Now, I’m a woman. I’m supposed to be complexed with a smorgasbord of moods. I’m supposed to wilt at the prospect of something and bloom at the promise of another with no rationale in sight. I’m supposed to be temperamental and wild and petulant; the unicorn, the centaur, the keeper of many secrets.
And yet, to this emotionally pretzeled creature such as myself, ‘I’ll call on Wednesday’ does mean that the man making the statement will actually call on Wednesday. That, as it turns out, is pure, virgin naïveté.
Because ‘I will call on Wednesday’ actually means ‘I may call on Wednesday’, ‘I probably won’t call on Wednesday’, ‘I will sit and stare at ants give birth to other ants so I’ll be too busy to call on Wednesday’, and the winner: ‘Huh? What call? What Wednesday?’
Fali, (who would also answer to the name Homer Simpson), told me that he’d (if you haven’t guessed it by now) call me on Wednesday. We were supposed to go for this art exhibition where I would get to meet a celebrated artist. Then we’d go to her house for a poetry reading. I was excited…bladder-burstingly excited..because I don’t get to do eclectic things like this. This was supposed to be the occasion to stack up on my Martini memories.
So, on Wednesday, I waited for Fali to call. And call he did…on Friday. He called to say that he’d be coming over.
Now, I don’t mean this to be a gender thing; but you see, women…call. They call when they say they’d call. And if they aren’t able to call, they let you know that. Oh yes, and if they don’t do either, the next time they meet you, they look contrite. Maybe artificially so, but they realize that something is wrong about telling a person you’d call and then not doing it.
Men, on the other hand, seem to think ‘I’ll call you on such and such a day’ is like a sprint round the equator. Who does it? Considering it’s so much trouble and you know, the equator being an imaginary line and all. And therefore, when such statements are made, you are not to take them literally.
Therefore, Wednesday is not the Wednesday we understand. It doesn’t come after Tuesday; it doesn’t come before Thursday. It comes in the distant, undetermined future free from the shackles of date and time. That period, I guess, occurs after all the worker ants have procreated.
So, anyway Fali comes in whistling like a demented tweety bird and squishes on the bean bag.
‘Gimme juice’, he says. (No, that’s not code for anything. He does want that Tropicana Fruit Fusion glook.)
Oh! Juice is what he’s gonna to get.
‘What happened on Wednesday?’
Now, he gets that dumb expression of a moronic emoticon.
‘You said you’d call on Wednesday. You didn’t call on Wednesday. I want to know why.’
‘Oh…I mean…’ (he doesn’t mean.)
‘I was waiting for your call.’ (to be fair, it sounded like: I WAS WAITING FOR YOUR CALL.)
‘Oh but..I mean..' (again, he doesn’t)
‘What DO you mean? When you say you’ll call up, why don’t you? If you didn’t think you could call up, then you shouldn’t have said so.’
‘Why are you making such a big deal about this? It’s not my fault that you were expecting my call on Wednesday.’
Ah! Here it comes…that mindless tirade about how I’m making mountains out of grains of sand, how I’m being so preternaturally emotional about nothing. How I am over-reacting. Oof! Eternal blindness of the thoughtless mind.
‘Listen jackass! I was only expecting your call on Wednesday because you said…pay attention…you said..you would freakin’ call on Wednesday!’
Now, Fali’s a little scared. I could tell. He had started out looking like a wiry semi-colon on the beanbag but the position was getting more foetal.
‘I just said I’d call on Wednesday…I didn’t say this Wednesday.’ (Okay, who let him out of the playpen.)
‘Then which Wednesday?’
‘Come on…it’s not as if …’
‘As if what…not as if you’d said you’d call? But you did, remember?!’ (Corrosive stuff here.)
‘See, don’t take these things seriously. I mean, it’s not as if I meant to not call you on purpose.’
He is trying to confuse me but I’m not falling for that.
‘Did you mean to call me?’
‘Yes…I mean no..It’s not like that.’
‘Mangal Pandey.’ (the last vestige of effective communication – change subject)
‘What Mangal Pandey? He’s going to call?’
‘No. I can get tickets for Mangal Pandey. Let’s go.’
Now, I don’t let up that easy but Aamir. Aaahmir! Aamir. Yes, I would let up that easy.
‘Lemme see. I’ll ca…I’ll message you?’ (What a charming cop out!)
He got his juice then.
PS - This is my 50th post. In answer to dismissive 'So?'s, here's my reason to celebrate...I didn't think I'd get here.
So, Mukta stands under an imaginary balloon that bursts and sparkly glitter dusts her uncombed head.
Here...have some cake!