Monday, May 30, 2011

Expiry date

My domestic life is falling apart. The fridge is refusing to cool, and so is the air-conditioning. Not that I have much use for either, but when you have to deal with a whiny husband whose sense of calm hugely comes from electronic devices or remotes thereof, it matters. More so when the said husband threatens to buy a new one at the drop of a hat when you are trying so hard to be the domestic financial goddess.

When I summoned the repairman for the fixing up job for the air-conditioner, he told me it was easily fixable. When probed further on whether we should consider buying a new one, since technically, it was the third repair, he told me something interesting. "What you have is an old model. They don't make things like this anymore. The new ones are not built to last more than two years, so never let go of the old one. It's always better to get it fixed."

It made me look at relationships of today and why they are so fragile, so fractured, so volatile. Why it takes so little to call it quits and move on. Why we can never have the marriages our parents had, however imperfect they might have been. And why the over-communication has actually led to a communication breakdown.

Moral of the story: If you have something old, never let it go. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mix and match


 Two nights ago, when I decided to put in an appearance at someone’s bringing-in-a-birthday thing, I saw something that got my relationship goddess antennae pop up.

So. There was this boy and there was this girl. And there was great chemistry. At least it appeared so, when they moved on the dance floor. Their bodies swayed in unison, they looked great together, they were the same body type (trust me, it is a big deal). They were both pleasant, poised and charming, or least that’s what I could gather upon employing full lung power to make conversation amid the din of the night club (or whatever they are called these days).

I nudged the husband. These two should be together. They will be good.

I think these thoughts all the time. About how X would work so well with Y. Or how certain couples would work better if they swapped their partners. Or why A cannot see that B is not the girl for him. And how B would be so much better off with C.

The husband hollered back. But he is dating Ms Jumpsuit. And what chemistry are you talking about? They are only dancing.

Oh nnnnoooooooo, I said, in the manner of my two-year old when he is trying to express disapproval at an object, an action or a sound. Ms Jumpsuit and he looked so wrong. Not that it was about aesthetics or anything—all people that feature in this story were equals in the looks department—but I have a theory about people who work and people who don’t. My relationship barometer is pretty much the same as my food barometer. Anything that looks right is usually right, and anything that does not look right usually is not. I tried explaining this to a roommate more than a decade ago when she was blinded by love to a certain young man. It does not look right, I said. But I am in love. I can feel the ache, she said.

They went ahead and got married. They were divorced before their second anniversary.  I guess sometimes it takes less than a rock or a marriage to figure that out. Others are just unlucky. In any case, there are no wrong guys and wrong girls. Only wrong relationships.

So I started probing about Ms Jumpsuit, and as usual, people were free with their opinions, only the strain of hearing them made me absolutely certain that I needed new ear drums. But I was bent on doing my research and I am very diligent in matters of the heart. Or the libido. So, one birdie told me that yes,  jumpsuit and the bloke were dating, on and off, but that he was really messed up and that jumpsuit only made matters worse.  Jumpsuit also sulked royally throughout the evening, much before her date was moving with the said ‘other girl’ and apparently, doesn’t like to be seen as an item with said bloke, and doesn’t like to be tagged in pictures with him around (people talk a lot more when they think they cannot be heard).

It was a complete no-brainer according to me. I wondered why Mr Floor wasn’t moving on.

But I am still foxed how the husband could not see the chemistry between the aforementioned that I was talking about. Men are usually daft about these things, sometimes more so when they are married.  I wondered, in this age of deafening music and totally non-conducive to conversation hangouts, what else is there to go by?  

Should do a Dr Hitch and tell the bloke that he was wasting his time with jumpsuit and that he should make a play for Ms Moves? I also wanted to tell Ms Moves (although I just met her) that she should do lunch with Mr Floor just to figure out if the chemistry works just as well in daylight, when the bodies are across the table and not in a simulated spooning position. But I didn’t. If I see them again, perhaps I will. If I meet them in a scenario where I could have a conversation that didn’t involve exploding lungs.

I feel like a fixer all over again. May be I should start a relationship portal. I have the initiative for both, but not the continuity of purpose to see it through, the quintessential Gemini that I am. Not that I am using my birthday as an excuse for not posting. It’s just too hot to write.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

A few good men/women



A single-again friend of mine recently remarked that it was easier to spot a good tiger than a good man these days. She was just back from her tiger-reserve holiday and basking in its after-glow, having spotted a few tigers.

Never mind the fact that her chances of spotting a tiger were far higher in a tiger reserve than in the city.  Or the fact that she had actually travelled a few thousand miles and spent more than just a  few thousand rupees in order to be able to spot them. (Something you wouldn’t do to spot a good man).  But good for her, I thought. What could be more exhilarating than spotting a tiger on a holiday, never mind that they were just home, and you just happened to pass by?

 When I thought about it, I figured this whole ‘good-man’ vs ‘good tiger’ analogy didn’t really work and is a bit of a no-brainer. Here’s why. Imagine if the contrary had happened. Let’s say she hadn’t spotted any tigers. The argument would have still worked. “It’s as hard to spot a good tiger as it is a good man,” she would have said, and all her girl-friends would have nodded in unison.

Which brings me to the cliched ‘Where are the good men?’ and how sick I was of hearing this phrase when I was single.  Now, I don’t know what a good man is, but for that matter, I don’t know what a good woman is either. And don’t tell me I am a smug- married talking,  because I find that the dating scenario hasn’t really changed much since I was single. The women are still hanging out in their comfort zones, with their single girl-friends, gay best friends (GBFs), asexual work buddies,  married friends and their over-protective  (sometimes philandering) husbands. And then they whine that there are no good men.  How many times have you invited a single girlfriend to a brunch or a random-clubbing night and she has showed up alone?  How many of your single girl-friends have done stuff out of character to spot the ‘good men’ that they never seem to spot in their daily lives? How many of them, for instance have travelled alone, joined a zumba class, a Wodehouse club, a film-appreciation workshop, tai-chi or gone speed dating, just for a lark?

Not that too many men do it, but they don’t whine as much about the lack of women.  Okay, I am not taking sides here, but you know what I mean. Men on the contrary are flabbergasted. They are constantly told that there are more good women than men out there, so the few ‘good ones’ are at least hopeful of finding one, but are usually disappointed. But instead of whining, men do what they know best.  Watch television. Drink. Watch football. Drink. Watch cricket. Drink some more.  Hang out with their buddies in the hope of ‘spotting a few good women’. Drink. Because it’s been ten minutes and no one is making eye contact at them. And when they can’t drink anymore, go home or to the nearest couch and pass out. Sometimes, they don’t even remember that meeting a ‘good woman’ or at the very least, spotting her was on the agenda when they set out for the night.

It’s no wonder that seldom do the twain meet.