Monday, June 27, 2005

Introducing my sitcom alter ego - Raymond Barone

This evening, I was watching an old episode of everybody Loves Raymond, a re-run from season 2, where Ray reminiscences about the day he proposed to Debra.

Ray, in a totally un-RC manner, writes the proposal into his debut column in Newsday. She accepts (in the accidental presence of Ray's parents), but Ray is consumed later by worries. He thinks Debra was under pressure to accept - just like those gals, while being serenaded by their boy friends in full view of millions of people watching on TV and on the jumbotron, worry about having beer emptied on them in case they refuse and accept.

And I realized right then that in some ways, Ray Romano's character defines me. This is why:
  1. He is supremely RC!
  2. He hates PDA (Public Displays of Affection), verbal or physical.
  3. He is the essential cynic who worries about everything life has in store for him, good or bad and is sometimes right on those counts.
  4. He uses humor like a defense mechanism, quite unsuccessfully, sometimes.
  5. He is totally into sports and writes about it, but does not seem to play anything other than golf.
And I have a faint idea that, just like Ray, I might do something similar, off the beaten path (but certainly not as stupid) and end up worrying if I got the message across just right. That scenario is certainly in my ballpark!

Oh, BTW, just after lunch today, I was reading some of Rajesh Advani's older posts. Ladies and non-RC guys who come here often, should check out his work (chances are that you might have read his work surely as email fwds or otherwise on Sulekha). They are of the kind that will make you go "awwwww". Hell, a couple of them made even me go "awwww"! Now, if that's not a compliment, what is?

And I have a related question that came up in my mind from reading Rajesh's short stories. In ficticious works of art, like the ELR episode mentioned above, I notice that a lot of protagonists getting the message across in full view of a lot other people. Does this happen in real life too? Do you guys know of any incidents where such acts have backfired, and the gal goes - "Hmmmm...., I am not so sure"? I know such a situation might be sad, but looking at it objectively, it is a possible scenario and single guys have to prepare for such a twist in the tale. People, please enlighten me!

Ok, if you are my mom, hold on! Amma, I am not thinking about popping the question to anyone, certainly not in the immediate future. And if you are not my mom, you can hold on to the "awwwws" for later.

(P.S: This post was not meant for self introspection. It was just to highlight some similarities between this blogger and the fictional character mentioned above. It has to be said that the similarities end with those few attributes and some more, which unfortunately are beyond the scope of this blog.)

(P.S II: If you came here from the BBM hosted by Amit Varma (thanx for linking to this post, Amit), or want to know what R.C stands for, it is Romantically Challenged. To give you a simple explanation, you are R.C if you believe that candles are of use only when there is a power outtage. You don't run to a door to open it for a lady who is walking 5 feet in front of you, but will keep it open for someone walking in just behind you regardless of whether it is a guy or a gal. In short, you are a cool straight forward customer who walks his talk placing all his cards on the table when it comes to women. Hidden messages and symbology don't matter and what is out in the open, which is everything, counts! And ya, R.C's usually don't put Mills & Boon's on their reading lists, but will surely make a serious attempt to appreciate them if they believe that the gal who recommends them is the ONE. And yes, there is usually only ONE! For an R.C, love is over-rated. It is the compatibility that counts!)

(P.S III: This is The End of this post! Ignore that link that says "Wanna continue reading?" and go straight to the comments section to leave some thoughts!)


RPM said...

My wife feels that I *am* Ray Barrone. I sometimes feel that I would do the same things that Ray does in certain situations ... kinda creepy how that works out.

I laugh watching the show because it is exactly what I would be thinkin or doing. My wife laughs because she knows me and is married to me and knows what I am doing and still is married to me :-)

How's that for some 'awwws' :-)

capriciously_me said...

in case u guys did not know, it is not a compliment to be ray...he is totally irritating & i wud not even want my enemy to be married to someone like ray :P he does not like to hang out with his own kids, honestly, tell many wives can be thaaat forgiving & still love him!

no offence meant to anyone...

J said...

well i think ray i0s kinda cute, but that's bcuz i can be worse than phoebe :D

dev2r said...

