Where is my champagne? has been written after a lot of conviction and thinking through! This one post is about marriage. How life changes after one has had a baby. I dedicate this to all the mothers who think (and don’t think) they may be at the crossroads. I just turned 30 and am already nursing a 7-month-old. Besides, there is a 3-year-itch 😉 (have been married for THREE long years). So, ideally, my married life should have been going great. But, let’s put things in perspective.
We tied the knot in the autumn of 2011. Life was beautiful and we had dreams to chase, days to keep us busy and nights to drink, dance, and get merry on, professional goals to achieve, places and foods to explore drives to drive on, personal territories to conquer, so on and so forth! But BOOM goes the plan. God conspires yet again and decides to throw a lot of tests at us. Some we passed, some we failed. These examinations were of all sorts, a few of them challenged our relationship, while others mocked our mental strength. There were times when we would ask ourselves if this marriage was ever meant to work.
Fast forward to 2014, our brat H is around and we continue to take these tests, some major bolts and quite a few mornings start on a note of ‘I blame you’ and ‘how can you blame me?’ But by the next day, things normally get sorted.
We have started to let go or have we?
Maybe we just realized that that’s how marriages are. A bit like a bowl of Indian Chinese gravy, sweet and sour. Guess we succumbed to the fact that being numb to each other’s expectations will prepare us better for that ‘one day’. And from that ‘one day’ onwards, our life will become just like others. Those who seem to claim that they are so much in love. I do laugh it off because really, love? Love is unconditional and free of practicalities. Love is what we do when we are so random when we are naïve and young at heart when we are such rebels when our expectations from those charming lovers are pretty zilch. When we want to take life just as it comes.
Pretty much like the scene from Eat, Love, Pray where Julia Roberts tells James Franco: “It’s really unnerving when a total stranger sees you more clearly than you see yourself.”
Flight Attendant by Josh Rouse playing in the background and I hear him sing “Where is my champagne?” At that very moment, and I swear, reality slaps me in the face! Here is why. I was an extremely daring and free-spirited (often romantically confused) person all through my university days? Pretty and happy. I often question myself how did I become this, undesired? When did Ace lose his ever-charming, coyest smile that got my heart pounding back then, in the summers of 2011? When did we become unromantic? Because I have forgotten how it felt to be wanted and so has he.
H, Ace and Me:
There are nights when Ace is sleeping and H has been crying cause of teething discomfort. At that moment, all I want to do is shout out loud to wake Ace up asking for help. I want to hand over the brat to him and jump out of the bed, perhaps leave from the room. I visualize packing my stuff and making an exit. Making an exit from their lives, from the chapter that is my Bible for now and maybe forever. The escape from my everyday life.
This life so full of remorse and self-inflicted pain of days and nights of arguments, of disagreements and controversies or this life so full of cuddles, hugs, kisses, arms around my waist, sometimes those gentle hands on my shoulders giving me a gentle rub, sounds of brat going all needy for my love, his arms feeling my skin, Ace’s hand on my hand, brat’s lips on my cheeks, Ace’s beautiful weekend songs, his interminable silly yet funny jokes. When he offers to make me a cup of tea to changing brat’s diapers thereafter taking shifts on those particularly bad nights when brat asks for undivided attention..and finally those whispers of Ace telling me that I can do it. I would not have accepted any other statement. ..
What did we do?
…And when this, all this comes in front of me like a flash, I stay still, more like the scene rewinds itself to the act of me walking back into my room, to that bed with a lovely bedspread, moonlight breaking into our room, Ace is tired from his long day at work, so I let him sleep. Brat is asking for my attention and so I sing him a lullaby. I pray and sob at the same time and I thank the almighty.
Factual perception gives the only possible answer at any given moment, and those nights, going back to bed had been the only possible reaction I could have ever had. At the spur of the moment, all that I had in me would have got lost to another world. Nevertheless, I fought through it. God has been kind enough to instill some sanity and patience in me. I don’t want to make an exit yet. I want to be in their lives. Want to see brat growing-up, want to grow old with this man I call Ace. This isn’t my moment to be seeking an escape. I mean not yet and hell yes, I CAN DO IT!
Where are we now?
So, what if we separate ourselves from an embrace? What if our hugs are not warm anymore? What if these days we eat pizza with no pineapple chunks? And what if we don’t go out much together? We have got so hassled, busy taking charge of our finances, paying bills, running errands, and attending to our brat’s needs. But this is all about life or the one I know. It resembles us, I can smell and taste a lot of fresh basil in my home-cooked pasta with Ace’s aroma of appreciation layered with brat’s cute-ish gurgles, coated in the layer of family warmth.
Life seemed beautiful and we had dreams to chase and VOILA! Life is beautiful. Our Indian Chinese bowl of gravy is sweet and sour but we love every bit of it. . Pretty much like the scene ‘You are far too charming’ from Eat, Pray, Love which has stopped haunting me really. I am not at the crossroads. I wasn’t ever meant to be! And do you know where my champagne really is? I am actually having it right now with my home-cooked pasta, Ace’s aroma of appreciation layered with brat’s cute-ish gurgles, coated in the layer of family warmth.
Raise a toast to life… Cheers! So, where is the champagne?