I can deal with people most of the time. I can put on a face and smile and be polite and carry on the usual semi-extroverted act. But it’s a different story in the morning, and it’s the reason why I loathe loathe loathe having houseguests or being one. Right now, my in-laws are staying over. They are perfectly nice people, but while I often feel like maiming them (it is in my nature; I feel like maiming just about everybody though they rarely know it), it’s only in the morning that I could actually take an axe to their heads.
The sight of anyone other than my husband or my immediate family at the breakfast table is enough to send me into an internal tailspin for the rest of the day. Perhaps it’s because my mask is still thin early on in the day and it takes me a long time to wrench myself out of the quiet unconsciousness of the night and into the bright, unforgiving chatter chatter chatter of the day. Guilt, too, because I can’t put on such a good act in the morning and feel awful about coming across as cold and aloof and axe-wieldy.
If I was a dictator, I’d enforce the following rules:
1) No small talk allowed: Special audio sensors fitted in every North Korea-inspired room would immediately detect forbidden phrases such as ‘how are you’, ‘beautiful weather’ and ‘my favourite color is pink. what’s yours’
2) Bathroom restrictions: It would be illegal for more than two people to share a bathroom. Expansion of personal bathroom space would be one of my regime’s first infrastructural drives. Communal spaces will be destroyed to make room for bathrooms to hide in.
3) No talking: At least six hours of silence to be observed during the day, most concentrated in the morning.
4) Dancing at weddings should be optional: The current extrovert, Punjabi dictatorship doesn’t allow people the freedom to decline the opportunity to dance and perform and be a buffoon. Since I’m a benevolent dictator I will let them do their thing (but for only 10 minutes) but they have to let us beg off without tut-tutting and rolling their eyes.
5) Party time limit: Parties may not extend for more than two hours.
6) E-mail only: Only emergency numbers may be accessed by phone. All other communications must be in writing.
7. Dress code: It will be considered admirable for women to show up at social dos in simple clothes, whatever. It’s fucking annoying to see men get away with basic jeans and clean shirts while women are compelled to paint their faces, drip with diamonds and spend a bomb on uncomfortable clothes.
Eh, I’ll probably add a million and six more rules to these but I’m boring myself with my own whingeing.