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

Thursday, January 20, 2005
A Pain for Your Thoughts

Our young staffer, Ian recently acquired a new girlfriend. We like her very much; and have jokingly told Ian she's too good for him. The Girlfriend has a great sense of humour, seems to have a level head on her shoulders and doesn't flinch when a wayward colleague talks of having sex in a steambath (with another man) . Now you see why my sister stays away from my office.

The Girlfriend visited us one night, when all of us were working late.

She sat patiently by Ian's elbow for some time, as her boyfriend furiously tapped away on the PC.

Then, suddenly, like a waft of cool breze, I heard her ask : "Do you think Miss XYZ is hot?"
Ian, clever boy, grunted something inaudible, which in caveman probably meant "Me want to live. Me no answer question".
Nevertheless The Girlfriend persisted; cooing ever so sweetly, "You don't think she's good looking?"
Long pause. I could almost hear Ian wince.
"Well", she said with some finality, "I think she's good looking".

If you're female, you've probably inflicted this trick on your man, at least once. Or if you're me, at least once a month. (And no jokes about when in the month, please) In the beginning, Saiffuddin was naive enough to think I wanted an honest answer, and contributed his opinions with much enthusiasm.

"Oh yeaaaah, look at her tits/legs/ass."

This is polite conversation if you're among heterosexual males slightly woozy from too much cigarettes and coffee (or in some circles, weed) . But to say this to your lady companion is akin to punching in the password to DefCon 1. When it comes to discussing Gray's Anatomy as it relates to Charlize Theron, your girlfriend is not your mate. She's lying in wait, setting traps, gathering ammo.

Saiffuddin once made the fatal mistake of casually mentioning that he thinks a certain newscaster is attractive. The newscaster is an acquaintance and has even been to our house on several occassions. For months, I ribbed him about it. When she got divorced, it was in the papers, and I blithely waved the announcement under my husband's nose.

"There, your girlfriend is now available", I mocked. (Ladies, never try this line unless your husband is peniless and therefore unable to carry out said threat)
Caveman grunt ensues.
"You like her, whaaaaat? You think she's prettier than me, kaaaaan?", said as bright as I could. Here, you can see how deep my neurosis goes.
"Well, she is pretty". Oh, wrong, wrong answer.
"You do think she's prettier than me, then", I simpered.

My friend, Kamarul thinks I'm ridiculous.
"Ya la, she's prettier, but there are other things you have that puts you ahead, for God's sakes".
"I know she's prettier," I laughed,"I'm ok with that, really. I just want my husband to tell me I'm prettier".
Kamarul screwed up his face : the universal sign for men everywhere who've given up trying to understand women.

The best defence, gentlemen, is deceit. In other words : lie through your teeth.

Over the years, my husband has become rather good at this game. In a shopping mall full of gorgeous girls below the age of regret, you won't even see his eyes waver. If I ask him if he thinks a certain so and so is looking swell, he'll take my hand, put it to his lips and say he never noticed, "because I only have eyes for you". I know he's fibbing, but who cares? It's not as if he'll pursue the woman, anyway.

And therein lies the irony. If I knew my husband is the sort who would chase after any skirt that swishes by, I would never, ever ask. If I had the slightest suspicion that he harbours the thought of an affair, I would run as far as I could from that truth. But because I know he is besotted with me, I test the limits of his patience. For fun, seemingly. Okay, I am ridiculous.

The good news is, as the years roll by, husbands who are well-behaved tend to get more leeway. We once watched a movie just for Monica Bellucci's heaving breasts. I'll buy him a magazine if it features his hearththrob on the cover (Which reminds me, there's one this month, and daaamn, she does look good)

Of course, it's all reciprocal. When you're 36 (okay,37) you'll have the confidence to put on a near naked Ljunberg as your screensaver. And you don't want your husband to sulk, pout and ask : "You don't think I'm prettier?"


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