Things change when you get married, seriously! I know every one says so, but nothing really prepares you for it! You lose your single life, you have to think about cooking, cleaning and the price of new linens! You fret over your weight far too much! start buying night clothes that previously you wouldn’t have been seen dead in! you find yourself indulging in fluffy talk about wall clocks, Gym membership and …, Oh God! …, babies! You do this without realising, and even though thinking of it makes you vomit, you still go back and do it all over again the next time you are together with the older married sort!
Older married sort? Huh? Not my kind of women I hear you cry!! Well, you’d be right! But that’s the most significant change you see: relationships! Worryingly, every one now thinks you are mature, sensible, trustworthy, …, (me? Heck I’m still Roshni Remember!). Suddenly, your unmarried female friends are permitted to go out with you, visit you: their parents trust your judgement, and even start asking you to find proposals for them (what’s that about? I got married didn’t I? When did I open a marriage bureau?).
Parents, are a huge problem actually: well, aunties to be exact! Your newly married status earns you an unwelcome place in their gang: they invite you to sit next to them at mosque, they discuss their multitude of illnesses with you, and give you pep talks on cooking the perfect daal, and how you really should get pregnant ASAP: (come on auntie ji: at your age you should know that distance makes continuity a bugger!).
The conventional crowd: your friends, most of who are single, start to oust you as a trader! Your married, you’ve done the deed! How could you! Cheated them, you know longer get it, you know longer appreciate what they are going through, and so don’t qualify! You suddenly find your name being “accidentally”, omitted from a group Email about a mountain climb next weekend, (why? I didn’t lose my legs you know! And married women need exercise too! I mean, now the pressure is on to get in to those impossible Christmas tree jobs I’ve got to ware for the weddings, and dawits and all those “married” events I don’t want to attend but have to, so give me climbing, please!). You are not privy to the whispers in the corner or the bitchy texts, and if you are invited out, you find yourself in a corner nursing a glass of cranberry juice and being hounded by the most boring individual on the planet. But see, that’s the dull stuff, here’s the interesting part: men!! And God do they change! See, no matter how virginal Muslim sisters often pretend to play it, we all know how tough it is to find the right life partner these days. You can fake ‘butter won’t melt, but the chances are you’ll have been around the block a bit before you settle: in my case, 7 years to be exact! While you brush most of these encounters off, (and in my case, most of them were married before me!), but somehow there are the odd few that keep hanging on! There is Arab American guy, (who I’ve written about previously over here). The AA guy made a concerted effort to avoid me, even though I’d never stocked him and never made my feelings known re: the pain he caused and how much I ached and missed him, but (drum roll), the moment I’ve got a ring on my finger, he’s straight on to MSN! Bang!! He is happy for me, he wants to know how I’m doing, he’s flirting, sending me Eid Mubarak Emails and leaving online messages! How screwed up is that! Is this about rubbing my nose in it, or simply his cheep kicks at trying to attain what he can’t have!
Then there is Ultra-Religious guy! He refused me, in no uncertain terms when I wanted to discuss marriage with him (or at least the possibility of investigating the same). Now, he’s Emailing every day, telling me his own failed liaison stories, asking how I am, enquiring after my husband and “praying” for my happiness! As if that wasn’t enough, he also throws in a mention of how happy he is that we’ve stayed “friends”, because he always knew there was a reason for our connection. (either the man apologises too much, or me detects an interesting regret/guilt cocktail! Go play with yourself: cause it ain’t my problem mate!).
Then we’ve got Moroccan guy: he had it all (chemistry wise), he rocked my boat and shook my world, and though the feeling was mutual, some one didn’t have the balls to face his mother and tell her he was marrying a shia (well, if you won’t do it when your 45, you might as well give up). Moroccan guy still ain’t married (go figure!), but needs to Email me every other day to tell me how much he misses me, and how he is sure we’ll be together in the “next life”, (better ask your mother, though I’m dam sure I’ll have lived out all my lives while she decides just how unsuitable I am).
Then there is journalist guy, the most annoying of all! I met this man while working in Karachi, and devoted 3.5 years of my searching time to him. He promised me marriage, and I foolishly believed him! If I’d used my brain (or lack of it), I would have seen his own ‘mother issues a billion miles away! But I had convinced myself that he’d step up to the plate when the time came (you guessed it: he never did!), so, I gave him an ultimatum, and though he failed to meet it, part of him either didn’t believe I’d leave him, or else he simply thought no one would want to marry me any how! We kept in touch sporadically, mainly due to work, but then, …, lights, camera, anger in action “why didn’t you tell me!!!”, he says “tell you? What?” (I mean, why the hell should I tell you: are you my dad?).
“you got married” (er …, that wasn’t illegal the last time I checked!).
“you didn’t tell me” (refer to the above mate! Besides, you answered in the negative when you couldn’t inform mummy jaan).
Then there are all these sarcastic remarks from him, faking hurt and despair, even a quick call to tell me he’s got flu! …, should I try that! (hey man am off for a dump, just wanted to let you know!). I’ve tried being nasty, I’ve tried the “get over it!” approach, but nothing has worked! I wish Reza was here to go do in a few of them, but I wonder: what is it that gives these men lisence to intrude unannounced in to your universe, turning it upside down and making you feel like a total cow just for existing! Has any one else experienced this, or am I just a stupid sucker (don’t answer that Please), …., I’m off to screen some calls now: I may not return for some time!!