Alifya Abbas Pesh:
I am not a fan of marriages. I like weddings though – for the free food – not that I have attended too many in my lifetime.
Sometimes one doesn’t need a soulmate to make big moves in life. As someone who is no longer a part of the ‘20-year-somethings’ society, the one rant which I am oft subjected to is “so, are you married?” or “so, when are you getting married?” My response to both is the same: “Not anytime soon.” The last time I faced similar madness was when I had not got my first period. My ovaries must have got very offended, as they went red just six months later. The matrimonial craziness however generated no positive results till date.
Over the years, family and friends have seen my growing detachment to love and relationships. Eventually they have made peace with the likelihood of me not walking down the aisle soon or perhaps ever.
Let’s face it – some of us are not cut out to fit into the marriage mould. There is nothing wrong in that. It is the same as not being endowed with the acumen of a doctor, engineer, lawyer etc. I chose to become a writer instead, and it is working very well for me. It took a bit of time for my near and dear ones to make peace with my career-choice, and now they all believe that “nothing else would have suited you better.”
Writing is my happy place. And being single is my comfort zone.
Honestly speaking, I don’t quite understand this fixation with an individual’s marital status. Some of my friends are married and most others aren’t – at least not yet. It tells me that they, just like me, are in no hurry to become husband or wife. It beats me as to how and why another person’s “single” status makes others uncomfortable? I mean, just because a person has reached or crossed a certain age doesn’t make them “must-get-married” material.
In my mind, it’s stupid to let your marital status become the definition of who you are and what you do. Being single does not necessarily mean that I am lonely, alone, and all that jazz. On the contrary, the fact that I am single has made me evolve into a successful person who likes to do what she does, and relishes the financial independence and self-dependence. It’s all about perspective really.
Marriage is not so much about the age as much it is about mental readiness. But no, the wisecracks in our society strongly associate marriage with age because of the ‘biological clock’, you know. This mentality is most rampant in case of women. An aging woman may not be able to “deliver the goods after all”, so thinks and believes the society.
Speaking of “goods”, I find it amusing that “having babies” is considered as the next-best-thing that should happen after two people get married. I mean, having children is great progression, but I don’t think it does or it should figure on everyone’s “to-do list.” Agreeably the pleasures and pains of raising a child are equal to no other, but again it is a matter of choice. For many individuals, marriage is a twosome, not a threesome – pun intended.
Not being married is no cardinal sin. I respect the institution, but I, like many others, think that signing up for it is not the best of ideas. I like the notion of companionship, but sharing my personal space – well, I am not too keen on sharing my territory with another individual for life. The kind of generation we have become, sharing things in real life with others – particularly a life partner – makes us a bit edgy.
Let me give you example from the life of yours truly.
Some Mumbai monsoons ago, my friend in the city invited me to his pre-wedding bash. I told him I would go, and I also told him not to expect me to be around when the wedding functions begin. He asked me why. I simply said: I hate weddings, and more importantly watching him walk away with someone else would hurt my imaginary feelings I had for him.
I vividly remember asking him if he was “ready” for this huge change.
He replied: “I guess. Marriages usually run long. I’ll like her eventually.”
My friend’s response led me to wonder if the “eventually” is easily achievable. I think not. Blame it on my thick-skinned self and thoughts, I’d rather move on alone in life than settle for a compromise that I’d regret for life.
I keep on getting the pep-talk of how I am ready for marriage “and only pretend that I am not.” Well, here’s a news flash. Most married people are not “ready for marriage” either. They become “ready to get married” when they get married. Same applies to parenting as well.
I don’t like to indulge in wishful decision-making for myself, and I reckon that no person can or should comment or adjudge about another’s readiness to take any decision in life – and certainly not in matters of marriage and parenting. In both cases, the transition should be self-driven and an independent call.
I am not counting on this very much, but I am hoping that someday my happily-ever-after single life will have people come up and say to me, “Nothing else would have suited you better.”
Alifya is a B.A. in Media and Communication, born and raised in Dubai. She has been writing for over 15 years now. A self-confessed happy-go-lucky recluse, she is passionate about writing about topics which appeal to her sensibilities, books, travel, American TV shows, and good food.