Friday, August 18, 2006

How was your weekend?

One of the things that still bothers me even after all these years in the US is the "how was your weekend" question I get every Monday morning. I mean I understand how sought after and wonderful the weekend is after a hectic work week. And I know people are supposed to go all out and have fun to feel revitalized to face the challenges of the week ahead. But what's with this constant obligation of having to do something interesting every single weekend?

I mean for the most part I don't do anything worth talking about. And it is kind of embarrasing to have to tell people, "Ummm....well....I didn't do anything much. Except you know....went grocery shopping, cooked meals for the the week ahead, did the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen (to remove all traces of oil and residue from the Indian kind of cooking), dusted the furniture, vacuumed the carpet, polished the hardwood, took out the trash, cleaned up the garage, weeded the lawn, watered the plants, cleaned up the bathrooms (yes all three of them), did the laundry (and yes folded them too), ironed the clothes, paid the bills.....and no I ran out of time to catch a movie, read a book, stretch out in front of the TV, go to a concert, sing, dance, socialize, and oh my God couldn't even go bungee jumping, water skiing, white water rafting, or a quick trip to the moon and back!" How pathetic is that!

And the strange thing is most people I pose the very same question always have something oh so wonderful to report.
"We went to this awesome food-fest. Have you been there? Oh you must go."
"We were in New York for the weekend."
"We went camping in West Virginia."
"We went to California for a wedding."
"We went sailing in the bay."
"We went rock climbing."

And all I can think of is how in the world can these people get all their work done around the house. May be these people with exotic lifestyles have a little Genie at home who magically gets everything done and their house is always clean and pretty, and clothes washed and folded, food cooked and waiting to be eaten.
Yeah.... that must be it.

Got to go out this weekend to a garage sale and hunt down an ancient lamp that I can rub and get myself a Genie. Then, I'll show them what my weekend's all about.

Labels:

55 Comments:

Blogger Grafxgurl said...

you know what..it could just be that they dont really take care of the house like you and i do.. you know...maybe its an Indian thing... we scrub and scrape adn clean and nit pick...

ive seen western homes where it LOOKS clean ...which is why they have time to go out and have fun....but,.. its never as clean as when we clean it.. lol

dunno.. maybe there's lots of reasons.. one is that their meals dont take so long as ours to cook too!!

11:25 AM  
Blogger karmic_jay said...

LOL.. I so hear ya. My last weekend was like the one you described. *A* had to work Sat so I took care of some of the chores and on Sunday we did a bit more of that. But we did find time to go for a jog/walk but nothing like those weekends you talk about.
I think it's possible if you hire someone to clean. A lot of the ppl I know do hire cleaning help, so they can have that out of the way.

11:42 AM  
Blogger it wasn't me! said...

'I clean therefore I couldn't'... sounds more like it in your case!

'I am a slob so I could'... the secret to all the free time in the world... :)

12:20 PM  
Blogger Shankari said...

been there, simple we cook a lot, and hence the dishes, cleaning the kitchen etc.
My answer is,"stayed home & relaxed"

12:30 PM  
Anonymous KK said...

What are you doing this weekend? The usual?

1:04 PM  
Blogger Anyesha said...

now, its my time to return the compliment...exactly my feeelings, dear. This question falls in the same category as the other infamous one "How are you doing?" I usually reel off such a bizzare list of movies that no one asks me the next time around!!

1:19 PM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ grafxgurl you have a point there. But still....some people have all the fun it seems!
@ karmic_jay the thing is I actually enjoy doing stuff around the house. I love it when everything smells and feels clean and nice. But I feel terrible having to feel gulity about not doing wild, "fun" stuff.
@ it wasn't me! hey that was cute. And thanks for visiting my blog.
@ shankari yeah I say that too :)
@ kk of course ;)
@ anyesha *lol* that is smart.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Oh I dont even feel like doing anything that involves wearing decent clothes and stepping out o the house. Rock climbing on a weekend!!??? You gotta be crazy!! God gave us Sundays to relax and sleep and of course..CLEAN!!!

8:42 AM  
Blogger Bonatellis said...

is it an issue just in the US ... i face it every Monday in office, but probably because most of the folks on my floor have done some stint abroad ...

i think this problem lie more with Bengalis ... after a tough week we want to sit back relax, whereas others fire-up their weekends with more activity ... it's something you'd find even in Mumbai with peeps partying till early hours of Sat'day and Sunday ...
what we Bengalis need to find out is where do all the non-Bongs get all this energy ... if you find the answer do let me know :)

8:53 AM  
Anonymous p said...

