Category Archives: Life

Oh, Good. Let’s Talk About Race Again.

Over the last five years, I’ve written here and there about race. It’s clearly a very big part of my life. And it feels like racial tensions are rising higher and higher every day.

(Like police officers Supporting Darren Wilson, or these idiots yelling at the Ferguson protesters, or a black man being shot for holding a toy bb gun because it is shoot-first-ask-later.)

As usual, there’s this sense of uselessness. I’m not sure what I can be doing. I try to be as vocal as possible, and talk about it and write about it. Which helps, maybe?

There’s a lot of diversity-talk happening in the publishing industry right now, which is amazing. There is a gross lack of diversity in the workforce, and people are starting realize it (though, it did take them a minute). Conversations are finally starting to happen about how to fix that problem. And of course, We Need Diverse Books really jump-started the conversation by pointing out our abysmal lack of publishing with and of PoCs*.

But this isn’t enough. Books are my world, obviously. And we will hopefully have more diverse books to have an effect on the way people think in the future. But they’re still a very small part of the world at large.

I want everyone I know to be as angry as I am when movies come out with all white-casts (ahem, Skeleton Twins and What If). I want them to notice when a book or TV series has no major characters who are PoC. I want them to care when movies like Moses have all white leads and have PoCs cast as slaves and thieves. I want them to notice when video games have no PoCs or just stereotypes. Or to notice when their job or club or whatever are all one color. I want them to care about cultural appropriation and not support it. I don’t want them to laugh it off. I don’t want them to rationalize it away. And I don’t want to be written off or have eyes rolled when I point these things out.

I don’t want to feel like the angry brown girl.

I want people to realize how important this is.

This never turns off for me. There is never a moment when I am not aware of my race or how it is being reflected in society.

I want to see more of a response and recognition to how we’re represented in the media, because that is where normalization comes from. Until there’s more representation, we’re still seen as other or exotic. We’re not seen as real people. Normalization means that maybe we won’t get talked about in a certain way, or reacted against so violently, or just maybe we’ll be the default setting instead of the afterthought.

I’m not calling out white people for being there, I’m calling out content creators, companies, casting directors, anyone who makes a decision about who is on the screen or in the workplace or on the page for not doing more to represent society as it is. And I’m calling out people who don’t need to care about it for not caring about it.

*PoC is how I refer to myself, so, uh, apologies if it is not your jam.

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Preeti Reads OUTLANDER, Part 1

I’m reading OUTLANDER for the first time. It’s … been enlightening.

Last night I texted Jenn with updates.

 

outlander 1 outlander 2

Outlander 7 outlander 4

 

outlander 5

 

 

Today I made her listen to me complain on gchat. Please excuse our pidgin typing.

Preeti: jenn no one told me outlander was going to turn into twilight
how come no one told me jenn
Jenn: it doesn’t exactly
it goes thru phases
like a teenager
Preeti: well claire is in her bella swan phase and jamie keeps going btwn being jacob and edward
…………….
Preeti:  it’s a total power play
and then the weird parts where he’s like
you WILL call me master
and i’m like ugghhhh
whattt
claire you were so bad ass
Jenn: yyyyyyyeah
i mean for the record the book is going to get even crazier
Preeti: i am enjoying the story
but i feel like there’s been this like
dramatic shift
in claire
where in the first half
she’s really smart and funny
and pretty awesome
then he beats her, and convinces her that it was for her own good
and she agrees!!!!!!!
and i think that is what is really killing me
Jenn: i guess i blocked some of that scene out bc i remember the beating part but not the agreeing part
that’s pretty terrible
Preeti: yeah like afterward
she’s mad and makes him sleep on the floor
which good
but then they’re walking
bc she’s hurting so bad she can’t sit on a horse
and he tells her some embarrassing stories
and is like
see?
you have to be beaten
and she’s like oh well i guess i see your point
ps i love you
Jenn: ahahhaa that is hilarious and also bad
Also, Blair is amazing.
Blair: see if you had read way more romance novels like i have
you would know what a cockstand is
Preeti: aaaahaha
Blair: (it is not a resting place for your rooster)
Preeti: are you sure?
i mean
contextually
it could be
a stand for your rooster to rest on
Stay tuned for Part 2.

