Archive of ‘Wife’ category

Match

On Tuesday of this week, my husband and I will have been married years. 8 years!! It’s crazy to me. Almost as crazy as Paula Deen, but maybe not quite that crazy. I am getting nostalgic so am hoping you’ll walk down memory lane with me.

Here is a picture of me and my husband, John, on our wedding day.

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 8.55.23 PM

 

I know, you’re probably wondering why I call him John when his name is so clearly something like Jagdish. Or Rajiv, or something.

But no, John is his real name. He just looks like he is Indian (another story, another day). I think it has to do with the fact that he is half Italian and half Puerto-Rican. Somehow, it made him look like a hybrid of Ponch and Amitabh.

Anyway, here is another picture of me and John on our wedding day.

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 9.06.05 PM

My Husband, the Teeth Model

The ladies at our dentist office love my husband, John. I think it has something to do with how friendly and smiley he is. Maybe it’s because he never gets cavities. Whatever it is, they are seriously crushing on him.

I have thought this was cute. It doesn’t really bother me. When John missed his appointment a few weeks ago because of some last minute work travel, he forgot to call the office to cancel. I had an appointment two days later and as soon as I walked in, the receptionist looked up from her desk and jumped up to greet me.

“Oh my God! Is John okay? We are so worried about him!”

I could feel the eyes of the other patients in the waiting room looking me up and down. What had happened to this John person? I could almost see them asking. (They had not yet updated the fliers, so his celebrity was not yet on the rise in Northern Virginia). I was so confused as I hadn’t realized he had missed the appointment and I also didn’t realize his teeth were that bad that the office staff would be so concerned.

At this point, one of the hygienists ran out from the back and said, “Oh, what happened? This is so unlike him!

As opposed to so like him?  Based on what?

And so I apologized for John (thanks, John) and had to spend the rest of my cleaning listening to how great my husband is, and how funny he is, and oh wow, he must just love our kids soooo much.

Seriously. They got this from his teeth?

“He seems like such a great husband. And he’s Italian! I love Italian food!”

Es, ee ith ithalian, buth thigh I the thun that thoes the thooking” I also tried to explain that he is half Puerto Rican, but it was hard to get out with that suction thing making a ruckus and my mouth wide open.

“Oh bless his heart! I bet he cooks for you all the time!”

“Thar thou thucking thidding mhee?” I tried to say, except she told me to spit.

I don’t know what John talks about when he is in the office. And I don’t know he can get a word in edgewise during his cleanings because he is a bad flosser, so they must have to use the time he is there to really get in there.

So all I remember thinking was “How the hell did you get this from his teeth?”

As I left the office that day, the receptionist yelled after me from her desk, “Tell John to keep his next appointment! We don’t want him to break our hearts again!”

Huh?

So then the next day, John goes to the office for his appointment and comes back home all happy and beaming like Ponch from CHIPS with a story to tell me. Most people would probably get reprimanded for missing an appointment and get smacked with a “no-show” fee at most places.

But not John. And not Dr. Han’s office.

Instead, they asked him to become one of the “faces” of their office and be on their website and all over their office walls. They want to hire a photographer and have a photo session so he can flash his pearly whites so his fan club can swoon all over his pictures every day.

“Now we can look at you every day!” they told him.

You could tell he was trying to be humble about it, except of course the part where he wasn’t trying to be humble at all.

“Isn’t it funny how you used to model and I’m the one who gets asked to be in the pictures?”

“Yeah, it’s hysterical.” I said, not really laughing but still finding it odd that his teeth have some special “something” that mine will never have.

The “IT” factor. For teeth.

He was so excited. John’s best friend has modeled as a side job for years and we see him on TV in commercials and in magazines all the time. I could see John already putting his portfolio together and thinking about how many commercials there might be where he could play a call center rep from Mumbai. But then I had to remind him that while he has the loveliest smile in real life, anytime a camera is pointed at him, he becomes Chandler Bing and clams up.

And of course he remembered that is a bit of a problem but I think he is going to try and wing it. I mean, you don’t want to lose an opportunity to have your teeth displayed all over the office and website of your local dentist.

Once in a lifetime opportunity, John. You MUST take it. Carpe the hell out of this one.

I will let you guys know how it goes!

