Life

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love

For the last year or so there seems to be a (inter)national interest in my personal life or the lack thereof. I suppose it has something to do with the big 3-0. It isn’t just curious aunts, but almost everyone I meet. It seems like the firm I work for makes most of its revenue from trading on the events in my love life. It sure as hell seems like it, given the interest my relationship status seems to have garnered. From well-meaning colleagues to random women in the office, I can’t remember a time when I’ve met someone and the “Hello”, hasn’t been followed up with “Are you married?” My polite “not yet” which is really a euphemism for get-out-of-my-business is misconstrued as if-we-ask-she-must-tell. Now I get why my stubbornly single status might make people wonder-the man upstairs has not been stingy in the looks department. I may not look like the Victoria’s Secret models but I get enough male attention to keep the ego happy. I have a decent enough job that buys me some luxuries and then some more and I’d like to think that I am fun when I choose to be. And when the audience is right.

So here’s the deal about the lack of a wedding ring- at this point in my life, I do not see the necessity of a marriage. I was never a romantic. Even as a child, I was painfully pragmatic. Unlike other girls, I never harboured fantasies about the perfect man. Marriage to me always seemed like a lot of work where the return on investment almost never justified the cost. The worst part is, I come from parents who have a brilliant marriage so I can’t even use their problems as an excuse as to why the idea of marriage never appealed to me. So 2 years into a job, I decided the next logical thing to do was get married. Because that’s just what humans’ do- be born, go to school, get a job, get married and die. And that’s when it hit me- I’m so bad at it that a relationship to me is Trump’s presidency to the American people- I couldn’t wait for it to be over and I honestly could not fathom how I got into it in the first place. I do not have the best taste in men. That’s an understatement- it is like saying people who read Chetan Bhagat do not have the best taste in literature. And I am one of those people who cannot fail at anything. So the combination of my uncanny ability to identify the worst possible partners with my inability to fail at anything results in me trying to salvage something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

And that’s when I realised that marriage is not for me. Not because I’m terrified of commitment or because I can’t settle down with one person, but because I will never walk out of a bad marriage. I will never call it, I will never cut my losses and tell him to hit the road. Marriage is not for the risk averse like me and definitely not for someone who refuses to exercise an exit option even when it is screaming out for her to take it. Most marriages I see just seem to be cycles of mania. For someone who likes calm and peace and who strives to have that kind of balance at all times, I do not see the need to go through the motions of such a relationship. I cannot be the person going into work agitated because of an on-going squabble. Nor have I been equipped to deal with all the drama that comes with sharing one’s life with the wrong person.

But aside from all of this, I do not see the value add marriage can bring me anymore. I am surrounded by people who do not hold back on love, I have a fantastic support system and when I need the bickering of a nicely seasoned, well-matured marriage, there is always AC. We fight like people who have been married for 50 years, he knows exactly which button to push to elicit a tantrum that can make a diva blush. And like people who have been married for 50 years, most things about him get on the one good nerve I have left. Like all time tested marriages, I even get to nag- I crib about his drinking, the smoking, his unhealthy lifestyle and his dreadful taste women. Like all healthy marriages, I don’t care if he sees me on a bad hair day, he burps freely and abundantly, and unlike most men is completely disinterested in anything I have to say and even has the liberty of criticizing my fashion choices. So almost every box for each characteristic of a marriage can be ticked off. Erm almost every box. I’m beginning to see why people think I lead the life of a nun.

I like the idea of marriage. In theory, with the right person I think I’d be fantastic at it. I like the idea of the kind of companionship I’m told only marriage can bring, I say this with none of that growing old together nonsense but to have someone with whom you can share your home with, who respects your space, time and opinions so that even when he does not agree with them, he doesn’t and won’t begrudge you the right to have them.  Someone who encourages your career but doesn’t want to run it for you. Someone who can think beyond his nose and who can actually engage in a conversation without making it about himself. But most of all someone who when he’s right, shuts up about it.