“Those blue balls are really great. I almost want to eat them.”
Yes. That’s what she said. Before I go any further, I just want to say this post isn’t perverted. It’s just me. And I couldn’t help but whet your appetite with that.
The other day, there was a huge jewelry event in the Northern Virginia area, right outside of Washington, D.C. Some of you are not aware of this, but in a few weeks, I am launching a company called Simply Om™. I am working at night and on weekends and in the middle of the night. Oh and early mornings. Because I also have a full time job and kids and have to shower now and then.
So what if I’m tired though? I’m excited.
So I dragged my sorry ass to the Dulles Expo Center. Our au pair, Heather came with us. In case you don’t know, she talks to dead people. Despite that, I wanted her opinion on some of the wholesale materials I was buying.
I was standing at a stall that specialized in beautiful and rare semi-precious gemstones. A woman walked over with her terribly bored husband, and pointed to a set of beautiful beads in front of me.
Now, you know how people say, don’t go to the grocery store when you are hungry? I would also say you shouldn’t go to a gem store when you haven’t had sex in a long time.
It makes you say dumb shit.
“Honey, look at these!” the woman walked over and pointed to a beautiful strand of large, opaque blue beads. As with anything, I always look to see what other people are buying because I might have missed something when I walk by without picking something up. In this case, I realized that the gems in question weren’t really for my line. Something about them. Too … big, maybe?
“I love these gorgeous blue balls!” she exclaimed, almost caressing the stones. Her husband had his hands in his pockets and was more interested in the sales woman’s cleavage it appeared, than any sort of balls.
“Yeah, yup,” he nodded along.
“Look at how big these are!” she called over to a friend. “Have you seen these big blue balls?!” A few other people looked over too, mainly at the husband, probably thinking the same thing as me, before realizing she was literally talking about big blue balls and not her husband’s equipment.
See? I’m not the only one who thinks that way.
I looked over at Heather and tried not to laugh, but probably let out a little chuckle. The woman still had no clue, however.
“Gosh, they just look like candy. Don’t you just want to eat them?” she asked her husband.
“Eat what?” He looked over at her, obviously in la la land.
“The big blue balls, silly!”
I felt like this was a really inappropriate Saturday Night Live skit and I was on Candid, Camera or something.
Her friend walked over. She gasped at the beads in her friend’s hands, as if to marvel at their big, luscious beauty.
“I know, right?” the woman asked her friend. “Don’t you just want to eat them?” They then proceeded to talk about how tasty the big blue balls looked.
I couldn’t help myself. I walked over.
“What beautiful balls you have,” I said to the woman holding the beads. Her friend nodded in agreement.
“So let me just get this straight,” I said. “You like those big blue balls?”
“No, seriously. You like those big, BLUEBALLS. So much that you want to eat them?”
At this point, the husband checked back in and started to laugh. The lady still didn’t get it though.
“They’re gorgeous, aren’t they?” she asked.
“Definitely,” I said. I had a huge smile on my face and was struggling not to laugh but apparently not everybody thinks like me, because nobody was struggling quite as hard as I was.
I should have bought those blue balls, but alas, I didn’t. Ah well. Another day, another time. I am sure I can find some blue balls somewhere around here.
“Hey, John!?” I yelled out.
“What?” he asked, from upstairs.
“Have you seen any big blue balls around here?” I asked.
Yeah, I don’t think he appreciates my sense of humor either.
I can’t help it! I have too many balls in the air.
Ok. I’ll stop now.
Yesterday afternoon, I was working in my office when I heard the kids running into the house with our Au Pair, Heather.
“Mommy, mommy!” Shaila ran in yelling. “Heather is going to be sick!”
I looked up and over at Heather, whose face was three shades paler than her already fair Welsh complexion. She looked at me apologetically.
“I’m so sorry, Kiran. I am not at all well.”
Except when she said it, it didn’t sound like “not at all well.” It sounded like “naht aht ahll wehll,” with her sing-songy Welsh accent. Which I guess still sounds pretty sing-songy even when she is about to be sick.
Now, Heather never gets sick. Well, not really. Other than being a little hungover on some weekend mornings, she is pretty much in top form all the time.
So this was news.
“Go.” I told her. “Get in bed right now.” I sent her upstairs. She looked so miserable she didn’t even turn around.
Soon, the rest of us had dinner and started going through the evening rituals of bathing and bedtime stories. After we got the kids to bed, I went in to check on Heather.
Her room was pitch black. She was bundled up under the covers, shivering and looking even more pale than before. I could tell without asking that I shouldn’t ask her about eating, so I told her to call me if she needed anything and let myself quietly out of her room.
“Feel better, hon. Love you,” I said.
“Love you…” and she was out.
I shut the door and finished up some work I needed to do and then went upstairs to ask John something. He was upstairs in our bedroom sitting area, watching television and checking emails. I sat on the floor facing him and we were catching up on the day when we heard a door open.
