The Detriment of Tittle Tattle

I am very fond of having tea. Just tea, no milk nor sugar or honey. Enjoying my decoction has been a self-imposed indulgence for the last 6 years. This one time , I found chocolate tea and I love chocolate and I love tea. The combination of both looked heavenly to me. Without going into any details, I picked up 3 packs. First day I enjoyed it at evening snack with some nice cookies to dunk. Within minutes I began having bowel movement and had to run to the porcelain throne. Second, third, fourth, fifth days, same thing. But I did not realize what was going on. I casually mentioned it to my husband who screamed, “you idiot, that tea is for constipation.” I have since abandoned having that tea.

We were 4 close friends and went to the same high school. There was never a day where we would go without spending time with each other sharing stories of all kinds including some really dark secrets that we would take to our graves. I was the least affluent of all. Everything was fine until one day about 25 years ago, all of them just stopped talking to me. They wouldn’t take my calls or open their doors. Their parents too didn’t talk to me after that. I was very upset for few years after and didn’t make any effort to get back in touch with them. Not sure why, one day about 4 or 5 years later I started looking for them again. They’ve moved homes, changed phone numbers and none of their neighbors or their other friends knew where those families went. Once in a while I look for them virtually and tapping into other common friends. They have just vanished.

My dad had passed away a few months ago (back in 2009). We decided that my mom should come stay with us as much as she is able. The condolences were still pouring in from all those who were unable to offer during the funeral or after remembrances. A few days after she landed we called this young relative of ours whose parents have forever helped us. I tell them that mom is here and would like to talk. They say, “nice to know” and hang up. I’ve not talked to them since 2010. There have been no pleasantries left in me.

Few months prior to our wedding, I was trying to get in touch with all near and dear living in the US. Upon reaching this particular one who had been married for 5 years, I ran through the details of when and where we would be getting married and how their presence would make us happy. There was no congratulations or anything like that but they went off on this unsolicited advise on how my husband is better looking than me would run off with a better looking girl. To date, I’ve avoided introducing my husband to that side of the world. We are still married and he has not run away with anyone yet.

I was verbally abused as a kid. When I was 6 years old, I got into this horrible duel with a much older relative who had a son a couple years younger to me. He went on a rant on how my mom was a horrible parent and that being born to her I would have a horrible future as well. Even though I was little, I gave a tough fight and challenged him that his son would be miserable when he is older. Not that I meant it. That son has been jobless for the last 8 years since graduating college. Karma, happens to be a true bitch.

My parents were match-makers for as long as I know. But in all of their successes, I became a yard stick. This one dude at any cost wanted his bride to be taller than I was. He liked this girl and all set and done, their engagement was scheduled on a certain auspicious date. We were in attendance as honorary guests. During the ceremony one of his friends whispered something in his ears and he immediately turned to me and asked me to go stand next to his fiancee so he can ensure that she is indeed taller than me. As much as I wanted to slap him, I went and stood next to her. She was 2 inches shorter than me and he insisted that the marriage proceedings be stopped. They’re still married 22 years later. I doubt she grew tall.

When my parents got married, some of their peer couples made fun at them because they got married really late, perhaps 20 years later than any average couple during their times. An overzealous relative grabbed an opportunity to belittle my mom whose entire prior life was dedicated to serving her family by saying that my mom must be ashamed to show-off her ‘old’ husband in public. Fast forward 25 years, she did the the same to me by proposing that I marry someone who was decades older than I was because I had apparently crossed my prime, attractive age to be married. As luck may have it, one of her sons-in-law is from a different era altogether. And seldom seen at family gatherings.

I had gone to a family friends’ place in another town many years ago. The food, the catching-up were all just great. Since they already had other guests and I was second in order of arrival, I got to sleep on the floor. Which was not a problem at all. The next morning, I woke up with a rash on my body, face and it wouldn’t stop itching. Even a hot shower didn’t shake it off. I looked for bed bugs myself secretly so my hosts are not insulted. Next day was worse. I started sneezing and they pretty much quarantined me assuming I was contagious. It was not a cold. At one point, I wanted to excuse myself out of their house but couldn’t muster courage. Their youngest daughter blurted out at dinner while being amused at my puffed up face that the sheets I was sleeping on were truly ‘antique’ as they weren’t washed since she was born. She was 27 years old.

We were childhood friends. When she came to the US, I tried to offer as much moral support as possible. Her sister was also in the US and well settled and a majority of her needs were taken care there. One of her other friends had told me that she was seriously ill a few years before coming to the US. So, the next time I talked to her I made a point to inquire about her well being. She hung up the phone. I tried calling her so many times after, probably years later too, but she would not pick up. Thus began my introduction to ghosting.

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