I absolutely hate vinegar. The smell of it makes me gag. But then Salt & Vinegar is my favourite chips flavour and I practically drink Tabasco sauce (which is like 80% vinegar) by the gallon. I’ve always put it down as a gemini thing but mostly it’s a gawning exception to my publicly declared hate for vinegar!
A local Italian joint I frequent in Sydney, recently made it big in the news when some by-passer caught on video from the outside glass windows – rats on the restaurant tables on a day the restaurant was closed. The owners addressed the widely spread negative publicity by stating that the restaurant had been fumigated and that all was good. However the usual bustling Friday nights did go a bit quieter following that episode. Some weeks later, much to the horror of my friends, I suggested we go to the Italian joint one Friday. Yes, normally one wouldn’t but you see I know the owners from my uni days when I was a poor student. They used to give me spinach rolls at half-price. They are good people. So I didn’t see why we couldn’t make an exception for them.
Us humans are peculiar like that. We set these parameters and bind ourselves to the confines of our own self-imposed rules and standards. We preach our stances and bask in a light only visible to us for standing our whatever high, moral, ethical, woke grounds it is. And then make exceptions and end up breaking our own defined boundaries.
Take Suruj. Who detests smokers. She refuses to get in cabs if she feels the driver is a smoker. Somehow she has this weird sense where she can pick out a smoker from a 100-meter distance. In presence of a smoker, she would immediately bring her pallu forward and cover her nose and mouth to show her utter disgust. It is the rudest of gestures you’ll see my mother make and one she is never apologetic for (and has no care how it makes the other person feel). Ironically one of my mother’s own offsprings is a full-blown smoker. Last weekend, I walked into my mother’s kitchen to find both of them making bara for the afternoon Diwali tea. How Suruj has managed to make that an exception and permit this particular member of the household into her kitchen and to touch her food is beyond me.
Actually it’s not beyond me. I can relate when I think of my recent antics.
When it comes to men, I have some pretty rigid guidelines. Very Steve Harvey think-like-a-man approach. The do-not-chase policy. And recently I’ve been making quite an exceptional fool of myself. It’s making my toenails turn in cringe thinking of the recent drunk dials and the several meticulously crafted messages that have been sent out. God I chased. I can only blame my actions on perhaps an oestrogen imbalance which my hormone system has now corrected. Oh the regret of the time wasted!
I’ve been feeling all kinds of shitty lately. Question today isn’t – why we make exceptions for those who we love? Question today is why do we define these hypocritical rules and set farcical parameters for ourselves in the first place? What makes us declare our never, evers and refuse to accept and do things that are reasonably okay for others to?
For the love and respect of ourselves. It’s one thing make an exception for salt & vinegar chips but another for a filthy restaurant. For some time now, I’ve been allowing my choices and decisions to first accommodate the love for others in my life. I’ve been very careless about myself; very dismissive of the respect and love I deserve. So busy I have been being kind to others that I didn’t notice the gaping neglect I permitted when I dropped certain standards set for myself; when I let others to speak to me in a way I don’t to them, when I make allowances for sub-standard services and when I keep giving my time to someone who doesn’t have the same for me.
And I think that’s precisely why we try and bind ourselves with our frivolous boundaries and expectations of ourselves. To remind us of the exceptions we should and shouldn’t make for love. And I think a pretty good measure is – if it’s making you feel shitty then don’t permit that exception in your life.
Suruj obviously had figured this one out!
And you Dear Reader, what are the exceptions you’ve been making in your life lately?