By Sonya Rehman
Ever wondered what makes Lahori women check each other out so much? It’s the weirdest feeling ever I tell you. Especially when you catch a bunch of straight chicks staring at you toe upwards. Okay so maybe I’m in orbit half of the time but I really don’t notice these things until much later.
Later, being about a month ago as I had sat across from Ayesha at a local restaurant as she wolfed down a cheeseburger whilst I played hockey with my fork and what was a sorry excuse for a bowl of Thai vegetarian noodles. “I want the Thai noodles without chicken, beef or prawns please” I had told the waiter earlier as he looked down at me frowning and wrinkling his bulbous pink pathani nose at the same time – not being able to fathom how a Lahori could survive without eating things that had faces.
So there we were killing an hour or so on a languid Friday when Miss X happened to have passed by our table giving me quite a dreadful stare. Hanging onto a skinny fellow’s arm who’s hairdo reminded me of a mix between Sonic the Hedgehog and Michael Bolton, she sized me up, flicked her long ponytail over her shoulder, arched her eyebrows and sashayed out the door. Wanting to pounce on her and smack her forehead silly with a Thai noodle, I decided otherwise. I have a reputation in this city you see. Sitting back and fuming I had pointed to her rather generous Punjabi rear asking Ayesha what exactly that was all about. “Insecurity you poop”, she had stated politely between mouthfuls, “they’re all like that. Don’t you get it, it’s all about the mine’s-better-than-yours-thing”. Mine’s-better-than-yours-thing? The massive rear perhaps? Or was it the walking-talking-law-of-diminishing-returns-I-spent-three-hours-in-the-loo-to-look-just-like-a-hedgehog-on-magic-mushrooms male friend? Bah!
I was intrigued. And so, after that day, I made it a point to notice being noticed. By women of course. I noted women in the car giving me the eye, more so than my brother (much to his repulsion) as we squabbled over which chick looked at whom first and for how long. What fun I had! I flashed them all. Moronic smiles that is (you little pervert). Smiles that bellowed ‘damn right mine’s better than yours!’ as they looked away pooh-poohing all haughty-faced and offended. Not that I became excessively narcissistic or anything, just thoroughly amused…okay okaaay… it did wonders for my ego. Talk about free ego therapy minus the shrink snoring his arse off while you cribbed.
So why do some women play the whole ‘mine’s-better-than-yours’ game anyway? What’s with the hostility? The competition? What’s to be so cranky about if the girl across the hall in your workplace has better dress sense that you do? Has the media made us this insecure? This self-doubting? Has it really reduced us to little nail biting green-eyed monsters?
Going cloth shopping is also quite another experience. Once, the minute I sourced out a fabulous lawn print ten other women pounced on the table I was at, like ninja’s hiding in the woodwork and started tugging furiously at the cloth. Back off fat turds! It’s MINE! And what about when some women finger the clothes you’re wearing with deep thoughtful expressions on their faces and then, once they’re done invading your personal space, they finally inquire where you had bought it from. Oh, I swiped it off a Brazilian lap dancer…where do you think moron?
Allow me to deviate for a bit; something that takes the Mickey out of me out is the incessant smooching on both cheeks by someone you hardly know. Yes, I can understand giving affectionate hugs to your best friends, but what’s with doing it the Italian way (planting two hard kisses on either sides of the cheek)? I recall some chick I barely knew in third grade who had run up to me one day many years later, at a shopping mall screeching “arey januuuuuuuuu! It’s youuuuuuuuuuuuu” and kissing me ferociously. Which reminds me, have you ever been air smooched? Yes, that’s right ‘air smooched’ – what’s the deal with that? Talk about severe abhorrence. It almost makes you want to tell the person to quit beating around the bush and whack you already.
Always remember though, if you become aware of someone from your very gender checking out your clothes, shoes, physique and/or face that’s probably the best compliment you’ll ever get. Unless of course they swing both ways. Because seriously, you can’t take your friends and partners seriously when they tell you you’re looking thin (when in true fact you know you feel like Barney) and when they tell you you’re hair looks ‘fine’ (when in true fact you know it’s time to buy a toupee). Hooha!
Sunday, Daily Times