As was the case with most major events in my life, when the moment arrived I unexpectedly froze. My mind wanted to go ahead and initiate a kiss but the body refused to co-ordinate. Somehow I recuperated from my momentary paralysis and turned to her. “Close your eyes stupid!” a voice inside my head said. I did so, unsure how I would navigate from there on. I moved ever so slowly, careful not to make a fool of myself. How stupid it would look if I missed! I peeped stealthily with one eye and saw I was going the right way. I decided it was time to take the plunge; I closed my eyes and leaned in. A feeling of nervous anticipation seeped in as I was moments away from kissing her. What would it be like?Would the proverbial fireworks go off? The tension was reaching a crescendo and then it happened!
She screamed out, “What the hell are you doing?”
Quite a weird thing to say when you’re about to kiss, I thought as I opened my eyes. She sat there almost arched backwards, her eyes bloodshot and her face getting redder with every passing second.
“Look what you’ve done!”
I hadn’t realized that I had made a faux pas yet. But soon enough I saw that I had made a major boo-boo. Somewhere between my thoughts of what a first kiss would be like, my unknowing elbow had knocked the tea cup over and spilled the concoction it contained all over her majesty’s outfit for the evening. I looked at her in horror when realization finally dawned upon me. Any second now the tea cup would come crashing down on my head, I had to either duck or say something witty to save my skin.
“Uhh, it doesn’t really look all that bad you know. In fact I can hardly tell.” (GREAT COME BACK EINSTEIN)
“That was a brand new t-shirt.” she growled
“I’m really really really sorry. I’m going to make it up to you. I swear.” But she wasn’t listening, she was busy ranting.
“…It was such a cute tee . I fell in love with it right when I saw it. You know how many girls I had to fight off to get this one at the end-of-season sale?”
“I’m sure it must have been hard, it’s a really great tee, no wonder everyone wanted it.” (SHUT UP! SHUT UP NOW YOU IDIOT)
“My t-shirt, you ruined it, see how you ruined it. Such great fitting and that too for 40% off. And the fabric…..the fabric….” her voice started to get shaky.
“Oh no! This isn’t a good sign. Oh God please don’t let her…..” I hadn’t even finished my prayer as she burst into tears.
I was officially screwed now. If embarrassing myself and ruining my girlfriend’s clothes wasn’t enough, I now had to face my worst fear, dealing with a sobbing girl. It couldn’t get any worse, this was a worst case scenario, this was the mother of all disasters, a massacre yes that’s what it was. There was no way to rise above this one. Even Hallmark didn’t make ‘Sorry I spilled tea all over you’ cards. Game over, this was the end of the road. I wanted to cry louder than she was, but then the voice inside my head intervened yet again.
“Don’t give up. You may think of this as a disaster but this is actually a good thing.”
“This has to be the worst epiphany ever” I thought. “How the hell is that gigantic tea stain on her shirt a good thing?”
“Remember young one! Daag acche hain! Surf excel hai na! Ting tong.” and so saying the voice faded away.
I turned to my sobbing girlfriend with a new found dose of confidence and quipped,
“Baby, I know a way to make everything alright. Take your shirt off!”
“You perv!” she roared, about to throw the cup at me.
“So I can wash it! you don’t have to take every damn thing literally.” I said shielding my head with the tray.
“And what am I going to wear until then? You don’t have any girl clothes lying around in your closet….or at least I hope you don’t.”
“Just wear one of my t-shirts na.” I opened my closet and literally tossed the first thing I could lay my hands on to her.
“Chee what a jhataak orange t-shirt this is? Why did you buy this?”
“You think I’m that stupid”, I said straightening my elegant royal blue shirt. “One of my aunts gifted me this. I hate it as much as the next guy. Besides I think you should wear it just in case we have any other accidents. Now give me your t-shirt quick.”
“Shouldn’t you be leaving the room sometime now?” she said in a flat tone.
“Oh yeah, sorry!” I left the room red-faced.
A couple of minutes later she tossed the t-shirt out of the door, I headed straight to the washing machine with it. As I soaked the soiled t-shirt in soap water, I heard her yell again. I rushed to the room wondering what had happened now.
“You spilled it on my pants too, IDIOT!!”
I opened my closet and stepped out of the room saying, “You know the routine”. A minute later she came and dumped her jeans into the washing machine. All I could do now was wait and pray that surf excel saved the day. I had no clue what to say to her, I had gone from a romantic to a dhobi all thanks to a wretched tea-cup.
“I’m really sorry, I mean it.”
“It’s okay, just forget it now. Let’s just dry and iron my clothes and I’m going home after that.”
I had already caused enough troubles this evening to ask her to stay back.
“You go wait inside; I’ll come back when this is done.” I meekly said.
She left without a word while the machine washed and spun and dried and finally spewed out the soap water. Somewhere hope went down the drain with it. I prayed as opened the lid. “Oh God please let the stains be gone!” I picked up the shriveled up t-shirt and unfurled it. SUCCESS! The giant stain had disappeared. For once the commercials were right. I quickly took the jeans out and inspected them too. Affirmative, my plan had worked. All I had to do now was iron them and they’d be good as new, maybe I could salvage some pride after all. I rushed to the room and headed straight to the ironing board. I was about to start when she cut in saying, “Let me have that, you might burn a hole in it for all I know.”
I was a little hurt at that, but I felt I deserved it. She finished ironing it and carefully inspected it from each angle, and then held it up to the light straining her eyes to find even the tiniest speck on her beloved discounted t-shirt. I had obviously done a good job, but she wouldn’t admit that. She simply asked me to leave the room again as she prepared to change back into her original avatar. I turned around and was about to leave the room when the door bell rang. We froze….