JournalismPakistan.com July 6, 2013
This is the temporary bachelor season. Time when families leave for the home countries and husbands are left to keep making money to pay for the credit cards and other sundry expenses that loving family might rack up.
Of course, one of the other reasons for not going away is that the company you work for might figure out in your absence that it doesn’t need you and pretty silly you’d look all tanned and relaxed to discover the 5 o’clock crisp, white envelope with your name on it the day you return from that expensive haven’t paid for it holiday.
Sorry darling, but I just got the heave ho, they sort of twigged they didn’t need me.
That’ll go down great.
So, we don’t quite get into that part of it.
Summer bachelorhood is a very expat thing and has three distinct phases. In the first the husband quite looks forward to being alone. He can catch up with his reading, watch the movies he wants to watch rather than all that soapy sudsy ‘who wrote that dialogue’ drivel that wives and children love. So he sees them off at the airport, kicks his heels in the air and gets ready for some good tennis or golf and a few ‘good’ evenings with others of his ilk.
Imagine the glorious pleasures of undisturbed TV watching without being asked to run down to the supermarket, get dressed we are late for dinner, go fetch the children, I don’t care if it’s the Copa Cup or the Coca Cup, just go.
This phase lasts about a week after which the silence of emptiness begins to get a bit oppressive.
The bachelor has had his three evenings with other bachelors by now and realized that half a dozen married men sans wives are very boring company. Not just that, all they do is congratulate themselves on their temporary status and keep saying, good change, good fun, what, nice to be on our own, doing our own thing.
If this is doing our own thing…….phase two and three ….read on.
Phase two lasts the longest and is typified by sheer loneliness punctuated by in-depth insights. Like movies on video are generally badly made, that it is very difficult to sit through a film alone and not being disturbed detracts from its pleasure. That you can only read so many books if there is no one to discuss it with. Other insights like how much the family is spending, such thoughts generally piercing the subconscious and 0245 in the morning.
Brilliant discovery that the theory that you will save money by sending the family away may not be such a success after all, not if the happy, lilting voice on the phone saying, hi dad, we’re loving the shopping is any idea of the mounting expenses.
Also discover that eating alone is dullsville, that food is not fun if you haven’t got anyone to share it with. By the end of this phase the bachelor is tired of the whole thing, he wants out, the leisurely free time he thought he’d enjoy hangs heavy and emails are not enough contact.
But expat summer bachelors don’t admit they are bored. It is expected of you to be having a grand time so everyone plays this elaborate.
Phase three is cleaning up the house three hours before family arrives.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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