…or, Why I Love My Singlehood!
There is this girl we know about, who is a skinny little thing. She has all the right credentials: from a very respectable family, very modest, wonderful balance of religious and worldy knowledge, really gifted on the household front, aka a real domestic goddess–basically, the kind of girl every Indo-Pak mother dreams of for her son.
Girl gets married to a very “educated” young man, residing in France. Guy seems respectable, appears to have good job prospects, but residing in a European nation, does not appear to be too “modern” and does a fairly successful job at convincing girl’s family that he is religious enough. Ok, great, fabulous, wonderful, mashallah!
Girl is still not greatly enthused about marrying guy. But, she is getting on in years, yes? Getting to be, as they so wisely say, expired goods. So, girl marries guy, and lives happily ever after. Or maybe traditionally and culturally ever after.
Girl must live with the in-laws, yet guy is more “modern” than he or his parents let on prior to marriage. Turns out that boy thinks Muslim men following the sunnah of maintaining a beard are quite possibly terrorists! So modern and liberal of him! Did he absorb the fact that Europeans also don’t believe in living with the in-laws? The job prospects that were available to him before have mysteriously disappeared, although he does have a decent job, alhamdulillah.
Girl must cook the foods that guy’s cousins love to eat, when they are on vacation from their prestigious European universities, and give up her master bedroom for them, although there is a perfectly acceptable guest room for the visiting cousins to utilize. Girl’s parents must frequently send things that guy’s family likes–to not do so would be showing disrespect to the guy and his family. Girl cannot go to her own sister’s wedding, but must go to guy’s cousin’s wedding. When girl wants to call home, guy gives her an expired calling card to use; when she finds there are zero dineros on the card, she has a good cry, and guy asks her, “Do you feel better now, now that you’ve cried it out of your system?”
These are the “modern” families, who say things like, “We can never forget our culture! No matter how much we are educated, we still appreciate our roots.” Thus giving a bad name to culture, marriage, and those who are “educated” (I use the term extremely loosely). In situations when a Muslim woman is involved, the world chalks it up to Islam, even though Islam is so completely against such cruelty. This is the difference between Islam and culture. So many things attributed to culture are better off left in the dustbins of history!
Us girls who appreciate our single-hood cannot fathom marriage…because of the existence of men like this, and the familes and “cultural traditions” that shaped their behavior. The good girls always get the worthless men, and vice versa. Why be married and miserable, when I can be on the shelf, and happy in the bargain?