Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lip-synching and Channeling Lou Rawls

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Loose Lips...

Over paneer tikka at Cafe Palmyra tonight, I must have been under the influence of mint-garlic, grilled-cheese kabobs. Lou Rawls' silk-sari voice wafted above us and I pointed at Pat romantically, mouthing along with the beloved singer (beloved by me particularly), "You'll never find another love like mine...."

"Sarah, we're in a *restaurant*," Pat whispered.

I smiled a who-cares smile, but then felt myself returning to my one-layer-apart-from-my-true-self, typical societal [im]posture here. And it felt bad.

At first, it felt fun for a moment to have been "naughty" and scolded, but ultimately, I felt stifled...not by Pat, but rather by our perceived state of how it is here still, and how we need to behave accordingly.

Could I have been any more self-evident? I showed up to dinner in an Indian cricket-cap, sweatshirt and track-pants -- which I know any athletic female could have done, but believe me, at 5'10" with no earrings tonight, I differentiated myself.

It was all about don't-ask-don't-tell, though, and always, so far, it has felt like that to me in India. Probably, if we were staying for longer than six months, I would hazard a further outness rhythm; of course, I'm out at work, since IBM has a global non-discrimination policy, but am non-verbal, if not invisible, about my sexual orientation when I'm off-site. Four and a half months into our sojourn, tonight was my first "slip."

Lou Rawls kept singing, in any case, which was joyful. If only Barry White hadn't sung, "My First, My Last, My Everything" three songs prior, probably none of this ever would have happened!


Donna G. (alias Mohini Rose) said...

Ok. don't ask me why.... but this was the very first entry I clicked on, when I first got to your site and scanned your left navigation. And I can't wait to explore more! I love how you write. It's so good getting connected again.
Donna G. from IBM

Sarah Siegel said...

Thanks for your generous feedback, Donna. And I appreciate your leaving comments altogether because that's one of the most fun parts of writing this blog -- when anyone's moved/kind enough to comment.

rucsb said...

loved reading through your playfulness...smiles...