You have a huge list of chores for your weekend!!! You do each one of those, all by yourself, every weekend? Or are any of these shared chores at all?

If you want to do fun things on weekends for yourself, not because you want to oblige others, maybe you need to rethink. Alas, there are only 24 hours in a day!

And if you are happy doing the chores, like some people who really enjoy it, so be it. There is nothing pathetic about it.

Have a great week!

9:59 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ ron :)) "God gave us Sundays to relax and sleep" Yes He did! And I did just that.
@ bonatellis so you're saying it is the inate laziness that Bongs have that is responsible for the lack of fun activity? Not that I actually sit back and relax a great deal, I really do a lot of things, but still none of them come close to the great fun things that other people do.
@ p "chores": now that is a misunderstood word. Depends on what you think is fun and what you think is a task, right? I do a lot of "chores" but I also enjoy doing most of them. So for the most part it really doesn't feel like a task. The point of the post was not "look how many things I do at home on the weekend", or "how do I impress people with the wonderful fun activity I have to conjure for their listening pleasure", but the fact that why do I have to feel obliged to do something that sounds fun to other people. I mean, I do have a wonderful, activity filled, as well as relaxing weekend. But when I tell other people exactly what I did, they don't seem as impressed. And that makes me feel like I didn't do anything worth doing at all. That's not what a weekend should be, right?

11:25 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

um, what's a weekend?

11:35 AM  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

Oh, they're all lying. They cleaned the house and did the dishes and polished the hardwood, just as you. What they say they did is what they would've liked to do :-) My point is...all you need to do is have a fancy story ready :-)

1:14 PM  
Blogger Kausum said...

I think, its just the way you say your activity. lets say " I had long drive through the country side and then we ate at a quaint little chinese place" => Drove to the Chinese Take Away to get food as we were tired working and lazing that we didnt have anything to eat.

2:41 PM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ tabula rasa that bad, huh? :)
@ ghostoftomjoad I guess so. Fabrication or decoration?
@ kausum very impressive must say. Will have to learn how to play with words. Also must remember not to take people at their word anymore :)

3:37 PM  
Blogger Szerelem said...

when i was working i would *really* look forward to the weekend (it was just total free time no strings attached). Then i would sleep straight through it =D

4:00 PM  
Blogger Kausum said...

hmm ...

4:24 PM  
Blogger Jinguchakka said...

yup. I have a post to write on this same topic. So I'll spare your comment box.
:-)

4:42 PM  
Blogger Amodini said...

I totally get what you say - this obligation to have done something fun ! Everyone else seems to have gone boating or wind-surfing etc. Nowdays, my idea of fun is to loll in front of the TV, and not have to cook a meal. As far as how others get the time, most American women don't cook as much, and most of it is baking etc. no time-taking masala curries etc. Plus, lots of people get cleaning services - now I do too.

But if you enjoy cleaning/cooking so be it, why bother with impressing people ? Say what you did, and if under pressure make it sound exotic (like that wonderful dish you cooked or didn't - who can tell :-) ).

5:22 PM  
Blogger Rohan Kumar said...

I am guessing you are ok now after those slew of posts that didnt seem quite like you. I am still trying to think what abt the question ticks you more, the fact that you didnt quite enjoy how your weekend goes by or how much fun others had on theirs. You need a nice lil vacation ..... soon :)

6:44 PM  
Anonymous p said...

Since you ended your response with a question, I cannot help but wonder-

"But when I tell other people exactly what I did, they don't seem as impressed. And that makes me feel like I didn't do anything worth doing at all."

Why M, Why?

10:21 PM  
Blogger Happy-Go-Lucky said...

Yeahhh...you said it.
Actually its not just in US, even back in Desh ppl ask these days..

Actually just today morning this hot chick in my office asked to me as we met @ the cafeteria.

"Hey how was ur weekend?"

"Oh it was great"

"Really? What did you do?"

"Nothing"

Ahh.. the joys of doing nothing..

10:59 PM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

... or good.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Bharath Hemachandran said...

Well maybe it's just a way for ppl to be able to talk about their weekend

However there are still some people that are genuinely interested in knowing what someone else did... It serves as a nice topic of conversation for me before I get to the task at hand.

