A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Such is life

Posted by Pepper on February 15, 2012

I wrote this post yesterday and I am publishing it a day late


Do you celebrate Valentines Day? I am the kind who thrashes the concept, considers it to be a truck load of commercial crap, sees through the marketing gimmicks, wonders how people fall into that merchandising trap and then promptly accepts the cheesy cards and gifts and heads for a fancy dinner. Do you think I sound like a hypocrite? I won’t disagree with you. While I have no real feelings attached to this day, I have been using it as a convenient excuse to indulge in things I normally wouldn’t. Isn’t it easier to quieten the guilt that comes with spending those extra dollars on a lavish dinner, by telling yourself “Hey, it’s Valentines Day, so I am allowed to do something special”. I guess there are others who fall into this category. We don’t really believe in the concept, but we celebrate it nevertheless, just because it suits us. The stupid games we play with ourselves.

The past few years on this day, I have been prettifying myself, wearing something glamorous, spraying my favourite fragrance and then heading out for a candle lit dinner. This year, I look like something even a hungry lion wouldn’t want to touch. I sit here, with my unkempt, overgrown flicks of hair falling shabbily on my eyes, I am wearing an old tee of Mint, which is obviously over sized for me. I notice a piece of dried dough stuck in the curve of my finger ring. Eeks! It must have gotten there when I was kneading the dough. I smell of Vicks and Bengay. That’s the current ‘fragrance’. I feel like crap.

Life has been overwhelming me. Two days ago, we put up our furniture for sale. We were told it would take a few weeks for it to be sold at the price we wanted. We quoted the same price we purchased it at. I thought that was stretching it too far. Nobody would want to buy it at that cost. We would have to wait for a while and then lower the price. But surprisingly, the next day itself, an interested buyer came by to take a look at the stuff.  He liked almost every item we had put up and decided to buy it all right away. I was unprepared to let it all go so soon. Mint told  me it did make sense to sell it now if we were getting the price we quoted. Before I knew what was happening, the movers were here. I stood there, watching them carry out all my cherished items one by one. They took it all away. It hurt. That’s all I can say.

He took our dining table, our sofa set with the coffee table, side table, our TV stand and our bed. I stood there, facing Mint in an empty house all of a sudden, feeling an unknown ache. He held me and told me cheer up. We will buy new things in India and build our home again. That is true, but I couldn’t help feeling the pain that comes with giving away things that are close to your heart. That night when we entered the house after an evening out, I stepped back, startled all of a sudden. The bareness was unrecognizable. I was whining on phone while talking to the sister and she told me in a very matter of fact way, “Don’t get attached to non living objects.” Um, okay.

I’ve been trying to adjust to the emptiness, but the hard part is that we have nowhere to sit on. Not a single chair. We sit on the floor all the time. We eat on the floor. We even sleep on the floor. We got out the only sleeping bag we had and spread it out on the carpet. They say sleeping on the floor is good, but I have been feeling stiff. And sitting on the floor continuously for the past two days has given me a butt ache. We still have a month to go and I don’t know how easy or hard it’s going to be.

The next day we put up our car for sale. My precious, beloved, treasured car. People told us, that one is going to be a big item that we need to check. It takes a while to sell. So we thought we could put it up for sale and then let people come and take a look every now and then. Yesterday, I got a call from Mint in the afternoon. He told me a prospective buyer is coming to take a look, so he will leave office early and be there soon. He asked me to pick him up from the station at the specified time. I remained unperturbed. I expected a lot of people to drop by to see the car in the coming few days. I picked him up and we headed home. By the time we got home, those guys were already around, waiting for us. Apparently, they had driven for 2 hours to come and see the car. I left Mint to deal with them and walked into our apartment.

He stepped in after 30 minutes and told me, “They want to buy the car. They’ll take it with them right now”. I literally jumped out of my skin. “Right now? You mean now?? This very moment? They’ll take it away?”, I asked. He replied with a sad smile and said “Yes”. I burst into tears. This particular car is very dear to us. It is special. I had just started preparing myself to let go of it, but I was definitely unprepared to let it go so suddenly. I wanted time alone with my car. To hug, kiss it, spend some quiet quality with with it before bidding it a final good bye. And here I was, having to deal with the untimely departure of my beloved car. Had I known a few minutes ago, that it was the last time I was driving it, I might have kissed it right then and there. Now I wouldn’t get any private moments with it. It brought a new rush of tears.

