Wednesday, October 05, 2005

You know I won't ask, but do tell!

My social life is in a rut and I blame it all on lazy ass friends. Actually the biggest culprit is the boyfriend, who has discovered the joys of weekend sailing races. So off he goes, joining the crew of one boat or another, and enjoys the nibbles at the yacht club afterwards, making small talk with the ancient mariners, the only ones who can afford to, or be interested in belonging to a yacht club. Last weekend he met an 83 year old man and his wife who race their sailboat every weekend, which is actually very cool. So I've been stuck at home on weekends, eating one batch of papaya salad after another (note to self: a whole papaya makes a lot of papaya salads).

Last night Suze and I were lamenting over the phone that there was no gossip to be heard about anyone. Yes, we do need to know how others are having all the fun to validate our existence, so shoot us now. Honestly, I grew up with a bit of a distaste for romantic gossip, because all the nosey housewives of my neighbourhood were super-efficient gossip generators, a lot of it concocted. I don't know why it bothered me, frankly now, I couldn't give a toss, and wish I had scored high on their slut-o-meter. In fact there were others in my neighbourhood who had a more sanguine view of things. One of my friends, newly anointed slut because she had kissed a younger boy on the cheek in full public view laughed when I told her the nasty stuff that these women had said to my mother about her. "Oh c'mon sweetheart, these women are bored out of their minds sitting at home. They do need to amuse themselves. I'm just happy to provide them with a few hours of joy". And besides, she reminded me, we gossiped about our friends all the time, though we usually refrained from asking nosey questions or starting false rumours.

The real reason why I could afford to have this "oh I find gossiping so beneath me" persona was that I went to school with and also lived next door to a bunch of attention-seeking, exhibitionist divas. These girls were dying to show off their love lives, and I seemed to be a favourite target, because a) I was to be pitied as a boyfriend-less nerdy bookworm and b) I didn't ask questions, so I could be trusted to not tell. So I had to listen to all the boyfriend stories of these girls, till I couldn't tell the men apart, and realized the evil capitalist genius of Valentine's Day. Some of the boys of the class confided in me too, and these stories were juicier, because some of them was being pursued by girls from the class who already had boyfriends but wished to carry on regardless. The school was never short of gossip, and yet the girls bitched about the "slutty girls from other schools" and how we were oh so better than them.

I think at some point I did come to terms with the fact that I love gossip, I love to know what's going on in the lives of my friends, and no there is no malice in the desire. However, the one habit I did carry over from my supercillious teenage years was to not ask any pointedly personal questions of my friends. So generally, if you don't tell, I won't ask. Which can make for strange situations where I would be the last to know about a friend's new boyfriend after half the world asked and confirmed. And then, she would say in an accusatory tone - "But you never asked!". Yes honey, and you never told. Sometimes I fear that I may not be able to be of solace and comfort to someone going through a rough patch simply because I wouldn't be able to muster enough courage to ask.

4 Comments:

Blogger PS said...

Tell me about gossips, man! We really crave for all the juicy bits of news that we can get in office - that's what makes our day actually! Don't think we are a bunch of bitches but we do like to gang stare also once in a while, at those who generate the juiciest gossip and comment on them (very housewifey I know ;) obviously done surreptiously)

8:42 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Oooo office gossips are so fun! When I was working, not ony was there enough gossiping about everyone in the office, but I had a few coworkers who had loads of gossip about Delhi's political, art and journalism world. The best gossip generators can always be trusted to do something worth bitching about:)!

11:37 AM  
Blogger Nitin Karani said...

Came here via the 'nightie-clad-girl-gushing-over-Vikram-Seth'...to ask-do tell, who is Seth' bf?

12:06 AM  
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8:01 AM  

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