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06/11/2004, My Mom Tries to Chat Arranged Marriage

This has been happening for ten years, just want you guys to know that. (Taken from my old-old-old livejournal account because I can’t actually believe this happened ten years ago.)

 

Mom: Preeti, c’mon, think about it, we have offers.
me: Offers?!?! .. right.
Mom: He’ s a doctor!
me: He’s already a doctor?! how old is he, 40?
(Heeral: hahaha, i need a yoooung brrrriiiide)
Mom: C’mon, you can do whatever you want. you can hire people to do everything, cook, clean, whatever.
Me: and all i have to do is marry someone I don’t know.
Mom: No, you’ll get to know him!
Me: Mom. i’m trying to play video games. no more talking about marriage.
Mom: You have to be married by the time you’re 26!
Me: Mom! VIDEO GAMING!

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Don’t Ignore that Instinct, Kids

Let me tell you a tale. One about marriage and status. Or maybe just one about marriage.

Kind of.

So, my relationship with my mother has reached a tipping point. That tipping point being that I am 30 and (gasp, shock etc) unmarried.

What this means is that my mom has been mining an Indian marriage site for prospective husbands for me.

(Turns out it’s hard to say no to things when your mom starts crying.)

Any way, about a week ago she began in earnest. First she sent me a few profiles of Doctors in the tristate area. I looked at one or two and immediately rejected the one who was looking for a “descent” girl. We’ll call him Dr. D.

My mom’s reaction?

“Preeti, you have to meet people, you can’t tell from their profile!”

“Mom, I don’t like his pictures, and he couldn’t take the time to proofread his profile?”

“Preeti!”

Then five minutes of yelling after which I think my exact words were,

“FINE JUST GIVE HIM MY CONTACT INFORMATION JEEZ.”

Any way, so he texts me on the Friday of BEA. I text him back on Saturday asking very politely if he’d like to meet for coffee.

I hear nothing back until Tuesday at 2:30.

text 4

Ignoring the three days it took him to respond, well, that’s an hour and a half’s notice, so I asked if we could meet up the following evening. He agreed and we decided to meet at 6:30. But after confirming he says,

text 5

Instinct is saying: This guy is going to be terrible.

I reiterated that no, tonight would not work, perhaps next week was better.

text 6

I don’t know either, guys.

The next morning I get:

text 1

As if we hadn’t already confirmed it?

That evening, I show up on Bedford & N. 8th at 6:25 and take a seat outside a bakery and text to let him know I’m there. At 6:28:

text 2

I stand and look around. Nope, no Indians.

Then my phone rings.

Me: Hello?
Dr. D: Hi Preeti? Are you here?
Me: Yes… I’m .. outside.
Dr. D: Oh, well I just parked and I have to go to the bank so is it okay if I’m ten minutes late?
Me: Sure, I’ll be outside.

Great. Okay.

He finally shows up around 6:40-6:45, and after getting some juice and a snack, we sit outside to chat. Mostly about him being a doctor. And how hard his life is. Because he’s a doctor. He really needs a wife who is going to be there for him with a cup of coffee when he gets home after a long, hard day.

Dr. D: I mean, when we get married in six months…
Me: o.O

Later, chatting about how he wants to open his own practice.

Dr. D: Well, I’d need you for the green card, of course.
Me: O.O

After ranting for a few minutes on how Americans hate immigrants, and how they blame immigrants for everything, he finally asks me a question about what I do. I start to go into children’s publishing, but he interrupts with:

Dr. D: You know, I have a lot of interesting stories. I’ve had a lot of experiences that other people haven’t had. I lived in Manhattan for a year.

He proceeds to tell me a somewhat amusing anecdote about this old Indian lady he used to live with. I told him that he could definitely self-publish.

There was much talk of how he couldn’t really see himself living in NYC for much longer. I’ve by now realized that I made a huge mistake in agreeing to this, so I keep doubling down on my intent to live here for as long as possible.

“Yeah, I really need to be here for my work.”
“I just can’t really see myself living anywhere else.”
“New York is obviously the best city in the world.”
etc, etc.

I think he’s getting the hint when he starts talking about all the other ladies he has to meet still, because he has to make a decision. He’s not getting any younger. He’s going to meet this girl in Arizona and in California. Then abruptly asks, “Hey what kind of food do you like?”

Me: Oh, uh, so sorry. Didn’t realize we were going to have food. I have an appointment. Very important. Author appointment.