Being a constant whiner isn't exactly an endearing trait. But then, most women are much more patient than men, so we got that going for us ;-)

anantha said...

Dev: Hmmmm, I think this post is gonna paint me black and blue. Anyways, I am not a whiner, but I just seem to have a lot of fears quite the same like Ray. I need constant positive feedback sometimes to keep me going. Thats what I meant. And about gals being much more patient, Yup, thats true. I have seen that trait!

J: My fav. character in Friends is Phoebe!

CM: Ya we know its not a compliment to be Ray! ;) Oh, come on, he is totally not irritating. Sometimes in his own way he stands tall over the rest, even Robbie for that matter. We are discussing sitcom characters here, but tell me this - wouldnt u want your husband to be devoted to you like Ray? I mean, the man literally jumps when he comes into contact with any female other than his wife. Yup, he is childish sometimes, but the fact is, believe it or not, there is a Ray in every husband material guy!

Rpm: I think people should get married only after they spend quality time together without the proverbial sword of marriage hanging over their relationships. That way, what you experience with your wife would probably happen to everyone of us. Again, I dunno much about this. I am *at least a year* away from marriage, so these are all the idealistic thoughts that swirl around my mind, formed after observing people around me.

capriciously_me said...

anti, yup...i agree everyone has a ray in them & thats one is perfect...but if all the annoying traits have to be put in one person - thats ray & thats the thing i cant stand...& gimme a brk...he is so devoted bcoz he aint have no chance with other women...deb is a fool...;)

Nilu said...

Ray sure as hell is a lovable idiot.

And just so you know, the other side is not so green :))

Rajesh J Advani said...

Now you're makin' me go "awwww"! The great aNTi has blogged about me :) Me honored!

Without having any real experience in this matter though, in answer to your question I see this happening -

It's the girl's birthday party. She's opening her presents. The BF's present is opened last. It's this huge box, almost as tall as the girl itelf.

"Did you get me a giant teddy bear?"

BF smiles.

She rips open the box, to find a whole lot of confetti, and a smaller box inside. Around waist-high.

"Oh, it's that cute Victorian-style dressing table stool, isn't it?"

BF smiles even wider. He seems to be sweating just a little.

She rips open the box to find even more confetti, and a smaller box inside, around two feet high.

"A small TV for my room?"

BF adjusts his collar, still smiling.

She rips open the box to find yet another pile of confetti and a much smaller box.

"Ah, I know!" she says excitedly. "It's an iPod isn't it?"

BF is still smiling, but looks quite worried now.

She rips that open too, and finds confetti. She turns the box upside-down, and watches the confetti float softly to the ground. She shakes the box hoping that a smaller box will fall out.


She turns around to look at BF angrily. "What...?"

He's on his knees, holding a small ring with a large diamond in his hands. "Sweetheart, will you marry me?"

She's shocked.

He looks up at her expectantly.

She looks around at all the guests.

They look back at her.

The tension in the room is palpable.

A tear appears in her eyes.

He gets to his feet, and puts his arms around her. She cries against his chest.

Then he pull back, and slips the ring onto her unresisting finger.

There is much celebration, women shrieking, guys shouting, and lots of people hugging each other.

The guests go home.

As the girl says goodbye to the last guest and shuts the door behind them, she turns around to face the BF.

"How dare you?" she asks.

"Hunh?" (Come on, he's a guy)

"How DARE you???"


"You didn't even have the common courtesy to ask me in private first?"

"Uh... umm..."

"Just assumed I'd say yes, did you?"


"No warning even!"


"In front of all those people!"


"Do you know how embarrassing it was for me?"


She slips the ring off her finger.


"You did it on purpose didn't you? You proposed in front of all those people so that I wouldn't be able to say no."


Gives ring back to him.


"And you still owe me my birthday gift."


"And to make up for it, you'll get me that giant teddy bear. One with a bow. A small TV for my room. An iPod. And you'll engrave my name on the back. Not yours. Just mine. And there'll be so many bouquets of flowers, that I won't have enough place in the house to keep them. And a big box of chocolates. Make that two."

