Yesterday, friends, was one of those days. I was rained on, shat upon (by a crow) almost had about two and a half road accidents and had my lunch breach into my handbag, karola hodi and all. It was bad. You could say it held a series of irritating little incidents for a working woman and certainly they are nothing much to write home about since they were little but they were indeed irritating and as such built into one single day I was rather amazed. Was it me or the country or the planets? Does this sort of thing happen to you too?
The crux of my day was something like this – after a local TV station was set fire to and I was woken rudely at 5 45 with a text message on the subject, I dozen off again into a rather sad nightmare that I was fighting with my dear brother, which is strange and quite disturbing. IN the first place, touch wood, I hardly have nightmares and in the second place he is not a fighting man so we hardly ever squabble…then there was the confusing vision of a helicopter landing in my back yard which I shall skim…so: I woke late..dressed in a hurry, raced to work and found that the road was closed…took a detour and found myself dodging annoyed traffic in Bambalapitiya at nine forty five..
In the meantime my line manager and another fussy client I had promised to meet early in the day were calling me and demanding justifiably where I was. Stressful. Saying Bambalapitiya would not have worked since that is nowhere near my office..
By close to ten I was getting quite hysterical and speeding around the one way lanes in desperation, plunging along at about double the speed I usually do and narrowly missing not one but two tangles, and getting yelled at in dubious Sinhala (justifiably mind you) by fellow commuters. Office, when I reached it was a blur of high pressure assignments which I cant remember except that at one point a lady acquaintance called me on the phone and said rather hysterically that I was a fool for having "let my husband go" which cause me to pause everything and smile. I had let him go about ten years ago and been happy ever since, and the problem was that she did not want to let hers go although she could not live with him either , so she was judging me seriously.
Im not often called a fool to my face and while I appreciate her point blank honesty I did a short and sharp analysis of what she was talking about and found it an interesting paradox. I have a total of four close women friends at the moment who are going through the most amazing painful emotional tortures (amply complemented with generous dollops of physical domestic violence) simply to somehow "hold on to their man" meaning of course to prevent some other woman from taking him. They give complex supposedly sentimental reasons for this attachment but since these are interspersed with randomly voiced desires to have their prince stoned to death, voodoo-ed away or at least mildly amputated* I assume it isn't actually old fashioned romantic LOVE that keeps them together. In fact I have a serious suspicion that the critical factors are more about inertia, social expectations and economic benefits. But the results of these conflicts are disturbing. I honestly think Sri Lankan ladies take this whole man-holding thing way too seriously, until it becomes an dark obsession. In turns I get the most brilliant SMSs updating me on their valiant efforts to track the male icon of their lives, to infiltrate his communications (ie hack his mobile or analyze the bill, track his evening travel, frame his girlfriend, what have you) to monitor his movements, to beg, whine, threaten, scream and occasionally cajole sometimes with promises of unusual sexual favours, the man of their lives into staying with them, and sometimes to kill themselves or their man or both and the Other woman too, in various very creative ways.
It seems a never ending battle involving tears, violence and hysteria , observed continuously by the traumatised bug-eyed off spring who huddle crying and praying under beds…and culminating in partial insanity for both spouses not to mention the unfortunate children who will need impressive amounts of counseling later on. And as for the Other Woman, really is it so difficult to find a man of your own? **
Each time I listen to these stories I thank the stars for my job.
It's a tough job, it's a demanding job and sometimes its an annoying job which makes me put in lots of extra hours - but it means that I don't have to depend on a man. I have been blessed with understanding superiors and pleasant co workers so far so it's a fairly "do able" job with bearable income. So Im lucky. And Im actually occupied! Perhaps if I was a rich heiress and didn't have to do a job I would have time to latch myself onto some unfortunate male, make his life claustrophobic, and sit around busily fending off Other women but, no I don't. There's paperwork to handle, the occasional article to write and I have too many interesting hobbies to list so the whole full time man-holding thing will have to be bypassed. I honestly can't be bothered. J
* you know where I mean, ladies.** Or to come up with some amicable time sharing agreement or something …