So .... How was your weekend? :)

11:36 PM  
Blogger Chilla-Bong said...

M, I guess Bona-dada is quite right when he says it's we Bongs who love to do all cooking-cleaning on Sundays.Take the celebritiy section of Robibasoriyo from ABP on any week.Most of those big-shots will have an army of maids for helping hand.Yet when asked how they spend their Sundays most will say cook-n-clean.May be this requires more digging to find out how this practice originated.But frankly speaking a Sunday at home is worth thousand times more than climbing rocks.After all one of the snippets from the great philosopher Capt Haddock was "Why do you need to climb up a mountain, when you have to come all the way down!!".
ps:Thanks for dropping by my humble blog

2:51 AM  
Blogger The Marauder's Map said...

Oh god, I am one of those unnatural slobs who does not clean the house on weekends or in fact on any other days (apart from what the maid does) except just before one of my nitpicky friends comes visiting. I have always wanted to be one of those cleanliness freaks, but have never managed. I just never seem to find the right motivation!

3:37 AM  
Blogger Dadoji said...

m: No matter what you do, if you feel pressured by others you will lose all the happiness gained doing what you do.

4:02 AM  
Anonymous anjaly said...

Hey, maybe they are simply asking you a question because they expect you to ask them the same in return! i make it a point to leave th city every weekend, even for a few hours. but of course, doing what you like is what weekends are for. dont fret. have fun washing.

4:15 AM  
Blogger Sudha said...

mmmmm...you actually don't do anything on any weekend? household chores can't be that time consuming?
i guess i am just not the clean-your-house type :)

8:04 AM  
Blogger Fosix said...

of course white people leave work at 4pm everyday to go home and do their lawn mowing, laundry, etc, etc... that gives them plenty of time to do "exciting stuff" on the actual weekend... unlike us, they dont have to deal with a messy kitchen after dinner... and if they have teenage kids, they make them do some of the housework in return for pocket money...

8:35 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ szerelem I guess your weekend is what you want it to be. If sleeping straight through makes you happy, then that is perfectly okay.
@ jinguchakka look forward to reading that.
@ amodini thanks for stopping here. And the bottom line is enjoying what you are doing. The only thing that bothers me is feeling obliged to entertain people who ask me this question with accounts of "fun" activities. With that I mean what is fun to them since what is fun to me doesn't appeal.
@ rohan it is not the question that bothers but the answer I'm expected to give them in return. When I tell people what I did they seem so disappointed. Its like an obligation to keeping them entertained with my weekend activities. And I cannot get them to see why I enjoy doing the things that I do.
@ p the question at the end actually meant "that(as in their idea of a weekend) is not what a weekend is meant to be (for me at least). Not that I am cribbing for not having gone parasailing or wind surfing or sky diving. I wouldn't. Even if someone gave me the chance. I'm just complaining about feeling obliged to telling them that I did. Well may be the problem is with me. For example this last weekend I went out for dinner, I watched a movie, and I played tennis. But I don't tell them that. Because its nobody's business but mine and I don't want to share every bit of information with people. So I say "nothing much" or "the usual". And the expression on their face is hilarious. That is what I'm complaining about. Why do I have to always do fun things so that I can come to work and tell people about how much fun I had?
@ happy-go-lucky the joys of doing nothing indeed :) Thanks for stopping by.
@ tabula rasa exactly. Its the way you look at it.
@ bharath hemachandran welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting. And you are right it might be just a polite way of starting a conversation. And may be people just elaborate on what they did to make it sound exotic. But why are we obliged to doing something exotic, or doing anything at all every single weekend?
@ chilla-bong well I'd like to clarify a point here. I never said that I don't do anything on my weekends. I do a whole lot of stuff. Most of which is not worth talking about. That was my point. Yeah bongs may be lazy and feel like the most productive time is spent in "adda" over a cup of "cha". But that doesn't mean that they don't get anything done. All the Bong homes I've been to are clean, lawns mowed, food cooked, everything the way it is supposed to be. Now they may get hired help I don't know about that. But my weekends are never spent lazing in front of the TV and doing nothing.
@ the marauder's map no you're not the only one. And you have a maid! That alone should get the job done. Weekends are for doing what you want to do. If that makes you happy then that is fine.
@ dadoji very true.
@ anjaly thanks for stopping by my blog. And yes may be the question is just a conversation starter.
@ sudha may be not that time consuming. Or may be I'm just slow :)
@ fosix this really wasn't about a white people vs Indian thing. People asking me these questions are not necessarily "white people". Not necessarily.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Jeet said...

