In the work place we often discuss things beyond just the office work. There are times we discuss some decisions and family stuff which might not really be very personal. And most times, I’ve noticed that people have a tendency to question our thought process and decisions – not the friends with whom I vent or tell everything to, but even those who are just an acquiantence. It happens more with me coz many people I interact with also know my husband-atleast they know who he is and that he works here too.
Some of the things that people like to know how my husband feels:
1. The way I dress/not dress – I wear a saree, I wear jeans, I wear long skirts, trousers, sleeveless salwars – basically anything thats not a salwaar and might just highlight my body – Im not talking figure hugging here-just not a loose shapeless salwaar which I never wear. Sometimes even a new salwaar. Everytime I get comments like – Oh! So your husband doesnt mind you wearing this? Oh! Your husband likes you wearing sarees? Your husband is ok with you wearing make-up to work? Your husband bought you this? This is his taste na-it doesnt look like what you normally wear!” Huh?! And in my head I think – “Huh?! So how well do you know me/my husband? How the hell does it matter to you what my husband thinks about my saree or my shorts for that matter?” And I reply “No, why would it matter to him?” In reality actually-he wouldnt even have probably noticed what Im wearing! Though there are times when I take his opinion-like when I wear a T-shirt or I wear big ear rings-I do ask him if I can carry off at work or it looks unprofessional, and I respect his opinion-if he does say that something might not look good to work-I do change. But he doesnt interfere if I dont ask and neither do I when it comes to his wardrobe as long as we both know we are presentable/comfortable. Its another matter entirely when we go out with company or to a function-we do ask each other what would suit the occassion and we do take those suggestions seriously.
2. On my career – “Your husband is OK with you working? Your husband is ok with you changing your career lines? Your husband is fine with you changing your job? Your husband is ok with you travelling? Your husband is ok with you working late?” – For this I have very little tolerance. My career is mine alone and why would it matter professionally to anyone what he thinks as long as it doesnt affect my work with them? I generally give very clipped answers to this question “No he has no say in this”. But in reality-ofcourse he does and ofcourse I have a say in his career- we do not poke our nose into the daily business of it though. We only discuss how any major change might affect our personal life which I think we need to – especially now with another small life depending on us…
3. On having a single child – “You have only 1 son? Oh! I think your husband must be happy with just one son na? If you had a daughter maybe you wouldve thought of one more child. With you working, I think it must be tough to have another baby right? What does your husband think about another child?” – Huh? This comes from all those pokey-nose type of people and I curse them inside “None of your business. Will you take care of the other child for me? And how the hell does it matter to you if I have one or two or three kids for that matter? And what do you know about our financial situation to be commenting on my working?” And I tell them “No we are happy with one”-not that it ends the matter there but sometimes if Im lucky…And I hate it when people say stuff about daughters and sons. How does it matter I think but there is no changing the way some people think! Gah!
4. On my driving – Now about my driving I need to do another post of its own, and while most of my friends who know my situation encourage me to do it, everytime someone new gets to know that I can drive or im considering driving myself to work everyday the first thing they ask “Your husband gives you the car to drive?” Im thinking “WTF!!! Its OUR car, why would he not give it to me to drive? And how chauvinistic is that thought?!!” But my reponse will be “Yeah, I drive quite well” Or “I’ve been driving the 2 wheeler all my life” Or “Ofcourse! why wouldnt he?” In reality he does worry because he can see that Im not confident enough-and that scares him. Knowing me, he knows when Im sure of something I would do it – my hesitation rubs off on him. But he doesnt refuse to give me the car…
5. Some random stuff like my blogging/painting/doing something for Chutku/reading books – and I find that odd – does he need to have an opinion about everything I do? Rather maybe I should put it as a negative opinion of whatever I do. He was the one who pushed me to start the blog initially, he reads and encourages, he gives me comments too and we discuss on some of my posts – but he never projects his ideas on me-his discussions with me on a post will come only after I’ve published the posts and he reads them then. On my painting or doing something for Chutku or my obsession with books – he hardly ever bothers-except when it comes to spending too much money 😀 which I dont think is wrong.
6. On being friends/friendly with guys – I almost forgot this. Im an extrovert and have always been in teams with more men than women. And quite obviously become friends with them. As a team I do go out for lunch,dinner (used to before Chutku) or maybe click a picture with them, go for coffee… And in every new team that I’ve joined there has been atleast one person who has asked me – your husband doesnt mind your interaction with the guys? And my standard answer ” Why would he? I dont mind his interaction with female collegues at work-he goes for lunch,dinner,coffee with them too – we are in a corporate industry and we do interact with people of the oposite sex – whats wrong with that?” And its true-we never interfere or mind it but people have this very narrow, very conservative way of thinking.
Apparently, even the husband gets asked such questions – ofcourse not on the clothes or kids but on the inteaction with women at work or career/job changes. Why? Sometimes I understand its basic human nature and curiousity so I do generally answer and leave it at that but sometimes I feel that there is some un-natural interest in knowing more about our lives and dissecting it to find problems between us and faults as a wife/husband.