Relationship and market value
Ever watched What Happens in Vegas? There is this particular scene where the actress takes her sparring husband to the office picnic and her boss who till then thinks she is this stuck up chick, tells her had I known you were this fun, I would have promoted you long ago. And how does he arrive at this conclusion? He sees her dapper husband cracking lots of jokes and witnesses her interaction with him.
Many times people think that if you prefer privacy or your own company more than mindless head banging in some club, there is something wrong with you. They make assumptions that you are not fun, that you are a loner or that you are a geek type and might look at you like you have grown two heads if they see you gyrating to Munni Badnam Hui at the next group do, the more judgemental of them might think you are putting on act.
Many a times these assumptions even work against how you availing benefits at work. Infact there are many flimsy advantages of being in a relationship, better still married. You could actually take leave claiming husband is unwell, MIL is coming down, my first Diwali, my nephew’s first Holi, while the poor single person in office works through all major holidays. If they so much as suggest a leave, they are told, oh but anyways you are alone, let X have the leave, she has family commitments. Why there are even companies that give a better increment to the newly married person, after all they now have more stuff to handle.
Then there is the risk of being seen as the boring person. Its amazing how this affects your market value at work. Seems these days people judge you by your Facebook page. So if you have no pictures of you partying on your facebook page, during a give-me-better-work discussion your boss comes to the conclusion that you are a bitter woman and that this bitterness is spilling over to your work. If you think this is exaggeration, well, this blogger has to say she has heard a similar thing said to her. Worse you may be given ‘well meaning’ advice by people who think that you are focussing too much on work and should widen your spectrum and ‘look at other options.’ ‘You know money is not everything’, ‘You know, career is alright, but people are very important’ etc etc.
Then there is this other group of people who automatically assume that since you dont have a relationship right now, maybe you are one of those ‘man-hater-feminist-types’ who are ruining the social balance these days. The party-till-I-die group on the other hand thinks you are not the type who would want to get out ocassionally, and if God forbid, you are a teetotaller, then of course, you are one of those really crazy prudish types, the kind that reads the Geeta/Bible daily and prays for others’ souls. Sheesh, can’t people just not like something conventional, but still be fun?
Now imagine what happens when one such person changes their relationship status to show involvement with someone, what happens next? The Facebook status gets record comments, extreme curiosity, sudden looks of warmth from hitherto gossipy aunties, a look of thank-God-this-one’s-finally-settled from all, relationship advice from other more experienced species and oh yes, the sudden invites to chat and go out, after all you are no more the big bore now. There is someone who is hanging by your arm (oh does that remind you of the chihuahas on the arms of Hollywood beauties), even if they havent seen them yet, the perception that there is someone, is enough. The women who would always exclude you from conversations because you wouldnt understand anything about why-my-man-loves-my-hair-this-way or he-wont-let-me-buy-that-new-thing, now suddenly have found a new person to discuss these things with, plus they can advise the newbie too. Aah such harmony in life, such acceptance suddenly from all quarters. The boss might even give you an understanding look when you come late on a Monday, after all you do have things other than work now, understandable, you know.
Its quite laughable actually how all of this is again about conformity. A single person is viewed as a threat. (this blogger feels that it is probably the old fear that more singles, means less children, means eventual extinction, old programming that refuses to die). A relationship suddenly makes you look more human, suddenly people seem to ‘get you’. No longer a fringe player, you are also now a part of the gang. Maybe the boss would check the facebook party pics now and say so finally you took my advice seriously and started having fun (please imagine the patronising smile), maybe, just maybe that acknowledgement might result in a better increment (yes, please let that be the case). Ok, rant over.