***********************

And so now you know about how John’s promising modeling career started. I haven’t quit my job just yet, but if he keeps smiling like that, I’m hoping he can even land a Bollywood gig or do stunt work for Wilmer Valderama.

 








Minnie Mouse: “I’ve Looked Better”

I was sitting on the couch, ignoring the kids while they ran around, jumping on top of John. John is not feeling 100% after traveling for business this week, so I looked up to ask him if he was alright. I don’t know how he responded, but he wasn’t  puking or anything, so I’m guessing he said, “Couldn’t be Better!” with a thumbs or something.

Nico stuck something on my head and I told him, “That’s nice,” because that’s usually what I do when he asks me something and I am too busy doing something SUPER important (i.e. anything other THAN something super important) to respond.

Plus I think teaching him about positive reinforcement is really healthy. Of course, this backfired the time he was holding the knife and I was on my iPhone and said “That’s nice!” and now he thinks that playing with knives is a good thing.

Still, it’s better than guns, I say.

Anyway, I went out a little while later to check on the kids who rolled out the door to play with John, again, who is not showing signs of dehydration, so I’m thinking he’s just being a wuss on the whole “not feeling good” thing. And then, WTF? John started laughing at me. I would say “That’s not nice!” except I figure if he’s laughing, that’s a good thing, because it’s better than him being on the can all day or something and REALLY being sick.

I came back inside and caught my reflection in the window.

Oh.

Self-portrait.

You Don’t Have to Eat My Samosas

I often ask myself questions that have no easy answers. This week, one of those questions was, “Why do people keep googling “spicy kabob” and ending up on my website?”

Now, I get that the word “Masala” is in my blog name. Masala means “spice” in Hindi, so I totally get why people might say, “Hey I am going to go to this Indian cooking site and learn how to make samosas!

Samosas. My mother’s are the best. EVER.

Moving on Up? Or Laterally?

Oh – you don’t think I can? Oh because I never have matching socks? hmm. You are right. But can i STILL have a cape? I would really like a cape? Bueller? Mmmm, Bueller?

Not quite sure yet. What I do know is that if you “follow” Masala Chica through the wordpress.com “Follow” functionality, the nifty button that I used to look at with nary a glance and you still want to follow? Well – if you want to continue to follow the blog – can you manually add http://masalachica.com to your reader or subscribe through the feeds.

They say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Hells, yeah. I miss you guys. Come back! I got this snazzy new site – seriously pimped it out hardcore – and nobody is showing up. It’s like having a party and sitting around and eating all the cake by yourself because nobody came. Then you go home and drink more because you feel fat which makes you feel fatter.

Nothing good comes of it except swollen ankles and a hangover in the morning.

Sad visual, right? Yeah, no shit.

Don’t make me have fat ankles. That’s just cruel.

Remember. YOU can change the world. Or just give me an ego boost. Which one is easier?

That’s what I thought.

Have a great weekend, peeps.

Kiran, OUT.








Crossroads

If you came to this post thinking it is a review for the Britney Spears movie which goes by the same name as this post, you probably shouldn’t read this. And you should get Netflix or something.

Anyhoo.

When you are married or with a person for a long time, it’s possible to ignore certain faults. Certain weaknesses. We tiptoe around them initially, maybe laugh at them together when the time is right, roll our eyes later.

Ok – maybe we don’t ignore them.

We tolerate them.

For example, John tries not to notice when I wear my pajamas all day. This doesn’t happen every day. Just the majority of days. I work from home a lot and it’s just convenient. Sometimes, before he comes home from work, I will run up and take my shower and change into jeans and a new shirt. But I think he knows.

He would call it “laziness.” I prefer to call it “being laid back.”

He doesn’t complain about it though. Too much.

He overlooks my moodiness. To most people, on the exterior I look like a sweet, nice person. Soft-spoken, perhaps. But inside? Inside I feel like a raging pitbull, you know, with drool running down its face, some days. He won’t know what days those are though because of my deceptive sweetness and them BAM! he sets me off.

He calls it an “aggressive temper.” I have termed it as being “overly passionate.”

Sometimes with good reason. Sometimes not. Just kinda depends.

Things that were endearing when we first met don’t seem as cute or as gosh, I dunno – quirky – anymore. They just seem weird. Actually, they might even piss us off a lot.

Like, John has this habit of calling me right around 5:30 every night and saying, “What are you thinking about dinner?”

