I am afflicted with a disease. Or should I call it a bane, an inconvenience? Nothing wrong with my health, thanks for the concern - but there is Something out there that conspires to keep me either too jobless or too busy, with never a balance.
I am not talking about my job. I never talk about it on my blog, not if I can help it. I am referring to my social life. Let me explain.
There are periods in my life when absolutely nothing happens. I go on with my usual activities, my weekends are as usual, and everything is just normal, just short of being boring. Then all of a sudden, on one particular weekend, people decide to have get-togethers and celebrations and parties, and everybody invites me to their event. And that leaves me juggling lunches and brunches and teas and dinners and apologizing to some of them and attending the others, and running around the city and making a mess of the whole thing. Now, why couldn't these people have spread out their events so that they could cover my non-eventful weekends, so that I could attend all the events in peace?
But no. It is almost as if some Unseen Force urges everybody I know to make sure that they arrange events such that Shruthi is caught in a dilemma.
Now, when two events clash, I have 4 options.
1) Attend event A.
2) Attend event B.
3) Attend both events one after another.
4) Attend neither event.
Options 1 and 2 are the most difficult, when it comes to decision-making. All other things being convenient, there are two aspects which aid (or hinder) the decision-making process when it comes to attending an event - Interest and Obligation. Now if an event is both interesting and obligatory for me to attend, there isn't anything much to decide. Just a carefully crafted apology to the other party will do the trick. But the difficulty arises when one is interesting and the other is obligatory. I usually weigh the pros and cons of each and end up going to the - obligatory one. Just once, I went with my heart and went to the interesting event and chucked the obligatory one. I regretted my decision immediately. I found that the interesting event wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be, and I was under a much greater obligation to attend the other event, than I thought I was. If both events are both Interesting and Obligatory, then Importance is the deciding factor. And I won't go into what I do if both are equally important. This could go on and on.
Option 3 is not too difficult if both events are taking place close to each other - I can pop in at both places for a while and get away with it. But if the events are at different corners of the city, I consider my sanity more important, Bangalore traffic being what it is. So this option is out.
Option 4 is silly - but I admit I have taken refuge in it more than once - if not anything else, it gave me a respite from putting my sparse brains to too much work.
Even an event that I arrange is not spared by this Supernatural Force. I happen to call a friend and suggest that we meet up as we haven't done so for a long time, and she agrees and everything is set for Friday at 7 PM. Then on Thursday, you can be sure that another friend will call me and say that she is leaving the city on Saturday and won't be back for two years, and the only time she has is Friday night and can I please meet her then. It pains me to cancel the first date, but it is pretty obvious which one is the more pressing engagement!
My personal plans are also routinely spoiled by this Unknown Agent. For example, when I get over my laziness and schedule a long-overdue visit to the beauty parlour, I can almost look at my phone and predict that someone will call me and say that s/he is in the vicinity and is dropping by to see me, if I am free. It is not like I am going to the doctor or anything - the beauty parlour can wait. So I agree, and convince myself that it is okay to look like Mowgli for one more week.
And reasons. I am a very bad liar, people say, so when I have to tell somebody that I cannot make it to their do, I usually tell the truth - that my presence is required elsewhere. And how do I do it without hurting them? I don't know. I sometimes even add, "Why couldn't you have arranged it last week when I was rotting at home with boredom and yawning till the edges of my mouth needed stitches?"
Oh please please don't stop calling me or inviting me or visiting me, assuming that you are putting me under unnecessary duress. I love meeting you and talking to you and spending time with you. Only please make sure that you are not influenced by The Force when you schedule your events!