“3o2bal ma teb2y 3aroosa inshallah”
How many times have we heard that? Twenty? A hundred? Well, I would say too many to count. Imagine this, I am at a family 3ozooma and I’m being congratulated on my grades, then told to eat more 3ashan “atmely shwaya”. This is swallowed down 3ady, 3ashan I’m used to it – aren’t we all at this point? Afterwards, my mom sends me to help with cleaning up, which is fine. I help with handing out dessert, and then boom! There it is. “Shokran ya 7abebty, 3o2bal manshofek 3aroosa inshallah.” Because somehow helping out with the cleaning up makes me suitable bride material? Somehow taking care of my baby cousins does that too? And joking around about you ending up with a family friend’s kid isn’t funny, it’s just plain uncomfortable and makes future interactions with said kid awkward.
The thing is, the way marriage is talked about in our society, you’d think it’s the best institution in existence. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be married to a loving husband and have kids. Reluctant as I am to admit it, ending up with someone who cares about me deeply and just as much as I do for him is something I’ve wanted since I was a kid- of course at the time it was someone like Prince Charming, now it’d be great if it was Stiles Stilinski, but I’m getting off topic. The way people talk about it, you’d think that the divorce rate for couples were decreasing, and that people’s lives are immediately made perfect once they’re married. It’s almost like once you’re named husband and wife you immediately feel a giant weight lifted off your shoulders, because you know that this person has got your back.
Enter the first challenge: teamwork. People are made to think that their sole job is to make their spouse’s lives easier. Girls: take care of your husband, make sure he feels wanted. Men: make sure your wife feels safe and protected. Without getting into the various gender roles present in our society, I would like to talk about how none of that is possible if you don’t actually know your spouse. We’re asked about when we’re getting married like it’s something as simple as shopping for groceries at the supermarket. Like I’m going to get out of the house, find some guy and be like ‘alright, he’ll do.’ I mean, it’s not like people need to be compatible to a certain degree in order to spend the rest of their lives together. They don’t need to? Oh, so you’re fine with divorce? Divorced women aren’t viewed differently than other women then? They’re not treated like prey by the disgusting low lives that are unfortunately present in our society? Because being young and naive and giving in to the ongoing pressure to get married is a crime when it backfires… apparently.
Seebak men kol da ba2a. When a person who has made many accomplishments-and is proud of them, rightfully so- is asked the same question at every family gathering, it sucks. “Hanefra7 beeky emta?” You should already be proud of me, just like I am of myself. My worth is not determined by whether or not I am married or plan to be. There is so much more to me; regardless of whether or not I’ve signed a piece of paper which you give way too much power to determine both my and your self-worth. We are artists, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and so much more. We are human, whether or not we’ve conformed to this prominent societal norm.
Gedo, Seto, Nana, Tant, Uncle, I’m not getting married anytime soon. And if I so choose, I will not be getting married at all. I will not jeopardize my future to stop your incessant nagging. You probably mean well, and I’m sorry if this bothers you, but I refuse to get married simply for the sake of it. Marriage is not a rite of passage that everyone goes through, it’s not something as simple as getting a job or going to college; which are also more complex than you make them seem. It should be something you share with someone you treasure and always will. It should be promising to live your life with that person and maybe have miniature versions of you and of them running around and driving you crazy.
Stop romanticizing running into marriage. Quit it. It’s not that simple. Never has been, never will be.