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.

 

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” (https://snobregal.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/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!

Dude Unfortunate.

Let me introduce you to dude unfortunate. The “chosen one” out of the barrage of prospective candidates that ensued from the advertisement posted in the Matrimonial Section in the News Papers. He is currently working in the Maldives in the hospitality industry, appears fairly decent considering most of these proposals but, still a bit too cool for his shoes. Nevertheless since I am not even in the lookout none of what he is, is of any consequence to me.

The two parents communicated and then the ball was thrown into my court. To mesmerize, to ensure that he I somehow seal the deal on this marriage do once and for all.  At the first occasion while I was having my dinner, the phone was shoved in my face at which I fussed loud enough for dude unfortunate to hear “BUT I’m having my dinner?” So bloke unfortunate rather awkwardly goes “I will call you later” and he does. He called me half hour later. The conversation was entirely one-sided at which he gives me his entire life story in a nutshell and ends the conversation with another opening, “and I am on Viber”. The fact that the conversation was entirely one-sided didn’t strike him as odd since the mother had mentioned to him that I happen to be the “shy type”. Couple of days later he messages me on Viber (yes the mother had taken the liberty of landing him my number) which I ignored and pretended to have never got. This doesn’t stop the mother who dumps her phone on me and tries coaxing me to call him. I refuse. Then she does the usual, “You will call him, you will somehow makes this work and if not you can stop all your work and come and stay at home” (this is just a watered down version of the entire conversation, much colorful language was used). She rings him, and dumps her phone on me and stares daggers at me while I pick up and say hi. Fortunately though she leaves, assuming I can’t do the whole giggly lovey tosh which so naturally happens when you talk to a random stranger you don’t want to talk to whilst she is standing there.

Why these fellows cant read signals is really beyond me. First the one-sided conversation, then the ignored messages. So I tell him plainly what anyone with half a brain would have figured out, the fact that I am not interested, and that all this was the fam-bam forcing me. Done and Dusted I thought.  The next day the mother calls me and goes “the boys parents want to come and see you. When shall I ask them to come, Saturday or Sunday?”

Gah. So then I had to find out from dude unfortunate what exactly is going on to which he goes “Your folks are insisting that my parents come and see you”. Oh the Embarrassment. So I ask him to try dodging it. The mother keeps hounding the fellow. Two days back when she came over she started hounding at me to call the fellow and when I refused she messages him inquiring him about his day. PSYCHOTIC. Then I had to message the fellow again asking him to just ignore and hopefully that she will stop. Dude unfortunate was ticked off, “thought you’d deal with it! Why don’t you tell them you don’t like me, without dragging me into it!”. Oh Lord. Hahah. If it only were that easy. I said IGNORE. Now he is ignoring me (which I obviously have NO problem whatsoever) and the mother who promised me that somehow she will “get to the bottom of this”.

The Expert

The brother is currently in the country, resting from a knee surgery to replace a torn ligament. Now this injury dates to an incident where he jumped off a relatively high structure whilst in school just to prove that he can. Of course he can. He is still alive. And the rest of us are busy.

Well this brother of mine, currently resting from the surgery, despite being younger than me is already married, his wife expecting a baby, no sooner the wedding. Well maybe due to his marital status, his impending fatherhood or some other similar logic my brain can’t quite fathom, he has been elevated to a status of authority. He is now an expert on women’s affairs. He gets to bitch about my way of life, whether my sister should be allowed to take-part in extra school activities, whether she should be allowed to meet her friends beyond a certain hour, he gets to sit in on important family discussions and his ‘valuable input’ is taken into consideration, which generally borders on the likes of she shouldn’t be doing this, she shouldn’t be doing that. Tosh.

However, we get to contribute to his life too. For instance, he cannot buy a shirt or a shoe by himself. Not even the counsel of his wife suffices. So yesterday, I tagged along with the two of them, along with my other little brother and the aunt to pick shirts and shoes for him. So I and my little brother would walk around picking shirts for him to try on. Then we’d appraise it while he puts them on and then pays for it. Same with the shoes. We were stuck for nearly an hour trying to pick shoes for the poor guy. He put on a pair and turned to his wife, she responded with an “I don’t know”. I’m thinking a simple yes or no would do. Surely, one would have an opinion.

