Another day, another validation, another satisfaction. Zutshi uncle finally showed up at my place today. After months of requests from him and excuses from me, that dear old man, shaking hands and all, came to meet me. Yes, I feel guilty for having postponed my promised visit for months now; but the happiness I feel is greater than anything else. There is a tremendous feeling of smug-joy in the fact that someone cares enough to have made that effort for me. I am important. I am a somebody.
So, I’m addicted to validations. Putting this bit of self-realisation into words isn’t exactly empowering. And not half as cool as saying you’re addicted to say, caffeine or nicotine.
I need people to tell me I’m good to believe I’m good. And admitting this, sucks. It probably makes me a loser of the highest order in a world of the self-confident, self assured (if there really are any). The past few days have been just about that -- validations. Jeer as I may at the thought, I know that what others think of me is what I am.
Saturday, the 1st of August, 2009, had this realisation all lined-up.
I’d like to blame it on the hormones, but I know it had to do with my check-up that day. Of all emotional travails of my pregnancy through the last eight months, I probably had the worst one that morning. All through the weeks before, I kept thinking about how the doctor had said my weight had increased too much and how I needed to exercise. I was afraid the same would be said again and so I didn’t want to go. Even with all the online forums assuring me that weight gain is the highest in the last few weeks, the doctor’s verdict had hurt. I tell myself enough times in day that I’m ‘gross’ and needed no reiteration. I didn’t need to hear it again that morning.
Through a stream of seemingly unstoppable tears, I said that I didn’t want to be a fat monster anymore. Wailing, I said I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore, and that I was tired of being so ugly. Viren did what any helpless husband would do. He began with cooing, and when that didn’t work, he turned to cawing. I settled down after a bit and then we went to the doc’s. Mercifully enough, she said that my weight and baby’s was fine, and spared me from some more self-flagellation. Ah, validation! If the doc says I’m OK, it must mean I’m OK.
Next stop was the jeweller, where Viren was to buy me my birthday gift, like that long-promised toy. He dare not have refused after my breakdown. We picked two rings – goodies to make me look and hence feel good. Petty, but pretty. Material validation @ Rs. 9000…approximately. We added Rs. 465 to that for lunch at a nice place and some peace was finally bought as he dropped me to work.
Cut to 10.30 pm that night. After work, a friend gave me this adorable little baby basket he’d used for his child -- my first real baby possession. I and Viren thanked him before he took me home. My eyes nearly popped out when I stepped into the house to find that some friends were waiting there for me with a “Surprise” party for me! It was a moment of real honour and gratitude. I was more than overwhelmed at the sight of these friends who, in conspiracy with Viren, had arranged for this lovely occasion – a baby shower, complete with streamers, and pink and blue balloons. Wow! Nobody had ever done this for me and the surprise was even sweeter because I really and honestly hadn’t expected it. Food, drinks, chatter and loads of grinning on my part made for the rest of the evening. Thanks, guys. Thank you for making me feel that I am important. That I am a somebody.
Later that night I lay in bed, still smiling, thinking just how powerful validation is. I daresay we all need it. By the time my baby is old enough to understand what this story is all about, these friends may have gone far away on different life paths, but it will always be one of the ‘it’ moments of my life. Is the fact that someone else had the power to decide one of the best days of my life, bad? I think not.