Saturday, January 24, 2009

The older I get, the better I used to be!


“There is nothing permanent except change” – Heraclitus (535 - 475 BC)

Ever since I met my wife (at that time, to-be-wife), she has been constantly trying to change me; of course, with the good intention of making me a better man. But even after 12+ years, as per her, I am still work-in-progress. The sad part is that after being subjected to so much change and having changed so much, she feels, particularly when she is angry or we have had a fight, that I was a lot better man in the past. I wonder if she even thinks if I am the ‘same’ man she loved so many years ago. In fact, I even wonder if she wonders why I wonder so much, which is so wonderful.

Before I got married, I had thousands of faults I didn’t even know about and I used to live merrily. But after marriage, I came to know about all my faults and I live miserably. As per my wife, I need to change only two things to eliminate all my faults - everything I say and everything I do.

My process of change started off with me being asked to be “sensitive” to her needs. I was told that the first step was to be attentive to everything she told me and to be able to recall the details later on, like the following example:

When meeting a lady, whom she had known from last week, in the shopping mall, she would talk as if they grew up all their childhood together and then look up to me and say, “Dear, do you remember about the neighbour’s uncle’s friend’s daughter that I told you about?” And I am expected to answer, “Yes honey, the one who lives in US and has a Dalmatian (apart from the husband, of course).” That reminds me of the joke which goes that at the beginning of married life, every wife treats her husband as god, but later on somehow the first and last alphabets get reversed.

The next step I was made to undergo was to share common interests. This in normal language would mean where one person starts taking interest in the other’s activities and vice versa. But later on I realized that this, in her language, meant that I start finding shopping as an interesting activity and in return stop watching cricket, tennis and other games on TV.

I thought, and so did my friends, that I was a pretty funny guy before marriage. But I was told that all my jokes were silly and sometimes even vulgar. I was asked to be respectable in my speech and more serious in my conversations. This has made me a somber guy, which gets particularly exaggerated in the midst of bachelors.

The other thing I have been made to do is to help in domestic chores. I used to live a life where I considered tasks, like paying the electricity bill, calling the electrician, or dusting the house, to be menial. However, after marriage I was told that they are unavoidable tasks needed to perform in the household and I would better do them unless I wanted to sleep in the living room couch. (psst psst…. I will share a secret with you if you promise not to tell my wife - I try to mess things up often so that I will not have to do them again. And believe me, I have had reasonable success with it.)

When we got married, we decided that my wife will not add my surname to her name. But I had to fight four teeth and three nails to prevent her from adding her second name to my name. That is when I learned that the principle of change only applies to me. She has never attempted to change (psst psst… except her weight). What she doesn’t realise perhaps is the saying that a man will never change, unless he's in diapers.

I have heard that love and marriage are purely matter of chemistry, which explains why my wife treats me like toxic waste. But if change is the only constant, shouldn’t her treatment towards me also change? I am sorry to report that it hasn’t.

So my dear readers, is change permanent or could Heraclitus be wrong?

I hope my wife wouldn’t care much about this post. But between you and me, I have been, in the past, a remarkably poor judge of what my wife cares about. As you leave, please watch this funny commercial on change….

43 comments:

Devika said...

" In fact, I even wonder if she wonders why I wonder so much, which is so wonderful."

I liked this much :)

Rest, its a "sensitive" family matter...what do I say about it Salil? :))

If you take care of her , she will take care of you --- for life

Good reading about you and your wife into years marriage..Here we are just lovers still..he's not serious, nor am I :)

wishes,
devika

Usha Pisharody said...

Lol!

And you still love it!

The wondering and the wonder is still there, wonderfully!

Loved the commercial at the end and I always laugh so much each time it is aired :)

I Witness said...

Though I strongly empathize with the sentiments here I can’t extend further support, for I unlike you, am still very much in Bangalore and do not have the extensive protection that the US soil offers against attacks from a foreign land …. Times definitely have changed since Heraclitus said that change is constant … in today’s world the “change we believe in” is definitely not all pervasive but merely superficial … for if you had really changed at least some of “what you say and what you do” this blog would not have read the way it does now… but I am glad that you have survived the efforts to change you … and knowing your wife I am sure she has not given up… nice read and thanks to the internet revolution poor hubbies have a medium to exchange empathies!!!

