For I am the Introverted Socialite.
I decided to take the plunge and stay on campus one summer. I was in a lab and taking the Philosophy of Bioethics- one of the most amazing classes I had ever taken at UPenn during the absolute worst summer I have ever experienced as of yet.
(*Remember: In reference to the last post: “Summer” is referring to the period between the end of one academic year and the beginning of the next one as pertains to your own life. )
My birthday falls within the second week of June, well past the culmination of the college spring semester, and so I had to celebrate the day of my birth at Penn of all places.
My friends and I went out to eat for the occasion and afterwards chilled out at a grill place frequented solely for the purpose of drinking - believe you me, this context was far from my much-awaited birthdays at home growing up: going to Punjabi Kebab and enjoying every moment of the company of my three brothers (one biological brother and two cousins).
So I’m at this place where I feel highly uncomfortable but not so much since I was with people who I consider to be some of my closest friends, though they may not regard me in the same light since I never part-took in the cult-like-insider-status gained with chatting online, or drank, which apparently solidifies friendships at UPenn, but I digress.
My birthday celebrations that summer made the otherwise blessed June day into a dull one, and our chilling was the equivalent to what I imagine to be a horribly awkward interaction between crush and unsuspecting crushee.
Suddenly a boyfriend of one of the attendees of this horrid outing had texted her asking if she was drunk because her texts were tidbits of illogical nonsense, in other words, a cry for help to reflect just how horrible a time we were all having sitting there.
How did I know he asked her this in his text? Well, she of course vocalized said text, you know, just to add to the already awkward ambiance. I suppose it filled the silence and so any of her and her boyfriend’s irrelevant communications was welcomed with sighs of relief.
She continued by vocalizing her text back: “Unfortunately no, none of us are drinking.”
Furious New-Yorker, Sikh, Punjabi, Puerto Rican, I wanted to slap her across the face. Instead, I chimed in with the college-campus-appropriate “intellectual”-passive-aggressive quip: “You guys can drink if you want. I’m not stopping you.”
Oh no she didn’t- she did not just say “unfortunately” they are not drinking.
Fortunately: You’re finally not killing your internal organs so you should be thanking me for my fortunate non-alcoholic presence.
It’s my birthday damn it. How dare you -
Regardless of my answer to the dichotomy presented in an interrogative tone, ‘Day with friends or day for yourself’, being the second option, I cannot be alone.
I want to travel and think to myself, perhaps I could make traveling happen. What if I happened to have found an opportunity to go a place I wanted and had the finances set-up to go off? I wouldn’t be able to go alone. I cannot go alone.
My day-dreaming of traveling, while sitting in the passenger seat during an all too common week-night-short- road-trip from Macy’s to home, had become derailed.
From future travels to past prophecies…
….almost home, I remembered telling my parents repeatedly, from age five to sometime in high school, that I would not get married.
Here was the plan: I would become the successful physician and I would live alone in Manhattan, NYC with large windows that would overlook a busy city street that was mostly a flood of yellow- taxis, that is.
Now, I want to get married. I cannot imagine not growing alongside someone. I cannot imagine never having loved or been loved, avid Bollywood viewer that I am and Punjabi that I am, inheriting the tales of the famous lovers, known as a jointed and hyphenated identity: Heer-Ranjha.
The above is in addition to my parents who are a real-life story of love that I never get tired of narrating to anyone who wants to hear. Witness of my parents growing up I came to the realization that God really made them for each other.
ਮ: ੩ ॥
ਧਨ ਝਹਿ ਨ ਆਖੀਅਨਿ ਬਹਨਿ ਇਕਠੇ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਝਕ ਜੋਤਿ ਦਇ ਮੂਰਤੀ ਧਨ ਪਿਰ ਕਹੀਝ ਸੋਇ ॥੩॥
They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together.
They alone are called husband and wife, who have one light in two bodies. ((3))
-Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, (Sikh Scripture), 788
Just yesterday I was eating my Kashi Blueberry Cluster Cereal, dry as per the usual, since soggy cereal was never something I embraced.
One fairly large cereal flake rushed to the back of my mouth.
I felt like I could not bring up the hard flake to the forefront of my tongue.
I panicked and quickly downed a water bottle, all the while, feeling the flake’s edges along the soft tissue of my throat.
Panicky and bladder filled to saturation, I ran to my mom who was mid-yoga and told her what had occurred.
My mom, known for tough love, broke her yogic stance.
Her eyes softened and she stared at me when I asked, “Can you come to the other room with me?”
I had said enough, she not only came but went to the kitchen and made the strawberry shake she had refused to make only hours before.
I hated being alone: What if something had happened?
The introverted socialite status is something I only realized recently.
I am no longer that girl who would never marry. I am this young adult now, and according to my dad, “of marriageable age”, and I accept that statement.
In fact, I just came from a dinner in honor of realizing a new alliance between families and it was so pure and so right -
It may have also been the view I had from our restaurant table on the West side.
The view was of a NYC street: a flood of yellow- taxis, that is.