Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Two’s company

These days, occasionally S and I have to go to these ‘couply’ dinners – not too often (Thank God) since most of S’s friends are single and confused ( but in Pune) whereas mine are married and confused ( but not in Pune).

Why ’Thank God’ you ask? They remind me of the gatherings my folks used to have – fancy dinners and parties (with fragile dining sets and aperitifs and shining cutlery and other stressful paraphernalia) – too stiff and serious to be enjoyable.

I am slightly more casual. Okay that’s an understatement as friend fishcalledgoonda might point out- I once disgustedly told her to eat like a human being when she was trying to be ladylike.
When I invite friends over, there is a very high likelihood that I will make them run and get things from the fridge (if not the grocer).

Not of the sophisticated school of diners, in other words.

But coming back to what I was saying; - occasionally some odd acquaintance or colleague traipses into town and then we (S&I) have these outings.

After about a year of this, I have come to the conclusion that couples vary widely in their behaviour at gatherings such as this. I have made a study and figured out six typologies of dinner-couples.

The Lovey, Dovey and Whyee(!) Dinner Couple
There will be the coy nok-jhoks, the private jokes, the holding hands under the table, the holding hands over the table, the brushing of hair away from the way, the gentle kisses, and other private, intimate moments, which would have perhaps been rather sweet in a movie, but are exceedingly excruciating if you are the accidental voyeur sitting across the dining table.

The Participative School Of Marriage Dinner Couple
This is a variant Lovey-Dovey , minus the mushy bit. These couples in a magnanimous gesture invite one to be a part of the minutiae of their marriage. There will be chatty conversations about Kavita aunty from Kothrud and Satish Mama from Sadashivpet and how the former spoils her children and how its such a drag to go all the way to the latter’s house, and how the prices of onions are rising and how the husband forgot his dental appointment and much else in the same vein. And for the other pair of dinner guests – well, it’s just like watching a Reality show sans the television screen.

The Therapy Session Dinner Couple

A less happy variant of the participative school, ( maybe a older marriage) whereby the dinner becomes a forum to air grievances about how husband dumps his wet towels on the floor in the bedroom and wife HAS to clean up after him. Or alternatively how wife has no financial sense and will spend her money buying stuff from Good Home rather than invest in paying off the loan for the Good Home. The other dinner guests will be willy-nilly forced to support one parti and usually annoy the other spouse.

The Uska-Pati-Mere-Pati-Se-Safed-Kaise Couple
This is the dinner where one couple is trying to prove conclusively without reasonable doubt that they are
a) more in love ( “Oh you know he got me five diamond rings for my birthday – it was such a surprise *bats eyelashes- what did he get for your birthday?” )
b) more suited ( “We have EXACTLY the same taste in music and in books and in movies and in everything – we never disagree about these things")
c) marriage is made more in more refined and higher level of heaven than the other couple. (“She knows exactly what I am thinking, even before I have the time to think it. In fact half the times, she is the only one thinking for the both of us”)

The We-Are-Not-Married-Married Dinner Couple
Here, the couple apparently call a temporary truce and pretend to each other that they are not spouses, just casual acquaintances sitting at the same dinner table. The Husband will use this as an opportunity to ogle at people at other tables (and occasionally provide an extremely graphic commentary on the clothes or lack of them) while the wife will try and flirt with the guests at the dinner table (in this case, a usually bemused and embarrassed S. I don’t mind these so much, I am completely redundant- so can shamelessly sit back and enjoy myself)

The Mardana-Zanana Dinner Couple
Males and males and femmes are femmes and the twain shall never talk – you might be forgiven for thinking you have traipsed inadvertently into another century (well, okay, another decade). There is this invisible line which segregates the conversational ambit of the genders; the men SHALT talk about work and sports and the females SHALT talk about shopping and children. Now if you are one of those confused WORKING, fairly sports-mad, shopophobic, not-grown-up-enough-to-have-kids-female, then well, you will end up with a bit of an identity problem.

After penning these typologies down, I spent all of ten minutes trying to figure out which type do we belong to. Have regretfully come to the conclusion that my ma is probably right when she says “You two, bah, don’t behave like you are married only – squabbling all the time like children!”

Ah, well


manuscrypts said...

"its ok dahling, you can read...cynic hasnt found our stereotype.. at least, not yet" :D

narendra shenoy said...

HaHaHaHa! Glorious! Wields a surgeons scalpel to lay bare the reality of married lives!

Enjoyed thoroughly!

What category am I in? I'll ask missus and let you know :-)

P said...

haha looks like you have a special talent for such taxonomic studies. Good one :)
I am in a total opposite situation. My friends here are all couples (mostly from the participative school of marriage) and my other half lives in a different place. Imagine my condition in the dinner parties!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

manu - its WIP ..*shush, tell me what typology you fall into, pleaseeeeee*

naren - you know, the rate i am going, someone who knows me in real life is going to come baying for my blood. if i disappear thats probabaly it.

what did the missus say?

P - if you manage to figure out to participate pls to share. heheh..

Epiphany said...

Well THIS is the reason when someone asks me "r u married?" I say "nope, I'm happy" ;)

BTW there is another category if you bring in the kids...the kind that make the kids recite whatever new bollywood song they have learnt (kis disco main jayen :D)

Drenched said...

Hahahahaha! I loved this one! I think maybe I'll relate to it some ten years from now but for the moment, I just loved the whole observation. Mardana-Zenana...hehehehehe!
By the way, isn't there a quarrelsome kind of couple? I've seen one during family friend dinners and all. Uncle-Aunty begin some topic. Uncle supports one side. Aunty the other. 15 minutes and a mild WWIII (in a sophisticated, gharelu sort of form) later, Uncle-Aunty ignore each other until dessert and then, make up.

Anonymous said...

hehehehe! I have been to so many ohh-so- great family dinners :(

nw i shud be married to knw which i fall into.. which i m not sadly :D

Parul said...

LOL!! What a find your blog is...happy to have stumbled upon it..

Cynic in Wonderland said...

epiphany - ah in most cases the marriage is a year or two old. so not too many kids in the picture.

drenched - hmmmm this is WIP ..not come across the squabbling kind yet ..but maybe you are right. that should be fun. maybe i will incite the next couple i meet to fight what say?

veens - u dont need to be, just go out with couples. ( but why would u want to do that?)

parul - thankee verr muchly. please to visit more often

narendra shenoy said...

Sheela calls us the "Husband knows wife can drive" couple, alleging, unfairly, I hardly need add, that I merrily knock back cocktails loosening, in the process, both my tongue and the control of the brain on motor activities, secure in the knowledge that she will drive me back.

Longish sentence, I know. No, I haven't been having a couple. I talk that way most of the time.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

naren - does your wife blog? she sounds like a wise woman

chandni said...

aah...quite the list that...

But, I can't seem to fit it any of this...the boy included!

We're more like 2 friends entertaining together so we look after guests as we deem appropriate. We sometimes rib each other but mostly smile a private smile every once a while...

Cynic in Wonderland said...

chandni - work in progress ( mail me what type you are and i will add it!)

Pinku said...

hey this was wonderful and u seem to have a knack for categorisation.

In client servicing doing a lot of target audience research by any chance?