Valentine Blues

coffee09:58 am

I am not sure if she will take it seriously. You really need to watch it whether she is completely up to it.

I am speaking about her mood. She is hiding behind the tea-cup. She watches me quizzically while she takes a lazy sip. I like this part a lot. Having a cup of tea together before I rush off to my office. That’s when we talk.

It is a tad difficult to find out if she is in the mood to listen to what I would like to say. Sometimes, it so happens that I wait for it to be right and then, when I think it’s right, it all seems way out of context. Whatever I say looks out of place. It can be embarrassing. A smile is one of the important signs I am looking for. If she seems occupied and her eyes are glazed – staring into nowhere and looking around but seeing nothing, – you got to know it’s either housework or some prime issue occupying her thoughts. She is admittedly cranky then – one hundred percent. You got to watch what you say and how you say it. You got to be on your toes.

But now, from somewhere in the clouds of her thoughts, comes a question.

“So…have you decided where we will go for dinner?” She takes a sip from the cup again as she says it with that blank stare.

I interrupt the question before it’s even finished and simply say what I want to say. I am abrupt like that, sometimes. It might confuse anyone in the context sense.

“Err… well…” I am still searching her face and I can see her eyebrows pucker up. “I will try to be a better husband.” I split each word as I say it and, as I feel the first signs of embarrassment creep into me, I see her face raise itself, chin up, and beginning to crumble into a meaningful grin. She is now looking down at me from an imagined height accentuated by the bricks of my discomfort.

“Oh…really?” She is going after me now. I am all set up. Bah.

It is Valentine’s Day today. Like every year. It makes me miserable big time. All the more after I got married. It’s not about the marrying part but the day itself that gives me a mental block. I can’t seem to identify with it anywhere. She believes in it though. That is good enough for me because I find it difficult when it comes to making choices. I take a hell a lot of time for decisions or so she says. There is some truth to it actually. So here I am treating Valentine’s Day with the importance that it deserves according to her (I am happy with that) and still going miserable about what would be an apt gift for her. You can certainly add my darned ego that wants to give her the most perfect gift under the sun. Like most men.

Half an hour ago, when I was in the loo, I ask her (she is just outside the door) if she will be ready to go out with me in the morning to the jewelry store. She sounds bright at once and then, as an afterthought, she says, “Well, I prefer gifts as a surprise.” That’s said in a falsetto voice. “But, seriously, looking at how the finances are at the moment, don’t you think we should give this gift thingie a skip now?”

I don’t know what to say. I wonder whether to say she is right and get this gift affair out of the way for the precise reason she mentioned or just say no, be my usual adamant self, and lose myself in the thoughts of what-happens-on-Valentine’s Day-if-you-don’t-get-a-gift-for-your-beloved. I surprise myself choosing YES (I would like to think I am more material-minded these days) and then asking her whether we could just do a dinner tonight somewhere. We decide to talk about it later.

That ‘later’ is now, remember her hiding behind the tea-cup. I need to answer and that’s when I said, “I will try to be a better husband”.

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