“We mature with the damage, not with the years”
Sometimes, a small regret comes flying into my mind and very soon I am sitting in a pile of regrets, sorting out the big and small. Piecing together the tiny things that led to the big regret. Trying to shift the pieces around and see if it could spell something else, like “choice” or “destiny” but it doesn’t.
Has this ever happened to you?
If you wear western clothes, you are a slut.
If you speak too much, too abrasively, too feminist-ly, you are a cantankerous shrew.
If you smoke, you are a bad, fallen woman.
If you smoke AND drink, you are a shame to your family.
If you do all this publicly, you deserve to be raped.
Please feel free to add to the list. Because, we may not label our merchandise but we label our women with enthusiasm and ease.
Mixed media 2: Sharpies, brushpen, watercolor and digital.
My biggest complaint in Singapore is the pedicures.
So here’s the thing. I have very little grooming needs – I am not hirsute, so hair removal is unnecessary. I barely have eyebrows so that’s out too. My skin is sensitive so Singapore’s favorite pass time, facials, are not on my list. And I hate oily naked massages ( I know, I know).
The only beauty thing I really splurged on and truly enjoyed back in India, was my mani pedi. It was an hour long ritual with so much vigorous massaging of feet and calves and so much pampering on vibrating massage chairs while sipping on cold watermelon juice. Sometimes, they would even throw in a back rub just for fun – those kind souls. So when I came to Singapore, I sat on a nail technicians chair and waited for the same experience to unfold. Before I could feel drowsy and after a little bit of scraping of heels, some stressful cutting of cuticles, some hasty polish application – it was over. WHAT? I figured it must be that one place, but no. Several nail salons later I figured, this is what passes for a pedicure in Singapore. I felt cheated and angry (I am totes not being dramatic, my feelings were real) and decided not to shell out any more dollar bills for what I could do at home for free.
The only thing is, it’s bloody hard to circumvent my belly fat and get to my toes. Every fortnight, I sit and try all sorts of acrobatics to bling out my toe nails. So there goes my one simple spa pleasure in life.
Have you noticed how women are always apologizing for being a mess? We are continually providing explanations to near strangers about the condition of our hearts and bodies. New moms about their bad hair and chipped nails; busy women for their sloppy Saturday outfits; a recent divorcee for her puffy face and lack of self love; a forty-something mother of a special child for her untidy home and dirty dishes; an unemployed woman trying so hard to make up for her lack of “work”. Always with a half smile, dismissing our own condition with the usual and causal, “Oh I am such a mess today”
You are tired or emotionally drained or insecure or depressed but it doesn’t mean you have unraveled into some kind of gooey, pulpy, gloop of nothingness. It’s easy to forget that reality doesn’t look like a page out of Better Homes and Gardens. That no matter what society says, other women are not holding you to some ideal image while you do your best with the cards fate has dealt you.
“You are not a mess. You are an abstract work of art, splattered with the intensity of all things beautiful.” Remember that.
I am on my phone all night, every night. My fingers hurt, my left eyelid is now permanently jumpy. And sometimes I feel a bit sick from all the fast scrolling.
Yet I cannot seem to stop.
Then I wake in a couple of hours and the first thing I do is reach for my phone. I pull open one eye and squint at my phone, ruffling through all sorts of things till I can open both eyes and feel fully awake.
And if someone takes my phone away from me, I have such anxiety, I can’t even tell you. Does this happen to everyone? Is this extreme? Should I seek help?
On my 25th birthday, the girls and I went partying all night. We hopped clubs and danced like we weren’t wearing heels. We started drinking at 9, stopped at midnight to eat greasy biryani at a midnight buffet, drank some more, got in a brawl with the police, stopped at a sandwich joint at 4 am and finally came back home at 5. We then posed in the lawn outside my home and took a photo. We looked a bit off but we looked good. We even posted that picture on Facebook.
Cut to 2015; partying “all night” ends at 2 pm, with one weepy sad drunk, one feeling sick, one throwing up on every free surface and one becoming suicidal-y depressed. We took a photo, but we had to delete it right there and then.
Live fast, die young. That was my motto, until now, when it’s too late to die young. I would live fast, but it gives me acid reflux.