Grean Sleeves said...

Salil, you and I love to play with fire. Don't we? :-D

Supremus said...

LOL!! Now Now, that that was touchy, if not touching :D; any tips for newly married.... I am already beginning to feel the alphabets getting reversed already!!

Raman said...

:)... oops you have put it really nicely.... anway all the very best... and keep changing....:)

raj said...

Bang on!! You said it right, even though I am about to be married couple of months down the lane, I have started feeling the heat right away..any tips for the newly weds...??

Sal said...

@Devika:
You could not be more right about my wife taking care of me. She keeps telling me often : 'I will take care of you!' Just that the tone in which it is said is ominous.

@Usha:
Yes, I still love it! Isn't that wonderful?!

@iWitness:
Thanks for the understanding buddy.
It is said that change is inevitable - except from a vending machine'. But then we can't blame Heraclitus, can we? Vending machines were not around those days.
And talking about your still being in Bangalore reminds me of a remark of George Burns : “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city”

@Grean:
Absolutely! But I think that we should remind ourselves often that fire and government know nothing of mercy. I know what your mind is thinking now, “Mercy who?” :-)

@Supremus:
Great to see you here.
Oh don’t even get me started on advice for married men. Somebody once said: "Do you know what it means to come home at night to a woman who'll give you a little love, a little affection, a little tenderness? It means you're in the wrong house, that's what it means."

@Raman:
Thank you for passing by.
My problem is this – After all the change, I am told that I was better earlier. But I was subjected to change, because I wasn’t ‘good’ enough. Yeah, life and wife are sure confusing!

@Raj:
Oh, you poor fellow. You look like the proverbial sacrificial goat to me!
My advice to you is very simple – you’ll never know what real happiness was until you get married, and by then it will be too late.
(with an evil grin) And guess what, hopefully, I will be personally present to ensure you get married!

Devika said...

hahah

Cool, my boy..Cool.

women are like that..yet, you know her, how much she loves you and is concerned about you..thats why you keep changing for her, I guess :)

wishes,
devika

Resmi... said...

Hey Salil,

Gud one :-) I enjoyed it to the core!

Well I loved the way you presented the whole subject. And yes, do change! ;-)

Renu said...

LOL:), i couldnt stop laughing...truth in such a humorous way...I have always wondered why the wives want to change the same traits they loved earlier..why the women want to change men?
Why dont you make a tV programme, ur asense opf humour is just too good:)

Ramkumar Menon said...

Ulti stuff hahahaha!

Santosh said...

Ohh Man!!!
you had me laugh like crazy... looks like the size & shape of our funny bones are similar...

only passing comment.... "how true!" LOL

- Santosh

Prasanth said...

Hi Salil, had a great time laughing reading this along with my wife. Rules more or less are the same here too.
By the way I still have the image of you bringing 2 glasses of tea from Ganesh tea stall in tailor street opp.to VIMAR. 1 for u and 1 for your heroine.

shail said...

Don't worry. Introduce her to blogging and then see what happens. She will be too busy to 'change' you or 'take care' of you! Speaking from experience of course. I introduced myself to blogging and then poooof I have neither the time nor interest for anything else!! ;-)

Nice to see you back.

Santosh PM said...

As usual, superb post. Good job dude.

just said...

Interesting write up buddy. So you know that she wants you to change for a good reason and that makes me happy for your understanding. Also, for sure no man is complete and all are work in progress..! Moreover, you yourself admit that you have had so many faults before marriage and you have changed for good and live miserably now after marriage. At this juncture, when you say that, don’t you think its time for you to re think whether she is trying to change you for “her”good? I guess there is a problem when someone tries to change you for their good!! It might lead to losing ones self over a period of time and of course it’s the one who has been subjected to all the changes and not the one who is trying to change.

Sharing common interests; I agree with you totally and have seen this behavior in many of the married couples.

