The power of goodbye

10 Jul

Sometimes we don’t get a goodbye, sometimes there are gaping wounds left open in the night. There are nights where he visits in my dreams and I do everything possible to stall to have him in my room with me just a bit longer. To say some words or even hold me in an embrace where no words are required. Something that signals what we were to each other and that it is forever over.


 Don’t read the last page

15 Nov

Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you.

With or without Taylor Swift’s lyrical backdrop there is no shortage of memories that I hold on to tightly.  Sentimental to the extreme and constantly alternating between vigilantly protecting every single memory with him and fervently wishing I could wipe them all clean, Eternal Sunshine style.

Patterns and head mazes that lead back to him with the faintest trigger.  Driving in the fog through the mountains to visit my sick sister in the hospital this weekend instantly takes me back to 2009, making the same trip to hold her hand. Remembering the short stay in a home for relatives of hospital patients and going straight to the library room to find solace in a story.   Choosing a paperback off the shelf  called “A Pilot’s Wife” by Anita Shreve, an author I had never heard of before that night.  Returning to our sleepy college town and devouring all of her books, falling in love with one in particular that I read on a stormy Sunday, “Fortunes Rocks.”   Two years later Simba making me feel so incredibly loved by planning an entire vacation around taking me to the setting of my favorite book, laughing and spinning in the wind as the rain danced around us on the deserted Fortunes Rock beach that looked exactly as I pictured it.

I cannot help but smile when thinking of those memories.  No form of head trauma or dementia or spotless mind technology could ever touch those.  They are safe forever.


In an effort to help him preserve those precious memories I spent countless hours painstakingly making him a photo album, cutting pictures into circles and shapes and making endless mistakes and starting over to try to make it perfect for him.  People frequently remove scissors from my reach for the safety of all as I possess the craft skills of a toddler tipsy on too much candy.   The end result was far from perfect, but his face lit up when he opened it and I felt far more excited about that gift than the expensive Radiohead tickets and Chelsea gifts that accompanied it.

That album went with him three years later when he stormed out of our shared home with declarations of burning hate.  He still took it with him, and I felt a sense of relief seeing it at his new apartment where we foolishly reunited and found continued illicit comfort in each other’s arms for another year and a half.  Then one day it vanished off his shelf and on his refrigerator he had a picture of only himself that had been removed from it.  I knew then that he had finally destroyed the book of memories from our trip, and for some reason that cut me deeply, even though it seems so silly in comparison to everything else.

Perhaps on some level it was our fear of losing each other that led to documenting nearly a decade together with thousands of photographs and videos.  A more sane and rational person (like him) would destroy those memories, but they are snapshots to moments in time that can never be recaptured or revisited, gone forever except in our fading memories and those clear pixels.

Nearly all of my 20’s were spent loving him. Destroying any remnants of the life we shared is unconscionable for me, but he has wiped clean any trace of our love (and indeed my existence) as if I were a #2 pencil pressed lightly on a scantron.   Easily erased.  Easier replaced.

A few weeks after moving in last summer and before knowing anything of my past, the kind and sharply intuitive roommate (from yet another Asian country) stared at me thoughtfully and remarked “There is something so fragile about you.  You try to hide it but I can see that someone has tried to break you.”

Yes.  But life goes on.

It’s still achingly beautiful some days.  Recently discovering Simba had moved clear across the country to marry another without so much as a goodbye… that broke every part of me.  If not for my animals I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed at all.  I cried until I couldn’t anymore, and that took weeks.  Listened to the song he introduced me to years ago by REM on repeat, along with every other sad song.

Then one day I was at the barn on a lovely fall afternoon, the air crisp and bursting with Autumn promise. Birds were singing above my head as my horse came galloping across the field to greet me, nuzzling my neck with his soft muzzle.

I felt so happy to be alive, so grateful to experience the wonder of a thoroughbred’s kisses on a clear fall day.

