Less than three weeks now until Rosalind’s big day. No, not that big day, I mean her release day. HGWW is a bit of a departure for me from my previous books. Where I tend to play around with the fantastical or the historical, the characters in Have Gown, Will Wed are modeled after many of the brilliant women (and men) I have met in the Silicon Valley. One of the big questions that lingers here for a career-minded woman is whether or not she’ll ever get married, or if she has time for a relationship at all. In this scene from HGWW, we see Rosalind and Kamakshi tiptoeing around that dilemma.
HAVE GOWN, WILL WED releases on September 25, but stop by this Friday, September 13, to see the cover designed by Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations.
“What happened?” Roslaind asked
Kamakshi crossed her arms over her chest and huffed. “I told you I was getting married, and you decided to pioneer apartment floor planking.”
Strudel pushed his snout under Rosalind’s hand, his big black eyes fixed on her as he jumped down to the floor and stationed himself at her feet and at the ready to go anywhere she was. “Can you just help me walk to the sofa? I think I just need to sit a few minutes.”
Few times in her life had Rosalind actually been blown completely out of the water. The first had been when Arnold Swartzenegger managed to become governor of California.
Kamakshi fidgeted. “His name is Prashant.”
“Prashant?” She searched her memories. True, Betahouse’s to-do list came before keeping up with Kamakshi’s social life as of late, so they hadn’t exactly been sharing minute-by-minute blows of all their going-ons, but still. “Prashant who?”
“Radhakrishnan,” Kamakshi supplemented, seating herself on the edge of the couch next to her friend. “Don’t worry, you aren’t completely scatter-brained. You’ve never met him. Actually, until a few weeks ago, I’d never met him either.”
Rosalind’s eyebrows knitted. “So you, what, fell in love at first sight or something?”
“Well, not exactly.” Pinching her fingers together, Kamakshi scooted to the edge of the cushion. “A matchmaker found him for me.”
Well, didn’t that up the ante of on the WTF-o-meter. “Are you saying that you had someone find you a husband?”
Nervously, Kamakshi bobbed her head.
Rosalind blanched. “You mean you’re getting married… on purpose?”
With hand wringing, Kamakshi ventured her answer. “I know what you’re going to say.”
“Do you, Kam? Do you really?” Rosalind shot to her feet and began measuring the width of the loft’s seating area footstep by footstep. “Because I’m not sure I do. I mean, if you had told me you decided to cut off all your hair and join a biker gang, I think that would have made more sense. That would be in line with how bold, how committed, how willing you are to being your own person and being a success in the way you see it. But marriage? I thought we all agreed that was an old world practice meant to keep a woman in check so she doesn’t get too uppity and independent? To make sure she remembers her highest purpose in life is to be the servant of her husband and, lord help me, kids?”
To her utter amazement, Kamakshi took every slight with grace. Never did she bristle or bite; she just waited for Rosalind to lay out her piece, then explained in a voice both calm and firm, “Roz, when we said those things, we were twenty years old. And I agree with you still; many women use marriage as a crutch to prop up their own sense of identity. But we’re older now, and hopefully a little bit wiser. We see those things we once thought black and white have many shades of gray in between. That’s what a marriage can be for some, but it’s not what it has to be for all.”
Rosalind stared slack-jawed and gap-mouthed, like Kamakshi was trying to explain the basic principles of astrophysics and not justify spontaneous matrimony. “I don’t get it.”
Kamakshi reached across and took Rosalind’s hand into her own. Strudel took advantage of the joining to lick over both the women’s knuckles.
“Rosalind, why are you trying to make BetaHouse a success?”
The befuddled blonde withdrew her hand and leapt to her feet. “That’s such a stupid question!”
“It’s not. It’s a simple question. So answer it.” Kamakshi folded one leg over another and waited patiently. “And don’t try to tell me it’s for the money. I know for a fact that you were offered everything short of paradise by Google to stay, and that Yahoo and a handful of other valley companies chased you like a rabbit when the rumor circulated that you were leaving.”
Planting her feet into the ground, Rosalind folded her arms over her chest and huffed, “Because I didn’t want to be anyone’s lapdog!”
“That’s true, but we both know you would never allow yourself to stay in a position where you were being taken advantage of.” Her eyes narrowed. “The truth. Now.”
It call came out like a floodgate bursting. “Because I want to make something that’s mine! I want to hone, and strive, and labor, and grunt, and at the end of the day, turn around and say, ‘Look! I did that! I made that! My work, and my time, and my idea, and it happened, because I believed I could.’”
At the end of Rosalind’s screed, Kamakshi cupped her chin and cocked her head to the side. “And you would be saying this to …”
Rosalind shrugged. “Everyone.”
“Everyone doesn’t care.”