In the 90’s, my parents had an arranged marriage and later moved to the United States. In the Pakistani (Indian & Bengali) culture, an arranged marriage is a common practice. Statistically, these last longer than love marriages, because when the going gets tough, you don’t leave someone. You learn to love them for who they are and what they are not. My parents have been through hell and back. If I told you what happened to them years ago, every single person would shed a tear. I still tear up anytime I tell my friends the story. Even in times of anger and sadness, they would never leave each other. They care deeply for one another and will always take care of each other. Throughout my life, they’ve told me, “marriage” and “family” are the most important institutions. (*Next to education). And they are. I am just not ready for that stage yet. When I am ready for it, I will know. Everyone in the world will know. I am happy for all of those who are married and have children. Many women in my world had arranged marriages, but I will not. One of my best friends since middle school had one about two years ago and I couldn’t be happier for her. Her husband and in-laws treat her like the Queen she is. (#Ameen #Mashallah) I am happy to know that both of her parents were able to share that special day with her. Her family has always treated me like family and I do the same. She is more traditional than I am, but she never judges me for being my own person. And even though our lives are busy, we always make time to see each other.
In terms of marriage, I am not sure who it will be, what he looks like, or what his heritage is. My dad always asks me if I know of a boy or whether or not I found the “one.” I always tell him I can’t think of anyone, even if I have prospects in mind. He knows it too! My parents tell me that, I should aspire to marriage. I feel like Beyonce and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie when I say, this, but men should aspire to marry me. Not because I am some “self-entitled queen” or “flawless person”, but because I know what I bring to the table. I work hard and any man who wants me will have to go through the Olympic Games to catch me. # Veronica Campbell-Brown #SimonBiles #USAWomensSoccerTeam
I don’t chase men, I chase dreams. The man I introduce my Dad as a romantic love interest to will be the one. The man I marry will be Muslim or will convert to Islam for me. My religion is the one thing I won’t change about myself for anyone. Random men “think” they want to be with me, but most of them don’t even know me. My male friends are so loyal to me that, most of them would probably convert for me. I think Allah (swt) would be pretty proud of me. I am not sure why women choose to go out for drinks when they want to eat a meal with someone. If a guy doesn’t have the decency to take you out in the day light, then he’s not worth your time. If anyone makes you feel unsure of yourself, then they are 100% unsure of you. You shouldn’t have to “convince” a guy to like you. If he did, you would know it. If you’re talking to a boy who likes two different girls at once, then you should leave him alone and let him decide for himself.
I have many respectable, loyal, and genuinely good male friends. You would think I was a mind reader. I am not that talented. My mind operates like Snapchat filters, I pick out a filter on every person I meet, and if it’s a new perspective, I just add a new filter in my head.
I am not ready for it. I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do. My parents and I have had this discussion about one million times. They’ve been trying to get me married since I was 21 years old. I don’t need to find anyone on Tinder or Bumble, my parents easily provide that service to me. Sometimes, I feel like, they think, I am a mango or something. Like, I am ripe and ready to have children. I am not ready. I am not ripe. I am a human being. I am not a walking resume for men to pick and choose or control me. I live in the United States because I love that my voice matters here. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are beautiful countries, but women cannot vocalize themselves. The law of the land is Sharia, and under that legal system women have less rights than men. Women have been the underdogs in every civilization since the beginning of time. I personally can’t think of a single culture, religion, or society that hasn’t marginalized women in some shape or form? Can you?
I understand that, every single parent dreams of seeing their baby get married and have their own family. My siblings have refused proposals for good reason, they don’t want to complicate their lives more than they need to. They’ll get married though, say “Inshallah”, it means “God Willing”. I know that, when I raise a child, I want to have everything set up and ready to go. I would already want to have my own furnished house, with a big backyard, so the dog I rescue can roam freely. In Islam, Muslims are not allowed to have dogs in their homes. They are considered impure and the punishment is that I would lose one or two “qiraats” from my “hasanaat” (good deeds). Well, I do about 100 good deeds a day, so I would be okay with losing a little blessing to bring joy into my own life. If you think I am a bad person and that I am going to hell, then that’s perfectly fine. I am not sure why you think I care, what you think? I don’t. In Islam, there are seven levels of “Hell”, it’s like seven layer dip minus the chips and happiness. You can probably catch me on the fifth layer, but I’ve been repenting my sins.I’ve been apologizing to people in my past and everyone I have ever hurt. I don’t want to wait until my last breathe to say “I am sorry.” If I ever acted weird, angry, or obnoxious towards anyone, here is my public apology to you! I truly never mean to offend anyone, ever. My parents raised me to speak to every human being with kindness. That may be why men always think I am “flirting” with them. I mean this in the kindest way possible, do not flatter yourself. I was raised to speak to men and women, the young and the old, and children the exact same way (the degree of kindness may vary depending on your personality and attractiveness). I am a highly selective person and I do not waste my time on men. If I wanted to make myself known to any boy in this world, he would know me. He would know me in five seconds because I would walk up and introduce myself.
If anyone has every seen me on one of those dating applications, I personally want you all to know that, I like everyone. I don’t even look at anyone’s faces, I just swipe left? Or is it right? Hah. Sometimes, I seek validation from the internet and I want people to tell me I am pretty. I guess that makes me “desperate”. I am far from hopeless. Hope should be my middle name. Anyways, most of the time, I am just on those apps to make fun of egoistical jerks who think women should worship them. I am not sure why any women should worship “you”? I don’t know about you, but my body can create life.What does yours do? If I wanted to have a child at this point in my life, I wouldn’t need a men to be in the room to help me. In case you were wondering, it’s called “artificial insemination”. Science really is magic that works.
I told them, I want to spend the next five years of my life being selfish because I have always lived my life being selfless. All of our doctors tell us euthanasia, the practice of intentionally ending a life the suffering