Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Single Sue in the City

The boys, as I mentioned before, came home on Sunday night. Rahul left town on May 28 with M'pishi. He stayed with them in Delhi for over 9 days and then Cousin J, on her way back to her college, dropped him off at Madras on June 6. Vicky and I went over the following weekend: I to return that Monday morning, Vicky to spend the week there for Jamai shashti. So what with all this to-ing and fro-ing, I spent a week on my own at home.

I really looked forward to that week, despite wanting to stay on a wee bit longer in Madras, because I haven't had a week on my own at home since, oh, March 2005. I loved every minute of it, too. Even when it was boring and I missed the boys I wouldn't have changed things for a minute.

I got back to town on Monday morning. I found an AC bus waiting outside the airport terminus so without waiting for a prepaid, I sprinted for the bus and caught it and rode it all the way to Haldirams on VIP Road before being brought to realise that the bag wasn't mine. I jumped out under the bridge to Rajarhat, jumped into a cab where the cabbie charged me an exorbitant fare for the short drive back, hurriedly exchanged bags with profuse apologies and managed to find myself another bus. I still needed to take another cab from Esplanade to Kyd St and walk thereafter, dragging my bag behind me on those awful footpaths. Despite all this I spent less on the journey to office than I would've on a pre-paid. (Buses rule.)

It was a long, full day at work and I got home after 8. Brought the fishes back home, did some laundry, grabbed a quick dinner and went off to watch Rajneeti with Sen and Shuki. For once, after a movie I was too tired for coffee!

Tuesday afternoon I had a pleasant lunch with S-B-L. Had spent the morning feeling rather low about various things, but that lunch cheered me up no end and I went back to work all enthused. Another late evening at work, then a quick dash home to pick up nightwear and a change of clothes and by 9 I was being welcomed by the SRE at Dipali's. She'd gone to the trouble of making minestrone, pasta, cutlets etc with a brownie and ice cream dessert and that literally was the cherry on top of a total turnaround of a day. We chatted late into the night, she and I, and the next morning, E called and we chatted for nearly an hour.

Wednesday morning was mostly peaceful. D and I dallied over breakfast and she packed me a huge box of pasta for lunch. She dropped me off near work. There was nearly a crazy accident on the road but it was not as bad as it could have been, thank god. Another long, full day at work, but I managed to leave slightly earlier, dashing out just in time to watch Sex and the City 2 with Dana and Shuki. It was fun, although not the same as watching it with Maitra, and we had Subways for dinner afterwards. Went over to Nosh for coffee and french fries and then came home to dress fittings and a mad loot exchange where Dana brought out the stuff she'd got us from China while I brought out all the Janpath goodies that Ma and Mejopishi had bought for me and which hadn't fitted. We three went home happy campers, satisfied with our spoils. I got a lovely lacy parasol and a pretty folding umbrella trimmed with green lace as well as a dinky spaghetti top.

Thursday dawned with a more philosophical me. After three rather full days I decided to spend an evening at home and what was more, go home at a decent hour too. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of Sues and, um, mice. I not only stayed back late, I popped in to visit the mother-in-law afterwards, it being her wedding anniversary. We chatted and she fed me Maggi and it was a pleasant hour and yet another night that I got home past 9. I caught up with some of my sewing afterwards. My pile is neverending, though. Too many things need alteration or mending. No sooner have I tackled one lot than something else pops a seam or loses a button or is too tight to wear.

We had plans to party on Friday but decided to make Saturday night's plans bigger and skip the Friday. The washing machine technician came over in the morning and changed some pipe so my baby no longer leaks. Later that day I came home around my usual time, read a very little and fell asleep. Oh, how I slept. I woke up at 11.30 pm, groggy and with my errands not run. Spent some time gabbing with friends on the 'net so by the time I finally ventured out to drop off cheques and fill some petrol, it was 2. Still, the roads were free and it was all pretty peaceful, so I was home soon enough. I was up till the early hours, sewing and ironing and catching up on a week's worth of little things.

Saturday dawned bright and clear. I cooked like a madwoman, baking a chocolate cinnamon cake in my new Bundt pan from Shejomama, trying out a recipe for chicken butter masala from a recent recipe exchange, storing up on alu ke parathey and so on. In between I finished Shuki's famous dress and watched Julie and Julia. What a wonderful movie! Now I want to master the art of French cooking! The girls came over after 9 and it was nearly 10 before we settled down to dressing up and messing around with makeup. I haven't done that kind of thing in so long.

