Friday, August 27, 2010

Do Women Have Fixations?

Now I had a vague idea that a fixation is when you look up your calorie counter to find out how many calories you put on when you pass by a plate of French fries but to write this article, “vague” wasn’t good enough. So I whipped out my trusty encyclopedia, which told me that a fixation, apart from being a fad, fetish, compulsion, mania, hang-up or obsession, is also “a treatment to prevent something from fading or otherwise changing.” (Which means everything from facelifts to comeback films.) A fixation is also “a strong emotional attachment which results in a halt, at an early stage in the development, of sexual desire.” Now that explains why boys prefer Mama but would it explain why 70% of women prefer chocolates to sex? (At least they do in the US, according to the findings of a research done by the chaps who make Hersheys’ kisses – who should know a thing or two about both chocolates and sex….)
So, do women have fixations? Well, fixations are like chocolate truffle pastries. You first have to be rich enough to afford them and then be rich enough to go into therapy for having too many of them. Most women in our country barely manage drum up enough money to buy themselves a husband whose mother’s apron strings are longer than her tongue. And who (the husband, I mean) brings home a living wage and won’t beat the living daylights out of her because she didn’t bear him a hundred sons, because there’s too much salt in the dal and/or because there’s nothing on the telly tonight. But with the year so sweetly new, we must think cheerful thoughts and what could be more jolly than delving into this year’s Fall Collection of Female Fixations?
But before we do that, I must also say I think that fixations are a modern day malaise. Our mums had it so much better and simpler. Life is simpler when you don’t have choices. All they had to do was to get married. To a man they often never saw, forget chose. But since they weren’t marrying to have a meaningful relationship with great sex and sharing and all that new-fangled bakwas, it worked out just fine. They made babies and chappaties (in equal quantities) for which they got fed, watered and bedded down and were allowed to sag, droop, spread and wrinkle in the privacy of their very own six yards (nine in some cases). And since our dads never had secretaries whose thighs were thinner (not to mention firmer) than our moms and cellulite was as unheard of as divorce, everyone lived happily ever after.
Then some silly moo cow can up with female empowerment and equal opportunity which meant that we now had to make babies, chappaties and presentations. And open our own doors and buy our own diamonds and be mistress, not of some nice, generous ol’ sugar daddy but of our own destinies. And do all of that while we still had to find a man who is taller, richer, has a longer designation, who can make us laugh and a good crepes suzette. So, can you blame the modern woman for being a teeming cauldron of fixations?
What are we fixated about? Topping my list has to be the way they look. Show me a woman who feels likes what she sees in the mirror (Heidi Blum and Aishwarya Rai included) and I’ll show you a man who doesn’t spend once every 19 seconds wondering whether…….oh, never mind. Every woman, as far as she is concerned, is either too fat, too long, too big, too small, too short, too full, too flat, not to mention too oily or too dry. What adds to a woman’s misery are the whimsies of fashion. Just when she’s spent her Diwali bonus colouring her hair the latest shade of dog’s vomit, it goes out of fashion of make way for a shade of pigeon guano. So is there anything that never goes out of fashion? Three things, really. Like the Duchess of Windsor said, you can never be too thin or too rich. And in India, you can never be too fair.
Which naturally brings me to fixation number. Diets. For women, happiness is fairly simple arithmetic. You’re either fat and miserable or thin and happy. (Ally Macbeal is the only woman who is thin and miserable, which why she doesn’t exist.) So, when a woman is not on a diet, she’s on her weighing scale. A friend mine summed it up very nicely. “Life’s a bitch. You spend the first 20 years of your adult life eating through your nostrils (sniffing food instead of eating it) and then when you think you’ve finally mastered your thighs, it doesn’t matter any more because now you’re an old hag.”
Then there’s money. It isn’t as if men aren’t as fixated about money as women are. The only difference is that women want to have money without actually wearing their lil’ fingers to the bone making the filthy thing. Aristotle Onassis said, "If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning."  We look at things slightly differently. "If money didn’t exist, all the men would have no meaning.” Oh and one more thing. Men want money because they believe that money begets money. Women want money because they know that money begets shopping.
After women, shopping is perhaps the most misunderstood thing since the morning-after of time. People (read men) think that women shop because they have greedy acquisitive little hearts. Wrong. Women shop because it’s a cure for almost everything from PMS to pimples. When boring brown turns into Caramel Dreams, where things aren’t irreconcilably black or white but Ebony and Ivory, and where Heaven is a trial room in which you try on Happily Ever After for size (and Dear God, one day it may just fit!).
Which naturally brings us to men. (For how can Happily Ever Efter be if it’s not with a man?) Scratch a woman who says she’s happy being single and you’ll find a pile of lonely horse manure. I mean, who are we kidding here? Even Gloria Steniem got married, for crying out loud. It’s true men make us kiss them, promising to turn into princes and remain warty, croaky frogs, it’s true they drive us batty with their insensitiveness and talcum all over the bathroom floor. It’s even true that they make us we weep by forgetting our birthdays and leaving us for someone younger and prettier, but we’re still miserable without them. So am I saying that women can’t do without men? I dunno really, but if it’s really true that we’re from Venus and they from Mars, what on Earth are we doing spending so much time talking about them?
Then there’s aging. Men age like wine, women like yesterday’s news. Have you noticed how men always get to the top of the hill (and stay there till they sire their last offspring at age 76) but are never over it? Women on the other hand claw their way about halfway up, by which time they are old hags of 25 and after that it’s one slippery, slithery down hill slide. It’s enough to make a girl’s collagen sag. Which is why we still haven’t decided which is ruder – telling us we’re overweight or over the hill.
There. I think I’m about done. Which doesn’t mean that the list ends there. For the rest of it, switch on your telly and watch the ads. So let me see now, there’s diamonds, mother-in-laws, husbands, laundry, matching everything from your undies to the underside of your trash can (neither of which anyone sees, not at the same time at least), romance, being Superwoman, looking for Superman, gossip, wrinkles, maids, mother-in-laws, husbands, laundry…

