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Monday, August 2, 2010

Enduring Friendship Day In Your Late 20s

Okay, so officially it is still Friendship Day, its 10 minutes to 12 so I can still safely wish all my friends a very happy friendship day. Not that I really celebrate this ‘special’ day anymore. I don’t. Not since I passed out of my college days have I actually celebrated friendship day with too much zeal. These ‘marked’ days don’t really work for me that well, I cant remember all of them for starters, and it is a real pain and embarrassment when you go about these ‘special’ days doing your regular own thing and someone calls and wishes you, or maybe it’s some-or-the-other of those ‘relationship’ days and the relation calls you and you end the conversation without even wishing them. That could very well be construed as rude, isn’t it?

I remember it was a really big thing when I was in school. We would be planning the day weeks in advance and there would be a festive feel on the special day. Even when I had my college friends the same feeling persisted. It was always a lot of fun going out together with your friends and doing the same things that you did with them on all other days – hanging out, talking, chatting, fighting, teasing, doing all those things that you do at that giggling age, that are so annoying for everyone else but you and your group. Of course I did all that too and of course I think that each kid should go through that phase at that time in their life. Its another kind of fun after all.

Now things have changed. The years have rolled by and some format of maturity has started to settle in.

I do not do any of those things any more. I do still have my own and lovely set of friends. But the best part now is that I can hang out and chill out and have fun as and when I want, I don’t really need an Archies outlet or a special day to tell me what is the right time to tell my friends know how special they are, or what is THE right thing to gift.

My daughter celebrated friendship day today with a lot of fun. She had her first friendship day last year when she was just about to turn 2. And this year, when she is just readying to turn into a lady of three, she had a great time on friendship’s day. After her friends left, we headed to the mall. And what a disaster it was…not that anyone is to blame, of course we knew it was friendship day, so what were we thinking?

Enduring these days when you are in your late 20s is a hazard, a scare, a pain in all the wrong places. Sorry about my choice of words but its just that I could not think of anything better to portray the way I felt today.

For starters, friendship day is always supposed to be on a Sunday. Which is even worse. You see, the messages on your cell start pouring in as early as Saturday evening, on the eve of friendship day! And of course your mobile is wide awake by the time the clock has touched the much awaited midnight mark. You can very well put it on silent and pretend that you are about to get lost in the world of sleep, but at the back of your mind you very well know that by the time you are up in the morning, your cell phone inbox will be overflowing and you will be required to delete messages in order to receive the pending messages. And before you delete those messages, you are socially obliged to reply to each and every message, no matter how close or not close you are to that person, since social etiquettes dictate that you respond in a similar or even better manner. Once you are done replying to all these messages, you begin to quickly delete them, only to receive more such messages and replying to them all over again. Forwarding the same message is also another risk, as you might end up forwarding a message to the originator, or you might miss seeing that the message had another friend’s name at the bottom, and once that is gone, you can only sit and think about what a goof-up it was – of course your friends will immediately understand what you were doing. Not that they don’t forward, that’s what all of us do, but at least they took care of putting in their own name or not putting any.

Once you are past that, if you get the chance of sitting on your comp, there would be another fresh batch of friendship day messages and wishes that you would be required to respond to. And if someone has sent you a card, you should really reciprocate your feelings by sending them another card as well.

As we headed to the mall we realised what a mistake it was. There was no parking and we had to wait in the queue for long. We did get space eventually but that wait was enough hint to let us know what lay in store.

Once in, the place was bursting with groups of giggling girls covered in marker pen messages scrawled all over their bare arms, showing off proudly to anyone who would care to look at them, those girl-women still not out of their teens and hence of the opinion that they are the hottest babes on the planet…ya sure! Its nice to be sweet and girly at that age, but trying to be hot and putting in too much effort to look grown up by wearing spaghetti tops and throwing about that fake and desperate attitude at that age is a little putting-off for me.

The boys seemed to be a little more level-headed, walking along with the girls, looking in other directions while the giggling continued on the other side, checking out stuff on their latest gadgets.

The lifts went out of control, what with so so so many people pressing the buttons simultaneously at so many levels. There were no queues anymore, it was a free for all, whoever can shove in the most gets a place in the lift first. The stores were packed with kids and their gangs looking around for gifts or just spending time together inside a store! The trial rooms were full and most of them had teenagers coming out with clothes they were just trying out for fun, with no intention of buying any. The food courts were filled to the core, with kids having taken over all the tables, loaded with burgers and fries and coke, the fine dine people cursing the invention of another special day. Too much noise and ruckus meant the infants were having a rather bad time of it all, so it was not long before all of them decided to pitch in their collective tiny voices that resulted in a jarring off-key orchestra. Infants crying made mothers hyper. So they began shouting at the fathers and telling them to leave, or to take the baby and soothe them. So many babies crying and women shouting made the toddlers cranky and jumpy, so they too decided it was okay to cry or show your displeasure. This resulted in more mothers getting irritated. And passed on the effect to the fathers too. So then again everyone decided to head for the elevators. Which were obviously too busy doing their rounds, and the queue that had formed had already lost its direction, so that it was again a shove and get in situation.

We did a little shoving, we did get in and we did get out.

Thankfully, tomorrow is a normal day, so I am already heaving a sigh of relief. Before you label me as anti-youngsters, I have nothing against them, in fact I enjoy these very same acts of theirs on other days. But I guess having too many of these giggling groups around me at the same time is a little too unnerving.

It was still friendship day when I started jotting this down, but now that I look at the watch, it is a brand new day…..good morning….