If you have met a Sri Lankan who doesn’t dish out relationship advice like the chap who vends out kadala on the pavement in Nugegoda, are they even Sri Lankan? Advice is offered to anyone and everyone passing by, discounting if it is needed or not, even to perfect strangers. I seem to have encountered a funny sense of luck this year where I haven’t been the subject of relationship anecdotes from generations who thought Bic razors were the Devil’s offspring. It’s either luck or my selective listening.
I see how relationships have been salvaged or broken apart like KitKat fingers because of relationship advice. As much as I have come to realise that I have the patience of a kadiya, advice is like a bunch of grapes, you just have to pick the two or three fruits that aren’t rotten. Today I thought it would be apt to talk about the popular types of heeding that one would receive regarding the opposite sex, love and dating.
1. Written in the Stars
I don’t mean the song; this is where Achchis or Nandas discreetly ask for specifics of his horoscope. They don't listen to you explain how wonderful your partner is and why you think they are marriage material but are perfectly willing to ‘listen’ to stars and their determined courses. If his Saturn doesn’t cross Uranus (no puns intended) in the way it’s supposed to, you’re doomed.
2. The Tale of Birds of a Feather
This may apply to birds of a feather, but with men with their mansions, nothing could be further from the truth. How I see it is that every posse is like a well-mixed bowl of veralu achcharu – the sweet is mixed with the sour. You find the good guys, the herb-mixers (ahem), Richie Rich Moguls, and the ones who have been out of any real work since 2007. So, if anyone were to tell you that they are a reflection of their friends, you may have a very lopsided view of the real picture.
3. “Name & the Alphabet”
The letters of the alphabet followed by a name have a lot to say about a man. I would like to suggest a) Insecurity b) Too much space on the business card and the graphics guy went nuts c) They may lack street creds. Some parents demand the ACCAs, CIMAs, CMAs and I am not saying that they’re bad, but they shouldn’t be the only reason why you date them. If I were to make this more relatable, I would liken ‘education’ to underwear and its elastic to ‘street smart’ – it’s best to have both at all times.
4. “Marry a Doctor”
If I had a typical Lankan father, I know that he would want nothing more than to see me married off to a doctor. But, I don’t. Many parents burden themselves with a desire to see their children married to doctors because nothing says deity than the two letters ‘D’ and ‘R’. I know now that the person who coined ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ wasn’t a Sri Lankan or it would have been ‘bs the apple of the doctor’s eye’.
5. “Tick Tock”
This may be familiar to you if you've had a friend, sibling, or parent tell you to ‘give it time' or ‘time will answer all questions' – but the hand in the clock seems to be gesticulating inappropriately at you than dispense the answers you need. The chances are you have heard the excuses time and time again, and you know the answers.
6. “Oh, but that’s Love”
Run as fast as possible when you hear someone trying to rationalise erratic behaviour with things like, ‘jealousy is love offended, ‘she/he loves you too much, and that’s why he/she follows home daily in a tuk’. Did I say run?
7. “Get married and everything will find itself”
If you’re having problems before marriage, I expect that it will only worsen once you are bound by law. I know of people who have been adviced by ‘elders’ to get married as a remedy to cheating brushing it off mildly as ‘oh those things happen, you have to turn a blind eye’ and I want to ask if they have a blind brain. ‘Those things will go away when you are married’ not proper advise unless of course, you want an STD!
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