This was what I got to hear from one of my acquaintances week before last.
Now where did all this stem from ?
It so happens that we (the whole family) had been invited to a wedding which was to be held at the Conrad Bali Resort and Spa. So here we were, basically staring at a five day holiday in the face. All we needed to do was book our own airtickets.
Now most of these weddings are nocturnal affairs – the partying starts around 10 pm and goes on until the wee hours of the morning. And with two children in tow, this was not the most ideal of situations for us. No child would be able to take that kind of a change in schedule – sleeping thru the day and staying awake thru the night - five days in a row. Atleast ours cannot !!!
So then, the choices
1. We all go over to Bali for the wedding and take things as they come – meaning go over to Bali and get stressed out there because the children were not able to adapt to the sudden nocturnal awakening hours.
2. We all go over to Bali and each one of us takes turns babysitting the children at night while the other goes partying. Yeah Rite !!! And then the husband gets to explain why the wife is missing the party and the next day the wife gets to do the honours by explaining why the hubby is missing.
3. Vic travels alone to Bali for the wedding and me and the kids stay back in HK. That way there is a representative for the wedding and we get by without any major disruption of the childrens’ schedules too, thereby avoiding the highly likely possibility of raising our stress levels.
And number 3 it was.
This was what, apparently, prompted the above comments from the acquaintance I mentioned earlier.
Another socially very active acquaintance had enough cheek to tell me
“Bacche to Bacche hain. Wahan par bhi 9 0 clock ko so jayenge. Lock them in the room and tum dono party me chale jaana. Bacchon ko thodi na maloom hoga”.
I was stupefied into silence. I was still trying to come to terms with the fact that one could actually conceive a situation as obnoxious and abominable as locking up the kids in a hotel room (mind you – a totally unfamiliar set up for them) and going off to party until the wee hours of the morning.
My mind was busy swirling with a multitude of “What Ifs”. Hypothetically speaking, what if the children wake up in the middle of the night and find themselves on totally unfamiliar ground with no familiar adult face around ?. And many many more questions like such continued to find space to eddy and churn within my disbelieving head.
Going a step further, this person even went ahead to the extent of telling me what a fool I had been to have let my hubby go off to Bali on his own.
“Baliiiiii !!! Arrey wahan par to women walk around the beaches in all kinds of skimpy beachwear – sometimes even topless. And you let him go there alone ?”
It sounded so corny - right out of a Hindi Movie. And the quite so apparently dimwitted me burst out laughing. The entire situation, with its unsaid connotations and suggestions, seemed so incredibly comical to me.
I just could not take it any more. And I burst out laughing and could just not stop laughing. The acquaintance in question backed off, apparently having reached the conclusion that I was indeed barmy, loopy and so totally round the bend.
Since when did the Trust factor take a nosedive. Admittedly, maybe, not all may have the privilege of enjoying the degree of trust that we do, that too for reasons best known to them, but the sheer audacity of the statement was what made it so very dramatic.
I did not say anything at all to both of these people – not because I did not know what to say, not because I could not put them in their place, not because I was tongue tied – but simply because I did not feel the need to give them an explanation of any sort. And I didn’t. And assuming that such situations arise in the future, I won’t be doing any explaining of any sort. Absolutely not.
I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
- Edward Gibbon
- Edward Gibbon
That said, it kind of brings me to the question of
“Why don’t people realise where to draw the line ?”
How a person lives his/her life or how a family functions is largely based on their values, their standards, their ideals and last but not the least, what works for them. So who are we, with our very own set of yardsticks, to tell others what to do and what not to.
I know of mothers who manage to pack in a morning of sport, a afternoon of some other activity, an evening of out-of-the-area shopping or whatever. I do admire the way these ladies manage their time and they manage to cram in so much into a single day. Time management and multi tasking – they manage to do it all very efficiently, yet ensuring that they give their children enough time too. I would say “Hats Off”. But the fact remains that I am yet to master this art.
Another bone of contention between me and many of my acquaintances here is the fact that I don’t feel the need for any household help from a helper or a maid. I don’t have a maid – full time or part time. And many find this terribly hard to accept.
Many find the fact that I am, for the most part, a very hands-on mother to my kids, very amusing, something akin to a bone to sink their teeth into and chew on and on. And I am tired of the snide remarks and the insinuations that follow.
The other day someone whom I’m familiar with was hardselling the concept of about four or five of us going together to learn golf in the mornings. And then, there it was ….
“I know you must be really really busy with both the kids and that you don’t really have the time ……..”
Sugar coated as it may seem, it does not take an Einstein to latch on to the sarcasm that is loaded into the statement :-)
I have nothing against anyone going to learn golf or for that matter anything else at any given time of the day. If it suits you fine, then by all means, go right ahead. All I’m saying is that while you are happy living your life the way you want, let others live their lives the way they want.
Is it asking for too much if one lives or chooses to lead life the way one wants to, especially so if ones idea of “life” is not in tandem with the framework set by a said majority of people who consider things a rule unto themselves ?
And if they do find a person/persons willing to go against the said flow of events so laid out by them, does this give them a right to pass spiteful comments which at times border on being outright insolent.
Is it tantamount to anarchy if one chooses to break away from standards that have been set by a majority ? I personally do not think so.
Last but not the least,
Is it asking for too much when one expects others to keep their opinions to themselves, especially when they are not asked to give their opinions, just because of the simple reason that they would be inordinately crossing lines by expressing their gratuitous opinions on issues that are most definitely personal ?
Live and let live – is a proverb oft heard.
It is so very difficult to practice ?