Friday, October 5, 2007

The Unhappy Single

The Unhappy Single

Without being my usual observant self, I picked up the first card I lay my hands on at Archie’s. All around me I could see big red balloons and heart shaped furry pillows that seemed positively obnoxious. I saw fat girlfriends yapping away on their cell phones and feminine looking men stroking a teddy bears belly, with an awestruck expression as though the teddy’s fur was the doing of a supernatural miracle.
I made my way to the counter with my elbows out as there was quite a rush, and I was in a hurry. I paid, waited impatiently and left as soon as the receipt was printed and handed to me, because the suffocation was increasing. The big red hearts were garish and getting to me, the “I Love You’s” were too in-my face, and I needed to get out. As you have figured out, I am an odd human being. And that it is Valentine’s Day.

The minute I stepped out I saw (mostly badly overdressed) couples desperately trying to look love struck. The 'jaans' and the 'cuchi-coo’s' came floating to my ears filling me with a desperate desire to purchase earplugs.
I then decided to stop for a meal in a Chinese restaurant that I adored. Despite the fact that I was not with my friends, I was ready to splurge and treat myself. After all, it was Valentine’s Day. I ordered, a rather expensive, one portion of noodles and chicken. What I got was a helping good enough for three people! I asked the waiter why did one portion not look like one portion. He looked at the empty seat beside me and said “Madam, usually we expect couples or families ” There it was. A slap on the face. I was subjected to food wastage and overpricing because I was single.
I met up a friend later, who, by the way, had asked me to purchase the card that caused me all that suffocation and humiliation. That place was a constant reminder to me of days when I used to stop there and lovingly spend hours searching for a Real Madrid poster. It reminded me of my broken relationship, if only some body would bomb those furry stupid hearts!

Later that day I decided to hang out at a disc and just forget about everything. My friends were late, so I decided to just go on in. the man at the door asked me if I had a date. I was disgusted. “No”, I said, rather sharply. “Okay” he said, but the look that I got was more Oh-you-poor-thing.
Everyday I find a pair of eyes looking at me in wonder when I sit and have a cup of coffee alone.

Once I was lodging an FIR against someone who had crashed into my car. The officer just looked behind me and asked whether there was a man he could speak to!

I am being judged. I am being sympathized with. I am equated as less capable without a partner. I am thought to have bad luck. I don’t want any sympathy! Can’t they see? This is how I choose to be?
Why can’t society grow single friendly? Why do strangers feel it’s all right to letch when a girl is without a man? Why is a large pack of mother dairy ice cream have to be called “Family Pack?” how about XXL?

I don’t want to condemn myself to forever justifying myself to some man just yet. I don’t want to be sitting around waiting for a phone call that never came or a phone that rings off the hook the whole day. I don’t want to tell someone where I am, what I am doing and when I will be back. And lastly, I don’t want to be caught dead standing in Archie’s, with my phone in my ear while blowing my money on a silly, big furry red heart.

-Pushpanjali Banerji


stealing_demons said...

Hmmm, yes you are being judged, and yes, you are being sympathized with. But then maybe, you are being judged, and sympathized with, by the social cirle that you have. There's a whole other single-friendly world, too, where a girl sans a boyfriend, and simlilarly, a guy without a girlfriend, are looked upon very normally, and there's no peer pressure to feign love that does not exist. Come to think of it, given the circumstances that you are in, it's all a question of how well you can handle peer pressure, and make yourself imprevious to such trivialities, that are, otherwise, made such a big affair of. It's not such a big issue after all, being single!

Gosh! Can I yak!Lol, over and out.

push said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
push said...

The keyword here is society and not a social circle.
I'm sure there is a single friendly world out there, but not really over here.
I'm talking of the big and small, the subtlest of signs that give away a certain mentality.
even advertising campaigns target families or single people. its in these little things that stereotypes are built, and one doesnt know which category to fall under.
Though its great to be there for yourself instead of counting on someone else, you cant help but feel annoyed with the system and the mentalities floating around, the myths that would, hopefully, someday shatter.


cutdowntoliquid said...

