Have you ever met Everyone? Who IS this faceless Everyone of whom we hear so much?
Once I happened to mention that I have made it clear to my children that bringing up their children is their responsibility, and they, the children, cannot assume that I will be the caretaker by default. What prompted me to say this is the way I see young couples have children soon after marriage as a matter of course, then ‘dump’ those children on the parents and go about their life.
The wise (my foot!) old ladies around me shook their collective heads pityingly at my ignorance. Everyone says that, they enlightened me, but when the time comes, no one can resist grandchildren. Excuse me. I don’t know who this Everyone is or why Everyone’s words should be accorded more importance than my own when it comes to myself. Do I know myself more or does Everyone?
Then there was the time a decade back when I was having some serious issues with the power consumption in my house. The bills I was getting were way too high and bore no connection to the usage in a house with just two occupants, the Second Born and I. The boy was mostly at college and I rarely used even the fan. There was no AC either. And yet the meter showed the consumption to have been very high month after month.
I had electricians come over and check the wiring, and also the electronic appliances, more than once. Then as a next step, we complained to the Electricity Board. They agreed that the bill was way too high for non commercial consumption. They had their people check the outside wiring. Next, they suggested perhaps the electronic meter was faulty. It was rare, but it could happen. Did you notice what I wrote above? The suggestion about the electronic meter being faulty came from THEIR office, NOT FROM ME.
When I reached this point of the story about my electric-bill-woes, someone walked in and having only heard the ‘electronic meter could be faulty’ bit told me, “Everyone thinks that electronic meter pushes the bill up! But no. You must first get your wiring checked, the appliances…. yada, yada, yada.” There it was, everything I said being thrown back at me as if I was a nincompoop whose upper storey was empty. On top of that, I had been compared to the brainless Everyone, whoever THAT was, who (unlike me) thought electronic meter alone raised the bills. Like, really?
The other day I wondered aloud why some old people felt too ashamed to use walking sticks even-though that was what the doctor advised them to do as falls could be fatal with their brittle bone condition. Someone turned to me then and said, “Everyone says that, but when the time comes, even you would feel the same and won’t use one.”
Excuse me, This sort of interpretation of MY thought processes I was not going to let go meekly. IF the doctor advises me today that I need to use a walking stick, I WILL, I said, I am NOT ashamed of walking sticks. Walking sticks don’t define me, nor the fact that I need to use them if/when the time arises. I am who I am and will be, in spite of walking sticks or hearing aids or whatever. That’s what people talking to me tend to forget. But… once again I did not get who this Everyone was who is supposed to have said what I said.
Seriously, WHO is this Everyone that everyone seems to know? Have you met the omniscient Everyone who seems to have an opinion on everything? Is this Everyone the same as the one who invokes fear and horror among people, the one they refer to when they say, “What will Everyone say?!” Is this the Everyone for whom parents disown children, push them to do what they hate, force them into marriages, even kill at times and also die? In case you do come across Everyone, let them know I am looking for them, also warn them that I am geared up for battle.
©Shail Mohan 2016
Day 23 NaBloPoMo 2016