Yep. It’s that time of my life. Not the time when I’m getting married. But the time when everyone around me starts piling on the pressure about it.
I’ll start our conversation with this – I’m ready. I’m ready to go learn to live with someone. I’m ready to share my life with someone. I’m ready to have good and bad days and work our way through this insane universe while standing by each other even on the days we don’t want to. I’m ready to start planning a wedding that will happen at least one year away. I’m ready for it all.
But I’m not ready to choose the person that I will get married to.
I know, I know. That’s the most important part of it. It’s all about the person. But here’s my problem – If I make this choice, I can’t change it. Ever. And the truth about life is, every choice we’ve made is somehow permanent, in reality or in our memory. But my choices in the past have never tied me to a person for eternity.
If I choose one person, even someone I love, I can’t take it back. And everyone rushing with their advice about how it doesn’t matter in life how carefully you pick because you can’t predict the future and how human beings change with every tide – Yeah,I’ve heard it. I understand it. And I’d totally take that gamble if I’m only looking for a husband.
But I’m not.
Because this person I marry is not just a husband. He’s not just going to be “the man I’m married to.” He’s more. SO much more. He’s my family. He’s my hug on a bad day. He’s my best friend when I’m fighting with my real one. He’s my coffee buddy every morning. He’s my companion when I’m sick and old and fragile. He’s the father to my children. He’s their “good cop” because I’m a control freak with a combination of anxiety and OCD. He’s the calm to my never-ending storm. He’s their shoulder and mine when our hearts break. He’s my person.
And I get one shot to choose him. One shot. To choose the person that will influence every decision there is to make about my future. And I’m not ready for it.
“But you’re 25! You’re an adult!” Says who?!
If my maturity is defined by a number, we don’t need life experiences and life lessons, do we now?! “Just wait till you get older! It’ll come to you.” Seriously? I feel like the adult in this conversation right now.
But honestly, how do you choose?
“Oh, you just know,” is not an acceptable answer. I don’t know. I’ve never known. I’m terrified. I have anxiety. Even if I know, I’m afraid I don’t know well enough. I’m afraid it’s wrong. I’ve known things before, gone with my instincts and messed up terribly. How can I be sure this isn’t one of those times again?
So I did what I do best. I asked someone, “What did you ask her? What made you think she’s the one?”
He gave me a list:
- Expectations in her marriage
And.. I just sat there, staring at that answer for a while. I didn’t know what to say because it seemed so… less.
Here’s what I thought I should start with – What do you do from the moment you wake up until you fall asleep – On a working day? On a weekend? On vacation? What’s your lifestyle like? What do you want our lifestyle to be? Do we watch movies every weekend? Do we stay in on Sundays? What are your questions for me? If I need you, would you drop what you’re doing and come to my rescue? If I need a day off, will you take care of the children and work from home? Can we split the house expenses? Can you deal with my need to plan every last detail about everything? Will you fuel my wildest ideas and craziest dreams? Will you understand my love for surprises but my inability to deal with them? Will you put up with my need to know the ending before watching thriller movies? Can you promise me “us” time everyday? Will you cook on alternative days? Will you go grocery shopping with me? Can we have a snack drawer? Will you take me out for midnight food cravings? On a weekday night? Can our children be vegetarians even if you’re not? Can I take over the closet in our room because I have too many clothes and nothing to wear? Can I choose our home decor if I promise not to let our room turn pink? Can I cry my mascara into your new white shirt? Will you hug me even when we’re fighting? Will you find me beautiful even when I’m sitting with messy hair in the middle of chaos after yelling at you for no reason other than the fact that I’m PMSing? Oh! And we’re going to adopt pets. LOTS OF THEM! That’s cool, right?!
And after he answers all this, I still have that burning question running in my head – “What if he changes his mind about it?”
Because arranged marriages or love, they’re still human beings. And there’s almost 7 billion of them on this planet. You need to choose one. This person, his past, his present and his future will help determine whether your kids are going to Harvard Law or sitting behind bars. How do you choose him?
What do you look for? What lifestyle is acceptable? And what if mine changes? What if I grow up and become a different person who wants different things? I used to love H&M and Forever21. I’ve wasted so much money there. But I don’t shop there anymore. Three hours, a documentary and some Google research later, I couldn’t bring myself to buy fast fashion anymore. Three hours to change something I’d done for a lifetime.
What if everything I love changes someday? Will he still be the right person or me?
“That’s the main question to be answered. That’s when the soul searches as to whether this is an age phenomenon or is this my phenomenon. Answer that.”
– Sai Krishna
But how do I know? And the unknown is the scariest of them all.
It’s funny when everyone around you wants to talk about getting you married. They talk about how you’re old enough to find a groom. If you can’t find one, they’ll find one for you. But the thing about all that is – they’re not really talking bout marriage. They’re talking about a wedding. They’re talking about finding a man and tying the knot. And they’re right. I am ready to have a wedding.
But the problem is what comes after. And in their need to see me as a bride, they forget – After that one day of dressing up and celebrating, there is still the rest of my life.
And I’m not ready for that. I’m not ready for a marriage.
Why isn’t that okay?