John and I looked at each other, thinking if it was one of the kids getting out of bed, who was going to call “Not it!” first. But it wasn’t the kids. It was Heather.
“Yeah, hon. Do you need something?” I thought she might need help or need me to get her something.
“There is a man and woman in my room and I did not invite them. Did you?”
Huh? What the hell? I looked over at John.
“She’s sleepwalking.” He told me. “Just go put her back to bed.”
I looked at Heather. Her eyes were red and she seemed very upset about the intruders in her room. She had a bit of a petulant tone in her voice as she whispered loudly, almost accusingly, “They said you said they could come in.”
“Who?” I asked.
“The man and woman! They’re in there,” she said, pointing at her room into the right corner.
“No, honey. Don’t worry. Show me where they are. I’ll make them leave.”
“Yes, please. Thank you.” It’s good to know she is polite even when she is sleepwalking. I will have to let her parents know.
So we went back to her room where I tried to settle her back in bed. I was pretty scared at this point because now I was thinking that Heather might have a sixth sense and see dead people and all that. She sat in her bed and looked in the corner of her room, shaking her head as if to admonish her dead people. She looked up at me, and I realized she expected me to protect her.
I looked at the corner where there is a chair with some pillows on it and a bookshelf. No people. Not that I could see anyway.
“Uhhh. Hey. You. Um. You need to leave now.” I told nobody in the corner.
I looked over at Heather who still didn’t appear satisfied. She shook her head at me to let me know she was unimpressed with how I handled intruders.
“Um. Nobody told you to come in. Now go. Scoot!” I looked at Heather who nodded her head at me. Ok, she’s happy now, I thought. I watched Heather watching them leave, her eyes crossing the room, monitoring their progress, it seemed.
I pretended to watch my new imaginary friends leave, but was really giving death looks to John who was standing behind me in the hall and not bothering to help at all.
“And DON’T come back,” I said at their imaginary backs, pausing for effect to give them time to walk down the stairs and to the front door before I looked back at Heather.
“They’re gone. They said they’re sorry they bothered you and they hope you feel better.” I hoped I wasn’t over-doing it. I wanted to let her know that even dead people have manners but I didn’t want to cross the line and have her think they were so nice that she’d want to go drinking with them or anything.
She smiled, gave an audible sigh of relief, and fell back to sleep under her covers, obviously exhausted from the drama of it all.
As you probably guessed. I was pretty freaked out. I contemplated sending Heather’s mom an email in Wales, but I wasn’t sure what I would say.
“Hi Jayne! Heather is doing great. She just has a little bug. Oh and does your daughter have a sixth sense? Just wondering. So what’s the weather like in Caerphilly? Lots of love from America!”
I decided not to and to just make sure Heather got lots of rest.
“Do you think Heather has some weird thing where she sees ghosts?” John asked later on, laughing. I kept expecting Heather to come back and tell me there was a traveling band or something hanging out in her room. All the corners and dark spaces of our room started to look ominous.
“No,” I said, thinking the exact opposite, of course.
“What if it’s like “The Sixth Sense” and there are dead people beating her up in bed?” he said. “Shouldn’t we check on her?”
“Shut up, honey.”
“What if we go downstairs and all the cabinets are open? Would you think it was her friends?”
“Shut up, John!”
I felt really bad thinking about Heather getting beat up by dead people but I figured that I could help her the next morning with band-aids and ice and stuff. I wasn’t going back in there again last night.
I didn’t sleep very well last night. As a matter of fact I didn’t sleep at all. Just in case I had to walk any more unexpected guests out in the middle of the night.
Just in case anyone is concerned, Heather did not have any bruises when I checked on her this morning and she is on the mend. She is getting lots of sleep and I am keeping her away from all sharp objects.
And we are not watching any horror movies in this house for a really long, long time.
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!”
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.
When adults would read me Snow White as a child, I always marveled at the beautiful Princess’s beauty. Her loving mother had wished for a daughter with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as coal.
Wow. She sounds pretty.
Except…. (Sound of a record scratching)
Back the fuck up, yo.
Skin as WHITE as snow?
I was raised in a pretty homogenous small town in New Jersey, at least when I was young. It started to become more and more diverse as droves of New Yorkers from Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens started to move a little further out to raise larger families in bigger homes, where they could still commute to the city. When I graduated from high school, my yearbook reflected faces from around the world.
But when I was younger, like in elementary school, there were just a few faces that were the other side of tan, scattered in a sea of white.
One of them was mine.
I remember my friends always being perplexed when it was time to draw a picture of me. I could turn out anything from yellow to orange, red to burnt sienna. Sometimes all in the SAME picture, guys. My favorite was when one of my friends tried to mix black and white together and I just ended up looking like a freakish zebra kid.
Talented kid, that one.
