Society & Lifestyle
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Bulls in my China Shop
|by Moushumi Chakrabarty|
I'm really upset with the President these days. I suspect I'm in distinguished company - bin Laden, secretive robed men in street corners of the Middle East et al. Though I don't wish to align myself with any groups or affiliations, I will say one thing. The President and my husband have very little sense of timing.
Just as every month, on the President's agenda there are problems to tackle, he must consider that for most women on the earth, there are certain days when clouds loom, darkening home fronts from Kazakhstan to Kuala Lumpur. If you're a woman, you've felt those days revving up and then smashing full speed into you. And there's no built-in safety feature.
Scientists may say it's called PMS, but you know it's not that simple. And so should your husband. Even after ten plus years of marriage, mine still looks shell-shocked after I've had my 'little mood swing'. Men are certainly slow learners. They rarely tread gingerly amongst the china. With their great footsteps they carelessly lumber through the delicate cocoon you've wrapped yourself in, trying to haul yourself through the hours.
Mine hasn't a clue about the predicament. When I'm desperate for some human comfort and sympathy, he's obsessing about the 'international situation' as he calls it.
"International politics plays an important role in our lives because it affects us in different ways," he is apt to begin ponderously on these winter evenings, settling into my favorite armchair. With a bellyful of warm food, a frosted glass of wine and the heating on full blast, he exhales a sigh of pure bliss, completely unaware of my fixed glare. He shakes out the pages of the newspaper and buries himself under, emerging to make a clever comment or emit a bitter 'Ha!' at what he reads.
I'm drumming my fingers on the closed copy of '101 ways to get the best out of your relationship' beside me. If he were perceptive, he'd judge this wasn't a good time to propound his anti-nuclear stance.
He'd intuitively know that the silence from my side was frothing inside and sure to leak out like toxic waste.
Instead he curls his lips in a sarcastic smile and mutters, "If only the President had a committee of common people! I mean, where does he hire his advisors from?"
He jabs a finger suddenly and peeps out from behind the page, "Look, it's common sense surely? It's to do with Oil. Any idiot can see that. Why can't these people see something which is staring at them in the face?"
My lip twists in wounded pride. My left eyebrow rises dangerously. Why did the President have to point out the Oily truth ? Could he not have held off till a time when my hormones played fair? But my husband's off again, comfortably cruising through the business pages.
"What did I tell you the other day, honey? Shares of Pixtar Corporation have fallen. As I said, politics affects everything. It's time to buy. I knew it. If only I had that little nest egg your Aunt' oh well, I guess, the Chinese wok set was worth it," he rubs his expanding middle with a fond palm.
I feel like throwing up at the thought of food. At a time like this, food!
Supremely unconscious, he moves on, "Hmm, let's see how my favorite, Costel Inc, is doing."
Humming an unmelodious ditty, his index finger glides through the newsprint. A blissful look gleams in his eye, rather like that of a parent whose offspring has exhibited fidelity by not running off with the boy next door.
"I always trusted this one. It's never let me down yet. Because these days, it's hard to be sure about anything. What with war mongering, lobbying among the Oil guys and a bunch of clowns playing at policy making, you never know."
With a sigh at human folly in high places, he folds the newspaper and glances at my closed book.
"What's that you were reading, dear? Ah, a relationship book! See, this sitting down together sharing the news, bonding'this is really great stuff, isn't it? Oh by the way, tomorrow Bruce is treating me to a fish and chip dinner. So don't make anything for me. That should give you some rest."
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