Thursday, March 06, 2008

To men

[And since the Penguin refuses to say this in first person, it'll have to come from me that today, her fingers take over the keyboard and I turn into a "dictator". At least three times so far, we planned to execute this simple arrangement in the best interests of my hand, but I backed out every single time coz it just felt like the words wouldn't come to life until my own fingers touched the keypad. I have however, been convinced to give this a shot, putting concern for my health over the fear of a potential writer's block. So let's try this and see how it works. And needless to mention, a BIG THANKS!!! to the Penguin.]


At the outset however, let me clarify. There's maybe 50% of you that this post is addressed to. Definitely not all. So let's get right on with it...

- What is it about the thrill of the chase that is so bloody appealing that makes you don your best hat ?

You know that hat? Witty, charming, eager to listen, eager to confide, eager to express.

And what is about acquiring the object of the hunt that turns you into a mutated version of your erstwhile lovable self?

We just don't get it. How can a man who hung on to every word at one point of time now start to act snappy when we exceed our daily quota of words? How can he feel ashamed to admit that he loves us in public? How can he suddenly get so harshly judgmental about the most casual things we say? How can the laughter he once deemed the sunshine of his life now make him cringe in the embarrassment of having a loud girlfriend?

- What is that thing you men do - get drunk, lose control over your tongue (or maybe the truth is spoken best when you are drunk?) and talk about how getting married was the worst decision ever?

It's sad enough that you do it when you are drunk, it's sadder still that you can do it when you are sober and find it obligatory to pass uncomplimentary remarks about the woman in your life around your buddies.

Is that how you bond? Is lamenting the permanence of your relationship for men, the equivalent of gossip for women? Is that why you do it? 'Coz if not, then you do really mean everything you're saying. And I hope and pray desperately that I never end up being the woman in question.

- How come it's always our job that's less important? How come it's your career that's more?

Regardless of how we meet - fall in love, go through the usual rigmarole of romance or meet each other through our parents, why is it always taken for granted that I'll move countries to be with you, and not the other way round?

Aren't there well-defined principles in place to guide decision making of this magnitude? Say, for example, the one who has the more stable job/the more convenient location/is closer to both families/has lesser chances of finding a career in another place stays?

It's bad enough that your parents assume (and mine, no less) that I'll willingly uproot the career I've built on the foundation of an equally strong education, after having burnt the same litres of midnight oil, and having worked equally hard to climb up the ladder. It's worse still when you back them up in that inane assumption. And it doesn't matter if you live in remote Africa or Scandinavia (neither of the two places I have anything against). It's still me who has to make the move.

Excuse me, but as the left-brained, more mathematically inclined, more analytical superior being that science has established you to be, could you explain the logic in any of the above?

- How is it that the first question you get asked is "So where do you work?" and the first question I get asked is today's very subtly, yet shoddily disguised version of "Can you cook/run a house?"

Again, it's bad enough that our families impose ridiculous stereotypes despite their alleged evolution. But it's worse when you tell me that you can neither eat outside nor eat what the maid has cooked, implying in a rather underhanded manner that I'd better know how to.

I wish I could write something that cohesively links up all of the above and gives this post a nice conclusive end. But seeing as this post was a product of scattered thoughts connected by the tenuous link that is a certain breed of men, I will refrain from forcing a conclusion on it. I do however, want to clarify 2 things -

a) I am not a feminist. I would cook, run the house, move countries happily enough to be with someone I loved. But I'd only do it because I wanted to, not because someone else wanted me to.

b) As stated at the start of this post, all or even some of it do not apply to every man out there. At least one of them is however, true of even the best of men we know.


Anonymous said...

my! look who's being judgemental now! putting a disclaimer there (not applicable to all men) does not absolve you of the massive judgement you passed. Clearly - you haven't really met the "best of men". And no - I'm not going to keep this anonymous because I'm a coward. I'd just rather not be judged!

unpredictable said...

True. Such a judgmental post this is. I never did deny being judgmental btw? And there's one coming up addressing women too .. :) My judgment is uniformly distributed and free for all as you shall see ..

srikant said...

All your posts are thought provoking. I find this one merely confrontational, eager to pick up a debate. So let me try and satiate that need :)

What you call a 'chase' is just your partial view of things which would suit the point you want to make. The 'chase' in fact the same 'euphoric' phase that every relationship goes through. I dont think any woman (or 50% to use ur disclaimer) can stand up today and say that she is the same in the relationship as she was right in the beginning. Its an accepted fact that the excitement dies down and you settle down as 2 mature normal individuals in the relationship. so enjoy the ride in the beginning till it lasts.

The comment on how men regret getting married, is just in jest. and i say that for all the people i've heard lament (or atleast 50% :p) . well you can say its not really funny, but i dont think its right to say that they mean it. Give them a choice today and don't be surprised when they tell you they want to remain married.

Oh, the job thing is so NOT valid. Look around. Lots of men you know have already made the 'sacrifices' for their women. I know the woman from Pepsi who moved here before her bf, another womans husband is moving from europe to here to accomodate for his wife. Ofcourse there are some stereo types that exist. Dont you women always expect the Men to propose. Make it grand. make it loving. Make it count?!?! Why dont you bring out the ring for a change?

I dont resonte with the last question on 'where do u work'. So i wont comment on that. I just ask women 'are you single' ? :p

Ganju said...

Er ... eh ... ahem .... we're sorry :)

PS: Most amusing young unpredictable!

dushyanth said...

u really believe all u've written? or was this just a rant ?

unpredictable said...

Srikant: I've already agreed this isn't one my usual well thought through posts ... there's still snippets of this thing I'm narrating from my .. err.. "experinces" in the last few months .. and you of all people know exactly what I mean .. to ur points,

1. You know what makes women fall in love with a man? It's not his hair, his face, his clothes or other blah - put simply it's the ability to talk to him and be listened to. So yes, even as time passes by, although we know it's unfair to expect the same "zing" 8 months down, as there was in the 1st 4 months, is it really unfair to say that we're disappointed by the visible drop in your enthusiasm.
2. No one's debating whether they mean it or not. It's simply hearing the man in your life *say* that out loud around so many other people that seriously hurts. Tough to comprehend? No na? Not for the you I know so well. Thassal im saying. That it feels like shit to hear that they'd rather have been *free* when in reality they may not even mean it. So why say it eh?
3. Right. I'll buy that the change is gradual and happening. You'll buy that for every Pepsi woman who's better half has followed her here, there's 4 P&G men who's women have done the same for them? You're one of them na? It's not to say you're right or wrong. And trust me, from my arranged adventures where my mother has repeatedly been faced with the question of "Will your daughter move" without so much as conversation with the guy in question, I'll tell you this isn't me overreacting. It's the prevailing reality out there in the marriage market. Maybe lesser so in the *evolved* circles we inhabit, not so on

Lol. Yes sweetie, even I like that question better than "do you cook". How come you never asked me, eh? *wink wink* :P

unpredictable said...

Ganju: I'm glad that for once i'm amusing you instead of the other way round :) Being indulgent of the ranting woman - very kind of you sir!

Dush: A lot of it is rant, yes sweetie. But a lot of it is so real. If i start taking names, it won't be *amusing* anymore. :)

Tudee said...

Hey Unpred,
It seems a long time ago now, but I have also asked myself the same questions (the last ones- i dnt buy the first 2 questions...neways
Any girl would have faced them (and not necessarily only in India)..but I also think , people are changing..and you might be encountering these issues lesser than what your mom would have encountered..and your daughter will face them even less...
Change is slow, but certain..:)