Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mr and Mrs. Remote Control

I am almost a month-old bride and I already have a mistress. She goes by the name of Remote Control. Correction. That would be mistress no.2. Mistress no.1 would be Play Station Controller. But that merits a separate piece.

Note that I use the term remote control in a collective form. There’s one for the TV, cable, DVD player, Ipod docking station, airconditioner, home theatre, music system, car stereo..phew! The beau (just turned husband) wonders why they didn’t make one that allows you to activate your home airconditioner while you are still driving, or one that gets your heater started, so the shower is ready when you get home (he is one of those who takes a hot shower in this blistering heat, but don’t get me started on his quirks).

More gory details. He likes his remotes neatly aligned, almost art-directed and I bet it’s the first sign of reassurance as he walks into the house—“Ah all my remotes are exactly as I left them, so life’s good”—those would be his thoughts, I am quite sure.

Last week, he freaked me out when he demanded an exclusive ‘do not disturb’ corner for the remotes, so they can all ‘hang together’. I consented, and they are now masquerading as art deco items.

The best part of our honeymoon was that most mistresses were absent. But mistress no. 2 made her presence felt every single day— I was shocked to note that cable TV was the first thing he checked for when we moved into our resort.

Since there was no office to go to, he had his fill of meaningless movies, Japanese water sports, History Channel, and of course the Champion’s League and the Premier League and the god-knows-what-else –league football where basically, every match is the ‘match of the season’ and “we-just-can’t afford-to-miss-this-game.”

“What else did you expect?” said Pooja, my friend of infinite wisdom. “Men are already married to their remotes. You will always be number two. Deal with it..”

Since you are no.2, you try harder. Which means you pray that what’s on TV is a little less exciting than you. Upon which he will try and suggest that you pick a show to watch together.

If you can’t beat them, join them, you think. But I hate watching TV, unless it has anything to do with animals, travel diaries, Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson, so it doesn’t leave much choice.

One fine evening, I mustered the courage to tell the mister about my allergy to remote fixatedness. “But you never mentioned that you find it annoying when were dating…,” he retorted, almost plaintive.

True. May be as a wife, I felt the need to raise the bar.

I proposed plan B. For every football match we watch together (and I patiently watch him screaming or puffing his lungs out), he owes me a play, an art exhibition, a walk on the promenade, a poetry reading or a documentary screening.

He nods excitedly, but I know he has absolutely no intention of keeping his word.


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