Those people were still waiting outside. Amid sobs and sniffles, I continued to murmur rubbish, telling Mint stuff like “But that’s my car. I am not giving it to them. They cannot take my car. Ask them to go away”. He kept trying to calm me down. After a few minutes, those folks came in to do the paper work. That’s when I ran out to spend the last 5 minutes with my car and give it a kiss.

I was happy to note that the girl who bought it seemed as smitten by the car as we have been. She kept saying, “It looks so cool”. I could see genuine happiness and excitement on her face. That was a relief for me. I am happy the car is passed on to somebody deserving. Somebody who values and loves it as much. I miss it even now, but I will get over it. I wish her good luck. We might buy a new car when we go back to India, but that car will always remain very special to us. Like we joke, it was the reason I married Mint.

Valentines Day came at a time when I needed some celebration. I didn’t have too much enthusiasm though. We didn’t even have a car. I didn’t fancy the idea of walking around for miles when I was already exhausted. A little bit of persuasion from Mint made me give in. I took the train and met him in the city. I love downtown San Francisco at night. We held hands and walked around amid the lights, ate dinner and went to a bar. They started a strip show as soon as we entered. I couldn’t get over it. I didn’t think she would really strip entirely. I was so shocked when she did, I almost spat out my drink. She then went on to jiggle her boobs and I wanted to run away forever. I think Mint had a good time laughing at the horrified look I was sporting. It was a good break and I am so glad I went. It’s been crazy the past few days, but I feel grateful for the intermittent shower of blessings that keeps soaking me.


69 Responses to “Such is life”

  1. Oh Pepper, screen mein ghuske hugs! I am as sentimental as you and I know how much it hurts. I kiss walls and hug the doors of the houses I have moved from.

    Bear it all hun, before you know life will be full of family, friends and nosey neighbours. Then it won’t hurt as much. Hugs!

    • Pepper said

      Thank you CR! I kiss walls and doors every time I am leaving a house too.
      Yes, that is what cheers me up. Thanks again!

      • and i thought i was the only nutty one 🙂 I dont even like getting rid of old mobile phones because of old messages in it. my old clothes are thrown away when i am asleep so that i dont sob over the holey pajamas that have kept me comfortable for the last 15 years!

        I will never ever sell my swiffy reddy (my swift) and if i do i think i might just have multiple howling fits!

        Glad you found something to cheer you up and Yay you get to see your parents soon! oooh and me too 😀

  2. anisnest said

    a big bear hug Pepper.. Wishing you a smooth transition and to get settled quicker in the new place with new items… I can so relate to this love for non-living objects.. I am still sobbing on that tupperware dabba I lost last week 😦

  3. sraik said

    I have been through moves like this and its never never easy 😦 Big hugs.
    And that is one cool car.

  4. CA said

    I can understand how hard it must have been for your to part away with those items and your precious car. But you know, consider yourself blessed since you got the price you were looking for. We gave away our precious car only 2 days before I had my second child. I spent a good 30 mins with our precious possession before it was taken away.

    • Pepper said

      I agree.. the reason we agreed to let it go so soon was cos we weren’t sure of getting the right price later on. You had to part with your car so suddenly too? I am sure that hurt. Hope you have made new memories with your new car.

  5. Mahes said

    Hugs Pepper! Cheer up girl. I am ROFL on the jiggling boobs part. I watched Delhi Belly last night and still numb on the provocative scenes and potty humor.

  6. Totally get what you mean about not really caring for the day but celebrating it anyway! I do that too:)
    Hey, think you really had some decent luck with the quick furniture and car sale, though having everything happen so fast must have been a little overwhelming too! I have always had rotten luck trying to sell anything. Have had to throw away perfectly good furniture before.
    Oh and I am glad you had a good V day overall!