Mate, I am afraid I cannot agree with you on this point. Doing household chores like paying bills (I swear even I hate to stand in queues for paying bills and wait for getting things done in a bank , but we have to do it) is not a big deal when you compare the mammoth task women has to do for a house. Makes me mad when I think of preparing food for the family and serving it three times a day, think of the mess in kitchen dude, OMG!!! (Assuming your wife is preparing and serving you food when ever you are hungry and not your servant)

“- I try to mess things up often so that I will not have to do them again. And believe me, I have had reasonable success with it.)” Here the success you are talking about could just be momentary; you are fooled if you think you have had success!! Women are really wise  and no pun intended.

The surname thing was funny, made me laugh my b*&# out.

About change being the only constant, she has had a remarkable success in changing you for “her” own good. And you, I will not say a failure but you have not tried hard and hence this write up about wife and change 

I can only pray for you my friend and whatever I have blabbered so far could be completely wrong, it is just my perception and I should also tell you that I am not married yet. Let me stop by quoting this….

“God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me. ~Author Unknown”

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Lol! This is hilarious! Has your wife had an opportunity to read this post? ;)

Sal said...

@Resmi:
Thanks for passing by and probably getting the essence of the piece.
Yes, I will keep changing. Infact I am not the same person who wrote the post, because I have changed since! :-)

@Renu:
I don’t think you can blame the women; the change is with all good intention.
How I wish I could make a TV program – I would have had Angelina Jolie, Aishwarya Rai, etc line up for audition. Oh, some men just don’t change, do they? :-)

@Ram:
Thanks for visiting the space. Nice to see you enjoyed it.

@Santosh:
Ha, another brave husband! I am sure your wife doesn’t read blogs.
We will compare the X-rays of our bones to confirm your claim :-)

@Prashanth:
Rules are the same with every married couple, whether one admits or not.
Yeah, VIMAR were the days! Thanks for putting a smile on my face :-)

@Shail:
I am fine this way. I love complaining about married life!

@SantoshPM:
Thanks buddy. Glad to know you are enjoying it.

@Just:
Well, thanks for a long comment. But I suggest you re-read the post, I am not sure you got the message. And it was obvious, you were not married :-)

@Rakesh:
Thank you. Remember everything I do and everything I say is always monitored! :-)

Roopa said...

Hilarious, but then there is nothing new in that :). I loved the title. But I have heard it somewhere before...

I also love the way you portray your relationship with your wife. There is something so open about it. If I were you, I wouldn't mind being treated like a dog. They getted petted and fussed over and they can go totally crazy and still remain lovable and loved :D.

tunafish said...

HaHaHa... I think you should pick up a copy of Jerry Pinto's surviving women. Will put things in perspective and give you a pal ;)

And far as stopping your TV hours is concerned I am sure you must have heard this joke- The Three Ages of Marriage: Twenty is when you watch the TV after. Forty is when you watch the TV during. Sixty is when you watch the TV instead.

Wishing you matrimonial bliss!

Sashu... said...

hehehe! pretty interestin a post :P i know, its a family matter too have a comment made...but then, i think most women are like that... u juz needta be a li'll more sensitive :P ahem!!

Keshi said...

Im just wondering wut a wonderful post this is!

wandering off now ;-)

Keshi.

MAN IN PAINTING said...

Wonderful post Salil
All your "chaplin neurons" are in action.
let them be so.
great!
wishes.
MIP

Arun said...

Having known you for almost 10 years, I too thought that you need change - but, if you introspect - do you really need to - I don't think so... If you change, you will lose your individuality (if you have one !) and it would be difficult for her to adjust to your new style, which may be more horrible than the current one... Be the way, you are... Now that she has managed for a dozen years and got used to, she would manage for the rest of her life..

Cheers !

Gazal said...

if this is the 'changed' version...wonder what the original was....

hats off to A...

Anonymous said...

My wife recently asked me why have I changed so much in 10 years of marriage. Earlier I was so caring and sensitive to her needs. I answered that during initial days of our marriage I was trying to make her feel comfortable but then I realized that once she started feeling comfortable, I am never comfortable. Hence the change!
Cheers!
Amit Goyal

Devika said...

Just remembered a saying that may not be so apt for you, Salil...yet, may go with this --

In the first years of marriage, the wife listens to the husband.

After a few, the husband listens to the wife.

And then: The neighbours listen to both of them :))

so when is the new one?

wishes,
devika

Mampi said...

