A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Sea change

Posted by Pepper on September 29, 2015

While nagging Mint to clear the clutter from our bedroom the other day, I spent a moment to reflect upon the noticeable changes in my personality. To say my attitude towards life has changed in the past few years would be an understatement.

When Mint and I started living together after we were married, we realised we had a terrific partnership going. We were both appallingly lazy. We couldn’t believe we had found such perfect matches for ourselves. Our personalities were perfectly aligned. Any kind of work was considered evil by us. We would move a muscle only if we absolutely had to. We loved to sleep all day long. Wasn’t that the best way to utilize time?

We vacuumed our home only when we knew we couldn’t get away for another day without it. Some weekends we would mutually decide to skip taking a shower. We allowed the laundry to pile. While people around me would equate marriage to responsibility, I would laugh at them and tell them it was the opposite for me. Because back at my parents’ home, I was nagged and made to shoulder some responsibilities and maintain a semblance of tidiness around the house. I couldn’t get away with mess or any kind of callousness beyond a point.

On the other hand, marriage for me was a burst of freedom. Mint and I lived by ourselves, in a country far away from home. We were answerable to nobody and had no one to impress. The set up allowed me to explore new depths of laziness. Mint and I were completely in sync with each other’s desire to do nothing.

We were both very comfortable living amidst clutter. Tidying up wasn’t worth the effort. Perhaps it was also about the age. At 23, I was free and footloose. We both wanted the good stuff without having to lift a finger. We would roll out of bed only by noon on weekends, we got a lot of take away food because we wanted to escape the task of cooking. Since we had no loans or EMIs to cater to, we traveled a lot. Sometimes we made travel plans on a whim. I would be too lazy to even pack my bag and would use our car’s trunk as a closet. A bunch of tees and a pair of flip flops would be thrown in and we would drive off. Life was all about having fun.

Cut to the present. I don’t know what force I’ve been overcome by, but I have actually started feeling less repulsed by the idea of work. Work is no longer evil. Well, I must admit that I speak from a certain position of privilege. We have employed help that manages the everyday cooking and cleaning, things that we had to do by ourselves in the US. Having said that, I find myself doing things that I couldn’t imagine doing earlier.

For one, I have this undying need to keep the house tidy. This is the house that I have built with a lot of effort. While Mint was happy to have a bean bag and a TV along with an internet connection in our living room and end it at that, I was the one who insisted on featuring some kind of a visual appeal in our decor. I spent a lot of time choosing the colours of our cushions to ensure they matched the theme I was working around. I did a lot of things that I previously considered unworthy of my effort and time. And now that I have put in that effort, I want to ensure my home remains immaculate.

Some days, I cook lavishly, despite having a cook who is fully capable of taking care of our meals. Mint absolutely doesn’t understand why I ‘want’ to cook when I don’t have to. Of course, it is also because our cook has certain limitations and only cooks Indian food, which I get bored of after a point. But the fact that I sometimes choose to cook instead of ordering in or eating out is enough to baffle Mint.

I enjoy making life a celebration, even if it calls for some amount of effort. I bake a cake on some days, just to experience the joy of eating a home baked cake with my family. I enjoy working towards a vast menu when we have people coming for dinner and having our best cutlery and serving ware ready, because the extravagance makes me feel happy. Mint reminds me that I am the same person who ordered in pizza and served wine in disposable plastic cups every time we had people over at one time.

While this change in me may be considered good by some people, it certainly leaves a gap between Mint and me. He still harbours the same ambition in life, which is to laze around and do nothing. As a result, I find myself either reprimanding him all the time to keep things in order and take some effort to do certain things, or being mad at him for not complying. I feel upset every time he leaves behind his wet towel on the bed. He feels upset every time I want to clean the house or cook instead of flopping down on the couch with him. I know he misses the old me and often wonders what has gotten into me. I am no longer the person I was.

