Eat, sleep, watch (TV) and fight!

What do couples do when they are alone? I mean when the kids have grown up and flown the coop and they are left rattling like two peas in a pod?

They:

  • heave a sigh of relief and put their feet up for some much needed rest and respite.
  • mope around, stifle their sniffles and spend the major part of their day reminiscing about their offspring.
  • let their hair down, grab their valises and leave on that world cruise or back pack their way into the jungles and mountains.
  • simply turn into two fighter cocks, glad to be able to fight in peace without worrying about their kids overhearing them and get insecure/scared/paranoid/etc.etc.

So which category do you think you/your parents belong to? It is not necessary to just belong to one. Some like the L&M and I have done all of the things given above and then some, before settling down to a routine of Eat, Sleep, watch (TV) and fight. They are all interconnected and we often fight about two or more things at a time.

There are any number of studies that have found that men the world over — cutting across cultures and countries — are addicted to news and sports on TV. You guys already know the vice grip that the idiot box has on the members of the L&M’s household. Thankfully, it has not got a hold on the Long Suffering Lady (LSL) yet.

Sometimes, it does not require the kids to leave home before this routine sets in. All it needs is for couples to grow older and feel comfortable in each other’s company. Though if you hear them fight, it wouldn’t seem so! I have observed my parents and parents-in-law fighting like kids over trivial things, all concerned with the very same things. My parents didn’t watch TV, at least mother didn’t, so that didn’t form a part of the fights. But with my in-laws it used to be non-stop argument/fight when they watched TV. They both loved cricket matches and that was where the fights started. They would go on so heatedly that it would become more entertaining to watch and listen to them than the match and the commentary!

Coming back to the L&M and the LSL, what exactly do they bicker about? For one, over eating: They eat at different times. The former eats an early lunch/dinner and the latter eats at half past noon. When she comes with her plate to the living room he is watching one of the news channels with the anchor hyperventilating about something monumentally silly for her brain to even register.

‘Didn’t you watch this debate last night?’

‘I missed some of the portions.’ This, said accusingly because that was when I had come in with my dinner and insisted on changing the channels. I simply can’t bear these mind-numbing debates and don’t know what he finds interesting in them.

‘Can we watch something else?’ I ask with exaggerated politeness.

‘What?’

‘Anything.’

‘I know, you’d want to watch one of the cookery shows! As if you cook anything that is shown on them.’ The was last added under his breath but the LSL’s poor eyesight is amply made up by her extra sharp hearing.

‘As if you will eat when I make them,’ I shoot back. Actually, more than the love for the show, they simply coincide with my meal times and I end up watching them willy-nilly for want of anything else. But I am not about to acknowledge the fact to the L&M.

‘First make something and then talk!’ he snaps.

‘Oho! So I never make anything new? What about the time I made the gatte ki subzi and you didn’t like it? And the time….’

‘There was no vegetable in gate ki subzi!’ he cuts me off quickly.  The fact is, he never likes anything out of the ordinary,  unless it is is solely made of vegetables.  Unwilling to let go of my advantage, I go for the giant kill: ‘All you like are kootu (vegetables cooked with moong/arhar dal and spices) and boiled subzi and a cucumber raita – everyday! Hmph…..Let me tell you, I am tired of cooking the same things even if you are not tired of eating them.’  He not only eats kootu, but would eat lauki (bottle gourd) kootu every day of the week, month and year. Bah! And after years of making it, I can’t stand its sight.

Sometimes the squabble over eating goes along different lines:

‘What happened to the murukku I had bought the other day?’

‘I ate it.’

‘All of it? I didn’t eat even one piece!’

‘It was there for so long (I can swear I bought a whole packet only yesterday). Why didn’t you eat it?’

Now folks, I have to eat in competition with him if I have to get my share at all, or hide some of it because I can’t compete with him. The problem with the latter option is that I forget where I hid it and he is an expert at searching!

By now I have finished eating and before the channel goes back to news, I want to see what movies are on.

I find A dry White Season playing on one channel and settle down to watch it taking the remote with me to the kitchen to prevent him from changing the channel. Despite himself, the L&M is interested and joins me. Peace reigns for the duration of the movie, which has just started. Our love for movies is already known to my dear readers. But there has been one change. Gone is my tolerance for action movies and thrillers which I used to be cajoled and tricked into watching (and which I tried my best to enjoy being love -struck during the early years of marriage).

These days I watch children’s movies or comedies and some serious movies like A dry white season, Rabbit-proof FenceMississippi Burning,  Cry the beloved Country,  Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.  Though the L&M continues watching the genres he watched when he was younger and has added horror to the repertoire, he also likes the LSL’s choice and so they companionably watch the movie, with him making tea half way through so that she does not miss any scene.

Don’t you go thinking that it is all peaceful thereafter. It is night time and there is a scramble for the LSL to turn in before the L&M. She is legendary for sleeping through earthquakes (two of them in recent times) if they happen in the first couple of hours after her sleeping. So what could mere snoring of the L&M do to disturb her? But on the nights he goes to bed before her, there is a battle the next morning.

‘I couldn’t sleep till 1 AM with you snoring loud enough to scare burglars away from the entire locality. Can’t you be a little quieter at least now?’ I yell.

