Reminiscing TRAUMATIZING Marriage Proposal Days!

Yesterday someone tweeted about marriage proposals and it triggered all sorts of horrible emotions. Ugh it’s a phase I do not want to go back to, ever!

That evening I met two other friends of mine and the topic came up. The two also share the same experiences, in fact one actually gave in at some point. Then we decided that maybe at some point we need to have a little thing where we share our proposal stories and to document these stories because it would be interesting. It’s interesting now but at that time it was nothing short of hell.

Imagine being told to get out of your night clothes at around 11 PM because a potential is coming to see you, before he catches a flight to X country the next day? Then, being told by that guy that whilst hanging out with his cousins, an aunt had shared my bio data with them and that it was passed around four boys, did one round and when it landed on him the second time he thought what the heck since it’s his last day or so in the country he thought he’d just check it out. Imagine how livid I felt. I was completely opposed to proposals, completely against my mother circulating my picture and bio data (or whatever the fuck it is called) both online on various platforms, and offline through marriage brokers, relatives and friends, yet it continued to happen and there was nothing I could do about it.

Once I remember a meeting with a potential suitor introduced by the mother’s friend who absolutely raved about the fellow, almost like he was the next best thing since sliced bread. The meeting took place at a coffee shop of sorts in the presence of mother’s friend. The fellow went on and on about his love for vehicles, and his close network which included (really questionable) politicians and their kids, and OTHER THINGS which I won’t talk about here because I am trying to be nice. So the meeting ended, and then the mother and her friend wanted to know what I thought of the fellow. My sister also happened to be there. So I gave them a list and my sister all the while was giving me looks, trying to tell me something. She finally hisses into my ears, “you are insulting this boy to his mother?”. She thought mothers friend was the fellows mother, haha and I addressing mothers friend, said, “haha she thought he was your son”. To which she goes, “eeee no that’s not my son, my son is tall and good looking……..” OMG what? I thought the sun shone out of this fellow’s arse? So yeah, that’s how they sell a potential. My family would go see a boy, speak to him for like 30 mins, no other previous interaction, they can write a bloody book about him, “Mashallah, he’s perfect for you, just the way you want”. And I am supposed to believe they had my best interest at heart?

I know many girls who having succumbed to pressure are just stuck in their marriages because the very families who pressurized them to get married don’t want to get embroiled in a divorce. Suddenly it’s not their circus anymore. The blame is on the girl, because she ‘wasn’t forced’. Really though what is force? Force is not just holding a gun on someone’s head! Force is everything from setting up meetings with random men every day, imposing restrictions such as you can’t do this this and this until you get married or can’t go to places beyond this time, or emotionally blackmailing with things like reminding that grandparents, or parents are old and not to be so ungrateful as to not have an opportunity to celebrate a wedding, or blame someone’s death or health condition on a girl refusing to agree to a bloody proposal. All of this and more is force especially in cultures such as ours where kids are financially dependent on families or living independently is so unheard of or frowned upon. When you do take that step of deciding to move out on your own, you’d be really lucky if your family is at least partially sane, because there have been instances where families would come in numbers to hunt the ‘wayward girl’ down, create a scene outside the place she works, harass landlord if the property is rented, or just go to the police to file a missing persons report just to get back at you.

So yes, I am glad I don’t have to go through this proposal nonsense anymore but it took years to get here. Not that the mother has stopped sending my details around, or that she has stopped sending me details and pictures of men, but the meetings have stopped only because I put a stop to it. I did that because I could, because I am older, because financially I no longer am dependent on the family, because the mother’s siblings who helped her terrorize me, have realized I’m beyond saving or is a wild horse or a lost cause… Those who feel you are unable to resist this madness, you can do it. It gets better..


A Selfie, please?

The most eventful proposal for this year (even though it’s only February) has been the most recent one; the after effects of which I am still reeling from. It has been distressing to the point that I’d go to sleep not wanting to wake up the next day. Oh well.

This latest dude has apparently been rejecting so many proposals but on “seeing my picture” and mind you nothing else he was convinced “that I was the one God had erm decided for him”. Er. According to the mother (of mine) I am very lucky because this is not the conventional proposal. Like hell ’tis not.

