Dear Well Meaning Parents, Siblings, Uncles, Aunties, Grandparents, Cousins of Parents, Neighbours of Grandparents,
Nosy Well Meaning People Next Door, Old-time Servants, And Other-Assorted-People-I-Forget-Who-You-Are,
Our family right now comprises only two people. Us (the husband and the wife). Everyone else is either a) A relative, b) A friend c) An acquaintance, or d) A very unwelcome intruder. Category (a) has two sub-categories (a1) People who don’t need an invitation to come and live with us and (a2) All Others. I’m sorry to say that most of you to whom this letter is addressed do not fall in category a1. And no, we do not anticipate any openings coming up either.
Now that we’ve established the social hierarchy, let’s talk. Shall we?
One, every couple needs privacy. A safe space where they can lay down their own rules, make their own dinner, watch terrible shows on TV, have loud sex (sometimes not just in the bedroom), fight, make up (or make out), wear tattered shorts and ancient T-shirts and in general just be themselves. It’s bad enough to have to be civilized in the workplace. Please do not intrude into our home (and if you’re category a1, we’ll make an effort so you don’t have to know we have a sex life. But since we do have one, could you not visit us quite so often, please?)
Two, the wife’s career is as important as the husband’s, thank you. She’s worked as hard (or harder) and is as smart (or smarter) than the husband and so, would you kindly stop assuming that the wife will trail along wherever the husband goes? If she does any trailing, she’s doing it because she wants to not because she has to (now, doesn’t that make the husband feel good?)
Three, we only really answer to ourselves. I know you have 35 years of experience and that you wish us well and that someday, we might regret not taking your advise. But really, you must stop expressing yourself now. And let us get on with screwing up our lives and get to the next stage of our fight-make up-make out cycle.
Four, please stop feeling sorry for the husband just because he cooks. He happens to enjoy it. Besides, I know the sambar smells good but I’m sorry, you’re not invited to dinner.
Five, yes, we’re one of those freaks who wish to have a daughter. I’d like her to grow up as quickly as possible so we can go shopping and my husband would love to spoil her silly. So, while we do appreciate the blessings, we would appreciate it even more if you weren’t quite so sexist about them.
Six, we work hard for our money and we deserve to do what we want with it and how much of it we want. It’s hard enough to get through the workday without having to a) spend our money on people who don’t appreciate it and b) listen to people go on and on about how we should be saving it and c) be reminded of our endless “responsibilities” (this a, b, c are different from the categories above. But I’m sure you got that, no?) Saar, we do not ask you for your money. Neither do we tell you that you should be paying your son in America (Bay Area) rent for living in his flat and stop pretending that you’re doing him a favour by living in it. Therefore, kindly stop trying to guess how much we make and whether we really only bought just a quarter gram of gold for Akshaya Tritiya.
Seven, The Gods told me the other day that they don’t really care whether or not I wear all the Symbols of Marriedness. My husband knows that I won’t cheat on him just because I prefer not to wear a bindi with jeans. If the only thing preventing you from hitting on me is the fact that I’m married and you would like a constant reminder of it, please have a chat with my karate-brown-belt-husband. If not, it doesn’t really matter to you whether I advertise my married state or not, does it?
Eight, no. My husband and I are not “busy on our own laptops”. We’re actually spending quality time together without having to expend energy talking (me) and listening (him).
Nine, (deep sigh and deep breath). Madam, I do not want to be an “ideal bahu”. I would rather just be a happy wife. I have no interest whatsoever in your opinions of how my maid is overpaid (well, I will employ and overpay a maid soon) and under-worked and how I am neglecting home for the sake of mere career. The fact is, that unlike my maid, I am overworked and underpaid. Therefore, could you please let me just enjoy my suspiciously-alcoholic-looking-icy drink?
Finally, no, we’re not atheist. No, we don’t like religion all that much either. And yes, that will make sense if you think about it a bit…
The Goddess and The Geek
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