‘So why didn’t you wake me up?’

‘How many times do I wake you up?’ I didn’t tell him that I didn’t have the heart to wake him up after a couple of times because he was sleeping so soundly. I had already lost my sleep. So what was the point in waking him up too?

‘From today I will wait till you sleep, ok?’ he pacifies me before going off for his morning walk.

I grumpily go into the kitchen to make tea and am greeted by a cup of it, still hot enough! I feel sorry for grudging his sleep and yelling at his noisy early morning doings – he was just making my morning cuppa, ginger and all, even though he hates grating the said root.

When he gets back from his walk, we begin on another topic — the vegetables he has bought. Some of them don’t lend themselves to being made into kootu, of course and the news is greeted by a woebegone face. And from there we merrily go from one quarrel to the other as we get through the day and it is time for the sleep fight….Of course we do our work too, but take care to do it around the main activity — of fighting!

Who said, life becomes listless and dull after the kids leave home? If anything, it becomes even more colourful and ‘interesting’, the boring menu of kootu, subzi and raita notwithstanding. The habit is so ingrained that when the Brats are visiting, they have a whale of a time watching their beloved parents quarrelling like kids, much the same way we watched ours. This time, even the little one asked in bewilderment, ‘Why are you and Thatha fighting, Paati?’

Do you have similar tales  of fight-and-tell?

129 comments

  1. Dear Zephyr, just wanted to let you know that I featured this post in the best of my weekly reading series for 2012: http://www.bigaandlittlea.com/2012/12/the-best-of-the-weekly-reading-series.html

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    1. Thank you so much for featuring this post on your reading list, Roshni.

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  2. Hi Zephyr, I am one of the best private detectives and investigators in Mumbai. Yeah one of those rare female breeds in the Indian private investigation scene! I am divorced with a 20 year old daughter and I dont think that situation will ever arise. And since my daughter does not watch TV but is only glued to the internet, I have the TV all to myself!

    Again my parents rarely fight anymore especially since me and my sister got married and left the home which is a reverse scenario from that which you have described above. My father who is in his eighties prefers to listen to music all the time while my mother is busy with various social activities.

    The TV in the meanwhile just stops working due to lack of use! I guess people living together will always squabble especially when there is nothing meaningful left in their lives anymore with the children leaving and post retirement boredom kicking in. The challenge is to keep yourself active with a hobby, a light sport or a social cause or even work and business. That will make you too tired to fight at the end of the day!

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    1. Hey Sunita, these fights have nothing to do with boredom, but are ways to stay connected and grounded. Didn’t you see the humour? We are both active and not victims of boredom 😀 Wonderful to know that you are a pro in an unusual profession and doing great 🙂

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  3. Am so happy after reading this lovely and sweet post. You too are an awesome couple. Watching a movie together and L&M making tea in between so that you don’t miss the movie was so sweet. He again making ginger tea for you in the morning before you get up and you not having the heart to wake him up; all of this shows the wonderful love between you two. My heart is filled with so much happiness and you both are just absolutely wonderful. I must tell you, it is indeed wonderful to watch the cute little quarrel of parents. They are so endearing. There are lots of similarities between my mom and you and between my dad and L&M. Replace the kootu with vatha kuzhambu here. Rest all is pretty much the same. I personally don’t have such a tale to tell (yet!!) but yeah.. I have grown up watching these little fights between my parents and your post reminded me of all those wonderful little moments. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for liking the post, Raj. There are so many other things about old parents living by themselves that it will make some more posts 🙂 Vatha kuzhambu is a rare thing in our house because though he loves it, the L&M would only like it once in a way. He tends to overeat when I make it and then get scolded for making him do it 🙂 Psst….tell you a secret. When the fights are real, they are never fought in front of an audience and those are forgotten too, because one of them would realise the point the other is making and come round sooner than later 😀

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  4. Ha ha! I read this post twice.. First time I laughed (while I was reading it in Mumbai local) the second time I laughed more (at my office desk). I could only imagine both of you fighting and it sounded adorably funny in my head! Hopefully, I will be witness to these fights soon 😉

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  5. inducares · · Reply

    I have joined the party late but i absolutely loved the repast–you have a wonderful style,i could almost see you two indulging each other.
    BTW,i have written a post on the same topic,i plan to publish it on the 7th for blog-a-ton.But it is nowhere near yours.

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    1. I am so glad my pieces have inspired you to share yours. Looking forward to reading it. 🙂

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  6. That was so hilarious and sweet! You and your L&M reminded me so much of my parents at so many places :). I can even imagine me and my husband indulging in all those squabbles when our daughter will have left the nest and we will have the whole house to scream at each other without worrying about her overhearing us 😀

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    1. And we ARE the typical aging couple who need to remain ‘connected’ with their loved ones and when they are not around we make do with each other 🙂 And having fights without an audience is a relief, but when you reach our age, an audience is just as welcome 😀

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  7. I hate to fight. It depresses me but when when I cant stuff my mouth I do open out all the steam and I know it is more than scalding!

