Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Bubble Wrap Syndrome

Dear friends , 
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For some time now I have been planning to write to you all but could never get down to it. I was contemplating if a phone call, or possibly, an in person meeting would be a better way to execute this communication task. 

After much thought though, I concluded that a phone call would leave my visual senses vulnerable to distraction and hence deprive my words of the intended emphasis. I also realised that a face to face meeting would give all of you the opportunity to lock me in a pillory of shame and affect an immediate execution. Hence, I decided to put down my thoughts in writing instead. 

Let me start by setting the context. 

A new purchase is a thing of joy, well, for most people. Unfortunately , I am not one of them. I suffer from a condition that not only prevents me from enjoying my new purchase but also adds persistent stress to my life; I call this the Bubble Wrap syndrome 

Bubble Wrap syndrome: A condition where one is so obsessed with the newness of a purchased good that the anxiety to preserve this newness supersedes the resultant joy of using the good itself. The inflicted individuals often identify themselves with a duty-bound bubble wrap, hence the name. 

I am often touted as the paragon of BWS in my social circles, thanks to you guys .  So when I bought a car, my biggest purchase since I started earning, it made big news. Some of you got together to discuss how I would demonstrate psychotic obsession for the car's newness, others steeled themselves for the imminent emotional storm that I would unleash, my wife got down to praying with unprecedented devoutness. 

It's been 5 days now since the car arrived, and to be honest, I've kept myself well within boundaries of rational behaviour, only occasionally straying here and there. Here's a list of some very restrained behaviour that I have exhibited : 

1. I have covered the floor of my car with multiple copies of Mumbai Mirror. Some might find this weird but I think the car is definitely newsworthy. Also, it keeps the floor carpet clean. From feet which have shoes on them, which in turn have dirt. Get the point?

2. Every time I get out of the car, I carry out a thorough inspection. I do this to check if there are any scratches / blemishes that need my attention. Mum  pointed out that our building guard, who is a regular witness of this routine, has been looking at me with an expression which alternates between pity and suspicion. I have made mental note to not tip the ass anymore. 

3. I have instructed my fellow occupants to carry polythene bags along with their umbrellas . Their umbrellas should go into these bags when they come aboard. This is a well thought out measure to prevent the water dripping umbrellas from wetting the newspapers on the floor.  I have sensed some discomfort amongst co-occupants, especially colleagues hitching a ride,  who are not willing to understand the rationale behind this . Hence, I have stocked extra polythene bags for people who don't carry one. My car, which now has several newspapers and polythene bags inside, somehow reminds me of the dump yard next to the neighbourhood public toilet. 

4. I do random rounds of inspection of other people's cars. That's right. After my car got a few scratches, I was distraught. The only way to lessen the pain was to look for others who shared it. I was seeking a sense of belonging to a community of car owners who have been subjected to similar atrocities.  I agree that I did catch a lot of unfavourable attention as I moved from one car to another, inspecting each with a keen eye to look for signs of disorder, often rubbing these cars with a handy cloth to check if a suspected scratch was real or just a mark of dust, but all this did make me feel a part of a much larger group . It's nice to know you are not alone when adversity strikes.

The list is actually longer but I guess I have made my point. As you'd have gathered  , I have sound reasons to back my actions which, I do agree, are somewhat a product of the aforementioned mental condition.  

If you thought that the intention of this note was just to explain my recent behaviour, you would be only partially right. Through this message, I would like to accomplish at least 2 more objectives :

First, I would like to thank you all for putting up with me so far, and Second, I would request all of you to carry polythene bags with your umbrellas the next time we meet. 

Lots of love.

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