a single girl

Listening to: Radio 1

This time last year I had a little rant about how singledom was perceived to be some kind of disease, and I'm sad to say (not really surprised though, I guess) that things haven't changed. In fact I lie, they have...they've actually got worse. My mother did warn me that they would, but I don't think anything or anyone could've prepared me for this.

Rewind to my trip home in December (re-rewind, when the crowd say bo sele...what?! That wasn't the first thing that came to mind when you read that sentence? Oh.)...amongst all the various social obligations was a family wedding. I was there with my parents, aunts and uncles, grandmother and grand aunts and generally having some quality 'family' time. One of my grand aunts took me to a corner and advised me that 'it was high time I found a good Sinhala Buddhist boy' but she's pushing 90 and harmless so I just grinned and took it on the chin. I thought to myself that if this was what my mother had warned me about, it'd be a piece of cake! I was wrong. Oh boy was I wrong.

Across the ballroom I spotted one of my old teachers, and being the glutton for punishm...I mean, well brought up child that I am, I decided it was probably best if I went and said hi. She was very pleased to see me, and I felt like I'd done a good deed...I mean who wouldn't appreciate being remembered after so many years, right? Everything was going along know, the typical "so what did you do after leaving school?", "what's your research on?", "oh how lovely that our students are doing so well!"...and then I noticed her looking at my hand. My left hand. Suddenly alarm bells started ringing in my head. What happened next was a sea of incomprehensible questions, advice and gestures...but this was the general flow:
Ms X: How old are you now?
Me: Erm...26...?
Ms X: So you have a boyfriend?
Me: *OMGWTFBBQ* Err no, it's not a priority at the moment
Ms X: WHAT?! You're not getting any younger blah blah blah you must blah blah blah did you see Mr Y blah blah blah he's really smart blah blah blah I'll introduce you blah blah blah
Me: *keeeeelll meeeee naaaaooooo* Err no Miss it's ok, you don't have to...*feels hand being grabbed, body being hoisted off chair and dragged towards random guy*
Ms X: *to Mr Y* I want you to meet one of my blah blah blah she's very blah blah blah ok bye
Me: Erm hi. OK this is awkward.
Mr Y: *embarrassed look* Hehe
Can somebody say 'most embarrassing moment of PR's life'? Louder please. Thanks. My mother keeps telling me to 'keep an open mind' and I had to remind myself of that every two seconds in order to stop myself from tying my saree fall around my neck. I made small talk for about half a minute and then ran to my mother as soon as I could possibly do so politely. I was mortified, scarred for life...and my mother was rolling around laughing. And then came the next bomb drop. Apparently she had been told to look out for Mr Y's brother, 'cos he's apparently 'a good catch'. I mean WHAT THE...I'm being pimped to brothers?!?!?! Could things get any worse?!

Evidently so. About 2 days after this episode, we got a call from a family friend who lives abroad...asking for my height. Yeah, you guessed why...apparently her somebody's son is really nice and really smart. Ugh. And to top it all off, the food at the wedding was a bit dodgy, and I got the worst indigestion I'd had in ages. Way to kick a girl when she's down eh?

Why? WHY?! I ask you. I didn't ask to be set up with anyone. My parents haven't asked for me to be set up with anyone. Who are these people who feel they have some kind of duty to marry me off...some kind of right to interfere with my private life?! Since when did my love life become a public concern?! Apparently their intentions are good. Well you know what? I don't give a flying f*** about their intentions. They sure as hell don't care about mine. And to make things worse, some of these people have the audacity to tell my mother and father that they're bad parents because they're not searching for a groom. I'm telling you now, you could search the whole universe and not find two human beings who love me, care about me, respect me, who are proud of me, and have my best interests and my happiness at heart more than my parents. Anyone who calls them bad parents wouldn't know good parenting if it slapped them in the face.

