Several days ago when going back from school, Angie my only daughter told me about her close friend—her initial is N—that out of the blue had already been ‘matched’ with a boy she barely knows. Angie said that they would get married as soon as N graduated from senior high school. I was surprised and sorry to hear that although Angie had told me much before this that her best friend who happens to have Arabian blood in her body could not choose any boy to marry but her parents’ choice.
As a rebel, I thought that it was just a silly things to do in this twenty first century. A girl does not have any freedom to choose with whom she wants to marry in this twenty first century? As a rebel, I expected to hear that one day Angie would tell me that her close friend would rebel that (to me) silly ‘rule’. As a daughter, she cannot marry a boy who does not have Arabian blood. Her brother, however, can marry a girl that does not have Arabian blood.
“It is a disgrace for the family if the daughter marries a man who does not have Arabian blood. As a result, if she rebels, perhaps she will be exposed to a risk of being kicked out of the family.” This was what my superior at my workplace said some time ago. She has Arabian blood, and she married a man who does not have that blood.
Some months ago, the cousin of Angie’s close friend, the same age as Angie, (of course she has Arabian blood too in her body) was proposed by someone, and they probably will get married as soon as she graduates from senior high school. At that time, N said to her mother, “If someone proposes me later, I don’t want to get married as soon as I graduate from school. Give me time to continue my study to college first. I want to be a dentist, just like you. I don’t want to be a full and only housewife.” Unfortunately, her mother said it was all up to the husband-to-be, and his family.
And now someone has proposed her. Her parents and grandmother a kind of support her to get close to the man. Apparently N’s complaint—that she wants to go to college first before getting married—was not heard by the parents.
I believe that N’s mother who luckily work as a dentist still keeps the old-fashioned way of thinking that the best profession of a woman is being a housewife; that a woman does not really have her own life because she has to obey her parents first, and then her husband plus his family.
Meanwhile after telling me about that ‘incident’, Angie asked me, “Mama, is it possible that someone does not have a match in his/her life?”
She has a crush on a boy for about two years (since she was in the third grade of junior high and now she is in the first grade of senior high and will get a promotion test next month.) She and the boy were quite close around two years ago for some months. But then they broke up. (Un)luckily they go to the same school again. They are even in the same class now. It seems to me that Angie is worried if she will not get attracted to any other boy in her life. That’s why I told her, “Don’t worry, honey, there are abundant other cute and smart boys lining up waiting for you out there. Just be patient. Ok?”
Frankly I was kind disappointed to hear Angie saying something like her world would end if she didn’t get any boyfriend. Perhaps she thought that it would be better for her to exchange position with N? Not having freedom to choose whom she will marry is not a big deal as long as she has someone as her ‘match’.
Secretly, my Lovely Star—my loving nick for Angie, has been suffering from Cinderella Complex. She has been dreaming of a cute, charming and rich Prince will come to her, to propose her, to bring her to the so-called everlasting happy gate—marriage. One big example that a woman can feel happier and beter when living alone rather than with a life partner that ameks her lose her real identity and potential does not really work to awaken her from that dream. The big example can be seen in her own mother’s life.
The soap operas Angie has watched on television, the romance teen-lit novels she has read, they successfully have made hertrapped in that old dream.
I also said to her, “Well, in Alquran it states that God created all creatures in pairs. It seems that everybody will get a partner in his/her life. This thinking resulted in two attitudes. One positive attitude: someone will always be optimistic that he/she will find his/her soul mate, because there is someone out there created by God for him/her. the negative attitude: when someone fails to get one now and again, he/she will lose spirit to live and consider God unfair because why other people get their life partner if she/he does not get one. Perhaps it will make him/her lose his/her confidence and then mourn during the rest of his/her life. It seems like having a life partner is the only important thing in this life.”
“Stop thinking about it all the time, honey. Just focus on your study and your other talent that you can do maximally. Your teenage life will be as beautiful, either you have a boyfriend or not. Enjoy your life by doing any other useful things with me, and also with your dear friends. Besides, you still have a very long life to go.”
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