The Mine Field That Is My House

Many moons ago I had spewed a bit via this post but last night I realized that my modest home is quite fraught with stuff that’s likely to blow up (figuratively) or cause me to blow up (literally).

Case in point- My kid and his quest for building a dino army keeps showing up (read under) all foreseeable and some not so foreseeable places. Last night’s trip to the bedroom was an obstacle course par excellence!

This is how it went down- focus on the word down. Now the charming child I’ve brought into this world, had locked Red and I out of our bedroom? Did I mention we’ve been co-sleeping, exclusively? It’s not fun. But since his room and ours has a connecting window that opens up from his room, I thought I’d sorted things out quite alright. Erm…not quite.

So just on the other side of MLM’s window is a futon and ahead of the futon is a few open feet of room followed by the bed. I always keep a bit of a gap between the window and the futon for these reasons and also to make it easier to sweep and mop but that was to be my downfall in every sense of the word.

So the space behind the futon was littered with dinos. The pointy kinds. I think the beak of a Quetzalcoatlus (pronounced as  /ˌkwɛts(ə)lkəʊˈatləs/ for those who give a damn) or a Pteranodon (drop the P while saying it and you’re gravy) poked me in my foot leading me to leapfrog over the entire width of the futon and step on a Hotwheels car that effectively got me half airborne till I broke my fall on the futon. And being the superb athelete that I am, I was suprised that nothing was broken…bones and futon included.

So up I get, seething in anger and ready to grab the kid by the scruff of his neck and dump him in his room and his quite comfortable bed when I stepped on a marble and hopped on one foot to go and sit on the air conditioner’s remote which was parked right where I would normally sleep!

A lopsided, ballet through the air to land in a graceless manner in a bed where a rapidly growing child was sleeping diagonally across. Naturally.

Oh by the way, did I mention it was rather dark in the room just the LED glow from the AC spread a dim light over a negligible part of the room? Nevermind…that’s usually a given.

 

36

Ask a woman if she’s easier in her mind about being 36 years old versus being 36 in the waist and you can bet you’ll be on the receiving end of the MOST disdainful look which roughly translates to, ” Yeah right! AS IF! What kind of question is that anyhow? How DUH ARE you?!” and it goes on and on and on.

For someone who *is* 36 and enjoying it (so far), the fear of turning 36 in the waist wasn’t too far in the horizon. The girth has been expanding and innate laziness and a bad case of unstickittoiveness led me to think that henceforth denim (the wonder material and no, it’s not Lycra) might be something I could find and fit into with great difficulty.

And I’ll tell you why this is. The craze for skinny, low riding jeans for women seems to have taken over the world where the words comfort-fit are possibly the worst things you can say to a salesperson apparently. Each stack of denim, whether in the time-tested brands of Levis, Lee or Pepe, seems to have variations of skinny over and over again.

When a person like me, who hasn’t been remotely skinny EVER, heads over to shop for denim the sales people seem to gulp and summon their courage to tell me nothing is available in my size and probably won’t be unless I start to shop in stores which cater specifically to those of us who are more than reasonably well-fed.

I told Red I wanted a pair of new jeans on my birthday, the old one long having given up the ghost with all the thigh chaffing and splitting at the seams from my ever-expanding ways. He took it well although I suspect he had some scenes playing out in his head of me storming out of the trial rooms ranting about how only skinny people could shop off the rack these days for basic clothing yada yada yada.

And contrary to his usual manner of tasting his feet while he talks, he did not ask the sales girl to get me the largest size they had available. He merely gave me the floor and told me to pick what I liked and try it on. Phew…birthdays sure good days for husbands to learn tact. Sadly the next day they go back to square one.

Anyhoo, I picked a pair to try out and entertained scary thoughts of my own about all the huffing, puffing and jiggling up and down, hopping on one foot just to get the jeans on and then shimmying like you know who (the ladies who like to dance around poles with minimal to no clothes on) just to get the pants up to my waist when a miracle happened………….wait for it………………………………………………………………………………..The pants rose like magic (but not like extra-large clown pants) to meet me on their own. I was able to button the waist without doing the Lamaze huff-puffs and when I squatted to see how tightly the seams were being tested, they didn’t even whimper! Ask women how often they moon the trial room mirrors when test driving new jeans and you’ll have a bunch of women fit to cry their eyes out!