The Art of Having a Crush

“The Guide says that there is an art to flying,” said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and missing.” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Come to think of it, there is an art to everything. Pouring exactly 32.5 sips of tea into your teacup every morning. (Barring Sundays and Flashers Unite Day, when it is 37.8.) Pretending your head lice are dandruff flakes with legs. Picking your nose during your question and answer round in the Miss World contest in such a way that the judges believe that it is your goobers, not your breasts that will save the world. Etc. Etc.
And there is an art to having a crush.
Now the dictionary defines a crush as an intense but usually short-lived infatuation. But that’s a shallow definition, as if having a crush were like having a zit or a sandwich and it doesn’t to justice to a noble, ancient art, fraught with such subtle intricacies, not to mention intricate subtleties, that it deserves at least 10 volumes of the Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon. Which I am in the process of penning but till then, this little jotting will have to suffice.

BC (Before the Crush)
Before setting off to have a crush there’s a very important matter that you have to first sort out. And that is to make sure that you’re not Kareena Kapoor. Or Justin Timberlake. (Tick only one.) Nor have been ever listed as one of the World’s Ten Sexiest Warthogs. In other words, the number of people currently beating a path to your door (or website) on account of how hot and whatnot you are should be one less than that for a maggot. This instantly expands by nineteen million galaxies the universe from which you can choose the object of your crush (more on that later). Which can now be anyone from Laloo’s buffalo minder to the boiled potato masher at your favourite vada-pav stall, both of whom, we’ll have you know, are as crush-worthy as your next Kareena-come-latelys.

OOC (Object of Crush)
Having got that out of the way, let us now dwell on the tricky matter of choosing the Object of Crush, henceforth referred to as OOC. Now there have been instances of people having a lifelong crush on a slotted spoon, having taken the word “object” literally. But speaking from experience, people are better. (I once have a crush on a red pencil sharpener for about two weeks and it wasn’t much fun though I have to admit the “prup-prap” sound it made every time it sharpened made my superior gemellus tingle in the most gratifying fashion.)
What about animals, did someone ask? Hm. Well, there was one case of a crush on an amoeba but we’re still as hazy on the subject as the fetish wallahs are on having sex with a shoe horn.
The next and most important thing about your choice of OOC is that he/she (since we’ve now ruled out “it”) should be unattainable. And we don’t mean your everyday, garden variety of unattainable like buying up one floor of Antilla. (Those who are asking “Antilla who?” may immediately drum themselves off this planet.) We’re talking about unattainable that makes crossing the Atlantic on a rubber bath duckie seem like licking tomato ketchup.
Unattainabilty is critical because it’s like virtual sex because you’ll never get to know the more intimate details about your OOC. Spitting while eating boiled egg. Nymphomaniac vampire half-sister who visits every full moon. Barking in sleep. Passing garlic-scented wind during….well, never mind. Mother who’s just had a sex change and likes to discuss her (his?) post-operative plumbing during lunch.
We see you blanch. You’re thinking - Richard Gere and garlic-scented….?
Who knows me darlings, who knows. But more importantly, do we really want to know.
Also, hop off the beaten path, eschew the straight and narrow and venture to where few others have dared to go. So, while George Clooney is a good choice, George Bush is better. Similarly, Beyonce is sweet but Hilary Clinton is…well, you know. (You’d be surprised how many amongst us think that ice-queen-meets-AK-47-laugh is nothing less than a Playboy centre spread coated Viagra.) So are Prince Charles, aforementioned buffalo minder, Heather Mills, Michael Jackson’s children’s wet nurse, Osama’s third wife (not to be confused with Obama who has only one wife anyway), the man who left a crate of rotting Alphonsos at your door in 1993. Famous dead people are also a good bet, as long as the dead body has been disposed off. (I mean, we don’t want any talk of necrophilia muddying these sacred waters, do we now.) Which mean King Tut is off limits, Attila the Hun is not.