I am a slob and go out partying every other weekend. I have to recharge my batteries for the week ahead or i just dont perform well. On sundays i sleep, eat and be a general slob as i mentioned above.

But I still hate to answer that question every monday, its always "oh nothing much, just relaxed and yours?" and then listen to them babble on and on.

anyway
nice blog

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, why dont you try asking a couple of those people about how they actually manage to do those household chores...rather than all of us here mostly speculating about it?

10:12 AM  
Anonymous p said...

"Why do I have to always do fun things so that I can come to work and tell people about how much fun I had?"

You don't. It is your life and you are free to do whatever you want with it. Why bother if someone is not excited about your weekend activities? Why feel obliged? Feeling obliged to anything is in the mind. So free yourself and enjoy doing whatever you like best.

I don't want to get into a debate here but I feel I was being misunderstood.

I am sure you are a wonderful person. You write beautifully. Be happy and live free.

10:51 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ jeet thanks for stopping by. "oh nothing much, just relaxed and yours?" and then listen to them babble on and on." *lol*
@ anon well nobody asked you to speculate, really. And may be next time I will ask somone and tell you. Except I don't know who you are. So leave a name next time.
@ p I wasn't going to debate either. "It is your life and you are free to do whatever you want with it" I know that and I stick to it too. And thanks! Hope you keep visiting.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Rimi said...

I could do with a genie right about now too. Don't ask.

But yes, amar barite bhoot, tomar barite genie! Brilliant hobe :)

P.S: people in Del do this to me all the time. They seem to have such brilliant weekends, at farmhouses, at hillstations...dammit man, I've never even been to Digha on a weekend!

1:10 PM  
Blogger Truth Fairy said...

Lol! I know what you mean! But I guess you either have one or the other. Clean house or hangovers! The choice is yours! But then, it all depends on what you want! I myself like to have a mix of both! :D

4:38 PM  
Blogger Swapna said...

Good one! :) .. I love asking other people that same thing after I've answered that question. Makes me feel so much better.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous KK said...

You can have both, clean house and hangovers. My 2 cents!

Its just thinking that there is enough time to do everything.

When you have a genie in your house, you will find even more less time for everything. Remember "Only a busy man will find time for anything he wants to do. A lazy man doesnt find time for anything"

5:21 PM  
Blogger jhantu said...

i guesss ive still some time to go before i feel punked by that "how was ur weekend" question..
but then again i am sure when the time comes ill make up some real exotic reply just to make that stupid question-asker feel miserable (went to the caymans over the weekend to check out my off-shore account--- something on that line)

;-)

6:24 PM  
Blogger Sriram said...

I have a question for you!!

How was your weekend?

*runs away*

Oh and btw, mine was crappy as usual and told my colleagues exactly that when asked and they don't seem too keen on bothering me with that question again.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Priya said...

My weekends ar eequally boring. It has to be at least a movie, if not two, those I'd rather not watch; eating out or strolling in overcrowded shopping malls. I hate cleaning up, so that's out of the question, too:P Wonder how I can spice mine up a little. Suggestions?

1:02 AM  
Blogger Aparna said...

Gosh....your weekends seem to eb the same as mine...except that I sometimes don't cook...and instead haunt malls..and then curse myself for being so lazy when monday evenings turn up, and i need to rush home to cook....or sometimes give up dusting, and on a monday evening (again) stare wistfully at a spider web, and wonder how we missed that...
But yeah...we are movie freaks, so movies are a must almsot every weekend...can't even list how many crappy movies my husband and I have sat through because we simply had to see a movie!!!
That way we are cool in Hyderabad...most people use weekends to be at home....

2:38 AM  
Anonymous ekta said...

Isoo understand and relate!!
Havent done anything on weekends in ages!! and its really irritating to keep telling people that I had a at home doing nothing weekend!

4:01 AM  
Blogger Rohan Kumar said...

