Ever since I’ve turned 25, my life has been plagued by a single question: “When will you get married?” In all honesty, I never thought I’d be bothered incestuously by this question because in my mind, I had it all planned out. A stable job, a committed relationship followed by marriage. All this by at 26. So the fact that I am actually writing about being pestered to get married says two things: 1) I am clearly older than 25, and 2) my plan failed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all flustered or irritated that my plan didn’t work. In fact, praise the lord it didn’t because I would most likely have married the wrong man and never succumbed to my real passion: writing. Anyway, this is all irrespective. So here I am, loitering between 25 and 30 being told on a daily basis that I should be taking the plunge. Amidst all the nagging and blackmailing, I look to my close friends for solace and comfort. Girls similar to my age who understand the pressures but choose to take in-one-ear and out-the-other attitude simply tell me: “Don’t settle for settling!”
That very statement got me thinking. Ultimately what is the definition of “settling down”? I look at myself as being very settled in life vis-à-vis a secure job, good friends, a solid income, roof over my head and success at a constant pace. Technically, isn’t that being settled? But no. In actuality, the Indian culture insists that 'Settling Down' requires you to be married, change your last name and have a man in your life. And until you can check off each of those criterion, you are pretty much unsettled. But you know what’s the strangest part of this entire scenario? The mere fact that as Indian girls, we are told to never settle. “Never settle for the anything but the best,” we are told whether it’s our grades, a job or a car. And mind you, these material artifacts are temporary while a marriage is theoretically forever. But who can question the numerous contradictions that exist in our society? Forget the fact that it hasn’t changed in eras but who has the energy to sit and explain that times have changed.
So what do you do in such a situation? Instead of sitting and cribbing about it, here's my two-pence at easing your pain. Over a girl's night filled with wine and cheese, a bunch of my girlfriends and I wrote a list of ways to answer, avoid or simply dodge the dreaded marriage conversation.
1) Next time you are asked, “When will you get married?” or the likes of it, answer with the following: “When God puts him in my life.” Who has the audacity to question what God has in store for you? Watch how the questioner simply looks away never to ask you the question again…or for a while at least.
2) If you find yourself stuck in a situation where you’re cornered by your parents, in one of those “come sit with us” moments, we suggest you simply tune out. Think about your upcoming Friday plans. This is the ideal time to plan your outfit and shoes.
3) My personal favorite is when I am asked by my Grandmother, “When will it be your turn?” I simply say to her sweetly (don’t want to upset my cutesy Nani), “I’m ready to marry. In fact I’ve even found the man. Please let
4) And lastly, when in doubt, quote women who married late in life. I always find myself using Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as a prime example. The lady married at 33 and look at who she got? The very suave and cute Abhishek Bachchan. So who knows!
The lesson here is simple ladies. You will be questioned and how. But if you won’t even settle for a bad haircut, should you settle for just Mr. Alright-Kinda-Sorta?
First published: The Brown Girl Mag