“Ah! So you are the type who writes about men,” said the guy with a glimmer in his eye, seated next to me at dinner a few weeks ago.
The problem with saying yes to a close friend’s impromptu bash is not knowing who will show up. And no one has really mastered the art of table seating, so like Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.
I ran a quick mental check of my last few columns in which, amongst other things, I wrote about my extended family, my cats, some crows, my mother, my father, my beau, my maid, my watchman and some... How did this get classified as “writing about men”?
May be that’s not what he meant, I thought. May be the subtext was “are you a feminist?”
Feminist I am not. I love it when men open doors, pay bills and act protective. I also have no inclination to burn my bra.
May be the tag is a hangover of my last job as being the practically lone female voice in a Men’s magazine. But even then, I got quizzical looks from people who asked me questions like, “Hmm..so you must be meeting a lot of hot guys?”
“Err..excuse me, didn’t you know that ours is an intellectual men’s magazine,” I would say.
They would roll their eyes in disbelief.
But this is not the first time I have got typecast, and like it or not, all of us wear tags all the time, some that we are not even aware of.
Then there is the “salad type” tag I get at work, simply because I make a big ceremony of chomping my salad. What they don’t see is that I chomp it before I eat my gargantuan meal. Because I never know when I am destined to eat the latter.
“So you are the arty type,” said people about my theatre stint, something I did so I could watch more and more plays, and escape the mania and frequent drudgery of my advertising job.
“The activist type,” said some, when I raised a hue and cry about a tree that was being chopped in broad daylight in full public view in front of my hostel.
Of my need to rescue strays and bring them home, many said, “she is the PETA type.”
Of my subliminal urge to conserve natural resources, and plug leaking taps, and “switching off fans when not required,” even when leaving even a local train, they said “So you are the environmental type..”
To most of my friends whose idea of exercising is the flicking of a remote or the opening and closing of lift doors, I am the ‘fitness freak' type.
To my yoga instructor, who is never quite happy with the grip of my knee cap or the extension between my hip and my ankle, I am “the media type—all noise, no power…”
To the spiritually inclined poetess friend who seems to be close to nirvana, I am the girl who can ‘do the real world’
To the super-stoic, best friend, I am so the Sex and the City type.
If you ask me, I am just the type who speaks her mind and makes no bones about it. Oops, that would make me a "don’t mess with me" type.