Manna from the heavens on the first pair of jeans?! Someone up there (or down there) wanted me to have a happy birthday for sure!

And what is the point of this rambling and avoidable description of me fitting into jeans? It’s not about the weight entirely. The older you get you do mellow but you also realize there might not be going back to certain things. A 28-inch waist for one. Not only because your kid would miss head butting your extra bouncy tummy and your husband would end up needing pillows to lean on instead of you but also because somewhere you made your peace with the flab. You certainly don’t want to nurture it but it’s there so what’re gonna do? You love to hate it!

Finding something that goes right, the way it’s supposed to, the first time around is a nice change from everything that you need to and have to work at. A pair of jeans that slid up the on the first try without any grunts out of you and were soft enough to sleep in as well, sometimes makes all the difference.

Now if it had turned out that my waist was 36 instead of my age, that would be a descent to a whole new level of madness and a totally different blog post altogether! We are talking a new level in the Inferno for God’s sake!

Salut!

A Tryst With Disenchantment

I have never had as much exposure to any other language as I have with English. Whether it be the Indian variety or the Queen’s. There are words which help capture your moods, your thoughts, the intangibles, the indecipherable and what not! English also lets you coin new terms and that particular term is called a neologism. Fantastic, ain’t it?

One of those words which have intrigued me from time to time is “disenchantment“. Websters (my favorite lexicon) defines it as “a feeling of disappointment about someone or something you previously respected or admired; disillusionment.” To enchant means “to attract and hold the attention of (someone) by being interesting, pretty, etc. Also to put a magic spell on (someone or something)”

So disenchantment could simply be put as the state when the magic’s all gone.

There’s a kind of magic that imbues life. It doesn’t come out of Hogwarts or fairy tales but it exists in life nonetheless. It comes to us when we are flush with the happiness of something or someone; in a state in life when things are not just rosy they are effervescent, vibrant and uplifting in themselves.

When this magic with something dissipates, you often see it for what is actually is or what it has become and it no longer holds an allure. It may be that the scales have dropped from your eyes or something to that effect but it no longer calls you, has a hold on you as it were.

With people, being disenchanted takes on a different form. You go from being deeply involved, invested in their wellness, welfare to being either dismissive or simply non-caring. You just stop caring point-blank what happens with them, to them around them. THEM. In toto. That is not to say that you wish them ill. Just the opposite. You cease to have any thought of any kind for that individual. You can summon some fragments of emotion for them if a situation arises that requires you to respond but beyond that, there’s nothing.

It can be surprising that things that filled you with joy, people who added so much substance to your life suddenly just cease to signify anything at all. But it can and does happen. The human mind is full of surprises and is very receptive to fluctuating levels of magic in our lives. The magic knows it’s waning or dawning much before we become aware of it.

Here’s to remaining enchanted, always.

Reblogged:Playing With The Hand You’re Dealt…

Isn’t that what it all boils down to in life?
It isn’t always celebrating the things that go well or in accordance with our plans or even making our peace with the things that don’t. It’s finally just existing with what IS.
Sometimes we are able to do it gracefully and other times it takes a lot of plodding and prodding to get through each day.

There’s a saying by Oscar Wilde that people often smugly quote- ” There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

I’ve found that while tragedy might be too strong a word for it, it does seem difficult to comprehend and accept ,what you sought out, opted for even isn’t all that it’s cut out to be or even worse…it’s not what you want. Is inadequate.

So you shuffle the deck a few times and hope the next hand is better than the one that has you staring in bafflement.

Or you chuck the cards up in the air and don’t care if they scatter all over; since it’s mimicking life in doing so.

And some of us painstakingly make a house of cards. Trying to balance each card over the other and anxiously watching whether they stay up or come tumbling down.
In the end you either end up with a steady house you used up all your cards in making and are proud of or you decide to call it quits after you reach a plateau and are still left holding a few cards for later.

It’s all about playing with the hand you were dealt.

Reblogged: Like A Phoenix

A lot of blogs turn out to be a plunge into some deep chasm of thought. It’s not. I suddenly get a notion in my head. It often cries for a platform. Some days I can give it one and other days it’s shunted onto my list of things-to-do-but-not-now-maybe-later.

After a long time I napped in the afternoon. It was my own fault. Sunday comes every week but I don’t indulge in heavy meals that make one languorous. Today I did and as a result I stretched out next to my mom (another factor in inducing sleep) and conked off the moment the head and pillow connected.