Perhaps this change is only momentary. I may return to my old self and go on to embrace my indolence once again. Or I may not. I have no idea. Until then, Mint and I will have to continue living on two different pages. In hindsight, this may not be a terrible thing. Because at times, I know I need the influence of his passive approach. I know I need to step back and just be. And I know for sure he needs my new found vigor to shake him out of his lethargy.


35 Responses to “Sea change”

  1. I wonder if it’s the change in age or something. Like you are settling down sort of? I see myself behaving in a way a lot different than I would have when I was 23. It’s weird, but my likings are changing and so is my reaction to things. And so are skin and hair. Skin is stuck at teens with acne and hair think they are 50 with the greying. Sheesh. Brain is stuck at 12. Yep.

  2. Boiling said

    Hmm.. What a change! I feel it would be great if both you and mint accept that you have changed and Mint hasn’t.

  3. D said

    High chances that you will not change now to your old self. I was a similar person till I got married. My Gtalk status was ..”doing nothing”..for a long long time..because most of the time I was just lying around doing nothing in my college days. But when I got married- I saw myself changing..Not that I became some super active woman suddenly- but became much more responsible about my house. By standards of normal people I was still far away…but those who had seen me in college were surprised to see this version of me when they visited..:) In the past five years, things have only progressed on this front. With a baby in picture now..the choice of going back to the old self has altogether vanished. Basically..I guess its more to do with age. And I am not sure if its a gender thing…but women tend to become less lazy with time…I am still careless on may fronts…but now I want to improve, while earlier it did not matter to me..

    • Pepper said

      Yes, that’s the point. I am still very lazy but the point is that I WANT to improve. Mint is awfully lazy but he doesn’t see why he should be any different. Sigh..

  4. Bikramjit said

    I don’t think you will return to your old self.. although it sounds much more fun.. wish I could do all that.

    Change is human nature and we all change some notice .. Some don’t. .
    You offcourse have noticed .. 🙂

    All the best always..

  5. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.

  6. shaktii said

    dont worry pepper…we are girls and its absolutely normal, sometimes we put full on make up and sometimes dont even tie our hair…but i tell u once you have a kid..it will be taking another new dimension dear..gear up

  7. Smita said

    hmmmmm may be its called maturity? We women start seeing things differently?? God Knows!!! I am sounding stupid!

    • Pepper said

      I wondered if it is a gender thing too. But then I grew up around my dad who has been very hardworking and efficient even when it came to maintaining the house. I also see a lot of men around me who are very particular about things at home, even if they have to work hard to maintain that order.. So I wonder, is it really about maturity or gender? Or are some of the men around me an exception? No idea.

  8. Ah!..*Gasp**..*Gulp*…You are GROWING UP!

    ( I know how much you hate that ..but the inevitable is happening..it is creeping up on you*..Ayyo!)

    On serious note – Amen to the last few lines 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Arey, I never hated the idea of growing up. Not if it is this effortless. Why would I hate it. What I hate is the demands of the grown up world that I am not able to cope with. Like doing your taxes, knowing how to manage your money well, ‘behaving’ yourself in certain situations, not being stupid in general and bla bla..

  9. Hey Pepper, hope everything cool. Guess, life changes for people at some point or the other with pressing priorities. Cheez, just resigned and taking a break from journalism. I am taking a transition job and will be into projects.

  10. You guys will balance each other and the differences will enrich both of you I think 🙂 What you said in the end is perfect!

  11. Right from the beginning of our married life, S was the lazy one and me, a little better than him. While I dont like sleeping or lazing around simply (unlike him) I dont like to do certain chores around the house and I have to push myself to do them on time. S on the other hand was completely okay even if he had to do long jumps to reach the kitchen or sleep on just washed laundry. After nagging him for few times, I would end up doing some stuff myself. Cut to present – S has completely changed and I am still the same. He not only loads the washing machine as he cant let the dirty laundry hamper get full, he folds all the clean laundry. Now this is only an example. While I am still the same person who hates household chores (except for cooking), he is suddenly the responsible one. Its too much of a change that I never ever expected from him. These days, you can see him nagging me to get things done around in the house.

