To Mr and Mrs Smith…

I watched Mr and Mrs Smith in the rainy month of June 2005. It wasn’t easy. Too much coaxing had to be done. I was nigh on 16 so going to the movies with friends was simply out of question.  I held my ground. Discussions ensued. A decision was finally made. I could go only if I was accompanied by my older cousin who worked night shifts. Bad enough she wasn’t a big fan of movies, I had to drag her along with me to watch the damned movie on the only day she got to sleep at home. So, guilt ridden and excited I dragged 2 of my sisters to watch the movie. I liked it. And then I decided to never tell the Gilmores about any of movie outings.

My next big movie outing was arranged in full secrecy. A bunch of friends from college and I went to catch Dus at Rex.  It took me half a day to realise that this whole business of watching a movie with friends was a big deal only for me.  Everybody else seemed unexcited and casual, even. I was disappointed because it was the first time in my life I was somewhere I was not supposed to be and nobody seemed to recognize or share my pleasure. My parents didn’t know where I was and that was the best thing about the whole movie outing. I felt great when I returned home knowing how I spent my day. It felt good to have lied and gone out for a day with friends, which if I had asked permission for, I would never have been allowed.

Further down the years, lying became my only way of getting what I wanted. I did try the truth occasionally but when I saw that it made their control over me seem tighter, I decided to stick with lies for the rest of my life. My Pre university days at home were horrible. Every movement was watched. So much so that mother faked coming late to a PTA meeting and arrived early so she could  hide behind some pillar to see who I talk to. She did this twice.

Key among incidents like these is two of the worst tantrums that they pulled. Dad – because he saw a boy’s name on my phone. Mom – because I asked to spend the night with my friend (a girl) because it was her birthday. Plates were thrown, dinner was abandoned and she sped up to her room, crying because I stubbornly wanted to go.

And then when I had to go on my next trip, I lied. And everything became super easy for me. I have had an educational excuse for every trip since then. And I realised I don’t have to deal with any of their tantrums at all because I was saving them the trouble of having to educate and bring culture to an ill cultured daughter; by lying to them about where I was going and with whom.

I must confess I take great pleasure in doing this. Even now as I am typing all of this, I cannot help but feel a little proud of myself for having done what I did. But, there is a but. The fact that I am an adult now and should be able to do what I want to without having to lie. Or the fact that there are days when I wonder if really telling them the truth would be so bad. Or the fact that maybe at some level I am still scared of them which is why I feel the excessive need to lie and cover up my flaws – which is that I am not as mature as I would like to be.

I don’t know if I’ll ever grow out of this phase. But I can see that I can only move forward if I forgive them and myself and realise that no matter how many tantrums they threw I still did everything that I wanted to. And that hasn’t changed at all.

Evil things and all

Luke: ‘There isn’t anything like family to screw up a marriage’

Lorelai: ‘Well in my case, there isn’t anything like family to screw up a family’

Between running around from film to film, venue to venue and from cheerfully waking up in the morning to grumpily entering the home a half hour before midnight, I stumbled upon the source of all human tragedy in life, family. People are miserable because of family. Either because they can’t stand them or because they love them to bits, so much so that they have to smother you with their love and couldn’t care any lesser for your life and its various demands on you. I had to juggle between 2 sets of worlds and deal with the tragedies in it by creating 2 sets of lies, just to be able to do something that I wanted to do.  I wanted to attend the Film Festival this year, absorb whatever little I was capable of and write about it like a mad woman.

Attend, I did. Write, I tried to but for reasons not entirely because of me, I couldn’t write much. I was tired from all the excuses I had to make, the lies I had to lie to try and manage the 2 different worlds that I live in to keep the people in it from tearing their hair out and mine.  Now that I think about it, I am sure that at one point those 2 worlds merged. And that’s when trouble began.  Maybe my boyfriend and I were able to manage without fights for so long because for 8 years I was able to keep him away from the world that was occupied by Emily and Richard. It was easy because he made no demands. But he is beginning to speak the language of the Gilmores now and that scares me.

I am 25 and I work. I am an adult. I don’t have to lie to attend the Film Festival. I shouldn’t have to micromanage my life and the people in it if they cannot deal with what I want to do with my time. I shouldn’t have had to miss a day of the film festival to go and nurse an upset boyfriend’s hurt feelings.  I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for missing my mother’s birthday cake cutting. For one week, I wanted to watch movies, talk about it and write about it. I wanted to stay back as late as I bloody wanted to on all those nights and not rush home like a mad woman, fearing a teary eyed mother, full of blackmail and menace.

I shouldn’t have to explain this to anybody. I love my life here, I love my job, and I love what I am doing right now. I shouldn’t be made to leave all of what I love and go someplace far away just to be away from these people. Why am I ranting when I can say screw you and continue doing the shit that I am doing anyway?  A 500 word post later too, I still feel screwed. I look at women, my age and younger, living lives their way and I want that.  I don’t know these women all too well but nothing stops me from constantly stalking them on twitter and face book and blogger.

So when I feel insanely jealous about the free lives that they are living, I feel better when I see that most of my friends from school and college are either married or getting married or have kids or are getting pregnant. It is sad and evil, I know. But you have no idea how great it feels to return home at 11:30 in the night after having watched 5 kickass movies one after another, battled a hundred different questions about the movies, asked them out loud, got laughed at, had conversations about the movies with people who know this stuff, made mental notes about how to write only to find out that that guy who sat in the fifth bench and was very rarely nice to you is married. And he is 25. Yes, I am an evil person, making judgments and everything, but what the hell, I am 25 too and not married so I get to gloat. Hee haww!