Lord of the Ringless

It all started as social experiment to see if MBA students responded differently to a married classmate in comparison to an unmarried one. After a summer spent in watching men in bewilderment when I announced that I was married, I was mostly certain that men always believe they have a chance with women and hence, have a reason to talk to women, unless of course they are married. Note that these conversations are never flirty or suggestive, they are plain discussions about new cultures, geographies, every day mundane stuff, etc. So, I didn’t mind being confused for a single woman simply because I could enjoy good company beyond a drink at a party. But the moment that they learnt of my marital status,  they’d be off to get another drink, only to never return, just because they discovered they didn’t have a chance anymore. As my friend says, there’s nothing wrong with that as atleast you know these men have their incentives straight (pun intended).

Having made peace with alcohol, I am fairly comfortable with social gatherings, if I do go to one. So, when I was moving to Ann Arbor, I was told by a senior that the only way to get through the exchange program here was to leave my wedding ring at home before I left as no one ever spoke to a poor married girl on exchange. Having been a year at business school as that married girl, I decided to launch a social experiment that my husband likes to call “The lord of the ringless”. Rightfully so, very first day of class, I already had an assignment team without having to lift a finger. Now, that’s some power even Frodo didn’t have. I’ve had a chance to get to know more people within my first week here than I did back in IESE for a plethora of reasons – people are friendlier, I’m more openminded, people are curious as I am the only new thing in second year, etc. But, everything for good reason and I am not complaining.

Although, you can hide some things from some people, but not somethings from all people or all things from some people or a union of both. While we were discussing people at business school during one of the several digressions doing the assignment, my team decided to tell me who are the most sought after bachelors. When I didn’t respond much, they curiously enquired if I were a lesbian. Once I clarified, I wasn’t, they asked if I weren’t single. When I said I wasn’t, they enquired where my lover was – in Spain or India. Once I mentioned he was in India, they joked saying that the distance was so much that I didn’t need to worry about him while I am here. But when I clarified that I didn’t have a T bill in this relationship and it was more like a 7 incarnation bond, we were back at bewilderment. At first, they thought I was making the whole thing up in order to ward off single boys around here but they seemed more satisfied after authenticating his identity on Facebook. Now, nothing really changed after they learnt of my marital status (also because most of them weren’t single either) but what I discovered, was that it was more of my perception than theirs.

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