Dear Mom, I love you, but please stop forcing marriage on me
You are an inspirational woman and someday I wish I could even be a fraction of who you are. But there’s one thing I don’t want to adopt from you and that is your approach towards marriage.
I know you and your sisters got married in your teens because that was the correct thing to do back then and still is for most people. But you brought me up different, you made me believe education is something I should value and you encouraged me to be more confident and outspoken.
I grew up with you constantly saying,
“If you receive a ‘good’ proposal, you should consider it.”
And I did.
That’s the reason I accepted a proposal when I was 21, because subconsciously I felt it was the right thing to do. Halfway through it, I realised our basic values do not match and I may have said yes because of the novelty and excitement of the situation. I admit I accepted it for the wrong reasons, which led me to break off the baat paki later. It was a lesson well learnt which led me to understand the right reasons. Communication, loyalty, companionship and similar thinking are a few of the right reasons, but they differ individually.
You supported me, but little did I know it would become the foundation of future taunts for me. I know you want the best for me, but sometimes I feel you want it for selfish reasons. Parents want to see their children stable and settled during their lifetime, but is that enough reason for you to push me into something I may not be ready for?
I never say no to you when you tell me I have someone coming over to ‘see me,’ but now I feel I’ve become a commodity to be displayed. I say no to all the proposals for a reason mom, because I am not sure he will be the right man for me based on one meeting.
His lucrative business, commodious house and solid degree may be enough for you, but for me, they aren’t. Marriage isn’t a checklist mom and I know you know that. But out of fear of me hitting 30, you want me to accept anything coming my way. Sometimes, I am afraid myself, I wonder if I will ever come across who I will click with, who I will end up liking, but I fight it. Because I know, everything happens in due time.
Mom, I’m fed up of being told how once I turn 29 or 30, I will only receive proposals from old men, or how I will end up like your female relatives who never got married, or how I am too picky and will end up being dependent on my siblings or how I can’t get everything I ask for in the man I want to spend my life with and should therefore ‘settle’ with whatever option I currently have.
This is a choice which will alter the course of my life. Nearly everything will be impacted after taking this decision, since it will be permanent, which is exactly why I cannot rush into it.
As for your fears about me ending up alone and being dependent on others, I won’t, Mom. I have a job, I earn enough to support myself and I enjoy the independence. But that in no way deters me from wanting to settle down eventually and I cannot find it in myself to say yes to anyone just because I may be edging towards the oh-so-scary age of 30. And why is 30 such a terrifying age? Will I lose all semblance of mind or become unappealing as soon as I hit 30?
You may think I am picky, but I think otherwise. All I want is a man who I think will complement me and vice versa.
As if that wasn’t enough mom, I have everyone in the family telling me to consider proposals because,
- Parents know best. (I know they have our best interest in mind, but that does not turn them into soothsayers).
- Arranged marriages always work out better. (Only time can be the predictor of such sweeping statements). I have personally witnessed arranged marriages ending, as well as love marriages.
- Don’t give your parents more stress. (I do not think my parents problems would ebb away as soon as I tie the knot).
My brothers, who I thought would support me on this, tell me the same. We are all products of a society where marriage is the answer to all issues.
It frustrates me. I thought I belonged to a ‘liberal’ family, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to being born a female. Liberal or not, I’ve realised every mother fears her daughter not getting married on time.
I don’t blame you for this, because how can I? You’re only adhering to the culture you’ve been brought up in.
I wish, though, that you could look beyond what’s been fed to you over these years. I wish you could see that I too want to settle down, not because time is running out, but because I too want a partner who I think I can spend my life with.
I know you love me endlessly, but you’ve damaged my confidence, something which you pushed me to build. I sought validation from you but now you’re pushing me to seek validation from the institution of marriage.