<%-- Page Title--%> Slice of Life <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 114 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

July 18, 2003

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Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right

Richa Jha

As always, I am at my wit's end. The Wifey decided to break her silence. After four days of unmitigated persistence, I, the Harried Hubby, learnt the truth. My guess was right to the extent that she was upset with me. Perhaps over something I had done. Well friends, it turns out, that she was unhappy about something I had NOT done!

Let me get straight to the point. Do you remember the birthday party we attended some time back? The same one where the husband presented a solitaire to his wife on her birthday? Now THAT is the problem. You see, in my view, he did a perfectly 'husbandly' thing by slipping that ring into her fingers, I know he must have scored several favourable points with her for this. But he could have done so in the privacy of his home, not before a hundred heart aches and a million faces turning green with envy. Doesn't he like the thought of us rest of the men getting a chance to live in peace? I must call him up and tell him the extent of damage he has done. His wife could be stuffing him with biryani and rezala, for all we know, because after all, he has catapulted in her eyes, but here I haven't got a decent meal in the last five days.

Add to that the pall that's enveloped my household. The Wifey doesn't speak with me, and I can't summon enough courage to switch on the TV, or even the radio for that matter. It's a living nightmare. And I don't even know why it's happening to me. Actually, that's not true. I know why it's happening, and it's all because of that damned sparkling stone and one man's stupidity.

I have to set things back on track on the home front. Damage control one: buy solitaire for The Wifey.

She looks up from the magazine she's been reading, as I come and stand next to her chair, and show her the small red box. I think she guesses what's inside and says curtly, “You needn't have bought that. You appeaser. You think I can't tell the difference between a spontaneous act and a calculated one?” but I can see that while her one eye pretends to read the letters on the page, the other one expectantly flits on the red box between my fingers.

I open the box, and all that passes through her lips is an "Oh my God." But shortly her expression changes and she thunders.

“What have you bought? Do you have any idea that it's the same design as that evening's ring! You expect me to wear that?”

“Why not? I thought you liked that design. Isn't all this fuss about that ring?” How have I bungled now? I'm clueless, as usual.

“You are so dumb. You men will never get it right, will you? What made you conclude I am upset over that ring? Fancy being seen in a stale design.”

“But I thought…”

“What a loving gesture. Maya is so fortunate to have him for a husband. Why can't the rest of you think and feel like him? But what's the point of telling you all this? Will you ever learn?”

“But I love you, you know it…”

“How am I supposed to know? Have you ever bought me presents? Or ever sprung surprises for me?”

“Why, what about the time I bought that saree for you? Remember how you reacted?”

“That was a deep blue, and blue doesn't suit me.”

“Or the time I booked us tickets on the weekend trip?”

“I know why you did it. My brother was due to visit us that weekend, so you thought of this brilliant way to vamoose from there!”

“How about the big fight that followed my getting two surprise tickets to a movie?”

“Those were for a shady horror film. You know I don't watch horror films.”

“Let's be frank here. Those were all meant to be surprises, and you ought to have taken them in the right spirit. If you don't have it in you to feel thrilled about such things, don't expect them…do you recall how bhabiji had tears in her eyes that night when she saw the ring…?”

Oh! Double dose of blunder, double trouble. Frankly, I don't know what egged me on to this boldness. Needless to say, The Wifey stomped out of the room. I haven't had the guts to face her since. And there seems to be no scope for a second attempt at damage control now.

Morals of the story: One, let The Wifey suggest surprise ideas for her. That's the only way to spring real surprises. Two, keep your trap shut. Come what may. And three, I, The humble Hubby can never be right.

P.S. Our friend dined with us tonight. Apparently, bhabiji is cross with him over the ring. She had yearned for a diamond ring, not an emerald one. But while hinting at her wishlist, she didn't realise that a solitaire could mean anything else apart from a diamond one. In the infinite wisdom of her husband, that is. Refer to lesson number three.


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