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    1. But this is more about bickering than fighting, Jerly. And it never gets out of hand 🙂 When it threatens to turn a bit serious, one of us deflates the hot air with a pin of humour and whoosh! We end up laughing 🙂 Or the ‘aggressor’ does something infinitely sweet and diffuses the situation. That is the beauty of long term relationships!

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  8. […] What: Eat, sleep, watch (TV) and fight! Spicy: What happens when a couple ‘matures’? Do they graduate to smoothened daily operations or […]

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  9. Such a sweet post! 🙂

    Even my parents have these petty fights and arguments and its amusing how they can sense a topic even in the most ordinary situations and then carry it on which is sweet in its own way but what I always found sweeter was the after making-up part of it 🙂

    Btw, did I just see the reason behind your belan avatar? 😉

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    1. We parents are quite innovative that way, to come up with new challenges to fight over 🙂 We can turn anything into a fight and sometimes having kids around is incentive, hoping for some support 🙂 The belan avatar is just me — I like bullying, period. 😀

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  10. Bang on :-). Specially about the cookery shows and snoring. I could also see my parents exchange the same heated argument :-).

    Yes, Sometimes I feel guilty at the thought of how my parents would spend time a few years later, but still I think that would be the time to rekindle all that love and affection that had taken a backseat keeping in mind the children’s future.

    Life would be boring without all these fights you know, and I admire my parents, the way the make up after every fight so soon 🙂

    Completely loved the post 🙂

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    1. When you look superficially at the fights, they might look like incompatibility and resentment, but the way they look out for each other is what makes it a way of expressing closeness and comfort in each other’s company. Of course, when the fights are laced with dislike or anger, then the matter is entirely different. They would manage fine, don’t you worry!

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  11. G.N. Balakrishnan · · Reply

    Variety is the spice of life. If, like the fairy tale, we live a life of ever lasting happiness there after, the routine will grate on your nerves. But one thing I find interesting is that, these small skirmishes between the spouses are sauce of life and are momentary and forgotten the next moment. I miss it very much now, on the eve of the birth anniversary of my beloved wife, who departed for her heavenly abode in 2011. The blog reminded me of several such silly encounters, many of which were unwarranted, coming to think of it now. Thanks for kindling such pleasant memories.

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    1. I am happy to know that you enjoyed the piece and took a walk down memory lane. Life indeed can be insipid without some khatti-meethi interactions between the spouses. I am sure you miss your wife, Sir, especially on her birth anniversary. I am also certain that she is smiling at the memories herself, up in Heaven 🙂

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      1. G.N. Balakrishnan · · Reply

        What you have stated, as always, is so true. Really, I do not miss here as she is always in my thought and guiding me in the right direction and smiling up in heaven over my candid admission. Thank you so much. Very much beholden to you.

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        1. You are welcome sir. When a reader finds an echo in one’s writing, it makes the day for the writer. Thank you so much. 🙂

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  12. Hi,
    I smiled through the entire post . It was a delightful read …needless to say my parents are in the same phase too :).

    P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

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    1. Welcome here, EOL and I am glad you liked what you read 🙂 What will you guys do if it were not for parents to entertain you? 😀 Do come again 🙂

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      1. Well parents are indispensable anyways …. :). I am haunting this place for sure 🙂

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        1. Isn’t that wonderful? I mean your decision to haunt my space? 😀 And btw, the Blog Bully demands that you please put in an email subscription option on your blog 😛

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  13. he he he… we finally resolved this fight between my parents by getting another TV.. but at my home it is a reverse problem. dad wants to see Tv serials and mom wants to see News.. :).
    generally fight is like this
    mom: you are nt at all talking to me..
    dad: ( watching his compute screen) i just now asked u for tea.. is that not talking?
    mom: but u are only asking for things, not asking me what i did all day
    dad: ok what did u do all day?
    mom: why are u bothered.
    dad: ( again gets engrossed in computer)
    mom: what?
    dad; you asked me not to bother
    mom: starts with all puranan.. the old days..
    daD; i am going for a walk, would u like to join?
    mom: yes, i am coming
    daD;( by this time he would have gone down the stairs, nt listening to her)

    my parents did another planning too.. my sister was born 10 years after me.. so they still have her around.. by the time she gets out of house, my kid is there to keep them occupied. the reason they gave for the gap between me and my sis, is that they didnt want to get bored while they were old..

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    1. Very clever of them to have so planned their life 😀 Maybe I should change the post slightly to say that the spouses fight regardless of kids being around? That was an interesting conversation between them. 😀

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  14. you just reminded me of my own parents!! We call them The Lockhorns, after the couple in the Telegraph comic section! 😀 Their fights especially in the car is legendary in our family!!

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      1. Thank you so much Roshni! Will read all the links soonest! 🙂

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  15. I nevr could see my inlaws fight and and my parents also never had those little bickerings, and I miss that with my hubby too…looks like we are a family of boring serious people.

