My Pakistani ex-boyfriend used to pinch my cheeks and call me "golgappa". Golgappa (or pani puri) are little, fried flour "balloons". You poke a hole in them, then fill them with a spicy, sour water and a few bits of channa (chickpea). This ex-boyfriend called me golgappa because I have round cheeks and a fierce temper. A temper that he encouraged - he even taught me a fair amount of curse words in Urdu (gaalis) to accompany this temper. For all that I can complain about that ex-boyfriend, I am glad that he appreciated my independence, my outspokenness.
And yes, it was no small irony when 18 years later while pregnant by my very Indian husband, I found myself craving golgappa like crazy. I was running to the Indian chaat place throughout the week - I would simply think of golgappa and my mouth would water and there was a yearning inside, deep inside, for that spicy, sour concoction. I remember one time showing up and finding out they did not have golgappa that day. I thought I was going to cry.
Anyway! I know that Manoj appreciates my independence as well. By the time we married, I had already owned a house by myself and in general, have always been far more knowledgeable on sensible things of that nature. We have a running joke where if we are bickering, I will retort "If you had wanted a sweet, docile simpleton for a wife, you should have had your mummy pick you out a nice Indian Girl from the Internet." Of course, we start laughing because we both know damned well that the "simpleton" part of the Indian Girl Stereotype is so very wrong. Gentle Reader, if you ever meet an Indian Girl in a dark alley, I suggest you run the opposite direction. Quicker than you can say "docile", that Indian Girl will whip her sari to the side and cut you like a little bitch.
Ah, but I kid Indian Girls. I hope they don't mind. Ahem.
Mostly, I am okay with being the responsible party. I enjoy making the decisions, being the person in our house who contacts repair people, who deals with service folks. Quite simply, I like being in charge. Sometimes, though, I wish I could sit back and let Manoj take care of things. I dream of a being That Girl who has a Manly Man who does things around the house.
And then yesterday happened.
I had run to the grocery store for emergency run of garlic (because yes, if we run out of garlic, I cannot cook.) On my way home, I got a call from Manoj asking for an ETA. Immediately, alarm bells stand on high alert. Turns out, there was a salesmen. In......our.....HOUSE
RING! RING! RED ALERT! RED ALERT! RING! RING!
Manoj does not do well with salesmen and when one comes to our house, I will trip over my own damned feet in a mad dash to beat him to the door. He is such a bleeding heart, so completely and utterly vulnerable to the heartless ambush of a salesman. And his heart bleeds more copiously as the outside temperature drops (seriously, who the hell goes door to door in 30 degree weather??!!) Oh, and if the salesman is under 3 feet tall? Even better. Sucker!
With all of this in mind, I put all the ponies under my car's hood to work in a vain attempt at averting disaster.
In two weeks, we are changing cable providers. A deal that means we are going from a single, quad-tuner DVR with ATT U-Verse to TWO SEPARATE, dual-tuner DVRs with SureWest. Keeping in mind, that Manoj does not entirely understand how to even set up a season pass on our current DVR and realistically, does not quite understand the ramifications of essentially having TWO separate systems in DIFFERENT rooms in our house. Despite all of my logical arguments that our current system was just fine, fine, no really!
After the sales guy left, Manoj sort of tip-toed around me the rest of the evening in an attempt to mollify me, pointing out that we can get Showtime as I have always wanted (Nancy Botwin! Dexter! At last!). It worked. While I am not happy about changing providers (and figuring out how I am going to watch a ridiculous number of shows stockpiled on the old DVR, shows I was saving for the dead airspace that accompanies the holidays), I did appreciate that he realized that I gave the saleman a run for his money and ultimately, saved us a bit more money.
The next time I groan because I am saddled with yet another responsibility in this house, I am going to remember the vision of that salesman sitting in my dining room, enjoying a beverage, relatively secure in the knowledge that he had already convinced my husband of this so-called great deal. Sure, I gave the guy a hard time, but half the battle is getting into the house, right?