Apparently, manners and I don’t get along well.
Don’t look so surprised. Not yet. Save it up for what comes next.

If you’ve been following this blog you’d already know
that I have never been the best kid in the world.
Blame the generation gap, blame me, and blame whoever you like. But that’s that.
For one, I love to be left alone by which I mean
I am the last person who would willingly invite or visit people, let alone be hospitable.
And my parents have never been able to understand why.

Usually, when I am supposed to meet visitors at home (which, by the way, I hate most),
I do it for the sake of my parents and yeah, also because who later wants to go
through endless hours of exhausting verbal tyranny of sorts.
All the smiles, the greetings, if only the visitors knew how fake all of it was,
they’d never again show up.
Yeah, go ahead, call me an antisocial shrew.

Now, the biggest problem of being 27 is that not a single day passes without you
being cornered by your parents and being pestered for marriage.
This is one area I’m lucky because my parents don’t much believe in talks but actions.
So when I say my parents don’t much believe in talks but actions, what I really mean is that
they ensure they accept and attend every get-together, marriage and reception party,
they are invited to, like traditional Indian families do.
Don’t these opportunities serve as the ultimate match-making grounds?

So, as you can see, the tactics to keep me engaged involves a lot of things,
let alone all the keeping up with friends, relatives, distant cousins,
which I am only always surprised how they manage.
I mean, don’t you get tired of meeting people?

Now the best part about being a working woman is,
firstly, you are never ever free because you always have office work to do
and secondly, that you hardly have time to catch up with your parents.
So, no room for talks; except for the dreadful weekends.

Not getting off the track, I recall this incident from few months ago when
I was made to visit a friend of my father’s. This bloke bagged a huge
promotion at work and was throwing up a party to show it off.
Few families were invited to be a part of the so-not-their-business fun.
My family was one.

The almost thousand excuse wall I’d erected was knocked down
by a single swipe of the sledgehammer coated with my
agitated father’s resignation when he muttered,
You are going with us and that’s the end of the story”.

Although fuming, I made it to the party alright
but guess who I didn’t forget to bring along?
The constant cause of frustration for my parents – My book.

I never once have gone wrong of my opinion of parties
– that they can bore you to the core.
So to occupy myself, I make sure I have a book
just in case the party starts to get boring.

So, I found myself a nice cozy corner; the kid’s room and
had finished reading few pages when my paranoid mother finally found me.
What followed is now a practice we both are experts at. Or maybe just she is.
My usual bickering and her exhausted retorts that make me give up, each time.
And that look again was all that got me to my feet and I dragged myself to the party,
to socialize with people who have absolutely nothing to do
with me, my career, or my life, in general.

Getting back home sane was one hell of a task.
I realized I was under the misconception that my parents
had enjoyed right the whole time.
I wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that they were secretly
planning on how best to grill me on the ‘manners’ part.
The one hour ride back home and yet few hours after reaching
was more exhausting than the party itself.

So, here it is, let me summarise the conversation for you:

  • Refusing to be with people you don’t know makes one low on manners
  • Again, you are low on manners, if you wish to do things you like than indulge in senseless gossip
  • You are absolutely totally mannerless, if you argue and put forth your reasons
  • You really need to learn some socializing manners if you want people to have good opinion of you
  • You must, always must, leave your books behind because they make you appear a snob
  • Disregarding people’s presence and not making them feel welcomed is being low-mannered

 And the list is endless. Phew!!
Quite honestly, manners can kill, if you are someone like me.

So, these sound like life-threatening rules to me. And I have no intention of following them.
In the meanwhile, I am planning to employ tactics to make my parents less social.
Maybe, then they will understand me better.

Now, now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my parents
but there has to be a common ground of satisfaction for both the parties, right?
So, yes, let the battle begin. All smart-ass suggestions are most welcome.

 -Asha Seth