not mr. right #7

Why did he abbreviate “not”?

thxs 4 your mail….
hws your life?
snd me your one full size image

(nt indian dress)

thxs

reason #1 (in no particular order)

I want my parents to be comfortable with my husband.

i will reject you if #2

You are looking for a simple girl. Why would anyone want a simple girl? What is a simple girl? Do you want a non-materialistic girl? Do you want an eco-conscious anti-consumer girl? Do you want a slightly below-average-intelligence girl? I am a person. I am complicated. You are complicated. So why should I be simple? Is there actually such a thing as a simple girl? Do you know one of these? What is she like? Do you maybe mean sweet? Do you maybe mean compliant? Also, I am not a girl.

my cousin

My cousin in India turned marriageable and her parents sat her down to talk about what she wanted. (Whenever my parents have this talk with me, it’s almost exclusively about how the guy should look. I think the idea is that all of the values issues will be covered through their filtering, so I can feel free to concentrate on how tall and dark, or short and fair, this man is.) She, being brave of heart and bold of courage, said that she had a crush on a guy she went to college with. He, being suitable in all other ways, was introduced to the family. They got married. She married the first guy she had a crush on. It makes me so mad that it was so (seemingly?) easy for her. I know this seems like 1. not a suitable reaction and 2. not the aspect of the issue to have this reaction to. But I do.

P.S. He is just fabulous and they are ridiculously wonderful together.

feminist? progressive? liberal?

So these are among the terms I have tried and rejected on my very own shaadi.com profile. I want a shorthand for one of these that doesn’t immediately lead to a “reject”. One time, I searched for “feminist” under keyword search, and there was one hit, and it said, “Don’t reply if you’re a feminist. My sister is enough to deal with.”

not mr. right #70

This is an email, not a profile. And before we get all “don’t make fun of someone for whom English is a second language”, the profile claims he’s born and brought up in New York City.

I have a strong sense of justice and fair play. Genuine and
unassuming, I am charming and magnetic in an effortless, down-to-earth
way. I am also easygoing and friendly person with a casual, comfortable beauty.

fear

Here’s a truth. Within the parameters I’ve chosen (and I very much understand that this is my choice), everyone I could marry is already out there. (I get that this is true for everyone not considering marrying someone younger (much, much younger) than them, but it seems very stark given the numbers and probably because everyone’s own situation feels very stark to them.) No one new is arriving on the scene. I am (according to various sources) either quickly approaching the prime marriageable age or have already passed it, while, because of the vagaries of marriageable age windows across sex, all the men I could hope to marry only gain prospects while remaining marriageable. Among the limited numbers of second-generation diaspora-raised professional gentlemen in my ethnic/religious community, there’s a further huge slash when considering that they have to be open to an arranged marriage.

While we’re on the topic of fear – other fear. That one day I will wake up to the reality of the futile exercise that this is, and the men that I dated (outside the community) who wanted the serious, long-term relationships that are precursors to marriage, will all be gone, safely married to someone who wasn’t dating them while trying to get married to someone else on the side.


sec·ond-gen·er·a·tion (sknd-jn-rshn)

adj. 1. Of or relating to a person or persons whose parents are immigrants.

n.b.: arranged marriage

When I use "arranged marriage" here, I'm talking a very specific type of marriage, in which one (often a second generation immigrant) is socialized and pressured by their community to marry someone from within that community as part of a way to bind two families together. It's often accompanied by a cultural prohibition against dating, especially serial dating, such that there is typically a short timeline from meeting to marriage. In the United States, where I am, and in other diasporas, an arranged marriage isn't necessarily arranged anymore, although parents and grandparents shoulder much of the responsibility in networking and making introductions. The bride-to-be and groom-to-be yield veto power at all times and their happiness and consent are among the most critical criteria in proceeding. In general, the kind of arranged marriage that I know is enforced only by family and community approval and disapproval (although let's not underestimate how powerful these are). At no point am I talking about a truly arranged marriage in which there's no options, no veto, and enforcement by violence or restriction of liberty. I don't pretend that I know anything about living that kind of truth or that anything I experience is comparable to that kind of future.