I’ve so far successfully avoided discussing marriage as a pertains to me on this blog. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I dislike marriage. Having been exposed to Syrian culture for two years non-stop has lead to the idea being firmly drilled in to my head: no matter what, in the end it’s off to my husbands house I go! And till then, my life shall be miserably incomplete and empty. *Sigh.* Poor, poor me.
But there is a problem. Let me break it down for you, Syrian-style. Let’s say your a young girl, about maybe 12 or 13, living in Syria. We’ll break it down scenario by scenario.
1. Every house, wedding, party, gathering you enter you must be on your best behavior just in case. You never know what potential mother-in-law may be lurking in disguise. You are polite, modest, shy.
2. You and your mother go shopping and see this gorgeous plate set on sale! But wait, your mom has a set of plates. What do you do!? Buy it and put it in storage till you get married, of course! And so it goes: trays, dishes, plates, coffee cups. Any and everything works.
3. It’s your birthday, and your high-end cousins buy you some sort of expensive toiletry. Your fingers are poised on the wrapper gleefully, waiting to tear through and indulge. But wait! Your mother/aunt/married cousin/grandma shoots you a glare. Save it till you’re married!
4. You’re feeling lazy and have to run down to the local supermarket and grab something. You put on your sweats or those clothes that you have for when you’re just ‘ not in the mood.’ As you head out the door: “Where in God’s name are you going dressed like that?!” You’re dragged back in to change into something more appropriate incase said unknown mother-in-law or husband are accidently bumped into.
Now let’s say you’re a 20 something unmarried girl in Syria. From Canada. All the above mentioned scenarios are multiplied to encompass your every move. People look at you with sympathy because you’ve so far failed at completing your life. Whether or not you’ve met the right guy doesn’t matter. I should be thankful that guys are proposing to me and stop being so picky! Or else I’ll end up like Cousin X who kept saying no. And now look at her! 39 years old and still single.
Yeah. ‘Cause saying no at 20-some automatically means that I’m going to end up unmarried and therefore unhappy and unfulfilled. The fact that I have expectations, standards, and ideas doesn’t matter. It’s all about compromise! You don’t know if you’ll ever get such a great proposal! Do you want to look back five, six years from now and say ‘if only…’??
But, by far, the worst two lines are: Are you expecting some romantic Romeo and Juliet story? Is that what you’re waiting for? Prince Charming to come sweep you off your feet?! And: (whispered in your ear or aside to someone else) Do you/Does she have someone back in Canada? And when I deny it: disbelief! The nerve of these people!!
Good Lord, give me patience. The wave of proposals in my life has its ebbs and flows. Right now, it’s high tide. How I’m going to get through this unscathed is beyond me. Wish me luck!!