Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Adult Choices

Everyone who knows someone who has cheated on their significant other, raise your hands! Yep, i'm guessing you did. Now, all those who blamed the other woman/man for breaking up a marriage, raise YOUR hands. I'm thinking the number of hands just went up by atleast half. I'm hoping not, though.

Because in today's day and age, you don't have a leg to stand on.

When my parents split, it was an unusual occurence for that time. For the longest time, the rest of the extended family even managed to pretend that it hadn't happened. In the meanwhile, my Dad met and fell in love with another woman. He technically cheated on my mother since they were still married at that time.

When they decided to officially call it quits, it was a shocking revelation for most people. Probably because in the rest of the family, something like this had never happened. Marriages were sacred and 'through thick and thin till death do you 'part' was a literal statement. And yet, here were two people, who had supposedly been madly in love and shared two kids, just calling it off. While my parents went through their share of grief, I believe that what really riled the rest of the family was the incomprehensible choice they made - personal happiness over societal norms.

Personal Happiness. Two words that changed a culture. Or not. My point being, once THAT can of worms is opened, there is no going back. Personal happiness doesn't stop at just relationships anymore, it extends to your job and career path, your possessions, your friends, etc etc. It goes from buying the right toothpaste (because it makes you feel good about yourself) to studying for the MBA (great pay packets!) to backpacking around the world to 'trying out' partners to see who best suits you.

Ofcourse, behaviour like that comes with its own share of value judgements from others. After all, one man's "partner trial" could very well be another man's "cheating partner". We've all heard "Do unto others as you'd like them to do unto you." (An Aside: That argument falls apart in the vicinity of a masochist who would in that case be giving everyone a royal thrashing.) And yes, we've all heard about the repurcussions of inviting 'bad karma'.

But really, whom are we kidding?? Pursuit of happiness is a choice you make every minute of every day. From the mundane - fried or poached? - to the complex - Shall i dump his sorry ass or shall i stay? - once that choice is made, it's YOUR choice. And hence, it's nobody's problem but yours.

So, if a man/ woman strays, it isn't because there was someone to stray towards, but that he/she CHOSE to risk what they had for the promise of something else.

Bottom line - If you single-mindedly chase your happiness (and that's a good thing, incidentally, since no one else will chase it for you), then it's only logical that others are doing it too. The bad news - their choices may not always fit in with your life plan. But those are the breaks of being an adult and taking responsibility for your life. It's not about paying your bills or doing the laundry - it's about accepting that whatever you do (or don't), has repurcussions on your life. That you have the power to choose. And hopefully you're adult enough to deal with that without hiding behind cliches.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Recipe for Love

What you will need:

a) Three glasses of home-made cashew wine, maybe more

b) Russel Crowe on the screen

c) Spicy jalapeno pizza

d) A film set in beautiful Florence

e) Rock ballads with lyrics like -

...."I knew something changed between us,
All the talk we made was small
But what do you say to someone
When they've heard you say it all
It's an awkward conversation,
In a most peculiar way
How did we get from saying "I love you" to "I'll see you around someday"....

or even lyrics like..

"I can never understand
Why when a drink is in my hand
Time accelerates and leaves me still in love with you..."

Or even...

"I’ve been chasing grace.
Grace ain’t so easily found..
One bad hand can devil a man, chase him and carry him down
When you start giving in, where do the promises all go
Will your darkest hour write a blank check on your soul..."

f) A deep baritone

g) Eyes that crinkle in amusement

h) Solitude

i) A sunday

j) A terrace with a view.

Mix all. Let settle. Hope for the best.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

"Dear God, please make me as interesting as my blog..."

(There's a danger in writing about fellow bloggers - they're likely to read your post. And then hate you for it. Unless you spare their feelings. Which isn't honest (and isn't that what a blog is?). And before you know it - you've already written for an audience. Damn!)

A few days ago, I bumped into a bunch of bloggers... different venues, but still fun. One of them happened to be the kid sister of a classmate from a lifetime ago. She claimed to have idolized me at some point. How sweet. Totally unlike today when i get hate - scraps from ex-subordinates. But that's another post (i notice lately that i'm shelving many things for later posts, and then never really getting down to it... Not good).

So anyway, back to blogger evening. It technically started at 6 in the PM, when i ended up meeting a fellow blogger for a non-alcoholic 'date' (non-alcoholic because i was heading back to work, and 'date' cuz 'meeting' sounds so... professional). He's a banker, not linked at all to the media world - a big plus. Big minus - he'd googled me and found out some details of my lurid past. Oh well, those are the breaks. Then later that evening, met up with 'kid sister', her friend, and another blogger whom i've known for a while now. I love their writing - they're witty, apparently honest and great storytellers.