There is still so much life yet to be lived, even if it is without the one I loved most.

Much more to write and will be doing so more regularly.  It may seem self indulgent to readers but it’s healing to get the thoughts out of my head.  Lately, I have quite a bit as I process through these photos, videos, and thousands of letters and conversations that I have saved diligently and now hope to make something of it to help others.  Until then, Namaste



Hey there Mr. Tin Man

29 Sep


“You cannot hold on to anything that wants to go, you understand?  You can only love it while you got it” – Because of Winn Dixie

Us blurred

Like Romeo and Juliet, the dice was loaded from the start.  Tragedies befall all the epic love stories, a doomed fate that did not spare Pumba and Simba.

Tomorrow Simba will follow the path of least resistance and marry a Nepali woman, all evidence of the passionate love he shared with a silly white girl for nearly a decade neatly erased.  Assurance of an arranged marriage and children allowed him to be so reckless with a fragile heart. Careless to the consequence of stealing time.  He will never understand what it cost, the price paid for loving him.

Tragic endings cannot destroy the magic, the indescribable beauty and happiness we shared for so long.  That love was pure, something so sacred that I was willing to walk through flames to fight for it, to hold on to him.  Risk of burns and permanent scars be damned, he was my forever, and I tried my best.

A shattered soul is the remnant of what I lost in that fire, a permanent souvenir. A heart too scarred to ever offer to a better man.  Sorrow that stubbornly refuses to be buried or dissipate, bubbling up in relentless waves of increasing strength. Mocking time and the fallacy that it holds healing powers.  Memories that plague my thoughts and invade every dream.

His ghost is everywhere.

Losing our child, holding our baby alone.  The stark hospital room where I fell apart sobbing on the floor with no Simba to offer comfort, a stranger offering to drive me home.  The hell that follows mourning a very loved child, alone.  She would be a bouncy toddler today, mischievous and perfect.  Being her mom is all I ever wanted, missing her as constant as breathing.

Indeed, loving a Nepali boy was a mistake that cost everything.  White girls are used and discarded in this culture.  Not even worth a goodbye before disappearing forever.


A search for solace sorting through the wreckage brings me back to this long abandoned blog that Simba first set up and encouraged me to write about us so many years ago, when our love was as limitless as our future, when he was kind instead of cruel.  I will use it now to finish telling the rest of our story, to find meaning in the pain and perhaps tell the story of the joyful dog who saved my life, the reason I’m still here.  I owe her everything.   Namaste


Hey there, Mr. Tin Man
I’m glad we talked this out
You can take mine if you want it
It’s in pieces now….
By the way there, Mr. Tin Man
If you don’t mind the scars
You give me your armor
And you can have my heart












































Sooner or Later, We All Sleep Alone…..

4 Nov

That is the Cher song that has been stuck in my head for quite some time.  It somehow gives me comfort on the nights when I feel I am the only person in the world falling asleep alone (well, with my sweet dogs so not always completely alone). Sleeping in Simba’s arms was always my happy place, and it has been quite an adjustment to learn to be alone again and spend most nights in motels for my job.  I was very independent before him and had no problem sleeping alone, funny how time and people can change a person so much.

I haven’t visited this blog in forever, I find it too painful.  I also stopped reading all of the other intercultural relationship blogs I once adored because it just hurt too much to see what seems like everyone else finding their happily ever after and not understanding why Simba and I couldn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for my online blogging friends and would never wish for you guys to fail, but I hope you know what I mean.  I loved being part of this “group” of crazy white girls in love with our nepali/indian/asian men and enjoyed the camaraderie and sense of belonging that came with being one of those girls.  When things turned dark for Simba and me I guess I also felt I no longer could be a part of this wonderful and supportive group I had come to rely on for friendship and advice and that felt very isolating, so I just ignored blogs altogether.  Writing is therapeutic for me though and even if I have no readers or followers I’m going to try to get back into it just for my own sanity.  I probably should start a new blog altogether, but honestly I am not very technically inclined and Simba is the one who got this one all set up for me.

