Vedashree Khambete Sharma
Three Little Words
Everybody gets to hear them at some point. Before job interviews and first dates, while writing scholarship essays and before meeting prospective spouses. Just be yourself, darling, they’re told.
Me, not so much.
I get pearls like, “Don’t use long words and scare him off”, “Don’t make fun of anybody”, “Maybe you should tone down the bitchy a notch”, “Don’t be sarcastic and intimidating, you know – don’t be all… you.”
A quick survey of my immediate social circle reveals that people think I’m loud, abrasive (remember, Koltrain, remember?), sarcastic, caustic, cynical, overbearing, domineering, intelligent (oh thank you, sweet Jesus!), high-maintenance, blunt, attractive (despite all this, apparently), not as cool as I think I am, evil, fun, weird, a hard-assed feminist and if one colleague is to be believed, barely a woman at all*.
An overwhelming majority of people also assure me that I shouldn’t worry because I will find a guy, all the above points notwithstanding. I take heart in that, as you can imagine. Because if so many people are saying it, then there simply MUST be a guy out there who’s intelligent and attractive and charming and nice who is actually a closet emotional masochist because he prefers sarcastic, bitchy feminists who’re high-maintenance and weird.
Yeah, I can believe that. What? You can’t? REALLY??? Shocking.
* He once asked me, “So whom would you date in our office, if, you know, you were a woman?”