The other day I was in the food court of a rather non-noisy mall, hogging on my burger and fries, when a beautiful lass walked towards my table. As I put down the burger and got ready with my welcoming smile, she turned away and took the table right in front of me.
“Tough luck, again,” A voice inside my head said. “This always happens… you over anticipate,” another voice replied.
Just then, a clean shaved guy, holding a tray, with two burgers — one in a green and the other in red box, fries and soda joined her at the table.
The voices in my head continued. “Is it the three week old beard? Do I look that uninviting?” “Dude… she’s with another guy. There’s nothing wrong with us.” I just shook my head and got back to my burger. Unknowingly, my eyes were drawn to the girl and my ears funnelled on their conversation.
At first, I did not pick-up much. They were smiling and giggling. A few giggles later, when things were getting boring, something interesting happened. The girl seemingly asked the guy for something, and he started searching his pockets. His frisking got a bit vigorous, and he started pulling things out of his pockets and placing them on the table.
“This happens every time. How can you be so careless!” the girl said. Her voice was now loud enough for me to pick it up without any real effort. The guy looked around – an instinctive response towards being shouted at in public. “Don’t shout; It will be here somewhere,” he replied. I immediately looked back at my burger, my instinctive reaction towards being noticed doing spy business.
After a few moments, I looked towards their table. There was a wallet, some cards and an ID card on the table, and he was still digging into his pockets. The girl checked her watch and pointed it to him. “30 minutes, she said. Did you leave them at work?” she yelled, pointing to her watch.
“Oh. Must be the keys! They should go somewhere and poor chap forgot his keys,” I guessed. He was still vigorously ploughing his pockets. She was running her hand through her fine hair; she seemed pretty upset. I felt sad for them, and the burgers that were left uneaten on their plate.
“Have you booked the flight tickets?” she suddenly asked him. I looked at him and saw the blood run out of his face. Something told me this was not the first time, and he knew what was going to happen. She sighed and got up. “Got the gift?” she said in a low voice. “I ordered it,” he replied, pulling his hanky out of his pocket. “The electricity bill?” she said. “That has two more days to go,” he said, with words barely audible. She turned her back towards him, running both her hands through her hair. “Every fucking time! You know what… forget it. I will take an auto and go home. And you figure things out,” she said, picked up her bag and stormed towards the exit. The guy, obviously flustered, dumped all the things on the table back into his pockets and chased after her, leaving the burgers to rot on the table.
“Damn. That started out well, but too bad for the guy. Poor guy,” I heard a voice in my head. “Why is he poor? He should have seen that coming!” came an immediate reply from within, but with a weird feeling.
“What the hell!” I thought. That was the first time I noticed it — a lady-like voice from within my head — in fact all along this lady voice was arguing in my head, but I hardly noticed. I sat dipping my fires in ketchup, listening to the arguments between the masculine and feminine voices in my mind.
Male mind – “Give him a break. Look at that guy. Agreed, he made a mistake — an honest one. And look at what she is doing.”
Female mind – “Well, for one – you don’t know if it’s an honest mistake or negligence. And two – you don’t know how many times she’s had to deal with that.”
Male mind – “But that is not the issue at hand, is it? The issue is – he forgot something and the logical thing to do would be… ”
Female mind – “Discuss …”
Male mind – “Yeah, right. The logical solution, my dear, would be to get on with it. If they can’t find their keys, they should take an auto together and continue what they were going to do. That is the immediate solution. You know how different things would have been if she would not have gone into fury mode over whatever past. She could have just said – its okay; we’ll just eat the burgers and fries, and take an auto and figure things out later. It would have been the perfect evening! If he forgot to book tickets or pay bills, pinning him on it is not going to solve anything, but booking them is. Solve now, slog later.”
Female mind – “But… he… forgot. What do you do about that? What if he forgets again. He’s done it before, and he’ll do it again… “
Male mind – “See; that is the problem with you. Relationship history. Women can not deal with an incident without digging tunnels into the past — something men are just incapable of. We don’t keep a track of things… not even when you screw up.”
Female mind — “What are you getting at?“
Male mind — “I am just saying that you should deal with incidents as they come, and not build an armory for later arguments. You should avoid this entire Relationship memory- history thing.”
There was a moment of silence in my head, except for the sound of fries crackling between my teeth.
Female mind — “Uh. Okay, agreed. We should deal with the issue at hand first, and then deal with the cause. But backing up a bit… why do you think these issues happen over and over with you?”
Male mind — “Uumm… cause we don’t remember that well?”
Female mind — “Ummhmm… you have the memory of a rodent?”
Male mind — “Well… let’s say you have the memory of a super computer when ours is a 2gigs… Or ours is a ten item stack, when you have a 100 item stack?”
Female mind — “Is that so. Who won the golden ball of FIFA world cup 2014?”
Male mind — “Pff … Messi.”
Female mind — “2010?”
Male mind— “Forlan”
Female mind— “200…6?”
Male mind— “Uh… Zidane. 2002 was Khan, 98 was Ronaldo.”
Female mind — “Okay okay. Who directed the good, the bad and the ugly?”
Male mind — “Sergio Leone… okay I know…”
Female mind — “What was Sunny Leone‘s first…”
Male mind — “Okay, okay… I get your point. We can remember.”
Female mind — “Yes, but only the things that interest you…”
Male mind — …
I coughed. “Touché,” I thought.
Female mind— “So… your lack of interest completely justifies our frustration. And… you said something about relationship history… right?”
Male mind — “Winter is… coming? Did I dig my own grave…?”
Female mind — “Oh, yes, mister. You did. Relationship memory, right? Okay, tell me… say I have a problem, or something really important to get done… should I ask you or the guy standing there? Why should I trust you anymore than that other guy?”
Male mind — “Uumm…”
Female mind — “Yes, we remember all the issues, but we also remember the good stuff and you should thank your stars that we do. If not for what you loathe as relationship history, there would be no concept of trust or no urge to share happiness, and in fact, no relationship at all.”
Another moment of silence followed.
Male mind — “Okay. I can see your point — positive history can build a relationship with trust and an urge to share, and so on. But what about the negatives. You would agree that the negatives stack up much quicker and impact a lot more…”
Female mind — “Whose fault is it?”
Male mind — “Uuh…”
Female mind — “Push the positives and pop the negatives. Reinforce the positives. Build trust that you will take more interest in the relationship. It’s not about keys or tickets or bills… it’s always about the interest and importance for the relationship…”
Male mind — “Makes sense… we should build positive history.”
Female mind — “And we should solve the issue with little digging…”
Male mind — “Nope. Zero digging…”
Just then the guy returned with the girl and sat down at the table. She still looked upset, a little less upset though. The guy said something and she finally smiled. Oh! She was beautiful. She picked up a ketchup dipped fry and placed it on her lips…
Suddenly my phone buzzed. I pulled it out and saw a text — “Booked your tickets?” Immediately the female voice said, “every single time!”