There is no woman in sight. If a man stands in the middle of a forest and says something, is he still wrong? [A quote I borrowed from a speaker in TED.com who in turn took it off a T-shirt which passed him on the street.]
The wife is always right. She reminds me every day without fail.
She may forget to take her pills. She might even forget the curry on the burner. But she will never forget this. I suspect she is downloading FBI’s advanced brain washing techniques and testing it on me. How did she get it? I have no clue! Maybe some women in the FBI are passing it around!
This is how a normal day in my life unfolds. I will be happily sitting in my recliner with my feet propped up. I will be gazing at the flat screen TV and absentmindedly flipping channels.
A sudden thud in the kitchen brings me back to reality. My wife is in the kitchen cooking. Over the years that thud has become more and more meaningful. It could mean, ‘I am sweating and cooking here and all you do is sit around doing nothing. Can’t you at least come and wash the dishes?’
I sit up straight in my recliner. The remote forgotten by my side. The thud could also mean, “How many times do I have to tell you that I need more space in this kitchen.” Which also means one of the so-called unbreakable plates would have been ‘accidentally’dropped and broken. My legs slide off the cushions by now. What should I do now? Both the TV and I are now mute.
In the grand design of things, I think women architects have designed the kitchen to be always positioned right next to the living or family room. Why can’t kitchens be tucked away in a corner of the basement or attic?
Another thud and I rushed to the kitchen. My wife was busy stirring three pots on the stove. I sidled up to her and started rubbing her back. With her back turned to me, it looked like a good place to start negotiations. A sort of a hissssss escaped. I mistook it for the steam cooker. I should have taken the hint. I continued rubbing and reached up to massage her shoulders with both hands. That was the straw that sort of broke the camel’s back.
She turned around and swished her wooden spoon at me. A lump of brown mass from the spoon splattered right across my face, glasses, and shirt front. I was careful to keep my frozen calm expression. We stood looking at each other and she burst out laughing. That’s all it takes sometimes.
Later I asked her why she got mad. She said she was just irritated. She didn’t know why and that made her more irritated.
Hello. Help me here!
I do not listen to her. She reminds me of that too.
I realized much later that I had married a talking machine in perpetual motion. For the first couple of years I hung on to her every word. I suspect that I got fat storing all her monologues in my heart and then it overflowed to other parts of my body.
I learned to memorize important points of her speech. Sometimes she asked me what she said and then I had to repeat it. Over the years, however, I got tired of the whole thing and would just hum, haw, and say, “Yes dear”.
I believe events and trends in life go around in cycles. Wise men say this. But I didn’t think it applied to me.
The attention syndrome reared its ugly head again. I had to be more careful now. My daily intake of food depended on this. If I kept quiet when she talked she complained that I did not listen. If I hummed and hawed, she would want me to repeat word for word what she said. Sometimes when I ask,”What did you say, dear?” she would reply, “Ah, nothing. I was just talking to myself.”
At night she takes it up another notch. She talks in her sleep. By now I know that she is not pretending. Earlier it would annoy me to no end. Now I talk back to her. Sometimes even ask questions. To which she faithfully replies. So that is how our conversation goes. At night. Two-sided, and half asleep!
Man. We never win! We are always wrong! Just admit it. The wife is always right. It’s easier that way!