Tuesday, 25 August 2009

How can they drive their cars but can't do their own laundry!?!

Before starting out, I need to clarify something... I love being married and I don't hate my husband! As I had once pointed out in an earlier post, I love him to bits, snoring and nocturnal rants notwithstanding! I am very happily married and this forum is to rant about marriage in general (mine AND others') and those who know me how I LOVE to crib! If I were being paid for cribbing, I'd be living a dream. And yes my husband is a frequent visitor to the blog and LOVES the fact that all I do is write about him, which leads him to the conclusion that all I do is think about him and that keeps him happy! Now that I have sufficiently established that we are a freak family let me get on to what I wanted to gripe about today.

What DOES marriage do to men's ability to look after themselves?

Remember those cheesy movies where the husband and wife wasted ten minutes of the screen time sparring over the elusive handkerchief or the like. Some may think that was an exaggeration but such was not the case. In the manner of fiction imitating life, one of the hottest topics of discussion in many households, including mine, during my growing years was on the topic of missing socks, ties, belts and shirts, especially around the time folks were getting ready to go to work. The man of the house assumed that the woman had waylaid the above articles on purpose, while women were going purple in the face at the very accusation. After a hearty shouting match, the ladyfolks would resignedly get up and point to the 'missing' sock, which would be lying demurely under the man's nose. Instead of a thank you or a sorry, all they got was "It wasn't there when I looked!" You’d think things would change with time, well they didn’t. The missing garment/article debate continues. Which brings me to the conclusion that men’s honing device (radar, if u like!) is rendered useless within the institution of marriage; as if the signal is being blocked in the building.

I have known a number of capable male of the species who after marriage seem to have been robbed of their power to pick up after themselves. I have seen bachelor pads so neat that’d put the Monicas of the world to shame, seen creases on their trousers that are sharper than a knife’s edge, seen them labouring to cook the most delicious of meals, just to lose it all post wedding! It's as if an internal mechanism undergoes auto shut down, the second after they say 'I do' (It actually means, I won't!)

Even today, the way they go about rummaging through their cupboard, or need constant reminders to take the garbage out, you find it hard to believe, he is the one who executed that brilliant takeover the other day, or bedazzled his clients from overseas with his awesome presentation or cracked the code no one could, or fished the biggest fish in the ocean, or brought home the biggest buck in the forest, or built the tallest tower and so it goes.

But it’d be unfair to blame just them. Women do their own share of hara-kiri to weaken their own case. Love-dazed, they offer their services unconditionally, which means doing EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, from dishes to laundry to cooking to cleaning – now while it will make many a mom proud, it can get to be a pain after a while. However, by the time the scales fall, the damage is done. The man has lost his ability to find his own sock.

Ladies you can wonder all you like at this freak of nature but it is best you take timely action! While we can’t fight genes, we CAN condition men to contribute. It is all well to pander to pookey’s whims once in a while but make sure he does his share of homework if you want to avoid unwanted lung exercises and useless heartburn.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Washing dirty dishes in public

Be it jokes, anecdotes, idle chatter about matrimony, it’s always men cribbing about losing their “freedom” to women after marriage. And what takes the cake is that under all that joviality they actually believe it. And so you have those who pretend to spend their lives escaping it and those who live their lives cribbing about it.

Makes me wonder why exactly is complaining about marriage a man’s prerogative?

They still get to live with mommy, the name on their passport remains the same, they still don’t pick up after themselves, the kitchen remains terra incognito, meals still get cooked, the house stays clean with no help from them thank you very much. And then there are the questions and expectations. I haven’t seen any man fend off questions about the missing thalimala/mangalsutra/sindoor or lose sleep over not looking married enough! I have still not been able come to terms with this last bit! No one ever commented on how I don’t look unmarried enough earlier, what’s this obsession with labeling a woman once she’s hitched? Is it some kind of an expiry date alert? Anyhow, that’s a debate for another time. Right now my gripe is against men grumbling about getting the short end of the rope in the marital tug of war.

