Itches before Smooches: Art of (sad) Life

Well, before I even start, I must say what I’ve been saying to people who’ve met me more than a month ago. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know how much my anxiety involves the health of my parents. So, my dad is recovering from a severe health issue. And already jumped in his regular life while healing (and it’s a heck lot of pressure). That has made my anxiety and fears stronger. Sleep has totally eluded me and focusing on my duties have become harder since now I have more things to fear and actually some of the things I used to “fear” have happened for real. My mouth is dry most of the time whenever I can sense dad is having a hard time and I have hardly anything to do with resolving it. Though he let me run his business for a few days when he was in hospital and a week or two after the surgery. But as a dynamic person he is, he took it over and working at least 5-7 hours a day.

Though it is hard for me to talk about dad’s health issue because it cracks me up. He suffered from it mostly because he was mistreated in his own business by his associates. Anyway, as I have done this “hard part”, it’s safe to tell you, I am in a even worse mental health position right now. I stress out more, I still have no mental health counselling facilities, and more of the scary stuff are bottling up. And channels to let these fears go are shrinking with time.

But (literally) some channels are too mythical to shrink. This is Mythical is one such channel. Along with GMM, GMMore, and Rhett & Link’s “main” channel (believe me, we still watch this, last Friday my friends and I were in a fb confo and someone shared a meme, which reminded one of us (not me) the Are you gonna eat that song, and we all went through the old Rhett & Link rabbit hole).

Today, especially was (and still is) a scary day for me, since dad had some important business stuff being executed and it took almost midnight. The whole day, at work I was worried, almost blotted as the ink-blotting papers. I repeatedly listened to the Mortal Kombat soundtrack while working on the websites to be tested, contents to be written, and menstrual pains to be felt.

I think these days I worry more than dad does, I guess I just try to worry his part along with mine, even knowing that one cannot do another person’s worrying. I wish it could be done that way though.

Enough “sidetracking”, I know. If this was bowling, the ball wouldn’t even be in the gutter. It’d be rolling on the alley floor.

The point is, the stress was a little easier on me since it’s Sunday. And Sunday means “Ear Biscuiiiiiiiiiiits” (Neh, not quite like the old mail song (Just FYI, new Ear Biscuits are available every Monday everywhere podcasts are found, this is the full video version of previous week’s Ear Biscuits)).

When dad switched off his phone, handed it to me and finally went to bed, I was finally a little “relaxed”. And started watching last week’s Ear Biscuits (yayy!). Boy today’s topic was fun. (Last week’s was cool too! Girling Up sounds like the book I think I could use when I was “growing up” and I’m sure you’ll know why as you keep on reading this blog (given I finish it and articulate it properly)).

Today they talked about “first kiss”. If you’re a mythical beast, you already know about this. And I think you go and watch it and not have it soiled with my sloppy discussions. Sure they tweeted and made fayboo posts about sharing our (the mythical beasts’) first kiss experiences. And I tweeted back, I’m yet to have one and I’m oddly compulsive about making a Drew Barrymore reference, I guess she starred and  produced the movie “Never Been Kissed”.

I decided to blawwg about that podcast because I felt like ranting. Not that I feel “bad” for not being in a relationship or having a smoochie everrr, even though I’m in mid 20s. But I felt like the world should know why have I “never been kissed”. Hey, everyone is allowed to be a little narcissistic.

To be honest, even though I live in a “conservative” country and community, “first kisses”, though tabooed, but aren’t “rare”. When I was in 6th or 7th grade, all the “popular girls” in our class had boyfriends. Oh, I studied in a co-ed military school. But the boys and girls studied together from grades 1-5 and then 11 and 12. From 6th to 10th grade, girls went to school in morning shift and boys in afternoon shift.

So, yes, like 30% of the girls in the class were the “popular ones”,  50% were the “normal girls”, who’d have whispering conversations about the girls with boyfriends and sharing their “fantasies” (or “expectations”) of their Mr. Perfects, 10% were in-between the “popular” girls, and the “normal” girls. 5% were into only sports and NOTHING ELSE. My friends filled up the rest 4%, who were nerds and only cared for either Age of Empires or Simone de Beauvoir, and unanimously obsessed with Harry Potter. We even had a Hogwarts professor name assigned to most of our teachers. Yes, we had an Umbridge (dang, she still teaches there -_- (She’s the drill teacher and would never take girls on field for “modesty issues”, if that doesn’t sound like Umbridge, I don’t know what does)), several Snapes, a McGonagall, and a female Professor Binns (no joke, many girls slept through the classes).

Oh yes, and there was me. The literal oddball. I was NOT “popular” but everyone knew me. Like literally everyone. I was a Robin Hood-ish figure to the younger students because I would straighten out the bullying kids for them, older students knew me because I was that kid who would be in backstage, helping out with the props for every event, teachers knew me because I was the kid who’d always have response to whatever shit they had to say, and awfully regular (even though my grades were only “okay”). Also, before 6th grade, most of my friends were dudes. Which probably makes me more of an oddball. Like you know how the “societal segregation” work among kids, like the girls find boys “gross” and boys find girls “annoying”.

I never knew what that was like. I grew up with brothers (cousins), my only sibling is a boy, most of my friends before school were dudes too. It was only normal. And unlike most parents in our “conservative culture”, my parents were never against me befriending boys either. I grew up around my uncles and aunts who had their fair share of healthy friendships with opposite genders and it was never awkward to me.

