The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.

So the time finally came when I could no longer ignore another (heavily) extended family get-together. My only consolation was that my parents would also be there, so any misery would be (almost) equally distributed.

I should have known that things would go downhill when we arrived half an hour late for this gala dinner at the SSC only to find that those who invited us were still on their way. It also didn't help that SSC seemed to have employed people who were vying to be government servants, because any question (in this case related to directions) were met either by a vague wave of the arm, or by utterly blank expressions.

Now over to the main event. Sample questions went like this:

- How is your tattoo? (as if it's a person)

I said it was looking forward to a new addition, which resulted on a lot of chins having the opportunity to greet their toes. A friend of mine wondered if they thought it's an animation that springs to life. I'm wondering about that myself now.

- Can I see the tattoo? (I'm wearing a t-shirt, the tattoo is on my right shoulder and they've seen it some three dozen times before)

I said obviously not while I'm wearing this, and they actually wondered why.

- When are you getting married? (for the 10 billionth time)

'Maybe never' went down as a very bad answer. And an endless litany of questions followed about my boyfriend and marriage plans, how I don't have much time left...I never realised that life came with an expiry date on marriage. I'm 28, but the general feeling I got was that I was 82.

- Why are you so busy now?

This went unanswered altogether, for obvious reasons.

-Why don't you call/visit us anymore?

They just kept nagging and nagging about this that I wondered at what point in time their phones switched to incoming calls only. Plus, with questions like this, can you really blame me?

Further rudeness from my part was held in check by my mother, who, while seated on the other end of the table, still managed to converse with me through various looks. I must add, she wasn't any happier with the whole do - she started the evening by being seated next to a distant niece whose nose had glued itself to the clouds after a stint in the US. I've been told that they struggle for unpolluted air there, and thus this particular affliction.

They're nice people, but I simply fail to realise why they must be so damn annoying - is it not possible to have a conversation with someone on a normal subject? And what is this obsessive need relatives have to marry you off? It's as if they get some special commission from the hotels. Is it so difficult to respect another person's wishes? I can imagine these kind of questions from 50+ aunties, but not from anybody under 40. Sri Lanka may be traditional, but surely i isn't that traditional?

A fitting end to the evening came when we realized that the potato salad served for dinner had actually turned sour (what with dinner being served at 7.30 p.m. and being actually eaten around 11 p.m.).


oh.. i get tattoo question all the time too.. mine is on my right hip so it ranges from "why would you get it on a place where no one can see it" to "did you ask your parents before you got it?".. the second is my favourite and i love the look they get when i tell them that i'll ask my parents if they want a tattoo.

as for the marriage question, at 21 i just get it once in a while but my poor 29 year old cousin had already been declared to have lapsed her "expiry date". this, mind you even though she doesn't give two hoots about it.

The frackin same questions over and over again. Of course for guys the "marraige" question wont pop up till theyre around 25+ i guess... I think... I dunno.... I stopped going to these get-togethers cos I couldnt stand the 3rd degree, so i have no idea whether the questions have been updated recently. Id rather go to Guantanamo Bay than sit thru one of those Relative Annoyances :P

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Be true to your heart, and true to your conscience.

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