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    1. But you could always initiate the tradition for posterity! Think about it 😀

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  16. Hi there, this is a nice post.
    As for me since I can’t stop his snoring, I simply sleep in a different room, so that i can also sleep peacefully and he can also sleep peacefully. I need my sleep, for I have to get up early to conduct my aerobics class. Regarding TV, there is hardly anything worthwhile to watch these days. I mostly watch the travel channels and I watch it in some other room.
    With children having left long time ago,even when they were here my daughter moved out to a place closer to her office and my son moved to another city to do his engineering.
    Now of course both are not with us, so we two have the big house and we really enjoy our time together as well not together.
    Many times people ask us whether we don’t get bored, but we don’t get bored at all. He enjoys his space and I enjoy my space and there is perfect harmony, there is nothing to crib or fight about, which I think also works perfectly.
    We both like to cook and we don’t mind whoever does the cooking.

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    1. Hey, nice to see you here! Aerobics class? No wonder you look so fabulous 🙂

      What a perfect made for each other couple! I guess you have found the perfect way to be together and enjoy each other’s company 🙂 However, the L&M (and even I) like to spend time together doing whatever little that we still enjoy doing together and that involves fighting over silly things too 🙂

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  17. What a lovely post! 😀 This is partly our story and partly my parents’! The fight for the remote is an ongoing battle with hubby many-a-times taking the remote with him, if he has to excuse himself for a minute or two from the TV room! 😐

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    1. We do act so childish sometimes, don’t we? And age has nothing to do with it. Carry on and find newer ways to fight and have fun 🙂

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  18. ha ha What a post Zephyr! And I guess sometimes you end up in silly fights even when your child is just 3 and is watching you with total bewilderment 😀

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    1. Oh we used to have those too, but then we had other important things like raising the brats so the fights didn’t form the major portion of our activities. 🙂 Keep at it and you will hone it to a fine skill 😀

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  19. This sounded like how my parents fight. And not just over the TV remote, but the daily menu, the choice of newspaper, who’ll answer the doorbell/telephone, snacking between meals… in short everything. 😀 They would try to ‘behave’ when we were around, but this would last for only sometime.

    My mother asks me to tell you that she loved the post too 🙂

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    1. That must be so entertaining. We don’t even bother to ‘behave’ for a while because then the brats and the daughter and now the little one would wonder if we are indeed going for a divorce 😀 They know that the barks are all harmless and part of the ‘harmonious’ household. 🙂 Thank your mom for liking the post, will you?

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  20. Ha ha…..your L&M post always bring a smile on my face ! Enjoy them so much !
    The L&M here just hates to fight, so mine is one sided, which is no fun ! We certainly have disagreements but it’s that we agree to disagree on sticky points !:)
    Awesome post !

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    1. You should take a leaf out of Manju’s ideas. She has managed to turn her silent L&M into a verbal one and apparently their fights are not the same anymore these days 😀

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  21. I wrote a long comment last evening only to have it disappear into cyber hell (or heaven). I’m here again and hoping this one takes.
    This post so reminded me of my parents, who at 87 and 84 respectively seem to find new things to argue about. TV viewing is certainly high on their list. In this case, Mum likes watching the news – the gorier the story, the better. Dad is more into movies. Another thing that sets Mum off is his gathering of official papers, many of which are spread on the dining table and then find a place on various pieces of furniture. When I lived with them, I was roped in to umpire their matches and now, sometimes I am asked to be umpire over the phone!
    My husband and I, thankfully, hardly watch TV – so our arguments were confined to his messiness. But now, I’ve learned to be messy myself. I you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!!

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    1. I am so sorry Corinne, something seems to be wrong with the server and I have always seen that it acts up when Vinni is away — this time on the Ashtavinayak bike trip. So I am left replying comments only when it is working. It usually starts acting funny in the afternoons so I have left other work and am posting replies now 😀

      Age has nothing to do with it. And let me tell you, they wouldn’t want it any other way. I can quite imagine your mother watching news with interest. The L&M does it too and then bores me to death with his analysis 🙂 He could give a run for the money to Arnab, Rajdeep and their ilk 🙂 Did you say meesiness? Well, I learnt the lesson a long time ago too and with two Brats, the education was swift. Do read it at https://cybernag.in/2010/04/the-day-i-climbed-the-wall/

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      1. Maybe Vinni does that one purpose to show how indispensable he is, Zephyr. I thoroughly enjoyed your wall climbing post – I see that you can perfectly understand me. 🙂

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        1. He wouldn’t, the way I keep nagging him! Glad you enjoyed the post. I have become so slovenly that it is the turn of the brats to clean up after me these days. I am loving it 😀

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  22. Watching a husband cheat on his wife in a TV serial ,my house was witness to a serious (or so it seemed !) fight between MIL and FIL over morality ,character and what not. Hobbs the hubby could not take it as it interfered with an old 1979 ka cricket match on TV which he was glued on to. He picked up a telephone directory and dialled a number in the midst of all the pandemonium .
    MIL snapped,”kai kartoye ?” (What are you doing ?)
    Hobbs- “Divorce lawyer la phone kartoye,garaz padel ” (calling up a divorce lawyer,his services may be required )
    Except FIL ,who sulked and Hobbs who was serious,we had a major ROFL moment.
    BTW we ,Hobbs and I wonder everyday what keeps us together :0 ?! We began fighting at 19 and are still going strong. 😀

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    1. I love the name Hobbs 🙂 Any particular reason? if you have a blog post about it, please give me the link.