You can see there was some diversity in this picture. There’s Aimee Moy in the back. She was my one Chinese friend throughout Elementary School. There is Terence in the middle in the front row. I don’t know where he is – he moved that year, but he used to sing his ass off in the bathroom, I remember that. The Indian boy next to Terence* is Rajiv. He was my next door neighbor and also Indian, so OF COURSE, he was my “boyfriend” which made us just want to pull each others’ hair out even more. There was Jonathan**, sitting at the end of the front row – half Filipino and half white, he was one of the few “mixed” kids I knew.
At home, the messages I received around skin color were no less confusing. As I heard of cousins’ marriages being arranged, when asked if the girl was pretty, the answers were usually along the lines of “ha, bohut gauri hai.” Yeah, her skin is whiter than a holy cow’s milk. or “Chehra meh taura sa paani hai.” Which literally translates to, her face has water in it.
I don’t know what that means, but it had to do with the girl not having a very white face. Or maybe being bloated.
The message was clear, the whiter you were, the prettier you were.
Bollywood movies played in the background of my house and the message was confirmed. Most of the beautiful Indian actresses were fair-complected, sometimes with light colored eyes. Scroll down and see some of the examples….
Do you guys notice anything similar about these women? Do you? DO YOU?
They all look like they can bloody be cast as Snow White in a Bollywood version of the movie.
I would never look like these beauties. Five minutes in the sun and my skin would darken, throwing my mother into a panic as she wondered if she would ever be able to find a suitable husband for me. At the time, she and my father were still under the illusion that they would be making that decision for me.
Aw, parents. You gotta love them.
There was this one commercial that started playing in my later years of elementary school in the middle of Indian movies. It was for a cream called “Fair and Lovely.” Basically the commercial starts out with a boy and his parents seeking out a prospective bride. The boy sees the girl and thinks she is pretty but is a little disappointed because her skin is not “white” enough. The girl’s mother senses the boy’s discomfort with her daughter’s skin color, so she buys her somewhat tanner daughter a little old “Fair and Lovely” and makes sure that her “homely” daughter applies it every day.
After a strict regimen of just applying the skin cream, the girls complexion starts to lighten. She is transformed into a whiter, and obviously, according to the ad, much prettier version of herself. By the time the boy sees her at the wedding, he is mesmerized.
He turns to his mother, “Vow, Mom. Look at her skin! Kitni fair and lovely!” (How fair and lovely. Oh and look at what a racist jack ass I am!)
The boy and girl marry and ride off into the sunset.
It’s like, so magical, in a really disturbing, ethnophobic and backwards kind of way.
Anyway. The summer before I went to high school, I went to India with my parents. And I saw the billboard ads for “Fair and Lovely” ALL over India. And I saw how it magically transformed these girls’ lives.
So of course I had to have it.
I would slather it on my skin to the point where I actually started to look whiter right away. I mean, imagine if you took ten layers of Nivea and just let it sit on your face. I thought if I let it “marinate” and “simmer” a little, I might get results faster. I would sit there and sometimes look in the mirror to see if I was whiter. What, it’s been twenty minutes?
Damn. Still not white.
I don’t know if it ever worked. To be honest, a minute in the sun and I catch color, so I could never keep up with enough applications of “Fair and Lovely” to stay ahead of the “whiteness” curve, as I like to think of it now. When I came back home, I started playing high school sports, so was out and getting tan and no amount of “Fair and Lovely” was ever going to negate the effects of that.
I don’t know what my mom ever did with all those tubes of “Fair and Lovely,” but I know I didn’t need it anymore.
Eventually, I learned to love the skin I was born in. Because by then, my metabolism had caught up with me, so I had other fish to fry.
Just kidding. Kind of.
I don’t eat fried fish.
My husband is half-Italian and half Puerto-Rican. With me being 100% Indian in ethnicity, our kids are quite a mix. I love their exotic features and their beautiful skin. And I know one day they might have questions about skin color, but I don’t think they will be quite as startling as mine. They are growing up in a much more racially diverse environment than I did. Northern Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., is one of the most racially and internationally diverse places we could have settled. I love that about our area.
When they watch TV, they will see faces that look like theirs. I don’t think I saw any Indian faces on mainstream television till Apu made his breakthrough performance on “The Simpsons.” There are TV anchors with names like “Kiran Chetry.” There are more Indian role models in mainstream American culture like Mindy Kaling, Kal Penn, Padma Lakshmi, just to name a few.
Heck, one of these days, they might even cast Indian doctors on some of the medical shows. Because of course, that wouldn’t be too true to reality or something. Where is Dr. McCurry already, people?
Anyway, I was 14 that summer I tried to make myself white. I like to think that I was just one step ahead of Michael Jackson on that one. A true trendsetter.
As a bonus, I have found some current “Fair and Lovely” commercials for you to watch. Between laughing and gasping in extreme horror, I just ask you to forgive me by ever being influenced by this shit.
This newscaster’s career dreams were always being held back by her skin color of course! Until she decided to take charge!
