Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The single most annoying thing about friends is how they insist on having a life of their own. Of course, this works out in your favour when you want them out of your hair, but by and large, I like the concept of them hopping off and back on to neatly arranged cupboard shelves as per demand. As an idea it is both practical and utilitarian and if your friends look anything like mine, hey, with a nice little glass fronted cabinet, you got yourself some cool house decor.

Maybe friends should come with switches.

I would pay money this afternoon to leave this city. Ten years and no time away. No exploration of the unknown (let's not even joke of marriage as the ultimate adventure or the thrills of motherhood, I have a convalescing child and an irascible husband at home), no life that is not influenced by bloody Bengalis and I could cry from the sheer hopelessness of it all.

And if I'd married the cute CA with the the wrong bloodlines or the computer engineer flashing the green card or even gone out with the rich spoilt brat (with the most eye-popping thingummy) no doubt I'd be whining just as much right now. Maybe I should have settled for the musician sweetheart but as he kindly pointed out recently, I was a pretty horrible girl to date, so it was probably quite an altruistic act to let him go.

The problem with being 27 is you're still young enough to dream like mad but with a respectable job and a child to bring up, you know there's no point dreaming. I recently went clothes shopping and it was just so damn indicative of my life's path, it depressed the shit out of me. I went through an entire floor of women's options, looking at silky frocks and cute tops and ended up buying the practical office shirts and a useful cord skirt. I'm 27. I'm too young to go brain-dead like this.

I think it wouldn't be so hard to take if I could always be the practical, responsible person I am most of the time. Most of the time I do the stuff that needs doing, fulfil my duties and try to please people. Most of the time I work hard to blend in.

And the rest of the time, I'm not at woman, I'm the girl who writes this daft blog. Prattling on endlessly, pointlessly, making friends and keeping distances. Silly and giddy and gambling. Gambling with her health, her happiness and her love and losing half the time. And getting up and gambling again.

I know, perhaps you all feel you're leading double lives. I can't reconcile mine. If he asked me this afternoon, I'd run before I could stop myself. There's too much rejection, too many silences, too many explanations of things that shouldn't need any, to hold me down.

Some days I'm jealous of people who have a clearer vision of right and wrong. My lines blur so fast, so easily, I'm never entirely sure I can be trusted.

What's the point of living only in my head? I was telling a friend the other day, we didn't marry for 24x7 companionship even if we thought we did. Because I for one am not prepared to supply it from my end either. But I'd like to believe there's a middle path, a relationship in which both partners feel secure enough to come out of their shells and join the other in their interests. To go for a play or a concert even though you know it'll be boring. To put your head next to theirs doing the stupid crossword even though you can't crack a single clue. I have to believe it's possible for selflessness to be shown in ways apart from making the morning tea or serving perfect meals.

Maybe spouses should come with switches too.

No, Vicky hasn't done anything to upset me. I know it seems like it, but it isn't. I just have the wanderlust so bad I'm beyond rational thought.


sumana001 said...

You entered my head and let all my secrets out to the world? This is MY story, sad long story :(
The first to respond - so you know where I'm!
And you are so right, it's so much my problem than it's their fault. Alas. And I now have no one to blame too!

Saya said...

I am 26 with no husband or child. And sometimes I feel the same way. Blame it on those rascal hormones that rage back and forth like storms.

I wonder if i should have not studied this.. or studied something else.. or married someone.. or fallen in love with someone else..

And you know Sue.. this is why i love your blog.. for writing this side of the story. Most people i know dont even tell themselves that this side exists and smile patronizingly at me when i speak of it.

Nidhi said...

I am 37 with 2 kids and a husband and I feel the same!!! LOL!
Ok, jokes apart, I used to feel the same even though my DH is super supportive. But I came to the conclusion that he may not want to go to the museum or the theater as much as I would not want to watch football. So why drag each other? I choose to do some of that stuff either with my girlfriends or by myself. Maybe that will bring marital bliss?!?!

Subhashree said...

