Taking yet another crazy turn, the mother’s youngest brother calls the extended family for a round-table discussion of a sort, to ‘discuss’ my ‘matter’, the matter being my pathetic and miserable unmarried state. WHOA!
I was informed of this ever so casually whilst engaging in some office work…trying to summarize points discussed at work regarding the Draft Right to Information Bill! I froze. My brain froze. My hands felt clammy. The blood rushed to my face. My heart started pounding at a rate. Drama Queen? Over Reacting? Paranoia? To be honest I quite don’t know. But I did feel all of that and more!
Well I suppose if you look at it objectively, there is nothing anyone can do. BUT, for all intents and purposes it is STILL very scary. I was shaking and could no longer concentrate on my work. I whatsapp my friend and give her an update, and also a little heads-up, to check up on me. Paranoia? I have been threatened that if I don’t agree to some bloke, I’ll be made to give up work and stay at home. The mother has also threatened on countless occasions to come to my work place and create a scene. She is quite capable of these things. She once called a salon to check up on me because I was running a bit late.
This was the first time that the entire family was asked to gather for a purpose of this nature. A whole new level of crazy. There was one incident though when one of my mother’s brothers was summoned to convince me to agree to a nutcase who liked to fly toy helicopters in his spare time. He couldn’t stay in Singapore for a month because he missed his family. Well good for him, but I wanted none of that. Anyway the only way I managed to end the conversation is by saying , “I don’t see why I should be having this conversation with you seeing that you are nothing to me”. All that “No i don’t like him”, “He is not my type”, “This is not what I want” fell on deaf ears because the way they see things it’s all about compromising and sacrificing. I agree that you need to compromise and sacrifice in life but that comes with choice. WHY WOULD YOU GIVE UP ANYTHING FOR SOME RANDOM RANDOM RANDOM PERSON YOU WANT TO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH? Oh and then later in the night, the mother’s youngest brother calls from abroad (thankfully I have to deal with him face-to-face only twice a year) to convince me again, and similarly when the “No i don’t like him”, “He is not my type”, “This is not what I want” did not work I had to resort to “Fine, there is nothing wrong with him, I can’t wait to marry him, in fact I am dying to marry him!” worked like a charm. He hung up the phone.
The distinguished invitees or the experts hand-picked by the youngest brother for this hushed up discussion held behind closed doors, includes of course himself (who is quite decently successful in a twisted sense, he holds a Director post in a telecommunication Company in the middle-east, married to a pretty but clueless woman who stopped school half way so as to concentrate on Sewing/Needlework and the likes? And have two adorable kids), another brother (who was pretty bad-ass when he was young, married some crazy woman who has turned even crazier and now has him by the balls, and as a result had to compose himself so as to maintain the peace at the home front (too complicated?), another brother (married to an extreme simpleton who can’t manage basically anything by herself/his daughter gave up school because she wanted to get married, moved to the middle-east with her husband and who is afraid to go to the bathroom all the way there after my grandpa’s funeral all the way here.) and OH WAIT MY BROTHER has been invited too? The very same one who half an hour ago wanted me to suggest a subject for an email drafted for him by the mother requesting an extension of leave on medical grounds. Apparently his marital status has elevated and rendered him the desired qualification to serve in meddling with my affairs. Then of course, the mother, the father, and the aunt.
We are dealing with people who are completely different from me. For them girls should be given freedom in moderation. School education is more or less sufficient, higher education is fine, and even to those who can at least to a certain extent digest a career for women, all of it amounts to nothing if by at least 22 she is not married. Well I am 26. Un-married. I don’t see marriage in the horizon. I do fear sometimes of being alone, having no one ladida but that is not good reason enough for me to take the plunge with some extremely random bloke chosen by my clan. My thinking is alien to them. Explaining this is of no use whatsoever. I have done it on countless occasions and the only reply I get is along the lines of “You have to sacrifice”, “You can change him later”, “You can’t have everything the way you want”. Well of course I know I cant have everything I want, I mean I don’t even know what exactly I want. But I do know what I don’t want and that I’m guessing is a start?
So I guess this is why these meetings are so intolerable. Simply because it is not a discussion. It is one-sided. They will bully you into answering their questions, and when the answers are obviously not what they expect they keep pestering until I say something that will end the conversation. I have two options. To either just agree to everything which obviously is never going to happen. Or just say something mean and sarcastic, which is obviously never pleasant when you are a freaking one man army.
Weirdly though the meeting broke after nearly two hours of heated discussion I wasn’t summoned as anticipated. All of this would be hilarious if it wasn’t happening to me. I was not quite sure what to make of it. Glad that there was no need for unnecessary confrontation? But then again relief is just momentary. There’s always the next day, maybe sometime I’m caught off guard, at sometime I’m less in control… But for the moment they were okay with greeting me with a nice bye-bye as they were leaving, almost as though the entire conversation was all about blowing bubbles.