Sunday, November 24, 2013

On Being Unladylike

I have a confession to make. I’m going to ignore the fact that this is a lousy place to make a confession. I think I don’t have a single ladylike bone (if there is such a thing) in me. I realized this many many summers ago. My earliest memory (now isn’t memory a fickle thing) is of this very gawky teenager dropping her big sister’s nail polish bottle and staring at the ugly spill on the floor. Why i picked up the bottle in the first place beats me, because I never knew what it was for anyway. I used to wear my sister’s hand me downs or her “designed” dresses. Yeah we are old; we belong to the era before readymade clothes. I remember staring at women’s magazines and wondering how they managed to look so pretty, totally ignorant about such things as make-up, hair style, waxing and what have you till almost my late 20s. These days I see girls who are in their single digit age discussing ombre hair and nail art (who ever thought of such atrocious things?).
When I got married and set up house, my dear hubby(God bless him), set up the kitchen, brought all the knick-knacks  and even taught me to make tea, cook daal, rice and a basic meal. The rest I learnt (literally) from around the country where ever we went on postings and had friendly neighbours (they are a rare thing, let me tell you).
 Embroidery is like Latin and Greek to me, i can’t seem to be able to even thread a needle. When i was in school and we had needle and craft classes, all my final products for submission looked so good (with 100% contributions from mother and sister) that my teacher never believed they were mine inspite of my eye lash batting looks!!! These days bad eye sight is a good excuse, but imagine me as a new bride in my in-laws house, when my extremely talented sister-in-law starts filling a whole bed cover with intricate creepers and flowers! And when my mom-in-law tells me to knead the flour for chappatis (I fibbed a stomach pain and disappeared into the toilet till the coast was clear!)
When we invite guests over for dinner i stick to safe dishes like Paneer, Chicken, Dal, rice or order dinner from outside. Wait, isn’t a get together with friends suppose to be fun and not a platform to show off your cooking skills? Then i die of guilt when we go over to exotic Moroccan or Malaysian dinner spread  and the hostess proudly  announces  “I made all the food myself!” and I practice my fake awe look and polish off a  few more hors-d’oeuvre!
I am so useless with art skills (painting, sketching, photography, paper cutting, even drawing a straight line) that when my daughter gets projects from school, no marks for guessing where i run to. She now has all the skills to handle those scary projects all on her own.

Now, being unladylike comes with a lot of disadvantages, especially since i am a mother of a very ladylike girl- she even has a blog called “All That Estrogen”! But i have an advantage- my better half (now that’s the reason why we call them that) is highly skilled in cooking. He loves to cook! The more exotic, the taster the dish he turns out. He loves buying the weekly vegetables, fruits and non-veg. He loves to plan the menu and has green fingers in our garden. My daughter and he sit and plan the furniture and other stuff when we move into a new house, choose the curtains and the paint for the walls. Thank heaven my daughter is quite ladylike and yes she bakes cup-cakes and does her own French manicure!
(Brownies my daughter baked yesterday!)
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