Some days I feel that way. The husband and I have, well mostly I have, learnt to let us both have our interests and pursue them, so that we are not tearing at each other's hair out of boredom / companionship :D

The Orange Cat said...

Man...I thought only adolescents felt this way about wanting to do something just different, knowing all the time that there really isn't much of a choice.

DotThoughts said...

quarter life crisis?? :) and no ofcourse not.. don't stop dreaming because you are 27. It's a great age.. you still have that blush of youthfulness but have feet on ground.. 27 is my favorite age. Go on, get a slinky top next time!!

GettingThereNow said...

LOL @ switches for spouses and friends.

That is the deepest thought I can muster at 5 pm, with hunger pangs jabbing at me while I try to meet a deadline :)

The last paragraph was reassuring because that IS what I had been thinking all through the post.

starry eyed said...

Can I run away with you...I'll pay! Seriously did you have to write this post while I'm searching the blogs for something to distract me from the VERY SAME THOUGHTS????? I feel like I'm living in my head too. And your first line is what irks me too...we're so tied up with our families, we women, but the men can just drop everything and switch off.


Andy said...

u @ 27 or me @ 32, some people are just meant to be like that, with all things fine too there seems to be something more that we need. We have been bitten by the same bug. Take it from me, you will have these feeling forever, at least at 32 also

Beq said...

sooooo saaaaad...but "eye popping thngummy"?? Heh
But to address your angst, I can't decide whether I want to clean my house or not. It all looks clean on the surface, but open the cupboards and entire ecosystems come tumbling out. What to do? Can I be married to Vicky for a year? You can be me then....at least I'll get a clean cupboard out of it...

hack said...

yes, when one gets the wanderlust bad, it's hard. i used to rage a lot earlier, but find it somewhat easier to go off by myself now. but yes, when it really hits you, no kindness or consolation is enough. except for what exactly one wants.

hack said...

and Beq's is the nicest comment.

rakhi said...

29, Bong (living in Bangalore and alone though. :P) and still scared of marriages and long term relationships.... So I can understand your wanderlust bit. Kudoes to you for being able to blend in most of the time. I think I can't do it beyond a couple of days.

Rohini said...

I'm still laughing at the eye-popping thingummy but I'll stop just to give you a big hug :)

dipali said...

A Room of One's Own is what I crave, mate, with no sounds impinging upon my ears from the next room(s).
I like the idea of friends with switches:) And spouses. And kids:)

Krishna said...

Wow!! Beautifully written. Its just not only a women thing. You are just not alone in the crowd!!.

Poppy said...

Nodding head so vigorously it may fall off.

Where were you woman? Missed you.

What to do when the husband craves more companionship than you do? I always thought it was just me. Relieved to hear otherwise.

Sri said...

Hi Sue,

Have been reading ur blog now and then but never commented..but when i read this post,i had tears in my eyes..

Im 25,married and have a 3 month old daughter..life seems to have come to a standstill now..MIL who harassed me to no end to get pregnant is now feeling too old to take care of the baby..the career for which i slogged for so many years has to be put on hold..i too have thought many times whether life would be different had i married another guy..the dear mama's boy that my hubby is-he has blurted out every single conversation of ours to mommy dearest and now i am facing the music..i wondered how so many people stay married for so long..

Munchkin said...

dude thats my predicament too when i go shopping..should i buy the fun , young stuff or the practical tops , jeans and the sensible flats..sigh!

Ninia said...

Thanks for putting up this post. It feels reassuring that I am certainly not the only one feeling the blues

Mama - Mia said...

hugs Sue.

yet again i wish i had it in me to look at my life so honestly and attempt to draw conclusions from it.

hope you get that holiday. very soon. or anything that will get you outta this funk! :)

Sameera said...

ur not alone, Sue :)
hang in there, it will get better.or will it :(

Rimi said...

I've been struck with the fuitlity of my life so badly that yesterday, with the temp at -15 degrees C and the icy wind lashing my uncovered face till it was plum red with cold and pain, I started sobbing at a deserted train station.