I am not really sure how it all started but I know that the two points of contact, are the dude’s father and the mother (of mine) who have been going to lengths to make the match a reality; the father because this is the one proposal the son is interested in, and the mother (of mine) because well it’s high fucking time. So, phone numbers were exchanged and I was told ( in more ways that one) to talk very nicely to the boy. One fine morning I wake up to receive a message from the fellow’s father “suggesting that I message the son because the son had tried multiple times to get through”. I suggested the father that he perhaps tell his son to email me. I also mentioned my suspicion. “Multiple times?”. I’m sure dude’s father would have updated the mother (of mine) also suggesting that I should perhaps text the son, and in no time the mother (of mine) began the process of badgering me to initiate conversation, “because he tried”, “several times”. She’d come over in person, call, text as well as get my aunt to do this. For instance, if I ignored the call she’d call my aunt to make me pick up the phone. Gah. Anyway No way in hell was I going to initiate conversation with someone I have no intention of having anything to do with. Right?

So in order to make things easy for me, one fine day the aunt gets her husband to call the dude, and then tells the dude that I wanted to talk and lands the phone on me. Fuck. Awkward, I say hello only to get ambushed by a solid British accent. For about 30 seconds I was distracted until I heard a weird noice (or my natural suspicion) from near my window, to see my aunt peeping through to see whether I was actually talking. That brought me back to earth. After the conversation ended, late into the night I had miscalls (to my phone) which I chose to ignore and some messages asking me what I’m upto. Whether I’m free. Er yeah well I chose to ignore that.

Shit hit the fan the next day. The mother (of mine) who came over and aunt were hounding me about how the conversation was going. Do you like? Are u speaking nicely? What is he saying? (All this in less than a day) Naturally I was annoyed. Then a very loud conversation between the two sisters and one of their brothers take place where the brother inquires as to why proposals piss me off so much, whether I am not interested in marriage and if I am not, to then stop this all together. For about a minute I was like whoa. Finally. The aunt replies yeah then she will say she is not interested, to which her brother goes call her. So I was summoned and made to sit. I was asked the question to which I replied that I was simply not interested in these proposals. One started crying, the other started threatening and the uncle tried to maintain the peace. He asked the one crying, to stop the drama, the one threatening to stop being a moron and then told me to talk to the new dude and bag the deal. Err what happened to that whole thing about it won’t work  if she’s not interested? Then he asks me how long I need to talk to the fellow and see. I say online? Without having ever met the dude? (Well these are just excuses because no way in hell, not a fucking proposal)  I say I need to meet in person. I also said how can I give a time, you can’t put a date to it. Apparently you go into something with a target he says, for instance when you do a degree you know you will complete it in three years. Similarly with a business venture. No amount of me saying that the two aren’t the same could convince him. So just to shut the whole lot up and to basically leave that toxic meeting I said three months. Then comes the bullet. Apparently the dude and his family wants to have the wedding in August so three months is not sufficient because then there wouldn’t be enough time to plan a wedding. So no one even thought that it was important to tell me about the bigger plan? August business? The hell. The fellow is supposed to have lived in the U.K. all his life and he’s alright with just meeting a couple of days before the wedding? Damn it, such a waste of that accent. Anyway they decide to instead give me two months and then the discussion went in the direction of how to tell the dudes father about the two months thing, most importantly without the dude getting to know it. It was also agreed to m, that the two sisters would stop badgering me for two months. So I thought fine, two months to figure out a plan.

So I had to message the fellow, who lost no time in getting right into the deal, that his folks want him to get married in August. When I asked whether he’d be cut off from his inheritance if he didn’t comply, he didn’t find it too funny. When I said surely, you’ve got to meet before he says yes I can come down in April to finalize matters. Wtf. What planet are you from? I put up a non too flattering picture on whatsapp hoping to ward him off. Then the dude asks me whether those were my friends with me to which I said obviously. Then he asks me to share some “casual selfies” to which I replied that I’m not a fan of selfies. The conversation ended there. What sort of nut job asks for selfies after speaking for less than a day? I mean what planet is this loser from?