We tried out looks and lipsticks and discarded dresses until the bed was covered. Eventually we all found a look we liked. I tried out nude gloss and liked it even though it made me look very different from what I'm used to seeing in the mirror. Shuki fitted into that dress like a dream, thank god, and was forcibly made to wear crimson and blue and green glass earrings with it, much against her inclination. Dana wore the prettiest black and white strappy tube with bright red lips. Unfortunately, by the time we got to Park, our concert was over and nothing really exciting was happening anywhere else either. After some chitchat at Roxy and Someplace, we went in search of rolls. Wonder of wonders, at midnight on a Saturday all the shops were closed so we went home and had cake (since we couldn't have bread -- if you think about it, parathas are flatbreads) and tried to watch Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani but oh god, it's so bad. I fell asleep while the girls watched J and J.

Buttermilk pancakes made for a late Sunday breakfast and I let D and S do the cooking, feeling quite pampered as they served me. After they left around noon I fell asleep once more, only waking in time to have a quick lunch and a bath before setting off for the satsang for Dipali's father along with Evie. That was very peaceful and it was fun seeing the whole Taneja gang together. The youngest Master Taneja took some time to recover from my haircut. Evie and I got a lift back home with some common friends and I had one last hour left to me of my week, which I spent surfing the 'net.

Then Dada (my brother) arrived and we drove down to Dum Dum to pick the boys up. That was quite adventurous too, since I've never driven all that way on my own (Dada doesn't drive so he doesn't count) and I had to deal with raucous and hostile cabbies, a scary lorry and so on, but hey, I did it even if my knees felt rather shaky afterwards.

It was a lovely week. It felt a bit strange but not too much since Vicky and I don't talk much anyway and he is either asleep or in his own world in front of the Mac when he is home. Rahul had been away for over two weeks so I'd got used to even that additional quietness. And I freely admit I loved not having to pick up after them every evening, finding things just as I left them, not needing to cook or clean or wash unless I wanted to, being able to have people over or pick up and leave just because I felt like it... at one point, during an online chat, Vicky said I sounded like I used to do in college. The week really was like that. I fitted in as much as I could into every mad day, stayed back at work like I normally would if left to my own devices, had no-one to answer to and no responsibilities to hold me back. I didn't particularly want to carry on like that, but it felt nice to give rein to that mad girl inside me still. Some days I wonder if all I am is this sniping, carping nag of a wife and mum. Well, guess what, I'm not. Not yet, at least.

In general Vicky tries to free me for whatever outing I wish to go for and I can, in theory, do everything I did last week even when the boys are around. But obviously it's no fun if I'm wondering all the while if Vicky's discovered that curry in the back of the 'fridge for lunch or whether I have enough shirts ironed to see Rahul through the week or... you get the picture. I suppose the feeling of freedom is all in the head. And I know I wouldn't want it all the time. But sometimes, it's a nice feeling.

Talking of nice things, here is a photograph of Shuki wearing the dress.

19 comments:

ummon said...

wow! you made that dress? pretty, pretty, pretty!

E said...

OMG !! That is so pretty and a lovely color too!! I love it! BTW, my birthday's next week!!:)

eve's lungs said...

I'm not tired of repeating this but this is gorgeous !

Penguin said...

Wow, this is such a pretty dress! Where do you get your patterns from?

dipali said...

It was lovely having you over, Sue!
I'm glad you enjoyed your week alone:)

Sue said...

Ummon -- Thanks. :)

E -- You're getting the one I made first. If I could give it to you in person I could make any adjustments needed. Otherwise I'm afraid you'll have to do them yourself.

Evie -- I'm certainly not tired of hearing it, thanks!

Penguin -- This pattern I made up as I went along. Cut shapes out of cheesecloth and worked the pattern out.

Dipali -- A girl needs folks in town. I guess your girls manage because they have each other, so I'm laying claim to you while you're available. :)

The Footloose Doll said...

