Friday, November 16, 2012

Losing arguments


One seldom loses arguments with other men. When we were boys together, if you thought you were about to lose an argument you started a bout of fisticuffs to clinch the argument and, even if you lose, you only lost a fight not the argument. Once you grew up to be men and fisticuffs started acquiring legal consequences, arguments became yelling matches and both participants (if there were only two) departed the scene with the firm conviction that their calm reasoning had won the argument for them.
With women, however, it is an altogether different story. My first realization of this difference happened when I got into an argument with my sister. After the customary opening exchanges of the more-or-less courteous variety, the argument rose to the intellectual heights of vituperation. I used all the imagination at my command to shower the choicest of abuses at her only to have her return “You only!” to me. (Now this pithy phrase meant “All that you say are applicable only to you and not to me” and why it is not a part of regular English is still a mystery to me!)
Needless to say, I was infuriated that my own able discourse had been turned so deftly against me and I soared into heights of abuse that I had hitherto not touched - only to find the same “You only” reflecting all of that back at me. After that point, the argument soared to the rarefied intellectual plane of an exchange of You-onlys between the two of us. Since my sister said the last ‘You only’, I have to admit that I was bested in that argument.
Let me not give you the impression that I had had very infrequent arguments with women. I am only touching upon the highlights here rather than engaging in a long litany of my woes while so arguing.
The next highlight was during the wedding of one of my cousins. One male cousin landed in Bangalore from Chennai and, while disembarking, he left behind a suitcase in the taxi which disappeared with commendable speed. The same day, we went to pick up another cousin and, as luck would have it, one of his bags stayed back in the auto-rickshaw, which also vanished with alacrity. The women were all over us. “It was only today morning when Shyam lost his suitcase. Did that not teach you to be more careful?”
Came the night and three of the women came along in an auto and – you knew it – they lost a suitcase to the auto as well. Now was our chance. Before we could even get started, the women said, “Even Shyam and you lost your luggage! So what is the big deal now?” What should have been a cautionary tale to us turns into a precedent to them! Do you really think we won that argument after that start?
The one time I really thought I had the argument won – and history made – I found out how nimble women’s brains could be. When my antagonist came to the conclusion that she was on a losing wicket on that issue, I suddenly found that the argument had shifted to a discussion of my shortcomings in an episode in the previous week. By the time that argument was done, I was left with a very strong impression that I had spent all my life waking up every day in the morning with the single ambition of making her life miserable and tossing and turning in bed bemoaning every day when I had passed up such an opportunity. Needless to say, she won that argument in a canter leaving me crawling like a worm in her dust.
I have heard of this myth that all the reasoned arguments of men are dissolved to nonexistence in a flood of tears. I have no personal experience of it. Whether it is because it is only a myth or whether it is because – as my friends say – women consider me small fry and disdain to use the most powerful weapons in their armory, I do not know!
The one thing life has taught me was that the best way to cut short an argument with a woman is to admit you are in the wrong. This, I thought, was a sure-fire recipe for success – till the day when the woman I was arguing with ended up haranguing me till I was forced to admit that I was not in the wrong after all!
Women will always be unfathomable to me!

60 comments:

  1. Brilliant sir ji as always - best to concede defeat and walk away instead of listening to non-stop banter :)

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    1. Particularly when you do not have equally nimble brains :)

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    2. Why, you loser. And before you say it, "You only plus one!"

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    3. As usual things strike me late :) Now that you have said "You only plus one" maybe I should start showering praises on you :)

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    4. Let me pre-empt that by saying you are wise (and your post is humorous).

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  2. It has always been hard to understand women. You just don't know how differently they would act on any situation.
    Interestingly, the subject with which the argument sparks isn't the same with which it ends.

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    1. No matter where it started for me, the end was the same :) I felt about six inches tall :)

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  3. LOL. Funny experiences there :) I remember doing the You only thing too when I was younger :) And humorous how a cautionary tale turned into a precedent :) I can totally see that happening, LOL, you've made me analyze my arguments now! :) I am sure when you're all done figuring out women, you'd the most popular man on earth!

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    1. I'd be the most popular mummy on earth, you mean :) That's how long it will take me and even then I'd be deluding myself :)

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  4. A married man is one who apologies to his wife even when he is not wrong and his wife accept it :p

    Try posing this question to a married woman with a condition that answer has to be yes or no

    HAVE YOU STOPPED BEATING YOUR HUSBAND?

    Above all are not my creativity but read somewhere

    Regards

    Balu

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    1. That question can be modified for the Husband as well equally efficaciously :)

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  5. ha ha Suresh....'You Only' was nostalgic :) ....Understanding women? Very Tough Buddy!! But you know, men give up like that only if the arguments are about something they dont attach a lot of importance to. Otherwise no matter what the woman says its like a tied dog barking ....No use!!

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    1. We all have our perspectives :) We think the same thing abt women - that they give in only when it does not matter to them :)

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    2. hi hi hi...Now this itself sounds like the start of an argument eh? ha ha ha...

