I can’t thank you for being here among us, but I do credit you for believing in me more than I ever could in myself. Walking distances only imaginable by wheels, have been travelled on foot and money has been saved on it. Diet-driven plans to scale back on milk and butter have come true but in the most inconceivable and undesirable way –it was either not available on shelves for months or when available, it was just plain expensive. Priorities that I didn’t know I had, have replaced my long list of ‘essentials’ that I’d made before and monthly movie-nights do not make that list. Although, I’m slowly beginning to think I should swap out dishwash to bring back my popcorn intake.
Now, little and somewhat underappreciated things bring me absolute joy, like notification sounds on my cellular device while it’s scrubbing through ride-hailing apps – a ring that seems like a fading memory. The jolting sound of electricity circulating through the veins of my electrical appliances after long sweaty hours of an unproductive day has a new place in my heart, and of course the gracious smell of the gas cylinder that gives assurance of a meal to be is appreciated more than ever before.
I bet this is what growing up looks and feels like. If I ever had doubts I was adulting right, you have made it perfectly clear that whatever it was that I was doing before, had nothing to do with the A word.
Speaking of things we’re doing wrong. To think we were headed in a direction where we expected robots to soon take over the world, has taken such a drastic turn in the opposite direction that we’ve stepped back decades, to get a glimpse of how generations before us had it in their childhood. And it’s mesmerising in the worst way. Sure, now most of us know what it’s like to study or work with candle lights days on-end, how to occupy ourselves during the time we’re completely cut out from the digital world due to power cuts that gladly brings us to a standstill on our daily activities and learnt to work around our other problems in one way or another, however, not everyone has managed to come to terms with this new reality.
You want to guess who absolutely refuses to lay down their royalty? If your guesses begin with ‘R’ and end with ‘a’, believe it or not there’s another answer –the high and mighty of the animal kingdom. Yes, while we’ve had to make major adjustments that we shouldn’t have to ideally make, dogs, cats, birds and even the big fish are not about to take any of it. The jaw-dropping price tags of pet food, although need severe reassessment by pet owners to have their wallet and the delicacies of their loved ones meet half-way, the confused expressions, food-spiting gestures and gag reflexes pet owners have received from their pets seem to give clear indications of disapproval to any new budget-friendly diets. Bougie much? Can we blame them though, the adage only says ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’, not ‘don’t explicitly express your displeasure to the hands that feed you, because the important part is, they feed you’.
Apart from that, thanks to you, celebrations have now become just dreaded occasions that even extreme extroverts are happy to embrace their 2 per cent of introvert-personalities in an attempt to avoid almost starving for a few weeks to surprise a friend. Gift-giving, flower bouquets and dinner treats are near-fading traditions that are now settled with thoughtful Whatsapp messages, plenty emojis and big (safe of COVID) hugs.
Needleless to say, awaiting your departure.
Cost of being
By Dilshani Palugaswewa