My friend G is in a state of absolute confusion these days. He comes home most evenings, mopes around and hurls out heavy sighs at an alarming frequency. I don’t ask him what the problem is. I have already heard versions of it five times in the last ten days.
Last year, when G hit forty he decided to settle down. The next step, as he was so inclined, entailed the hunt for the ideal woman. He shunned modern dating techniques saying he was too old for dating apps and went the conventional arranged marriage way. The problem is he has found two perfect soulmates. Yes, two.
He claims he is equally attracted to both of them (For the life of me, I can’t understand that). They have similar qualifications, interests and backgrounds. I have seen their photographs and eerily they look a little alike, too. Both beautiful brides-in-waiting have professed an avid interest to settle down with him. Poor guy, he can’t seem to choose which one he wants to walk into the forever-and-ever sunset with.
Being of an MBA-slant-of-mind, he has even tried a SWOT analysis. Tragically, they evenly tied. To choose between an inferior and superior thing is dead easy, but to make up your mind about two wonderful things is exceedingly tough. In some cases, even near impossible. His friend who is also in the unmarried-but-looking-fervently category offers no sympathy. ‘At least you have a choice’ he spits out with rancorous envy.
A colleague of mine, some years ago had gotten a job with two companies of equal standing. She couldn’t make up her mind and finally made a choice by using a fail-proof method. She tossed a coin. She confesses that to this day, she stalks the person hired in lieu of her on social media to see how she is doing in the company spurned. When that company took all their employees to an all-expense paid vacation to Turkey she gnashed her teeth till she found out that her company was taking her to Greece. Ah, well, some people have lovely problems.
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I think all of us go through so much angst about making a choice, for we are the sum total of our impulsive, happy, twisted, practical, serious, naive, wild, informed and weird choices. What we have chosen along the way at various points in our life has gotten us to where we are now. Truly, nothing can ever prepare us for the folly or the bonanza of our own actions.
In restaurants, very often I spot two desserts I love. I make my choice and then when it comes, after the first spoonful, I usually wish I had picked the other. I look at my friend and feel so sorry for him. Imagine a lifetime of wishing for the other. If I were him, I’d choose a third person so that I never, ever have to think of the one not chosen.
Still Figuring It Out’ a funny, sad, questioning take on adulthood will appear every Saturday on Asianet Newsable. Arathi Menon is the author of Leaving Home With Half a Fridge, a memoir published by Pan Macmillan. She tweets at here. The views expressed here are her own.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:57 PM IST