Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A 27 Year Old Atypical Indian Girl's Thoughts on Marriage (The Post You Were Waiting For)

Mandatory wedding picture for any blog post about marriage

Okay, not all my thoughts, because that would be indiscreet, and this is after all my third blog (yes, blog, not blog post) and never let it be said I don't learn from my mistakes.

Also, since my ADD has not decreased, this will of course continue in my usual style of random thoughts, strung together by nothing, and masquerading as a blog post.

In urban India, 27 is pretty much your last chance for people to consider you marriageable (at least if you're a girl.) After that, you've moved to the Desperate and I Wonder What's Wrong With Her shelf. Also, in India, marriage is not considered an option, or a good thing that happens if it happens. In fact, 'if it happens', is just not an acceptable phrase. One MAKES it happen. You're of marriageable age? Then get married, beta! Of course I come from the Great Land of Arranged Marriages, or Glorified Set-Ups, whichever degree of control or involvement your family exerts.

Now this social system has pretty much been totally mixed up by the strange world that I live in. I come from a family that not only hasn't had arranged marriages in generations (which is very uncommon even in Catholic families in India), but has not the least idea HOW to arrange a marriage. I am not exactly opposed to arranged marriages. In fact, I am a supporter of arranged marriages... for other people. So a 'love marriage' is pretty much my only option. Millions of girls all over India turn green with envy at that statement, because guess what? Most of them don't have that option at all. In fact, plenty of them have been hunted down, along with their husbands, and even killed for the sin of choosing their own husband. So, I promise I'm not complaining about my lot in life.

But back to MY problems, because it's all about me. And I'm not complaining, just explaining. So I'm 27 and single. One of the reasons is that we don't have a good social system in place to meet eligible men. Where do you go? Pubs? Most likely you're not going to meet the kind of guys you want to marry at pubs. Well, you might, I won't. And anyway, what constitutes eligible? The bare essentials- similar goals, similar beliefs, similar worldview. For people who know me, you know that that already narrows things down a good bit- apart from faith, even my cultural background is very unusual.

You may notice I am approaching all this from a very practical viewpoint, not because I don't believe in the importance of 'being in love', but because I don't think emotional attachment isn't enough to make a marriage work in the long run. You need to be heading in the same direction. You need to have the same foundation that you are going to build your life on.

But... I'm a Christian! Doesn't that mean I should just trust God to take care of it? I do believe in God's plan for my life, but I also believe He respects free will. You would know that if you watched Bruce Almighty (the one theological fact that they got right). And that means the pool of possible eligible men can get significantly smaller by men making bad choices. You choose to ignore God's plan for your life, live a hedonistic lifestyle, and exchange marriage and commitment for instant gratification? Fine, that's your choice. Free will, baby. But guess what? That affects not just you, but that awesome Catholic girl who would have been your wife and the mother of your children. (Yes, I did just call myself awesome. Definitely gonna be picked as the patron saint of humility.) Just because desiring marriage is a good and holy and natural desire, doesn't mean that it will be fulfilled.

Fact: It's a fallen world.

We're all going to suffer one way or another because of that. For me, and for many other Christian and Catholic girls, that means the strong possibility of doing everything 'right', and not receiving the earthly reward that we hope for.

The good news is: that doesn't mean we're doomed to a life of loneliness and cats. Life is GOOD, single or married. And since we're made for heaven anyway, we get to see whether God alone IS enough. (Spoiler: He is.) I have it on the best authority (read: married people) that marriage DOESN'T satisfy every desire of your heart, and solve all your problems. I know, whaaat? Married life has its own burdens (never being alone EVER again), as does single life (no cute squishy babies of your own). Married life has its own rewards (sex and babies) as does single life (full nights of sleep and independence).

Independence!

I'd like to say that the reason I've been thinking so much about marriage is because my cousin just got married last week, and a good friend is getting married this week, but that would be a lie, because I think about marriage even when I have absolutely no excuse to.

Funny and very true story: An sweet, simple, older woman from my church was asking whether I'm planning to get married, and my mum asked her to pray for me to find the right person. I met her a couple of weeks after the conversation, and she gave me a VERY meaningful look and asks, "Any good news, beta?" Lol! I said, "Yeah, Auntie. The new programme we started at church is going very well." "No, no, any OTHER good news?" Me, giving up "No, Auntie." "Don't worry," she said, consolingly, "It will happen." I met her a few months later again at the steps of the church when my cousin was about to get married. I was in a hurry, but she stopped me and asked "Any good news?" I cheerfully answered, "Yes! Jesus Christ!" and rushed off. Heh. And it's true!

Any marriage thoughts or opinions? Go for it!

8 comments:

  1. Congratulations sue

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    1. Thanks Badette! It was fun to write! :-)

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  3. Well Sue..

    I know this guy... He seems like the right type... But now I don't know whether I should tell you about him or not.. :p

    But really nice post! :)

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    1. Well, Anonymous, if I know you... go for it! ;-)

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  4. Love it--especially that last anecdote! Yes, Jesus Christ is the only One who can truly satisfy the desires of our hearts. Life will always hold struggles, even when a person is living their God-given vocation. Singleness does have lots of blessings and freedom--and I'm striving to cherish this time and use it to grow as a person & hopefully one day, be a better wife and mom.

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    1. Yeah, I think 'cherishing the present moment' is something everyone needs to work on.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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