They were perfect for each other and started living-in
Mimi started living in straight out of college. She was one of my first friends in university. She had been in love with Somnath forever, or so it seemed. So when they started living together, it wasn’t much of a surprise. Meeting Somnath, I could see they were perfect for each other. Mimi was bubbly and witty. Somnath was quiet but sarcastic. Mimi was competent but controlling; Somnath was easy-going but responsible. They are yin to each other’s yang.
So this Sunday morning Mimi sits down in her favourite spot by the window with a cup of coffee. She was looking out of the window and I sipped my coffee expectantly.
She turned towards me and starts, “Do you know what Somnath did this time?”
I helped him with his schedule
It was a rhetorical question. So I remained silent and smiled, as I knew this is how it starts. This may just turn out to be an hour-long rant.
“He had his ticket to Mumbai for Friday night. But he was supposed to have postponed it to Monday for Bishwa’s wedding. But he forgot. When I did it for him, he got furious. Started saying I meddle with everything. Can you imagine? Me?”
I feigned astonishment and remained silent, for I knew that there was more to come.
“I’m four years younger than him and he never forgets that. Any initiative I take is threatening to him. He can’t let go of what happened before we moved in.”
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I broke the news to his parents
Before they moved in together, Somnath was apprehensive about taking Mimi to meet his parents. But Mimi wasn’t the one to take a back seat on such things. So, she micromanaged the whole thing and managed to meet Somnath’s parents on her own. Somnath only came to know about it when he was invited by his parents for a lunch cooked by Mimi. Imagine Somnath’s surprise! He arrived home to see his girlfriend and his mother are chatting while cooking in his kitchen.
He arrived home to see his girlfriend and his mother are chatting while cooking in his kitchen.
Somnath admits that he is still grateful that she took the initiative. Somnath admits that but never to Mimi.
“He’ll never forgive me for meeting his parents on my own! But Uncle and Aunty love me for doing that. And the house I made home: Could he have managed it without my help and resources? I found the guy for pink marble. I remembered to get professional painters for this mural. And I found the house itself.”
Moving in was a make-or-break point in their relationship
Mimi made exotic demands while Somnath was trying to manage everything on his beginner’s salary. You have to give it to her that she found most of the things she wanted, but pink marble flooring was a bit extravagant. Somnath could have handled it better without Mimi’s ‘help’.
“I still remember what he said to me: The house is more important to you than this relationship. Just think! He thinks I only create mess. How would he have managed the meeting in the club without the suit I bought for him? He would say he would have gotten it later. But when? In what colour? I had to do it myself, right?”
I nodded quickly.
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And I found him his job
She leaned forward a little and said, “He would never admit it, but working in this company was my doing. I submitted his CV there and look where he is now. He never stops complaining about having to leave his previous company. Actually he’s not ambitious. I, for one, just want to help, to nudge, really…” and leaned back again.
This job had better money and position, but required more hours and tours. Somnath wanted to start a family. Mimi didn’t directly say no, instead she pushed him into this job.
“He needs me every step of the way: I book his hotel stays, pick the menu for his flight and seats too in online check-ins. I even book cab rides for him. Well, I am efficient. He should be paying me as his secretary. Instead he says I’m suffocating him.”
Was she being too helpful to her boyfriend?
But the difference between personal assistant and girlfriend is, personal assistants follow only given instructions: Mimi doesn’t. She’s resourceful and promptly finds solutions to most problems. But when it comes to Somnath she just imposes these solutions on him. With her it is ‘my way or highway’ kind of thing. She has helped me through numerous emergencies, but Somnath feels throttled. He sometimes finds it emasculating, and always finds it irritating. He’s perfectly capable of handling things on his own, but he usually does not get a chance. I just wish Mimi would wait for him to ask for help, at least once.