The M Talk

I’m an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like people. I do – people I get along with and mostly those whom I have much in common with. I struggle to interact with people who don’t belong to that group.

This is a problem if you’re a Bengali girl in your late 20s. Even if you live in Sweden, sadly.

I normally don’t write down any specific details of my life here. Firstly, because it’s personal. Secondly, because what’s important are the emotions and not the actual events. Thirdly, because I don’t want anyone to start meddling in my business. And fourthly, because if you write generally about emotions then more people can relate to what you write.

Today I have to make an exception because well… people tend to make assumptions. And it’s better I spell things out than you guys draw the wrong conclusions.

So my mom wants me to get married. She kind of believes 25 is the expiry date for girls – everything goes downhill from there. She especially focuses on “beauty” – it’s there for a limited amount of time so girls need to get married while they still have it. I don’t blame her specifically for thinking the way she does; it’s just the environment she grew up in and what she learned from her parents and so on. That’s how things are supposed to be. As is common with the older generation, and especially so with Bengalis, changes… newness… isn’t accepted easily. Anything they didn’t know or didn’t do in their time, basically we shouldn’t either. Except for when it has to do with education, of course. Thank you British colonizers.

I’m 26, so needless to say mom is freaking out. Where before she would bring up the M topic maybe twice a year, now it comes up almost every other week. The way she talks about it is as if it’s my fault for not being married yet. Basically if she could have her way I’d have to bring someone here from Bangladesh and we all know that ain’t happening anytime soon.

Because of her constant nagging and my own paranoia, I’ve taken matters into my own hands. I’m not going into details here but I can say it’s not going well.

This is where those social skills come in that I mentioned in the beginning. If I had zero requirements, and would settle for a type that my mom would like, that would mean marrying someone basically with no personality at all. I actually thought I’d be able to do that, seen as how difficult it is to actually find a decent Bengali guy around here. Until well… let’s just say be careful what you wish for.

So I realized personality matters… a lot. Interests matter… a lot. Imagine you’re someone who doesn’t really listen to music but you marry a musician. Sometimes, you become interested in the stuff the person you’re interested in is interested in. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen as often as you would like. Which means it would be ridiculous for me to marry someone who doesn’t read books. Right? Right? I’m asking because I don’t want to be unreasonable. I want to be flexible and open-minded (well as much as possible anyway). I don’t want to believe that there are fundamental differences between people who read and don’t read. But there are… right?

Even… for some desperate reason… if I chose to overlook the literate aspect, I don’t want to get married just for the sake of getting married. What good will that do? In order to complete half my deen, I might find myself in the displeasure of God because I’m unhappy in my marriage and that leads to not being a good other half. So, mathematically speaking, I would benefit from being single longer.

I’m not depressed, or sad, or anguished or anything which requires of you guys to pat me on the shoulder, so please don’t come with “don’t worry, you’ll find someone”. I’ve heard that so many times for the past few years that I feel like strangling anyone who says it.

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12 thoughts on “The M Talk

  1. Hi,

    I just stumbled across this post on G+. I can’t say I’m familiar with your situation or culture within your family, but I think I can understand how difficult it could be to have that pressure hanging over you. I’m a 26 year old (Swedish) man, and if people expected me to get married, I would panic. I’m also an introvert and find it difficult to even talk to girls, even at an adult age. How the hell would I be able to even think about marriage…?

    I’m convinced, though, that the most important thing between two people is something as abstract as “chemistry”. You might find someone with the exact same interests as you, but you might not like him anyway. Later, you might find someone who share very few of your interests, but that you just love talking to and being around. It’s very individual. So your mother really shouldn’t push you to reach any other goal than being happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I know (about chemistry that is)…

      The thing is parents in our culture have a responsibility to get their kids married. It’s an important part of both our religion and culture. And the part of our mothers wishing to see us happy… well it’s not as straightforward as it might be for you guys. Happiness in our culture usually means getting settled down.

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  2. This is such a heart breaking writing that I must support you. I can see your points. Why don’t you devise a plan that may work both for you and your mom/family?

    Mathematically speaking what? hahaha…you are funny. No pat on your shoulder as you are not depressed enough and still funny. Agree with the emotional side of your math calculation.

    May I say that your mom is perhaps right but wrong in explaining the whole M matter. There is another way to see this issue. You may find mathematically it is better for you to…

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      1. Start loving someone you really like. If chemistry does not work, try physics or so. It is not easy, I know but you may not like easy things. We went to the Moon not because it was easy, but because it was hard, remember? In your case, it is not four letters, just one. 🙂

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          1. you are not in a limbo. you are just thinking. perhaps you need someone to show you that whatever you are thinking right now is right but in 2025, it may have a different meaning. your thinking will not proven wrong, but it would add another meaning. what you see in you by then is yours! a bababooboo perhaps!

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  3. Argh…such a difficult one. I hear everything you say and, of course as you know, know this situation well. I know several Muslim Bangladeshi girls who are in the same boat effectively living in two competing worlds.

    Add to that your introvert nature too and I can see so easily how it ends up that you’re not married, can’t find someone suitable and yet are so clearly and obviously fantastic ‘marriage material’ (to put it in clinical psychology terms) to anyone who knows you at all.

    I still say – and you know I’ve said this for like ages – that you need to get out of Sweden and be somewhere else. Go work in London or Birmingham or Italy or…anywhere really! It’s not you that’s the problem but the gene pool you’re swimming in…

    Please don’t strangle me though if I’ve said anything here which really winds you up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahah clinical psychology terms??

      Lol Ken I wish it was that easy. But I can’t just up and leave in the middle of my studies. Plus I’m pretty sure my mom wouldn’t be okay with it. It’s not worth leaving your life just for the small chance that you MIGHT meet someone. And I don’t want to meet someone in a foreign country living on my own without any guardians.

      Even girls in the UK struggle a lot to find a good husband. So it’s not always about where you live. Sometimes it’s just that your fate is a bit postponed :). Maybe even for good reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha – I didn’t want you to think I was making you into a ‘thing’ (marriage material).

        Yes girls do – though I think it is often harder for Muslim women who don’t wish to enter into an arranged marriage for a number of reasons.

        The reasons for these women are the same though – a limited gene pool. Usually the women who struggle do so because their careers have taken precedence (nothing wrong with that) and they now spent most of their time in a work environment with limited numbers of people.

        I can understand your reluctance of living alone without guardians – but guardians can be arranged…

        Perhaps once your studies are over you could consider it? Maybe you’re right and this is just a postponement for now. I hope so anyway 🙂

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        1. I meant my guardians Ken :P, as in my mom or brothers.

          Nah… once again finding a job in another country, especially a similar job as I would find here, is not easy… and to be honest it feels like too much of an adventure right now. All I want is to graduate, get a decent job and settle down without having to take any unnecessary risks :P.

          Liked by 1 person

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