Archive for grilling

Young Love

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by javedbabar

Dimpy thought she was being too soft on couples intending to get married. Her job as Registrar of Weddings was to facilitate their unions, she knew, but she wanted them to be lasting unions. There was no point in getting hitched, and then abandoning each other two miles down the track, like donkeys running in different directions.

She performed this job only one day per week, but she would make that day count. She would add value to people’s relationships in a way that she had not managed to do to her own. But she had learnt her lesson soon enough, and would be sure that prospective brides and grooms learnt theirs too – but in time.

“David and Ashley?” she said to the young couple cuddling and whispering on the sofa. They separated quickly and looked at her fearfully, and then both smiled. How old were they? she wondered. Fifteen? Sixteen? What on earth were they doing here? The girl looked like a sweetheart; the boy seemed a cad.

She called them into her office, introduced herself, and read them the regulatory paragraphs. She told them that national and local laws were applicable, that they should be of the age of majority, residents of the Lucerne Valley, be of sound mind, and entering into this marital union of their own accord.

They both said they were eighteen and very much wanting to get married, but after that things began to go wrong. He didn’t know her middle name was Joanne. She couldn’t name his place of birth as Golden. He didn’t know the name of her sister Megan. She wasn’t aware that he had visited Peru with his uncle and trekked the Inca Trail.

She was grilling them harder than usual, for sure. Maybe people didn’t know as much about each other as they should. Maybe they should talk less and listen more. But some of these were basic things. If they didn’t listen to each other now, what hope was there for the future? Dimpy sent David out so she could interview his fiancée further, alone. She asked Ashley how they met.

“My family moved to Lucerne when I was sixteen years old and I enrolled at the High School. I was with a group of friends in the… Oh, sorry, it was two years ago. He saw me and walked straight towards me. I was so amazed. Such a handsome guy, I knew he was popular, all the other girls liked him too, but he liked me. He said that he knew immediately. I knew too. Knew what? Oh, that he was the one for me.”

After twenty more minutes of gush, Dimpy sent her out and called in David. He related the same story but less convincingly. When Dimpy pushed him, he said, “Look, Miss Kalash. I can see that you’re suspicious of me. I know why. So I’ll be honest with you. There was a group of girls there. I’d slept with them all. Then a new girl came and I thought I’d try my luck with her. She liked me a lot but not enough to let me – you know – get to know her better. She said that she liked herself more. I couldn’t believe it. No girl had ever said that to me before. She made me rethink everything. I realized that’s what I wanted; someone who liked herself more than she liked me; who was strong that way, not needy and…”

Honesty is a good quality, thought Dimpy. He has passed.

One Year Hitch

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2012 by javedbabar

Dimpy (Dimples) had three jobs now. She was Lucerne Valley Museum’s Director two days a week, taught Spatial Studies another two days per week, and was Registrar of Weddings on the remaining working day. She often thought that she worked too hard. Three different jobs meant three different offices, three kinds of skills, and three sets of colleagues every week. It was a lot to juggle. But she also found that it kept things fresh. Her life was always interesting.

She had come to Lucerne to take up the Museum job. When funding was cut, she began teaching at the college too. She thought that over time the latter would become full time, but when that was capped at two days per week she looked for other opportunities. A part time Registrar was required by the village; there was on average only one marriage and one divorce per week. The village took her on upon the condition that she attained the qualifications required within one month, and she did so.

She had been practising for a year now with no complaints, but she did often wonder what she was doing. Her own marriage had failed, leaving her with a child to raise alone, hence the three jobs.

What valuable insights did she have into marriage? That it was often entered into foolishly? That money was always an issue? That little niggles became huge arguments? That words always hurt?

In truth she had no guidance for others, but maybe she could learn something from them. Then next time – and she hoped that there would be one; she believed there would be; she affirmed it daily – things would work out better. But what if you had found the wrong person? If you weren’t right for each other could you ever make it work?

That was not her job to establish though. It was theirs. She was just interviewing people, engaging in a formality. They completed the forms and sealed the deal. Their love was – had to be – enough.

Dimpy realized though that this had been her failing with Shama. He wasn’t a bad person; he had brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues who adored him. Even she had adored him initially, but they just weren’t compatible. Her steady approach to things, which he called her “methodical madness”, and his seat-of-the-pants style, which even the devil wouldn’t care for. They disagreed on everything – holidays, cooking, cleaning, not to mention spending, and when – to be honest, with him it was if – to have babies.

Dimpy realized that her duty as a Registrar of Weddings was greater than she imagined. She should make people fight to get married. If they didn’t do that now, they would surely be fighting later. She decided that from now on she would give everybody a good grilling, like the one she had given her husband once too often. But if she hadn’t, maybe they would still be together – both unhappy forever.