In this one, one of the girls is accused of “doing cheating” because she saw results faster than the other girl. But the other girl didn’t apply the skin EVERY day like her. Idiot.
At least they are gearing it towards men too! Thank goodness! The stunt double always gets out shined by the much whiter hero until he finds the mens version of “Fair and Lovely.”
A career changing move, you’ll see.
This girl’s dreams of being a Cricket announcer cannot be realized until she is like, whiter. I love how teary her mom gets to see her daughter living her white dreams to the fullest.
* If you have seen Terence, please let me know. None of us in Old Bridge, NJ have seen him since the first grade. I don’t remember his last name, but he is known for singing loudly in bathrooms.
** If you have seen Jonathan Gross, also let us know. None of us have seen him since he moved from Old Bridge, NJ in the fifth grade. Apparently he is too smart to be on Facebook.
Also, would you guys click on this button below if you want to see me selected as one of the Top 25 Funny Mom Blogs? You can vote from now until Feb 13th every day. I was nominated late so I’ve got some ground to make up for. Help me validate my funny! XO.
I wrote a post over at Scary Mommy called, “I Would Do Anything For Love, but my Boobs Won’t Do THAT.”
Well, that was the original title, but I told Jill to call it whatever she wanted because she knows her shit, it’s her blog and I could NOT get that darn Meatloaf song out of my head.
If you are here, thanks so much for coming. I hope to get to know you better at Masala Chica.
That being said, let me tell you a few things:
1) I curse. A lot. Not at people. Just at air mostly. If I say fuck, just pretend I said, “fudge” or “muggles.” It usually works out. I promise I will never curse at you.
Well, unless you curse at me first.
2) I am Indian-American and I write a lot about growing up in a family that straddled two cultures. I will write as an Indian and as an American. You might get to see both sides of me. Think of me as a female Gandhi. With more hair, less wisdom and who drinks and curses more than Gandhi did. Oh screw it.
Think of me more like an Indian Sandra Bernhard.
Yeah, that’s better.
3) I love Les Mis. I saw the movie three times. This by no means indicates that I am not busy. It just means that I suckered my husband into watching the kids for a total of at least 16 hours so I could pretend I was Fantine.
4) I get really bent out of shape about a few things. Like people who blame rape on women or movies. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. OF course. Unless it’s weird and twisted and misogynistic and makes light of violence against women or children. Oh. And those people? Yeah, I probably will curse AT them. Not very Gandhi-like, I know.
5) I tweet over at “The Twitter” as @kferrandino. Give me a holler and let me know you’re a reader so we can connect!
When I was a kid, I used to write “Letters to Myself.” This may seem odd and no, I don’t have multiple personalities. I just wanted to make sure that as an adult, I didn’t forget about all the “horrible” things my parents did to to embarrass me while I lived under their roof. I figured if I could warn myself in the future and help prevent my children from suffering the same kind of embarrassment that I had been through, we could potentially break the cycle. Thus leading to less money spent on counseling sessions, which would be a win-win from any perspective, because even my parents would agree that we shouldn’t waste money. I didn’t start the letters until I was in middle school, but I think I covered my bases pretty well.
So without further ado, let me present you with the teenage Masala Chica’s list of parental “Dos” and “Don’ts.”
1) Don’t wear saris when I pick my kids up from school. Try to be cool like the other moms and wear jeans.
2) Don’t send my kids to school with weird pickles on their sandwiches.
3) Do learn how to make things like brownies and cupcakes. When it’s my kid’s birthday, make these things from scratch and don’t buy them in the plastic containers from Shop-Rite.
4) Make interesting and exotic dinners, like Spaghetti and Meatballs or Fettucini Alfredo. Don’t serve rice and daal at every meal.
5) Do not wear bindis. Do not wear anything resembling dots on my head.
6) Do take my kids to fun places like Disneyland and Six Flags. Don’t wear saris. Wear cool jeans and shorts, like the other moms.
7) Do let my daughter go to the mall on Friday nights to hang out with the rest of her friends.
8) Do teach daughter about facial hair. And what to do with it. Teach her how to shave, wax, whatever. Don’t let her walk around feeling like a hairy gorilla.
9) Do watch other movies with my kids other than Indian movies. Learn how to be comfortable with watching kissing scenes in front of my kids, like the other cool moms. Don’t make the kids leave the room if a kissing scene does take place.
10) Don’t make my kid pray all the time. Pray less. Sometimes praying too much can give your kids a headache.
11) Don’t yell at my kids if they say the word sex. Sex is not always dirty. Sometimes, sex is just a question on a form.
12) Don’t take my kids out of school every year for a few weeks to see family in India.
My list of dos and don’ts was fairly black and white for me. Whatever my mother was doing was a “DON’T”. Whatever the other moms were doing was a “DO.” Apparently I had great respect for my friends’ mothers, their mom jeans and their ability to whip up a box of Duncan Hines baked goods at home.