That Red kicked me out of the room and took charge of MLM was probably the biggest reason for being able to sleep for 2 hours.

When the mind is relaxed it seems into sink into itself. Not like a balloon with air going out of it but almost like it heaves a small sigh of relief that you aren’t stretching it to all ridiculous lengths and just starts emitting little blurbs of thoughts like a person lazily blowing bubbles. Or as in my case, a contented person emitting little burps.

So the mind burped this thought- everything that grows brings with it something that had to break.
It wasn’t a “Whoa horsey” kind of thought either. It was reflective.

An empty land becomes an apartment complex. It’s dug into and practically eviscerated but it’s growth. And breakage. The homes are built and we “break” the space which earlier existed and coop ourselves up into an affordable number of square feet and call it home.

Relationships grow and break your notions of what is and what should be. Things are seldom tweaked. It’s usually a structural kind of change that happens and the mind fits itself around the new thought, the new idea and tries it on. Sometimes it fits and other times you’re left with something that is chokingly tight or so loose that you just can’t work yourself into it and it just hangs uncomfortably around you and your life.

It was a very A-Ha experience as Red calls it. Another realization. One that you might have already had but didn’t allow yourself to dwell on for long.

And every time the phoenix that is the mind, rises above and tries to make sense of things, of relationships, of movements in life of the ground that is now a tall building that you have to call home, the people who are moving on, playing different roles, the child that is growing up…

Yup…Sunday afternoon naps are quite potent.

Am glad the next one will take another few months to come about 🙂

Parenting Diaries: Lying…When To Be Concerned

MLM by and large is a fairly manageable child. He’s NOT docile neither does he stop and listen every single time but he’s not been sneaky or sly very often.

He celebrated his 5th birthday over the weekend and I found some of the toys brought out during the party had suspicious chunks taken out of them. There being no end to the kind of sticky situations kids can find themselves in, I asked him if he was the one who had done it. He calmly replied “no”. When I later found irrefutable proof that it was indeed he who had spoiled the toys I have to admit I got pretty angry. Not because of the toys but because he’d lied outright.

Now as parents, we lie to our kids without blinking an eye. We lie about Santa, where their old toys have gone, where people go to after they die or even how we tackle the question of death itself. It’s done out of two main factors:

1) Children, at a particular age, lack the life experience to understand everything life throws at them.

2) We lack the adequate ability to explain things to them about certain things because they actually require near-adult understanding.

But what I am concerned about is- where do I draw the line about lying? Don’t lie? Non-negotiable and no questions asked or depending on the situation and its gravity take a call?

No matter what stance Red and I take, life will teach him to tell fibs. To get out of dealing with tiresome people, to avoid doing something he’d prefer not to et al, to save himself from something uncomfortable…who knows! We do it so often.

With children in the formative stage it becomes so essential to watch our steps, words, everything around them!

So if I have to explain to him that telling a lying isn’t the best way to go, I guess I should start with telling him that the hugely expensive (and unnecessarily expensive also) dragon toy he wants isn’t really out of stock; I just don’t want to spend that kind of money on something that isn’t a bloody life-sized dragon!

Hard being a parent. Really. Truly. Absolutely!

Philosophical Masturbation

I happened to speak to someone about relationships recently and that got me thinking about…DUH! relationships. The kinds I have with the people in my life. The kinds I see all around me and those I’ve been a part of vicariously, for whatever oddball reason there maybe.

It struck me during my conversation that sometimes when we walk away or are walked away from, the significant people in our life, we aren’t usually doing it for one reason alone. There are usually a multitude of reasons and one of them might rule the roost but the others play their part in the decision making process-be it a good or a bad decision.

A reason which is a bit OTT but is relevant nonetheless is the act of knowing someone too well. People like some amount of mystique in their lives. They like the element of the unknown, even if it’s an iota and not a dollop. And they don’t want to be an open book where each ‘t’ is crossed out and ‘i’ is dotted before its time.

One of the other factors which go hand in hand with being known very well by the significant other, is knowing them a little too well.

Ergo predictability rules the roost or we imagine it to do so and often opt to be away from the severity of known and cozy up in the warmth of the unknown. Let’s face it, a person who knows you, warts and all, will lay you bare and none of your excuses will work in front of them. The fallacies you might want to hide behind will be ripped apart from you and you’ll be shown a mirror to your own self. Again. And again.

