Labels, Labels, Labels


“Don’t you use gmail labels to organize your life?” 

Seriously, is that even an argument? Sometimes, I think Shiva is completely incapable of having a conversation. I love him to the end of the universe and back, but his brain operates in such different ways than mine does! 

We were discussing the issue I have with his labels. Basically, for the first 9 months that we were together, I wasn’t his “girlfriend.” I don’t know what I was, or what we were doing, but everyone and their brother and their cousin, and their cousins best friend would have called it “dating”. We lived together, went everywhere together, ate together, bathed together, SLEPT together…you get the point. Anyway, it took him nine months of that behavior (after three months of hours long intimate conversations in my kitchen), to label me, “girlfriend”. 
That lasted for all of a few months before he was “breaking up” with me because of the situation with his parents and all the tantrums his father is apparently so good at throwing and I became, “ex-girlfriend.” In that time, I moved my entire life to be with Shiva and then we were back to my “pre-girlfriend” status of doing everything together, including living together AGAIN.” Of course, he would remind me that we were not “dating”. My answer remained as much as ever, “a duck is a duck, regardless of what you call it.” That status lasted until literally about an hour before his parent’s plane touched ground in the US and in that time he rushed most of his belongings to his sibling’s place under the pretense that he’s been living with his sibling the whole time he was actually living with me. 
During this time, my label has undulated between “ex-girlfriend” and “good friend.” Today, I earned the label, “best friend”. This conversation arose during Shiva’s attempt at explaining that although he had said I could meet his parents, now he just couldn’t make that happen and I was explaining that my promise (ultimatum for some who prefer that label) to vacate myself from his life should he continue to act in ways that illustrate a preference for my invisibility to the people that matter most still stood. That’s right, Shiva. I meant what I said, when I told you that if they go back home to Nepal and I do not meet them, I will no longer be your “friend”, “girlfriend”, “ex-girlfriend”, “roommate”…I will be NOTHING, because I will not be in your life, at all. 
It isn’t that I want to be out of his life, but I’ve been vacillating from one label to another for almost two years and I’m really over it  If I matter, then I matter and if I don’t, then let me go. He kept saying that he can never truly be with me, never marry me, never give me what I want because he can never take on the label of “step-father”. Okay, but when pressed, he lacks a definition for his label. He says he isn’t ready to be a “step-father” now and that is fine, but when did I ask that of him? I asked him to have the same relationship with my daughter that he has always had, which has been a positive loving one up until now. But he just can’t move past the labels. 
He kept telling me about how I’m not “Asian” and all of the “Asians” he knows understand what he means. That’s right Shiva, keep going with the labels, I wasn’t Asian when you met me, I never will be, this isn’t new news, but somehow is an important label to mention I lack. But then he actually argues that he doesn’t want to have his life without me. His argument against my label of “nothing” is that I’m actually his “best friend.” What does that mean?
Shiva’s definition of best friend is apparently, “girl that loves me with all she can and does anything for me. She also brightens my world with her sentences that are a mix of Nepali, Newari, and Hindi, her ability to sing along to soundtracks from Dil To Pagal Hai, Dil Se, and Veer Zara. He then went on to tell me that I I’m the most fun to argue with and he doesn’t know what to do with me.” (Didn’t he just finish telling me that he doesn’t know what to do without me either?) He hugs me and holds my hand and leans in close and looks deep into my eyes and all I want is to label him a self-deceiver. Shiva, my love, these are not the actions of a “best friend” these are the actions of a “lover”. So, while we are at this junction discussing labels, lets start applying them realistically. 
ps- We are still on for meeting the parents once he realized that it was still either he’s in or out on this one and I wasn’t wavering. As for what label he’s going to provide to the parents, we’ll just to have to see.  


3 responses »

  1. You know Nepali and Asian culture more than I had ever thought. You are doing great. We don’t know what is going to happen next. Our future is uncertain. The only thing we can do is try to make it as certain as possible. But, after all, we are just following what has already been written for us. Unfortunately, as a human beings we are not in the position of choosing our destination. It has already been set. Just follow it and time will take you to that place. Wish you all the best.

    • Thank you for that insight. I am torn between believing that there is a path predestined and that I have the ability to carve my own path. I suppose, there is probably a balance between the two. I am trying to be patient in these times, because only time can tell. Thank you for following and sharing your thoughts. 🙂

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