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Take Me To The Other Side

I like to think that no woman blossoms in to what is known as ‘the other woman’. Every little girl envisions a perfect family pod when she hosts tea parties in her doll house (Or most, because I dreamed of guns and toy soldiers). Somewhere between adolescence and adulthood, women choose to settle for less. I use the word ‘pod’ here because I am reminiscent of this round toy that opened up to miniature house that held micro-mini dolls that a lot of girls in school had that I could not afford, but in my seven year old mind that was the ultimate trophy family.

Last month, I spoke about how some people can be in love with two people at the same time – I could not forget some of the conversations I had with the person in concern. This got me thinking about the women who to choose to be on the other side.

Let’s not forget the multitude of women who go through life in blissful ignorance of their husband’s philandering ways for years; scrubbing lipstick stains off shirt collars and accepting any excuse from accidently bumping in to someone in the elevator to stains from the new office chair. I am sure even Richard Branson leaves work on time some days of the month, but when husbands crawl in to bed after 11pm daily, even when they are only middle managers, these dutiful wives look at the time and go back to sleep, half dreaming of breakfast. They don’t stop to wonder why their husbands are avid to hide credit card bills – maybe the constant visits to hotel rooms could be why.

What’s worse is that most ‘other women’ I know of are not even treated nicely – or respectfully. In my bravado, I say things like how I don’t necessarily want to be married and all I want is a diamond ring so heavy that I would need to hire someone just to walk around with it. It is unimaginable that women put up with men who are abusive, physically, mentally and verbally. During the chase, women are showered with exclusive fragrances, inundated with all forms of communication, snuck in to lavish restaurants for private lunches for hours. When the vile chase is over it’s all about shutting her away, ignoring her calls by pressing ‘silence’ on mobile phones, evading her calls on the office phone by saying they are at discussions because they know the women have been reduced to their knees. The hour long fancy lunches are done and dusted with a drive-through McDonald’s meal. Oh, and physical intimacy – no more plush hotels now, the back of the car would suffice.

With all this, she’s convinced that she deserves this. She imagines that this is love, and that this is the best she could do. Women refuse to accept that maybe, there could be someone out there who would want to build a family with her.

Apart from the question that keeps nagging me ‘Why do women settle for so little’, my main question is at what point do they convert from Betty Crocker to Miss Used? (Aren’t I a Genius?) Is this decided in a moment or is it instilled over time? Admittedly, some of the bigger decisions in life have been made when I am covered in soap suds under a shower. For example, cheesecake with or without blueberry topping; silver necklace or ghetto gold with the bright red top I intend to sport today.

Strangely, I keep thinking of Aishwarya Rai-Batchchan’s TV commercial for L’Oreal excellence crème where she says in a sultry tone, ‘Because you’re worth it’ (alright, so I do have a few greys I need to mask, so hair colouring is on the top of my mind right now!) Do women know they are worth it? Do women know what they are worth? I have many kind friends who encourage me saying that the right person I am destined to be with is out there somewhere, when they tell me I deserve better than my past experiences. This used to stir a happy-sorta jolt in me two years ago – now I feel the same excitement when I see pictures of cupcakes on my Instagram feed.

What value is quantified when you are told that you’re worth more or you deserve more? Is this the dilemma women face when they decide that being someone’s appetizer is enough? If you have had doting parents all your life, I suppose you are sorted. I feel the need to hashtag ‘I hate privileged people’.

I wish I could see the decision come to life. How do they weigh their options when choosing between being the weekend lay or on the receiving end of what I call electric love? (If you face-palmed, I’m sorry!) How do you make up your mind to be second best, when you know full well that it’s only physical, it will last for maybe three months, if you are lucky? How do know that there aren’t better options out there?

Men don’t necessarily make this choice any easier for women – I know a hapless amount of men who prefer something casual until they notice that their abdomen line is nearing their knee and their hairline cannot be seen unless a mirror is held at the back of their head to reflect in the mirror in front of them.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not judging anyone; lately, I’ve resolved in my head to do away with square notions, if one claims its love, I’ve learned to bow my head in acceptance. But, I do feel for gorgeous women, probably thousands in my own midst who silently bite their lip when their partner tells them they have to leave at the end of passionate sex, to go home to their wives and families. To strain a smile when they are told they can’t meet next week because of the planned family vacation, or to know full well his office table has a framed picture of his wife, and not you. They cry silently until their throats burn, wishing they were not taken to the other side.

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