First World Problems: A Shakespearean Friendship
By Judy Balan
First World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy at email@example.com (confidentially!) if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.
PROBLEM: S and I have been friends for years, since school (and that was… too long ago to mention, hehe) We live in the same metro, but opposite sides. On a good day with little traffic, it still takes two hours for one of us to come to the other. Every time we meet, she always wants it to be near her house. Once, I told her I can’t go so far, and she said then she couldn’t meet. We both have kids and jobs, so it’s really difficult to even find the time. I don’t want to stop being friends, but I’m worried that will happen if I don’t always go see her.
Ohmygosh. This is like a modern-day Shakespearian tragedy! The star-crossed BFFs can’t seem to meet up because Traffic and Distance hate each other and have decided to play the archetypal villains in your story. Except, in an unexpectedly original plot twist, even the BFF has decided to turn against you by making it clear that she will only see you as long as it is convenient for her. I’m sorry, Juliet, but this friendship is doomed! And rush not to the apothecary to beg of him for the poisonous rind of that weak flower! For this one shall die a natural death; or blur into healthy indifference. Hint: LET IT (just in case you’re the one being clingy and blowing this matter out of proportion).
PROBLEM: My parents are trying to arrange my marriage. I’m not too excited about it, but if the right guy comes along that way, then fine. Every couple of weeks I meet a new guy for coffee and a chat. The last one was really cute, and while I knew within five minutes I didn’t want to marry him (not my type), he was fun and… really cute. Anyway, we ended up making out. Not smart!! I don’t know what to do now. He’s been whatsapping me like crazy and I don’t know what to say to him or my parents now (they don’t/can’t know!!!) Does this mean I have to marry him after all?
You were clearly born in the late 90s or after ‘cause I don’t understand “not my type” + “we ended up making out.” But since I don’t want anyone to call me Judge Judy, I’m going to humour you. Here are two possible routes you can go:
- Ignore his messages for a while. Then reply feigning ignorance and tell him you’re not you. For example, if your name is Ditzy, tell him, “You’ve got the wrong number. I’m not Ditzy, I’m Raving Lunatic.” Like that. He’ll be angry, he’ll probably call you names, and you’ll continue responding as Raving Lunatic, telling him you’ll have to report him to the police if he keeps at it. Then after a few hours, message him again as Ditzy and be vague and mysterious when he asks you about RL, just to keep him guessing. Keep this up till he insists on seeing you and, when you meet, confess that you have MPD. Yes, Multiple Personality Disorder. In fact, I’m reading this really fun book in which similar things happen. It’s called Me, Mia, Multiple, in case you want more ideas. But I digress. Once the poor bastard has fallen hard, tell him there’s one more personality he hasn’t met. When he bites, show up as Bruce Jenner and say in an ominous voice: “Because he had to go somewhere.”
This obviously won’t go on for too long, and he’ll soon want you out of his life, so yay. In the event that he does decide to give your parents a detailed account of his ‘relationship’ with you, he’s going to come out sounding like the Raving Lunatic! Am I awesome, or am I awesome?
- Marry him. Since you can clearly make out with him, though he’s not your type, your sex life is sorted. Which is already more than what most married people have. Also, given that divorce rates are shooting through the roof, it’s a gamble either way. But at least, if you marry this one, you could write a book based on this story and call it something like Half-love, Half-arranged, and it will surely top the bestseller charts. Oh, wait. I think that book already exists. Find another title!