I look back at this list and what’s clear is that I was obviously afraid of being different. I wanted, so very much, to be like the rest of my friends. I wasn’t thinking about how cool it was that my mom still embraced her culture so much. I wasn’t really thinking about how amazing it was to eat the sabzis and the curries my mother would make every night to go alongside the daal and rice.
So what if a few kids made fun of those differences? Buck up, I want to tell that kid now. Learn how to be different. Embrace those things. And for Pete’s sake, don’t worry so much about hairy legs. You will have a lifetime to worry about that.
Well, not really, if you get married.
In that case, you generally get most of the winter off.
Still, I want to tell that young girl that one day, she will be writing a post, much like this one, and will salivate at the thought of her mom’s homemade pickles on her sandwiches or eating her mother’s cooking that night. That it’s ok that her mom couldn’t bake and shake like her friends’ moms.
I will explain that she was comparing apples to oranges.
Or better yet, Apple pie to Ladoos.
My mom never had reason for me to question her cooking, especially when her samosas kick the Tri-State area’s ass.
I wish I could explain how precious it would be, that time when she is young. And how much it means to let her hold on to it for another day, another year. And if that means not letting her troll around a dingy mall so that she is less likely to get felt up by upperclassmen in the empty part of the parking lot over by J.C.Penney, so be it.
I would love to tell her how one day, those trips to India will teach her more than any textbook at home could. How those trips will inspire her to think beyond the world she lives in. To look beyond those walls and beyond the privilege she has been born into. How they will be the only way she would have had memories of her grandparents or cousins who are now gone. How maybe understanding the journey her parents took to get to the United States, might help her appreciate the ties they still cherish.
The customs they hope to keep alive.
I totally would back her up on the praying thing. Praying too much still gives me a headache.
But I would love to maybe give her a different point of view.
Maybe just a little perspective.
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!”
But those people must be disappointed when they come here and find no recipes for chicken tikka or palak paneer. I am sorry. And I can’t help that the top search queries to get to this site include “aloo tikki” and “gulab jamuns.”
This ain’t no cooking blog, yo.
On the other end of the spectrum are people who apparently think that “Masala Chica” is a porn site. I am sorry for any misunderstanding or misrepresentation there. To the person who stumbled upon this site by typing in “ganges river village fuck hard stories,” I am sorry to let you down. I hope my posts on how I haven’t walked the same or had the same level of bladder control since popping two kids out of my hoo hoo really turn you on.
Actually, no. I don’t. I just puked in my mouth a little thinking about you.
But going back to the first point, about this NOT being a cooking blog. I wanted to share something with you. Something I am less than proud of. Because everyone makes mistakes in their lives. Even porny food bloggers like me.
FACT: I am really passionate about Indian food. Like, more passionate about it than I am about “Les Mis.”
FACT: I used to get so angry when people would tell me they did not like Indian food. Like, Nazi angry about it. I once wrote a post called, “When Good Indian Food Happens to Bad People,” in which I accused people who do not like Indian food of also not liking Gandhi.
And that’s not fair because what did Gandhi ever do to them? I asked.
FACT: I used to take it as a personal affront when someone would say they did not like Indian food. Because of how closely I associate Indian food to my memories, my family and my life, I would feel like my culture and my identity were being criticized.
I realize now how extreme my reaction was. I no longer want to throw samosas or pakoras at people’s heads just because they don’t like chicken curry. Besides, those are not hard enough to really cause any kind of real damage. I would need to find something harder.
I have done some self-examination. Not a breast self-examination, though I need to get on that too. What I mean is, I have looked inward, trying to understand where this anger, this resentment, came from.
And one incident in particular came to mind. Will you pull up a chair and let me tell you a story? Here’s a drink.
Oh you wanted ice?
Well, you’re not fucking getting any. Just drink.
Why I am Besties with Samosas.
Ok. So when I was growing up my parents had an Indian grocery store. Papa worked as an engineer and Ma ran the store every day. They worked hard to run it, with Papa working at the store on nights and weekends. They worked seven days a week. Long, hard hours.
One of the things Ma would do every morning was get up to make samosas. It was like the Dunkin’ Donuts, commercial. “Time to make the samosas.” She would get out of bed and start the endless process of making a new batch almost every day.
She charged 50 cents a samosa. Those samosas got me through college. I sometimes try to do the math and estimate how many samosas she has already made in her lifetime, but I can’t. I do know that every minute Ma and Papa worked was to make a better life for our family, both here and in India.
Ma’s samosas, though they were painstakingly made, were one of the only things she did which didn’t feel like an act of labor, but an act of love.
Nobody Puts Ma’s Samosas in the Corner. Nobody.
Ok, maybe once they did.
I was going to visit my non-Indian boyfriend’s family a few years after graduating from college. Ma got up early that morning and made a fresh batch of samosas which we took to his mother’s house. As we sat down at the table, I pulled the just heated samosas out of the oven and put them on the table. I was excited to see everybody’s reaction to trying something new.
