“I think, when I make a plan, God smirks and says “Hah! That’s what you think.””
This was once my facebook status. Funnily enough, I feel like this pretty much all the time now. And not in a bad way. Not in, come on God, you cant be screwing with my system all the time. But in a good way.
As is fairly obvious, this has happened to me recently.
I have been enjoying singledom for a while now (a while by my standards anyway). I have been happy, social and rather indulgent. I have loved every moment of it. And as any single Indian girl will tell you, this state of bliss sits very uncomfortably with the married, hips-the-size-of-Russia and brains-the-size-of a pea aunties. Their desire to get you married off is so intense, they cause themselves some serious heartburn just thinking about it.
Anyway, thanks to the incessant head shaking and not-so-gentle-nudging by these aunties and other jealous people, my parents thought arranged marriage was the way to go for me.
By now, you may have noticed, I have wrapped my head around the fact that I will never single-handedly find someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. Given this fact and that I have had some pretty tough relationships, I was willing to give the arranged marriage circus a twirl.
And something like looking for a boy for marriage seems to generate a lot of interest amongst my social networks. Everyone seems to want to offer gems of advice, stuff that landed them “the one” and how “I will just know”. Advice like make a list of your priorities, you surely want an NRI boy, don’t settle if you aren’t convinced and all that made its way to my head.
So, armed with a checklist and hope, I set out for my marriage voyage. My checklist was a motley mix of sane parameters like should be intelligent and smart and the more zanier stuff like should hold my hand in public (you would be surprised how many men don’t think this essential)
In all honesty, the guys weren’t bad. They just weren’t for me. But over many cups of coffee and sometimes bland conversations, you kind of get used to it. And I did.. Got used to the usual questions of “what do you do on weekends?”, “your hobbies”..etc..after a point, you don’t really care. You don’t think you will actually find someone. Your hopes tank. And mine nose-dived.
But, all hope is not lose. So, to all you people struggling in this situation, here are some well-researched and tested commandments for the arranged marriage routine (or not)
1) Thou shall always choose a coffee place to meet
While this may seem like crap advice, it has its merits. Let me explain. Coffee shops are affordable, which means the guy gets out of the meeting above poverty line. Plus, there is always enough people to offer you the security of being in the public eye (which means he has to keep his hands off you, that sleazy bastard). The best part, you don’t have to eat with him. A blessing in so many ways. You don’t have to spend more time with him. You don’t have to watch him wolf down his food, turning you off forever. You wont have spinach in your teeth. Perfect huh?
What I did wrong: I met one guy at a coffee shop where the employees attacked the blender with intensity that should be reserved for other areas of life. The guy and I were shouting to be heard, each struggling to hold on to the conversation while mostly catching the end of the others sentence and replying to it.
Also, I love whipped cream with a passion. I think I ended up turning on atleast two of my well-meaning suitors while I licked away on the cream on the coffee.
2) Thou shall always be confident, but not over confident
It’s awesome to be confident. Not so awesome if you come across as a cocky asshole. One guy, clearly on some ego trip because of his sterling credentials, asks his first question – “So what did your MBA teach you?” I did a double take, he was obviously mistaking this for a job interview. Turns out he wasn’t. He was so full of himself, he couldn’t look beyond his toes.
What I did wrong: Even if I may say so myself, I have a pretty strong personality that can be overpowering. But I am nice. Its only when I want to be intimidating that I get nasty. One guy (of course he thought he was being funny) referred to me as “Miss Knowledgeable.” I returned the compliment by asking him questions like ‘what is the Gestapo or where am I if I am having Nasi Goreng’. He didn’t know.
3) Thou shall dress as you usually do
Come on girls. You cant be dressing in something that isn’t you. You cant be covered from head to toe when you leave nothing to imagination when you dress up for a club. How’s this for a thought, if you like him, you are going to spend a lot of your life with him. Let him fall for the real you, not the dolled up, contrived version of yourself. This way, you wont shock the shit out of him when he sees you outside of the shy bride role.
What I did wrong: Convention be damned, I was dressed in jeans and a top when I met every guy. That’s not the wrong bit. The part that working against me was that people who didn’t come from the same school of thought as me, thought I was too cool to be in his family. Ah well, fuck that.
4) Thou shall ask about his family
Let’s get this straight. This isn’t a date. He’s not suppose to be a commitment phobe. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask about his family, his dog, his house and his interests. It’s not ok to ask about his size, if he likes drunk women and whether he has had a sexual disease. Please let maintain some decorum here. And its ok to ask him when he looks to get married. If his timeline is when you will be getting botox, drop him like a hot potato. He is supposed to be emotionally available.
What I did wrong: I asked about marriage and his family. They thought I was funny. I didn’t think they were.
Now, beyond this somewhere, you will find him. It’s like a game of hide and seek. You know he’s somewhere, you just can’t see him yet.
And no, lightning will not strike. You will not magically know it’s him. But if you give it chance, you will feel it. It will feel right. Nothing will be a force fit. You won’t be struggling to breathe. It will feel natural. His hug will feel right, it will make things all right. When he touches you, it wont be awkward, you will respond. You maybe the most confident person around, but when you enter a room that he is in, you will be slightly nervous. When he holds your hand, your fingers blend in perfectly. He takes your tantrums and still loves you. He stares into your eyes and you blush. You see him stare at you from across the room. When you do crazy things, he smiles and says, “That rockstar, that’s my babe”. He holds you when you need to cry and laughs at your madness. He makes you feel like a princess and will go to the ends of the earth to make you smile.
He completes you and you know it.