Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Latest Domestic Ordinance, or Why the Spouse Will No longer Wear Lounge Pants Outside Our Home

I can't remember now whether the children gave my husband two pairs of lounge pants on his birthday a couple of years ago, or on Raksha Bandhan. ( Everybody gets presents on Raksha Bandhan: it is something that my kids have decreed).Provenance apart, the spouse was delighted with this addition to his wardrobe. 

(Over the last decade or so, the spouse, who used to be reed thin once upon a time, has developed a paunch, and therefore wears suspenders with his trousers).

The lounge pants were smart, one black, one khaki. Elasticated at the waist, with the additional reassurance of a tie-cord. Pockets, too, at the back and front. (Unfortunately the said front pockets became the cause of much stress).

He had also acquired some comfortable soft cotton bush shirts. Casual wear was now his thing. Bush shirts and lounge pants were his favourite outfit, both for entertaining at home, and being entertained, outside.

His mobile phone is a device with which I have a strange relationship. Frankly, I am jealous of it. If he's not talking on it to friends or colleagues, or replying to WhatsApp messages on his various groups, he will either be doing Sudoku or jigsaw puzzles, and then expressing surprise when the battery runs out mid-conversation. It remains an irritant. And yet, I get stressed at the thought of it getting lost, of the painfulness and expense and inconvenience of replacing it. 

A couple of months ago we had a lovely dinner at our niece's home, with both of us ensconced for much of the evening upon her brand new two-seater recliner. It was only when we got up to leave that the man realised that his phone was missing. The recliner was the likely culprit, but no luck. I called his phone, it was ringing but we couldn't hear it. Perhaps we had left it in the car. A futile search of the car made me wonder if we had actually left it at home. We got home, but no phone in either sight or hearing. The spouse was convinced that he might have dropped it while getting out of the car: I was sure that I would have heard it if it had. Much stress all around. We kept calling the phone intermittently, hoping against hope that someone would find it and answer it. Our niece's husband finally heard a faint ring  or felt a vibration in the recliner, and managed to extricate the phone from its innards, and kindly dropped it off at our place later that night. (We stay very close to their place, fortunately).

A couple of weeks later we went to watch a brilliant play at the India International Centre. The spouse decided to visit the gents' room soon before the performance started, and came back, phone in hand, just before the play began.Halfway through, though, he whispered that he couldn't find his phone.. In a live performance, there's no way you can get up and look. As soon as the play was over, he looked under the seat, but couldn't find it. Oh no. Luckily it was wedged between the seat and the armrest.

This Sunday, we had lunch at my daughter's place. We had to head back home soon after, because my cousin and his family were coming over for tea. The spouse had time for a short nap before our guests were due to arrive, and I wanted to do a little preparation in the kitchen. But once again, the familiar plaint of the missing mobile phone. Perhaps he had left it at our daughter's place, but no, it was ringing but no one answered. I offered to go down and check the car, with my phone in hand, but I couldn't find it. I called up my daughter, but she said it was most definitely not in her house either. I searched the car again, thinking that I could feel a vibration, but I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I was hot and frazzled, so went back home. I was sure that he had dropped it getting out of the car at our daughter's place, and someone must have stolen it. Would we have to lodge an FIR? The spouse decided to take a look himself, and took my phone for another round of the car. A few minutes later he comes up with both phones in his hand. It was apparently stuck between the front seat and the structure between both seats. I am quite sure that it re-materialized in the presence of its lord and master.

Henceforth, lounge pants don't go out of our lounge. Enough is enough.

Friday, September 1, 2023

The Case of the Disappearing Printouts

 My life seems to be conspiring to get me to blog more regularly. 

About a week ago I had, very meticulously, taken printouts of some travel documents for the spouse. Before getting into my narration, let me share some details of the physical spaces we occupy in our apartment. The spouse uses the room closest to the front door as his study, what I call his man-cave. It is an interesting space, with a study table and office chair, two client chairs, a beautiful cabinet hand painted and decoupaged by our younger daughter, a wrought iron and glass trolley (which our TV used to occupy until we moved here), a book case, a small cabinet topped by a wooden temple, a big golf bag, a small golf bag, a Casio keyboard on a stand. There are two built-in  wardrobes, one of which is occupied by my bed cover and cushion cover collection, The other one has books in double rows, files, assorted documents. There is an attached bathroom. My helper 'cleans' the room insofar as it can be swept, mopped and dusted, if she can find clear space to dust. The spouse, his laptop, and his phone are often found there.

My desk, desktop, and printer occupy a corner of our bedroom. We also have a sideboard like structure with three large central drawers flanked by small cabinets on either side. Household documents are mostly in my domain. I try to be organised, but not always with great success.

And so, back to my story. The spouse wanted to check the time on his ticket, to book transport at the other end. I had my hands full, literally, carting ironed bed-covers to the study, so told him to look in the top drawer of the bedroom sideboard. He couldn't find the folder. I looked. I couldn't find the folder either. We also had to go out for various jobs, and I am absolutely useless when flustered. Anyway, I wasted several precious minutes looking in various unlikely places, creating more chaos, and gave up. He checked the ticket on his laptop and made his booking. I thought that I would come home and take fresh printouts. We went out, did our various jobs, and came home, wondering intermittently where that folder had disappeared to. If it had managed to reach the study by some mysterious means, it was permanently out of my purview. In my head, the study is a document eating black hole. Looking for important papers is, for me, the stuff of nightmares.

Anyway, post lunch, post nap, post an annoying phone call from our bank, I pulled out a file from the top drawer to enter the details of the person who would hopefully sort out our pending issue with the bank. And there, exactly where it should be, was the folder with the travel printouts. It hadn't dematerialized after all: it was in disguise. I had used an old plastic folder on which was printed Dental Record. In the fluster of the morning rush, neither of us had seen the Vistara logo clearly through the plastic. Phew. 

The spouse promptly issued me a clear plastic folder from his study!