Simba moved out and we technically ended things last summer (2014).  The months leading up to that were some of the worst days in my memory.  We were not kind to each other, to say the least.  I was an emotional wreck he hated me most days with an alarming intensity.  It was very hard for me to comprehend how someone who once loved me fiercely could hate me with such vitriol, but in hindsight I probably had become rather unlovable and difficult because of the resentment that had built up in my heart and separated us.

Even in those dark days though we had moments of light and laughter.  I remember going out to dinner a few weeks before he moved out and when we got home a tree had fallen and knocked out all electricity to our neighborhood and blocked the road to our apartment.  He was very protective, and held my hand as we navigated the dark road. I remember feeling so safe with him in that moment.  World Cup was also playing and we had fun watching every soccer game we could together.   Before Simba I found soccer boring, and post Simba I do not watch it alone…but with him I learned to enjoy the game and I loved to see him happy when his team did well.  We also invented a game called “Yellow Ball” which was entirely silly and something only we would find so addicting and fun and I have fond memories of us laughing and playing that game even during those difficult times.

We had adopted a puppy the previous winter and even though we certainly had our share of fights regarding her she also brought us a great deal of shared pride, joy, and laughter.  In so many ways we made a dynamic team.  I believe that we would have excelled as parents (together) and my biggest regret is we didn’t get that chance, but that is a topic for another post/blog altogether.  On that note though, when well meaning friends and acquaintances learn that we are no longer together they tend to make comments like “Well, at least you didn’t have kids together” or “It’s a good thing you found out it wouldn’t work before bringing kids into the picture.”   Wow, those comments always sting deeply and I have no idea how to respond to such an insensitive comment.  “Actually, it was our dream to have a family and kids and we would have been great parents even if we didn’t work out as a couple.”  Maybe I’ll try that next time if I have the courage.  I’ve never met a parent who regrets their child, so it seems very foolish and hurtful to assume someone is happy they didn’t have kids.

In general though one of the many things that has been hard to deal with is that most friends and family seem to want to pretend Simba and I didn’t even exist.  Because we never had a wedding, in their eyes we must not have been very serious and not worth mentioning.  My sister-in-law commented recently she had no idea we were even engaged. One close friend actually forgot his name and said “That guy you were dating, what was his name?” and many act like he must have been nothing more than a casual boyfriend.

But for 8 years he has been my closest and best friend, my confidant, the guy who made me laugh with his silly antics and witty expressions and the person I still dial first (even if I stop myself) when I have something exciting or devastating to share and only his enthusiastic response or comfort will do.  Most of my happiest memories were with him.  How am I to pretend that we didn’t exist just to make everyone else comfortable?  That is hard.

I miss Nepali culture too.  His friends were amazing and that has been a big loss because in some ways I actually enjoyed their friendship and company more than some of my own American friends.  They were all couples though and of course there is no place for the white american ex of their Nepali friend, no matter how well we got along.  Momos.  I miss Mo Mos tremendously.  I miss the noise and laughter and random people singing and playing guitar while others play cards in Nepali gatherings.  I truly fell in love Simba first, but then I also fell in love with his culture and Nepal.

We still spend time together and when I was with him recently he casually mentioned that he is going back to Nepal for the first time in more than 8 years and he will be there for 6 weeks.  Much to his annoyance, I broke into tears when he told me this even though I am so happy for him that he will see his family.  He was upset with my sadness, and I admit my feelings were selfish but my emotions often get the better of me.  For so many years I had dreamed and planned to be on that plane with him when it lands in Kathmandu.  I have pictured it in my mind, imagined how he would be holding my hand during the descent (I hate flying) but he would also be pointing out the window and showing me his city and he would be giddy with excitement.