He walks me to the train, which was nice, but then says: “I think this went well, let’s see each other again.”

Me: I’ll have to check my schedule, I’m out of town this weekend.
Dr. D.: Oh right, yeah, I’ll have to check my schedule, too. I mean, I’m meeting those girls in Arizona and California.
Me: Okay, well, nice meeting you…
Dr. D.: Yes, okay. Bye.

It was all terrible.

But it gets more terrible, BECAUSE THE STORY’S NOT OVER YET, GUYS.

I go to meet up with Jenn at Word to tell her all about my woefully wasted evening. Maybe an hour in, I get a text from Dr. D. I’ll just let you read the whole thing.

text 3

And that’s the story about how I’m not going to marry an asshole.

 

 

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Flipping Tables Left and Right

This is really what my life is like during the work day. And this is really how Roommate and I speak to each other.

Me:  (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Me:  ┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`Д´)ノ︵ ┻━┻
TWO TABLES
Him:  okayyyyyy
just gonna
back up slowly
toward the dooooor
(fucking psycho geez)
Me:  (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
FLYING TABLE
Him:  OK THAT IS QUITE ENOUGH YOUNG LADY
Me:  ┻━┻ ︵ ¯\(ツ)/¯ ︵ ┻━┻
i dun give a fuck flippin tables
P.S. I’m working on a real post, I swear. One that will be smart and will say important words. They  might even be in coherent sentences. Oh, and it will definitely involve a gif or two. I promise.

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The New Literary Literature

Or, how my roommate and I spent an hour talking about candy bars on Facebook, and within the conceit of Take 5, we covered every possible facet of humanity. Literature, music, war, fascism, hate, happiness, sex, Nazism… we cover it all. All under the guise of a hatred of Take 5. Or Take Five. Answer to whatever God you must.

I present to you… The Take Down of Take Five.  (It’s very long).

You haven’t gotten to the best parts yet. Like Stephen King and Pol Pot. Keep going. Have a Take 5.

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Actual G-Chat conversations with my Roommate.

And why I am constantly “accidentally capslocking” at other people.

Him:  SO I WAS AT UNIQLO
AND IT WAS CROWDED SO
I WAS LIKE YOU KNOW, TAKE THE ELEVATOR, EASIER THAN TRYING TO GO THROUGH THE CROWD
AND I’M LOOKING AT THE TROUSERS, YOU KNOW, AND JUST NOTHING IN 30X32
JUST NOTHING
AND I GUESS I COULD GET THEM HEMMED FOR FREE
BUT I WAS LIKE
YOU KNOW, I DON’T WANT TO COME BACK TOMORROW AND HAVE TO PICK THEM UP
SINCE TOMORROW, YOU KNOW
MAYA’S HAVING HER THING
AND I WAS THINKING OF GOING TO THE GYM BUT I DUNNO IF I’LL HAVE TIME
FOR THAT AND A NAP
AND I LIKE TO TAKE A NAP ON FRIDAYS BEFORE I DO ANYTHING
SO ANYWAY
I’M LOOKING THROUGH THE SHIRTS
AND EVERYTHING’S THESE MADRAS PATTERNS
AND IT’S JUST WEIRD COLOR CHOICES, YOU KNOW
SO I’M THINKING
MAYBE INSTEAD I SHOULD GO WITH THE SOLID COLOR LINEN SHIRTS
BUT NOT LONG SLEEVED
SHORT SLEEVED
BECAUSE IT’S SUMMER AND ALL

Me:  FIRST OF ALL
I READ THAT LIKE YOU WERE SHOUTING AT ME THE WHOLE TIME
WHICH MAKES ME ASSUME THAT YOUR INTERNAL MONOLOGUE IS CONSTANTLY YELLING AT YOU
WHICH IS AWESOME
BECAUSE YOU DESERVE TO BE YELLED AT
SECONDLY
STOP USING ME AS YOUR GODDAMN SOUNDING BOARD
YOUR INTERNAL MONOLOGUE IS REALLY BORING
AND I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR DUMB SHIRTS

Him
:  SO I WAS LOOKING AT THE LINEN SHIRTS

AND THEY HAD SOME NICE COLORS
BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO REPLICATE SOME OF THE COLORS THAT I ALREADY HAVE IN MY WARDROBE

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