Weird is simply the side effect of being awesome. Ever since lockdown has happened, I’ve realized two things. First I am absolutely weird and second, that is what makes me awesome. The world around me has gone from being ridiculous to being more ridiculous. And my coping methods although novel, landed me on the wrong side of previously affectionate and friendly crowds not including family because they didn’t have much choice really.
When my dad passed away 11 years ago, a lot of people offered condolences and most of them said, ‘take it easy’ or ‘be positive’. And one relative said, ‘nice to know’. Never realized condolences could be this cool until then. When I said the same to the people who taught me, they wanted to punch me in my face. To the fact that those that thrived at having parties in our home, didn’t feel the need to support my mother. Instead they made her do the dishes of 100+ guests on the 10th day of his demise.
When I came first to the US, the uncle who is fond of calling me a liar said, that I should suffer being alone. When I did overcome in my own way, he and wife visited me along with two others while I was doing a night shift at work. The wife got herself locked out of the only bathroom we had in that apartment that I shared with two others. The supervisor came to unlock, saw the home that was more than capacity and booted us out the following day. We became homeless just like that.
I was trying to get to know my husband well before we committed to each other. I had borrowed the keys to a cousin’s 2000 sq foot home to store my travel bag while my husband and I did some local trips and stayed out of town. I had called them to let them know I’d use it one more time and mail them the keys. Their mom grabbed the phone and started yelling at me that I was being unprincipled in occupying a huge home almost indicating that girls like me are fit for the brothel. Decades later, they are well aware that they are not welcome in my ‘huge’ home.
Those who know my husband are well aware of his goofiness. His has this fixated smile of his face that people think shows when he’s had a beer or two. Over a decade an half, he’s proven all drunk theories wrong. Because he remembers every single moment. So, some nice women in his friends circle feel they can ‘bully’ him to amuse themselves. I’m sure they can. But what they may not understand is that he’s already relayed every detail to me and they’ve successfully landed themselves on my shit list. After all, it is not the duty of the husband to safe guard the wife but the other way around.
Many of my kith and kin were doubly sure that would be a daughter disaster. And they’d probably take that as an opportunity to claims stakes in my mother’s hard earned money. Sadly for them, that did not happen. I turned out just okay raising a parent. Like they say, tables turn, their own have commercialized their relationships leaving them hapless and dumbfounded. Don’t they say, look before you leap and think before you speak. But words were uttered, some became swords and daggers. They can’t be take back.
Some things are not obvious and are not blatantly social exclusion or being trolled virtually. They are minutiae that occupy our hearts and sometimes make or break it. For the strong, it might be easy to thwart and exude defiance but then there are some like me, the colloquial case of ‘dhobhi ka kutta’ who manage their socially unacceptable weaknesses in submilimation of art which becomes a form of rebuke or rejoice. Acceptable nevertheless.
I know these anecdotes feel like I am targeting specific people. Infact, I hope they get to read somehow as they are not connected to me. Someone may not remember what you said or did but they sure remember how you feel. And the reason I’ve become weird is, no matter who has been ridiculous to me, I make sure I don’t make them feel how I felt. Microscopic or not, some people like me are sensitive or have become sensitive from being weatherbeaten. While I had choice to join the pernicious bandwagon, I chose to become weird. Hope you can too!