Actually no. We’re careful, very careful. We’re really watchful. It’s almost like the NSA and Edward Snowden telling us, “hey, watch it, you’re being watched!”. What are we afraid of?
Blog – watch it.
Take for example, writing a blog. The blog is not just about me expressing whatever the hell I feel like is it? I know I could get an audience, I could have a “following” in the thousands and someday before I die and do the right things on social media, get the right blog titles with “10 ways to get a fucking orgasm” (shoot, am going to be spammed by all the viagra selling trolls and porn sites, sick!) or “5 ways to tell your boss you are a fucking ass hole”, or “6 ways to become really rich really fast” or sell the right content, put up the right vine videos or emojis or GIFs or what have you, have a lot of track backs, hyperlinks, follow the right people, you know the whole shebang, I could be a internet millionaire. So can I really say whatever the hell I want to, unless I am Ash Ambirge, or Marie Forleo or Erika Napoletano? No way, come on!!! And even they say only for effect because come on they make a lot of sense, money, and fangirls, and they’re fucking good at it. I’m jealous and bitter and old and a fag and I can’t be like them. Ever!
Drivers – mind it.
Or for that matter when you would really like to thulp the auto driver who is constantly checking you out in the rear view mirror and making your skin crawl, you keep shut and look out the open door and suck in the temptation. You’d like to really smash his head in the same rear view mirror, show him the middle finger and say, “fuck off ass hole”, but what happens is you start thinking about how his bloodied face is going to stalk you in your nightmares, how he’s going to corner you with hoodlums in tow and how you’re going to be molested and how your life is going to be a living hell. You let it go.
Relatives – bite (your tongue) it.
When the uncle is too argumentative at home about matters that really are not significant to life as such, all you want to do is yell, “shut the fuck up”. But you know you can’t do that unless you’re really really drunk and have a really really really painful boil in your anal crack that makes you boil over. I mean who in the name of Hillary Clinton gives a flying fuck if the milkman came at 6.00 am with a pushcart or on a cycle and if he comes everyday like that wearing his galoshes? Or was it raining that particular day and if he was carrying an umbrella (or not) and why the milk packets were all wet? Really? And have a 14 mins. 30 secs argument about it? God, I could die! Well you know what I mean for God’s sake, don’t take umbrage I’m just being sarcy.
Mother/ parent – no way you can say it.
When your mother drives you up the wall with her stubborn rigid nature you want to throw things and say, “go to hell for crying out loud” and maybe you do, but what you really want to say and mean are, “please, please please I beg you, just let me do it my way and I’m sick and tired of you”. But how can one say it? She’s your mother after all, the giver of life, the unerring stalwart with great judgement and wisdom, the supportive, unstinting with her love and understanding kind of role model mommy, how can you bitch about her? And if she’s as old as my mom is, with a penchant for getting everything done just as the thought hits her, well, you can bid your patience, peace and “good-daughter trophy” goodbye.
She’ll dump the clothes in the washing machine just when I’m meditating and all I can do is abandon my meditation there and then and watch her as she sulks like a wounded animal because I’ve had the audacity to rudely yell at her. I could be more compassionate and understanding because poor thing she was tip toeing and opening and shutting doors in the innocent belief that it was soundless. Oh my poor old wonderful, amazing, mother! I’m the villain de piece, woe be me! How dare I!! Poor mom!! Tsk tsk!
Friends – lost it.
