Tuesday, September 13, 2005

till death do us part

There's more to love stories than passionate romances and the elusive promise of forever - I was forewarned of course. But like many others I have taken the plunge throwing caution to the winds. I was drunk on the fragrance of newfound love, all wobbly kneed, almost no serious decision-making was involved.. The tiny voice of whats ifs were successfully drowned in the fierce conviction I felt in my heart that I belonged by his side.. It has been 3 years since. In these 3 years the wobble in my knee has steadied and the flutter in my heart has disappeared as per predictions. I have learnt that just sharing the vision together simply isn't enough; we have diametrically different views on how to realize that vision. We never realized how differently we wanted to live our lives until we got our feet wet and tried the marriage soup. In the beginning it was soft remonstrances, followed by brows creased in disapproval, graduating to nagging and then screams of frustration.. all to get across the message of exactly what we wanted the other to be. But we remained who we were, are. Inevitably, these setting-each-other-straight would escalate a domestic Armageddon, but the storms pass by and all differences are deftly shoved under the carpet. We kiss and make up and go on.

A pattern has emerged of these earth-shattering occasions of marital strife.. Its always the same issues. Issues argued over and over, rationally, irrationally, interminably, with no hope of winning the rounds; we know exactly which inches belong to whom. But our livid tempers have their cyclic peaks and troughs. At the peaks nothing short of the loud clunks of breaking china or the satisfying noise of ripping fabric will suffice to calm our nerves. But one cant be too careless. The food finds its way into the sink or at least hardwood or tiled areas and never the carpet. The fabrics attempted are ones that will easily give way. Important papers are scattered, never torn to ensure full recovery later. I shed my silent tears and contemplate somber issues of the general meaning of life and cool off. He steams, stomps, wants to drive off with the car, whose keys I promptly confiscate.. we sometimes even engage in scuffling with each other on our hands and knees.. then, whoever regains a little sense the sooner stages an elaborate retreat by freezing off, establishing a sense of "you have made my life hell".. this impasse lasts for about a day, while we continue our daily chores, cooking, eating, driving to work together... Cracks emerge in our frosty demeanors, a smile here or there quickly hidden behind an expression reminiscent of previous hostility, but more token than genuine irritation.. this extreme politeness is the last of the wintry weather. My husband starts a hopeless and token effort at re-organization and his utterly hopeless efforts irks me to do my thing now without further ado before things get really out of hand in that I am left with no clue of what is where.. As I pick the pieces back together, I try to recall which way he'd aimed the stack of papers from this corner or that in earnest consternation!!