The most interesting person I’ve met is my sister-in-law “R.” This blog is lengthy because I had to provide all the background associated with R and I.
I didn’t meet this individual this year. I met her about 4 years ago. It was a brief meeting but I never realized how important she would be to my life. I was dating my husband (boyfriend back then) and had been invited to his cousin’s wedding reception. I debated on attending because I barely knew his family and didn’t know if it would be appropriate for me to attend.
SIDE NOTE: I’m of Indian descent (India) and come of a progressively modern family, but I was unaware of how my boyfriend’s family was. It seems like they are a mix of progressively modern and traditional individuals and it depends on the day as to how they will behave. Hence, my hesitation in attending this reception.
I discussed it with my parents and opted to attend the reception. Upon arrival to the reception hall, I noticed that the place is bursting at the seams with people. A LOT OF PEOPLE! Anyways, my parents and I venture inside and find a place to sit (Most Indian receptions do not do assigned seating), as we wait for the arrival of the bride and groom.
About 20 minutes later the deejay has announced that the bride and groom are here and if everyone could please take a seat for their entrance. The reception hall quiets down , as everyone waits in anticipation of the seeing the newlyweds. Finally, he newlyweds walk in and the bride looks great. She is tall and slim with a bronzed complexion. She is wearing a stunning baby pink outfit accented by beautiful diamond jewelry. Her hair is swept up into a low bun and I’m thinking wow she looks great!
She carries herself with confidence and self-assurance. (Side note: From here on out we will refer to her as “R”) The night progresses and I’m eventually introduced to her. The conversation is kept brief as she has many others to mingle with and greet.
This was our first meeting and I never gave it much thought except that I like her but not sure if we could ever be friends. I wasn’t sure if I would want to be friends with someone like her because I found her to be a bit different from my normal group of friends.
Let’s fast forward about two years when my husband and I finally decided we should get married. My parents opted to have a meet and greet at our house for both families. It would be a nice way to break the ice and finally meet his family. R is in attendance as well and we seem to hit it off but I’m still hesitant about how much I want to get to know her. Either we needed more time together or honestly, I don’t know. This is the first time I’m seeing her after two years. She stays a few hours and ends up leaving, it has been a successful evening.
Now it is my wedding time and I meet her again and I realized that she will forever be part of my life because my husband is close to her husband. Wedding contact with R is kept brief because I’m busy this time mingling and greeting guests.
I run into R again a couple of months later at yet another family gathering. Once again we do the song and dance of all the niceties that are expected of us. We proceed to the candy table and chat a bit, while I opt to pick up a chocolate chip cookie but do not use a napkin. I bite into the cookie and notice that crumbs are falling on the floor, but I leave it. Not a big deal, besides it’s a party, a mess is expected. At this point, R decides to make a snippy comment to me about me making a mess and not having proper etiquette and I should have considered using a napkin or plate. I stare at her and think to myself, wow, she really just said that. Honestly, I can’t even remember what I said back to her. All I know was that I didn’t like her for the comment and I felt as if she was being mean because she bored or over the whole event. She smiled as she made this comment innocently, but as I looked into her eyes, I could tell she was being rude on purpose. At that point, I determined that I was right not to extend my hand of friendship to her because she is definitely not someone I would want to be an important part of my life.
Anyhow, time went on and I would see her at family events and we always kept it to Hi, hello, nice to see you again and wow you look great. The normal rubbish you spew when you see people.
Finally, last year in April or May, we had a religious event to attend at her in-laws house. Upon arrival, I noticed that R needed help in the kitchen with the food and miscellaneous things that needed to be prepped. . (There are so many cultural things that need to be explained, so one can understand what is going on, but that is another assignment!)
I opted to help R because she seemed a bit flustered. Once we were done with breakfast and lunch, R repeatedly told me that I had been a big help and she is so glad that I came. I mumbled a response, something along the lines of “Not a problem, glad I could help.” After majority of the guests have left, we were all sitting around the dining room table drinking hot chai and discussing another upcoming wedding in the family. Hence, what are the things that break tension and almost all issues among women! CLOTHES, JEWELRY, HAIR, and MAKEUP! R and I formed a common bond over those random things. Odd isn’t it, we actually had a civilized conversation for a couple of hours about what we needed to do for the wedding and all the events tied to it. We created an excel spreadsheet to coordinate times and days and who wanted what services. I realized that we are different, yet very similar in many ways. As my husband and I get ready to leave, R and I exchanged numbers with the promise of keeping in touch and coordinating hair and makeup for the upcoming wedding. I decided I would make more of an effort with her.
I ran into R again a few months later at yet again another religious event! We greet each other but with much warmth this time. Over a cup of hot chai which later proceeded to champagne, and then cocktails, she told me about what she does for work and with her free time. She is a gluten-free foodie, an artist, designer, jewelry lover, and very passionate about traveling. I realized we have stuff to bond over! R and I continue discussing our disdain of certain people, family traditions, and expectations others have, and peoples inability to handle honesty. R is straight forward and honest (like me), which is an amazing trait.
Over the last year or so, R has become a major pillar of support for me. She is my source of encouragement, my sounding board, and brutally honest about all my crazy ideas I share with her. She has taught me that I need to put myself first and not worry about everyone. Also, that a middle ground is possible with everyone, small talk is doable with people, to be passionate and happy about what you do, and live your life for you. This is what I see her do everyday with her life, hence why she is one of the most interesting people I have met. We have a come a long way in our relationship and I can only see it getting stronger as the years go on.
She shared the following with me and it has stuck: Compromise in life but not to the point when you aren’t happy about your decisions or actions.