1. Saturday night + after twelve o’clock = parrrtayyyy!!! He insists that these ‘Boys’ Nights Out’ serve a great purpose. The boys discuss ‘important’ things like how you can buy some low-priced tinted material to put on the split air conditioner’s bright temperature display window so the whole room isn’t illuminated when you turn the AC on at night.
2. Your new title. Try calling your hubby when he is surrounded by his friends, and you run the risk of him being teased mercilessly and you being nicknamed ‘The Dragon Lady’ — even if you just called to remind him to pick up some bread on the way back.
3. The Sunday syndrome. You guys were out till 3 am last night. Do you HAVE to show up at our doorstep unannounced AGAIN on this ONE holiday in the whole week just to ‘hang out’ some more? Jeez.
4. “Chai bana do please”. What is this, Cafe Piyala? I don’t care how fond your friends are of my
illaichi-wali chai; I refuse to make another cup, that too at 11 pm, after I have cleared away the dinner dishes and turned the kitchen light off.
5. Dinner? Already had it. Your loving phone call to your hubby to inquire when he’ll be coming home because you just put the finishing touches to his favourite pasta dish is met with an apologetic tone, stating that he has already stuffed his face with “the bestest paratha roll in the whole wide world”. And could you please put the pasta in the fridge for his midnight snack?
6. The elusive Mrs Friends. No matter how long they (or we, for that matter) have been married, I have never, ever met my hubby’s friends’ wives. As a result, I have no friends of my own and so resent my hubby’s even more. Oh happy times!
7. My passive aggression. I thought this condition only
afflicted loser/sissy wives who had a serious communication gap with their husbands and the only real talking they did was through sarcastic remarks like, “The truth is: my husband is married to his friends. Me? I’m just the maid”.
8. Their month-long visits. I mean, it was a pretty gruelling 40-day chilla that I did to send them abroad in the first place. I don’t see why they can’t stay there all year like my maternal relatives (bless them!). The peer promised me that as soon as I pay Rs50,000 and the chilla is complete, said friends will shift far, far away for a very long time. Think I should ask for my money back?
9. Thinking things will change if they haven’t already. Before marriage you think things will change after marriage. During your pregnancy you are positive things will change after the baby is born... Don’t hold your breath! He is still gonna wanna meet his friends at a moment’s notice. (Simple formula is at work: One missed call after 11 pm + sheepish expression on hubby’s face = “Z is at the door, I gotta go. Dont wait up.”)
10. Frienemies forever. You still have to smile and nod salaam when they come over. You still have to politely inquire about the well-being of their wife and kids (remember, you don’t even know who they are). After that, you retire to your room for some more passive aggression... but that’s when the room is best cleaned.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, March 20th, 2011.