… to be living with a boy.

Till I got married, I’d lived in a very female centred environment. As a sailor, my dad was around only for a limited period so girl power pretty much had the run of the house. It was me, my sister, my mom (the Boss), my grandmother (mom’s mom) and when we got a dog, she was a girl too. I went to an all girls school and since I did Arts in college, boys were in short supply. My sister had a lot of friends who were boys and so we had them in and out of the house but that was later.

Anyway, now I’m married and I live with a boy full-time. I’m not going to get into cliches like “boys don’t help around the house” and “boys don’t cook” and “boys are messy” because they don’t apply to this one. If those are true, I’m the “boy” in this house. V said the other day that I live like a “bachelor”.

Rather, V’s boyness lies in his propensity to make stupid jokes, tickle me and poke me in the ribs, much to my irritation. He tries to wrestle me sometimes. I really need to get him either a son or a dog to play with. I really cannot stand in for his silly male friends or tolerant sisters.

And then there’s the inability to talk about feelings. Or to gossip at length. Or to launch into a discussion about feelings suddenly and to stop just as abruptly as if the feeling-discussion quota is now over. This is the texture of boynes.

Of course, there’s the curiosities of shaving and peeing standing up. But when I most realise that V’s a boy is when there’s a gadget around. Currently, for example, V has a new phone. The day he got it, we had guests. I realised how restrained he had been in the day when I woke up startled at night at 4 am to a blue light in the room. It was V, fiddling with the applications on his new phone. The next day he defensively told me that he hadn’t woken up and started fiddling – he hadn’t been to sleep at all.

Once the guests left, he’s spent every waking minute with the device, stopping only for meals and work. Having fully explored the possibilities of the handset itself, as elaborated on in the manual, he’s graduated to hogging the laptop, downloading applications. He’s so engrossed that I can’t get a word out of him. This can be a good thing, leaving me to my pursuit of detective novel nirvana but it’s disconcerting too – sitting next to a completely taciturn person, brow furrowed with concentration on a little object making beeping noises. Every now and then, he bursts out: “This is so cool.” I roll my eyes. The cycle continues.

I realise now that when we bought the laptop, I was saved from this because V left for a business trip in a couple of days. So I was spared the obsessive gadget discovery. What is it about boys and their toys.