Monthly Archives: August 2007

Feminine Logic

In some roundabout way, we manage to make sense. Umm well, we just like to gather in the facts first. Uh huh.

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feminine-logic.jpg

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Creator

It is a rare occurance when I find that I need to express and idea here as well as on the Idea-smithy. Well one led to another…I won’t go into which one, which way…that’s a self-swallowing snake of thought.

224-empress.jpgI once read a story about a couple who parted after a brief affair, which resulted in a child. Many years later the man came face to face with the news of his fatherhood, hitherto hidden from him and he said,
This child is as much mine as yours. You had no right to hide it from me.

I accept the logic of that. But I do not empathise.

I put myself in the woman’s place and thought over what I’d do. And it was a revelation. If I found myself in possession of something that belonged to me, in part and to someone else as well, not anymore in my life, I would consider the need factor….how much I needed it, how much they did. If I did not need it anymore and they did, I would most certainly track them down and hand it over. If I needed it and so did they…well, tough luck.

What struck me was that when I thought of not an object, but a life growing inside me, impregnated by a man but one with my body now….I could only think of it as…mine. I could see the science about not being able to create the life without the man to start it, but once that seed was united with my body, it became mine, in reality and in concept. I realised that I would not bother to share that baby or even the news with the man unless I really needed him – for social sanction, for financial support, whatever.

I suppose it is worth considering the fact that I have never been pregnant, much less by someone I had actually ‘made love to’, someone who mattered so very much that the act of creating too would be an act of sharing. The thought is nice but it seems nebulous to me. All I can think is of the biology of it and a sperm once united with the womb becomes an egg that is a part of me. No one therefore has any furthur claim on it.

I don’t have a secure place to stand on and say that is this is right or logical…only that it is true. If women are universally selfish, I have discovered yet another level of womanhood in myself. Mea culpa.

And I cannot pass up the chance to make another Smart Alice observation, considering all this and also the number of women who use pregnancy to ‘snare the man’ so to speak…

Ah, what a tangled web we weave, when we first practise to conceive!

Call the bluff on GIZMOS

The Guide:

Men are touchy about glib references to phallic symbols (even if the car is bright red and called a Probe). They do not see cars as ‘penis substitutes’ for two reasons:

  1. Few men can afford a Lexus or a Ferrari.
  2. There is no substitute for a penis.

IdeaSmith:

Size is of definite consequence in the man’s mind. Of note, mobile phones are probably the only things in the world about which a man will delight in saying,

Mine is smaller than yours!!!!

The Princess and The Pleb

Childhood and adolescence are full of such strongly defined, set-in-cement stereotypes. Every child starts with a vision of perfection, fed liberally by a diet of fairytales. We’ve all read about her. We’ve seen her, spoken to her, dreamt of being her, of being with her. Who is she? All stand…the Princess enters…

Much younger, the Princess is the girl you want to kill because she gets away with everything and has everything so easy. At birthday parties, everyone coos over what a pretty child she is while your family tries to cover up the mud splotches on your party dress with the napkin. Princess would never dirty her dress…even her white shoes are spotless (while your own colourful sneakers have managed to accumulate light coloured dirt that will show on black…you filthy little dirt-magnet!!). Princess also has make-up and nice sparkly jewellery which you aren’t allowed to touch. Brief flashback to the time you stole mum’s lipstick and ended up looking like Dracula after a feast. Yearrgh. That’s the first time it hits you.

Princesses exist in real life, outside fairy-tales too.

Then you discover that Princess isn’t a very nice girl after all. The minute the adults are looking the other way she grabs your toy. Only when you’re aiming a punch at her nose, she turns on the baby-blues (or browns if you’re Indian) and there you are in the middle of a lecture …again. (Why can’t you be like her..she’s such a good girl!) Princess has a smug expression which might have reminded you of that alley cat you once fed, except that at least the cat had been starved and she rubbed her tail against your leg before she scooted. Princess is…when you are old enough to know the word….a nasty little bitch. What’s worse, after the brouhaha has all died down, she takes one disgusted look at the muddy fingerprints on your beloved toy and shucks it away.

Lesson no.2: Princess will want not just the best of everything but everyone else’s everything too. Don’t get in her way.

As the years pass both of you learn. Princess gives her tear-glands and her tummy muscles frequent workouts. They’re all in supple condition. Her hair is always in place, dressing immaculate, nails polished and make-up well done. You on the other hand, are struggling with running mascara after your recent boyfriend dumped you to run after…guess who? After much effort you hit the realisation:

Lesson 3: You will never be a princess!

