Don’t get me wrong – I don’t hate doing the ironing. In fact, it is the household task that I least dislike. I won’t go so far as to say that I actually enjoy it, but if any housework were to be bordering the enjoyable, it would be ironing.
But that doesn’t mean that it figured prominently in my dreams. Whenever I dreamt of what exactly it would feel like the day I became a published author; whenever I thought of how excited I would be and how I would celebrate; strangely enough, none of those times did ironing figure in the dreams. But that’s what I spent the evening doing. And as for the champagne I mentioned – it didn’t happen. Not a sip. Not even a whiff. All I got was a couple of bites of fairly foul lactose-free, gluten-free chocolate that I had been driven to spend Republic Day making. Considering I’ve never actually tried to make slab chocolate at home before (why bother, when you can make fudge frosting which is – if possible – even more delicious?), to try making it without one of the key ingredients (icing sugar) was foolish, but that only testifies to the level of desperation one can sink to after two whole weeks on a strictly lactose-free, gluten-free diet which eliminates all forms of commercial chocolate. (And to be told afterwards that icing sugar is gluten safe!)
But I digress. The point remains that, the day my book became available online, which nowadays can be considered to be at least as significant as the day it becomes available in brick and mortar bookshops, I spent the evening not celebrating, but doing ironing.
Why? You may well ask. Not by choice, obviously. But we are having domestic help issues. Our all-in-one domestic help is having marital problems that involve an errant and philandering husband, unscrupulous lawyers, and intractable judges. All of which doesn’t leave her with much time to organize the running of our house. The result is, not only did I spend both Sunday and Republic Day cooking, I spent my turning-author day ironing a vast stack of children’s clothes. With all their favourite clothes waiting to be ironed, I could well have had mutiny on my hands on Friday morning, had I not buckled down and done the deed on Thursday night.
Ok, but one can celebrate on Friday evening instead, can’t one? One could have and indeed, one intended to… but somehow or other that celebration fizzled out and wound up in a small tub of vanilla ice cream. I’m discovering, in fact, that it’s quite difficult to celebrate anything when all you can eat is rice, veggies, and chicken. And no beer.
So most of my celebration has been online, with virtual friends, a virtual book launch, virtual autographing, and a virtual promise of cake. The ironing I did was all real, though.