The conversation goes like this.

John: So what are we doing for dinner?

Me: I don’t know. What are we doing for dinner?

John: I asked first.

Me: No hablo Ingles.

I mean, why does the simple fact that I don’t have a penis put me in charge of dinner? We both work. We both have late calls.

But I do it. I make dinner. Whether its because I am better at it or because I have a vagina, I can’t be sure.

He leaves his sports bar wrappers around the house. I leave open cans of Diet Pepsi everywhere, with just a teeny bit left inside. He refuses to complete a task. I refuse to stop nagging him about completing a task.

But the thing is, just like I now recognize those “cute” things as “annoyances”, there are some things I never thought to notice at all.

Like how always takes out the trash. How he always brings in the mail. How he always gets my phone and charges it at night. How he is so much better at being a jackass with the kids than I am. How he handles the bills. Stuff like that.

When I think about it this way, perhaps I am not bringing much to the table actually.

My friend Anne Marie said it best.

“You know, every morning I come down the stairs and there is a dirty pan on the stove. It’s never cleaned. Without fail, it’s there every single day. And I hate it.”

I nodded my head. Right on girlfriend. But then she added something.

“But I think to myself, what if that pan wasn’t there? What if I came down and it was missing? That he wasn’t there? That would be something so much worse for me. So I deal with the pan. Because the absence of that pan is something I couldn’t face.”

I thought about what Anne Marie said a lot the past few days. Not necessarily about cleaning pans. John hates to clean those too. But what it would mean to not have those “quirks” of his that I complain about around.

When you end a relationship with someone – whether it’s your spouse, a family member, a friend – you might feel a certain sense of freedom. Freedom from the weight of those weaknesses that you feel have hurt you, have confined you, have annoyed the shit out of you. But with that freedom comes loss too. A loss you may not realize or appreciate until it’s too late.

That is not to say that goodbyes are not necessary at times. That it’s ok to throw away some pans. Not at anyone, of course. Because that’s being a little TOO “overly passionate.”

Maybe it just means we should be just a little easier on each other. And that’s something I think that needs to be there if we are going to make this work.

XOXO,

Kiran

P.S. John, if you read this, I will stop wearing my pajamas if I can buy more yoga pants and sweatshirts. They call it activewear. Go figure. I will try to do more than sit at my computer in them.








Try. Try Again.

Look at that picture. What a happy family, right? All smiling and dressed in coordinated denim for this little photo shoot. Might even want to make you gag a little.

But the picture is one dimensional and it doesn’t tell you our story. So let me tell you just a teeny part of ours.

Before we had kids, John and I had a lot of time for each other. We both had challenging careers. Confession: I think I always say I have a challenging career, even at times when it isn’t all that bad for the simple reason that it makes me feel important. We would go to the gym together, we’d be current on episodes of our favorite shows, we’d watch movies and go on dinner dates with friends.

Fun stuff.

When Shaila, (Baby #1), made her appearance in this world, I remember the joy and most of the fuzzy memories from the hospital where I was absolutely fine with taking my fair share of painkillers.

But I remember as we were dressing her to get her ready to take her home, this crushing, panicked realization of “I’m not ready.”

Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy Shit.

It wasn’t just that John had forgotten to read the instructions on the car seat as we were trying to adjust it to fit her little 6 lb body. And I still fully blame John for that because it was the one task I gave him while I was incubating our child for 10 months.

As we fumbled with the child seat, realizing that the outfit we brought from home was way too big for her (A one month outfit is way bigger than the NB – or newborn outfit), we looked at each other and I think it was the first time we admitted to ourselves.

“We have no effing clue, do we?”

We somehow managed to get her home without breaking her, but it was close. She cried the whole way home and I kept trying to put the pacifier in her mouth while John clenched the steering wheel in his hands.

“Why is she crying?” he asked. Yeah, just like that I’m the Baby Whisperer because I have a uterus.

“I don’t know. It’s ok. We’ll get home and she will be fine,” trying not to panic. John was freaking the shit out of me.

Things got better when we got home. Family helped. We got into some kind of routine after our families all left. And we started to get the whole parenting thing down.

