June 09, 2006

Me and My Christmas tree.

My ex-boss once told us a story about his christmas tree. He said he had an argument with his wife about his christmas tree - where do they place it? In the living area or the front room? He wanted it in the living area so they could all see the nicely decorated christmas tree when they were relaxing with the family. His wife wanted the tree in the front room so that people outside would see the brightly lit christmas tree sitting in the tastefully decorated front room, through the window.

"I don't care if you can see the tree through the window, I want to enjoy the view when am at home!"

Fair enough. But I see his wife's point too. The right thing to do here is to put it in the family room but then there are some things we do because we feel compelled to do so even though they may not work to our best interests. Women tend to be affected more than men by this society-syndrome.

I remember this other time, when one of my office colleagues said, "My neighbour bought a new Lexus, you know? So, the pressure is quite high on me! But, we are a single-earning-member family and my wife understands that we cannot afford to match our neighbour, you know what I mean?"

Yup, I do. I try to do things because they make sense for me but sometimes I end up (not) saying/doing things influenced by what others say. And much as I try, I know am affected by the society-syndrome more than k. After all, haven't we all learnt long back that "Man is a social animal"? They just forgot to add, "Woman take that to a whole new level." :)

If I do anything that falls outside what society deems as "normal, appropriate" with an approving nod of her (this society that I talk about is definitely feminine, believe me!) head, my mom objects with "What would Vaishali maami say?" Her little society initially did not give her nod of approval for a Gujarathi son-in-law. She (society) extended a warning finger and shook her head sadly, much to my consternation. But somehow, over time, she brought me into her embrace and mom said, "You know that pretty girl Anju who lived in 2nd street? She married a Punjabi and he takes such good care of her!" Yup. Nod of approval. Took time but she did nod.

Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to say was, maybe sometimes, it's good to take a stand back and think of what it is that "we" really need, just us, not the family next door, not the Doctor couple that saw our house and said, "Oh, that's a good starter home!" (maybe for you uncle, it's a good finish home for me :), not whether Vaishali aunty would approve, not whether others can see the christmas tree from outside...

For now, I want to see the christmas tree, with it's twinkling lights and starry decorations, with colors winking at me and angels flying around...I want to see the tree when I sit cuddled on my sofa in my finish-home...just me and my christmas tree :)

Photo from:


shamly said...

Ramya, I totally agree with you. Even I am a victim of this society syndrome. On the other hand my husband is the total opposite, who listens to his heart. I must say that with his help I am getting better!

FSN 2.2 said...

"Gujarathi son-in-law". I remember K and others having corrected you on this.

Haven't you learned anything yet? :-)

There are some people who just dont 'get it'.There are some things that you must do for yourself..even though the ubiquitous Vaishali Maami might not approve :-).What I like to make sure of is, if the person making the comments has any credibility at all. If maami sits all day and cries over Metti Oli or Ahalya, then you know what you need to do....

Siva said...

Hi! A timely reflection on getting things that you really need and not for competing with your neighbours. This is 'The grass is greener on the other side' syndrome. Interesting to read about the comments on the son-in-law too. In Malaysia, there are many mixed-marriages and getting a son-in-law of a different race is common.

RS said...

shamly - Guys take it cool, I guess :)

fsn 2.0 - I doubt I will ever change my spelling, it's fun to spell it this way and get a "reaction" :)

Know what you mean when you say "some people just dont get it", sometimes it makes me wonder if I am the one "not getting it" :)

siva - One syndrome, many names :)

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