This debate maybe old hat for those who have danced the jive of matrimony for a few years now but for new recruits, the steps make you go dizzy sometimes. Here you are uprooted from all things familiar, plunked into a new domain altogether. New faces, new people, different folks and their varied points of view -some amaze you, others amuse but none that you can argue with (being a D-I-L), then there’s a whole new set of expectations that come along with the wedding gifts, unsigned but shared by all, it gets a while to find your feet in the new territory. And what does the husband have to do? Ah well, make room for one more person. And life goes on. (maybe I am being unduly harsh, but I have reason to be…read on and you will know why!)

Oh sure they try to make you feel they are willing contributors in household chores. I am still waiting for the dishes to be washed; hoping against hope, of course. Oh yes, they promise not to smoke in the house; that’s another story that my loo smells like a gas chamber. Work comes home at times and you understand that he is too busy to take you out, but not too busy to catch that episode of Robinhood he missed last evening! He grazes his elbow and it requires more than a kiss to heal the boo-boo; your back hurts at night, you are asked to go sleep on the floor ‘cos it’s good for your back! And then we women get blamed for being nags!

Little wonder then that I get upset every time a man laments his marital trials and tribulations! But that doesn’t stop the male species from jumping hoops to get hitched, promising you the moon and the stars and the works during courtship. Next time you get that spiel, ask them if the offer includes washing dishes. I didn’t and I am suffering. As of now while he dreams sweet dreams, I have to reckon with dirty utensils!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

I get by…with a little help from my friends

I started off writing this entry by penning its end first. Maybe that’s how some relationships are. You know they won’t last forever but you continue nonetheless, reveling in every moment of happiness they give you. You never pay heed to that feeling in the pit of your stomach that warns you that nothing lasts forever but you hope otherwise, anyway. This entry is not about lost love or love gone bad… but it IS about loss, the loss of a good friendship- at least for now.

I was hoping to post this entry on Friendship Day to cash in on the irony (cheap thrills) but those who know me, know I always miss the deadline. The reason, apart from my innate need to procrastinate, was also, perhaps, a feeling of self-consciousness to reveal a very personal sentiment. But I have decided to go on ahead with it anyway…

I am a single child, and growing up I have not made just friends but a set of non-blood relatives/siblings. But unlike a family you inherit, these tend to move away, something I have always found difficult to come to terms with. As a child it did not hurt beyond a couple of tantrums and a bout of petulance. And life moved on. Then came the turbulent teen years, and the friends made then were similarly tortured souls, afraid of what was to come but giddy with hope and confidence that would move mountains, or so we thought. What we also thought was that we’d be BFF (best friends forever, V)…

…some did, others moved on. Reasons were varied- different personalities, similar personalities, a different location, a set of new friends, a chosen career path, boyfriends/girlfriends, sometimes it was just a matter of time that we drifted apart. Through this some times we got back in touch, just to lose it again after a while.

Some dear people I know and some I have the honour of calling friends got married before I did, communication dwindled, at times just broke down, at other times was renewed. Now that I am married I know how difficult it can get to keep everything the way it was. I also now know that it isn’t out of a desire to leave the past behind. On the contrary you crave for the days gone by when you have had a fight with your partner or when you feel homesick, or when it rains and reminds you of college, or when you see a gaggle of giggling girls…you get the drift. What I had promised myself was that I would never let my friends feel the difference, that I would be as emotionally available as before (yes, naiveté is my middle name). It was not to be. So here I was again at a point in life where I said goodbye to some good friends.

I asked a wise lady, “Why? Why do we drift apart?” Why can’t I live in the comfort of the thought that things won’t change? “You make friends with people who fill the void you may have. All these people you think have lost, have actually left you their own precious gifts, which make you who you are today,” she said. That made sense. So while I do miss those who moved away, I can still smile at the good times we had and be thankful for a lot of things, apart from good memories – to help me meet the man I love and married, to smile easily, to laugh at myself, not be afraid of speaking my mind, of being bold, to loosen up, to trust my ownself, to try new things, to be meticulous and yes, to also cherish the love and respect of people I have in my life and who have stuck by me no matter what.

Thank you. And I hope I too touched your life in some ways and that sometimes, you miss me as well. And in Gibran’s words: If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.