You might mope in injured silence and then give in to be part of her retinue. Enter that much forgotten paragon of teenage girlhood – the best friend. This is a special best friend, possibly the truest kind of best friend there is. Nothing less than the best for Princess. She’ll be Princess’s bodyguard, secretary, PR agent, counselor, mother figure, nursemaid and woman Friday. She’s the Betty Cooper to every Veronica Lodge. She’s the one who’ll screen Princess’ suitors, ward off ardent admirers, lie to Princess’ parents about where she spent the night, behave ‘badly’ so it doesn’t reflect badly on Princess and take care to never out-shine Princess. Boys will make cruel jokes about her and sometimes other people will ask her why she puts up with it. Princess may never treat her well but the one time the best friend decides not to go back after a fight will be the first time Princess throws all style and image to the wind to grovel.

Lesson no.4: Princess is needy. Hungry, starving for attention and molly-coddling. She will always need you much more than you need her. Princess is vulnerable and your approval matters far more to her than the other glitzy crowd that clamours around her. And there is great power in knowing that, even if it is never shown.

If you have the gall right then, you may summon up enough anger to turn into another sort of royalty. Run with the wrong crowd, do the wrong things, swing all the way the wrong way till you’re as much a pro at it as Princess is at being nauseatingly good. You’ll get as much adulation as Princess and be her greatest competition. Of course, you are her exact and equal opposite.

Lesson no.5: You may never be a princess but you can always be the Black Queen. Princess will never vie with you and she’s the one person she’s scared of. Sharp, polished nails are no match for a razor sharp tongue.

And while you’re out there fighting your own battles, you’ll discover something the boys discovered about ten years before you…the thrill of the chase, the heady madness of the fight. You’ll learn to throw the punches and then to roll with them too.

The final lesson: There’s more to your life than being Princess or her antithesis.

That’s the day you crown yourself Queen. You’ll need nobody else to do it for you. And you’ll leave Princess far behind, waiting for her coronation ceremony with the parade.

The saga ends here with the pleb being a pleb no more. But what happens to the Princess?

Princess has lived in an fairytale palace that she has been able to control for a long, long time. Princess’s biggest weapons have been beauty and charm.

But even princesses grow old. No one dreams of a wrinkly, ageing princess. At 4 or 14 or 24, her behaviour is cute, attractive and vivacious. But after awhile, it’s called affected. The boys who’ve flocked around her all these years making life smooth and easy and sweet have changed too and none of them are interested in playing slave to Princess’ whims.

Poor Princess! She never learnt to walk on her own, metaphorically never had to lie on a bed she made. Princess, like every human being, had her share of disappointments, but sugar-coating and rebounds ensured that she never suffered through them. Right then however, her palace has crumbled and the posse handed in their papers.

Princess has a rough road ahead – one of learning adulthood at a time when everyone else has been practicing it for about a decade and a half at least. It stops being about flowers and gifts and romance. It starts to be about real caring, about loyalty, about respect and wisdom. I really pity the Princess right then. She never learnt to work for these things and now that she finally appreciates their true worth, she discovers how hard they are to earn.

When the age of princesshood is over, what happens to the Princess? Will she fall by the wayside and wither away into that sullen, depressed old woman on the ground floor? Or will she, stubborn in the thought that the glorious life she’s always lived will be hers again, keep her paints and frills about her becoming that once-beautiful somewhat pathetic echo of her original loveliness?

I can only speculate on what happens after happily ever after.

The Princess and The Pleb

Childhood and adolescence are full of such strongly defined, set-in-cement stereotypes. Every child starts with a vision of perfection, fed liberally by a diet of fairytales. We’ve all read about her. We’ve seen her, spoken to her, dreamt of being her, of being with her. Who is she? All stand…the Princess enters…

Much younger, the Princess is the girl you want to kill because she gets away with everything and has everything so easy. At birthday parties, everyone coos over what a pretty child she is while your family tries to cover up the mud splotches on your party dress with the napkin. Princess would never dirty her dress…even her white shoes are spotless (while your own colourful sneakers have managed to accumulate light coloured dirt that will show on black…you filthy little dirt-magnet!!). Princess also has make-up and nice sparkly jewellery which you aren’t allowed to touch. Brief flashback to the time you stole mum’s lipstick and ended up looking like Dracula after a feast. Yearrgh. That’s the first time it hits you.

Princesses exist in real life, outside fairy-tales too.

Then you discover that Princess isn’t a very nice girl after all. The minute the adults are looking the other way she grabs your toy. Only when you’re aiming a punch at her nose, she turns on the baby-blues (or browns if you’re Indian) and there you are in the middle of a lecture …again. (Why can’t you be like her..she’s such a good girl!) Princess has a smug expression which might have reminded you of that alley cat you once fed, except that at least the cat had been starved and she rubbed her tail against your leg before she scooted. Princess is…when you are old enough to know the word….a nasty little bitch. What’s worse, after the brouhaha has all died down, she takes one disgusted look at the muddy fingerprints on your beloved toy and shucks it away.

