“I have incredibly shocking news for you.”
A notification popped up on my phone showing a text message from my friend. It’s been a while since she contacted me, what kind of shocking news does she possibly have?
Is she moving abroad? Does she finally get the scholarship that she always wanted? Did she get a new job?
“I am getting married next week.”
It took me 5 seconds before finally grasping what she is saying.
Her? Getting married? It’s like hearing people in my country suddenly become irreligious: it is so unlikely to happen.
I sent a reply immediately, “Is your phone hacked?”
She laughed, and we continued to talk more about her marriage while I secretly wondered,
“Is she being forced into an arranged marriage?”
I have a reason for my suspicion. Less than a year ago we talked about how she hated that her friends love to corner her about her attitude towards marriage.
Her friends are your typical nosy neighbors — they just won’t let her alone. They often questioned why she wanted to continue her education when she is at the age of marriage.
Every time she hung out with her female friends, they loved to show off that they have a fiance or husband — and make fun of my friend who didn’t have one.
“It is too early to be worrying about marriage!”— we agreed. At our age, we should aspire to reach our dreams instead.
She loves to talk about her dream of doing research in a tundra. She wants to dedicate her life to being a scientist.
That’s why I was so worried, did anyone hold her at a gunpoint and force her to marry?
I don’t dare to ask her more about the marriage in case I blurted something rude. But, I can’t help but wonder,
“Do women have an expiration date that we should hurry to marry before we wilt and become unworthy of marriage?”
My mom has been keeping silent after I shut her off for telling me that I should get married before 25.
25, that’s the magic number. Since high school, I have been hearing about that number when my girl friends discussed their future plans.
I don’t know how they get that particular number. But when I told them that I wanted to get married after 28, a horrified look showed on their face.
“You will have a hard time getting pregnant!”
“You need to tie the knot before you are ‘too old to get married’”
When I argued them back with, “I don’t want to have kids,” they started to lose their mind.
That was six years ago. These days, while the campaign of “We should mind our own business” has risen, for some reason marrying young movement also becoming popular.
People love to mock people that are single. They love to turn it into a joke. In fact, the joke about single people is one of the most overused joke in my country.
Whenever I met my girl friend, our main topic has always been romance. I don’t complain, as it is the quickest way to relate with each other.
We love to lament about our single life because that’s what singles do.
Sometimes I want to ask, “Do you want to get married because you actually want it or because other people around you are pressuring each other?”
Most people in my country are religious, so they believe in fate.
But isn’t it ironic that they love to shove the number 25 into women’s throats as the ideal age to get married?
Isn’t that going against God’s fate?
I am not anti-romantic. I, too, spend some time before bed thinking about getting a boyfriend. Obviously, it is normal wanting to have a partner.
However, it is getting tiring when people are forcing one singular idea of an ideal marriage on others that have a different view. That is why the divorce rate is so high among young couples.
Also, isn’t anyone getting tired of living their life according to a template?
No offense to people who see the beauty in living their life on a linear course. But isn’t it more beautiful to see people respecting each other’s life without comparing whether they fit into ‘the ideal standard’?
Let’s start to mind our business more, people.