I had evaporated in a cloud of shame this morning
July 11, 2005
Sometimes I sit and stare out of a window wondering
what it might be like to be fifty. I turned forty last April, and
although I don't have any regrets worth writing about, I am becoming
aware that I also haven't got too much time to waste. For example,
we are not living in our dream home yet. We should be, and we could
have been if we hadn't wasted so much money over the last ten years,
but we simply can't afford to move to a bigger home with off-street
parking and five plus bedrooms.
So I sit staring out of a window
wondering what I have achieved. Two beautiful sons and an amazing
wife to begin with. I also have become a minor legend in my own
lunch time: I was, after all, spotted by an Iranian.com reader
in San Francisco a few weeks ago. But, broadly speaking that's
My father-in-law sums it up my reality:
"You have nothing.
No savings, huge debts and you're not getting any younger."
I try to explain that he can't include my mortgage in my 'huge
debts', but he won't listen.
At least I have my dignity, I console myself. But what dignity
I had evaporated in a cloud of shame this morning. Varinder asked
me to go to our local supermarket and get some milk for the boys.
I had no time to shower so I quickly washed my face and ran out
of the house. As I got to my car I was stopped by Mr. Singh who
lives opposite our street. His being a Sikh, like my in-laws,
means I feel obliged to stop and say hello.
"Tell me," he asked, "how much did you pay per
week for your skip?" (We are having our kitchen extended and
have had a skip outside for nearly three months.)
"I don't know because our builder has paid for it." I
He then looked at me square in the face for the first time. There
was a pregnant pause, a brief smile and then he looked the other
"See you soon." He said with his back to me.
I threw myself into the car and as I turned the ignition key
I did something I always do: look in the rear view mirror to
my hair. That is when I saw it. Nestled under my nose and above
my top lip was a Hitler mustache proportioned bogie, grass
green in colour and glistening.
So there we have it. Aged forty, father of two beautiful boys,
but with snot on my top lip. Dignity all gone. My next life
objective is to act my age.
Siamack Salari is CEO of Everyday
Lives, recording human
behavior for commercial marketing.