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No End in Sight

October 31, 2017

Our family is at crossroads. And the direction that we are supposed to take is currently not in our control. The decision to take is based on whether or when somebody else decides to abide by an agreement made. Why is it so hard for people to say YES or NO?? And if they decided on “yes”, why NOT abide by the agreement. Three times agreements were made, one verbal, one on paper – signed, and the third waiting to be signed contingent on them fulfilling their initial commitment. First two have been dragging on to the point where we’ve given up. Waiting on the third which was supposed to be done yesterday, but still waiting and hoping against hope that this one will go through. Or else back to square one. This waiting is torturous for someone with low patience levels to start with.

Twice so far we’ve made major decisions and each one is preceded and decided by not so good positioning of our lives. If there is a third time, I hope it’s on a truly positive note.

On the little things that matter, resuming regular exercise has brought down our PMS melt-downs to a manageable level. And this month is bearable on that count. Although my gym membership is expiring this month I think, and I don’t think I’ll renew it <sigh>.

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#MeToo

October 23, 2017
tags:
  1. When I was about 6 or 7, my dad sent me to a neighbor uncle’s house about 5 doors down to give something. This is a time when it’s common for kids to play outside unaccompanied. He didn’t think twice about sending me alone. The uncle on the other hand was worried for my safety, and sent his teen son to accompany me back to our place. The boy made me hold his penis to masturbate. This memory is so vivid – I don’t remember much else about my childhood in that place where we lived until I was 8.
  2. We were visiting some caves when I was about 12, when someone grabbed and pinched my non-existing breasts.
  3. A few guys were riding on a bike and one of them hit me hard on the back when I was walking with a cousin on the road. I almost lost my balance.
  4. The worst was when I was a child of 10 and a relative staying at home abused me over a period of time. The details are still difficult for me to share. This is a person for whom my dad helped secure a job and our family provided shelter and food while he settled down.

I’ve never ever shared these incidents with another soul. Why, I’m not sure!! Maybe because the topic never came up with people who I could share this with. I no longer feel ashamed or guilty about these incidents. And know for a fact that it’s not me.

Toll-gate revelations

July 3, 2017

On our way back from our parents town from a weekend trip, there were several locations where we had to pay toll. First time, the husband who was driving wasn’t paying attention and ended up behind a line of vehicles while the other lines were practically empty. The next time we paid close attention to all the gates and ended up in the shortest line with only one vehicle in front. Unfortunately that guy took forever to pay and we see that all the vehicles that came after us leave while we were still stuck behind this one vehicle. Then there was this time where there are huge lines of vehicles and we still tried to optimize. What do we know, the line we were in moves the slowest even after switching lanes twice.

And this folks is the story of our life. No matter what we do, we get the short end of the stick.

40+ and still learning lessons

June 24, 2017

It’s amazing how we could turn 40 but are still in the process of learning life lessons. And at the same time feel stupid for not figuring out stuff that seems obvious to most people. It must be the adverse times that brought about these realizations. Would we have loved being happily ignorant??

Anyhoo, our biggest lesson today is “my money + your money != our money“. Do not be stupid enough to believe this no matter how close you are to the other person. There can be “no money” left when we need it. And most people seem to know this already <sigh>.

The second lesson is how only people who you care about the most and are closest to you have the power to hurt you the worst. As cliched as this statement sounds, it is also true. And is it any surprise that we didn’t realize this until it happened to us.

The last lesson for today is about how lucky we are to have supportive parents, parents who have your back no matter what, and parents who are alive period. We are happy to have figured this out even if it’s late, because there are plenty of people out there who still haven’t.

That time of the month

April 18, 2017

PMS is a bitch. This week I had

1) one almost sleepless night getting riled up over something or the other,

2) one night of getting really mad and saying stuff that I regret to the husband and crying for an hour before going to sleep,

3) yelling at the driver and almost on the verge of tears for being AWOL the day before (which is not unusual). Again words that I now regret.

4) 3 days of either trying not to yell or actually yelling at the kids.

I’m so annoyed at myself at the loss of self control, but at the same time couldn’t help being unreasonable. All the extra family stress is making it worse. Hope and pray that things will settle down for us this year.

Daddy’s girl

March 21, 2017

Exams are over and kids got their grades. The girl did not get good marks in 2 of her subjects. She came home and gave me a letter. In it, she goes “I’m so sorry about my marks. <lists her marks here> I feel bad that I did not do well and I couldn’t say them to you. Again so sorry”. As usual I went on my spiel saying there is no point worrying about it now, and that she should’ve thought about it and worked hard before the exams.

To be honest, we are not diligent about helping her with studying either. We (mostly dad) spends about a week before the exams. And these study sessions get intense because only then do we realize how little she knows. Obviously it’s not enough time to be ready for the exams.

At dinner, she was still sad and almost on the verge of tears. She goes “Amma please don’t tell my marks to Nanna. He worked so hard to help me study, and he will be really sad to see my marks”. I told her she might as well tell him and get it over with soon because he will know eventually anyway. When dad comes home from his business trip, we somehow managed to spill the beans. Here comes a Father-daughter senti scene straight out of a telugu movie. Daddy feels extremely bad for his hurting daughter. He hugs her and tells her not to worry about her marks. Consoles her saying they’ll work hard for the next exams so she’ll get good grades. And the girl sincerely agrees with the dad.

And when the next set of exams arrive, rinse and repeat the same story.

Being Thankful

February 13, 2017

Recently, we’ve made friends with a family and it’s so heartwarming to see the couple who are so tight. Slowly I’ve come to realize neither the wife or the husband have a good relationship with their parents. Husband is pretty much estranged from his parents although they talk occasionally. Wife’s relationship with her parents includes a lot of drama and emotional manipulation. The good thing that came of this is the strong bond between the couple. Another friend’s parents are so not worth discussing, my head hurts just thinking about her. On top of this, she has an abusive psycho of a husband whom she won’t leave. No emotional support whatsoever from any of her family. I try to do as much as I can by listening, but it doesn’t come close to supportive parents. And then there is the other end of the spectrum where the ultra loving parents interfere a bit too much in their adult kids lives.

All of this led me to think about my relationship with my parents.They are probably not the greatest of the parents or grandparents, and have never made big sacrifices for us. Our relationship has changed over the years, and I’m closest to my dad now more than ever. He calls me several times a day, just to say hello, discuss stocks, asks about kids etc. Throughout my relationship with them, there was never any drama. They’ve never demanded anything from us, financially or emotionally. They are financially independent and live their own lives. There is no emotional blackmail for anything – we did this for you and now it’s your turn – none of that crap. And if it comes to me against the world, I can totally count on their support.

My relationship with mother-in-law on the other hand is complicated. We have our ups and downs. In the past, she has manipulated the husband to do according to her bidding. She was widowed early in her life with 3 young kids, and has struggled to bring them up. Having said that she was also not the greatest of moms, having left the kids to pretty much make life decisions on their own. My husband says survival was key at the time, and she never had the time or energy to think about other stuff. Despite all this, she is there for her kids no matter what, and prioritizes her immediate family (including us daughters-in-laws) over everything else.

For both my parents and mother-in-law, their sons, daughters and their spouses come first no matter what. And I’m so thankful for having them in our lives.