Monday, January 16, 2012

Dancing with Myself

I can't shake the feeling of slight disorientation when I try to take into account how much we've actually grown up. K. was telling me tonight that she was likely to become engaged to her boyfriend of three years in July. The fact that K. used the word 'affianced' to indicate the engagement was an even stronger sign that we weren't the teenage schoolgirls who thought up lists of songs to dance to at our respective weddings.

She sounded appropriately excited and delighted that I didn't want to interrupt her with my "I've got an exam next week" shtick. "You're always studying for exams!" is what she would say, I was certain.

Surprisingly, she wanted to know my opinion on the subject of marriage for some reason. I told her that I quite frankly didn't feel equipped to discuss the topic.

Truthfully, in my head I'm not really a twenty-three year old "woman", I think I'm still stuck being a little kid mostly. I still live at home with mum and dad, I can cook but only barely, my experience of romantic love is not very extensive to put it mildly and I really, really don't think I'm even capable of managing an entire household as a wife and later, mother.

Maybe this is just a lack of maturity on my part, or maybe it's a manufacturing defect. My friends insist I'll always stay baby-faced and child-like my whole life but then they also insist that's actually a good thing so I'm not sure if I can believe them.

M. was telling me that that's maybe just because I'm a late bloomer or probably because of my rather pampered cloistered upbringing.

I really don't know anything for certain apart from the fact that the very idea of being married to someone for the rest of my life, or even for a short time (you never know these days) fills me with a sort of alarm and a vague sense of panic.

Piyu thinks I'm a commitment-phobe. I don't "follow through" on these things, supposedly. I agree. Also I'm pretty sure I'm not a very maternal, or even a very feminine type of girl/woman. But I had hope that I could make up for that by being extra-warm or extra-generous.

I don't think anyone except my mum can really tell me these things with any authority. So I asked her. Her simple reply was that she wasn't a born mother-figure either, she was kinda thrown in at the deep-end after her reasonably late wedding and when she had kids to bring up without an experienced elder in the house, she simply made it up as she went along.

"You can't read a book about how to be a mother," she said, "Your kids teach you all about it." I am guessing acquiring a husband is also the only way to learn to be a wife.

And since, I'm not likely to do either any time soon, since being a medical student mostly takes care of my life priorities up until my early thirties atleast, I think I should tell K. that I'll get back to her on that question in about a decade's time.

22 comments:

Susan Deborah said...

How wise your mom is! In fact, I was thinking of giving you the same answer as your mom. And, in spite of being married and 32 years of age, I don't feel grown-up, like a wife or can even digest the fact that a man shares my bed every night. Now tell me about this syndrome I have!!!

Smiles, Karishma.

Joy always,
Susan

Megha Agrawal said...

hahaha...

wow..ur post made me laugh! loved wat ur mom said...and this line of urs is particularly awesome:

"I am guessing acquiring a husband is also the only way to learn to be a wife."

love,
another kid sailing in the same boat. ;P

Astha Prakash said...

Marriage is overrated in our country. Even I freak out when I think about living with one person your entire life!
Evolution-wise, man is not even supposed to be a monogamist. Situations change, and as people grow, they grow apart. But marriage was invented to make our social lives systematic. I guess it makes sense.
I think, there comes a stage (it comes to everyone, sooner or later) when you just feel 'ready' to get married to someone.
I'm going to get married when I'm 27 :D

Sakshi said...

Well I agree with your mom. I always wanted to get married. But the thing is that I have absolutely no idea how to be a married woman!
Maybe when I do get married, i shall learn!

Arumugam said...

I was just talking about this to Mom,the other day,about my cloistered upbringing.One of the disadvantages of being born and growing up in a big city,is that you never really have to go anywhere for anything in search of greener pastures or opportunities.Believe it or not,I have lived most of life within a 10 km radius of home.Nursery,High School, graduation and now work...:-)Most people have changed places somewhere along that trajectory.

I can SO identify with the living with one person bit,I get bored quite easily.I read somewhere that marriage after a few yrs is more about compromise and being a wonderful co parent than being the most scintillating dinner conversationalist.I need to grow up,and fast!And remind myself that this is India and I am not living in 60's Berkeley:D

Ramya Sriram said...

i totally agree with what your mom said! i have a friend who was incredibly nervous about having kids, and now she's the proud mother of a 5-month old, going about quite naturally being a mother, if you get what i mean :)

i'm quite panicky about marriage too, but i think it depends on meeting someone who makes you feel like marrying him, however corny that may sound :)

Arumugam said...

And I saw a lovely film over the weekend,Sarah's key(2010).If you are into WW2 movies,u'll like this gripping tale.Unlike most holocaust movies,its not about Nazis but rather talks about France's role during that period.Do check this gem out.

T. said...

i think in all fairness marriage is not meant for everybody. i mean everyone's just not cut out for a lifetime of monogamy. although the universality of the institution is accepted in India i think things are starting to change.

you dont have to feel like an oddity for thinking this way. i'm sure a lot of people feel the same at our age.

and then there's a lot of people who feel this way at 33 or 43 or 53. like i said its not for everyone.

you may just change your mind later on or you may not. either is fine.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I think its just a matter of timing. You have to be in the right place at the right time with the right person. And even if you cant be completely sure about it you can still take a "leap of faith"!


