Therefore I Am
The Hubby was in a reflective mood. After much prodding, he
said he'd been pondering over his life.
think I need a change," he said, "I think I've lived
enough for others. Now I want to live for myself."
sub-normal circumstances, I wouldn't have paid much attention
to such abstract ruminations. But when it is said while watching
a live cricket match on TV, it means that his mind has been
jogging. The least I could have done was put my magazine down
and look at him.
tyrannical. I want to live life my way. And you'd better start
getting used to my new way of living."
tone didn't portend well, so I thought it best to agree. It
happens with the best of us at the best of times: when all
is running smoothly, suddenly one moment we'll realise that
one half of our lives is being spent trying to do things to
please others. The other half is being spent cribbing that
it is so. Perhaps The Hubby was going through one of those
bouts of helpless self-loathing.
"Yes dear. I'm afraid we have been overdoing our outside
commitments. I can see you've had enough of socialising, enough
of hanging around with friends in your free time, or creating
free time for them, enough of relatives calling on at odd
hours, enough of getting vague phone calls in the middle of
the night. Yes, I agree. You've had enough of the world. Good
thinking to live for ourselves, for once."
don't have a problem with friends, relatives and phone calls.
It is at home that I want to live for myself. I, me, myself.
That myself," he said emphatically. This sounded more
serious than it had appeared at the outset, and certainly
more serious than a temporary mulling-over exercise. The only
other time he'd said anything to me with such emphasis was
while admitting in college that I was the only woman in his
life (besides his mother, he'd quickly added, but I forgave
him for it- men usually falter like buffoons while professing
their undying love to a woman. It is usually better with the
second woman, but unfortunately he never got to better his
skills after that).
me dear. What do you have in mind? We can do it together…"
want to live my life the way I want to…" I had
rarely seen The Hubby this cut-and-dry.
now on, I will not let anyone rule my life. No one, you get
it?" The way his eyes and words charged at me, I could
sense that it was some kind of personal attack I was facing,
and frankly, I didn't know how to handle it.
course dear. You are quite right. Tell me, do you need some
assistance from me?"
Don't stop me from doing what I wish to. We'll both be happier
for it. In fact, other women will soon start envying you for
the kind of husband you have. I know now, I have proof. Women
love retrosexual men."
soon know wifey. I am the alpha retrosexual male; I've always
had it in me, only now I can see it clearly. And you'd better
start accepting me this way."
Why do all crises in my life have to be over such bizarre
got up and returned with an internet print-out. It read, and
here are the excerpts,
had it up to here with Metrosexuals. Men who have embraced
their female side can go take a hike. Tired of men's magazines
that advocate peach face scrubs?
You're not a freak in a world full of men who tweeze. You're
a Retrosexual: men who are not afraid to sweat, whose idea
of grooming is a bath, and who scratch when they itch.
what? Women love Retrosexuals. After all, a Retrosexual is
the one who will fix a tyre without bothering that his hands
will get dirty.
Retrosexual, be assured of continued female attention and
entitled to our views, and nothing in the article convinced
me that I would ideally like to have a cave man for my life
mate. But then, who was listening? (I would have equally detested
living with this so-called metrosexual, but that's a different
I've been introspecting on our years together, and have concluded
with utmost certainty that you have always succeeded in curbing
my maleness. Every time I have wanted to be myself, you have
stifled me with your notions of aesthetics, appropriateness,
politeness, and what not. But no more. A decade of living
like a stranger to myself feels like a lifetime of prison
term. I will not let it happen any longer." That was
a sloppily-prepared speech, but this was no occasion for pointing
as these allegations sounded, I wasn't even sure if any made
sense. He was over reacting. Hormones, perhaps?
initial shock settling in, I knew I had to get to the bottom
line quickly. It all boiled down to the rather selfish "So
how do things change for me?"
ha." You should have been there to see him rub his hands
in glee! "Wait and see. Retrosexuals don't answer questions
they think can wait."
article doesn't say anything like that…" I remonstrated
in vain. That was the most warped interpretation of the Written
Word, though soon I'd have little choice but to start relishing
the ominous uncertainty of this contentious issue.
It's your life. Do as you please…" I resigned.
has gone ahead and done just that. For the last three days,
he's kept his hair basted in some (floral) aromatic magenta
oil that his mother had handed to him on the eve of our wedding.
The deodorants, shampoos and aftershaves have been thrown
out; he's refused to bathe with warm water; he's switched
from MTV to Betaar; and last observed, he was seen fiddling
with a long-forgotten fountain pen. This morning, I saw him
sealing three hand-written letters to his friends muttering
unflattering words for the E-mail.
ask me, it's really not all that bad living with a retrosexual
man. If only he would do something about the hair oil please…but
it is still better than having to share my nail file with
my husband. I thank my stars that he didn't swing the Metrosexual
(R) thedailystar.net 2004