Being a Woman
Its that time of year when you can’t get out of the house without being assaulted by images of hearts and teddy bears. Here I am waddling along peacefully in my life, when along comes St Valentine and his followers who want to get a commitment from me as to what I’m doing to prove my love. I tell you, it’s enough to make me quake at the knees like a lil wobbly jelly ! Little does the love brigade know that after almost two decades of married life, the grandest gesture of love is being told that I can relax while Mr A picks up the kids from wherever they are. Teddy bears and plump hearts definitely do not figure anywhere in the grand scheme. If Mr A ever dared to give me a teddy bear, I’m sure I would use it to whack him to within an inch of his life !
Teddy Bears and hearts figure highly on my list of reasons to dislike Valentine’s day. I mean there’s only so many glassy eyed bears that you can take in a lifetime. I’m all for brown teddy bears in the hands of children, though nowadays it’s hard to find a child who will settle for a simple teddy bear. (But, slap the words Disney on it and add a few spangles and bobs and children will snatch them out of your hands.) It’s when the said bears start sporting all kinds of outlandish paraphernalia like purple hearts and bonnets that they start to creep me out. I still shudder when I think of a cupid teddy I saw once, complete with bow and heart arrows and it even had hearts for ears. Come Valentine’s day and it’s like a secret army of bears trot out to lay siege to stores !
What did you gift him ? There’s always a dewy eyed young thing tremulously asking me this question. Its either a friend’s daughter or a young neighbour or somebody who falls in the young-enough-to buy- a-gift-on-Valentine’s day category who asks me this dreaded question. I try to be vague in my answers since I don’t want to dash the young thing’s hopes. I committed the mistake of truthfully answering once, that I hadn’t bought anything because I don’t believe in this day. The poor thing looked aghast at me as if I was the greatest villain on earth. I could picture her thinking of poor Mr.A. That brought a smile to my face; Mr.A would definitely keel over in shock if I got all mushy and sugary on Valentine’s day. That image was so funny that I traumatised the young girl who asked me this question by breaking out into loud guffaws. She slowly inched away from me convinced that this kooky lady had finally lost it.
What did you get ? This one follows the above question. My tactic remains the same – fall back on long, meandering and purposely vague replies. Of course, I love gifts no matter what the occasion. Usually I force Mr.A to get books for me or rather I buy books for myself and inform him that he cannot be annoyed because that’s his gift to me. The problem is that apparently books are not an appropriate gift for Valentines day ! I’ve had somebody ask me whether that was all I was going to get. Disabusing them of this would involve long lectures on my eternal and passionate love for books which normally makes the listener glassy eyed with boredom. Now I don’t bother to set them right and just nod along with a suitable hangdog expression 🙂
On Valentine’s day, television channels get transformed into love factories. There’re all kinds of people waxing eloquent on love and anything to do with it. I truly believe that romance is great and I love hunkering down in front of a good chick flick, but a surfeit of both is simply unbearable. That’s the only day I prefer watching news channels. I would gladly listen to Arnab Goswami shouting himself hoarse rather than be besieged by songs on love. In fact his show is a good balance to get over the sugary sweetness everywhere else.
I know there’re millions out there who swear by Valentine’s day and look forward to it with a lot of anticipation. I have nothing against these acolytes of love. It’s just that I can’t bring myself to follow them. In fact, the only reason why I like Valentine’s day is that it’s just one more reason to buy books. Since I have a teenager in the house, I’m sure that I won’t be able to escape from the onslaught of the teddy bears for long. That would certainly be Divine Retribution 🙂