I had envisioned his parents meeting us at the airport, and in my head I practiced my “Namaste” and things I could do or say to put them at ease.  I was so looking forward to Simba showing me Kathmandu, taking me to Freak Street where he spent his youth.  Showing me the temples that he so often told me about in our early days.  I have never been to Nepal, but I love it just the same because of him.  That is why it hit me hard that those dreams are officially dead when he told me he had booked his flight.

I also suspect he will be having an arranged marriage during his trip and I can’t seem to come to terms with that even though I know I must.  We got engaged on Christmas Day, and to think of all we have been through together and him calling a stranger his wife just a few short years after he promised me “forever” is hard to imagine.  But that is life, one of my favorite sayings is “If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans.”  That has been very true, nothing at all has worked out according to my plans.  I’m 31 now and clueless about dating in this technology obsessed society, I don’t even know how or where to start because I so firmly believed I would be with Simba forever and we would have little curly haired caramel skinned babies and celebrate Dashain and Christmas and be happy.  Yes, I was very naive and gullible, but the years I spent with Simba planning our life together were mostly very happy years and I loved him deeply and part of me always will.

I’m all over the place but just needed a space to write out some thoughts.  I’ll try to be less sentimental and sad next time.


Middle of the night nonsensical thoughts and update of sorts

16 Aug

Just catching up on some blogs for the first time in a long time tonight.  Drinking wine and listening to music and reading about the precarious world of intercultural relationships.  It feels like so long ago that I found my first intercultural blog (AmericanNepali) and I was so excited and called Simba immediately to tell him about it.  I spent the next several hours devouring every detail of her excellent blog.  I was so eager to learn everything about his culture and so excited about our future even if it meant climbing mountains together (literally and figuratively).   For the last several months though I haven’t even really looked at these blogs…I’ve been actively avoiding them and my own page.  Too many reminders of how these relationships can crash and burn seemingly much easier than “normal” ones.  Especially after so much time has passed and so much has been invested….

Two months ago S took me with him to my first Nepali wedding (but in America).  I meant to blog about it afterwards when the memories were fresh but I didn’t.  The plans for our own wedding never materialized.   It’s been rather painful to watch so many of my friends go through “normal” relationship milestones and things like engagements (where the guy is usually so thrilled and excited to tell his family and friends and in turn they are all happy and supportive and plans are set into place and love is in the air….that kind of thing).   After 5 years of knowing S and over 3 years of dating I’ve still never talked to his parents beyond one incredibly awkward and ill timed 2 minute phone convo with his mom. Not for lack of wanting to on my part…but it is what it is…..and sometimes when you wait too long to turn the ignition, life throws you big horrible curveballs and the battery is shot and it never starts up again (not very smooth to use a car analogy and baseball….but I have to buy a new battery for my car tomorrow and I’ll also blame the wine…)

I think what I’ve come to learn though is that despite all that, culture is really a very small part of what makes relationships tick.  I don’t see him as “Nepali” and never really have….he has always been S who happens to be Nepali when strangers give me funny looks or family questions why I took such risks.  When it’s just the two of us…I truly don’t see the difference in skin color, or accents, or traditions, or beliefs.  Our religious differences have been a bigger barrier than cultural throughout.  .

But now I don’t know what the future holds anymore….but its probably not a red sari and momos.   Things have happened that have made it pretty impossible to envision marrying him, no matter how much I love him (and I do love him..too much probably, no doubt that’s been my weakness).   At the same time it’s hard to see myself starting over with someone else.   Very hard to imagine ever feeling as comfortable with anyone else…as carefree or silly or truthful.  The idea of dating an American almost seems strange and foreign now but at the same time I don’t think I’d go for an intercultural relationship again……I’m not even ready to think about that right now but it’s a thought that has lingered in my head and I’m still working out the reasons.  In the end, if we fall apart permanently neither one of us can blame culture… would be for other reasons altogether.