Something that I loved so much.
I looked up at my boyfriend’s older brother and asked him if he would like one.
“No, thank you. I don’t eat that.”
“You don’t eat what?” I asked, walking right into it. dumb, Dumb, DUMB. He stopped unfolding his napkin and looked me in the eyes and responded,
“I. DON’T. EAT. THAT. SHIT.”
The sphincter says what?
The words had barely left his mouth before I picked up a samosa and threw it at his smug, pompous face. Before he could finish wiping the crust and potatoes out of his eyes, I threw another one. There was no sign left of that jerky smile as my right arm moved on auto-pilot and threw another. And another. And…
Ok. I’m lying. I didn’t throw anything. Though I really, really wish I had.
Instead I just sat there, feeling like someone had punched me in the gut. I tried not to cry, but now that you know that that I cry during movie previews you can assume that I did NOT do the best job.
Not ONE PERSON at the table touched my mother’s samosas.
I just remember looking at that plate and knowing that his message was about more than the food.
Why I no Longer Feel that Throwing Samosas is the Answer
I am not going to win people over to Indian food by getting upset, telling them that they do not like Gandhi or the Dalai Lama. I am not going to get people to like Indian food by asking them to stop using the example of “the ONE time they tried it” to judge the cuisine of a massive country, with dozens of different regional styles of cooking. I am not going to win anyone over by throwing samosas.
Violence is not the answer. Just remember though. Before any of you start talking about samosa control, just remember, samosas do NOT kill people.
People kill people.
Usually with guns.
As for me, there are a lot of things I need to evaluate in my life. Perhaps a career in porn-food blogging?
Today, if you tell me you don’t like Indian food, I promise I will still like you.
Unless you are the guy who googled “ganges river village fuck hard stories.” YOU? I don’t think I will ever like, no matter how many samosas you eat. Fucking perv.
Do you like Indian food? What’s your favorite food that you associate with your childhood, culture, upbringing? Have you ever tried to throw it at someone? Hmm?
Love you whether you can handle spice or not!
So I ventured into some heavy stuff yesterday. I think I am going to give everyone a brief respite from the heavy stuff and take you somewhere else today. Someplace a little bit lighter.
You know how some days, you just look in the mirror and you feel a little – oh gosh – what’s the word? Dowdy? Lackluster? Just not quite as hot as your bad ass self wants to be?
And some times it’s not just days. It could be a phase. Like – “Oh, I hated that period where I had that really bad layered cut!” or “I was in Graduate school. I didn’t have time to look cute!” Even “Why in God’s name did you let me get bangs? Don’t EVER do that again, Girlfriend!” looking back at pictures we managed to hide somewhere but never quite forget.
Let’s just say that a few years ago, I was having one of those phases. It was an extended phase that lasted a while.
Now, the reasonable thing to do when you are going through one of these phases is something like the following:
1) Hit the gym. Get those endorphins flowing through your veins while working your way to a more fit body and hopefully an ass that doesn’t sag south of your knees.
2) Do some yoga. Maybe some meditation. Reconnect with yourself. Be all “Om Shanti”, like, you know what I’m saying.
3) Self-reflect. Ask yourself what is bothering you when you look in the mirror. Does it really even matter anyway? Is it even real – or is it in your head? Is it something that a bag of Baked Cheetos can get you through?
Those seem like logical options. Healthy options. Options I would give to a friend who might be going through a similar phase and is hitting the bottle a little too hard or wallowing in self-pity a little too much.
But because I am often NOT logical, and because I am often NOT one to really think things through over a long course of time (I mean, people, I bought a house. And had to return it), I decided to bypass all those options.
Against advisement from my ever wise husband, John, I decided to take a little visit to a plastic surgeon. I was looking a little tired, I thought. A little worn. I am certain if some of these lines on my face could be smoothed out, I would regain all of my mojo and be confident once again.
That‘s what the pamphlet said anyway.
So I go and I schedule an appointment with a well respected (i.e. expensive and no lawsuits pending) doctor in the D.C. area.
I sat in the waiting room where I could smell the overwhelming scent of insecurity mixed with a touch of quiet desperation. Before I knew it, I was taken back to the Doctor’s examination room.
He was a nice guy. Pretty good looking too (sorry John, I just think he was sorta cute!). He also had this reaallly sloooow Southern draawwwwl thi-ing that he playyys out, reeeally strawng, if you know what I mean.
I don’t know why, he just made me mushy. Ok, enough about my inappropriate crushes.
“So what brings you in today, da-arling?” he asked, smoothly pulling up his nifty stool to sit across from me.
I pointed to my forehead. And to the lines around my mouth.
“Do you see these?” I indicated, scrunching my forehead up and doing a big fake smile to accentuate the lines. “Do you think that there is a way to help me get rid of them?”