Next we had to pick shoes for her. We covered around four shoe shops all in which she walked around like she was in a trance while we did the picking. “Do you like this?” “this?” “how about this?” I could tell even the aunt who is usually pretty tolerant was pissed. Well weirdly though when it comes to food, she can be specific. She wanted ribbon cake yesterday. The previous shopping expedition she wanted samosas. Yay. She is showing promise yeah?

Couple of days back we had to take them shopping for baby stuff. Cots, cot sheets, blankets etc. We nearly got killed (slight exaggeration maybe) when the brother decided to light some dynamite like object INSIDE THE CAR WITH THE SHUTTERS UP. It lit up emitting a crazy red flame, smell and hissing noise and he tries blowing on it to put out the damn thing. He continued with his frantic blowing until the aunt goes “throw it out of the window!”  I couldn’t help but think, he is going to have a baby….

Anyway at the babyshop when the wife consults him about a particular cot, he shrugs, “I don’t know”. Its almost as if the only thing these two can manage by themselves is to get the baby-making process set and going whilst everything else related and otherwise has to be decided by the rest of the world. And somehow he is more an expert on how we should live our lives than we could possibly ever be.

I worry about their future child, well children because I’m sure an army is to follow. Him with his care-free attitude, and she with women are nothing more than chattel disposition I have a feeling that we will have to play more of a role than a casual bystander in ensuring first the ‘continuity of their lives’ and then everything related. Joy! Oh but while I do it, I sure do have to put a shawl on!

You can take a horse to water..

I don’t know why I don’t have this crazy obsession to get married. WHY OH WHY! Life would have been so much less complicated for me if I did.

It was only last week that I came upon some news that a GOOD friend of mine who pretty much broke every social convention out there had got engaged to his cousin. This particular news sent shock waves of revulsion throughout my entire body. Haha. For crying out loud he was my back up plan, say by 90 if I wasn’t married, I was going to marry him. Okay jokes apart, that is really gross.

Okay back to my business, things are going from bad to worse for me. Two weeks from now I might have to travel out of town on work, a legal clinic to be precise and I shudder to think of the threats and abuse that is going to roll out of the mother’s tongue when she hears about it. I can’t even. Mind you this is at 26 and being a fully-fledged lawyer.

What kind of abnormal society are we living in, that people who ditch school to get married receive more social acceptance than people who make a name for themselves? Even those who are educated are pretty much educated for the wrong reasons. Boys are educated to find employment, girls are educated as good dowry. Sadly, most girls are just fine with this. They just go with the flow.

When the time comes for marriage things get super crazy. Or so I feel. The sheer indignity of it is beyond anything words can express. The desktop of the mother’s computer has several pictures of me in several angles to be sent along with a little bio to every TD&H even marginally interested. I have been taken to a number of studios to have my pictures taken, it only stopped the last time I bawled my brains out in front of a gob-smacked photographer who was directing me to act all demure. Ew. That was the last professional attempt although several home based, efforts were made by family. I sulk and put up. The indignity of having your details (Picture included) sent across the country AND globe via email to someone’s someone who might have a nephew or friends son somewhere. Having your details advertised in the newspapers quite often and the resultant phone calls that come in seeking further details. Having random relatives talk about you/gaze at you with pity at random gatherings and then try to appease you by saying “time has to come”, “pray to God”, like you are utterly devastated or fucknot.

The later it gets, the more desperate the family becomes. Yesterday I received a call from the mother screaming blue murder at me asking me to take down my whatsapp display picture. For crying out loud the picture was of me, grinning away like an idiot. BLEH.

It has come to a point where I no longer have any control over my life (albeit what I do on the sly) whether it is about cutting my hair, the clothes I wear, the friends I associate, work, what I post on social media, you name it! What people need to realize, in my context, is that you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Heh.

