Desi parents and dating

There are different levels of strictness/conservative-ness with Bangladeshi parents these days; especially in the realm of dating. Dating in the Bengali community used to work like this- your parents have no concept of your love life until you are ready to tie the knot with someone, if you can muster up the courage to tell them. But nowadays, parents are becoming more open- minded, though there are still very few parents that will let their children (specially daughters) experiment too much with dating. It’s supposed to be a one-time shot; you meet, you go out, you check each other’s credentials; you get married.

So what happens when you bring your boyfriend home and both your families are very happy with the alliance but you guys end up breaking up before you even get engaged? One of my friends’ mom just could not handle it-she was severly attached to her daughter’s boyfriend. He was everything her mother wanted-family background, religion, nationality, education, looks, mannerisms, etc. She asked her daughter why they broke up and when my friend told her he was stifling her, she just didn’t get it.

“Men want their wives to act and dress conservatively, you have to deal with that”, were the words of wisdom Aunty dispelled.

“We just don’t see eye to eye, mom”.

“You’re never going to find someone as good as him-NEVER!” can’t you just give it a year and see what happens?”

“A year?!?!”

My advice; if your conservative parents aren’t ready to handle the complexities of our dating world don’t introduce them to your boo until you have a rock on your finger (even then it’s worth thinking over!).

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Here and now

I wait around too much for the ‘right time’. In my mind, I’m not procrastinating because I’m just waiting for the perfect time.

“I’ll pitch that big story after I get a few more clips in that subject area.”

“I’ll start exercising once summer comes and I can go jogging outside.”

“I’ll study for the gres starting next month when I don’t have as many events to go to.”

But these are all ways to put off a big goal and I’m sick of doing it. My ex used to say there is never a right time–you create it. Deep down I’m scared of failing. Maybe that fantastic story idea will never get published; perhaps I’m not capable of losing weight; what if no grad school wants me?

But I won’t ever know until I try, so I will.

Networking

I made a somewhat bold move last week. I e-mailed a senior copywriter at my company and asked her to lunch. She’s been with the brand for a long time and before that she worked for two very well-known national women’s magazine (one of them is my favorite publication). I’m hoping to learn more about the beauty field from her as well as copywriting. I have an in already by writing and editing the websites, why not take full advantage?

We’re having lunch next week. What sorts of things should I ask her? I’m hoping she could mentor me.

Please stop staring at my bald spot

I was born with a full head of blue- black hair. I inherited my dad’s silky, straight, thick hair and I never realized how beautiful it was until I started rapidly losing it about 4 years ago.

My hair had no reason to be mad at me. I colored it once when I was 15, I wasn’t allowed to heat-style my hair because of my mom and I didn’t really apply that many styling products.

I first noticed that my shedding strands weren’t naturally replacing themselves when I was 21. My mom became really worried and we consulted a dermatologist. The med-school graduate told me it was normal and probably stress-related and would grow back: I had nothing to worry about. I got annoyed at my mother for wasting my time since I hated doctors. A year later, my hair got even thinner; so much so that I couldn’t tie it in a ponytail without my scalp showing through. A trip to another doctor with a different bullshit diagnosis; apparently the issue was genetic. He blamed the hair loss on bad genes and sent me packing.

Around this time, I noticed that my facial hair was growing thicker and thicker and when I threaded my chin hairs: they grew back as stubble. I also put on 20 pounds and started getting acne when I had never skin problems before, not even as a teen.

At the age of 24, I finally figured out what was going on with my looks; I had ploycystic ovary syndrome.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a complicated and largely misunderstood condition. It either means that you have unwanted cysts in your ovaries or that you have an excess of male hormones called androgens. Both of these issues can lead to infertility, male-pattern baldness (thinning hair at the crown), thick facial and body hair, acne, weight gain around the stomach, diabetes, heart conditions and more.

I started getting treated for it last year but had to stop when I got laid off and lost my health insurance. I re-started last month but the frustrating thing us that there really are no solid solutions.

The most frustrating at this point for me is the hair loss. My acne and unwanted facial hair can be lasered off; but most hair loss treatments are futile. Living and growing up in a culture where hair is revered for it’s beauty, it’s hard to feel good about myself when there are various ‘aunties’ constantly commenting on how thin my hair is. I also dread hair cuts because I always get the same, tsk, tsk, from every stylist I’ve tried!

It’s just something I’m going to have to live with. Hopefully I can learn to manage it well.

Dang it, summer!

I’ve ben trying to play catch-up with my writing, freelancing and blogging goals for a while now, but my new job (it’s month three-yipee) and summer weddings have kept me very, very busy. I’ll also admit, I’ve just been lazy–summer’s just not a good time to accomplish anything.

Work, however, is going great. I’m having a lot of fun doing what I do and there’s a ton of room for growing at this place, which is great. It’s a different world out here in interactive marketing/pr. I’m used to being on the other side, where I’m RECEIVING the products, not trying to sell them, so sometimes I do feel as if I’m selling my soul–but it’s okay. A girl’s gotta eat well 🙂

On the freelancing front, I’ve published two articles at two different women’s magazines this summer, so another (yay) for that. But I wrote those in the beginning of the summer and after that I haven’t sent out a single pitch. Not.a.single.one. So, I’m having to start all over again, in a sense. Although, I will say in my defense, that I finally launched my South Asian wedding blog that I’ve been dying to do for a while now–so the new job and the site has kept me extremely busy.

I feel my writing getting dusty, so here I am–back again! This blog was always meant to be a way for me to connect with myself (cliched? cheesy? I know) and for a way to practice my writing. So, let’s hope I stick to this. I do have my new handy-dandy iPhone to blog from now, so no excuses will be necessary 🙂