From the marriage-shy to awkward ambiverts, Aunty D to the rescue!
Sisters Under the Skin
Dear Aunty D,
I feel like my sister and I have been competing ever since I’ve gained consciousness. She is older than me by two years and an overachiever. My parents constantly nag me to be good in academics and sports like she is, but while I enjoy studying, I hate sports. Over the years, with my parents always pushing me, I think I have grown to dislike myself as much as I dislike her. In secret I try to look and dress like her but fail. Please help me cope with this disgust I feel in my body all the time. I think I might be going crazy.
Dear Sisters Under the Skin,
Don’t let the termite of jealousy destroy the best bond there can ever be, sisterhood. With your fixation to be like big sis, you’ve ignored and squashed your own dreams and ambitions, which is what you need to tune into, as of today. Asha Bhosle would have remained a mediocre copy of her iconic sister, Lata, had she not stepped out of her shadow and focused on her own unique voice and went on to groove a stellar place for herself in the music world. In a little while, you’ll both fork off onto your own paths, so rather than looking at her, watch where you are heading, otherwise you’ll trip.
Dear Aunty D,
Ever since I was five, I wanted to be a good husband. My father was never there for my mother and I, so I did not grow up with a trail to follow, but every time I saw my mother crying or hiding her tears, I knew the man I did not want to be. I have dated my fiancée for almost three years and we are set to marry in the beginning of 2023, but as the wedding approaches, I am worried about whether I will be able to live up to the standards I have set for myself. What if following my father’s footsteps is in my genes?
Dear Marriage-Ready Yet?,
Marriage is a lifelong commitment of two people to remain friends through the ‘thicks’ and ‘thins,’ which are as unavoidable as the challenges you’ll inevitably be facing. So, walk into this upcoming relationship, and into whatever steps life needs you to take, with a positive attitude and realistic ideals rather than predicting sure-fire failure by setting up absurdly unrealistic standards. Just be your own best self in whatever you do, whether it’s being a husband or a co-worker; you are well versed in the lessons learnt from your father as to what NOT TO DO.
The Ambivert Shuttle
Dear Aunty D,
I am exhausted of being an ambivert. When I am with a large group of people, I feel exhausted by the small talk and constant bickering. When I am with a smaller set, I am sick of the triviality of things that that they fuss over. When I am alone, I am bored, depressed and can’t stop ringing friends until someone agrees to hangout with me. I think being an only child of my parents never let me learn to accompany people healthily. I am 25 and have never dated anyone either. How do I fix myself?
Dear The Ambivert Shuttle,
Stop analysing and fighting with yourself for not fitting into some imaginary social mould; everyone has an individual level of tolerance with chatter, and a different amount of space around them to feel comfortable. Even those who seem to have the best of times at every party have their own issues. Next time, whether in a big group or small, stop the judgmental chatter in your head and find the person hiding behind the chatter. We are social creatures, seeking support and acceptance – while some search for it in company, others find it a single person, whereas some are just fine in solitude.