Thursday, March 31, 2005

Leftovers and I

Consolation is to often found serendipitously - in my case in a post by one of my favorite bloggers waiterrant titled "Leftovers". He talks about how Average Joes end up with Smoking Babes and much more. While I'm not too bad, be it far from my humble self to claim emitting smoke from my person. Now, the Joe in question is arguably less than average, an obvious conclusion derivate of the observation in the said post.

So, if I ask "What gives ?" I am clearly at fault. Having consoled myself that I am yet another case in point, I feel more inclined towards acceptance bordering on resignation. A significant departure from complete shell-shock and resistance - the two immediate reactions on first setting eyes on the said Joe.

At that instant, I had wanted out or in the least wanted another chance. Now, I await a decision - i.e. Joe deciding with resounding finality that he and I are an item for life. I am aware that the item would look rather strange - I've borne the brunt of that as people have eyed us with curiosity bordering on disbelief.

I figure when you're together for real things change, people change, perceptions most likely do. The fact that I completely forget about his appearance when we talk, specially when he makes me laugh is all the proof I need. Besides, I like his smile and love his voice.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Precocious Child and the Single Mother

My daughter J does not merely test the rules to see where my break point lies, she also creates new and intriguing challenges. For instance getting positive attention, affirmation, affection and adoration is routine and thus boring. She wants to keel over to the other side - bait me slowly, little by little until my patience is completely worn out. Fan at my anger until the heat turns white hot. Now that is exactly like my Ex.

How I hated being manipulated then and how much more I hate it that this three year old can do just the same - only with more panache. I was furious this evening - I finally lost it. Ended up doing and saying things that I will regret at leisure - J had taken me well beyond breakpoint. That she could do this to me is a failure on my part and I feel duly ashamed.

She is highly intelligent, intuitive and imaginative - her actions are almost always motivated though I'd find it hard for anyone to buy into that. Most likely I'll be called delusional.

I wonder how a victim of an abusive relationship that has since ended can avoid feeling deja vu when seeing traits in the child that are reminiscent of that partner. The very traits that voided the relationship. Isn't anger and pain natural to feel ? But the child is an innocent victim acting on a DNA sequence and no more.

I find myself in this quandary more and more as J grows up, develops an individual personality. There is lot about her that is heart-stroppingly adorable and equally as much that leads to incidents like this evening. While I don't want my bitterness about Ex to cast it's shadow between J and I, I can't obviously exclude from J what she gets from him. God grant me patience !

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Cut, Carat, Color and Clarity

I have been observing a phenomenon for a while now. It started with my being invited to more meetings than I care to attend or need to. It comes free with the job description and makes me long to be a programmer left alone to mire in the cesspool of my own code.

Coming back to the meetings. I get bored after the five minutes of these hour long jamborees. With nothing left to do I survey the people seated, talking, gesticulating, making inside jokes that I don't quite get because of my unfamiliarity with TV sitcoms and Hollywood blockbusters.

It is amazing that almost all humor is derived exclusively from the aforementioned sources. The Indian equivalent would be laughing over Kader Khan histrionics from a popular Bollywood flick. It's a cultural niche not to mention an acquired taste.

Anyways, my survey took an interesting turn when I started to analyze trends in my random observations. Most of the younger women (from the late twenties to the mid thirties) wore identical diamond solitaries and wedding bands. Different colors of gold an occasional platinum. The diamonds were almost always impressively sized but lacking in all the C's that count.

Big is beautiful seems to be the mantra. So when hands (left significantly more often than right) gesture from different parts of the conference room, the stones seem to claim "My marriage is the bigger better deal than yours. Proof is my rock is bigger" As an outsider I watch the display with much interest. Since when did marriage turn into a competitive sport ?

The first thing to strike me as interesting was uniformity. Conformism and total lack of imagination. The prescription wedding and engagement ring sets. No one did anything different. Maybe the marriages were pretty similar too but I can't vouch for that.

Over the years I have also seen that the older women are ring less or may at best sport an engagement ring - here today gone tomorrow. Sometimes going through several different ones in a relatively short period of time.

In general a woman with a ring is imbued with a sense of superiority over one without one. Even an engagement ring does not quite cut it. Even if the rock in question is a stunner. The band and the rock together defines Nirvana - it probably proves indisputable ownership of a man.

I am an outlier in more than one way. I am in the age group that is married and proudly flaunting it, oblivious of the ominous older, ring less fingers all around them. Yet I do not have a wedding ring ; I am not the same color or race. They view me as a cultural anomaly that piques their curiosity but not for long. After a while I turn into the fly on the wall and get a chance to absorb and assimilate.

While in America, I have lived and worked in the South and the North East. The number of divorced southern gentlemen in a random sampling at the work place was fairly high. I remember one instance when five out of the seven men in a group I had gone out to lunch with were without wedding bands. In the North East (in my conservative neck of the woods at least) almost any male in the group is likely to be married.

The real disparity is in the number of older women who are divorced as compared to the older men. These women appear fated to be ring less because the men their age are inevitably balled and chained to another. That is a real pity. These older woman find themselves hitting clubs and bars on a Friday even only to be accosted by freaks who have had too much to drink.

Sometimes, younger girl-friends such as I hear those horror stories on Monday during lunch hour. When they ask me "Why don't you go out and date ? You are young and attractive - you should be able to find someone easy." I am left speechless. To explain to them the dynamics of the Indian dating going on mating deal is a task more daunting than I am willing to undertake over a Caesar salad and V8.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Travel

Chanced upon a travelogue with a difference. I love travel as do a lot of other people. Anyone with a fascinating story set in a far flung country is an immediate object of my fascination. Stands to reason that I would find a personal audio visual account of global travel riveting.

Not having seen the best part of my own country, I loved watching Surabhi on Doordarshan. Those were the pre-cable TV days an innocent and uncomplicated time. Thought the folks on the show had the best job in the world. Getting paid to travel that would be a dream come true for me.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Foreign Policy and Metrosexuality

Most men I have been in relationships with were big on geo-politics, the effect never quite rubbed off on to me. Like most things I know I cannot change I do not care too much about. Nebulas and G-7 summits are in the same league in my scheme of things. I'd much rather care about trends in IT management, Gartner hype-cycles and what all of that means to my career. And when I finally have the time go to a good school for a degree in Fine Arts. That's the short and long term focus of my life and my ant's world view. Parochial but effective I believe. However, reading about metrosexuality in the context of polity got me interested enough to go through the whole article

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Dreaming of Distant Places

Going over my to-do list to check with AAA to send me my membership card, I remembered how I would pore over those AAA maps and mark out an obscure route that seemed scenic and had water all around. I am drawn to water - oceans most strongly but even a pond dotted with lilies can be charming. I am a fire sign though - maybe I crave to be doused and at peace with myself. Though we did not stay together long enough to make this trip.. maps still do remind me of him..

If and only if persist forever. After bonds are broken in body and spirit, after the years, after all feelings of betrayal, anger and loss have been washed over by the time's ceaseless flow. Does he ever stop and look back to see the detritus left behind ? The lives stopped short ? The hopes and dreams thwarted ? Does he like me wish time's arrow would move backward about thirty years ?

Every once in a while I do wonder what I did to deserve this and ever so often I realize that I am so far away from true knowledge of my self and my place in God's scheme of things.