Now I realise that it really wasnt worth the hundred bucks I spent on getting the hair cut to a rat’s tail. Dealing with carpenters and false ceiling wallahs and an interior designer who is so chilled he’s making me hyperventilate is enough to have me pull out my hair by the handfuls. Just realised I have walked out of the house this morning in my bathroom slippers. And as anyone who has read this knows, I have since scurried to the nearest footwear shop, the only one I could find open at eight thirty am and bought myself a new pair. Probably should ask the man to make me an additional wardrobe for my shoes. The husband passed snide remark the other day about building a cupboard in one of the balconies to house the shoes we have, considering the three of us put together are now keeping shoes in cupboards and in little boxes outside the windows in the current house, given that storage space for them has long been exhausted and yet they keep coming in by the week. The brat definitely gets it from me. He’s the one who gets into the mall and plonks himself in a shoe shop and refuses to get out till a pair is bought for him. Considering he wears school shoes almost everyday, the maid’s son is the ingrate recepient of shoes gone small or ratty or unusable for the simple reason that we donot like Tweety Bird anymore. Fortunately, cannot offload my stilletoes on the maid, so hold onto most till they’re falling apart and need to be cellotaped together. The husband is supercool. He just chucks out the old ones when he buys new stuff and makes storage space.
We now have the housewarming this saturday. Lunch for a gadzillion people, and a house which has plaster of paris patches on the ceiling, with wires hanging out all readiness to electrocute any unlucky sod who has the misfortune to be tall and reach his or her hand up, kitchen cabinets which are still wire baskets, and a cupboard that is only raw planks of wood. Four days. Four days. Four days more. I can feel the hair popping grey around the hairline.
We also have four families coming down to share our moment of joy. While two are the sis in laws, who are darlings and will take over all my stress levels, and get things done in a jiffy while I run around like a headless chicken getting nothing actually organised and everyone confused, two are the MILs relatives, who are welcome but god help me if they expect to be waited on hand and foot. I donot have a maid. I am shifting home. I am going to be in a new area where I have to source everything from milkman to chutta maid. I can just see myself making endless cups of tea and bowing and scraping.
The Indian concept of hospitality is something that really gets to me. Given a choice, I would rather live in a hotel than inflict myself on someone whom I will be dependent on for my food and need to tailor my schedule around. But sadly, this altruistic premise is not shared by all. I am a hospitable person, but only when I have the house in order and the maids in place. I would not like to be hauled off to the lock up for attempt to murder through food poisoning on account of unpalatable food, and threat to public health premises. Anyway, will cross that bridge when one comes to it, and pray and hope that the visits are shortlived and pleasant, and no one throws tantrums if the tea is salted instead of sugared.
The bad news is that in the midst of all this chaos the wonderful hour long walks I had started on have gone the way of all good intentions, and the only walking I do is from the bedroom to the refrigerator to check if the chocolate box has one last one left, or have I really devoured the entire lot. Luckily with a kid in the house one can always point the finger at him. “Brat ate them all.” He is forgiven immediately. Children eat chocolates. Blimp like mothers are expected to exert self restraint and leave at least a couple for the husband to taste. Especially when they are Belgian handmade. The MIL poor soul, on fear of her diabetes, doesnt dare even sniff at them.
The other day decided to go traditional and wear a couple of sarees on the day of the puja and lunch. Which meant taking out the saree box, dusting it down, opening the sarees carefully to prevent sudden cracking of fibres stiff with disuse, checking out the blouses. Which is where one wishes not to have an audience. The MIL and the husband were around. I began pulling on the blouses (over my Tshirt, you prudes, dont get the wrong idea). Now, I swear to you, I was either anorexic or someone has sneaked into the cupboard and taken in all my blouses by a good four to five inches. Some of them didnt get past my elbow. The mother in law was kind enough to point out between paroxysms of uncontrollable laughter that these blouses were stitched twelve years ago and everyone “puts on a little after a child”. The husband wasnt amused. He asked me to get lycra blouses by the heap since I was showing no likelihood in the near future of ever taking any effort to control this rabid expansion of corpus collossus. Was saved by kind mother who has made, in her wisdom and foresight, golden tissue blouse of gigantic proportions, which was to be worn for brat’s naming ceremony when one had mountainous geysers . That blouse will now save the day and allow me to wear a saree given that no tailor will ever deliver a blouse in three days. Even on threat of death. The MIL will attest to it. She gives her tailor a blouse to be worn for a winter wedding in the summer. And if she is lucky it will be ready in time for the wedding.
Wish me luck. Do you think if I dont eat for three days I might still have a chance of getting into one of them blouses? Perhaps lycra inserts along the sides might help.