But despite all the books I had read, I just didn’t know what it would be like. What the exhaustion would feel like. That I would struggle with breast feeding both of my children, trying so hard that I was often in tears. That I gave up and turned to formula and always felt like complete crap when asked, “And how is the breast feeding going?” and I would mumble something non-sensical, hoping they wouldn’t ask me to repeat myself, feeling like I had the most inept boobs in the world.

Another shortcoming to add to my list.

But somehow we made it through it. We officially felt like parents. We even were good at it some days. Not all, definitely NOT all. Sometimes we were more like taking guesses and crossing our fingers (and toes) that we were not causing irreparable harm to Shaila. We may have done some damage, we still question it, but again, we are hoping she came through relatively unscathed.

Crossing our fingers again.

Nico (Baby #2) came and it was harder this time. I didn’t bounce back into work with the same fervor that I had the first time and it took me longer to adjust. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but I was going through Postpartum Depression in a bad way, and the shiny veneer of my normally happy self was wearing thin.

So now we get back to the point of this post. Somewhere along the way, John and I stopped prioritizing each other. We kept up with the demands of work, parenting and maintaining a home, but when it came to our marriage, we did little to nurture it or each other.

After the kids went to bed, John would fall in front of the television and get lost in whatever sports event was on, while I would be in my own world, sipping on a glass of wine and writing or producing songs.

And the distance between us grew. The time we spent with each other dwindled.

We had officially stopped giving a shit.

I write this now because for quite some time this year, John and I were thinking about giving up. About calling it quits and starting over. We were very close to making a decision that would have changed our family forever.

But as the time grew closer for the actual split, I started to break down. Like, really breakdown. I would cry incessantly. If John walked by, I would burst into tears and leave the room. I would hold my children and think about having to tell them about this and cry some more.

It’s amazing I didn’t drown in those tears. I did drown my sorrows in a lot of wine though. Too much.

It took the realization that whatever our differences were and whatever our grievances are with each other, that our love and respect and concern for each other far outweighs that.

And that was a pretty amazing revelation for me.

And with that realization came the understanding for both of us that we wanted to fight for this. A little harder than we had.

Today is the day I would have been closing on the new house I bought. Some women shop at Target when they are sad. Some women splurge on a new pair of shoes from Nordstrom when they have the blues.

Not me. I bought a house. A shiny, new one.

Once John and I realized that we wanted to work on this and to “really” work on it and not just say we are working on it, it became clear that I needed to return the house. I asked John if we could keep it because I really liked all the features I had picked out, but he said that would not be a good idea.

NOTE: You lose a little more money when you “return” a house than say when you return a pair of shoes. I would strongly advise against it.

It’s a little scary trying again. It’s scary because you know there is the chance that you will fall into old habits. That the constant demands of all the other stuff, especially the really noisy stuff like the kids, can still stand in your way.

But you can’t do anything about all that. That’s still going to be there. And short of slipping some hard liquor into our kids’ sippy cups, in the hopes that they will pass out, the kids are still going to be loud.

This post is personal. I get that. I am not writing it for cathartic release or for some kind of exhibitionism of my family. I write because I know that I am not alone in this. And that others like me have sat on that scary precipice just like I did. And no matter what decision you make, you will find your way.

Kiran








Lean on Me

On Sunday night I had dinner with some of my closest friends. They are the kind of friends I don’t talk to everyday or see all the time but when we do see each other, we can talk about anything and everything. I think for the most part, we do a really good job of being there for each other. Not being too “judgey.” And when you have been friends for as long as we have and know as much as we do about each other, it’s easy to be “judgey.” But to our credit, we work on focusing on each other, giving of ourselves what we can.

Minimal judgement. Refreshing, right?

And I love them a lot, not because of how amazing they each individually are, but also because of the way they love me, forgiving me for my many faults. One of which is that I am really, really bad about returning their calls.

We all have strengths and weaknesses in this world and luckily for me, they are not counting the latter. It’s always good to have a few friends like that in your corner.

We decided to meet up for our monthly get together, which we decided we were all in desperate need of. Or, let me take that back. Maybe I am the only one feeling that desperate about it, but I know that I definitely need it. That I need the solidarity of their strength in my life.

One of my friends offered to drive me to the restaurant where we were all meeting up, centrally located for all of us. Before she knocked on the door, my husband and kids looked at me as I was grabbing my purse.