Lesson no.2: Princess will want not just the best of everything but everyone else’s everything too. Don’t get in her way.

As the years pass both of you learn. Princess gives her tear-glands and her tummy muscles frequent workouts. They’re all in supple condition. Her hair is always in place, dressing immaculate, nails polished and make-up well done. You on the other hand, are struggling with running mascara after your recent boyfriend dumped you to run after…guess who? After much effort you hit the realisation:

Lesson 3: You will never be a princess!

You might mope in injured silence and then give in to be part of her retinue. Enter that much forgotten paragon of teenage girlhood – the best friend. This is a special best friend, possibly the truest kind of best friend there is. Nothing less than the best for Princess. She’ll be Princess’s bodyguard, secretary, PR agent, counselor, mother figure, nursemaid and woman Friday. She’s the Betty Cooper to every Veronica Lodge. She’s the one who’ll screen Princess’ suitors, ward off ardent admirers, lie to Princess’ parents about where she spent the night, behave ‘badly’ so it doesn’t reflect badly on Princess and take care to never out-shine Princess. Boys will make cruel jokes about her and sometimes other people will ask her why she puts up with it. Princess may never treat her well but the one time the best friend decides not to go back after a fight will be the first time Princess throws all style and image to the wind to grovel.

Lesson no.4: Princess is needy. Hungry, starving for attention and molly-coddling. She will always need you much more than you need her. Princess is vulnerable and your approval matters far more to her than the other glitzy crowd that clamours around her. And there is great power in knowing that, even if it is never shown.

If you have the gall right then, you may summon up enough anger to turn into another sort of royalty. Run with the wrong crowd, do the wrong things, swing all the way the wrong way till you’re as much a pro at it as Princess is at being nauseatingly good. You’ll get as much adulation as Princess and be her greatest competition. Of course, you are her exact and equal opposite.

Lesson no.5: You may never be a princess but you can always be the Black Queen. Princess will never vie with you and she’s the one person she’s scared of. Sharp, polished nails are no match for a razor sharp tongue.

And while you’re out there fighting your own battles, you’ll discover something the boys discovered about ten years before you…the thrill of the chase, the heady madness of the fight. You’ll learn to throw the punches and then to roll with them too.

The final lesson: There’s more to your life than being Princess or her antithesis.

That’s the day you crown yourself Queen. You’ll need nobody else to do it for you. And you’ll leave Princess far behind, waiting for her coronation ceremony with the parade.

The saga ends here with the pleb being a pleb no more. But what happens to the Princess?

Princess has lived in an fairytale palace that she has been able to control for a long, long time. Princess’s biggest weapons have been beauty and charm.

But even princesses grow old. No one dreams of a wrinkly, ageing princess. At 4 or 14 or 24, her behaviour is cute, attractive and vivacious. But after awhile, it’s called affected. The boys who’ve flocked around her all these years making life smooth and easy and sweet have changed too and none of them are interested in playing slave to Princess’ whims.

Poor Princess! She never learnt to walk on her own, metaphorically never had to lie on a bed she made. Princess, like every human being, had her share of disappointments, but sugar-coating and rebounds ensured that she never suffered through them. Right then however, her palace has crumbled and the posse handed in their papers.

Princess has a rough road ahead – one of learning adulthood at a time when everyone else has been practicing it for about a decade and a half at least. It stops being about flowers and gifts and romance. It starts to be about real caring, about loyalty, about respect and wisdom. I really pity the Princess right then. She never learnt to work for these things and now that she finally appreciates their true worth, she discovers how hard they are to earn.

When the age of princesshood is over, what happens to the Princess? Will she fall by the wayside and wither away into that sullen, depressed old woman on the ground floor? Or will she, stubborn in the thought that the glorious life she’s always lived will be hers again, keep her paints and frills about her becoming that once-beautiful somewhat pathetic echo of her original loveliness?

I can only speculate on what happens after happily ever after.

Blue and Not Sweet

Meeing man who has been sternly warned not to exhibit any of the annoying behaviour that have so long been his joy and pride. We won’t go into the details of what entails ‘annoying’ here, it’s fairly wearing out. But said man has sheer genius talent in this and brings forth new annoying habits.

Blue squarish thing with buttons is flashed in my face at every opportunity. Let’s count the times it’s whipped out…oh, not, it’s strategically placed on the table in full view. Presumably since I don’t take adequate notice of it, it is snatched up every now and then to be tinkered with. Let’s count:

1. During discussion on when the said restaurant chain had been set up. Google search yields nothing. Waiter called upon to ratify my mostly accurate guess.

2. After picking up only one word from my sentence..’chess’. I am challenged to win a game against said blue-squarish thing. When I decline, I am treated to a long, involved description of said owner’s weekend itenarary spent losing to the said object.

