So when I am in the mood to create or lose, I sign up online for all kinds of things that I know I shouldn’t but do all the same because, well, I am just addicted to finding new things. If nothing else, they’re great ruminating material for new story ideas at work.
On one such day, after a cousin very charmingly told me, when he met me after a long time. “And you, why are you like this?” His tone was gentle, a little musing and mostly on the verge of saying something a lot more insulting. And as I almost perfection itself, except for the extra weight, I could tell right away he wasn’t referring disparagingly to any character flaw I have. So, when I cocked my head to a side, which I charmingly do when I don’t understand someone, and said, “How do you mean?” He said, “Well, I am just looking for a non-insulting word.” And I supplied him with it immediately. “Fat,” I said. Easy, simple and not at all insulting, you’ll agree. Why should I be insulted if my genes are lazy and I have an addiction to gorging on Time Out?
So he agreed and smiled. I think that’s the last time he’ll smile with his original teeth. And, no, I am not paying for his dentist. I could have thrown at him that I am naturally…er…voluptuous and that only gets worse with childbirth — not one but two in as many years — but that would make no difference to him. He’s a man and he sees women who come back with flat stomachs three months after they had babies. Never mind they are Marwadi girls who don’t eat more than three crumbs of bread and one spoon of dal.
Ok, I’ve digressed way too much. So I signed up for some serious celebrity nonsense that would tell me how I could choose the right kind of workouts and what kind of food I could eat depending on my metabolism, work habits, hair color, whether I prefer men or women, and what shampoo I use for my dog. (Yes, I am a sucker for questionnaires. Anything that wants to know about me, I love. ) Well, of course, she told me that I have slightly slow metabolism (clap, clap!), that I need to work in more exercise into my routine (er, yes, thank you) and that I should eat every last bit of yellow clothing I have because, don’t I know, yellow is so last season. When it came to my set of exercises, she said I had to pay.
That’s not a surprise, I knew it would come to that. But I signed up for all the other things that come from this website. And I love every one of them because they tell me what I don’t know about rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, quiz me on if my skin is aging faster than I am, they ask me questions like “Should we drink as much as men?”. I love it.
My answer to the last question is a resounding “no”. We should drink more. A lot more. That’s the only way to get through the whole world revolving around us. For example:
Emergency #1: Husband’s cold
“Show me one man who doesn’t treat a cold as a life threatening illness and I’ll show you a prize actor.” – Me
If you have a husband/boyfriend who helps you around the house, you can be sure a cold (his cold. yours, of course, you will battle with boxes of Kleenex while hanging up the evil eye you got from Turkey*, ironing your shirt, cooking rajma and filing your story/completing your report or whatever it is that earns you the rotis that go with the rajma) is enough reason to take off from work and do all the things at home that your other half does.
That is, if, he is the kind the does help at home and doesn’t need you to mollycoddle him and wait twitching hand and numb foot on him.
The other kind, well, you should give him credit for taking his own plate to the sink and hanging up his own clothes. And you can be sure when he has his iamgoingtovapourisewith thiscoldthatiskillingmeitis, you better forget about everything and cool his fevered brow. You see, he’d just … vanish without you.
Eemrgency #2: Baying baby
Your baby’s just landed her hand in the spiciest chillies that were harvested this year. But quick, watchful and wonderful parent that you are, you spot it immediately and take it away from her pudgy hands. She barely touched them for a second and you’re proudly patting yourself on the back for a disaster well averted when the storm hits. You in your smug patting of the back forgot to wash her hands. Now she looks like she went and kissed a sucker fish.
Of course, she doesn’t want anyone else to soothe her. Even an hour after she’s been given honey, ghee, water, banana, a fried alligator. So the moon’s moved right away from where it was when you took your camera out to take a picture, your breakfast is cold, you’re late for work and well, the world revolves around you
Emergency #3: Parent trap
I wonder what parents did before their kids grew hands and legs and brains enough to follow orders of fetching and carrying. If you are living with them by some happenstance, having grown up doesn’t change anything. I wonder how my mum would drink water if it wasn’t for handy old me to go fetch. I truly am the centre of her world.
Emergency #4: Work things out
How would my colleague write the editorial piece in my magazine if it weren’t for my stories? At the last count, she lifted three paras of the cover story (mine) and used it as part of her editorial piece. Clearly, her life is incomplete without me.
So should women drink as much as men? No.
They should drink more.
* Afterthought: What is with Turkey? Everyone’s heading there. I mean it’s nice and all but you guys should have finished with it in 2002.