I was craving ramen noodles weeks ago and so drove by to the nearest Asian supermarket to buy my favourite noodles and satisfy my cravings.
As I was waiting in line to get my noodles cashed out, I happened to notice a Sri Lankan woman in her 50s paying the cashier. She left, and I continued to wait in line. When I finally got inside my car, I noticed the same woman from the cash lane in my rear view mirror. I was surprised to see her because she had left a few minutes before me. I then noticed that she was carrying milk (the 4L bagged milk… apparently bagged milk is a Canadian thing?). Anyways, I don’t know if it was because she reminded me of my mom, but I felt like helping this lady out. So I ran up to her and asked her if she would like me to drop her off home because I live nearby anyways. She was grateful for my offer, but told me she needed to get exercise, so she doesn’t mind walking home. She was in awe that I had come out of my way to help her and kept mentioning how she was surprised that I wanted to help a stranger. I smiled back, said goodbye, and was heading back towards my car, when she asked me how old I was. “26”, I responded. What village are you from? (A question many elderly Tamil folks would ask to figure out your family’s caste/status.) I knew where this was going… “Are your parents looking for someone for you?” I KNEW IT. A few more questions later, she asked if I would give her my parent’s number. Er, what just happened here? Did I just set up my own arranged marriage?! I gave an excuse as to why I couldn’t give her the number, told her maybe I’ll see her again at the supermarket, and got out of there as fast as I could.
She was just one of many people that have questioned me about marriage. In fact, as soon as I graduated from university (I was 21 years old at the time), the questions started. Like hellOoOo, I need to find a job and pay off my debt…not get married and find myself in a larger debt. With each year that I got older, the frequency of marriage questions increased as well. One of my friends mentioned that her relative actually said, “The older you get, the less marketable you are”. Yes, you heard correctly folks. Less marketable… m a r k e t a b l e. I knew what the relative was trying to say, but that wording made me laugh. We are not products to be sold … Jeez! Even the other day, I overheard my mom tell someone I was 25 on the phone. I went into her room after she hung up and asked her if she forgot her own kid’s age. She tells me that she told the lady I was younger on purpose because she was going to ask why I wasn’t married yet. Really? -.-
Thankfully, my parents have been understanding and have never bothered me much about marriage. Even though others ask about why I’m not married yet or try to set up an arrange marriage, my parents have never rushed me, and I am grateful for that. Even now, my dad believes things will fall into place when it’s meant to happen and he’s not too worried (so he says). My mom on the other hand is starting to let the pressure from the Tamil aunties get to her (lying about my age and ish *facepalm*) and is worried that I am not married / engaged yet. To be honest, I am starting to feel the pressure myself because once this year is over, my friends and cousins are going to get married one by one. My fear is that once everyone gets married, they are going to be busy to hang out/talk and I am going to be alone! The questions about why I’m not married yet are also low key starting to get to me. As a result, I’m making more of an effort to meet people now, but sometimes I wonder whether I think I may be interested in someone because I’m genuinely interested, or because I’m desperate to get out of Singleville. I do not want to meet someone out of desperation because I’m sure that is going to backfire in the long run. I hate that these folks are making me feel like I’m 38 or something when I’m only 26. When I’m in my 30s, I don’t want to look back and realize that my late twenties were spent wasting worrying about marriage.
Questions about marriage are just easy go-to topics I guess. I am guilty of asking such questions myself because I know that I’ve asked a few of my friends who are in relationships about when they plan to get married. After marriage, people will probably start to bombard you with questions about when you’re going to have a child. It never ends really. People are always going to be curious and ask – you just have to let it not get to you. For now, I know there are a few things that are more important to me than getting married, and I am going to continue focusing on that for now. Yes, I’m not married/engaged yet, and I do hope to in the near future, but I need to keep in mind that I need to take on life at a pace comfortable for me and not rush into things for the sake of others’ questioning.
** Featured image is by @runnerkimhall on Instagram **