After the last computer crash I gave up all hope of having any pictures of the kids pre-2009 February. Until I realised today that my gmail account was full and I needed to start deleting. As I went through old mail I found a lot of pictures that I’d been clicking and foisting on to unsuspecting relatives. The first among friends and family to have a baby I had no idea how annoying it could be and to their credit nobody replied telling me to shove it up. So here’s a shout out to those who know me in the real world and might have old pictures that I mailed them ( unless you printed them out for dart practice and deleted the mail) – pliss to be mailing me any old pictures you have of me and my beloved rats. I will be eternally grateful.
Anyhow… while scrambling around in the inner recesses of the inbox I came upon a gem my father sent to me and my brother and the OA. This was around the time my brother got serious about his now wife. Apparently I had a conversation with my father that left him rather shaken. Whereupon he woke up next morning and mailed us this piece, that begged a larger audience. My brother is happily married and on most days my mother has a better relationship with his wife than with me. God bless them. So I guess its safe to air this gem now!
One of the signs that you are ageing is when you start getting frequent advice from your children, particularly if they are daughters. Now take last night for instance – I get a call from my daughter that since the other child, her beloved brother “may be thinking” of getting married to a girl he is presently friendly with, we better take some advice from her about handling the situation. The “maybe thinking” is delicately put as one has to be careful in forming an opinion in these situations where the kids are concerned. Handling the situation could mean anything from “don’t annoy him” to “don’t be too nosey about the girl”, but here it was specifically meant on how to handle the in-laws or “Samdhi’s as they are called in this part of the country.
I was frankly taken aback and was scanning my brain to check if I had said anything rude or behaved badly with her in-laws when she got married a few years ago. But before check disc had even started she shocked me with her next sentence, saying that the wife and I were “too nice” “easy pickings” “push overs” etc etc. Her explanation was that if you are nice to the prospective in-laws they will think that you are dying to get your daughter or son married to their progeny and imagine that their son /daughter was too good for your son or daughter or worse still, something is genetically wrong with your kids. I began to defend our attitude with a “who cares what they think anyway” when she jolted me with an accusation that the other side probably takes your friendliness as weakness and gives them latitude to be nasty to your kids. This philosophy was as clear as mud to me, but then who’s to argue with the daughter, huh?
So the wife and I have started to practice being nasty. Fortunately it’s a little easier for her, but poor me is going to find it difficult to drop my 50 odd years of gentlemanly upbringing and get down to street level. Added to that is my deep aversion to religion and caste, to colour and cash – particularly the first two. Hey, as long as the girl or guy they want to marry is a genuine person and has a good heart, nothing else matters. As long as they love each other and he or she is going to make our son/daughter happy, we are prepared to be nice to the devil himself. That’s the way the wife and I think – but then do we dare ignore the daughter’s advice? So the friendly old pushovers are now busy planning our nasty strategy – I mean getting real mean.
1. For starters we are going to ignore the other side – they don’t exist.
2. When we finally condescend to acknowledge their existence we shall “consider” if we should actually meet them or not.
3. If we do get past that stage, we would then agree to meet them for a cuppa. We shall then dilly-dally over the venue. Definitely not their place – good heavens, no -we can’t risk being seen in that part of town. The club would be out of the question- can’t let the rest of the members snigger behind our backs. Maybe at a discreet restaurant on the outskirts of town.
4. Once at the restaurant we would not discuss “the matter” at all. We would talk mainly about how terrible the tea is and how soggy the sandwiches are and leave, apologizing and saying that we had to get back quickly as our pet stray dog would be getting lonely by now.
5. After agreeing – very reluctantly- to a second meeting (definitely not at that teerrribble restaurant) we would then invite them home for dinner. After making sure the expensive carpets were rolled away we would then put out a seven course dinner and then embarrass the hell out of them with the long line of cutlery.
6. Now when we have them grovelling at our feet, we will start on all the reasons why we find the connection unsuitable. They belong to the wrong religion, are of an inferior caste and are probably after my money (which I have very little of anyway) etc…..
If after all this they still want to marry each other then the best of British luck to them. My wife and I shall definitely not be gracing the wedding – probably be a bloody shoddy affair anyway. Now that should sure make their married life a whole lot better and earn us a whole lot of respect. So bring on the Samdhi’s – this time around we are ready.
Needless to say – the letter is a joke and my parents were extremely nice to the samdhis. But we did get a good laugh out of the letter!