And this is one of my 'issues' with back home. Every Dick, Tom and Harry is a self-appointed expert on all and sundry, and the sole purpose of their existence is to impose their opinions and their 'help' on everyone else. The fact that their intentions are good seems to make it all OK. I mean it's unimaginable that the recipient might not actually want or need help, right? What kind of an ungrateful wretch wouldn't want help or advice from these 'experts'? Oh I dunno, maybe the kind that actually knows what she wants in life and doesn't need interference from some supposedly-educated self-important elder? *rolls eyes*

So yeah. I've wanted to blog about this incident ever since it happened, but had a bit of writer's block until now. I know these are good people and I know their intentions are good but they're so self-absorbed that they don't realise that their efforts are in vain and unwelcome. I wish I knew how to tell them to STFU and mind their own goddamn business without actually telling them to STFU and mind their own goddamn business. Sigh.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chapter closing

Listening to: 'If We Ever Meet Again' by Timbaland ft. Katy Perry [Shock Value II]

So the weekend was all kinds of hectic. I had friends visiting, the ball, the performance, stubborn know, the usual. I mean hectic in a good way was an extremely enjoyable weekend.

Having friends over was great. Being in a studio apartment as opposed to a crappy shoe-box room in a college house is so nice, I actually feel like having guests over! I wish I could've been a proper tour guide instead of palming them off to the others, but it was difficult enough to juggle ironing my sari and painting my nails with the practice!

Ah the practice. You know how the one time you manage to be punctual for something, everything else decides to go tits up? I do. There I was right on time (for once), and the others were about 20mins late. But to be fair, it wouldn't have mattered, 'cos the PA system was buggered so we couldn't do a mic check! I don't like not having a mic check before I perform. It means I have no idea of how much power I need to put in, how close I need to be to the mic, where the mic needs to be in relation to the speakers etc. What a nightmare! Our genius pianist promised to have everything done so that we would have enough time to get dressed (draping a sari takes time you know!), so I left everything in his capable hands and hurried home. Still, I was rather panicky about the whole thing.

In the end, it was OK. I watched the videos of the performance (which took way too long to get uploaded, might I add...they're now on my fb profile for those who know me and are interested), and while I guess I probably should've been a bit closer to the mic, it wasn't the end of the world. For once, I didn't hit any major bum notes and I didn't forget my words! Well I kinda almost did, but remembered just in time *phew*. There were lots of compliments, which was nice...but the one that really stayed with me was when someone said our performance brought her to tears and made her very homesick for Sri Lanka. Now that, girls and boys, is a compliment.

The rest of the ball was fun. The food was pretty good (although perhaps not as good as previous years), the DJ was mostly good (apart from when he played drum n bass...I love dnb, but it's just not 'brown party' music! C'mon dude!) and it was fun to catch up with the ol' gang.

I did realise, however, that for an oldie (let's face it, I am kind of a grandma in this place), I do spend a disproportionate amount of time fraternising with the lil' uns. I'm not sure why...and sometimes it feels a bit weird, especially when those nearer to my age are playing the "I'm too old for this shit" record. Still, I suppose the fact that the kids want me to hang out with them is a pretty good ego boost.

What I also realised was that this was my final public performance for the foreseeable future. I had kinda counted on the ball to give me my annual adrenalin kick, but no more. If all goes well, last weekend's ball was the last I'll attend as a student. I've been heavily involved with the society for the past 7 1/2 years, and this is a weird feeling...I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the end of an era, but it is the closing of a humongous chapter in my life. Thinking back...learning how to resist alcohol-related peer pressure (it's a Sri Lankan thing I tell you), staying up till silly o'clock designing programme souvenirs, organising the ball, practising diplomacy, fund-raising, and of course's been one hell of an experience. I'm gonna miss it, but I think the time is right to step out of the "oh yeah she's the one who sings all the time, she's been around for ages!" spotlight. It is kinda sad that I might never sing on stage again, but oh well.

So yeah. I'm inching towards the end of my student life. And I have no frikkin' clue what's in store. Fun times, people. Fun times.