Qué?I don't have a high opinion of socialising (that's why I'm a Page 0.333 personality). That's mainly because of the quality of the "socialisees" and "socialisers". Sometimes, the RJ on a local FM channel is more pleasant to hear. This doesn't quite completely explain the vehemence that has crept into my view of the social world, but suffice to say that I realised I liked humanity but it was the humans that I couldn't get along with (only to later find out that Charles Schulz - and many others - had got there before me when he said "I love mankind. It's the people I can't stand."). Perhaps I will eventually morph into one of those anti-socials who leave online trails of their misanthropism before gunning down shoppers at the local super-market, but it's unlikely - the Inconvenience Principle will prevent that.
However, it is highly convenient to sit and crib about others and that is precisely what I propose to do in this post.
Much of social conversation between two acquaintances who rarely meet each other is usually in the form of asking for status updates. These questions invite corollaries as well. Your entire life comes back to you, as bad nightmares don't, in sharp focus as you brace yourself in anticipation of the questions - what have I been doing ever since I met this chap? (ans: not much that can be revealed in public). Here are the worst questions fairly distributed among different stages of your life:
1. Age 1 to 5 : "Whom do you like more? mummy or daddy?". This probably, as they say, awoke the leviathan within and for the first time, I was aware of a temptation to do something rather nasty to someone with my plastic toy. What makes it worse that they feel compelled to treat you like a kid.
2. Age 13-15: "So Arts? Science? Commerce? Will you be writing IIT?". No, none of the above. I'm considering a career as a failed philosopher.
3. Two years later: "Which college will you apply to? What marks? Which coaching classes?" You must be mistaken, aunty. Defenestration and disembowelment need no schooling. Here, let me demonstrate.
4. 3/4/5 +2 years later: "So! Applying to the US?/Getting married?/Getting promoted/what's your package?" I make a handy profit, but counting the change takes a lot of time. I think I might emigrate - I'm told the guys outside the Eiffel Tower make a killing from the centimes, and the exchange rate is good now.
5. (unspecified years later, if you've provided satisfactory (not correct, mind you) answers to the above): "so when are you giving us the good news" (hopefully soon, the sperm should have reached base yet, wonder what's happened, I'll try calling up and will keep you in the loop) or "doesn't it look just like you?" (yikes! throw away the beauty pageant application, then).
I guess the reason kids come into the world is because their parents have grown tired of the interrogation and are glad to have someone else sit in the black chair, hopefully for the next 50 years.
"The world is full of clichés, and it is more than we can do to roar and rampage against it."