It’s tough. Sometimes unsavory and often unpalatable. And the easiest way to avoid it is to be rid of the person who knows you so well.

Starting over with a new person lets you be someone you wanted to be but couldn’t. Or atleast pretend to for a while.

Familiarity isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be at the end of the day. It’s just another state of being. And you might want to be someone else.

Mens Vs. Women: The Eternal Conundrum

OK people, be prepared for an out and out rant today. There’s a global phenomenon that men laugh and also mutter oaths about- The Woman Driver. The way this paragon of road (un)worthiness is portrayed you’d think she was a combination of a sloth or a slug who was inching forward in traffic while other people were aging in the process, or she was a hurricane on wheels; blowing away everyone in her path and piling up a huge body count in the process.

Now the question demands to be asked- Why am I ranting this fine, breezy morning instead of celebrating my rare and soon-to-be finished hours of me-time? Well I met the other half of the paragon viz The Male Driver.

While dropping MLM to school this morning I came across some beautiful examples of flagrant disregard for traffic rules, human and animal life to boot! And it’s not merely the speed demons on bikes or the vans bearing goods that indulged in such displays…it was nothing less than a Beemer…so you see, we have classy people getting into the act as well!

I have sadly come across too many people who sneer at women drivers, my husband unfortunately falls into these ranks despite him knowing better and ideally fearing for his life. But I fail to understand why a man’s gender isn’t singled out when he makes driving booboos. Do we women possess some kind of mutated driving chromosomes which make us “inept” or unsavvy drivers?

If we’re pointing fingers lets do it collectively at a group of incompetent or rash drivers overall. Why drag the gender bit into it? Because let’s face it, there are WAY many more males driving globally and getting into 7-car pile-ups or even ending up on car chases with cops than females from the look of it. So either those people are all cross-dressing men or maybe men too come into their fair share of driving  no-nos.

As for the argument of men being from Mars and women from Venus- just remember that in the end we’re all aliens under the same sun!

Here endeth the lesson.

image courtesy-http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/

image courtesy-http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Some of us actively live in the past. How things were, how they happened et al. And that’s understandable. There’s a comfort in looking back at things which have already occurred. You don’t need to worry about them again…they’re done. Maybe not dusted but you know how they’ve played out. It’s *not* the unknown. The present is fluid and the future uncertain so the past is often the only reliable thing you have.

The past is a powerful thing. It shapes you. It holds a repository of YOU and your life that you can go back to and pluck instances out of that help you in your present and may help you in the future.

There are times when I pass by a place where significant things in my life have occurred and if I try hard enough I can actually see myself there. Not too clearly but as a hazy memory. Too clearly and it’s ground for being certifiable :p

But sometimes a walk down memory lane helps. Especially when you’re getting your present to pull up it’s socks and get it’s act together!

Image courtesy-http://merettapater.wordpress.com/tag/memory-lane/

Image courtesy-http://merettapater.wordpress.com/tag/memory-lane/

The Check List

We test drive a car before buying it. We ought to be able to test drive our spouses, partners too. Here’s why-

  • You meticulously switch off the lights and fan when exiting a room. Their motto in life is to forget it. Always.
  • You hang your wet towels out to dry on the clothesline or drying rack. They feel a bed is the best way to get the job done. And somehow never seem to leave it on the side of the bed they sleep in; its always on yours.
  • You love to read in bed. They act like a minute beam of light is blinding and continue to toss and turn till the bed seems to be suffering from tectonic movements.
  •  You watch/read mainstream movies and novels. They watch award-winning foreign language movies which are dark and dreary and someone always seems to die or be dying and read books which are as straight and uncomplicated as a jalebi (or pretzel, take your pick).
  • You want your bathroom tiles to be “cheerful”. They raise eyebrows at you and say just pick something where the grime won’t show up and keep mumbling about the ridiculous adjective of cheerful for bathroom tiles!
  • You usually know where your essential accessories are. They need a map. Everyday. Without Fail.

That and many more reasons are why you should know a person beyond their favorite color and food.
You just might end up shivering next to a person who ends up rolling themselves up like a spring roll in a comforter meant for two while you ponder about whether you would be justified in kicking them of bed altogether.

OR in time you could gaze upon your giggling offspring and say isn’t that the most beautiful face ever? They would agree.

So it works both ways 🙂