    • Pepper said

      We had to throw our furniture when we moved from Ohio to California too. Which is why this time, we put it up our stuff for sale well in advance. Who knew it would be gone the next day!

  7. R's Mom said

    Awwww! hugs darling…dont get so upset…

    I think I am like your sister…I would just say dont get attached to non living things 😦 though honestly, easier said than done…but beeeeg hugs from here….you can always build up a new super duper home here with all your friends and folks near by eh?

  8. Sig said

    Awwww…cheer up. *hugs*

    I think as much as it was the things, it was also the memories attached to them that made it hurt so much. Totally understand

    You will make new memories, have new things – but you can always look back to this part of your life and smile 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Exactly Sig. The memories are so precious. And the presence of those things gives you the chance to make new memories around that very stuff. When that stuff is taken away, you know you can longer have any more memories or moments associated with it.
      I know I will always look back at this part of my life and smile 🙂

  9. Preethi said

    Hugs Pepper.

    You are a brave girl dear. It really is not so easy to give up the things that we own and treasure so much. It is not that we are fond of materialistic things, but the memories we have assocaited with them make it difficult to part with.

    At the same time, I am glad that you got the price that you quoted for.

    I am sure you will build your happy nest soon in India. Take care.

  10. KB said

    Awww.. I want to say something, but donno what to say.. I am feeling bad about how you are feeling 😦 Take care Pepper..

    P.S – I am moving next week!! And am so glad we rented a fully furnished apartment..After reading your post, I am going to ensure we continue to do the same till we have settled down for good..

    • Pepper said

      You’re lucky, you can do that. When I was living in UK, we had rented a fully furnished apartment too. It is the most feasible thing to do, until you haven’t settled down. Unfortunately, furnished apartments aren’t easily available in the US. Most people have no choice but to buy their own stuff.
      Good luck with the move!

  11. Bubblegum said


  12. hAAthi said

    Aww, wow, that sounds like a fun way to wind down after the rush of losing all things familiar, so soon. I’m horribly attached to non-living things, and have some sentimental value attached to pretty much every piece of nonsense in the house. At least in your case it was furniture and a car.
    The end of your post was such a contrasting turn to the way the post seemed to be headed 🙂 Hope things have eased up and you are getting used to the newness of this shift.

    • Pepper said

      Lol! You’re right, the post had a very contrasting end. I think my day had a contrasting end too.
      You said it, I have sentimental value attached to pretty much every piece of nonsense in the house too. I even go about picking up pebbles, twigs, feathers and shells from every place I visit and then guard them with my life. All of it seems like junk to somebody, but for me it is treasured stuff 🙂

      • Preethi said

        Can I give you same pinch on this Pepper. I have this habit of collecting pebbles, shells and stuff like this where ever I go. My mom finds it very silly because it is all stored at her place.

        My parents have bought a new home and I gave her a big warning not to discard any of this.

        • Pepper said

          You too? I am not too proud of this trait you know. I don’t know good it is to be this sentimental. I keep telling myself to walk on the path of detachment, but it’s hard.

      • hAAthi said

        And coincidentally, it was only a big move to a new city that forced me to sort through the junk I had so lovingly amassed over the years. And that exercise actually has made me slightly conscious about not hoarding unnecessary stuff. So its all for the better 🙂

        • Pepper said

          I have moved cities, countries and continents, about 5 times in the past 3-4 years. Each time I have no choice but to say good bye to the junk I have lovingly collected. Each time I tell myself I won’t accumulate it again. But each time I do. I hope this is the last time. I hope I learn 🙂

  13. Seema said

    God! I can imagine how you felt. I felt so sad myself when I read the paragraph where you had to let go of the car 😦

    A big warm hug to you Pepper. Hope one month and a year pass away in a jiffy so that you and Mint can setup your own home.

  14. big big hugs.

    and im sure you’d look and smell swell, even with all the dough and vicks.

    the woman whose current perfume signature is poop+pee+milk.

