Presumptions are the mother of all cock-ups.
No matter what country you are in, some things really don't change. Complete strangers don't think twice about asking personal questions. Or stupid questions. Most people we meet here know that I have moved to Australia with Partner. If they don't know, they are told so when Partner introduces me to them. This is also a country where living together without getting married is not unusual; people know what it means to "live" with someone. It means you are going to stay together. So I don't understand when people ask, "How long are you going to stay in Australia?" What does that mean?
What answers are people expecting? "As long as Partner keeps me?" "Till I don't find a better looking, richer man?" "As long as Partner does not decide to date a blonde, white girl?" Oh yes, I did try the date-white-girl version and the reply to that was, "Ah don't worry about that. You know (wink) 'Once you date black, you never go back'?" Really. Was that wink supposed to make me ignore that you made an ignorant, underhanded comment? Or ignore your stupidity? Because LOOK again. I am B.R.O.W.N. There is a huge difference; like four shades.
Or strangers you've only just been introduced to think it's their goddamn right to ask, "So when are you getting married?" Why? Are you paying my wedding bills? Are you giving me away? Am I in love with your f-king son? No? So shut up. Till recently, I have smiled at that question and answered with a, "Let's see" and walked away. However, it's getting difficult.
At a recent meeting with people, as is the meet-new-people routine, I am introduced to everyone. I understand that people will be curious. It is a different thing to hear about mixed couples and it is a totally different thing when someone you know starts dating a 100 % Indian girl ( as against born-brought-up-overseas Indian girl). I guess it is even MORE different/bizarre when said boy goes to work in India for two years and comes back with a girlfriend. (I wonder if I should have a "Made in India" tattoo)
Perhaps some people were expecting me to wear a sari, a bindi and break into a Bollywood song-dance routine every two minutes. Or sit cross-legged on the dinner table and eat with my fingers. Well, I DO enjoy sitting cross-legged on chairs -- my size allows me to do so -- but I can use cutlery very well (including chopsticks). Though honestly, I am still partial to eating with my fingers. I can even eat pasta with my fingers (learnt in Sikkim). Anyhoo. What I know is that this curiosity is harmless. I am dead certain that Partner will be even MORE stared at when he finally meets my family back in India. Knowing some of my relatives, I am quite sure some of them will also giggle or point at him and say "White man" and perhaps ask him to do some Shane Warne bowling actions...
ARGH, digressing, getting back to the story... So I am introduced to all new people and amongst them is this offensive woman who took it upon herself to just stare at my face. Not like surreptitious looking but outright staring. There was nothing curious or harmless about the stare. It was a "what-did-he-see-in-her" stare. And no, I was not imagining. I am very good with understanding looks and even better at reading vibes. Having had enough of her silent staring, I said a polite hello and walked off. Only to have to sit next to her again. Two mintues of me sitting next to her, she asks, "So, are you going to marry him (Partner)?" This question was even more bizarre than the when-are-you-marrying one. It irritated me and I said, "No I will not." Unfortunately, I played right into her hands. She responded with, "Ah. You must be one of those people from India who come here and then never go back."
No, I did not slap her. But it's making me angry again. The second incident happened in class yesterday. This chick said something on the lines of, "Marry him then divorce him" etc. I didn't say anything to her either. BUT the next time she does, I will ensure I screw political correctness in the bum. Enough.
PS 1: Before any of you say,"Don't worry about what other people say", "Learn to let things go" or "You have a bigger heart than them, move on" etc. I KNOW all that. While I respect all attempts/suggestions at positive thinking, at this moment, I do not give a bloody damn f-ck.
PS 2: Ranted at Partner. He heard, cocked his head, hugged me BIG, kissed my forehead and said, "It's ok for you to be angry as long as you remember I am not them; I love you." Sigh. He good man.
Toon courtesy: The Back Porch Studio