Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

It's New Year's Eve, and I realize an end-of-year wrap-up post would be apropos, but let's face it, it's been done, and done. On top of that, I have nothing to count down, and my "ten best" list would not be of interest to anyone outside my household.

So instead I'm going to tell you a little story that happened yesterday as we were out shopping for everything, by which I mean everything. Cereal, gum, oranges, bread, eggs, eggplant, chocolate, chips, cheese, milk, salad greens, both kinds of dog food. Everything.

We had fortified ourselves by going out to breakfast and were at the first of four stops, checking out and making small talk with the cashier. My husband Mowgli (not his real name) was putting things in bags; we bring our own and have learned that bagging our own tends to result in better use of space. Granted, this makes us sound like a couple of uptight turds, but seriously, it's just easier, especially if you have a spatial relations genius in the family.

But I digress. The cashier asked if Mowgli was from India, and he said yes. Then, instead of the usual "what part of India?" follow-up, she asked if Indian women wear dots on their foreheads because they're married. He was caught off-guard (fair enough -- who expects a cultural question in the middle of bagging their own purchases?) but said yes, it can mean that. Then I chimed in and said it could also mean that they'd been celebrating a religious occasion. She seemed satisfied with our answers, and we paid and headed for the parking lot.

Now that I've written this and thought about it, this little incident encapsulates our year pretty well. We've been handling the mundane tasks of life, and occasionally discussing bite-sized bits of Indian culture with total strangers.

Not a bad year at all.


  1. Yet in a way it seems like an honest way of connecting. Hey, at least it wasn't some offensive, crazy talk! Sometimes when people ask me if I'm Jewish, there's a borderline ugly comment or question to follow... Ah well, it's all part of life! Happy New Year!

  2. I think the general lack of knowledge of Indian culture keeps conversations like this innocuous, so maybe ignorance really is bliss. Happy New Year to you, too!


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