  15. Ashwathy said

    While I have no real feelings attached to this day, I have been using it as a convenient excuse to indulge in things I normally wouldn’t.
    Oooooh me too!!! Welcome to the club :mrgreen:
    Hubby and myself were all set to go to the comedy store for a stand-up comedy session which we’ve been wanting to go to for so long. But for V-day they had a special musical plus dinner and dance, so I decided to just splurge on it. What? If they had it some other day (weekend hopefully) then I’d have still gone. Not my fault that they had it only on V-day * hopes not to look suitably guilty * 😛

    We will buy new things in India and build our home again. That is true, but I couldn’t help feeling the pain that comes with giving away things that are close to your heart.
    One of the reasons why we chose to move into a totally furnished place after marriage instead of getting an unfurnished place and setting it up….is because I knew we’d have to shift again (maybe even abroad if the opportunity presents itself) and I didn’t want to deal with the furniture being sold or taken away or wasted. So yes I understand what u must be feeling…….

    They started a strip show as soon as we entered. I couldn’t get over it. I didn’t think she would really strip entirely. I was so shocked when she did, I almost spat out my drink.
    WHAT!! 😯 I nearly spilt my coffee READING this!! 😛 😛 OK I am not taking my hubby to the US ever. LOL :mrgreen:
    Who am I kidding? I’m booking the next flight!! 😛 😆

    Well yes but u entered a strip session…what do u think they’d do there anyway? 🙄 It’s the US, not India…! 🙂

    The pace at which things are happening are a little too soon for you. It’s a phase, and you have to deal with it. I know you know this without my lecture. But I’m giving you my two bits. When you are leaving behind a life you cherished ….be it for whatever reasons no matter how convincing…you WILL feel that tug in your heart. Let it wash over you. There is no other way to deal with it than THROUGH it, if you know what I mean.

    Hey atleast see the bright side. Your car was bought by someone who looked every bit as delighted to own it. Plus you are getting the sale done quickly and getting things wrapped up much sooner than u think…. I remember it was not too many days back that you wrote that you had so many things to do before u return! And u r still getting a decent price in spite of the speed at which its happening. All this and more.

    Stay blessed, sweetheart!

    • Pepper said

      Lol! Sorry hun, but you are as guilty as I am 😛

      Now again, don’t make me jealous by talking about the options available to you. Furnished houses make most sense of course. Why wouldn’t people go for those if they could. But they aren’t available easily in the US. Most rented apartments come unfurnished and you have no choice but to go through the hassle of buying furniture and then selling it if you move out.

      Haha! You needn’t come to the US just for this. I am sure there are strip shows in India right? No? Then Bangkok could be a cheaper option 😛

      Yes, all that you say makes perfect sense. I am most happy about the fact that the new owner of our car was as delighted to own it as we were.

      Thanks babe!

      • Ashwathy said

        Furnished houses are also more expensive…do not forget 🙂 They will cost atleast 10k-15k more in rent in India which is a huge strain on resources and savings. So sometimes unfurnished is best.

        Haha thanks for that Bangkok option 😀 I need to explore it soon!! 😉

        • Pepper said

          I wouldn’t forget that at all. Furnished houses are bound to be more expensive. But then, you’re paying money either way. You either spend a lump sum at one go and buy furniture yourself or you spread it out and pay more rent for a furnished house. Atleast you have the option available to you 🙂

          And in India, I would always recommend renting a furnished apartment until you have settled down. Cos unlike the US, India does not have a big second hand market. Over here, we can buy furniture and then sell it at a reasonable price if we are moving. In India, mindsets are different. People do not like purchasing used goods. They think it is below their dignity. So most of the stuff never gets sold. They pass it on to maids, watchmen and other people from the lower strata of society. Or they give it to the ‘radhiwala’ as junk. Atleast till a few years ago, you couldn’t resell furniture at a reasonable price. The ‘donating’ culture is more dominant there. It wouldn’t be economically viable to keep donating brand new furniture every time you move, so I would say renting a furnished apartment is a wiser option 🙂

          • Ashwathy said

            Wow!! That’s a long explanation… Yea I agree about furnished apartment making more sense in India and the culture to ‘donate’. It’s getting better now, and people do search online for used goods, but still predominantly it’s the same.