So I just logged in for a rambling session more or less.  I appreciate everyone’s supportive comments on my last post and I’m sorry this one is a bit more depressing.  Posts like this one are the reason I have been avoiding the blogs for the last few months and here I go adding to the mix…..cheers to cheerier posts in the future.

Going to the (Buddhist?) Chapel and We’re Going to Get Married…..

25 Mar

Simba pointed out to me yesterday that I haven’t blogged in quite a long time.  It’s true that 2012 has been a roller coaster so far that had me living in a hotel for a month, moving apartments without notice, getting my purse and identity stolen, and more work stress than I have ever had before in my life.  I have dropped the ball on blogging but I thought I’d write a quick update on here because sometimes all it takes is writing one post to get the ball rolling again.

One major piece of news since last time I wrote is that Simba and I are officially engaged!!!  He proposed on Christmas night with a gorgeous sparkly ring and a nervous laugh as he waited for my answer on one knee 🙂  Of course I said yes, but I did make him wait for a minute or two before giving him an answer.  Hey- he made me wait almost three years!  It was a beautiful Christmas though and I floated on cloud 9 and I still can’t stop looking at my beautiful ring.  He did good!

I am very happy to be engaged to him but it has presented a whole new slew of problems that are exacerbated by the intercultural factor.  One of them was that even though he proposed to me he wasn’t quite ready to tell his parents about being engaged (partly because in Nepal they don’t really do engagements per se).  I tried to be understanding about this, but it also kind of hurt my feelings and made things very tricky when all my friends and family wanted to know about the date and the wedding plans, etc.  It’s nearly impossible to plan a wedding when his family didn’t know and when I tried to explain that to my american friends I get these concerned looks that drive me crazy.  As a result, there has been some tension because unfortunately I started to resent him a bit for not telling his parents and for constantly being “warned” by well meaning friends and family about the implications of being engaged to a man who wasn’t telling his family.

So, while I was thrilled to be engaged to Simba it has also been a stressful few months of us arguing a bit about this aspect.  I am not really a “planner” per se but I also knew that in order to have a wedding this year I would need to start the budgeting and planning process and Simba didn’t quite understand the importance of having a date to do any of that.  Most of my friends are super busy and have already sent me certain dates they have requested me NOT to get married because they have other weddings that day or will be out of town, etc.  And for me, the most important aspect of a wedding beyond our vows is celebrating with friends and family.

So it’s been a struggle to understand each other and for each of us to be patient as we try to muddle through these cultural issues.  Most days I would honestly rather just skip the entire public ceremony and just do something private with our very closest friends and family (as in less than 10 people probably).  That’s kind of my secret dream because I know our wedding will turn into a chaotic event of trying to meet others expectations-and most likely coming short.  I think another part that makes me nervous is the fact that so far it seems that his family is very critical in general….Simba tells me that’s just his culture and I think it is true.  I have written about their comments on weight, etc (not just about me but everyone-it seems no one is safe from their free commentary on everyone’s appearance, personality, etc).  It makes me cringe to think of all of them being in the same room with a spotlight on me and the inevitable pictures being posted on Facebook and feeling as if they will all be talking about me, but in a negative light looking for any perceived flaws. I know that seems extremely pessismistic of me to say, but it’s the truth.  I’d have to say it’s the part of Nepali culture I dislike the most….

In case you were wondering, Simba has finally told his mom (last week!) 🙂  But at this point I have left poor Simba to plan the whole thing because I am a people pleaser and it didn’t take me long to realize there is no way to make everyone happy.  My friends and family will want a Christian white wedding and his family of course wants a Nepali style ceremony.  We have discussed a “fusion” of sorts because having two ceremonies just isn’t economically practical for us at this point.  Any suggestions or advice would be MUCH appreciated!  We will be working with a pretty tight budget and most likely paying for most of it by ourselves.  I went out with two of my girlfriends last night and they were wanting to go wedding dress shopping with me.  They were WAY more excited about it than me and their faces fell when I told them I’m not sure I’ll even be wearing a white dress.

