The Mush That Binds
Regular readers of this site would know of the cold war and subsequent status quo between Hamish and his relatives over the quest for marital bliss. For those who came in late, I am at a stage in life where I put up trenches and shout “hold your fort” to imaginary comrades in the vain attempt to hold back the crushing force of aunts, uncles, cousins and parents, who feel it’s about time I start thinking about a significant other.
Now, I am not completely averse to the idea. Certainly, the proper life for a straight-shooting dude demands a like-minded dudette on the side, and any vision of the future I conjure up inevitably contains one of the afore-mentioned article somewhere or the other. However, these visions are decades away, and right now, I give as much thought to a wife as a bludgeon to the head, no offense to anyone here.
Now WHY does marriage seem like such a snot in the air right now? One of the more obvious reasons is the fear of ending up with the wrong person. And I’m not talking I-accidentally-married-the-brother-instead-of-the-sister kind of wrong, which, while embarrassing, let’s face it, is easily remediable, and – not to mention – a hot topic for the blog. I’m talking about the she-looked-sane-until-she-started waving-the-knife-around-in-our-honeymoon kind of wrong. This thing shouldn’t be rushed. I take time deciding which restaurant to eat in, and that decision is about something that literally goes down the toilet by the next day. So getting married to the wrong person is indeed a strong fear. But more interesting that that, is the less obvious reason… getting married to someone that happens to be… TOO right.
Told ya that was interesting. I’ve seen couples who are so in tune with each other that they are practically one person. Same thoughts, same beliefs, same expressions, same tastes, and – I strongly believe – even the same toothbrush. You’ve seen them. The mushy couple on the next table that always feed each other with teeny spoons and forks; the in-their-own-world friends who can walk into a crowded room and see nobody else but their significant other; the giggling duo from after-hours who keep whispering what we can assume to be ‘sweet nothings’ while the rest of us are engaged in some discussion. Sweet. Sickeningly sweet.
While I hold my objectivity in high esteem; and swear to myself that I will never go down THAT path, I do get jittery when some of my mushy pals blurt out the cliche, “You say this now, my friend. Just you wait until your turn comes.” I get a chill down my spine, and my inner self starts pleading with me… – “Hammy… you gotta promise me, man… No matter what happens, you will not… I repeat… NOT.. go down like that… Promise me that, man… We’re a TEAM. Go team Hammy. Just stay sober. You can do it. Say NO to mush.”
I am not arguing against romance, mind you. To a large part, that is necessary, and in proper doses, might prove to be the soul of life; the ray of sunshine that gives meaning to life; and the elixir that gives man the glimpse and hope of heaven. And I know that some of you might be thinking I am simply writing this paragraph for insurance purposes; so that the future d’amour wouldn’t one day read the rest of the article and hammer me to death with a rusty old waffle-maker. To those people, I have to earnestly and sincerely ask… Can you think of way to make that less obvious?
No, I do not object to romance. My objection is to those who take this to the next level in crime.
For instance, take my good friend M. He was a good chap; the life of the party; a solid beer chugger; and you couldn’t walk in to one of his friends’ parties without his name emblazoned on the attendees list, sometimes twice. But after one single dose of the marital juice, he’s the regular absentee from any group event. They’re so perfect for each other that they don’t have room for alcohol after they drink each other up. I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep aside four hours everyday just to look into each other’s eyes, playing the ‘who’s grin looks goofier‘ contest, and I hope he’s winning, cos the alternative is that somebody else actually sports a goofier grin, and that marks the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it.
On the plus side, I can’t wait for the very entertaining day when he’d be called to court by some ignorant lawyer with the all-too-cliched question…
Lawyer: Where were you on the night of May the 18th?
M: Me? I was home, hugging and kissing my wife.
L: Oh? Hmm… what about June the 5th?
M: Let me see. I got home late that night…. and then I stayed home, hugging and kissing my wife.
L: Err… how about July the 5th?
M: Let me save you the trouble… any date you can think of… Home. Hugging, kissing the wife.
L: How about October the 5th?
M: October the 5th? I was out celebrating a friend’s birthday. We played cards, sang songs, got drunk…
L: (Phewwwwww….) Oh? Really?
M: Of course not, dumbass. I was home, hugging and kissing the wife…
L: (Groan) My dear Mr. M. I’m sure your wife… is a wonderful lady. But was there any point after your marriage when you were not home… without your wife…?
M: Well, yeah. I had this project in America… lasted two weeks. It was an interesting trip…
L: Aha!! So, Mr. M. During this time, you were not home… obviously… So what did you do in the evenings, after work?
M: I stayed in my hotel room… thinking about hugging and kissing my wife.
L: Your honour!! I DEMAND the death sentence.
Judge: Death sen… wha?? for hugging and kissing his wife??? Seriously?
L: Not HIM…. Just… please… just shoot me.
Now, the one solace I had was the belief that it takes BOTH the parties involved to be equally mushy to get such a path going… So I shouldn’t worry, right? But then again, I am petrified by another friend of mine… AQT… AQT, who seemed relatively sane enough… one who kept her mind on a logical plane.. AQT, who didn’t have a mushy bone in her body… until she met her fiancee…
Today she’s the grandmommy of goo-goos, ga-gas, and giggles; the Mush Queen of Kerala; the go-to gal for slushy pet names; the darling of long distance telephone service companies; and the newly added butt of my jokes.
Maybe I misjudged her earlier self… Maybe she was always this mushy; never found the right person to mush around with… at least I hope so… cos the alternative, that anybody can succumb to the apparently coveted bug, is simply too frightening…