            But the problem is, with a furnished apartment even if you pay the rent over a longer period of time you are not gaining value for money (except the flexibility to shift out any time). Whereas in an unfurnished one where u pay only the rent and buy the furniture, you atleast get to keep your furniture if you move elsewhere (within India) and over the months or even years, the money that you pay in the beginning for buying the furniture will even out on the lesser rent and eventually savings will be better.

            Ah!! Either way it’s painful! 🙄 😛

            • Ashwathy said

              You know what I love about commenting on your blog? Even if the comments are not immediately approved, I can see the time commented as per YOUR location … and hence I know if you would be approving them soon or not and I can refresh my page accordingly 😀 or take a look later! :mrgreen: Yay!

            • Pepper said

              Yes, yes! I was going to add all that you said myself in my earlier comment, but I thought my comment was already too long, and it was turning out to be a thesis on ‘pros and cons of furnished apartments’ :P. That is why I didn’t include the bit that you just stated. I agree with you totally. Either way is painful, but I just feel happy that we in India, have the option available to us.

              It’s the same issue we have to deal with while considering whether we want to rent a home or buy it. You are paying either way. It could be the monthly EMI for the loan you took to buy your apartment, or it could be the monthly rent you have to pay to the owner of your rented home. But if you’ve chosen to buy an apt, at the end of the EMI cycle, atleast the home is yours. In a rented apt, you’ve ended up paying tons of rent over the years and you still don’t own a thing. A lot of people still choose to rent homes cos owning property is not feasible, until you have settled down. There are so many unknowns in your life, you don’t want to get tied down to a place, right? I think of furnished homes in a similar way. Okay, I should stop now 😛

              And LOL! Doesn’t that happen when you comment on any blog? I’ll be more observant now. 😀

  16. Smita said

    😦 must be a painful & sad phase, it is poring out of the post, the sadness.

    *hugs* as your sis rightly says “don’t get attached to non living items* but yes I know it is painful to see thigns you love go!!!

    And entirely stripped off? *gives scandulous look & walks off*

  17. Homecooked said

    I know you dont want to hear this but you should really be thankful that your stuff got sold for the price you wanted 🙂 In my experience it never happens that way. When we moved to India in 2001 we had to incur a huge loss and believe me this is any day better than feeling overwhelmed and sad in the last days. Maybe you can get a pair of outdoor chairs from Walmart for a month or so. Just keep thinking of all the fun you’ll have in India and it should be fine 🙂

    • Pepper said

      You are absolutely right Homecooked. In our experience too, the stuff never gets sold at the right price. I am grateful it did this time. Feeling sad now is better than feeling the pain of discarding all your precious things in the end.

  18. Anusha said

    I know its difficult not getting attached to “non living” objects, but then look forward to build a new home in India with your family. It would ease the pain of parting with your cherished things.

    Your Valentines day turned out a memorable one indeed, what other way it would have been with Mint by your side 🙂

  19. MoRS said

    🙂 I guess your sis is correct. After moving so many times, I see it as an opportunity to declutter and get new stuff 🙂 I also felt every move was for good (in retrospect). It gives you lot of new perspectives and makes you grow as a person. I moved to India after spending a fews years in US too. And it has been good so far. Cheer up! 🙂

  20. Tanishka said

    Hugs Peppy… And I know how much it hurts to sell off something you just love…, Your post reminded me of how I fought with dad when he had sold our old car….

    • Pepper said

      You know surprisingly, I didn’t feel this kind of pain when we sold our old car back home. This car however, was just way too special. Thanks for the hugs Tan.

  21. That hurt, even to imagine..total strangers taking things away without even a moments notice:(

    But hey, look at the bright side Pepper…you are checking off so many things from your TODO list. All this must only mean your days with mom-dad-sister and everyone else you love are getting that much closer!

    Think of the bright sides of it all Pepper and if you want to rant away the pains, you know my number, don’t you?