The only obligation you have is keeping yourself happy and as long as you do that thats all that matters

10:57 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ rimi I've never been to Digha either :)
@ truth fairy well good for you!
@ swapna welcome to my blog!
@ kk I'm sure you can. The question is whether one wants a hangover or not.
@ jhantu "went to the caymans over the weekend to check out my off-shore account" *lol* I'll try that next time. If only to see the expression on people's face.
@ sriram :) somehow people don't give up asking.
@ priya I guess I'm the wrong person to ask that? :)
@ aparna "can't even list how many crappy movies my husband and I have sat through because we simply had to see a movie!!!" :))
Well you can tell people that you spent "quality time" with your hubby.
@ ekta "at home doing nothing weekend!" can be very therapeutic.
@ rohan absolutely!

1:00 PM  
Blogger Point 5 said...

I think this question is a very nice ice breaker. Also, ppl in this country do have quite a eventful weekends, so its but natural that people come up with such questions.

Infact, on weekends that I dont do anything adventurous, i try not asking ppl this question or vice versa

3:20 PM  
Anonymous KK said...

Actually, when I used to stay up north instead of where I am currently, there used to be only 3 months of summer. So everyone used to do lots of stuff in the summer and so it was considered bad, that nothing you did when such a wonderful summer was there.

I saw a stop to this question with the onset of winter. It was assumed that you cannot do anything. Infact, if you do over the weekend some activity, it considered to be brave.

However, as you come down south, I dont see winter so severe. So it is alright not to do an activity all weekend.

3:34 PM  
Blogger ubergeek said...

Or they just don't do any of it. I stuff my clothes into the closet instead of folding them - postponing it to some day when I have no exciting plans or when I find it impossible to find what I need to wear ;-) Of course, it helps to live in India where a cook and a servant are possible even if you aren't a millionaire!

2:55 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ point 5 I agree it is a conversation starter. But don't you see people getting disappointed if you do not do anything fun?
@ kk that is true. Most of the fun stuff can be done in summer and it helps to live in a place where winters are much shorter.
@ ubergeek "Or they just don't do any of it" :)) So are your weekends fun too?

9:04 AM  
Blogger Brazen Head said...

Ways around it:
1) Change priorities. Learn to live with a little less tidy kitchen and spend more time out.
2) Get a maid to come clean the house weekly. $80 you spend on it is really worth the time you save.
3) Eat out during the week and may be dine in on Pizza/salad/anything-that-comes-out-of-a-can
4)Dry clean or launder your clothes outside

These are lifestyle choices but make your freetime actually free. And you can then use all that free time to go whiteater rafting or bungee jumping.

But then again, some people actually like to cook, clean and fold clothes (contrary to all their complaining) and find those things grounding or calming.

Where there is a will.....

10:02 AM  
Blogger Brazen Head said...

Ways around it:
1) Change priorities. Learn to live with a little less tidy kitchen and spend more time out.
2) Get a maid to come clean the house weekly. $80 you spend on it is really worth the time you save.
3) Eat out during the week and may be dine in on Pizza/salad/anything-that-comes-out-of-a-can
4)Dry clean or launder your clothes outside

These are lifestyle choices but make your freetime actually free. And you can then use all that free time to go whiteater rafting or bungee jumping.

But then again, some people actually like to cook, clean and fold clothes (contrary to all their complaining) and find those things grounding or calming.

Where there is a will.....

10:02 AM  
Blogger Brazen Head said...

Ways around it:
1) Change priorities. Learn to live with a little less tidy kitchen and spend more time out.
2) Get a maid to come clean the house weekly. $80 you spend on it is really worth the time you save.
3) Eat out during the week and may be dine in on Pizza/salad/anything-that-comes-out-of-a-can
4)Dry clean or launder your clothes outside

These are lifestyle choices but make your freetime actually free. And you can then use all that free time to go whiteater rafting or bungee jumping.

But then again, some people actually like to cook, clean and fold clothes (contrary to all their complaining) and find those things grounding or calming.

Where there is a will.....

10:02 AM  
Blogger Brazen Head said...

Ways around it:
1) Change priorities. Learn to live with a little less tidy kitchen and spend more time out.
2) Get a maid to come clean the house weekly. $80 you spend on it is really worth the time you save.
3) Eat out during the week and may be dine in on Pizza/salad/anything-that-comes-out-of-a-can
4)Dry clean or launder your clothes outside

These are lifestyle choices but make your freetime actually free. And you can then use all that free time to go whiteater rafting or bungee jumping.

But then again, some people actually like to cook, clean and fold clothes (contrary to all their complaining) and find those things grounding or calming.

Where there is a will.....

10:02 AM  
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2:16 PM  

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