The word world has been based on wiered ideas but it is upto u how you how u move out of this nonsense n see what actually lies there. Judgeing some one is the fav. past time of the creatures in this societ named shit hole, no one is ever binded by it. its u who has to decide whether top jump in to the hole or to be intelligent enough to walk past it.
and as far as others who judge you as a single they them self have no clue u r in a better stat than them.
in age where every one should be minding their own business we still got a huge section of ass kind of people who love to talk but "fuck them" and u go on with what ever u got to do.
first u will get the looks then the comments will follow and even the pressure will build up but in order to hide from these stupid things you can not go back jump in again into tht "shit hole"
n trust me there is a world meant for singles but its upto you to shape it in ur way.

Aditya Kaushik said...

next time anyone gives you that sympathetic look when you go to a disc/pub, make yourself seem more endearing / empathy needy etc till the point the bouncers starts feeling sorry enough to wipe a tear or two, and as soon as they do, sneak your male friends inside who really couldn't manage dates.

Kriti Malhotra said...

Dunno what to say..

Jasmine said...

1.It shouldn't be titled-The Unhappy Single,It should be "The Unhappy Single" in paranthesis.The present title goes against the spirit of the writing,and this brings me to....
2.Why does your tone seem so dynamic,at times I love you for expressing singledom well,then at times I feel like that was some parallel universe.
3.I love the post in most parts despite it all.You've come up with a good collection of incidents,I can relate to most of them-
a)I hate the look of Archies on Valentines and coincide with the Shiv Sena on only that one day of the year.
b)If these sickening exchange of words are called "sweet-nothings",then why can't I ignore them as "nothing",but I don't,I hear them,fret about them,and fret some more!
c)I end up wasting a lot of food when I eat alone too.
d)Somehow,I come across as a "no-nonsense" person,so the police hasn't ever dared to ask me something as exorbitant as that,but i do catch that "looking over my shoulder,searching for my guy" look from them sometime.

Pushpanjali,you haven't stayed in Chandigarh and I'm not too familiar with Delhi,so I dunno whether this happens here too much or not,but in Chandigarh,you can't sit alone and ever have a meal without 156896540 men coming and:
-enquiring about whether you're waiting for someone or at times even assuming the same and coming and expressing their regret and anger at the confounded guy who kept the pretty girl waiting!
-coming and offering you their company unconditionally, repeatedly,and well,repeatedly,and more repeatedly until you either accept or stomp out,this will be followed by you having a car acquainting you to your next destination,'cos well,a woman can't even be driving around alone.

There's a good solution that I've come up with for all male issues in my life-polyamory,it's working out just fine and would love to acquaint you with it,if you're interested!

I should stop before this rivals the length of the original post!

Anna said...

So very true. Society seems to be very hostile towards singles, like it's some sort of misfortune. But life's all about being comfortable about who you are and loving yourself. Very well written :o)

Ragini said...

It happens I guess. This February, I went off to Periyar for a week on my own.
Before I went, whoever I told this to, almost always shot out, "With who??"
I'd smile amused and tell them, "With myself."
Even while there, I met people who were amazed to see a young girl travelling ALONE and looked at me with great admiration and wonder.

Two weeks back I went to Goa. Alone. My social circle thinks I'm mad, that can't believe it. Hehehehe...

Last weekend, we had lovely weather and I mostly stayed home with myself and spent time with myself doing things that don't require the involvement of other people.

These moments with myself are rare. I don't spend as much time with myself as I'd like to. Bu when I do, it's fun.

It doesn't matter if people don't understand that we're enough for ourselves. What do you expect in a country where the sole purpose of life for people is a matrimonial union with the opposite sex?

push said...

@ Anna- Thanks so much!
@ Ragini- That's so damn true. I've been looking to get some time off myself. So much happening, need to sit down, be by myself and sort things out!

Ragini said...

Awwwww....just read this again. Had forgotten all about it. Was even more surprised and reminiscent to see MY comment! ;D