I am roughly seven months away from the big 3-0. Am I worried? I am. But not because I am no longer going to be in the cool 20s and I won’t get to be ‘young’ anymore. There’s nothing overtly cool about the 20s – it is as cool or as uncool as the 10s or the 30s or the 40s. Ok not 40s maybe…but you get the drift.

I am worried because I had set deadlines for myself and I feel I might not be able to put pretty red tick marks next to them. That’s all. So perhaps for all practical purposes, I might give myself a little extension and stop being worried. It is possible.

But am writing (ranting) well after the much talked about ‘International Woman’s Day’ because I am so sick of the clichés. For all the pictures of flowers, make-up, pretty girls I was tagged in, all the texts I got that declared – women rock, how awesome we are, how we light up the lives of people etc etc etc – but all of this for one day in the whole year.

For the rest we are – whiny, clingy, high-strung, demanding, controlling, difficult, argumentative, nagging and many other such nice things. I say this with the straightest face I can muster right now, because in my head I pretty much want to bitch slap people.

Appreciation is a great thing, but not one day in the year. It’s like Valentine’s Day – very retarded. I was recently told by my best friend that I should not ‘feel bad’ on Valentine’s Day because I would be surrounded by fluff, roses, hearts and cuddling couples while I was starkly single and heading for a movie alone (here I must add that I very often watch movies alone because I review movies and not every time can I drag along another deranged soul to watch the crap I have to watch). I realized that launching into an explanation was pointless, because well, at the end of it all, that too would be a cliché.

Alongside I also realized that we spend an inordinate amount of time fighting the clichés or succumbing to them. And that is the course of the world.

For the first time in all these years have my family seriously upped the pressure on me to ‘settle down’. As I fought with them, I was explained that they wanted me to be happy, they had my best interests in mind and after all how long can one possibly be ‘alone’ – you do need to have someone to take care of you, especially because I have this odd tendency to lose things. Things – material things like documents and wallets. Apparently a husband can change that tendency (I am still trying to figure out how though).

I had never expected my mother to say something like this. Especially after all that she has been through in life. I was disappointed. I didn’t expect my aunt, another go-to person in my life, to tell me pretty much the same thing. Didn’t they fight long and hard to bring us up as ‘strong’ women who could take care of themselves? And suddenly in the midst of that ‘education’ – these budding ‘independent’ women needed to ‘settle’ down. What a terrible word, this ‘settle’.

Ok, Don’t get me wrong. Love, sex and happiness derived from these two is all great. It is great to be in a relationship and to have a fling, or to randomly sleep around or to have friends with benefits. It is nice to come home to someone – but does that have to be my husband? Can’t it be friends, family, siblings or a boyfriend I never marry, a pet, an awesome TV and your choice of poison? Your love, your sex-life – do what you want and yes – be happy. Or they are going to kill you if you are not happy.

At the risk of another cliché, am not advocating that you don’t ‘settle’. Settle if that is your thing. For now it isn’t mine. It might never be. The possibilities are endless. As my roommate said very off-handedly – ‘Maybe you aren’t the settling kinds.’

I have been awfully pampered so I am very incapable of being a good ‘house’ person. I hate grocery shopping, I can’t keep my room clean and I hate picking up after people and well I cook only when I have to want to – alternately these aren’t signs of a spoiled brat, these are just things I cannot do and don’t like to do. Therefore – I have a maid. I know people who love to cook and are sticklers for cleanliness and still don’t want to ‘settle’.

My rant is – dear family, friends who tell me that I am getting old and I must settle, or at least allow my family to browse online for a ‘suitable’ partner – I am probably deranged so let me not ruin some poor unsuspecting person’s life by marrying him and marring him. I have had enough relationships to know what works and what doesn’t. Of course there is no fool-proof formula that I have managed to draw out but I will figure. And I will take my time to do that. I might marry, I might never marry. I might even go to Mars. But personally I’d rather favour an intergalactic trip over ‘settling’, anytime. Or a road-trip with two people I ‘kinda’ know or a long drawn chapter with a friend-with-benefits because we can stand each other more than other people can.

As a woman, about to turn 30, or a girl woman (as I was once called) – I am all those clichés, in a way or another because I am fighting them, or I am (by choice) following them. But one thing I am not – is I am not regular. No one is. And in which case – I don’t ‘settle’. And yes, stop telling me I light up the world one day in the year, just like love gets up and chokes you one day in the year.

(P.S: It’s an old blog by Jhinuk but a good one, hence, her first as GW on the site)

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