      I would have loved to see the expressions of the trio when this phone call charade happened. 😀 They must have been priceless, right? Since we don’t watch any serial (the L&M watches only crime patrol) that fight is spared. But the debates on the news channels are enough to spark off a major WW in our home 😀

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      1. Hobbs from Calvin and Hobbs 😀 Roars occasionally but can be cuddle worthy especially when stuffed ( with favourite food)
        Have not attempted writing about him yet ! I am afraid of the stir it might cause in the blogworld …

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        1. You should. And they love it, the L&Ms and the Hobbs — their roars notwithstanding 😀

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  23. Looks like I joined the party late. Well, I love kootu, sabzi and raitha – now that I know the menu when I come over, I guess I just need to book the tickets? 🙂 Ha ha ha… as always very endearing, zee…

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    1. You will have to eat that menu everyday you are with us. So be prepared 😀 you should see his face when there is no kootu. He will say, ‘chalo, main bana leta hoon!’ as if I found it difficult to make 😀 Difficult it is, because the same thing staring at me everyday can put me off big time 🙂

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      1. (At the risk of incurring your wrath) I love kootu and raitha and honestly can eat it day in and day out. What is not to like about it Zee 😛 At least from a food POV, I will be totally at home…

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        1. I will tell the L&M that he has another fan of his food preferences and of course you are most welcome to come and eat it with him and enjoy it too — every day 😀

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  24. I have yet to make up mind as to who I find more adorable – L&M(fodder for such amazing stories) or LSL(who narrates them with such chutzpah).

    I see the same story repeated at my parents and in-laws house. We giggle, nudge each other as we see them bicker like kids.

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    1. I am waiting to see how Diya reacts the next time she is here 😀 Psst…sometimes the fights are stepped up to entertain an audience and expecting some participation from them too 😀

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  25. Your whole day just played out in my mind. Lovely writing, as always. Life would be so boring without these fights, right.

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    1. An you know something? If I sit and read or work on my laptop in the other room, he will call me to where he is and then continue watching the news, while I fumed 😀

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  26. I dare say – kahani ghar ghar ki…!

    I and my bro have already decided to gift a TV to my dad on his retirement to ensure peace prevails at home even during the day 😀

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    1. Won’t help! Because unless they are both too addicted to the idiot box and not to each other, it will be lying unused while they fight for the remote of the old TV 😀 What fun when there is no interaction between the two, even if only to bicker? 🙂

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  27. hahahahah! you just wrote something about my parents as well eh?

    I think thankfully Appa is still working so they are yet to start the full fledged fighting but I sure see this coming in a few years..

    Big hugs to both of you okie?

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    1. It has nothing to do with working or not, as I am repeatedly saying. When they are together, the sparks will fly thick and fast. It is about all parents as they grow older. Familiarity breeds fights 😀

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  28. Hahahah!!
    This reminds me so much of my in-laws!! They are the most adorable couple I know!! It’s a riot just watching them on a normal day.
    They will find new things to bicker about (silly things) and hubby usually plays referee once a day if he’s around! 😀

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  29. I was reminded of my grandparents after reading your post! And most of the times they fought for newspaper or a magazine. My grand-mom accused grand-dad that he read the newspaper till noon and carried it wherever he went until he finished reading it!

    And then they fought over how the food should taste, Grandmom loved her food to be pungent while her better half couldn’t stand it 🙂 It was quite fun to see them fight like that.

    I like the title you have bestowed yourself “Long Suffering Lady” 🙂

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    1. Ah, one more area of discontent! I had not written about all of them knowing that they would find their way into the comments and how right I was! I crib about his ‘destroying’ the order of the pages and scattering them all over the place. It would take me ages to put them all back in order and read the paper. So it would be a scramble to get one’s hand on it first and finish glancing at the headlines 🙂 Psst…when there is audience, we love playing to the gallery too 😀

      Thank you, metherebel. The name is getting added to the Ashtotram being compiled in the honour of the Cybernag 😀

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  30. My parents finally got two separate televisions after fighting for almost a decade. Peace finally! 🙂

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    1. but Amit, what is the fun of watching TV in different rooms, when you can have an animated quarrel over one remote? Ask Sandhya, who recently got her own TV and she will testify to this fact 😀

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  31. As a wag (not me 🙂 ) once said – “My wife and I were happy for twenty five years. And then we met.” 🙂

    Awesome post, Zephyr!

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    1. How true! In the hurly-burly of life when we raise our kids and take care of mundane stuff, we have no time for such ‘interesting’ fights, do we? 😀 The best part is, we can’t live away from each other either! Talk of masochism 😀

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  32. ha ha. Another interesting post form Z. The topic is very topical to me. We two are retiring very soon the children are already living away from home. But I can assure you one thing it is not going to be about keeping the remote under custody because we two are not TV addicts. And then he cooks what he wants -I mean his delicacies and I only need to keep him company in cutting or peeling something. And I get along pleasurly with any of his recipe so that I can escape cooking.

    But the real issue comes like this. See we have been making some serious renovations and rearrangements in out house these days. Then, when I keep the sofa in the living room at one place from where I can see all the beautiful flowers blooming outside, he wants to keep it exactly in the opposite direction. Then I argue out like a rational being and he like a man of his choice. Then I talk down, ‘ok you do what you want’. After a while he would say, um I think there is a point in what you say. Ya i can see to that now. So no problem we can do that’

    and there it goes.