And Now, The Crush
Righty-ho.  Unattainable, dream-the-impossible-wet-dream OOC selected. God in Heaven, coffee on boil, libido on roil. You can now get down to the actual business of having that crush. Which basically involves thinking of the OOC every waking moment (barring while shaving underarms and performing other ablutions that we can’t mention) and generally deteriorating into the most awful kind of drip. In other words, you have to pine and ache, hanker and crave, long for and lust after. You have to gnash teeth, tear hair and eat heart out. (All yours and mercifully, it’s all low cal AND organic.) And every now and then, you have to dissolve into a deliriously gibbering, slavering puddle of ecstatic saliva at what might be a glimpse of the right-hand corner of the hangnail on the left little toe of the OOC.
And you have to do this all the while making sure that the distance of sixty-three gadzillion light years of unattainabilty between you and your OOC has not lessened by a even single millimetre.
Naturally the question that springs to mind like a startled toast out of toaster is - but what if it does? You mean what if you suddenly find that you’ve just pipped Salman Khan to the sexiest-napoleon-with-hair-weave post and Katrina – whom you lusted after for so many long and hopeless moons – is giving you the eye, not to mention the once-over, laced with a couple of smouldery-over-the-bare-shouldery come-on-overs?
Well, remember the stroke-of-midnight trick in Cinderella when the coach goes back to being a pumpkin and the coachman to the dirty, two-timing, double-crossing, whisker-twitching rat that he always was?
It’s more or less the same thing with a crush.
Which is that without so much as a by-your-leave or a hey-ninny-no, it simply will vanish into the morning smog. (Or at the next traffic signal.) And the OOC will topple off the altar, shattering into sixty-three gadzillion pieces and then morph into an ordinary mortal of flesh, blood and gumboils that you can now proceed to have as bossa nova partner, running mate or to drape on your arm to the next Star Parivaar Awards.
But never ever again to be the OOC.

Finally, AD (Or What’s The Bleeding Point about the Whole Darn Thing)
I mean, that’s a bit like asking what’s the point about balloons at birthday parties.  Or umbilical cords if it’s her apron strings that’s going to keep us attached to our dear mamas. Or the p in pneumonia if we aren’t going to pronounce it. These are the unquestionable essentials of life that don’t need silly, pointless things like points. (Which are mainly for fingers and the pervie-brain that designed the pointed bra.)
But since you’re asking, actually there is a point to having a crush. It’s a lesser known but well documented fact that the secret of the longevity of the centenarians in the Upper Silesia (no relation to Yash Chopra’s Silsila) is not bathing in the urine of the Caucasian tur but a lifelong, unwavering, passionate crush on the Abominable Snowman.
And that’s simply because a crush is cross between an emotional laxative and Oil of Olay.
Lemme explain.
See, basically life’s mainly a dreary drag, a grimy grind and the daily diet of the ho-hum and the humdrum clogs up the bowels of soul to ultimately give you the worldview and complexion of an ageing constipated eel. Having a crush evacuates and expels, it also opens up the pores, irrigates the pons (not what you are thinking but close), hydrates the appendix and generally gets what till now was a grudging, grumpy trickle splooshing in great, happy gushes through your tubes.
Leaving you with softer, younger-looking….um….er….well, certainly the bowels of your soul will look like that of a sprightly 17 year-old. We can’t guarantee anything else.