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..