Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The other side

Two things happen when you get married. Singletons start believing you are not one of them. Smug marrieds start believing you are one of them, and are quick to adopt you in their fray. It’s hard to say which one is worse. It’s as though your chemical composition has been altered, and your valency readjusted. Suddenly you are viewed like an unstable hydrogen atom that has changed into a stable molecule of water. They call it settling down.

I guess more than transitioning into ‘being married’, one has to transition into ‘not being single any more’. If you have spent most of your life being single, and understanding related sensibilities, you tend to miss being included in the singles group. It almost feels like an act of betrayal, except you had nothing to do with it.

The other day, a singleton said to me, “Oh, you married ones…!” It felt weird, like being outcast. Not that the singles give you the benefit of doubt or a three-month notice period or any sort of warning before the exclusion. They just un-single you, and it can be a bit sudden.

So friends stop calling you on weekends for those buddy chats because they think they will be intruding on your time with the significant other. No one makes any spontaneous plans with you or calls you ‘just like that’ because they are afraid you will reject them. Almost no one calls you after 9 pm, since it’s considered sacred coupledom time. Even your cats give you attitude, because now you come with excess baggage. Your mother and your favourite aunt are more interested in ‘him’ than you.

Since you are largely abandoned by your single friends, you end up constantly doing things with your significant other or other smug-marrieds. To top it all, you get accused by readers of being in a ‘I, me, my husband’ bubble. It’s a no-win.

And to think that I was a happy singleton, undeterred by the biological clock and no qualms about going home to my cats or my baby potatoes. I never had a dreary house, a sad room, weird parents or a pesky landlord that kept me away from home, wanting to stub cigarettes, down shots and pass out.

I have been married four months, and no thank you, I am tired of answering the “How does it feel?” thing. Just that I still feel as participative in singleton discussions, their politics, preoccupations and peeves. I still relate better to my single friends than my married friends—the latter somehow are too bound by the script, too busy indulging in roleplay or discussing wedding videos, investments, their next holiday, ‘rent Vs buy’, ‘to baby or not to baby’, EMIs or car upgrades.

May be the next time someone asks how it feels, I’d say, “Weird. I miss going home to me.”

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