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    1. Prasanna, it doesn’t matter whether or not you are working or retired, but that you are alone without the kids. That itself has some effect on the relationship since we have to adjust to each other and be under each other’s foot. Unless one is constantly travelling, there are bound to be such fights — in a healthy marriage 🙂 In my house only the L&M is a TV addict. I am not and so it makes me madder when I have to fight for the remote for the few minutes when I have my meals 🙂

      The shifting of things is funny! It is great that he comes round to your way of thinking 😀

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  33. Hm… Interesting question. Everyone worries so much about that phase. I am already longing for that phase. I sometimes ask my wife if we can skip the middle phase of kids and stuff and save up fast, retire and directly to the post retirement phase.

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    1. You don’t have to retire to have such fights. All you need is to be left behind by the offspring. Sometimes they don’t even need to leave home, since life has become too hectic for everyone. We are not retired either. So go right ahead and make it happen! It is all worth it 😀

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  34. We fight all the time :). Even the kids know we will get back to normal soon. I am not a drama queen and the first one to go break the ice. My husband is gracious enough to acknowledge that :). Having two TVs and tata sky helps out a lot. Besides, both of us are not much TV watchers. I think after retirement, we will devote more time to gardening and have our pet with us too. We both might even continue working as we work online and finally internet zindabad :)!

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    1. You are wise. For if you sulk too long, you miss the fun of the fight and can’t start another one, right? So it is best to make up 😀 And kids are smart. They know when to worry and when to relax if their parents are fighting. Don’t think that working will stop you from fighting, girl! All the commenters here are working and still we fight. The main thing is being by ourselves without the kids around that sets it all off 🙂

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  35. I am waiting for the kids to grow up ! Top on my list is to go trekking !!!! But who knows I might just sit and watch all my saas bahu serials 🙂
    I could identify with a lot in this post … I don’t carry the remote with me , I just take the batteries along with me 😉 And seriously i feel life would be too boring without these nok jhonk…

    BTW I just love your style of writing !

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    1. Thank you for the comment, Tomato! I love your name 🙂

      Removing the battery involves effort and then you have to put it back again, don’t you? Better remove the remote itself 🙂 BTW, I don’t watch any serials or even other shows. Just movies, when I am able to get my way and settle down to one. Wonder what it will be like if I were to watch the serials 😀

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  36. Zephyr, I am glad I am normal. We too fight!!
    All the time, for any small things. My Husband goes in full volume, just to show he is the boss. Those times it is disgusting. My children consult each other and wonder whether we are on the verge of separation. After much drama, sulks, and good sense it is back to normal till next time. Life is not very interesting if we don’t argue I suppose.:-)

    Enjoyed the post.

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    1. Ha ha. The kids are smart enough to know that volume does not mean separation. Life is certainly not interesting if it is not peppered by small tiffs and fights. So long as it doesn’t flare up into a full blown fight 🙂

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  37. He he! as we say in Marathi- “घरोघरी मातीच्या चुली”. It’s the same situation in all houses.

    In the early years of our marriage my hubby would subject me to the silent treatment instead of arguing vocally. I have now taught him to match me word for word, and our fights are as entertaining as anyone else’s! 😀

    BTW- I like your choice in movies. I had tears in my eyes while watching ‘Rabbit-proof Fence’. I have not seen Cry, the Beloved Country, but the book I have read and reread many times. One of my favourites. So moving…

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    1. Ha ha! Good for you to have taught your husband how to exchange word for word 🙂 Couldn’t stop laughing imagining the gentle you doing that 😀

      You must watch Cry the beloved country and also Bury my heart….Both are wonderful. I somehow love these social injustice sagas, don’t you?

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  38. Started with the second option of moping and finally settled down with Eat Sleep and Watch TV.
    Your gentle banter is adorable…I guess more ‘time pass’ than anything else. Just like ours.

    I can so identify with the post.

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    1. Sometimes the gentle banter becomes a fight too 🙂 But then a cup of tea or a sleepless night to let the other sleep make up for it. I guess the measure of a solid long lasting relationship is in the way the fights go, right?

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  39. Ha ha ha 🙂 A real great one, Zephyr, as always 🙂

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Amit. So did it remind you of your parents?

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  40. I felt as if I was reading my daily routine! We too fight like you two…word to word! Nowadays, he is scared to utter loudly if the salt is more in koottu or curry! Here, he is crazy about cricket and it is too loud and I am not able to concentrate on what I watch in the bedroom…he got a new TV for me to keep my mouth shut! But I feel bored to watch anything alone without discussing with him! The only thing we both watch peacefully is the serial ‘balika vadhu’…he is so engrossed in the story that he gets tensed up and walks here and there when the heroine is in trouble!

    I am having a big smile on my face while reading this post of yours, Zephyr! Must ask husband to read!