He got up from his stool, took a step back and looked my face over. Took a few minutes. Looked me over from this angle. That angle. It was oddly quiet and awkward while I waited for the verdict.
Taking a step back towards me, he pointed to my brow and said, “Well, first thing I’d do is clear these lines up with some Botox, maybe bring your brows up a bit. You see how they’re kind of drooping a little?” he asked the nurse who nodded her assent. He surveyed the lines around my mouth. “But I wouldn’t touch these. It’ll make you look kind of snouty, you know I mean?” Once again, the nurse nodded.
Apparently, snouty is NOT good. I don’t even know if it’s a word. So I nodded along, not really liking my face being compared to a pig’s snout, but at least he wasn’t trying to sell me services I didn’t need.
“But you know what I would DEFINITELY do?” He looked at the nurse and she nodded. Obviously the additional shortcomings of my face were evident to everybody in the room except for me.
“You see under your eyes? How they’re all hollowed out?”
No, I didn’t notice. But ok. I nodded sagely.
“Well, I would inject some Juvederm right here and here and that will really brighten your face.”
Hmm. That’s all it would take, huh? Good deal.
So of course I said, “Ok”.
And he said, “Great!” He and the nurses left to get the needles and the pretty juices (i.e. Botulism) to make me look a little more like myself again.
After all – I wanted to be revived. And brightened. And Botoxed and Juverdermed to a brand spanking new me.
So they came back to the room with their fancy needles and settled me in. I wasn’t too worried. After all, I’ve watched “The Real Housewives” and they got this shit done while eating hors d’oeuvres and getting into cat fights.
Let’s do this, I thought.
He did the Botox first. It hurt like a mother-effer.
Then he moved on to the Juvederm to get rid of those “deep hollows” under my eyes.
Before he went in with the injection, he casually mentioned, “Oh and by the way, you might have some slight bruising with these injections. But nothing that won’t clear up in a day or two.”
And a few minutes later, I was done, injected to perfection.
I was sent on my way, back home. I figured I would wait a few hours and wait for the perfection to kick in.
Hmmm. That’s funny. I didn’t feel that different. Where’s the perfection?
Other than the fact that my forehead now felt like a rubber band was pulling it back towards my scalp, I really couldn’t notice much.
And then came the next day. I looked in the mirror and screamed. Like bloody murder.
Both of my eyes were completely bruised. I looked like I had been punched in the face by Teresa from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” repeatedly.
But that was not even the worst part.
One of my eyes started drooping. Like my lid couldn’t stay up because the Botox had freaking moved into it.
I called my Doctor’s office in a panic. They put one of the nurses on the phone.
“Oh, don’t worry sweetie. Bruising is completely normal. In fact, it could take up for two weeks for that to go away?”
Um, what the hell did you just say? I thought. I asked her to repeat herself and stood there in shock as she said the same thing, looking in the mirror all the while at the growing black and blue and purple marks on my face. They seemed to be growing darker and bigger with every second.
As for my droopy eye, she kindly explained that in a teeny, weeny, tiny, winy portion of the patients, this could, in fact, happen.
I think I hid in the house for about a week afterwards. It looked like I was a victim of domestic violence and I didn’t want anybody giving John dirty looks. About a week later I decided I would have to venture back out of the house. And of course, I did what any reasonable mother would do.
I blamed it on my kids.
By this point only one of my eyes was terribly bruised. The other had kind of gotten back to normal, especially with the help of some heavy duty concealer. The droopiness didn’t go away for about a month.
My solution was to wear sunglasses as much as I could. And I told everybody that Shaila had accidentally elbowed me in the eye in her sleep. Girlfriend didn’t know her own strength.
I don’t know if anybody believed me. I honestly think everybody just thought John was beating me heavily.
When all the healing was done, did I feel better about myself? Not really. Did I feel like it was money well spent? Um, again. Not really.
Looking back now, I know my issues were less with what was going on in the mirror and more about what I needed to be working on inside. How obvious of course and a total cliche, but it’s the truth.
I don’t have anything against people getting injections to make themselves feel better. I just want you to know about my experience. I didn’t find what I was looking for when my experience was done and on top of that I looked like someone had tossed me into a football game without a helmet.
Next time, I am going to try the yoga. The meditation. The working out.
But it’s going to be a helluva long time before you see me getting anywhere near one of those needles again.
Consider this a REALLY embarrassing PSA for what COULD go wrong.
And do you really want to tell anyone that your kids beat you? I think NOT.
I don’t like to get political on this blog. Sometimes I’ll dabble into things like religion but for the most part, I stay neutral. You might be able to guess my leanings through some of my posts, but again nothing definitive.
So this is not an attack on the Republican party, of which I know you are a part of. Because I do not think you are a true representative of that party. I think you are an outlier, an exception, a person who does not speak for the majority of your party. I mean, at least this is my hope, because if people like you are the voice of the party then the Republicans are pretty much screwed.
