Ena: Today I made some bold fashion choices, and I feel pretty good. I purchased this skirt while out shopping with my Grandma during our recent Palm Springs visit. I absolutely love it; the color, the length, the fabric, the pockets, I love it all. But when I put it on this morning I began to have second thoughts. I mean, this skirt is bright, really bright, like jump up and smack you in the face bright, and I wasn’t sure if that was quite the look I was going for. I wanted to look cute, but I also didn’t want to visually assault anyone.
Like Bina yesterday, I timidly walked to my office this morning not knowing whether I looked fashionable or completely ridiculous and feeling a bit like Mickey Mouse. Despite Bina’s assurances that I looked neither ridiculous nor like Mickey Mouse, I was still unsure. As I left the office this afternoon for the long walk to my lunch-time yoga class, I decided that I didn’t care; I like this skirt, I think that I look kinda nice, I don’t care what anyone else thinks. Just as I made this defiant mental proclamation a woman working wardrobe on something filming around the lot – I know she was wardrobe because she was carrying a bunch of clothes, either that or she works at the drycleaner – smiled at me and said, “I like your outfit.” Yay.
Bina: So I dialed things down a couple notches today. After the excitement around yesterday’s Day-Glo tights, I went with a simple button-down blouse from a little shop on Melrose, and tried the tribal necklace that Raina gave me for a hint of dramatic flair. I like it peeking out from underneath the blouse; I saw Alexis wear a similar necklace and top once – so that’s my inspiration! Thanks, A!
Tomorrow, I won’t be here because my “little” brother, Bikrum, is coming to visit. He’s surprisingly tall and quiet and wears t-shirts with Biggie Smalls, Tupac, and Carlos The Hangover Baby on them. Aside from our complexions, I don’t think we look very much alike at all. But I guess we turned out okay considering everyone was quite concerned when my parents decided to get married. “But what will your children look like?! Half-Indian and half-Japanese? They will have dark skin and slanty eyes!!!” So I guess there was some relief when we came out just looking kinda Filipino.
People often ask, and today is as good a day as any to tell you the story of how my Indian-born-and-raised father met my Japanese-born-and-raised mother. My mother says they met in a café; my father says they met in a bar. My Dad had been brought to the U.S. by his older brother, who married an American woman he met traveling in India. My Dad had dropped out of the engineering college where his brother enrolled him and decided to join the U.S. Navy instead. He was then stationed in Japan on the USS Midway as an electrician. His Navy friends had given him the name Joe and he was working on losing his accent as quickly as possible. For some odd reason, on the night they met, he told my Mom that he was Mexican; I guess he thought it seemed less strange than saying he was from India.
Despite some language barriers, my mother quickly fell for this charming foreigner, and after a couple of years of love letters and courting, he proposed. This was a big deal. There was someone who my Dad’s family had arranged for him to marry in India; my Mom would have to leave her own mother and sisters behind in Japan to move around the world. But they were in love. In 1976, my Mom immigrated to the U.S. with my Dad, and they were married in a simple ceremony at City Hall, followed by celebratory Taco Bell. They have been married for almost 35 years. It wasn’t all smooth-sailing, but they are still together and they are still in love.
For most of those 35 years, their Passion was providing for our family. My Dad paid the bills. My Mom nurtured us in every way she could. It is only in the last few years that both of them have found their own passions again. My Dad is now devoted to cultivating the farmhouse he built in my mother’s honor on the family land in his hometown Indian village. My Mom is now passionate about Hula and Tahitian dancing, after trying out a few other things like guitar, piano, and belly dancing. They both inspire me to remember, again, that it is never too late for now.
In other news, I’m not sure exactly how this happened, but – gulp – I seem to have a date tonight.