    • Pepper said

      What can I say, GB? Other than the fact that I envy you. That is exactly the kiind of change I dream of in Mint. I know it won’t happen in this lifetime.

  12. This is how I started out and look at me now….. I am a walking talking Container Store 😦

  13. Deepa said

    Yikes! Perhaps I’d better invite Mint then, and not you Madame, to do endless shavasana with me on pebble beach eh:) dont try too hard to change mint, something about wrestling with pigs in the mud comes to moi mind( been there done that you know and the guys I’m with still haven’t changed. Guess where I usually find all of v’s clothes shoved. Behind his bed no less!!!!)

    • Pepper said

      Haha.. wrestling with pigs in the mud. How very apt that is!

      PS – I have spent my life shoving my used clothes in all possible places. Behind the bed makes so much sense, no? It is is so strategically hidden 😀

  14. anjeneyan said

    I would say it reflects a higher commitment to life which at an younger age is not felt so deeply.
    Being indifferent to the physical environment in which an individual lives for a long period of time normally reflects certain underlying traits or approach to life or any aspect of it.

    One view that I have found appealing is that we spend a major portion of our waking hours outside our home toiling to earn a living. The time that we spent outside of those efforts should be in pleasing and tidy surroundings. I do not see why any one should work for 10 hours in an office in a disciplined manner and keep his or her living space in an untidy way.

    What is unstated is that the next generation learns from the previous one. I am seeing the untidiness of parents being emulated by the next generation and it is a sad sight.

    • Pepper said

      Actually, since I have been on both sides of the fence, I think I am in a position to defend Mint’s attitude. His POV is exactly that, that we spend the larger part of the day toiling at work and then go through a difficult commute to get home. He doesn’t understand why we should continuing working even after we get home. If we constantly work and don’t get time to relax even at home then life seems very devoid of value. I do understand what he says to an extent..

      I understand working for a clean and tidy environment if you LIKE having one, but if you don’t care about it and are happy and comfortable without tidiness, then I think it is okay to live like that, no?

      • anjeneyan said

        I am not a very tidy person myself and delay clearing my papers and cupboard till I am compelled to do so. But the external area- living room, kitchen, bedroom should not be in a mess on a continuing basis.
        We understand and appreciate the impact of such disorder better when we see it in another house which consists of only adults and grown up children.
        Another fear is that such indifference to physical cleanliness and order could extend to other major decisions and actions we need to take in our life.
        I recall my father who used to keep all his stuff in a discipline manner. He or any one could identify the location of any his items blindfolded from his cupboard. I am also seeing the efforts my daughter is putting in ensuring that her two children (both now school going) keep their school bags, shoes, books properly in the right place.

        My view- short run we can live the way we want to. Long run, based on my experience, an untidy house does reflect underlying issues, especially when children are also grown up adults.

        This is my view and no offence intended or meant.

  15. Nesting instict is taking over my dear. We women like to build our nests:-) Enjoy it but you also need to accept that Mint needs his own sweet time to change. Whichever dimension it may take. Have you ever thought about the changes in Mint? The small ones, which you might have, perhaps overlooked:-) Just thought for your next post:-)

    • Pepper said

      Aha.. that is very good point. I haven’t given much thought to the changes in Mint. I don’t think there have been many. Or maybe they have gone unnoticed because the changes haven’t clashed with my personality. Perhaps I too have changed in the areas that he has. I don’t know. Interesting thought. I’ll dwell upon it some more 🙂

  16. A.D!! said

    I feel like someone actually wrote about my husband and me 😛 We are exactly the way you described in this post. I haven’t changed extremely. I still am very lazy but when someones coming over I like to have a clean house whereas the husbands just happy to let them see it the way it is 😛 haha always ends bad. How do you manage?

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