The next day the mother (of mine) calls to find out what happened because apparently dude had whined to daddy that I don’t seem to be interested or serious in this thing. He had also whined to daddy about my age, and if I’m not ready now when will I ever be? Mother wanted to know what I did. I used the selfie story to which she goes yeah but just to see you know, what’s wrong? Wow. So she says she has to “think”, hangs up on me and immediately her sister’s phone rings. I overhear words like “call”, “Skype” and figure out that I’d have to end up talking to the fellow. She immediately calls me back saying I should video chat with the fellow and when I say no way and point out that the conversation stopped because the fellow never replied, she responds by saying that he might be hurt by my response when I said “I’m not comfortable with selfies” (although I said not a fan of selfies I had to replace it with this because she’d bring the roof down) and that I should have explained why I didn’t want to send selfies. Besides she didn’t really see anything wrong with sending them. This is desperation on another level. I refused to initiate anything. I think she may have messaged the dudes dad who told her that she needs to stop forcing me and that by forcing she will be ruining my life. The mothers next course of action was to badger me into messaging the dudes father to indicate that I was not forced. Lord. My family does have a conflated view on words like “force” and “threaten”. I refused to do anything of that sort. She kept calling and messaging me throughout the day to check whether I called and would yell at me to speak to the fellow and show interest. Interest that I simply did not have. Then she’d accuse me of being selfish and only think of myself (which I know is the same thing)and that I’d suffer the consequences of all this later. Most of the time I’d just hold the phone well away from my ear and in her enthusiasm she would not even notice. Sigh. For instance the day before yesterday, I was out at a discussion (which she was very well aware of) she called me again to check, and when I said no didn’t message, won’t message, she wanted to know what to tell the dudes father. Then I said I don’t know tell whatever you want, tell about the selfie. Then she goes how do you spell selfie?

Then she shows up yesterday and she asks me again whether I spoke to the fellow and whether I will, and when I said no, she tells me that there is another proposal and I better fucking agree to it and that she will be giving my number.

So yes. All over again.

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Dude-Shoving (Continues)

The dude-finding has not stopped. If at all the frequency and intensitiy of it has risen to something more like dude-shoving. One would have thought that at this ripe old age of 28 (PLUS) this dude-shoving would have stopped.

The one before the two most recent ones went something along the lines of this. We had returned home (I don’t remember from where) and I put on my pjs and got to sleep when the mother at 11 in the freaking night tells me to go get dressed because I have to meet a prospective. So yes, put on some nice clothes, put on some make up and some high-heels so that I can seal the deal on this to get to Germany. Apparently the dude is from Germany and I’d have to marry him and go “settle there” and my life would be complete. Ta da. So the course my life would take was already decided even before any one of us even saw the dude. Not even his name was relevant.

So the dude arrived around 1130 and somewhere along the conversation he let’s me know that my “picture” and “bio-data” was passed around among four of them (him, his brother, and two cousins) by an “Aunty”. He is down on vacation and the night before he was to leave this happened. Hence the timing. So anyway the “picture” and “bio-data” completed one round among four boys. When it landed on him the second time, he had picked it up apparently and told the rest that he’d just go and see what the deal is all about and that when he is back they could all have a good laugh about it. After all nothing to lose he mused. Honestly. And I just have to sit there and listen to this. What’s worse is that I have to sit through this humiliation due to no doing of mine. Ah. I’m pretty sure half the Muslim male population of this country has been privy to these “pictures” and this “bio-data” of mine at some point in their lives.

Anyway the meeting concluded around 1 odd. The guy was fairly decent in that he wasn’t planning on getting married anyway anytime soon so that means the whole thing was just going to be easier for me. The problem usually is when the fellow likes because then my family sure as hell can go to lengths. And breadths. For about a week or so the family was trying to make me join a class and learn German. They consulted a couple of relatives/ friends who have gone on to “settle there” and assured me that it would be fine. I’d have no problem. Language won’t be an issue. For example “this one’s wife said so”. Oh and “this one’s wife” is not studying nor working, so you know, just being a wife (which is all fine and well but not how I hope to spend the rest of my life)

The next proposal which was about two weeks or so after, was where the mother showed me the picture of a dude and told me that, with this proposal I can find “no fault”. “There is nothing wrong for you to fuss about.”