Well it wasn’t awkward to me because I used to think I was one of them. Actually I hoped some miracle would happen to me and I’ll turn into a boy when I grow up. I’m not lying, I hoped that so hard. And when I read Tom Sawyer, I “hoped” that to happen with all my willpower (clearly that wasn’t enough). Especially when Tom’s wish of to be dead for a while and then being resurrected again like Lazarus came true, I thought mine will as well.

So, the 4 years old me used to think, someday this wrong will be corrected and I’ll be a dude like my friends. Now if you think, I was the poster “tomboy” girls they show in romantic comedy movies, with baggy jeans, crew cuts and grease on face, you’ll be mistaken. Sure, I’d have a crew cut, and would always be hanging out with boys, playing soccer or cricket and coming back home with a hot temper for stepping in cow-dung (thinking of that still makes me mad, I’m totally fine with mud, but NOT AT ALL with dung! It’s shitty, LITERALLY). But I would always be wearing frilly feminine dresses. My parents wanted to raise a strong, independent, intelligent FEMININE girl (I feel sorry for them).

So, boys were nothing to fantasize for me. And I developed what I thought was “my kind of thing to do”. Which was fancying a girl. Who was my friend’s cousin (boy did she come back in my life later, and I was the one running away from her on tow, that’s a whole different (academic) story! (The crush was crushed and burned later)). It happened in 5th grade, when my friends would talk about which girl they think are cute and they’re going to date in 6th grade. Well, I never said it out loud, homophobia is legal here, and even though I hoped to be a dude, I knew enough that others won’t believe it unless it happened, therefore I kept the lady of my fancy a secret.

Guess what? In 5th grade, a dude in my class (friend of my then bff) started acting strange towards me. And boy I hate creepy and gnawy dudes. I didn’t hesitate a moment to let him know he was acting creepy when he said he wants to “establish friendship” with me.

This feels strange to write about him right now, because he left this world (may Almighty have peace upon his soul). He’s gone too early. But those were our literally young days, and now I understand, he had a whole different “hope situation” planned in his head, just like I did.

So, in 7th grade, when I finally had my period (yes, in tropical countries period and menopause come early), I realized my hopes were TARNISHED. And this dude decided to “ask me out” on my first day of period. Bad timing bruh.

Of course I lashed out on him. With things like “how immature it is for a 7th grader to ask a classmate out and clearly I am not interested in stuff like that”, well stuff that an “adult” would tell us. Boy! He didn’t expect that from me. I think I embarrassed him, because he came with his friends (who were NOT my friends) and they were finding his “situation” funny. I felt sorry for him at least a few years later. He later had a turbulent life. I have to be honest, I did wonder, would things be different if I reciprocated his feelings, and were “childhood sweethearts”, would that make him a different person, and would he survive and live like rest of us!

Anyway, I essentially battled with the sadness of not being a dude and having the life I wanted that only a boy could live in the society we lived. So, when my friends were slowly becoming “normal”, the “popular” girls were getting their first dates and first kisses and talking about those, I was more into Age of Empire, re watching The Matrix twice a day, fantasizing myself in fictional situations in books I loved (mostly Tom Sawyer), and having Harry Potter themed nightmares. Also, most of my friends had older siblings and they’d have all the insights and tips on studies, which were fairly recent, since I only got those from my mom and even though she was trained as a teacher were not as recent as theirs. Which developed an inferiority complex in me. I focused on that too. I had zero time for fancying dudes. Seriously.

When I finally found a male celebrity “cute” enough, he came out. I still love and appreciate this incredible Westlife vocalist. But the irony was interesting.

So, one of my Potter loving female friends got their boyfriend in 11th grade, she went to a different school though by then. Two of my friends developed platonic crush on their tutor who taught at a private academic aid that they attended, and another friend of mine got rejected by her classmate in a physics tutorial I think.

AND I WAS THERE, LOOKING FOR THE “Other me”, LIKE ORHAN PAMUK (the Literature Nobel Laureate 2006) MENTIONED IN HIS ADDRESS, THE “ANOTHER ORHAN” (excerpt from his then latest book Istanbul, a chapter named “My Father’s Briefcase” I think). I was literally looking for the another me, and also spent a lot of time daydreaming about the “what ifs” when I wasn’t studying.

I think “I missed the beat” there.

I opened up to having “cis crushes” when I started college, like “celebrity crushes”.

AND ON ONE FINE DAY, I REALIZED, I HAD A CRUSH ON A DUDE WHOM I LOATHED BECAUSE HIS GIRLFRIEND STARTED GOING OUT WITH HIM AFTER CHEATING ON MY FRIEND!

Bigger irony is, this dude was classmate (in college) of that dude who asked me out in 7th grade. And we all went to same college, I studied Computer Engineering and they studied Electrical Engineering.

Boy those agonizing days! That dude and I became friends later. He’s a happy married guy now. It’s awkward for me, but meh. That’s my secret, I’m always awkward (and I make Hulk proud!).

I was supposed to talk about why I haven’t had my much tabooed first kiss yet, right?

I think it’s because I was never “interested” or “driven” enough to approach. And never strongly felt the needs. Maybe the horrors that gnaw in my flesh have more of my attention, so I don’t care much about these “fluttery” stuff. I really don’t feel romantic most of the time. It does not happen to me without external triggers like a good romantic ballad or a moving piece of art/literature. And the effect never sticks for long. My bro friends said, I’m in a limbo.

Meh!

No hope for kisses for me eh? That’s sad because I don’t end up in the surprise party every South Asian youth fears called “arranged marriage”. I think I’m ready for dropping my wards a little.

WAIT!

Does Hershey’s Kisses count?

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