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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Info Post
(Published in Zeitgeist, The New Indian Express, dated 30 October, 2010)

“No, don’t marry him. You’ll regret it.”

My friend’s friend gapes at me. “Are you sure it’s not just cold feet?”

“Yes, I am. It’s not.”

“No, of course it is!” the common friend says, possibly panicked by the prospect of having to star in a five-hour version of this conversation overnight.

“What do you think?” my friend’s friend looks at me.

“You’ll regret it. You could throw a dart and hit something or someone more worthy.”

“No, she’s being sarcastic. She writes humour columns,” my friend is desperate now.

“Remember Bugs Bunny?” I ask, and my friend falls silent.

Bugs the Hallucinating Junkie is the one I credit with teaching me several truths about relationships, all of which I go on to expound to my friend’s friend.

Truth 1: When a woman introduces the man who has bumbled into her life to friends and strangers, you know it’s because (a) she’s been single for a while, and so decided to settle for anything that came her way because she’s too bored to think (b) she knows she’s making a mistake, and is not sure whether she wants to be convinced to go ahead or end it.

Sadly, most of her friends decide instinctive revulsion qualifies as bridal jitters. However, they insure themselves against blame by popping in an ambiguous sentence that serves as a lead-in to the ‘I told you so’ a few months down. Examples are:

You should do what’s best for yourself.

You deserve the best. When you meet The One, you should go ahead.

Aww. It’s all going to be okay. Give me a hug, now.

I heard the adjectives ‘loser’, ‘vacant’, ‘balding’, ‘weird’, ‘shrill-voiced’, ‘wimpy’, ‘dull’, ‘gross’, ‘crazy-eyed’ and ‘repulsive’ after my move to Delhi (and the discovery that a plaque on a door at the IGI Airport was funnier than Bugs – seriously, the name plate read ‘A.S.S.’, possibly short for Assistant Security Superintendent) had engineered a breakup three months later than necessary.

After falling in love with the man who has gone on to become my best friend, I’ve done a pretty decent job of keeping his identity secret. It helps that his name is an Unpronounceable.

Truth 2: Intelligent women usually date dudes of low calibre because of their need for validation, while intelligent men usually marry women with low IQs because of their need for flattery.

At the low-calibre-dating stage, women should acquire a distaste for flowers, heart-shaped chocolate boxes, cheap pink diaries and corny messages by association with the subject. In the life cycle of a silkworm, this is the part where you gorge on mulberry leaves till you want to puke, and then shut yourself into a cocoon. Ideally, you ought to get out before you’re boiled alive.

The distaste-by-association will help you grow fond of men who forget your birthdays, or buy you rings the wrong size after using a rubber band to measure the circumference of your finger under a random pretext.

Truth 3: Disillusionment makes you funny.

My column began with a piece on my first disastrous date with Bugs.

“I’ve read that one!” exclaims my friend’s friend, “I think I could relate to it because this guy cried after watching Jab We Met too.”

“I cried too, but that was after hearing a poorly-rendered narration from Bugs,” I say, as our common friend begins to relax, “so, ideally, you ought to break up before your dude shows up at your door with a rose between his teeth.”

“Maybe you’re right about this one,” my friend smirks, “you were funnier when you were unhappy.”


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