This is what I really wanted to write about yesterday, this is what I really wanted/needed to get off my chest but wasn’t sure how to. So here is it, my upset, my rant, my anger, my hurt, my confusion.
In a short walk with my mother, Ama brought up marriage. Get married soon, she urges me. And I, like I have been ever since this awful topic has come up, refuse. She tells me my age and pretty face wouldn’t be on my side for much longer, “When you have wrinkles, who’ll marry you?” she puts so eloquently.
But I argue, everyone tells me a man changes, a woman has to make scarifies, soon after taking vows I’ll be pressured into having babies – aren’t I made for something more than wifedom and motherhood? She takes this as an insult, as if I meant to say the 25 years she’s dedicated to me doesn’t mean anything. But that’s what I meant. Not even close.
“You can’t find someone who is perfect” she says, as if her wants for my husband had nothing to do with why we broke up, as if it was easy for me to let go of him. “Compromise” she says, and I wanted to laugh because there is so much she won’t compromise on. She didn’t and wouldn’t, on the same matters – why should I?
“Once your sister gets married and you father and I die, you think you can survive?” she asks and I can’t see why I wouldn’t. “You’ll get lonely” she says, but I often feel alone anyways. “There won’t be anyone to take care of you” she adds, and I wonder what the point of all those years independence and responsibility was forced on me is.
“The women I know who aren’t married by 35 take to stealing husbands and breaking relationships,” – is that what she sees in my future? A frustrated home wrecker? Aren’t I better than that? Doesn’t she…can’t she see better for me?
I even tell her, I know she means well, that she’s trying to look out for me. But I’m upset. She’s upset. She thinks I don’t think about these things (but that’s only because I never tell her how much goes through my head), she thinks my aversion to marriage is youthful folly (not because I have zero relationships to look up to, definitely not the one my parents have).
“We can’t pressure you,” she says…and I don’t know how she doesn’t see that she has, that she does. I don’t like marriage. I don’t like the marriages I see. I don’t see why, as a woman, I have to be someone’s buhari . I tell her, marriage will limit me. That, finally, after three years here, I have a sense of purpose. I have things I want to do, I’m starting to plan things, involve friends, do my part. Marriage doesn’t play into this.
A phone call silences our conversation. And we continue the rest of the way home in silence. At one point, I even fought back tears. It wasn’t easy, deciding to let him go. It wasn’t easy, working as hard as I have to get here. It isn’t easy, just hearing accusations and blame. She somehow makes me feel like a slut. As if ex-boyfriends are frivolous to me, she doesn’t see how much I still hurt over them.
“Well then find me a man then, find a guy who fits your requirements and who can think the way I do,” I say. But she won’t pick a man for me. Thank goodness, for the both of us, but this leaves us exactly where we are now. Her insistence, my reluctance.
That night I had a dream, that I was forced to marry another woman’s husband who was twenty years older than me. This is the first dream I’ve ever had in my life where I was a bride. For some reason, I was wearing pink. Ugly ugly ugly pink that I hate. Somehow my ensemble was traditional and everyone was stunned. I felt ugly. Over make-uped. Made to be something I wasn’t. Something I’m not.
At one point, my hands were forced into his (oddly enough, the groom ended up being the guy from Kya Hua Tera Wada—don’t ask), and the groom looked so pleased, and I was so mortified. Some point later in the dream, I found myself in a white dress, at the reception I think, crying,asking everyone not to force me to do tell. I was yelling at my mother, “I just told you this morning I DID NOT WANT TO GET MARRIED” but in my dream, it was too late.
I screamed so much when I woke up, my throat felt parched, felt hoarse.
I’m still so upset.