It wasn't loneliness, anger, or sadness. It was a sudden futility of the sheer lack of variety of the life I lead. And the realisation that I lack the resources (money, connections) to make it any different. I've walked in a specialised path too long to go back without jeopardising my entire life... and I'm too damned practical to take that risk.

kbpm said...

heck i am 35 (edging on 36 to be precise) and still feel like that... maybe its just us, not the age. i dont see myself really 'settling' down and being totally responsible and stuff anytime soon. its all good, it is, it is...

Sue said...

Sumana -- Oh, there's always somebody to blame. How about your boss? Parents? Siblings?

Saya -- Denial, I suppose, is one way of coping with existentialist angst. On the other hand, what does denial achieve?

Nidhi -- Vicky and I do socialise separately, me more than him. It's not the socialisation, it's the interest he takes or doesn't in what I do, that bothers me. Sometimes he can be a really private person and then I feel the distance.

Subha -- LOL at the clubbing of boredom/companionship. Yes, of course one can have too much of the husband. In my case, I feel I have too little husband, too much Bong-ness. *sigh*

Orange Cat -- When you get older you are allowed to call it existentialist angst, which makes it sound cooler than teenage frustration.

Sue said...

Dot -- Really, I should have got the slinky top. :) Actually, 27 is a cool age I admit.

Cee -- LOL Yes, deep thoughts and hungry tums don't go together. I think switches is an excellent idea.

Starry -- If you're paying let's go to Switzerland. :)

Andy -- I imagine we'll feel this way when we're doddering in our wheelchairs in our 90s!

Beq -- Marriage to Vicky entails cleaning an entire house on an almost daily basis and our household has more stuff than yours. Can you handle that for a year, do you think? Also, let's not forget the cooking, laundry and out-of-house chores.

Hack -- You can't go off by yourself once you have a household and child to worry about, at least I find I can't. I mean, Vicky and I might know I'm just working off my angst but it's hard to explain that to a three year old who wants to know why you aren't home yet.

Beq's an idiot. :)

Sue said...

Rakhi -- Blending in became a habit. Mostly it's fairly effortless. My love to Bangalore, it's a great city.

Ro -- *higs back* Yes, it was quite a, um, revelation. ;)

Dipali -- LOL yes, kids need switches too! A room of one's own shouldn't be too much to ask for but it seems to be so.

Krishna -- That's an alarming thought, of the crowd I mean. In my self-absorbed world view I like people being neatly pigeon-holed while I alone rant and rail. ;)

Poppy -- January was a mad, mad month. Must write it down before I forget.

Don't you feel awful when the husband wants companionship and you're just dying to get away? I don't know why I get these bouts but thankfully they do pass, eventually.

Sri -- May I say something you won't like to hear? I promise you it's true.

Give it time.

Things seem the most overwhelming when you have such a tiny baby to care for. But as your daughter grows a little older, the pieces start falling into place. I'm speaking in generalities because I don't know you well enough to presume to say more, but please, give it all a little more time.

Also, your MIL may not feel up to caring for such a small baby but you can train a maid to do so and then she can just supervise. Babies are hardy creatures, even though they don't seem so.

Take it a day at a time and it will seem a little less frustrating. I promise you that.

Sue said...

Avanti -- You know what is the most depressing thought? Thinking of the 'wear' I'll get out of fun stuff, comparing it to the wear I'll get out of the prctical gear and settling for the latter because of the greater value for money factor. Who wants to think of VFM when faced with pretty silky frocks?

Ninia -- Nah, we're fond of the blues here. Any time you want some empathy, hop by. ;)

Abha -- I'm trying for some leave for next month. If I get it and follow through with my plans, I should have no cause for complaint for the next six months!

Sameera -- It gets better. And then it gets worse. Cyclical business. :)

Rimi -- I think your decisions have been quite brave, if you ask me. Futility would have been staying back here. Next time you feel that way, give me a call or a text, OK?

KBPM -- It's us, huh? I blame the advertising then. :(