    Tight {{Hugs}}

  22. Kavs said

    😦 Ah! I’m a sentimental fool myself so i get attached to everything – living, non-living doesnt make much difference. I in fact personify non-living things to the extent that someone might think i’m talking about a real person. For a second, i imagined how your car would miss you too. Anyways – ignore me. As Mint says you’ll soon be building a new house so that’s exciting as well! 🙂

    • Pepper said

      I do the same thing Kavs. I name non-living things, talk to them, and consider them to be people with feelings. Happy to know there is somebody as crazy as me. 🙂

  23. awww..hugs peppy!
    Can totally understand the feeling. When I moved to CA from boston and sold all the furniture and car, I did feel down. But as they say, this too shall pass. Think about all the good times to come, and the fact that you will be in india soon! 🙂
    And please email me the name of this bar na..Me and another girlfriend wanted to go to a strip club for the longest time! Glad you had such a wonderful V day 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Will definitely mail you the name. Just that, it’s not a strip club. It’s just a regular bar. I don’t know if the strip show is a regular feature there, or if it was a V Day special. Either ways, I am guessing finding a strip club in the city shouldn’t be a prob 😀

  24. Awwww
    I get as much attached to non-living things too. They hardly feel like ‘non-living things’ when they are so much a part and parcel of our daily life, no? I have great difficulty bidding goodbye to houses and furniture and stuff like that. People tell me I am over-sentimental, but that’s the way I am.

    But then, don’t worry. Cheer up. You will soon be building more beautiful memories. 🙂

    Strip dance?! Wow! I am sure my eyes would have popped out at the scene too, had I been in your place.

  25. Jenny said

    Me again !!! When I read your posts and comments , I think it so justifies your previous post “Its not just you” . B’coz there are a huge chunk of people out there who are so attached to non-living objects and are totally helpless when they have to part with it irrespective of the innumerable consolations and condolences. And I’ve no qualms in accepting that I’m one of those people. I still have a dried rose petal which my bf gave me 10 years back and I can’t imagine parting even with THAT. Leave alone the pile of boxes lying in my loft. I can totally empathize with you on this one and can only wish you good luck in return. 😦 Like Ashwathy mentioned , the one way to come out of this is to come through it. I hope you get the strength to cross this bridge as well. All the best.

    • Pepper said

      Precisely. There are a lot of such people. That is why when my sis gave me such obvious advice, I wanted to tell her ‘duh, i know that already, it still doesn’t make it easier’. Oh well, anyway, thank you!

  26. Anitha said


    I can totally understand what you are going there. I moved to the US, after my wedding and lived there for 4 years and moved back in 2005. Though, both me and my husband were clear from first, that we wanted to settle in India, eventually…it was so difficult to actually move back. Having built your first home, settled with new friends, kind of started a new phase of life there, it can be quite unsettling to imagine how it would be here. We were expecting our first child, as well, in the midst of our move. To see the things that you have so loving bought and cherished being taken by someone else was very difficult for me and I can completely relate to what you are feeling. Anyway, the only pull for us, also, was to be back ‘home’with our families and thinking back now, we don’t have any regrets and enjoying it here. So all the best and take care!!!

    • Pepper said

      Almost all you folks who have moved back have said that the transition has been smooth and you don’t have regrets. That is very heartening to know. Thanks a lot Anitha!

  27. And here I thought I was the only one who is senti about stuff. Recently we sold off our old refrigerator and bought a new one. I was actually teary-eyed when they were taking it away and gave it several last minute hugs. Your sister was right in advising you not to get attached to non-living things. Just that they seem to acquire a life of their own in our eyes, so it is difficult!

  28. Meera said

    I get why you love the car. We have a Toyota Corolla Sports edition now, the same color as yours and the moonroof, too. So I understand why you’re going through withdrawal symptoms. I have changed 7 schools, 3 colleges and over 25 houses in all my life. It is never easy but you always end up falling in love with the place you move to. The upside, I have friends everywhere and I never run out of topics for conversation. It’ll get better, you’ll love the new house and the new car and the new friends. I guarantee it 🙂

    • Pepper said

      I am jealous of your car already. Without even seeing it. Toyotas are awesome. They just run forever, with no real problem.
      You’ve moved so many times? *Faints*. I’ve moved 5 times in the 25 yrs I have lived. This will be my 6th move, and I thought I have moved too many times. Now when I listen to you, I feel silly. Oh thanks 🙂

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