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..


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!

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.