Restrictions to experiences- Boon? Bane?


So recently, my girl friend and I were sharing stories on how our parents want us married off and soon get a chance to play “grandparents” to our kids. To them, we’re two girls, in their late 20s, unmarried, and no prospects of getting married soon. What is it with Indian parents and marriage? – we thought. At the age of 23, just after graduating with masters, and maybe a job in hand, parents look for suitable matches for their daughters. Why?

We agreed- my friend and me, that we need some time for ourselves. After studying for about 17 years, and finally getting the freedom to earn our own money (not rely on pocket money), we don’t want to be restricted in the responsibilities of home management, husband management, coming home to cook, cleaning, and the extended family called in-laws. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing faulty with this picture, just that in 20s, this is not what I want to do. I want to spend my money lavishly, keep no savings, shop every weekend, ensure that latest fashion is in my closet, and fulfill my dreams. Travel, meet new people, and get drunk till pass out- all that too!! Yea… live the wild life! Obviously our parents didn’t think that way. They have lived the Indian system of life to grow up to get married, have kids and finally find time for themselves at the age of 40.

The discussion escalated from not just us, but with our mothers too. You see, her mother and mine are best friends. So are our fathers! The discussion was as if we were being cornered for doing something bad. I felt so criminal. The questions were tough, and essay type. But the expected answers to win this jury were restricted to 1 word, preferably Yes or No! Remember the movie, A Few Good Men? Ok… remember that tension in the courtroom when Col. Nathan. R. Jessep (Jack Nicolson) was being prosecuted by a smart young lawyer from Harvard, Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise)??? I was the Jessep here!

I compare myself to Jessep here, because Jessep thought it was absolutely right in what he did. It was in the best interest. So did I! In my view, it was in my best interest to not be married because I wasn’t up for it! I couldn’t imagine that my 1st year’s salary could be bound in an EMI for a car loan. No way!! I could surely see a huge fight with the man I married. For the sake of the sanity of that man, I shouldn’t be married.

Ah, the discussion had now turned into a heated argument. Words flaring, mothers trying their best to emotionally blackmail, the to and fro of blames, and finally some shedding of mommy tears (have you noticed, mommies do that when they want to get their way out?… and they say we’re the brats!). Amidst this squabble, something was spoken! A statement! It will remain a fresh in my mind forever. It will remind me every time  I go to attend a girlfriend’s bachelorette party, wedding, and reception. It will raise my curiosity when I attend her baby showers, kid’s 1st birthday, and even her 10th marriage anniversary.

I was told: “It is best for girls to be married young, because it is when they are flexible to change. If you end up with a pathetic husband or bad mother-in-law, at least you will be in a frame of mind to adjust. Experiencing the world being single will only rigid your attitude, and then adjusting to your husband and his family will be difficult. And, men are not meant to adjust. What do you want to experience? Going abroad? Fine dining? Drinking every weekend? You can do all that with your husband also, na!”

I couldn’t believe my ears. My own biological mother and my supposed mother (friend’s mom) thought the same way. I would want to brush it off as a generational gap, but this is not it! What took me aback was the concept that women can only think after they’re married. I would agree to such an idea if it was the 80s or 70s, but this is today- 2010! Women are getting out there, proving their equality to men at intelligence, hard-work, and successful promotions! Some are even exceeding the ‘=’ and going on to be super-women, successfully handling household and work! Yet, when it comes to being a wife, she has to be flexible.

Looking back at the statement and my girlfriend’s married life- well, my friend was independent. Such an independent woman, I have never seen. A true super woman! If she didn’t want babies through legitimacy, she wouldn’t require being married. And then when I saw her at her wedding reception, I thought to myself, she has got to learn to be dependant. She’s expected to do so (No offence guys- but the reality is that you like it if your woman was dependant on ya. That is one of the few ways to keep your testosterone pumped!!). What a shame that her man cannot appreciate the superwoman that she is!

Another girlfriend of mine was to get married. So, she drank crazy that nite- her bachelorette party of course! She loves alcohol! Vodka and rum are her favorite. She had them both that night. Sloshed! Why? Because her husband to be does not appreciate women drinking alcohol! Obvious reaction: “WTF!!! Why would you want to be married to him?” Reply: “Cos he’s a nice guy.” Ah, adjustments! Well, I could go on, but you get the picture… right?

Don’t get me wrong… I am not saying men don’t adjust. In fact there are many out there who are extremely sensitive to their woman’s needs. Many others sinfully respect their women, and adore her, and dote on her. But there are large numbers out there who don’t. As a precaution, parents prefer to marry off their daughters before they’ve tasted the waters of the world, and basked in an assortment of experiences. Apparently less experienced women make better wives. If this is how it will be, I will never be married!

