Let’s Stop Wasting Time Pretending To Be Something We’re Not For The Sake Of A Relationship

Pablo Heimplatz

All I wanted was Chick-Fil-A. A delicious Chicken Sandwich, Waffle Fries, and a Diet Coke… Yes, that sounded delicious.

There’s this place called House of Dosas, want to try it… Expand your palette?” He says, smirking knowing he has a cooler ethnicity than I do.

I instantly feel repulsed at even the thought of Indian food, I literally hate it. Not sure why he was asking if I wanted to “try” it. I definitely had already, and although I had tried to be respectful to his culture and love the cuisine as much as I love the man… I couldn’t. The only thing I find edible is Naan bread, and I can’t fake eating that for a whole meal. The spices burn my mouth, I don’t enjoy sweating, the flavors aren’t balanced to me, and it all just tastes like mushy, weird stew with an entire container of ginger thrown in there. For the love of God, Chipotle? Panera? ANYTHING?

Sure, I’ll try it.” I say, hoping he will decide that our original planned stop at Chick-Fil-A was still in the works… but it wasn’t.

We walk in the restaurant, a few tables were filled with Indian woman having lunch, but for the most part the room was empty. The wait staff looked at me, as did the women. “Look, even they wonder what I’m doing here” I say to myself, looking at the buffet alongside the wall with impending dread. Something bubbled in the Tandoori Chicken, made a gross sound, and collapsed.

Now before you judge me as an ignorant, uncultured southerner – cut me some slack. I grew up eating foods like Chicken and Broccoli that barely had pepper on it – my mother was notorious for bland, uninteresting food….sorry mom. We sat down at the table, were given two plates and left to our own devices. I walked over to the buffet, watching him pick his favorites.

That’s when it dawned on me. Am I taking an interest in something that someone loves, or am I pretending to be someone I’m not – to enjoy things that I don’t?

You grow up and get to an age where you think you’ll stop trying to appear cool. That you will vocally announce when you dislike something or don’t share similar interests with your friends, or your boyfriend/girlfriend. It seems no matter how real we are, there is always something that you still pretend about.

In my case, I couldn’t bare the idea of him thinking I disliked Indian food. If I ever met his family, who were first generation – how could I possibly form a bond with them. I was already the white girl, with the most interesting ancestry being the other kind of Indian and in their eyes the WRONG kind of Indian… I couldn’t hate curry too! I didn’t want to give him a reason to go find some other girl who loved curry, colorful tapestries, and neon green paint for a living room.

I knew who I was, but it also seemed like I was trying to mold myself into something I wasn’t. I was trying to like things that I didn’t, or at the very least appear like the ‘cool girl’ who was fine with anything. Truthfully I wasn’t.

If given the choice between Peruvian/Indian/Mediterranean and a Steakhouse, I will always pick the Steakhouse. I decorate in white, black, brown, or blue… calming colors. I despise chaos in a room, I despite chaos in an outfit. I don’t like raves, I don’t enjoy taking recreational drugs, I’m not the kind of person who will ever look at a tie-dye maxi dress and think “wow that sure is cute.” He loved 70s inspired clothing, I hated it. He liked the kind of girl who put purple streaks in her hair, with a nose ring, and a love for listening to fast, cheerful music – I always believed that Jimi Hendrix guitar solos – although magnificent – were boring after a few minutes. I enjoyed sad melodies at times, with lyrics that really spoke to the disillusionment of life and happiness. Whiskey and beer are my drinks of choice, with the occasional dirty martini, no fruity girly cocktails for me… but I knew he wanted that. He wanted the girl who loves pink, who is waving a flag at an EDM concert high on Molly and telling people that she is an Aquarius, free and spirited who believes in energies and salt rocks.

It came to a point, where I heard what he liked so many times that I started feeling like I wasn’t enough… That someone wouldn’t want someone who is very particular, that has specific likes and dislikes.

It took this damn Indian buffet for me to realize, how could I ever think this would work when I feel like I’m not good enough the way that I naturally am. I sat back down at the table, my plate full of different types of rice and masala along with a cup of mango juice that I determined must be used to dilute the over-abundance of spice. I looked at him, thankful for the memories we have had, and the life we had shared over the past few months. Our best days were amazing – our bad days crippling. We both knew we were ill-matched, that much was evident – he could see it on my face as much as I could on his.

He was trying to become someone who read between the lines of what I said. He attempted to pick up on the subtle signs of how I felt – what I said, and didn’t say. My “I’m fine” was something foreign to him, and I could tell he never quite knew how to take my “I’m clearly not fine” and fix it. He needed someone direct, who says exactly what they think and want and I, so terrified of coming across as overbearing or needy, could never give him that.

Sometimes you just have to look around, assess where you are – in my case a run down Indian buffet – and decide if you are being true to yourself. Have you lost yourself in the process of being in a relationship… are you happy? Have you slowly changed and become someone you don’t even recognize? Not all relationships end in happily ever after, but they also don’t have to end in pain and heartbreak. The adventures of Curry Flurry and Naan Man (why my nickname was Naan Man I’m still not sure) had to come to an end. Hopefully one day we will both look back and laugh – and love who we tried to be for one another. TC mark

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