Monday, July 14, 2008

She's Got the Look!

One time when my parents came over to visit me in Bangalore, I took a day off and dragged them to the National Park (where I take all our guests, so that they don’t complain I didn’t show them around, and because its 4 kms from my house. Some people dig their heels in firmly and hold on to passing furniture to hint that they’re not interested to go, but my persuasive powers win over in the end. The only exceptions are people who are pregnant, have been to national parks all over the world, or have incontinence problems.)

Anyway, to get back to what I was saying. Since I was on holiday and in a festive mood, I dressed up more than I do usually, and looked quite a sight standing in the dusty line alongside harried parents and their offspring with severe phlegm issues.

So, as I was saying…I was all dressed up with hoop earrings and what not, and my father suddenly observed to me in an undertone “Those women are looking at you more than the men are!” And he sounded surprised. Honestly, after 60 years on this earth it came as a surprise to him that women check out women FAR more than men do. (That is, unless you look like a double-humped camel.)

Earlier the quick up and down sweep (…shoes..away.) from women used to unnerve me, and I would rush to the nearest mirror to check if I had phlegm issues of my own. Because the unpleasant thing about ‘the look’ is…it rarely looks appreciative. Though I totally disagree with those women who say “a woman is a woman’s worst enemy” (and proceed to live according to that maxim.), it IS true that when another woman throws you that look of intense scrutiny, her face seems to say “I came, I saw, and I found it distasteful.”

But now that I’ve been a woman for a longish time, I started taking it as a compliment. Women reserve the hair…top…shoes look-over for when they think you’re wearing something interesting. (I hope.) Sometimes they linger over the shoes with a contemplative…'hmmm, I wonder if they have that in black...' stare.

When you’re cringing underneath a dozen ‘looks’ in your best outfit at a swanky restaurant, always remember that these same women wouldn’t have bothered if you were in a tracksuit and doing your shopping with your hair standing up in all directions.

Remember that, and take heart. And throw back a sweeping glance of great dislike in their direction. After all, they dressed up just for you and the other women in the room. (And those poor saps with them don’t even realize it.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The funny thing about Humour

The funny thing about humour is, how very different it is from one person to another. One man’s humour is another man’s sorrow. One woman’s humour is no humour at all to another. A third person’s humour might make him a celebrity, with people rolling over laughing when he says ‘hello’. I would say very broadly speaking you can group humorists in three broad categories. Usually people are a mix of all three, only the proportion of each varies.

Type A: those who mask their spite with humour. They will make jokes at everyone’s expense but their own. But the moment someone turns their wit on them, they are very, very bad sports. Almost without exception. “ When I said that I was JOKING, OK? You, on the other hand, are just plain offensive.”

Type B: Those who always make fun of themselves, to get a laugh. Sad thing about these poor saps are that people think it’s fine to join in, and that’s when all hell breaks loose. “Even I”VE never said that about my mother!!” they’ll sob after the fight has dispersed.

Type C: The ones who don’t have a humorous bone in their body. “Hahahaha…you’ll die laughing when I tell you this…hahaha…I just saw, gasp…a man…giggle…fall down the stairs. He just lay at the bottom of the stairs…hehe..GROANING. They say he may have a….concussion. HAAAAAhahaha..”

I think the test to know which one you are is if you think back on the last joke you cracked today and ask yourself:

a) Was it something hurtful about someone else?
b) Did you laugh much more than the target of the joke?
c) Did the person stop talking to you right after?
d) Would you never make the same joke about yourself?
e) If someone else made the same joke about you, would you report him to the office HR for unprofessional behaviour?
f) If you make the world’s worst gaffe do you run to tell your friends about it?
g) Are you pleased when they laugh?
h) Do they call you a clutz and a loser?
i) Do you wish you hadn’t told them?
j) Did you find the Type C joke funny?
k) Were you one of the people in PVR on April 27th who laughed when the kid in Taare Zameen Par got bashed around for flunking his exams?
l) Did you just think as you read this post that it was frivolous and redundant, and that the author was at a loose end when she wrote this?

(a) to (e) -more than 4 ‘yes’s You are SO type A. I hope I don’t meet you at a party on a bad hair day.

(f) to (i) – more than 3 ‘Yes’s. Type B. You are asking for what is coming to you. Stop clowning around if you don’t want people to call you a clown.

J, k, and especially l - all three ‘Yes’s. Resoundingly Type C. I would recommend a book list that includes ‘Roots’, ‘Diary of Anne Frank’, and the ‘Kite Runner’ should you need a few giggles on a dull day.