So the meeting was arranged on a particular day, but rescheduled without even checking on my availability. So although the meeting was to happen around 6 in eve I turned up around 730 ish. I was at a meeting but my phone was having its own party from 6 on wards. When I eventually got there, I found the fellows parents, a brother, and the wife of the other brother (who at some point would demurely say that he (her husband) is in Dubai..for work.. he works there.. I’m just here on holiday). Okay the fact of the matter is that #dudemostimportant was nowhere to be seen. So apparently he works in London. I was also apparently told that only his family would come. I also apparently have memory issues.

As customary, the men would sit separately and the women would sit separately. Once seated I was supposed to engage in conversation with the sister-in-law. She was decked in gold jewelry, married at probably 18-19 and lost no opportunity in referring to her husband every now and then, blushingly.

For ex:
“Mother (of mine) to the fella’s mother: “so does your son call you everyday?” to which the reply is “yes he calls me everyday on his way to work unlike my other son;her husband” (and points to the DIL) and the DIL goes “oh yes my husband (blushes) he has no time, he is very busy” (adjusts scarf)

Through out this episode I did not say anything apart from the occasional yes and no’s and yes I did keep looking at the time. The father was a real talker. Even when the rest of the family wanted to leave he just wanted to sit and talk.

Once the guests left, it all started, the family started singing the praises of a boy whom they had never even met ever, based solely on what the boys family fed them. For instance, the boy has about 9 degrees and somehow that makes him perfect for me. Oh and there were a whole load of tosh that I don’t even remember. The fellows family called back saying no “she didn’t even talk to us” and the mother (of mine) tried to reassure them “it’s okay that’s how she is.. she’s shy around new people”. Nope didn’t work. Poor me.


After a while you learn.. -Veronica A Shoftsall

After some time you learn the difference,
The subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning,
And company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts,
And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats,
With your head up and your eyes ahead,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn,
That even the sun burns if you get too much,
And learn that it doesn’t matter how much you do care about,
Some people simply don’t care at all.
And you accept that it doesn’t matter how good a person is,
She will hurt you once in a while,
And you need to forgive her for that.
You learn that talking can relieve emotional pain.
You discover that it takes several years to build a relationship based on confidence,
And just a few seconds to destroy it.
And that you can do something just in an instant,
And which you will regret for the rest of your life.
You learn that the true friendships,
Continue to grow even from miles away.
And that what matters isn’t what you have in your life,
But who you have in your life.
And that good friends are the family,
Which allows us to choose.
You learn that we don’t have to switch our friends,
If we understand that friends can also change.
You realize that you are your best friend,
And that you can do do anything, or nothing,
And have good moments together.
You discover that the people who you most care about in your life,
Are taken from you so quickly,
So we must always leave the people who we care about with lovely words,
It may be the last time we see them.
You learn that the circunstances and the enviroment have influence upon us,
But we are responsible for ourselves.
You start to learn that you should not compare yourself with others,
But with the best you can be.
You discover that it takes a long time to become the person you wish to be,
And that the time is short.
You learn that it doesn’t matter where you have reached,
But where you are going to.
But if you don’t know where you are going to,
Anywhere will do.
You learn that either you control your acts,
Or they shall control you.
And that to be flexible doesn’t mean to be weak or not to have personality,
Because it doesn’t matter how delicate and fragile the situation is,
There are always two sides.
You learn that heroes are those who did what was necessary to be done,
Facing the consequences.
You learn that patience demands a lot of practice.
You discover that sometimes,
The person who you most expect to be kicked by when you fall,
Is one of the few who will help you to stand up.
You learn that maturity has more to do with the kinds of experiences you had
And what you have learned from them,
Than how many birthdays you have celebrated.
You learn that there are more from you parents inside you than you thought.
You learn that we shall never tell a child that dreams are silly,
Very few things are so humiliating,
And it would be a tragedy if she belived in it.
You learn that when you are angry,
You have the right to be angry,
But this doesn’t give you the right to be cruel.
You discover that only because someone doesn’t love you the way you would like her to,
It doesn’t mean that this person doesn’t love you the most she can,
Beacuse there are people who love us,
But just don’t know how to show or live that.
You learn that sometimes it isn’t enough being forgiven by someone,
Sometimes you have to learn how to forgive yourself.
You learn that with the same harshness you judge,
Some day you will be condemned.
You learn that it doesn’t matter in how many pieces your heart has been broken,
The world doesn’t stop for you to fix it.
You learn that time isn’t something you can turn back,
Therefore you must plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure.
You really are strong .
And you can go so farther than you thougt you could go.
And that life really has a value.
And you have value within the life.
And that our gifts are betrayers,
And make us lose
The good we could conquer,
If it wasn’t for the fear of trying.

