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The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
My Knight on White Steed, Please Get Offa My Cloud

In the distant future, should you one day decide to quit the rat race, take a bow, decamp, and should, heavens forbid, your husband decide to also be among the unemployed, and should both of you figure out that money can come by way of a small business, a consultancy or something : never, I repeat never, go all charitable and offer him a share of your working space. Because believe me, there'll be tears before bedtime.

Of course, I too, thought it was only nice to help the father of my children. My husband had been running his business out of coffee-shops and train stations --Starbucks and Sentral-- and subsisting mainly on a mobile phone that plays Hava Negila Hava when it rings. Perhaps you've even seen him around - a dark man with longish wavy hair and a goatee that couldn't decide between mullah or MTV, khaki shorts or cargo pants with a Che Guevera T-shirt -- oh yeah, that's my guy. Now, how could I inflict that on the public? So I decided, let's do him, and the rest of the world a favour -- let's contain him in my office.

In the beginning, it was fun. When I was working at a TV station, we saw each other for only half an hour a day and I used to miss him terribly by 11 in the morning. But with him now parked at the end of my desk, I have him at arms' length, literally. There was always someone to take me out for lunch, someone to rub my neck, someone to make me coffee and read me the papers, someone to help me with numbers on my presentation : oh, I thought it was all peachy - this working together stuff will just make our lurve stronger and I couldn't be happier.

But soon I realised I should have kept him at arms' length, metaphorically.

First, there's the sexual harrasment. I mean, all the groping and the butt pinching is bearable in the confines of your bedroom, but when you can't bend over a printer without some hand patting your ass, it's enough to send you screaming to the Labour Tribunal. Except you can't, because, well, legally he's entitled to shag you right under the table if he wants to. So all you can do is to hit him with the nearest heavy object, preferably the aforementioned printer. Sadly, my experience tells me it doesn't work because those tentacles, they are damn persistent.

If it wasn't enough that I was molested on a daily basis, I also had to listen to him work. My husband has this habit of thinking aloud, and worse, he needs feedback and thinks I'm haloscan. So he'll go : now what if we lease the building for two ringgit fifty per square feet to the Arab and we'll get approximately one hundred and fifty million and minus that with construction cost we'll still get ninety which we can split between Client X and Financier Y and yadda yadda yadda. Hands up, you women out there who only pretend to be listening when the old man talks about work. I make the requisite sounds (oh, you've had sex - you know how to make requisite sounds) while I imagine him naked in a tub, and me dropping a running hair-dryer into the soapy water.

Did I also mention the mess? The discarded newspapers, the coffee-mugs doubling as ashtrays, the notes strewn about in abandon? There are other sub-categories like : incessant nagging, insufferable jokes, boorish, broker-type telephone conversations, farting oh I could just go on. This man was trying to ruin my life, and is succeeding.

His one saving grace is that he is impossibly in love with me, and so I could tell him right in his face that he was making a career out of making me miserable. This piece has a happy ending, then : next month he is moving to a space that is much nicer than my 1,000 square feet set-up and best of all, it's only a few minutes away. So he can keep supplying me with the neck rubs and lunches, and I can keep my sanity.


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