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    1. It feels great to know so many couples who go through the same thing 😀 I empathise with you about the TV. What fun is there when you are not bickering or discussing the show, right? If you watch the serial together, we watch my favourite movies without any squabble. You know when he complains about less salt, he gets a lecture on high BP and all that and he totally disgusted after that! So he either eats it as it is, or surreptitiously shakes some salt in the dish and eats it. 🙂 Do tell me if your husband liked the post 😀

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  41. Hehehehe…Nice to see another L&M post…Yes,the grumbling and sniffling is directly proportional to the number of years you have known your partner.My aunt used to say about her in-laws,” Only their eyes have to meet and fighting starts!”

    We have our version of fighting over TV.
    ME:”Let’s watch something else”
    HIM:”Like what?”
    ME:”Anything but this.I don’t like this”

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    1. The thing is,despite the fights, the L&M would like me to be around and will come looking for me if he doesn’t see me for a while 🙂 Life must be too boring for him without pulling my leg, I guess 😀

      And when you want to see something else, what happens? Do you get the remote or not?

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      1. Oh yes,I know L&M likes to have you around.
        As for the remote,I get what I want.As for the husband his gyaan of the fact “she will get bored of the TV in 5 minutes and throw off the remote” keeps him from troubling me!!

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        1. Oh yes, you do remember, don’t you? 😀

          This man knows I will go away in a few minutes and yet would grudge the remote to me. It is not as if I watch serials every day. And even movies only when they are really good.

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  42. Hmm I doubt sometimes if what is shown on cookery shows can be made , I have tried A LOTTTTT and done exactly the same but it does not seem to work ..

    I will email you though what I go through he hehe 🙂

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    1. If your experience is so disastrous, it should be shared here, don’t you think? 😀 As for the cookery shows you should read the post my friend has written at http://kachhalemon.wordpress.com/ that will explain why our efforts come to naught when we do exactly what they show!

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  43. Enjoyed the post and could relate to it.A married life without constant tiffs would be dull and monotonous.After every quarrel there is a greater attention and love!!

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    1. You said it KP! It is the little gestures of care and love that make it all worthwhile, right? Like the cup of tea after a night of snoring 🙂

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  44. Zephyr wonderful post aptly captured the situation. Well we are yet to reach that zone. May be in the later on stage we might !!!!!!! Enjoyed reading it totally. Proud to be ur schoolmate

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    1. Hey, you came here! Great to have my classmate commenting on a post 🙂 If you haven’t reached there yet, it means you have not learnt how to get under each other’s foot. Don’t worry, you will soon 😀

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  45. Hmm.. Now this makes me not worry when I think about life in the absence of the kids. These things happens here and the kids are totally amused by it already. So maybe a bit of increased doses is what I have to expect in the near future. 🙂 Ditto – Just exchange Kootu curry with a fish curry and the ginger with cardamom. 🙂 And oh yeah, I shamelessly wake him up when he snores. He goes back to sleep within minutes and I pray to God that I fall asleep before the next snore. Super Post Zephyr. Enjoyed it immensely. 🙂

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    1. I wake him up a couple of times but he snores that bad only when he is dead beat. So I don’t have the heart to wake him up, especially when he says groggily. ‘ok, now you sleep and I will stay awake till you do,’ before promptly falling asleep! It is the universal story — the L&Ms and the Brats and LSLs 🙂 Just wait till the kids grow up and begin adding ‘fuel to fire’ as Sajal and Richa have recounted 😀

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  46. Hahahhaa….that’s how stupid little things blow out of proportion!! How I loved reading this, Zephyr 🙂 This is a necessary evil that I found myself in…..
    Well, that’s how two different personalities, with two different viewpoints negotiate n put spice back in their lives….!! And lo, once a competitive mindset gets activated, … winning the argument is all that matters..:P
    The biggest fights we have is… in the car…:)
    Awesome post~

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    1. We do enjoy these spats, don’t we, Panchali? But fighting in the car? Doesn’t it distract whichever of you is driving? The latest trcik of the L&M is to bait me into start an argument over some silly political issue and then prove his superior knowledge. I usually don’t fall for it, but sometimes do. He is getting more expert at baiting me 😀 I get back at him by simply smiling smugly — he goes crazy wondering what it is that I am so amused about 😀

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  47. 😀 😀 Have been a part of “providing fuel to the fire”, when Dad pronounces his disgust at the daily soaps broadcast-ed during prime time. That is not to say that he doesn’t watch those shows, they’ve just become a part of daily routine!

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    1. Oh, but in our house I am not the TV addict and don’t watch any serial at all. The channels all play news and more news. Nothing else. I act like a maniac only when some good movie is on. So how do you provide fuel to fire? That should be interesting to know. How about sharing? 😀

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  48. I used to be embarrassed seeing my parents fight. And sometimes I had even wondered that why had they eyen married each other. Its only after marriage that I understood that it was normal 😀
    And now we 2 have joined the brigade 😛

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  49. Hahaha this post reminds me of my parents so much 🙂 It also reminds me in bits and pieces about me and hubs. We have our own laptops where we do our own thing so fights about what to watch is not the agenda right now. Also, I am not much of a TV addict.

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    1. I am not addicted, either, Vinita. Only when I want to watch some good movie that I behave like that 🙂 Fortunately for me, the L&M likes them too and so I am not disturbed, but when I leave the room for a minute, he changes the channel to news 😛

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  50. A healthy dose of Zephyrland right in the morning! What else could have I asked for? 😀 Those pots clang in a rib-tickling manner!

