“Which one is better?” – wifey asked, holding 2 packets of a detergent – one green and one blue.
I was out doing the activity I hated most – the weekly shopping at the mall. My role is usually that of a support actor running after the lady with the “stuff to get home” list – pull the shopping trolley, follow wifey around all isles as she keeps popping things out to me, few questions and opinions are seek-ed (though fairly infrequent) and finally pay the bill.
I am usually relegated from being supporting actor to a “guest appearance” when wifey is joined by my mom or my mother-in-law (MIL). Wifey-Mom or Wifey-MIL combination occupies the complete screenplay – so, I usually have no dialogues to deliver, and am in the background – my part being restricted to pulling the trolley and paying the bill.
Anyway, this Sunday evening we were out to nearby shopping complex. We were at the aisle which had “Detergents, soaps” when my wife broke off from a serious conversation with MIL, making several “I AM TOTALLY CONFUSED WHICH ONE TO TAKE” gestures and came towards me – the disinterested chap looking away and asked –
WIFE : “Which one is better? (Pointing to the 2 packets of a popular detergent in her hand)
I was stunned by this sudden need for EXPERT ADVICE. This was not in the screenplay, but I decided to play along, at least for now.
ME: Well..uh.. which one do we usually take?
(Frankly, I had no idea. In such situations, experience had taught me that if you engage wifey into a question-answer mode – and well…she usually answered herself)
WIFE: (Looks at the two packets with confused expression)
ME: (Yaaay!! Got her confused, now she will answer herself)
WIFE : Oh!! Don’t confuse me now…. I asked you a question – answer properly – which one?
I can’t quite remember the last time when my tried and tested weapon – “The Ask Questions and Confuse Wifey” – my BRAHMASTRA – failed last. Maybe she was upset after the wasp warrior incident (Read it at https://arindamunplugged.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/mishti-doi-10-the-wasp-warrior/ )… I guess, I will never know. When in trouble, revert to logical reasoning… I tried..
ME: Well, let’s see… (I took the blue one from her and started examining the ingredients…) This one says QuickWash – so I guess you can assume it will magically kill the germs by itself quickly. Result – Improved productivity for the WASHING the clothes task – and more time that you can spend on cooking better FOOD!! ( I announced – surprised at how I managed to end the sentence – though it made very little sense)
I got the now customary “HOW CAN YOU TALK SUCH NON-SENSE” look…. She snatched the blue detergent packet from me. Obviously, my response was a lousy one!
That’s when a salesgirl came along and remarked – “Maa’m, this green one has an offer – you can save Rs. 10 if you purchase two of them”.
My wife’s eyes lit up – she shrieked, bubbling with energy (magically injected into her system with the use of the word – “OFFER“) and called out to MIL excitedly – “Maa… this one’s got offer… this one’s got offer!!”
ME: Hey, but that’s not the QuickWash one! It seems to be the OLD One without the latest innovations! (I stressed on innovations hoping that it would register somewhere in wifey’s brain nerves) What about the productivity considerations?
I don’t think she listened to what I said.
As MIL came alongside, she remarked –
WIFE: Ma… We are getting a SUPER SAVER OFFER!! Rs. 10 off… Yaaay! We will take this one!! (Super saver added by wifey to the “offer” the sales girl had said to add additional weight to the meek sounding offer)
ME: That’s like Rs. 10.. Come on (that’s like about USD 0.22- I calculated in my mind. How is that a SUPER saver offer?? (I wanted to add – that’s zilch, but before that….)
WIFE: (Gives me the DON’T TALK TOO MUCH ON A SUBJECT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND and marches away)
I got the cue, and decided to shut up for the rest of the expedition (yeah, its an expedition, I tell you)
(Indian) women.. Huh! – I thought to myself and plodded along behind them with the ubiquitous trolley hoping that the last scene in the movie – the Pay the Bill scene – would come fast!