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    3. And Boy! I sounded like a person holding the beacon for the entire womenfolk on earth eh? Only on reading my comment again do I realize that :D

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    4. Does it sound like the start of an argument? Ouch! When will I learn not to start one when I am bound to lose? :)

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  6. Well, it is up to you to decide if you call them arguments! There are times one is reminded of that old fable of a Wolf and a Lamb. The wolf charged the lamb of defiling the water he was drinking and when the lamb pointed out that the water was actually floating from the wolf to the lamb, the wolf growled and asked why he had done just that a couple of months back and when the lamb told him how that was just not possible as he was only one month old, the lamp snapped it must have been his father and now he must pay for the sin!

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  7. I wonder how you are able to convert those little experiences into such awesome posts. The Angels will fall and now this! Superb..I cannot write a paragraph on it even though I ponder over it for the whole day :)

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  8. Hahahah....Suresh, you had me in splits with the 'You Only'. I am still LOL..as kids, that was our weapon and after a while we started 'one more than you'. I don't know what that means but at the end , it would end with 'one more than you'. So, you are saying women are better arugmentors? (there is no word in dictionary, okay! my own word) lol...;)

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    1. And missing luggage 3 times on the same day, that must have been one day!! :)

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    2. I have always found them so, FIF! That lateral thinking bit is I think stronger with women than men and someone who can argue in circles can always beat a linear thinker :)

      Life does come up with strange coincidences that we would never believe in fiction. That was one of them - losing luggage over and over on the same day! Even now, somehow, everyone who knows me seems to call me up on the same day when they have all gone for weeks comfortably without this urge to hear my voice :)

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    3. There must be some special magnet in you that could be sending them all a signal on the same day :) Just kidding. :). It happens sometimes.

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  9. You have chosen an interesting subject! 'You only' made me laugh :)

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    1. Good that I could :) I was not laughing when it happened :)

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  10. Indeed, CS. Arguments are a waste of time. Men bully their way through arguments and women weep their way through.

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  11. Loved the 'You only' clincher used by your sister. I must admit that I have used it vociferously in the past too but have learnt to say that silently these days and have the satisfaction of being the winner!!

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    1. Whether you enjoy it or hate it all depends on which side of the 'You only' you are on :)

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  12. had a terrible day but your post has put a smile on my face, thank you so much for that!

    i stay away from arguments (pretending to be a matured person) because i know the end result.

    btw, it says 'there is an error in this gadget' on top of your profile picture. your blog is fun :D

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    1. Thanks, Debs! Profile pic looks alright when I checked it - well...as alright as I can look :)

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  13. Loved the post, Suresh. And my comment can be summed up with an Oscar Widle quote: "Women are meant to be loved, not understood." :-P

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  14. What a post that was! Had me laughing all the while. From that "You Only", I remembered using "Mirror, no reflection" when arguing with my brother. Hah!And haven't I used that precedence idea with my husband...Lol!
    .

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    1. Mmm! So I was not wrong in generalizing from a few incidents :)

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  15. he he he he I hear you sir , loud and clear .. always a good habit .. my dad use to say that no harm in listening ot the ladies in the house and nod your head and say HAANJI .. thats all it takes .. "HAANJI" to all , you dont have to do what they say he he he

    I shall remember this also for sure

    Bikram's

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    1. Haanji kehte kehte ek baar maat kha gaya ji :) Nothing is really safe if a woman wants to roast you :)

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  16. Good one Suresh mama. Pretty sure mom will agree.(Arjun)

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  17. Enjoyed this thoroughly, Suresh. However, even being a woman I hate tears being used as a weapon against men - totally disarming and very unjust! :)

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  18. I remembered my sons using the phrase "what for you" quite often when they were young which was literally translated from the vernacular "ninge eno?"/" onnake enna?"Try answering this question in English!!!

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  19. I stand next to you...and now am so avid of this that before i could sense of getting into an argument i put my hands up with a white handkerchief...saying..."oh never mind any discussion about it...it was all my fault"

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  20. Suresh Sir, I was browsing through your blog yesterday and read a ton of posts(which might account for the sudden surge in the number of pageviews :D).

    This one made me snort in an uncontrollable giggle when I recalled it in the middle of the night, causing my husband to accuse me of dreaming about other men, when all I was laughing about was the "You Only" argument (I modified it to a slightly more verbose but crystal-clear "Jo bolta hai wahi hota hai") using which I had ably won our "debate" last evening (and on most other occasions when "discussions" have arisen). I was glad to know I was not alone in using this stellar argument to which there is no winning comeback.

    Which also goes to show that it doesn't matter if your post is three minutes old or three months old or three years old, it will hold relevance till the end of time.

    Thank you for the innumerable smiles and ample rise in my bloodcount through hearty laughter. :)

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    1. That was a wonderful comment to read, Mixi! Well, since I do not write political satire or topical pieces, I hope to write things that are as relevant or irrelevant at any point in time :)

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  21. Hmmmm. Very funny! I'm glad your sister won all the arguments and that you have been able to entertain us because of your exasperation :P

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    1. Thanks, Kalpanaa :) Glad I could make you rejoice :P

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  22. Yes, dear! I am sorry, it won't happen again. You are always right. I guess if a man, mans up and memorizes these three simple phrases, he will have a happy (though this is kind of relative) life. The only predictable thing about those precious ones is that they are unpredictable. And if the waterworks start...

    Thanks, sir--Brilliant as always!

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    1. Hahaha - yes, doc, provided you do not, by mistake, say 'It won't happen again' on the only day you brought her flowers :)

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