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    1. Glad to have brightened your day Umashankar. Don’t worry, your days are not too far off. Hope to be around to read your experiences 😀

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  51. Oh BM, how I love to read the L&M series..LSL..hahaha…you are awesome in giving names..:) You take the remote to the kitchen, lol..Rushi does the same. If he has to go the rest room even, he pauses it, takes the remote to the rr too. I can already see S & me doing some of the stuff. Think we are getting old..:) I have the exact sleeping complaint..I make sure to sleep early so that I won’t be woken up by his light snore. And you watch cooking channels? aren’t they boring? S watches all the political debates and I literally put ear plugs sometimes when he is home. They fight like street dogs or women in front of drinking water taps..ok, keep fighting and have wonderful days with full of happiness..but pls don’t stop blogging…your each post brightens my day.

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    1. You know what, Latha? The TV is blaring so loudly that we both often have to shout above the noise to be heard and that makes it more like fighting too, even if I am just asking him to come and have tea or some such thing 🙂 He is so addicted that if the signal goes off he keeps staring at the blank screen as if mesmerised and hoping to make it come on by sheer will power! I watch cookery shows for want of anything better during my meal times. I refuse to watch news 😀 Don’t worry, I won’t stop writing as long as the L&Ms and Brats of this world exist 🙂

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  52. Dear God – You both are just like my parents … Seriously !

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    1. I tell you, we all are alike. Which is what my series L&M and the Brats is out to prove 😀

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  53. ha ha 😀 I can so see me and my hubby there. In our case, our kid sees us fighting over TV channels almost all the time.

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    1. The thing is, while the L&M is totally addicted to TV, I am not. I just need something to watch while eating and that usually means there are no programmes worth watching. And I will not watch any news! 🙂 Movies are another matter. We both love them and while he likes my choice, I can’t stand his 😀

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  54. There is just so much to do that little time left to watch TV or fight:)

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    1. But we do too, Rahul, only we take care to do it around the main thing as I have mentioned in the post. 🙂 Also, you are still working outside the home, while the L&M works from home — has been for nearly two decades now. Ah, but that is matter for another post 🙂

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  55. my dad passed away when i was a kid, so i had no opportunity of watching my parents fight.. as to my in-laws, my f-i-l goes off to work as a consultant, quite probably to escape the boredom of being at home.. he can neither make tea, nor can he buy veggies… or do anything at home besides watch cricket or ancient action movies… and he wont compete with his grandson for the remote…so off he goes to work…. even at this age… and m-i-l busies herself with reading every single tome on scriptures she can find.. yes, they do fight, and often, but its never as interesting as the ones u have described.. but this makes me wonder what shankar and i will be fighting over once samhith grows up and moves out!

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    1. As we grow older, we become more comfortable with each other and so find it easier to get into little fights and get out of them just as easily without holding grudges or trying to keep scores. And with no one else around, it is natural that the couple gets under each other’s foot literally and otherwise. when you have a spouse working from home, it becomes inevitable to fight. 🙂 So it is in our house. And the TV is on all the time, with some news channel blaring away. So I am trying to out-shout it, adding to the irritation factor. I am sure you will have great fights. It is fun, you know especially when one of the spouses does nice things for the other despite a flaming row just a minute ago 😀

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  56. Mmm! I have no option but to fight with myself – shall go schizophrenic soon just for that purpose 🙂

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    1. That can be a kodumai of monumental proportions! I can tell you one thing. If you do decide to go schizophrenic, we can be sure of a spate of wonderful blogposts 😀

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  57. It seems to be the same story everywhere! I strongly believe it is far more entertaining watching people make food rather than make it ourselves! In my house, thanks to the TV squabbles, my in-laws finally got two TVs for each of them! The squabbles have now turned to other topics though! Sometimes the fights get so entertaining that their own sons join in and start adding fuel to the fire and make it even fun till they realize they have been tricked and stop!

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    1. Having two TVs takes away from the fun of watching and fighting, I tell you. And as you have discovered, it doesn’t stop the squabbles.It is just a way of ‘staying connected’, so to speak 🙂 An oh yes! The sons and the DIL (only one as of now) definitely have fun at our expense and like your house, add fuel to the fire too 🙂

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      1. Zephyr, Only son and DIL. here in my house it the neighbours too have their fill of our squabbles. My L&M goes out in the yard, and yells..My sister , who lives next door calls sometimes , if there is no noise:-)

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        1. Yous sister must be thinking, ‘No noise is bad news’ 😀 Who knows he does it so that she feels reassured that all is well 😀

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          1. :-)))))). Without all the drama and cribbing, life may be dull. Dont know, since it was never absent.

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  58. I too want to know this – Do people really make what they show in the cookery shows? 🙂

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Some of the dishes shown can be tried and come out well too. It depends on the host. Some are so outlandish that they put you off and others are so exotic that they only looks good. And these shows are the most edited ones. Do read Pratibha’s post on this one: http://kachhalemon.wordpress.com/ I watch them because the time I have my lunch and dinner are the times when nothing else comes on TV and other than a movie that is the only time I watch TV.

      Like

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