[if you ladies are reading this blog, and if you agree with me, do share your experiences]

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Published by: shwetalogy

Camera | Car | Coffee | Cigarettes | Cats - are 5 things I can't live without. I worry about the world in every sense, including our deteriorating capitalism, culture, environment, families, and politics. Connecting dots to all the above is my hobby, which I pen down here. Everything in the world is connected, and we need to find the wedges to swim through for a better future. I am funny like that, and I love clicking photographs, you can follow my instagram @shwetalogy

Categories Uncategorized6 Comments

6 thoughts on “Restrictions to experiences- Boon? Bane?”

  1. Hi There,

    A very good writeup ! Well I so relate to that. My story is different; I fell in love when i was in 7th Std and my mom was the class teacher :D. Well ya i know it was immature then but we stuck on because as we grew up we realised that the bond became stronger. Its been 16 long years and I am getting hitched this december !! After so many years you might think that I will be excited about the D day which I am but I had a lot of apprehensions. Its just the whole concept of marriage. Its not about two people its about two families.Why cant i call his mother aunty. Why do I have to call her my mom ? The whole principal of changing my name and then moving to his house. I have a problem with each of these things. Luckily I have a understanding guy and he knows what I value.I still dont mind it when he calls my mom teacher nor does my mom 🙂 . But there are others who would poke and say you should call her “Amma”.Duh ! We waited all this while till we became confortable with this idea and ya now I am getting hitched but I would have loved it had it been like this forever. I am a very strong headed person. I will never follow the crowd.I didnt have a engagement coz I told my mom I am engaged to my boy from a very long time to have some public event of those kinds.They kindly obliged.

    This whole concept of marriage is rubbish and I hope that India has the strength to overcome it someday. Having said that I now live in London but things are not very different here. I have heard many people saying I am Mrs Smith and I am like why do you want call yourself that and not Mrs Annie ?? Not sure if I am drifting away. But the bottomline is I relate you so much. Dont get married ever if possible 😉 or atleast till you feel so.

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    1. Dear kala,

      Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your experiences. It is good to know that you have an understanding family & fiance. Women in small numbers have such a luck! I am happy for you. Yes, in a culture like ours, we’re obliged to do many things for the sake of society, even today. It is somehow changing, but at a snail-pace. I am sure our great grand generation will be a spectator to the “acceptance” (only) of change of marriage/ customs/ society norms.
      Till then, live the way you want, till the way you want varies!

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  2. Dear kala / shweta,

    I agree with fun, women lib to a certain extent… however, this is all OK till you are young ! This kind of wildness is wanted at that age. Things change when you grow old.

    Both genders have a biological and psychological weakness. While young, one doesn’t have time for this. As you start growing old, you start mellowing down. If not married, suddenly you find yourself lonely. You need all kinds of support system and you have nobody of your own. you can not trust outsiders as you never know of their intentions.

    I am married for 15 years now. My husband was probably wilder than this. At times we used to fight like cats and dogs, even used to wonder why we married in the first place. Now he is 45 and you wont believe how dependent he is on me.

    That’s why i would advise you to get married. This system does have some advantages. Now you can meet your spouse before marriage as many times as you want to judge. You can always find a person like you yourself… however, completely opposite works best in long run !

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    1. Dear Vibha,

      Thank you for your input. I think my blog is mis read. It is not that I am against marriage. marriage is a good thing and sometimes, just what makes living that perfect! I am however against the fact that as women reach puberty, they are considered marriageable. That is not right! A marriage should happen when one is mentally ready to commit and to take responsibilities of being married.

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  3. apologies first…for I’m not a lady to start with and then I really don’t have any experiences of my own as far as marriage or insistence for the same is concerned.

    however, I have had similar observations when it came to some of my cousins and friends. And barring a few, I haven’t seen many marriages which have worked beautifully. either they have been total disasters or they have been mediocre affairs wherein the couple just carries on ‘hand-carting’ their marriage just because now they are committed(duh). to my horror I have seen 2 of my cousin sisters, who were so amazingly independent (and rebellious to a certain extent; how do I loved that and was proud of them for that) pre-marriage, mellowing down post-marriage. trust me, it breaks my heart to see them have changed so much. all this only seems to strengthen my own disbelief in the system of marriage. having said that, I’m aware of the need for companionship (which may not necessarily be sought through marriage of course)

    and though I have been fortunate that my folks do not bug me with marriage thing, I do have friends who had to ultimately resort to family pressures. I don’t want to start a gender debate here, but this is the plight of all of us independently thinking (at least we like to think of ourselves as such) people, woman or man.

    I so agree with you when you say one should take the plunge only when one is mentally ready. I’d say I wouldn’t take that plunge unless I feel passionately about the woman and hopefully vice versa. No other reason (crossing marriageable age, bringing grand children into this world for the aging parents, even needs of intimacy and least of all societal pressures) is good enough for me to commit myself.

    Cheers

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sid! It is good to know that I have good “guy” friends who think similarly. That is the feminism in you, and you dont have to be a woman for the same! 😉 But yes, I am definitely proud to have a friend like you. If only many men out there were as reciprocative and understanding as you!
      hugs

      Like

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