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Stuck with the in-laws during the lockdown

By GAL GODOT
April 15, 2021 07:51 IST
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'There are worse things than being stuck with your in-laws during a nation-wide lockdown. Like actually enjoying being in that situation.'

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

It is such a weird time. How did we end up EXACTLY where we were this time last year?

The New York Times is doing human interest stories on the burnout the first lockdown had caused, while in India, artists are talking about the necessary evil that is a second lockdown some states might be looking at.

What would it do to people living by themselves, with a partner, with family, or worse still, with in-laws? I kid.

There are worse things than being stuck with your in-laws during a nation-wide lockdown. Like actually enjoying being in that situation.

To say that the last one year has been weird is in hindsight a criminal understatement.

If grief was monetizable, we'd all be Jeff Bezos of our respective brands of sadness.

Some of us have lost jobs, loves, friends, family, and in some cases, the will to live, to this pandemic. And yet it continues to take and take and then take some more.

For me and my partner ('husband' is so heteronormative and, as Fergie says in the Black Eyed Peas song Boom Boom Pow, 2000-and-late) it has mostly been about relentlessly testing the boundaries of our relationship. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, they don't exist.

I am talking farting competitions, instructing each other to 'go die in a ditch' and blaming each other's parents for character flaws we could have fixed long ago.

The boundaries don't exist because we're still here, a marital unit, bound by a collective belief or delusion (depending on how you choose to see it) that there is something to be gained from staying together.

Depending on the kind of a day either one of us is going through, the reasons vary from love to a mutual belief that we are making each other better people to the simple fact that there is nowhere else to go during this health crisis.

In my head, I often think about the concept of personal space, and how easily it blurs when you're married. You can't have a bad day in isolation, you can't throw a tantrum without a consequence and you certainly can't do EVERYTHING you could've done had you been living all by yourself.

What trumps me is the fact that no one talks about this.

Or am I the only person in a couple whose sleeping schedules, dietary habits and other natural tendencies are the opposite of synced up?

How do you broker peace when both parties are equally angry and not feeling like the bigger person to extend the olive branch?

Sometimes, I tell myself it's the problem of two alphas in a relationship. But then, who am I kidding?

My partner and I are laughed at frequently in our social circles for our mortal fear of lizards.

If it hasn't happened to you already, this second wave of the pandemic will make you question many things.

Your life choices, the arbitrariness of good fortune, the government, self-made billionaires, the future, the present, the past etc. But none of them may seem as urgent and as compelling as your living arrangement when you're riddled with dread at 1 am in the night and you need a hug to calm your nerves. But your partner is sound asleep because they are such a morning person.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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