week on Sunday The Wifey said let's dance. I said okay,
let's dance. We started dancing together, but soon realised
it was no fun. Each time I stepped on her toes, she threatened
to leave me and go. She said her friends were a more enthusiastic
bunch of chimps who enjoyed dancing and never messed up
the steps, so why not call a few of them over and dance
together. I said yes, why not. I got carried away with the
spirit of the moment, and spoke of them as a riotous bunch
of monkeys. She threw a fit, "What is this. Is this
how you treat my friends? With contempt? You call them names?
Have I ever called your friends hippos when most of them
actually look like ones? When will you learn?" Before
she could go any further, I apologised for the slip, told
her I got confused between chimpanzees and monkeys. But
then she said that chimps don't mean chimpanzees. I said
oh, so that was what caused the confusion, and accepted
my mistake. Maybe she'd meant chipmunks, but I didn't say
The Wifey could think of some other reason to flare up,
on Monday evening, I personally called each of her friends
over to our house, and made them dance. I played loud music
on our music system, and left the floor to them. Looking
at them dance, I wondered if had been off the mark in describing
them thus, but didn't dwell on that thought for long. Instead,
was worried at the rate at which my prized collection of
glasses was being destroyed. But I didn't say anything.
into the dance session, our not-so-generous apartment-mates
lined up before our flat door demanding explanation. This
is a place for decent people to live in peace, they said.
If you want to dance, go look for a discotheque, they growled,
and disappeared as quickly as they had materialised. An
impromptu invitation to join us may have saved the day,
but by the time I thought of it, they had vanished.
with the volume being reduced to human limits again, the
revellers felt cheated, and left. The Wifey was livid. "I
think we'll have to look for another house,” she said,
"We'll go house-hunting the first thing tomorrow".
No, no, let's not take such a drastic step, our neighbours
mean well, I pleaded. "In which case, I want to have
a dance party some place else where no prig can touch us,"
she purred. Early Tuesday morning she reminded me about
the party, lest (as she thought) my promise had been made
in an inebriated state of wellness and positive thinking.
of Tuesday she sat drawing up her list of dancers in town,
and consulting with them on the choice of music- all hip-hop
and pop. I suggested we have a few guitar oldies as well,
but her cold stare in my direction suggested that I had
broached a taboo topic. Before she could say something like
'What do you know about dancing?' I shut up. It hurts my
ego to be questioned thus.
I took down her choice of venues (in order of preference)
and set about the dog-work of seeing which of these would
allow non-stop madness for the entire evening. Her luck,
I managed to book the venue that topped her wish-list. I
knew she would be ecstatic. I also discussed the menu that
had been recommended by them, and put it up for her approval.
Her silence meant she had no problem with any of the items.
For once, I was making myself useful by lining it all up
for her, and presenting everything before her on a platter.
All she needed to do was to slip on her dancing shoes and
of Thursday, as I gathered from her busy calendar, she sat
up with the phone inviting her cronies. When I returned
from office that evening, an ice-maiden Wifey looked up
from her magazine and said with a peculiar twitch of her
lower lips, almost like a quiver that spelt trouble.
how's your party shaping up?"
Fine, I said. But I did an immediate double take, "hey
wait a minute, what do mean 'my' party, isn't it your party?"
"You've been behaving as if it is your party."
"My party? You suggested it. And your friends will
be shaking their legs, not mine. My friends can't dance,
"So what? Didn't you go ahead and decide the menu.
I never said chicken kebabs."
"What? Didn't you say earlier you liked their kebabs?"
"So, that doesn't mean I want it served that evening.
You should have asked me."
"Okay, if you don't want it, I'll ask them to change
it, but the rest of the menu is as you had wanted, isn't
"So what? You've shown me my place. Please go ahead
and do what you want. It is your party, and who am I to…"
to stop this outburst before it became too melodramatic
for me. "Now c'mmon. What is this yours-mine conflict
you're getting into? Isn't it OUR party?"
As if you know what 'ours' means."
Even with the little insight I have into the workings of
The Wifey's mind, I should have seen this coming. It was
the only predictable behaviour from this most unpredictable
creature on earth. It was she who wanted to have a dance
party, she who drew up her song and guest list, she who
decided on the venue, she who orchestrated it all, and now
she was the one whining she hadn't been consulted!
want to know how it all ended, don't you? Frankly, my friends,
I don't know. It is three in the afternoon now, and the
party is to start at seven. The sulking Wifey has told me
she won't attend it. Few minutes ago I was about to get
inside the toilet with the cordless phone when she snatched
it away from me. "You are NOT making any changes now,"
she roared. As always, she got me wrong. I was just trying
to cancel the party for her friends, and call mine over
instead, but of course, I didn't tell her that.
you'll see me, stuck for the rest of the evening with a
bunch of you-know-what. I wish I'd invented some leg cramps
that Sunday when she asked me to dance with her, or hadn't
got my steps wrong, for that matter. Those were the few
most expensive faltering steps of my life.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004