So I am back. After a three week hiatus, some of which was technically a vacation, a rather feeble attempt at finding ‘me’ time post marriage. Okay, I am one of those people who loves travelling alone (although now, I am inextricably linked to a blooming toddler whose boarding pass still lists him as an infant, much to our collective annoyance).
Yes, I did miss the husband when it came to negotiating luggage and trolleys, but that was about it. I guess when you’ve been single for as long as I have been and married for as little as I have been, you value the ‘me’ time even more. The boy is a good traveller, low maintenance, loves airport lounges, the outdoors, markets, parks, new faces, new food and practically everything I love, so was a good travel companion. He is also in that phase where his smile melts hearts and faces, giving me additional me time to wander, ever so slightly out of his radar.
The very next day, the husband called. Now, I have said this before, but I can’t deal with these “miss you” calls, whatever that makes me out to be. “Sorry to bother you darling, but Nadia...”
Nadia is my first born, my feline goddess, the resident slut.
Turns out, Nadia jumped out the window on to the ledge (don’t panic, I live on the second floor, so it wasn’t really danger zone), and decided to go walkabout around the perimeter of the building. The husband had, in the meantime called an animal NGO, an ambulance and the fire department. Two hours and no interventions later, Nadia walked back into the house.
Phew! And it was only day one, I thought.
On day two, he called again. No, actually, this time he croaked.
“What happened to your voice?”
“It’s pouring cats and dogs in Bombay. I think I have got the sniffles. Also my throat hurts, and I can’t talk much.”
How wonderful, I thought. Would that mean no more calls?
“Why don’t you talk to me instead? Should I start a course of Amoxycillin? Is it better to start it now, or wait till tomorrow, because I really really want to go to this party tonight and break it down. It will cheer me up.”
I was tempted to start a lecture on the demerits of mixing alcohol with antibiotics and the pharmacist in me (yes, I have one of those degrees tucked away under my clothes in the cupboard) was outraged at the abuse of my favourite, cheap and cheerful drug which helped me wean him off the ten-times-as expensive antibiotic that he was addicted to, prior to meeting me. Not that I am one for drugs anyway, but they help with the whining.
Turns out he did go to the party and he did break it down with the five-inch heel types and did get his Party Hard Driver (yes!) to drop a certain nubile nymphet home and did go to an after-party too, and did feel twice as miserable for the next two days.
But the calls stopped. And I was able to get back to ‘me’ time.
And then it was time to return.
I came home to a few things, apart from a tender husband:
An Aquaguard that had stopped working.
A broadband datacard (that is what Reliance chooses to call its abyssmal internet connector) that wouldn’t work.
Random lights and bulbs that had gone bust and hadn’t been replaced.
An absconding maid.
Over-fattened cats, thanks to a thriving diet of Whiskas (because the husband couldn’t really follow instructions on how to cook rice for their fish).
A strange red feather stole, a prop from aforementioned theme party that was gifted by nubile nymphet, as a token of appreciation for dropping her home.
A leaking bathroom.
Various takeways in the fridge that had begun to provide accommodation for flora and fauna.
Toenails on the verge of curling (his).
Which is when I realised that men are innately irreversible pigs, no matter how old they are, how long they’ve been married. And however hard you may try to work on them, they go back to rolling in their own filth (and are somewhat comforted by it) the minute your back is turned.
So even though marriage is the last chance for a man to redeem himself, it is far from perfect.