How many times have we heard a response to our question, request or argument as “Okay!” which later proved to be not okay? I am the queen of these okays. The most common scenario comes to my mind when Arun, my husband, tells me that he has a friend’s wedding out of the city, and he wishes to go. Being a big time planner, I would have planned something for the same day, but since he asked, I decide to say my signature “Okay,” all the while praying that he cancels the plan. Cancelation rarely happens, so when the day arrives, I feel annoyed and utterly short tempered because I can’t ask him to back out now, and I don’t want him to go either. Same thing happens when he wants to stay home and watch tv, whereas I want to go out. Of course, if I tell him that I want to go, he would switch off the tv and get ready (because he is a sweetheart) but I resort to my friend,”Okay!” I wonder if he has a few fake ok’s up his sleeves, too. Being an excellent mind reader (self-proclaimed), I would have known if he had any, but probably, he hides his emotions in a better manner. Before you declare that this is a post to pour out my marital conflicts, I must add that my fake ok’s extend to touch every relationship of my life. If my sister decides to go out for clubbing with her friends, my protective side begins to protest, but instead of speaking my mind, I decide to nod, smile, and say,”Okay!” When my friends could not make it to my wedding, I said fine — it was far from fine. In the rare occasions of feeling less argumentative, I even say okay to big lectures of my mom on how I must not argue with Arun, as he is the NICEST husband anyone could dream of.
When and why did this fakeness enter into my character? The realization of a common truth that not everyone is in the mood of honesty all the time. Sometimes, people ask for permission only for the sake of it. Do you think my sister asks me before meeting her friends because she really cares about my inputs? Ha! I wish! Of course not. She is fulfilling her duty. I have the freedom of declining her request, but doing that would mean her throwing me out of the circle of her confidantes. This would mean that I would no longer be aware of her outings, which sounds rather risky to me. I would want to remain close to my sister throughout the course of my life. I love her, and I would miss her deeply if she decided to keep me at a distance. I have known a few girls, who do not talk with their sisters because they become judgemental, and so I decided little fake okays would not hurt much. She lies sometimes, anyways. Do you think that husbands tell their wives about their wish to spend their Saturday evenings with their friends, rather than indulging in deep conversations with them because they sincerely want them to be okay? I don’t think so. I believe they want to show that they care enough to ask and in order to prove that you, as a wife, respect the desire of your husband to hang out with his friends once in a while. This once in a while may turn into every weekend. I have the choice of denying him of his fun-filled evening and sentence him an evening of boredom, but doing that would make him feel imprisoned, and consequently, he might turn him into a freedom fighter — trust me, nothing good can come out of that. I have a few friends who decided to speak the truth, and when we hang out as couples, their husbands do not shy away from turning this meeting into a sob fest, where they count the ways in which their adorable wife holds them back. I do not want to turn into one of those couples, so I decided to play along. With mom, however, the intention is to make her feel that her advice is always welcome. I have not always done a wonderful job at this task because I cannot be fake with my mom. In a nutshell, I have resorted to the world of fake ok’s to avoid creating a distance with my near and dear ones.
Since childhood, I have been blunt while speaking my mind, and that had created a few issues in my relationships. Some of the cousins went distant, some of the people I left after falling into the trap laid by my own straightforward comments, and others, well, they just left with no contribution of my speech. In my early days, I had a rocky relationship with my sister, too, because no suggestion of hers was ever good enough to me. My mom, on the other hand, always knew how to feel her accepted, and so, she was closer to mom than me. I can’t say that things have changed entirely, but my new found diplomatic behavior improved our sisterhood. Same goes with my marriage. Initially, I was quite vocal about my demands. I would ask my husband not to go to his friends’ place because I want to spend some quality time with him. Once or twice, he gladly accepted — probably, because we were still in the honeymoon phase — but soon, his actions began revealing his heartiest wish to spend time with them. Why would I want to tie him with me against his wishes? So, I gave up, and he became more caring than ever. Such a kid guys are!
The problem with the fake ok’s is that even though my lips move and say, “okay,” my heart wishes otherwise. I want the other person to read my mind and change their plans to be in sync with my wishes, which cannot happen. The let down of my feelings releases in an outburst of emotions, sooner or later, which is not good for ANYBODY. After making others suffer a long time, I decided to come up with a simple solution. Instead of planning things with others, I should just plan things for myself. If I am engaged in my own world, how could anybody else’s wishes affect me? It works out fine, mostly, but sometimes, the heart what it wants.
P.S. This post is in response to the daily post prompt: Fake