3. On being questioned whether jhula-type chair on which man is sitting can break under his weight, I muse…dunno, the torsion… I am greeted by loud hooting and a proclamation that “THERE’S NOTHING CALLED TORSION. I can’t remember its exact definition just then so of course blue squarish thing is summoned to help again. Tch, tch pore thang he, it proves me right. But of course. Why do men invent toys that make them look like even bigger fools than before?

the-new-toy.jpg

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Rude and Red

Yesterday I was called rude. And all I was doing was describing a revolutionary new idea I had. Hmph, no one ever accepts brilliant new ideas when they are first born. But whatever am I IdeaSmith for, if not to express new ideas, despite all opposition?

Transcripts from the conversation that resulted in my new name…..

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

So I was discussing with a few like-minded women and we decided that we would outlaw men!

Of course we’d have the Museum of Natural History and one specimen would be preserved for posterity there. Framed or bronzed or whatever. And my grand-daughters would take their grand-daughters there and point and say,

See that’s what your great-great-grandmother had to cope with!

To which the 6th generation would reply petulantly,

Really? What a loser she must’ve been!

And 3rd generation would defend saying,

Certainly not! In those days these creatures were running around loose with no one to control them!

And 6th generation suitably impressed would coo,

You didn’t say that! Oooh, what a brave woman she must’ve been!!!

After dramatic sigh, I sat back and then pointed out,

For the exhibit we’ll choose one of your species, but one that isn’t quite as depraved. So of course the alpha males are ruled out. And umm…you aren’t nice enough to be a beta male, so sorry but your application won’t be considered either.

~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~

My listener had a faint smile on his face but I think that was more out of a lack of suitable reply than real amusement. Whatever. Thus newly christened ‘Rude and Red‘, I trudge forth on the path of new, revolutionary ideas. Hah!

Kickass kudis

Got a message now telling me that I can get pictures of Priyanka, Lara, Preity, Amrita, Kareena and other Punjabi beauties if I message back. Didn’t know Rao was Punju. Unless they meant ‘Mard’ Singh. La Singh ex-Khan has far more spunk than Wallflower Rao we think. Matched wonly by the irrepressible Archana Puran Singh.

But we’ve enough of Punjabi beauties of our own among friends. Even the ones that are camera-shy. Even if they are the Princesses of PJs. Even if they are on a vegetarian-healthfood-no booze diet. Even if they are Dilli-ites and say ‘sabziwala’ instead of ‘bhaajiwala’.

So long as there’s bhangra in the blood. This pseudo Tam-almost ghat-“wtf, I’m a Mumbaiker!” says it’s all good….we lurve the kickass kudis!

Chak de!

Call the bluff on HOUSEWORK

The Guide:

Men approach the state of the house rather like the Three Wise Monkeys:
See no evil, Feel no evil, Smell no evil.

IdeaSmith:

But you will notice, there’s no “Touch no evil“. Of course not, considering there’s a blanket assumption on all women being evil….and guess who is doing all the housework?

Stubborn old maid

As with everything else, being pushed only makes me firmer in my place, even if I have an idea that I could change. This desperation connected with the marriage search is getting on my nerves again and once again I can feel my rebellious streak rising as I get ready to throw off the whole damn thing out. I can’t help it…it’s like being forced underwater and you can’t help struggling to get back to the surface to breathe air again.

Why should I be the one to willingly and ‘joyfully’ make the compromise?

What gives anyone the right to say that twenty-eight is too old and that I’ll get ‘left on the shelf’?

As I see it, I have a perfectly good life and I’d be insane to deliberately try and make it any less than it is by condemning myself to second-class citizen status for a man who demands much and appreciates so little. I have no chance of being happy in this situation or making anyone else happy either. And as for being left on the shelf, I’d much rather stay here than be carried away by a man who so obviously is less than me.

I seem to stand for a very tiny minority..if not all alone. Everywhere I see women making grave compromises to get into relationships with men who have very little respect for them to begin with and lose all of it the more the woman sacrifices. And alternately I keep slipping in the bogmire of insecure desperation of women who aren’t married and are getting frantic enough to stoop to such vileness as bitching, boyfriend-snatching and multi-man-managing. And finally of course the depression of women I won’t judge quite as harshly as they haven’t quite turned vamp as gotten resigned and succumbed to despair.

I’m not going to do that, by God I’m not. I’ve never been petty and I’m not going to turn that way now. It took a very, very bad experience for me to stop being needy and I’d be a fool to throw away the lessons and strength that came from there. And I’ve lived with my personal code of values through much weaker, more demanding times and not budged. I’ve never done anything that I need to be ashamed of and to date, I can look myself in the mirror with pride.

Enough of men have messed my life intentionally or otherwise. Now that I’ve found my freedom and my inner peace, damned if I’m going to let anyone take it away from me.

If that makes me a stubborn old maid, so be it.

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