You see, Ann (I’m assuming I can call you that, right? It’s actually much better than the other names I want to call you, so let’s just go with the basic, “Ann.”) there are people in this world who value kindness. Who value empathy. Who value the differences between people.
And see, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. When someone like you says what you say, I wonder if you are just an attention seeking bully who wants attention now. Like, sometimes, when my daughter is not getting my all and really wants Mommy to look at her, she will be like “Mommy, Mommy” and get up in my grill and say some really outlandish things. And I am like, “What?” because words can really hurt, Ann. They can. Granted, she is 5 years old, but my point is that some people never outgrow that need.
So, it that it? Is that what it really is Ann? Or maybe when you were in high school, you couldn’t sit at the table with the cool kids? Maybe you had trouble relating to your peers? And now, for once, you have the chance to be the “Mean Girl” but only better – like the mean girl on steroids – because your vitriol gets you on television. It gets you places. Heck, nice people like me are questioning why you do what you do. Because I’m concerned.
Who hurt you, Ann? Was it a boy who didn’t like your locks of blonde hair?
Were you loved? Did you ever maybe feel just a bit, I don’t know, neglected?
If I saw you, I would want to give you a big warm hug, because I think that’s it. I think you just weren’t loved enough. Now, you might not want me to hug you, because I am brown. But I would try anyway. To take away that pain and hurt and anger till your skinny little twig-like body was wracked in sobs.
I usually try to stay out of your business, Ann. I think to myself – “Oh there’s Ann, doing her thing again!” and I kind of smile, because I know like a dog who hasn’t been potty trained, you just can’t help yourself. And that shit has gotta come out.
But your post the other night, really hit me for a doozy. I was all like, “Hey Ann must have been drunk when she wrote this! Girlfriend would never cross that line” but then I realized that I was the one who was drunk and I sobered up enough to admit that yes, you could. You could in fact write this.
But I was surprised, Ann. I was surprised that someone who looks like a drag queen yourself would say something so, so MEAN. I mean, you really crossed the line. And I don’t know if you know this, but there ARE gay Republicans.
Weird, right? That sexuality crosses party lines.
And again, I just kind of turned the other cheek. I didn’t want to get myself in a tizzy over this, you know? Because I know that the men and women who used that Thursday to come out to their parents and reveal their sexuality are more real than you might know how to be.
You know, since nobody hugs you enough.
And I have a feeling that Monday didn’t go as you planned. Because not everybody thinks like you, Ann. You’ve gotta expand that little, teeny part of your mind that is smaller than a raisinet (not to go on a tangent, but I really miss Raisinets. Are they still around?). You see, sweetheart, most people have a heart. It beats in their chest. Sometimes it synchs up with this thing that’s called a “conscience.”
When they work together, amazing things can happen. Magical things. Things that happen when parents love their children. And that love is stronger than you might think. Coming to terms with something like your child’s sexuality may be hard, no doubt. But people do hard things every day. And loving your child is not hard, not for most of us.
But today? Ann, I was so surprised when I saw this from you.
I don’t know, Ann. I don’t know if I want to wrap you up in that big hug now. I’m starting to think that there might not be hope for you. Now, I don’t give up on people very fast. When people said that Robert Downey, Jr. would never come back, I knew – I just knew that he would get better. Because he was too good for that. When people gave up on Britney after she cut off all her hair, I said, “Stop the presses everyone! Girlfriend might come back and get better!”
I still haven’t give up hope yet on that one.
Because I hold on, Ann. I believe in the good in people. And while I know there is a dark side to each of us, to every single one of us, whether we are Republican or Democrat, gay or straight, brunette or blonde, most of us want to hold onto the light. I really believe that most of us do.
By the way, are those extensions? I am just wondering. If not, your hair is really lovely. I do want to recommend a better conditioner though. Your ends are just a teeny bit dry.
Ping me later, ‘k?
And outside of just being there for you for hair advice, I think that the offer still stands. If you want a hug, I’ll give you one. I will try not to break your brittle bones or bruise your overly tanned skin. I will be gentle.
And I know one day you will mellow out. Maybe you should go on a yoga retreat? Just, I don’t know, get away! Let your overly bleached hair down! I think that once you take a deep breath and find that special place inside you, the part that’s been crying inside to be loved and given attention and to just be HEARD God damn it, you will learn to be gentle. Loving.
Good luck on your journey, Ann. On your way to finding love. Peace.
Om Shanti, sister.
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” – Mahatma Gandhi
(Backtracking a little: You guys know that I don’t really want to hug her right? Right now my feelings are closer to wanting to throw her off a cliff. Very few people other than her and Glenn Beck do that to me. If you look up the hashtag #specialneeds on twitter right now, you can hear the hurt and the amazement that this public figure could say such a thing. I hope the Republicans come out of this reviling her behavior and speaking out against it. Because that’s the right effing thing to do.)