You're so talented. That dress is gorgeous! :)

By the way, you forgot me in the last RMB update. Or is it that my entry didn't qualify?

http://thefootloosedoll.blogspot.com/2010/06/on-being-grammar-nazi.html

Sue said...

Footloose -- Not at all, I just missed it. Will put the link in the next update, sorry.

Thinking Cramps said...

That sounds like a fun week. I liked Vicky's observation about you being more the Sue you were in college. I think it's easy to be that when you aren't feeling responsible for other people.

And, the dress you made - gorgeous!

I've done my RMB post:
http://righttowrite.blogspot.com/2010/06/mind-your-language.html

priya said...

Hi Sue

The dress looks awesome.And very lovely colour too :-)

I am a long time reader and am delurking becuz I need some info...selfish...i know :(

The thing is I am interested in baking and clueless about ovens...what do u use? i am not sure we can use microwave ...rt? (yeah..am dumb like that)..can u pls pls give some suggestions as to which oven to buy.I am looking to make cakes and muffins.

Thanks
-Priya

Penguin said...

Wow, that's super awesome. I wish I were half as talented as you.
I'm trying to learn to stitch some dresses on my own, but don't know where to begin :-( Do you have any ideas, or any websites/books you'd recommend?

The Owl said...

"having to pick up after them every evening, finding things just as I left them, not needing to cook or clean or wash unless I wanted to, being able to have people over or pick up and leave just because I felt like it...""

And you wonder why we enjoy being single?.....and people really have a hope that i am going to give this up to get married and become a "nagging, carping" married woman
:-)?!!!!!(and as a single girl I don't even party half as much as you do, probably already employ an equal amount domestic help, and try not to stay back at work, if I can manage with skipping ALL breaks, going to the loo and meals-i like being home). No way am I obliging without ten good solid points of compensation:-))

By the way , you need to get over your OCDs. leave yr husband a note/ an sms with the exact location of the curry.-next to the green jug, behind the blue bowl types-(honestly even at home, unless ma tells me EXACTLY where she has kept something, there is no way I would agree to fetch it,some typically FEMININE vague instruction like "over there,in that fridge"-spcly since there are two fridges, and neither in the vicinity when she is saying these words-are not adequate since I am not a mind-reader- so I don't blame him in the least) And Rahul is too young for people to notice whether his clothes are ironed or not, unless its a school uniform. Get yourself an istiriwala.

you know, I am glad you had this week.
I think ALL women need this break at some point of time. You should try this more often , at least sending your son somewhere for the holidays. I hardly see the Brother in Law as someone who would order his wife to cook/do laundry:-), so don't understand why you can't have this same carefree type of fun, if it's just him around:-)
And do you realise that if you married women don't give married life a far better press, you are not going to convince us footloose and fancy free types or worse scare us off?:-))
am having an interesting discussion on this on Facebook. And yes I have very little sympathy with my own sex:-).

The Owl said...

sorry, make that sympathy for:-)

Sue said...

Tua -- You idiot, how am I know it's you? There's a lot you don't understand about the post but you know, I have never told you that you should get married: I've merely told you to stop running down what you don't understand.

I've been single, lived on my own for five years, you forget that. I do know the joys and I was quite happy to relive them last week. But last week was only as much fun as it was because I knew it would end soon.

Sue said...

Ana -- Thanks. Damn straight, it's easier to be more light-hearted when your worries are about yourself and not other people.

Priya -- I'm told you can do pretty much everything with a convection-grill microwave but from all I've gathered, the best option would be to get a small, basic microwave and a high quality medium-sized OTG. If I had the space that's what I would do. I recommend LG, Whirlpool and Samsung for microwave ovens.

In Cal, Whirlpool has the best aftersales service. Don't forget to get your AMC done.

Penguin -- The simplest way to start would be to copy a top or dress you already own and can open up. I do have some patterns. If you mail me I can send them to you.

Sue said...

Tua -- Good to have you posting here. :)

debo said...

sounds like a good good week:)

really enjoyed reading about it. Are on the topic of that truly nice looking dress, i have a birthday coming up too...

Sue said...

Debo -- It was a great week. Do you know I have a birthday before you do and I would dearly love a painting? :D

priya said...

Thank you Sue...OT and microwave...yes ..that seems the way to go..now if i could manage some space for both...hmmmmm

thanks
-Priya