BF looks at her blankly.

"Do you understand me?"

He nods.


She walks toward the bedroom.

"Close the door when you leave. I'm going to sleep."

The End

BF = Bloody Fool

Balaji said...

anti, i think ray is supposed to make every married guy see a bit of himself in ray and a bit of his wife in debra. thats pretty much the formula of the american family sitcom. get a husband who does stupid things but is at heart loving and caring and blah blah blah. the wife then gets to be embarassed/irritated by him and gets to forgive him in the end(after understanding how loving and caring and blah blah blah he is). the other sitcom that successfully exploited this formula was 'home improvement'. current sitcoms like 'all about jim' and 'yes dear' do the same thing but just not as funnily or successfully...

anantha said...

Balaji: Totally true! Come to think of it, Home Improvement was like this too. But I couldnt stand the the torture that Al had to endure from Tim!

Rja: Scary story man! *looks at my list of "good days" and crosses out "birthdays" and sheds a solitary tear for the "bloody fool"!

Nilu: Lovable idiot indeed! But even if I identify with Ray, my fav character in ELR is none other than Frank "Holy Crap" Barone!

CM: he is so devoted bcoz he aint have no chance with other women - There, there, that is the typical misjudgement that one can make about a RC guy. Sometimes we choose to be the way we are. Don't ever mistake that as a handicap, cos we just need to turn our charm on! ;)

Balaji said...

as for CM's point... there was this one episode where ray loses his wedding ring and immediately gets hit on by a woman at the airport... so wouldn't say he didnt have a chance with other women...

Balaji said...

OT... don't u have a 'blogroll me' link?

anantha said...

Balaji: Good one abt the ring ;) As for the blogroll me link, I had it for sometime and thought it was not of much use. But appreciate your thought :D Will reciprocate over the coming weekend :D

RPM said...

anti: you should also put a 'back to main page' or 'home' button on each post. I usually come to your blog from Firefox's live bookmarks (finally got your feed to work on my live bookmark). And it is not possible to go to the main page from a post page.

Just an OT comment.

rajesh said...

not sure if i can compare u to Ray..
may be Robert..
almost a constanza..I ud say!
but dont take this wrong..I watched 7G Rainbow again recently and the 'Lakshmi' character...:)..everytime I saw him,I was screaming..'Ananthaaa!!''Ananthaaa' that my friends got annoyed :)
Take that as a compliment Anti..pls..pls..pls

anantha said...

Raapi: Over da... Constanza va :O And about 7G! Evalo dharava da solluva!

Rpm: Will do... possibly over the weekend.

VC said...

Hell, a couple of them made even me go "awwww"!
You may not be as RC as you think you are (or want to be), my friend (no matter how good Rajesh's stories were)!!!

And Raapi, you actually saw 7G mor than once......

anantha said...

VC: LOL.. I am as RC as they come.... And as far as Raapi's concerned, I think you dont know him....

Murali said...


Sorry my comment is not related to this post, but thought would leave it here.

This is a wonderful blog. I like the way you have set your content up in the sidebar.


Arvind said...

hi... thanks for stopping by at my place. I have been visiting your website since a couple of days and i think i shall be coming here more often. But i dont understand what RC stands for in "non-RC guys" and "supremely RC"

anantha said...

Arvind: Don't worry.. in time.. in time :) Keep coming back!

Hawkeye said...

i am RC. One of the biggest ever. Thank god for arranged marriages, i had some hope. otherwise i would have been condemned to superbowls world cups and other stuff that we RCs do.

GratisGab said...

Anti, you remind me of Ray's bro Robert I way off? You day your sphinx will rise (no pondy meaning, please take a shower and get that dirt off your mind) when the right ONE come along and then, come to me for advice before you MESS IT UP! :)

anantha said...

Gabby: God... why would I remind you of Robert? :O
And no, I don't think I will mess it up! I will worry that I messed it up, but I don't think I will, actually. Hmmm, advice from you? Ok, as long as you keep it within syllabus!

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