It’s tiresome work ending a relationship or coming to terms with its imminent expiration. Perhaps more so today, when the joy of coupledom can send you careening down the path of publicly documenting the (retrospectively) embarrassing highs of a romantic interlude. Once it’s over, it really isn’t; cleaning up the evidence of your photoshopped-to-perfection affair, littered across multiple Facebook check-ins, Instagram #couplies and mostly unnecessary tweets, demands a gargantuan effort.Suddenly, the friend requests that you recklessly accepted from acquaintances of your erstwhile appendage become painful reminders of the days that were, their timeline activity manifesting itself as evidence of, perhaps, the ease with which said appendage is moving forward, your own progress comparable to a figure in an oil painting. The simplicity of emptying memorabilia from a shoebox, tearing up billets-doux and polaroid pictures, and tossing sentimental bric-a-brac in the trash, are things of the past, replaced quite thoroughly by cramp-inducing finger punches to a delete key.
I write this with a deliberate sense of frivolity, the somber news of Sunanda Pushkar’s death reported by a gaggle of thinly disguised opportunists pretending to be journalists running in the background like Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. For in her death, and the bizarre twenty-four hours preceding it, Pushkar has evoked the image of the triumvirate that is modern marriage: a relationship between two, shared unsteadily with a third. Social media has become the Camilla Parker Bowles of Lady Di’s nuptials to the now and forevers of contemporary I dos. Unfortunately, that third dinner guest who forgot to leave at the end of the meal, will stay on for seconds, and dessert, perhaps a digestif too. Yet, decrying the ills of modern media is capable of little more than increased traction on modern media. Perhaps the only way forward is to tuck and roll, houseguest in tow, allowing them access to living room jest and dining table talk, but keeping the real repartee confined to bed and bath.
P.S. I am not married.
© Ayesha Sindhu 2014