Love,
Isha.

Aayushi Mehta said...

Hmm. Marriage seems to be on everyone's mind these days.

Your mother seems to be very wise :)

I think we all find our way around things when we have to. Be it marriage or exams or blog posts :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Susan, I think I'm gonna be a lot like that myself. Maybe much more than you! :D I think for me this currently-imaginary husband-character will have to be the mature nurturer type and I'll just be the kid who has all the fun! :D Maybe that's not a really ideally healthy relationship but who cares? ;)

Megha, welcome to my blog! And thank you so much. :) It's so nice to know there's someone else out there thinking like me. :D

Tangled up in blue... said...

Astha, you've made up your mind about the age at which you're gonna get hitched? Wow! I can't even consider 27, for me that's like four more years which is setting off panic alarms in my head already! :D Geez, I think I have a real problem with that! :D So well, here's hoping that 'stage' happens for me. :) Thank you for the words of advice. :)

Sakshi, yeah that's what my mum said. It's not gonna be very easy though, atleast at first. My mum had to literally learn everything from making chapatis to making sure my grand-dad didn't forget his diabetes medication. I guess it's easier if you don't have a big family to look after and it's just the two of you.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Arumugam, that's what Jesse says in Before Sunset. He says after a few years a marriage starts to feel like 'running a small nursery with someone you used to date once'. But I guess if you have a stimulating and entertaining partner it won't be all that dreary. The scintillating dinner conversationalist bit is not sounding like a bad deal at all. :D And I'm now downloading Sarah's Key! :) Thank you! Especially for not making me feel like a horrible person for admitting I'd be bored with one person. :)

Ramya, that's SUCH a reassuring comment. It really, really helped. And it's not corny at all. It's really cute. The idea that you can really take that "leap of faith" when you find someone you think will catch you when you do leap. :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

Arumugam, that's what Jesse says in Before Sunset. He says after a few years a marriage starts to feel like 'running a small nursery with someone you used to date once'. But I guess if you have a stimulating and entertaining partner it won't be all that dreary. The scintillating dinner conversationalist bit is not sounding like a bad deal at all. :D And I'm now downloading Sarah's Key! :) Thank you! Especially for not making me feel like a horrible person for admitting I'd be bored with one person. :)

Ramya, that's SUCH a reassuring comment. It really, really helped. And it's not corny at all. It's really cute. The idea that you can really take that "leap of faith" when you find someone you think will catch you when you do leap. :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

T., I agree, it's not meant for everyone. I guess I'll find out which category I fit in somewhere down the line. :) And then we'll make that if-we're-single-til-we're-40 pact with each other, huh, Tawf? :) Remember that one? :D

Isha, I agree. Charlotte from SATC thinks you have to snare a guy when his "light is on". You know, at that time of his life when he's starting to feel a little broody and settled. :D Haha, timing indeed! LOL.

Aayushi, I think we're at that age now when our friends are starting to get set to settle down. Atleast that first wave of friends is. And I'll tell my mum, she'll be happy to hear it. :) She does always give rather solid advice. And wow! Taking marriage like we take an exam. That sounds like an idea! If there's something MBBS has rid me of my fear of, it's exams! :D

AVY said...

You have a way with words, and I wish my mother was that wise.

/ Avy
http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com



S. said...

Very lovely to read.

Love
/S / http:// mydarlingsolitude.blogspot.com

Vyankatesh said...

Wonderful post. Maybe that's why they said that experience is the best teacher.

Elvirah said...

You would never know how life teaches you things which any other book or person would nt be able to. I have dreamed and about so many things in my life and life has taught me that everything just cant be the way i assume and figure. Sometimes we can control our destiny and sometime it just goes the way it likes. Ofcourse marrying someone strange and living with him entire life is like nightmare. But you also never know when things turn right for you and you probably might find a guy who just makes everything so easy for you. Anything is possible in life.

Arumugam said...

A quite hilarious take on the days leading up to an Indian Arranged marriage:-)

http://localparty.tumblr.com/post/16341669795

Every Indian,man or woman can relate to this in some way:-)

Antara said...

You have a very wise mother. And it is true, the best way to learn something is to acquire a reason to learn it.

I can say that with a lot of confidence. Acquiring, and keeping a boyfriend for an entire year has taught me how to be a girlfriend. ^_^

She makes me think. said...

This is exactly what has been on and off my mind, more often on than off, lately. It's been more like a latent disturbance under the surface, which comes surging up every once in a while, like on birthdays - when and how the heck did I turn 24?! Or taking histories in ObGy - when the heck did 'mothers' start being younger than me?! On hearing about batchmates getting engaged - Uh-ohh. I wonder how I'm gonna transition from being a carefree student to a man responsible for himself and others around. It's not even as much about marriage than about just growing up in the head and being able to manage and decide for oneself first, and even though I am taking tiny steps in that direction there's always some undertow making me feel weird about it all.

All this takes up so much time that I just try to shut my mind and get myself back to studies. Seems like studying has become the easiest thing to do lately, an acceptable resort and the only option.