[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.