Want My Advice?

You’ve got a problem of some sort? Oh, I know what to do. Just fix it! See? Problem solved!

There are advisors lurking everywhere, just waiting for you to present them an issue they can deliver their opinion on. Are you trying to lose weight? They have the perfect diet plan or fitness regimen to suggest. Looking to buy a house? Their thoughts on real estate are boundless. Unlucky in love? They’ll not only give you relationship advice, but also happily remind you that you’re getting on in years and should settle down soon!

Usually, they skulk around among the distant relatives, the aunts and uncles you only see on special occasions. But they can also take the guise of co-workers or friends of friends. Everyone of them has the keys to a happy life and they’ll gladly hand them to you if you’ll just listen. Like one of my colleagues, or even some colleagues from my previous job. They’ve got very strong opinions on marriage and when people should get married. I’m apparently getting over the hill and should settle down fast. The countdown’s begun, people! One of my former colleagues looked at me like I had antlers sprouting from my nostrils when I suggested that I might not get married till I’m 40. The idea was incomprehensible to him.

I should point out that both of those colleagues are Indian, and marriage is a pretty big deal in Indian culture. It’s basically the ultimate achievement of any young person’s life. If you’re not working hard and raising a family, then what the hell are you doing? Well, I’m writing, reading, drawing and playing video games. Oops.

Also, women should get married before 30. Yep. So says my advisor. It doesn’t apply to men, though. Only women.

I have also been advised, by many people, to take a cab whenever I need to get around, even a short distance. Why would I want to walk anywhere? That’d just be crazy. Never mind that I like walking, and generally prefer it to vehicular travel. But in the Dubai heat? No, no. Take a cab. Even though I’ve grown up here and learned to work around the heat. Apparently everyone else knows better.

Financial planning, career management, even breathing (probably). Any random person around you will have most informed perspective on the matter. Should you even mention the subject in passing, they’ll be all too eager to shower you with advice.

So there you go. If you’re looking to fix your life, just ask the guy next to you. He knows best. And will also probably tell you something dismissive about women because man, some people are just awful.

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