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

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 145 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

March 12, 2004

<%-- Navigation Bar--%>
<%-- Navigation Bar--%>

I'm Loving It!

Richa Jha

It is difficult being a husband in today's world. Can't say if it has always been like this, but this age has sure seen some gross injustices being heaped upon us unsuspecting men.

Look at me, I am a perfectly normal, benign, well-meaning, thinking man with all my senses intact. I have feelings too. But when with The Wifey, my independent existence becomes redundant, even non-existent. In my younger days, I thought I was well qualified to take on any nature of challenge in life. But women, especially married women, defy all norms of sanity. So nothing had prepared me for dealing with The Wifey. These days I feel I am, what do I say- forever trapped. For instance, I am made to say yes to her awkward questions ("does this beige look good here?") when every cell in my body is revolting to say a no; but when I think she wants to hear a yes, she actually wants me to say a no. I can see several heads nod in agreement with me. Yes dear friends, they are all the same. You know one woman, you've known them all. A trickier situation to get trapped into is when she is in an evaluative mood. "Does this pink go well with these pants or this fuchsia?" How am I supposed to know. I can't even spell fuchsia right. I bet even she can't. As far as I know, they both look the same to me, and if my honest opinion really counted, I would have said they both made her look like Cindy Lauper. My situation is worse than those dumb crash test dummies. At least they don't feel the pain. Here, do what I will, I am bound to get hammered.

I met a friend from college the other day and we sat up late into the night sharing our woes. Not like the 'job sucks and the world's coming to an end' kind of woes, but a more soul searching, intensely private kind of heart-to-heart. We spoke about women (isn't that what we men do all the time, anyway?), not any woman in general the way we used to in college, but his, and mine in particular. We talked about what these two women had made of us. Is this what we'd set out to do when we were much younger? We talked into the night, some moment, with wine, at others, without. We felt like buddies, bonded all over again. Both of us mentally weather-beaten, wife-beaten men drinking away our blues. It was cathartic, I tell you.

The closest I got to this feeling of catharsis was when, as a boy aged 17, I had poured open my heart before our hostel warden's daughter (oh, the warden's short haired daughter) that day on the steps of our school canteen under the open clear skies which suddenly wept aloud and applauded all at once at my innocent confessions. She wanted to rush in because of the sudden drizzle, but I knew it was heaven's way of giving me a thumbs-up. I told her how much I loved seeing her get under the skin of Eliza's character when she played Pygmalion on stage that morning. It took guts to open my mouth, but when I finally did, with each phoneme that came out of me, I felt my tense nerves easing up, my reeling head settling in, my throbbing temples beginning to slip into oblivion, my sweaty palms drying up, my dry lips feeling moist again, the jamboree of black holes in front of my eyes dispersing, and my brain starting to function again. I suddenly remembered my name, and after several hours since I'd first seen her on stage that morning, I started to exist again. You see, that is the power of catharsis.

But this tête-à-tête I had with my college buddy happened under different circumstances. Both The Wifey and my friend's wife having gone home on longish vacations, we two are under forced bachelorhood. Let the Wifey fume and explode when she gets to know this, but I AM LOVING IT! I don't care if you tattle before her, but I will say it a hundred times. I am loving being on my own, and being a master of my own likes and dislikes. I don't care whether I am wearing dirty clothes or clean ones. I'm enjoying having two cups of coffee just before hitting the bed, and not being made to brush my teeth before turning in for the night. I like being able to sleep on the same bedcover that's been unchanged for so many days, and sleeping on her 'dear cushions'. I have never understood this concept of having multi-layered coverings and then separate cushions during the day, and pillows for the night. Other than the shape, they look the same to me. I like jumping in bed without clean feet, and being able to read deep into the night without once hearing the unending cribs from her screaming to turn off the lights. Aah ha! What she'll never know is that my bed lamp doesn't get switched off through the night- not unless one of you decides to sneak it to her. Hey Wifey, wherever you are, just know it that I am enjoying this freedom.

For once, I get to lie down on the sofa and watch TV. Ha ha! I even dangle my legs from the arms, this way, you see? I can channel surf and snore at the same time, I can have my soup while lounging in the living room, I can, wow,…whoopee! For once, I am the master of my own life, and I'm loving it!





(C) Copyright The Daily Star. The Daily Star Internet Edition, is published by The Daily Star