I was at this self-service coffee place, waiting for my turn to buy coffee, when I couldn’t help but overhear two gentlemen ahead of me. One had just got off the phone and looking at his friend next to him, shook his head in disgust. Unable to disguise the irritation he felt, he said, ‘Man! What do these women want! Always nagging! Always tailing us! Reminding us to do this and that! Emotional blackmail is their secret weapon! You are damned if you do, you are damned if you don’t!’
At this point, I had taken great affront to that statement, owing to the fact that I was a woman. The two men of course went on to change their subject, and obviously the ‘woman’s call’ hadn’t caused even a blimp on their horizon, because they went on to having their coffee, relaxing for the next half an hour at least, laughing loudly at their own pathetic jokes, before reluctantly getting off the sofas to be on their way. That too not before a quick puff outside the café.
This seemingly off-hand talk, although I had no business to eavesdrop on, got me thinking. Why are women perceived as nags, irritants, control-freaks? Not that I base my thoughts on these two nincompoops, but as a woman I was pissed off!
I am not biased when I say; a woman is a man’s oyster. She invests her lifetime working tirelessly on the relationships she has undertaken to upkeep. Whether it is that of a husband/wife, a father/daughter, a mother/daughter, brother/sister or that of friends. She gives herself completely; she doesn’t know how to hold back. She invests her time and entire identity. She always worries about the health of the spouse and children. She perhaps coaxes the spouse to exercise or take care of his health which is viewed as nagging. She sits up all night when her child is sick, or when he has his exams, not teaching him, but just being with him, which is perceived as unwanted anxiety. She ensures the house is neat and tidy, the children wear clothes that are washed and ironed, and here she is labelled an obsessive-compulsive freak. She is the tradition-keeper when she is the epicentre of various festivals and functions. She goes an extra step to remember birthdays and anniversaries and buying thoughtful gifts for the family. All this while she perhaps works in an office, in a man’s world, where it is a constant race with deadlines. When she meets her targets and deadlines she is called a control-freak.
What is the return on her investment? Or rather what is the return that she expects from her investment?
In my opinion, the only return a woman expects is respect, love, appreciation, understanding, support and caring. All in liberal doses! Yes! In that she is greedy! When that doesn’t come, she is disillusioned. And God help a man if a woman is disillusioned. The light in his world will perhaps not be gone, but it will certainly be dimmer!
It is my earnest belief that it takes a TRUE MAN in every sense of the word, to not just be supportive of his woman, but urge her to spread her wings; and stand back and take pride as she takes flight and bask in the glory as she soars. It’d also take a true man, to tell his friend while having coffee with him, pointing up in the sky and say, ‘That’s my woman and I am so proud that I helped her get there!’