"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Drunk Girls Know That Love Is An Astronaut: It Comes Back But It's Never The Same

I've been a bad friend, son, brother, and even lover of late. Too much workahol leading to broken plans, missed connections, absurd periods of radio silence. To all the parties waiting or wanting or hoping to hear from me, I truly am sorry.

So here's what's been going on.

I escaped my dayjob-infused routine last weekend to attend an Indian Wedding in New Jersey with the girlfriend. Oh yes, that's right, I'm using The Title now. Reluctance to do so in the past is — hindsight-wise — kind of embarrassingly immature. Also, while it sounds quite nice rolling off the tongue, "paramour" isn't actually a very flattering alternative descriptor.

For my part, this feels different than previous relationships. It's more... intentional. I chose pursuit in spite of improbability and long odds. While she's certainly into me (so I got that going for me too), this isn't one of those things that just fell into my lap. I had/have to work for it.

This is foregrounded because it's been long-distance, which is a pain in the ass, and also not the norm for me. Shamus jokingly scolded me that this was the best I could do given my quote-unquote emotional availability. Very funny, but there's maybe something to be said for the way in which the distance gave the whole thing a chance to sneak around various subconscious defense mechanisms of mine. A trojan horse for the heart, you might say.

It's gotten harder now that she is in London, and not New York, and timezones are a real barrier, and we have to plan and coordinate even to talk. But people do this, and even successfully. Seems kind of silly not to try.

Another novelty/challenge: she is more different from me than anyone I've ever dated before. She is brainy of course, and at a bedrock level we have much in common, and communicate pretty well. I like to think this puts us in a good position to make the most of our diversity. Still, at times the distance (social now, not geographic) between our respective worlds seems daunting. It's not just her being the daughter of South Asian immigrants, but more the whole variance in life paths: she's a relatively straight-up lawyer; she's more conventionally girly than the girls I grew up with; she's at her finest dancing to top-40 pop hits. These things are strange and quixotic and foreign to me.

In light of all this it makes me happy that she approvingly posted this little excerpt, because really when is this sort of thing ever very logical? It isn't, I'd say. My goal is not to think about anything more than is absolutely necessary, and generally try not to eff it up.

But yes, so I flew out to New York to spend the weekend in Jersey. It was pretty fun, actually. Unlike most men, I quite enjoy dancing — of which there was plenty — and I find the generally joyous atmosphere of weddings to be pleasant and life-affirming. Plus there was plenty of quality food and booze.

The night before the wedding itself was a tradition called a Sangeet, which is like a rehearsal dinner except bigger (half the whole wedding was there) and revolves around a talent show. This is actually an exceptional idea; there's nothing like the sharing of amateur and cheeky performances to help bring two families together. I recommend anyone considering a bricolage approach to their own nuptials consider incorporating this genius little innovation.

I also appreciated this quote from the wedding program: "Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction." Which is also translated "To love is not to look at one another: it is to look, together, in the same direction." Seemed apropos.

Another highlight was the after-party, which was back in the hotel/conference center we all stayed in, which had an honest-to-god nightclub. This is in North New Jersey proper, and sort of outside any real town or city center. And yet this joint had an apparently substantial clientele. The crowed was, shall we say, interesting, sort of the end result of Jersey Shore plus 25 years, or, as someone remarked, "I feel like this place is exclusively full of people here to cheat on their wives." A great moment for human anthropology in and amongst the Dirty Beats.

We finished the weekend strong back in the City, mostly picnicking in Central Park, greeting friends of hers, camping out behind Summer Stage, gorging ourselves on Chicken and Rice back in the apartment.

I had one more day there, so I got to see my Sister on the night before her birthday. Missed everyone else though (didn't even tell folks I was coming out) for which, again, I am all apologies. Next scheduled excursion is late October, and will be a Good One, I think.

Now back in California, a week later, it feels like much longer ago. Like another world, a place of real summer, and me another person maybe. Another identity facet to blend? Another structural hole to bridge? Time, as they say, will tell.