But here's the thing - when one blogs, all that is true and honest and real about you is out there in the open. If you want to know anything about any blogger, just go to their page and their life's literally an open book. And then you meet them face-to-face for the first time and it's like meeting an intimate stranger. You know them, there are questions about their lives you want to ask, maybe just say that you're really thrilled about something or just that you feel their pain... and you can't. Because those intimacies are not 'yours'.... It's the oddest space to be in.

So you just watch them, intrigued and fascinated that someone so truly special is sitting within touching distance. You know that what's going on in behind that bemused expression is the real stuff - that as you're watching them, they're watching their world go slowly by, sifting through the chaff and making notes on what calls out to them.... In real life, they look like regular people - smoking, drinking, dancing, working, travelling, etc etc. But in THIS world.... Ah!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Words Words Words!!!

I spent an evening just now surrounded by a babble of words. Famous people, not so famous people, known faces, not so known faces, all talking non-stop while constantly looking over each others shoulders trying to see if there's someone else with whom they can share the same words with. "Hey, how are you? Long time.. i'm really drunk.. whom are you here with.. ok i'll go get me another drink... Did you hear about.. oh my gawd! That was so awful!.. yeah, i got this is South Africa, when i went for a shoot..do you want another drink?.. What's up?.. how did the recording go? The shopping is so great... No, i stopped doing coke ages ago.. gymming 3 hrs everyday................." It didn't stop.

Maybe it's my discomfort around big noisy crowds that's coloring this particular post. Maybe it's my innate inability to 'mingle till i tingle'. Maybe it's the fact that more often than not i find people using words to hide rather than reveal. Maybe it's all of that and none of it.

Oh, for that one quiet moment of satisfaction spent with someone who, with one touch, drowned out the noises and made everything else fade.

"Use it or Lose it"

It's a common philosophy when it comes to sex - or atleast one's 'mojo' whatever that means. And lately, i've started wondering if, in fact, i may belong to the group that has 'lost' it.

I enjoy sex. I think it's fun. It's got this amazing feel-good factor that most romantic-comedies can't beat. However, lately, i've been quite circumspect when it comes to choosing bed-mates. After a spate of being highly indiscriminate, i just ended it cold turkey (I wish i could do the same with smoking, but that's another post). And since that time, refusing to be swayed by "Oh, i really need to be held right now", i haven't really... you know.. 'been' with anyone.

Then, one day, a conversation came up about the dreaded 'use it or lose it' factor. I admit i got scared. I mean, what if it's true?? So i turned to my age-old acid test - Matt - a man who's always known which buttons to push to get me going. Matt is a man in uniform. He's clean-shaven, tall, dark and lean, kisses like a dream, adores the ground i walk on, and is married. Perfect for a no-strings-attached experiment on mojo-ism. I've known Matt for many years, most of which he spent trying to get into my pants. It was quite flattering, i must admit. But somehow, his inabilty to commit and the fact that he had a long-term girlfriend (now wife) always got in the way of the two of us getting it on. Until a drunken, one-night stand ages ago.

That's history for you.

So a few days ago, after several glasses of wine (and several men who just had not managed to grab my attention over weeks), i thought, "Let me see if i still got it." I called Matt. He surprisingly was in town. Wife wasn't - not for the whole week. This just HAD to be considered as a sign that the Universe wants me to go ahead with the ridiculous plan that had formed in my head. After that, it was just a matter of when i could effectively rationalize my behavior and help my self-control crumble. It didn't take long.

I reached his doorstep, he kissed me hullo, and things got under way. Except - while he was nibbling my neck, and murmuring delicious nothings into my ear, i was thinking of a campaign i had to roll out by the next morning. Yep, I was thinking of work. Maybe it's a step above from thinking of the laundry, but hey! MATT was KISSING me!!! It was Matt! The gorgeous hunk with the big bike and the edgy death wish! Come ON!!

But it was too late... No matter how many glasses of wine i had, how many cigarettes i smoked, how cozy i got with him, somehow - it was over. Kissing him was fun but... cerebral. One constant refrain kept running through my head - Another one bites the dust. The next morning, when i kissed him goodbye, i didn't even feel a pang. It was awful.

In my highly disgruntled state, i bumped into a friend online. She's aware of my highly tumultuous non-relationship with Matt, and rationalized my feelings of 'having lost it' as "You're finally over him! Now you can move on! You haven't lost it - your standards are just not that low anymore." Hmmm..... and this is a friend.

I don't know about moving on. Maybe this is what the Wise Men meant when they talked about attaining nirvana or moksha or whatever. All i know is, i derive greater satisfaction out of watching Johnny Depp wobble his way into Pirate heaven than i do fielding calls from various unknowns.

Maybe i should get a cat named Martha. That's truly complete this picture.