See cross-posted here.
These days, one word that appears to dominate life at every step, hanging over like a noose and watching like a big eye in the sky is…..MARRIAGE. Nearly all my close friends are enjoying matrimonial bliss. “So why not you?” I hear my mother’s plaintive cry.
“Because…” and I stumble right there. Well…I don’t have a justification for my singlehood. Come to think of it, it isn’t a crime that I need to justify, is it? I am not married because I am single. That’s that.
I’m not single because I can’t get a man
I’m not single because I have something against marriage
I’m not single because I’m too busy
I’m single by choice. Yes, it is an option.
Matrimony is a thriving market and in a ritual-ridden culture like ours, the stakes are pretty high. Think wedding halls, think jewelers, think fashion designers, think interior decorators, wedding planners, temples and churches and what-nots, priests and singers and garland makers….to be specific there is one particular road in Chennai that is hailed by the locals as being the place to go when you get married since it provides every possible thing that you could need for a wedding. I assume that comes with a fine-print caveat that says
“Brides and grooms not included with package”.
Now it seems to me like the whole world is plotting to pull me into this set-up. After all, seen from the above point of view, I must be another valuable piece of raw material that they just can’t wait to get their hands on to polish and package and present as a finished product with the tagline of “New Bride”.
I’m not cynical about the process. I’m not even against the instituation of marriage. After all, my parents (among other couples I know) have been happily married for 28 years. As I see it, I have a good life. A caring family, lots of good friends, a good job, interests and hobbies, a social life and no major problems. A spouse will do one of two things to this. He will either take away some part of it…..with inevitable loss of freedom, additional responsibilities, financial worries and adjustments major and minor to attitudes, religious beliefs and behavior. Or perhaps it will be an ideal situation and he will be someone who won’t feel the need to control or change any aspect of my life. That’s the best case.
People tell me that there could be a man who actually makes my life better. Personally I can’t see that happening, but in the far chance that it does….that’s a lottery ticket. I’ve never been lucky that way and I’m not about to start hoping now.
In the words of the then bad girl Rizzo from Grease,
There are worse things I could do
I could stay home every night
Wait around for Mr.Right
Take cold showers everyday
And throw my life away
For a dream that won’t come true
Well….maybe it will. But a woman can have lots of dreams. A good husband could be just the icing on the cake of a perfect life. I’ll work on getting my cake ready. Plain sponge cake tastes just as good as gooey chocolate cake.
Its going to be a long way to when people can accept singledom as a perfectly natural state of being rather than an aberration to society.