Friday, September 15, 2006

A Matter of Marriage

I just re-read yesterday's post and realised most people would probably be thinking "What the..?!" at the:

"and then proceeded to turn down marriage proposal after marriage proposal after marriage proposal."
No I'm not some miss world lookalike (although I do like to think I could be. heheh).

Let me explain.

In our East African-with-Indian-roots community, any girl hitting the ripe old age of 18 is likely to get atleast 10 proposals a year. This is done courtesy of eagle-eyed, match-making huntress aunties who are always, always, on the lookout for the perfect wife for their son/ nephew/ friends' neighbour's sister's son.

They catch you at weddings and in the shops and in deep, dark alleys; critically eye you up and down (trying to catch any physical flaws and disabilities) and, if you meet their requirements, find out who you are (who your parents are I mean, cause you don't matter), where you live and what you do. If you're pretty enough, educated enough (although that's not really all that important) and can cook, you're all set. Added to her list of eligibles, to be made un-eligible at the earliest opportunity.

There are two sorts of marriage set-ups. There is the "love marriage" where a boy and a girl (boy-boy and girl-girl fiercely frowned upon) meet each other somewhere, fall in love and end up getting married. The usual girl meets boy, live happily ever after story.

And there's the arranged marriage, which has evolved over time to become a sort of "arranged+like marriage." Thanks to the huntress aunty, the young girl stranger meets the young (or old) boy stranger (note: the girl always has to be young, attractive and preferably martha-stewart-esque in the home and kitchen. The boy on the other hand, can be young, old, divorced, widowed or pigeon-toed). (No offense to any pigeon-toed people out there). And if they like each other and enjoy the others company, they get married.

In the old days however, the "arranged+like marriage" did not exist. It was simply fixed between both sets of parents, dates set, trousseau bought, preparations made, and the bride and groom actually saw each other for the first time on their wedding night. How crazy is that. But my grandparents had a long happy loving marriage. As did their friends.

And that's that.

Now excuse me won't you, I need to go and fix my flaws.

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