Now that I can comment on arranged marriage with some authority, I thought it was time I sat down and did so. I debated whether or not to talk about it since it is a personal matter but a) I think I’ve done all the “airing of the dirty laundry” I could possibly do and b) I think I owe it to the readers who used to follow my “Young, free and… desperate?” blog. Those readers can tell you that my parents were looking for a groom for over a year. This, in turn, prompted me to search for one on my own time. I know it’s not “the done thing” but I figured I could do a better job than my parents. Cue the egotistical lawyer who executed his lies with such panache, you could hang them in the Tate and call it art. Cue the invesment
wanbanker who was still tugging on mummy’s apron strings. Cue the guy that straightened his air and was only *slightly* inbred. This didn’t give me much hope and my parents weren’t faring any better (if I wanted a man with shifty eyes and a dubious occupation, I’d don a skirt and head to King’s Cross).
So I was pretty much giving up hope. Yes, it’s great to be able to luxuriate in the idea of, “It’ll happen when it’s meant to,” or “Give up looking and someone will drop into your lap,” but when you have two generations of Abdullahs and a whole host of extended family breathing down your neck, it kinda starts to worry you! There were times when I was pressured, times when I was coaxed, times when I was pushed but I held my ground and said no to every unsuitable proposal that came my way. If it doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel right… right?
So what made me relent? What made me say yes to a man I had only spoken to once? A friend once told me he would have to feel thunderbolts and lightning if he was to say yes to a proposal. Did I feel this way? Well, no, but I wasn’t expecting to. I was looking for a man who had a good job, who could hold a decent conversation with me and who was remotely attractive. I wanted a man who was sensible and who I could build a life with. I found these things in the man I’m going to marry. He made me feel comfortable, at ease and I was able to be myself instead of the wallflower that some men expect. As I have always said, marriage isn’t like playing with lego; you can’t pick up any two pieces and make them fit and yes, maybe that worries me a little bit; can you really make a life-changing decision based on the fact that you think you’re a good judge of character? I can only go on past experience. I would say 100% of the people I liked on first meeting, I still like to this day and vice versa so perhaps, first impressions are good enough.
I’m on my fourth paragraph and I still don’t know if I have made my point. Ok, here are my reasons for saying yes in order of importance:
- I am ready and I want to. Seeing friends and family move on made me open up to the idea of getting married. I’ve taken care of myself all my life, I just think it would be nice to have someone else in my corner.
- He is suitable (good job, good disposition).
- My father really wants this so I am partly doing it for him. I get that it's the rest of my life but I'll make it work. After all, he dedicated all his life to us.
- Arranged marriage means I get to keep my core to myself. Being in love means you're totally exposed and vulnerable. This way, my marriage can be made to work. Yes, it's clinical and yes, it seems cold but by detaching that whole mass of complications, a relationship becomes much much simpler. I've experienced being in love so I can say with authority that I am willing to give that up in place for something that can work long-term; warmth, companionship, etc.
- I will have someone to pop down to Sainsbury's when I feel like some Pralines & Cream Haagen Dazs.
So, yeah, I think that covers everything. Yes, it’s a leap of faith but y’know, I’m a faithful person. If this was meant to happen, it will. If it wasn’t, it won’t and I sleep at night because I truly, truly, believe that.