Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Day in My Life When Ordinary Felt Extraordinary

This morning we smiled at each husband and me. This was not a habit related, joke induced, happy tidings propelled smile rather the most affectionate love laced smile. The smile remains now as i blog and wonder if he amidst his many files is smiling too in his office. However before i get carried away, lingering on the smile i must mention what brought that smile on us despite the turmoils creeping unexpectedly and getting us all damp and restless.

It could have been the warm smile which spreads all over the self when one decides to wear the shirt gifted so affectionately by the offspring. It could be a smile triggered by the poignant memories which flash into the mind's eye of the child who just a few days back was a toddler always nudging at your trousers asking to be lifted up and held in your arms. It could be that smile triggered off by the choice, the selection , the knowledge of what constitutes a formal wear which brings on some sense of pride and say, " Has to be good...after all he is my son!". It could be these and many more.
But as a matter of fact there was something else about the shirt which my husband decided to wear today after all this nagging from my side. Maybe he was just saving it for some occasion or he was just a bit sentimental, whatever, but there sure came along with this shirt something which in a way wiped away the gloom of the previous evening and brought cheer back for us to hit a new day with renewed hope and a better beginning.
Well the shirt had along with clips and pins, a piece of cardboard that is tucked behind to give the shirt a crease less shape. And it was this piece of cardboard that got us eyeing each other like hopeless in love teenagers cavorting under the shade of a beautiful fragrant tree in a park. Whispering sweet nothings...and all the works. Okay that could be dismissed as old fashioned for the romance mantra of the day is dating and the venue in parks is only for cheap, poor folks. Hep/Modern/Smart couples are seen cavorting in a very liberal way in discotheques, pubs, farmhouses, beach houses...

So there was something on this firm, white cardboard that saw sparks of romance flickering all around the two 45 somethings in the peak morning period when the breakfast has to be eaten and one of them has to hurry out of the house with his briefcase muttering a hurried bye. All this BETWEEN the self consoling attempts of, " Okay we'll cross the river, when we reach it, no point getting all worked up now".

Let's first have a look at that miracle piece. i blog and wonder as to why of all these days i had to linger there and ask my husband not to throw the unwantables because i wanted to read the instructions if there were any. Generally these things are plucked off in a hurry by the man and the woman throws them in trash later muttering and cursing the perpetrator of mess on the recently done up bed.
Maybe i lingered because i knew what was coming next. Nothing more than being asked by him to iron out the creases that accompanies a new folded shirt.
Or i stood there a while to see him don the shirt and see how he looked in our son's choice. Whatever...
i sat on the bed and peered into the illustration of the shirt on a small card which explained the anatomy of the shirt and how it was unique in it's craftsmanship. As he got busy dressing up i stole glances and saw how affectionately he lifted the shirt. For a moment it felt like he was trying to lift a toddler. i felt touched but proceeded reading aloud the words printed on that other large piece of what now i choose to call The Card  Sent From Heaven.

Me:(Reading aloud as if reciting) CLOTHES MAKETH THE MAN 
A Gentleman's Shirt Never Looks Creased
A Gentleman Stands Up When He Is Introduced To Someone
A Gentleman Never Brags
A Gentleman Wears Polished Shoes
A Gentleman Never Adds Anything To His Food Before Tasting It 
He Respects The Chef
A Gentleman Uses A Coaster 
A Gentleman Knows How And Under What Circumstances To Send Flowers

The first reading did not elicit any reaction i guess because my man was preoccupied as usual while dressing up. So i called out to him and sought his attention.
The second read was slower with appropriate pauses between each point mentioned on the spotless white but stylishly cut cardboard. i don't know if that triggered a most gratified response from him or his own sense of feel that he looked good in his brand new shirt matched with a dark trousers...the belt...the shoes et  al.
He looked at me with his boyish smile which can't be explained and said," But of course! I am a gentleman !"
Our eyes met and we both laughed at this harmless lie uttered. Because we both knew that barring three of the above read traits he had none... ever. Nor will he ever try.
 For he loves the way he is and i also do accept him the way he is for no matter how many times i would remind him not to be one SG he will not change. SG expanded is Self Glorification. It does appear as bragging sometimes when he stretches it too far and a bit too long. He believes SG to be a very important attribute for self esteem. According to him, "One has to love, appreciate and accept oneself first. An essential pre-requisite if you want others to view you in the same light... ".

And each time we have soups/ pizzas or any such thing which as a routine is accompanied with seasonings he starts flavoring his stuff even without tasting. Many a times he regrets his action but God alone knows why he is ever so relentless. Whatever happened to learning from mistakes...don't ask me ask him.

So far as giving flowers is concerned he has never understood the whole "Say It With Flowers" stuff. Not that he has never given me flowers but it was one forced gesture which i prodded him on doing. A fake gentlemanly gesture indeed! 
Maybe he finds it as foreign and pretentious as he finds a host of other such traditions. Say it with Diamonds is another but there too forced by ads and my own secret longing he has done that too. i thus should try and keep my mouth zipped so far as complaining about his gentlemanly behavior is concerned.
Despite all this all the people who know him consider him to be a gentleman to the core. Whereas to many i might strike as a fast lady who must be giving the poor gentleman a real hard time. My own Dad included. It is very often that i hear from friends who hardly even know him, " Shivani ! your husband is such a gentleman...". Not that i don't feel good about it but i often wonder... what special trait does he have to appear so and what's wrong with my own demeanor which makes people assess me otherwise.

So that was it. As i admired him in his new garb for it was really the very first time i found him impeccably dressed i said, '' You sure are gentle but definitely NOT a gentleman".
As i said earlier the sparks flew from both sides and our day was brightened. The gloom of the previous day's happenings vanished and this time it was my turn to tell him as he bid me a proper bye after breakfast, '' Honey You Look Handsome today!
Strange! how something so plain that would  never even get a second look and normally gets dumped in the dustbin can do wonders. Stranger still was the fact that just when some lifting of spirits was needed it had to come unexpectedly from something we could have never even imagined. Was it just chance or some pre-ordained scheme by SOMEONE whose ways to help you out is also out of the box and incredible?
After composing a hasty mail to my friend excusing myself from the meet i had planned with her i sit here with a smile ready to tackle the tough situation with much vigor and renewed hope that soon everything will be all well again with my most near and dear ones who are going through hard and trying times. Amen!!


  1. dear an overwhelming post.the new shirt brightened your morning and now it has brightened my evening.i am sure this handsome will return home feeling proud of his son as he must have got real good comments from his office people.i too feel that he must b looking gr8 inthat offwhite shirt.

  2. @Gauri yeah you bet! provided they have the right frame of mind and the proper eyes to discern the happiness writ all over him. :)

  3. Lovely, lovely and lovely...I can only say this innumerous times..Very unusal and LOVELY :)

  4. @Shaifali Thank u...feels nice to have u back after a long time :)