Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Batteries not included!

Funny thing this ‘growing up’, isn’t it?!
When I was 15, 20, 25 years old, I was just ‘Me’ and didn’t have to concern myself with other people’s opinions, arrangements or plans. Nor did I care what anyone thought of me or whether anyone was pleased or displeased about what I was doing or how I was handling stuff.
Fast forward now to a few years later and I still don’t care but . . . now everybody thinks I should care and is making decisions for me.

So now I don't make the decisions but I am then accused of causing all the trouble.
Confused??? Yeah, so am I!
Let me give you an example:

Invitation arrives from Kylie for birthday party on Saturday.

Ring Kylie and ask her what time and who is invited.
Say that I will probably be there.
On the day see how I feel and either go or don’t go.

Invitation arrives via conversation to wife on phone for birthday party on Saturday.
Wife accepts on my behalf!

Tell wife I don’t know if I want to go.
Be called a spoil-sport.
Ring Kylie and enquire about party. Say that I will probably be there.
Kylie: “Your wife has accepted!”
Me: “I am not my wife!”
Kylie: “What do you mean by ‘probably’?”
Me: “Well, you know . . probably!”
Kylie: “That’s not good enough!”
Me: “OK, I won’t come! Definitely!”
Wife: “You can’t do that, ring back and undo this!”
Me: “What if I don’t want to go?”
Kids: “That’s not the point! You have been invited and Mum has accepted!”
Me: “Yeah! I have not agreed to this!! And anyway, an invitation is something you accept or reject – unlike a command!”
Wife: Goes off in a huff.
Me (ringing Kylie): “What time is the party?"
Kylie: “Don’t know. Sometime that day!”
Me: “Who is invited?”
Kylie: “Anyone who wants to come!”
Me: “Whom have you invited?”
Kylie: “Nobody in particular but most people know about it!”
Me: “Looks like I am coming after all (my wife says)”
Me: (speaking to ‘most people’ and finding out that nobody does really know what is going on, if they are invited or what time this is supposed to happen) rings Kylie
Me: “Nobody knows what is going on!”
Kylie: “Yes they do, it starts at 5 p.m. but you can come anytime from lunchtime onwards!”
Me to Kids: “This is the worst organised party ever! Nobody kno . . . . . "
Kids: “That’s right! Be negative! Far be it for us to want to enjoy ourselves! Might as well stay here and not go! (Translate: If we do not go to this party we will not speak to you for weeks but only growl at you and everybody will hear about you being a mean-spirited b*stard for the next two decades).”

This Saturday I will therefore go to a party I don’t want to go to at a time I don’t really know, meeting ‘most people’ (even though I don’t know how they will show up without invitation and idea of time or place) and doing . . .well, I don’t exactly know what until whatever time under the unspoken thread of
“If you are going to be miserable and spoil it for everyone, there is going to be hell to pay”!

Whatever happened to freedom of decision making? Have I become a robot?
Man without choice for sale! Batteries not included!

P.S.: Did the wife and kids enjoy the party??
The wife spent most time in the kitchen helping out and washing dishes. The kids did not go as they got a better offer on Friday night!

P.S.S.: Did you enjoy the party?
I spent most of the time holding on to a glass of warm beer and listening to Tarquin?? telling me about how he single-handedly dismantled a Landrover and put it back together again! The sun had not even set when I was already wondering what the earliest time would be to suggest leaving!

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