So you have a friend who you’ve known for years. Both of you move on in time, age, careers and are still single. You try and keep in touch while she honestly doesn’t bother. Not that you do much either, but you know in your heart that it’s over. You want to write to her and tell her it’s over, as you’re not sure if you have the courage to actually have a conversation about how hurt you are. You end up having conversations in your head and you show off your hurt pride and your crib list and your justification notes and comments and the flourish with which you end it. Whoa! It’s all in the head. But you see, you’re fed up of these “caring, cooing, protective, awestruck” other friends and how she’s always so busy and how her bosses are so amazing and how she’s so indispensable and how much she has to travel, and how she’s lonely too but she’s got so much grace and she manages it all so well, etc. And then of course there is this whole thing about how we’re so connected and how because of our supposed soul connection the underlying message is, “forgive me, I haven’t or couldn’t be bothered to keep in touch, but hey, you’re there, I’m here, and we have an amazing friendship that transcends time,space, eras, lives, so can we get on with it?” (Gauri, for the record if you’re reading this ain’t about you, and am saying it out loud because I know you sometimes read this blog and you may assume that this rant is about you, so no, rest assured it isn’t, I love you). All I want to do is tell my friend, “listen you fraud, don’t pretend, because I can’t anymore, but am not rocking the boat too much because I’m feeling guilty about not doing enough, but I think you should feel even more so if you cared even an iota for me”. “I’ve had enough and our friendship is long dead and gone and I’m not getting anything out of it nor you am sure, but let’s call it quits shall we?”
Online dates – forget it.
I’ve had my share of online dates. Of course “dating” is not the acceptable term for women my age and generation, though it may be for Gen Y with Tinder or OK Cupid or Match.com or even Ashley Madison ruling the online world. For women like me who’re single, we’re on the lookout for (or supposed to be) men who are eligible grooms, companions, boredom breakers, singledom hackers and so on. When ever I’ve been attracted to a guy, I’ve convinced myself that this is “the guy”. I’ve been desperate, low on self esteem, self-worth and never really said what I’d love to say to them after about 5 emails, 2 phone calls and when they immediately ask me to come on Whatsapp and want an intimate chat and if I don’t, of course I’m the prude and they’re men of the world. Wow! At that moment, all I wanna tell them is, “Swines, can’t get enough of yourselves in the mirror, then why don’t you have a secret ceremony with yourselves and marry your alter ego, why do you need a woman, because it must be such a high to go to bed with someone you love, you?” Or, “just buy an inflatable doll you puffed up prick!” Really, the number of times I’ve felt like screaming and saying “listen I don’t really care about your children or your golf or your cooking skills, you are boring boring boring” but I haven’t, is beyond belief. Now when I look back, I wonder what was I afraid of? Of remaining single all my life? So be it. God saved me from insufferable ego maniacs because I’d have died of insanity, divorced or been accused of murder if I’d actually gotten together with any one of them. I must be insane to actually have thought of making it with any of them. Thank God literally and figuratively for saving me. Shmucks!
Well the list goes on. The guy snoring in the seat next to you in the aircraft, the man who looks at you in the elevator and feels his crotch, or the waitress who pretends you’re invisible, or that neighbour who dumps her little 3-year old pesky brat in your living room while she goes to get a pedicure, or or or..the list is endless.
We just shut up. The words are swallowed hard, the tongue gets bitten, the pride takes a beating, and the anger and frustration is always on the boil. There’s no closure unless of course you burst one day like a volcano and people look at you like you’re bat shit crazy, and you end up alone, loathed, avoided and socially ostracised. While there may be relief for you at that moment, it’s the beginning of the end of life as you knew it.
But think about it. Is life as we know it now, with the constant carousel of energy-sapping, mind-numbing anger towards people who we’ve allowed to get under our skin, hidden behind a veneer of pretence, really worth it? Isn’t honouring oneself more important than being in the good books of those who perhaps don’t count? I am sure there are different yardsticks for people who matter, be it spouses, parents, children, grand children, friends. But let’s face it, even they, every one of them can take you for granted if you let them. In fact it’s the people you care about who hurt you the most. And it’s the people who care about you who’ll stand up and respect you if you tell it like it is. Because while honesty is not the best policy in this 21st century for most things, (that’s the cynic in me), when it comes to honouring yourself vis-a-vis your relationships, it still is. It will give you more than a 100% ROI in the long-term. Go on try it. I might not live long enough to hear you shout Yay!, but I promise you, as I discover it for myself, that it’s the only way. Say it like it is, if it matters to you. Or you’ll never be heard. Only herded. You choose.