“See you in the evening!”
10-15 seconds later….
That would be the L&M to pick up something or the other he’s forgotten. Some days he’d make several trips back. It got so bad that if he didn’t come back at least once, I would fret about him having forgotten something important and call him at work to check!
It used to drive me nuts to keep opening the door, as I myself would be rushed off my feet in the mornings. I tried making a list of things he needed to take and pasting it on the door; I asked him if he had everything when he left; I shouted and screamed every time he came back. Alas! Nothing worked.
I couldn’t honestly accuse him of forgetfulness or carelessness, for he was very careful about stuff and usually remembered important things, though his awful memory for names is legend for those who know him in real and virtual life!
Cut to the present: I simply leave the door ajar for a while to facilitate his popping in and out. Having a spare key also helps, except that some days it is left in the keyhole, necessitating another trip! And yes, the habit continues till date, only I have learnt to live with it.
And then he has this habit of taking bites out of my food after he finishes eating. When we went to restaurants in the early days of marriage, it did feel romantic – only for a while – before beginning to get on my nerves. I would make a face and ask him to order something else for himself. Even as he said that he was full, he reached for my plate! He still does it – at home or wherever we happen to be eating.
Small and big irritants, quirks and habits; I won’t lie – I have felt like running away many times.
Related reading: 10 reasons why Indian couples fight
In days when the couple didn’t get to know each other before they married, such traits used to sometimes come as a shock after marriage. Even today, couples who know each other well before they settle down find their habits suddenly grating after the initial period of euphoric togetherness when everything seemed cute.
Have you noticed how, as a couple grows older, each begins not only being protective of the other but also indulgent and tolerant of the very habits that had earlier infuriated or driven them nuts? That doesn’t stop them from cribbing about each other though. But don’t be fooled by it all. Chances are you will get an earful if you voice your own criticism. This includes the children too who have to silently listen to the rants of their parent. They are a solid unit, so beware!
So what has changed? The most important factor, at least for me, is the realisation that no one is perfect. Don’t they say that when we point one finger at the other person, four fingers point to ourselves? And if I think I am being magnanimous to put up with him, I am sure he deserves an award for putting up with me!
Though we have each tried our best to change the other to our own standard of ‘perfection’, we have made a lot of small and big compromises and learnt to be more tolerant.
In a quite contrary way, predictability of temperaments in a relationship – even if at times disagreeable – offers comfort. Give me my predictable if infuriating L&M any day to some paragon of virtue who behaves perfectly in every situation and spooks me out. Does that mean that we have happily accepted the other, kinks, quirks et al? No way! We have only found ways to skirt them, just as we would go around a familiar pothole on the road we commute daily on. Why, I can even smile at some of his infuriating traits and habits!
It takes time to iron out kinks, correct missteps and find one’s rhythm, in a relationship between husband and wife – that is if the partners stick together long enough. Often though, the partners give up in frustration. More’s the pity, because often it is just the minor irritants and character traits that have a way of getting blown out of proportion with some help from an offended ego!
I’m sure you want to know what I do when he reaches for my samosa. I just offer him a choice piece as soon as he finishes eating his – before he reaches for my plate! It makes for happy sharing, wouldn’t you say?