Simpleton whaaaaaat?

I was dragged along by the mother to meet yet another boy yesterday and it was in fact quite hilarious. I went not knowing anything about the fellow. Not even his name. This was arranged by the brother’s father-in-law, who is an ex policeman now engaged in the suitor business. The involvement of this man alone should have told something to the parents, but in their desperation to find me a man I suppose they had no choice but to overlook that factor. So the usual drill. Since we had just got back from a trip to the hills, the mother was anxious that I go to a salon and fix my sunburnt face. I wanted to get my hair done so I did just that. Shit hit the ceiling when she realized that I had done nothing about my face and that I had in fact gone on to do my hair and cut a fringe too while I was at it. The aversion she has when it comes to a fringe is in no way mild. She absolutely loses it. She in fact came on to me with a scissor threatening to cut it all off. It was hard not to laugh. But it was no longer funny when she slapped my sister in frustration. Anyway she continued yelling at me for around 45 minutes, apparently now my face looks like a ´sack of rice´. Anyway so the usual pre proposal meet up drill followed. I had to get an earful of her mouthful until I went off to put some home-made face mask concoction of a sort, an instant mix for ´fair and beautiful skin´. Followed by the hoarding of gold jewellery and ‘not enough powder put some more!’, ‘put more eye liner’ , ‘where is the lipstick can’t even see´. Then the aunt gives me lessons on how to talk like I’m interested etc. We finally get into the vehicle to get to the agreed venue. After about fifteen mins of waiting the dude and Co arrive. I won’t go into detail but its a total mismatch, to say we are worlds apart is the nicest way I can put it. So we take our seats, males on one table and females on another. Awkward conversation follows. I take my phone out to see a text from dad ‘just be nice its okay even I don’t like’. Really? So anyway after some polite conversation the meeting ended we got back into our vehicle and wham that’s when the bomb went off. Mother blames dad saying it was all his fault for not going and checking on the dude properly and how he can’t even get that right to which he goes on about how if something goes wrong it’s always him, but if the boy was good the situation would be different. Sigh he is clearly on point. After about seven minutes of arguing between themselves dad turns it all on me, ‘why did you say no even without looking?’. Me: Because I don’t really have to talk to figure things out. What you’ll figured out after talking, I was able to figure out just by looking. Dad: What so now you’re God? Me: Yeah i’m almost there. Dad: Stop judging on appearance! Me: Yeah but we both arrived at the same conclusion…. Mother takes a different turn, ‘you rejected all the good proposals one after the other big, now very good when these goday ones (simpleton) (gee mother you shouldn’t be saying that) come up. Very good. All your fault’. Me: Yes as you can see I’m devastated. Then followed another harangue of how I’m influenced by the wrong people and that I should be stopped from going to work and that it is because I have the means that I do everything as I please “like cut a fringe”. Sigh the hilarity. Then the dad raises the possibility of me playing for the other team at which the mother glares daggers at him and goes ‘She has some bloody jinn (spirit) in her noh, do something about that first!’ This was followed by reverting back to “dude unfortunate” ( and why I don’t like him and that if “fat” is my problem how that could be fixed by directing him to a gym. The audacity! To tell them that “fat” isnt my problem but the “crazy manhunt” is would be next to impossible cause I’m telling you, I sure have tried!