Simba is probably wishing he hadn’t mentioned that I hadn’t blogged in awhile at this point 😉  But don’t get me wrong.  I am beyond excited about sharing a life with him and being married to him.  It’s just the actual wedding ceremony part that gives me major jitters.  But everything will fall into place-it always does!

arranged marriages in the movies

7 Nov

I really should know better than to start any kind of “Part 1” blog post because then I feel kind of handcuffed into finishing it and even though I have other topics to blog about I don’t because I haven’t finished my “Part 2” yet.

Oh well 🙂  I will get around to finishing my part 2 but I want to continue to post when the urge hits me.  I’m sitting here with my mom’s 4lb dog sleeping on my lap and since I don’t want to disturb the sweet princess I thought I’d use this time to catch up on a quick blog post.

Simba and I have had a rough couple of months but we’re starting to see the light.  The two months since our wonderful vacation have seen more fights than we’ve had in a long time.   I think we both agree the distance thing has to end, and thankfullly Simba is working hard now to make it down south where I live.  He is coming to visit for Thanksgiving and will attend his first “white” wedding with me as one of my childhood best guy friends is getting married that weekend.  I’m looking forward to the event and having Simba there by my side.

Since we are still doing long distance we are still having our “Netfl*x date nights” where we both watch movies together.   I got a little overly excited this weekend to see a new movie arrival called “When Harry Tries to Marry” about an american-indian boy who wants an arranged marriage and doesn’t believe in love marriage.

Of course he meets a fun american girl who could possibly change his mind….I won’t tell you how the story ends but I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it.  It’s not the best acting and it’s not a brilliant “must see” movie or anything, but for anyone who has had the arranged marriage vs love marriage debate I would suggest watching it just for fun.

I know it’s not politically correct to have an opinion against arranged marriages….but I really can’t help it.  I think I can respect someone’s choice to go down that path and respect a culture that supports it, while wholeheartedly disagreeing with the concept.  Simba and I debate this constantly, but I stand firm in my opinion that I would absolutely hate to have an arranged marriage.  I also don’t buy the statistic argument as a reason to tout the success of arranged marriage (I think one can stay married and also be incredibly unhappy or unfulfilled-and that does not equal “successful marriage” in my mind.) I do think many girls (more so than boys) are pressured into accepting a man their parents pick out.    Simba always argues that in Nepal girls can always so “no” but I think the pressure is greater on girls to comply.  Women cannot earn as much money and are more economically dependent on men in Nepal.  That alone skews the playing field of the arranged marriage game.  I can only imagine if my parents were struggling to support me and were anxious to marry me off that I would feel pressured to accept whoever they chose for me just to alleviate their burden.

Of course I know there are many successful arranged marriages and Simba’s parents have one of them (as well as some of his cousins).  I do agree that you can learn to love someone with time….but I wouldn’t want to go down that path.  There is something so clinical and sterile about pretty much saying that you can and will learn to love anyone if given enough time and if you have similar family and educational backgrounds.  It just takes away from the magic of love by suggesting that you can achieve that with just about anyone.  But I’m not trying to offend anyone with my comments here.  I don’t claim to have all the answers I only claim to have some strong opinions that I try to turn into educated opinions 😉

But I could go on and on about this topic but will leave it there for tonight 🙂  The other exciting inter-cultural news occured while I was doing the exciting task of folding my laundry on Friday night.  I have a slight obsession with HGTV and of course I had that on in the background when I heard Sharell’s name mentioned and I looked up and saw it was Sharell (From White Girl in a Sari) and her husband on House Hunters International when they were searching for a place in Mumbai.  I was so excited and called Simba immediately and he watched the whole episode with me via webcam (he doesn’t have cable).  I felt a bit like a blogger nerd (blog reader nerd since I don’t write that much to really call myself a blogger) but it was so fun to see them on tv.  Sharell is gorgeous and I loved seeing her and her husband interact as they looked for a house in India.