“Are you changing?” John asked, not being mean, but probably to help me. My 3 year old seemed oddly unimpressed by my appearance and my 5 year old, who usually shouts out, “Oh, Mommy, you look sooooo adorable,” was also painfully quiet.

“No,” I thought, wondering what was wrong with the jeggings I had worn all day and my favorite top, a polyester-ish purple sweater I bought from Express in 1998. To finish off the look, I had thrown on shoes that would have made any of my friends who are nurses proud – a clunky pair of orthopedic support shoes.

My hair was not perfect but then, it wasn’t the worst it had ever been either. I wasn’t wearing make-up, but these days, that seems like a step I rarely bother to take.

Look, this is how I see it. My friends have seen me at my best and also at my worst. They have seen me with mascara running down my face and have held the Kleenex for me on more than a few occasions. I have been there for some of them through some of their least glamorous moments and have never stopped thinking of them as amazing and beautiful.

So I was banking on the fact that everybody might overlook the bags under my eyes and the less than stellar outfit, the lack of mascara and my comfy shoes.

And I think they did.

We all are at crazy junctures in our lives. Times that life seems impossible, not just hard, and we are just trying to get through it, with our sanity intact. Our conversations now are so different from the conversations the five of us would have had 10 years ago hanging out at a bar in Arlington or a club in DC. That world is long gone. It left when we all decided to grow up.

And we are adults, but some days I feel like a bad grown up. A very, very bad one. An imposter, even. Like I have totally lost sight of what it was that I was supposed to be at this stage in my life. Professionally. Personally.

I have to admit something to you. This is really something I don’t tell anybody. In fact, I rarely admit it to myself, but for some reason, I want to come clean on this.  In High School, I was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” I look back at the picture of me in my yearbook where I am smiling, believing with the utmost confidence that yes, I would have “success.” I don’t even think knew what success meant for me then. And lately I realize that I don’t know what it means to me now. I feel like there are dreams I have given up on, passions that have fallen out of my grasp.

And that hurts me. Sometimes, a lot.

I confided to my friends that night, feeling pretty ashamed, that there are times where I miss those carefree days when we lived in Arlington. The time before marriage, the time before the move to the suburbs.

The time before kids.

Let me be clear. I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to be single. I love my husband and my children. In fact, I felt like I was betraying my family in saying this. I feel like I am betraying my family in admitting this now. But the point isn’t that I don’t want to be a mother or a wife. Not at all.

I just wish that I had more time to live – and sometimes I want to be selfish and have life mean more than making the next work deadline, asking my kids for the twentieth time not to call each other poopy head at the table (which they both find enormously funny) and not rushing to get dinner ready. And realizing that some days the day has gone by and it’s now 10 PM, and there I have it. There’s my time to do what I want.

Which would be great if I wasn’t so freaking exhausted already.

And I know that there are only 24 hours in a day so that means something has to give, right? But from where? I struggle with it every day, feeling like I am on borrowed time anytime I do something for myself. And so for now, some of my dreams are sidelined. Maybe one day things will get easier and I will have time to see them through.

I expected my friends to look at me with some derision in their eyes, but their empathy for me was obvious. Like they got it. And it was ok. It was ok to miss a time when I could sleep peacefully at night without waking up to my three year old’s butt in my face. It was ok to miss a time when I didn’t have a 5 year old throwing her hands up in the air breaking my heart just a little when she says, “Mommy, you are so mean. You don’t give me anything.”

Because if her 5 year old self thinks I am giving her nothing, while I think I am giving her my everything, I kind of wonder where the disconnect is. And then of course I remember that she is only 5 and that makes me feel better till I think about what she will be saying when she is 15.

I notice a common theme when I talk to my friends about what I feel. I think guilt comes up a lot. Feeling guilty that I am not the parent of the year. The wife of the year. Employee of the year. This is hard for someone who used to rock whatever I did. I didn’t settle for mediocrity. I wanted to be exceptional.

And my friends pick up on my guilt and they assure me that I shouldn’t and that I am doing my damn hardest and that I am better than I give myself credit for. All the things I didn’t know I needed to hear, but so desperately did.

I hope one day that I find the balance that I need. That I find a way to pursue the things that I want for me, just me, while still being everything I need to be to everyone else.

And in the meantime, I am glad I have my friends to help me find my footing, even if it’s on orthopedic shoes, when I need it most. And for that I am grateful.

XOXO,

Kiran








1 2