You are, as always, absurdly funny.
But Man, where do you find the pics you put in your posts?
well researched perhaps?>?
But then your posts appear so spontaneous that I am not convinced that they could be researched or rehearsed.

Sal said...

@Roopa:
The title was a comment made by Lee Trevino, an American golfer, on his game.
Thanks for the comment on my open relationship with my wife. It is so open that everybody who knows us, now knows about it!
Talking about being treated like a dog, what she probably does not know is that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

@Tunafish:
Have heard of the book though not read it. Will pick it up.
Ha, I am in such matrimonial bliss that there is neither TV nor before/after/during :-)

@Sashu:
Thanks for the comment.
If I become any more sensitive, I am afraid I might melt!

@Keshi:
‘Wonder’ful comment. Thanks for passing by.

@MIP:
Thank you for your kind remark. Nice to see you back here commenting.

@Arun:
My dear friend, glad to see you here.
Yeah, one of the reasons I need a change is the benefit of humanity at large. But you never know how I might change; I could get worse!

@Gazal:
Yeah, can you imagine??!!
'A' needs a bravery award, doesn’t she?

@Amit:
Glad to see you here, buddy.
That was very funny. Couldn’t agree with you more. Amen to that!

@Devika:
Well, I guess the neighbours are busy with their own ‘listening to each other’ too.

@Mampi:
Thank you for the appreciation.
I pick most of the pictures from the net, and some from my archives.

Devika said...

Definitely Salil..

Its kind of a cyclic reaction...we listen them, they listen to us :))

When are you posting next?

wishes,
devika

PRG said...

Salil, nice to see you back man. And looks like you have not changed after all.

writerzblock said...

Absolutely loved this...especially the line about 'faults and living merrily' before marriage, and the other way round after!! Must make hubby read this...am sure he will greatly empathise.

You Know Me Very Well said...

Hey Salil.. this is a beautiful read!!! i just loved it and trust me I am going to share this post with my husband as he might empathise with you :))

On a more serious note !!! As far as my understanding goes, "Change" according to any wife would be - to adapt yourself according to her feelings, mood swings and emotions. so it would surely be varying when it comes to you scaling up to her expectations...!!! Be the change, Buddy and have fun..

Arathi Bhaskaran said...

God bless ambi chechi(Ambika,his wife).For if it wasn't for her,the inspiration,this blog would have never happened.And messing up with the bills stuff,thank you. I think it should work with my mom too.:) And don worry two more years,ill teach ur little princess all these and more:)

Sal said...

@PRG:
Happy to see you back here too!
No, I have not changed. After all a leopard never changes his stripes :-)
By the way, my wife is taking ‘change management’ course these days.

@Writerz:
Thanks for dropping by.
Let me know your husband’s reaction to this. Probably he can join my soon-to-be-started association HAHA (Harassed and Angry Husbands Anonymous)

@You Know:
Thanks for leaving your footprints.
The same thing that I told Writerz above - HAHA!
Talking about change, guess what my favourite quote is: “Be the change you want to see in the world. – Gandhi”

@Arathi:
Glad to see you here.
The way I see it is if it wasn’t for me, 'the inspired', this blog would not have happened.
And don’t you even dare come near N to teach her anything of that sort!

shri ramesh sadasivam said...

Very funny as usual. Does your wife read all this? May be you posted this, because you felt like sleeping in the living room couch for a few days.... :)

writerzblock said...

Oh, and Btw, hope you don't mind me blogrolling you :-)

The blogger formerly known as Sansmerci said...

m sure u slept on the couch after u wrote this post? hehe

really well written piece... usually write ups about women like this make me angry..(chek my blog for the latest such!) but seriously u kno to put it in a nice tone with humor eh ? lucky wife!

Sal said...

@ShriRS:
I am currently living in the US and my wife in Bangalore. Hope that answers your question :-)

@Writerz:
Oh, how I don’t!

@TBFKAS:
Thank you for your kind words. And no, I did not sleep on the couch after writing this – look at my response to ShriRS’ comment.

Rhett said...

You write very well indeed. Very humorous. Liked this write-up a lot. Yet to be married me nonetheless I do unnerstand.

Salil said...

@Rhett:
Thank you for hopping in.
You may understand being unmarried, but mark my words, you got to experience it to epathize!

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