Id understand to a certain degree if all this came from people from my grandparents era, given that they had near perfect marriages, but coming from people who pretty much have sucky marriages is a whole new level of crazy. Anywayyyyyyy. LIFE. I guess this is the price you pay for being the odd one out.

So I have a DEADLINE.

Things are turning beyond bad and it looks like I will have to take extreme measures which can even turn out to be quite dangerous and absolutely ugly.

The mother wants me to get married and in order to get married I have to change everything about myself.

I currently live at my aunts (since October) on the pretext that it is easy to travel to work. But the real reason is that things have turned so absolutely crazy that the mother uses every possible minute to dictate how I should live my life. How I should talk, how I should dress, etc etc. So living at my aunts is quite a relief because I don’t have to deal with it on a daily face to face basis. Just weekends, and the random days she comes over. And of course the constant barrage of texts.

“I hope you have deactivated your facebook, there’s a proposal and I don’t want them to come and say anything about you being on facebook”.

So yeah I gave in, I no longer have facebook.

Somewhere around last month she said that I’m on a deadline, and if by the end of the month I don’t don the hijab I will have to stay at home. What the hell, no way. Good for those who want to, but well its just not for me. Anyway while I was out of town last weekend for work (a fundamental part of my job) she texts me, “going out of control, will have to decide”. Fuck. These texts are real scary my brain actually shuts down and I am unable to concentrate on anything for a good while. Eh. I was supposed to return home on Saturday (by home I mean aunts) but I decided id just stay over at my friends and face the drama on Sunday. Returning on Saturday meant drama on Saturday plus Sunday. So Sunday is just one day less drama. So Sunday eve she starts calling. Well do I have an option? So I go home to face the music. The nagging, the threats, the taunts, the abuse..

I get to aunts. She is there waiting for me. I wash up and then hide in my room until I am summoned. She calls me. Fuck. I’m mortified.

“get ready to come home, go get your bags”, I say no, I have work tomorrow. She goes there is a van (office transport) and that I can go in that. She was making things really ugly and that too in front of my uncle so I said fine call the van and see. She gets in touch with the van however fortunately for me they don’t take the same route.  Plus they reach my work place at eight. Whereas my work place is quite flexy in terms of the time we start so nine is the right time. Yay!

Then she goes, “I gave you time, you better start covering from tomorrow”.  Apparently men want “decent girls”. She also told me something about getting material and sewing me some tops. She even threatened to burn my clothes. Eh.

I say no. What the hell. Then she goes “tell your work place that you won’t be travelling from now onwards”. I said “No, I can’t do that I’m not working for your Company”. To which she goes then you can leave your job and stay at home. Apparently when you are allowed to travel the level of fear in one’s self goes down, which apparently is bad?  Hmm.. She also goes “Just go to work at 8.30 and leave at 4.30!!” Ahuh?

Then things get worse. Because I refused to cover and said that it is not possible for me to not travel from work. She starts blaming my friends. I have apparently been influenced by my friends. Influenced to do what? Sigh. The she gets sort of worse. Goes on about how she can’t wait to get me married and get rid of me. How much of a burden I am and that I have brought nothing but shame and heartache to her. Lord… Then she goes “Are you coming home or am I going to take you by force. I’ll bring everyone and come, its going to be ugly” By then I dunno why I usually manage to keep my cool but I suppose because this went on for nearly one and half hours, or because my uncle was feeling bad for me, he came and patted my head,  I just lost it. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. So fucking uncool. So embarrassing!! He takes a seat next to me and tells the mother, “Give her one more month. Let her be here.” Then he says that he will place an ad on the matrimonial section in the Newspapers and include the fact that the family is prepared to give property. Oh how wonderful. Now I feel like a cow.

Mother calmed down a bit for this. So now my deadline has been extended by one month during which I will have to find a place and move out. This is not normal in our part of the world and culture. The family will come in hoards and create a scene, drag you back and keep you under lock and key. But really I don’t see an alternative. At times I have thought of conforming, just agree to whatever, but that’s just momentary. I can’t seem to do that. So let’s just hope I don’t get killed now, shall we?  Heh