Sunday, May 24, 2009

can I please give up?

Naturally, a young woman in her 20's must desperately be in want of a husband. And as such, every relative in her family (and then some) plots and plans for her to meet a suitable boy. I've had my share of awkward marriage situations and stories.

I was recently in the motherland, and such a situation did arise...an aunt had expressed her desire for me to meet a particular fellow. Now, for many reasons that I probably outlined in detail before, I tend to glance upon cross-continental marriages with a weary eye. But when I was in Egypt, I was tired and I felt vulnerable. So I gave in. Yes, I buckled under the pressure and decided to venture into the unknown by meeting this dude a few days before I left for Canada.

Now picture this: I'm sitting in a room with not only a bearded male I have never laid eyes on before this moment, but also his mother, sister, nephew, and father; as well as my aunt and her husband. Each one glaring and evaluating my every word and movement. I felt physically sick.

The meeting was over after I asked the guy exactly three questions:

1. Do you ever want to move out of Egypt? "No" (I don't want to live in Egypt).

2. What do you think of niqab? "It's required" (I don't want to wear niqab).

3. What do you think of your wife working? "I'd rather her not work at all" (I want to work).

It was literally over in less than 5 minutes. And I was so mad that I let my family members even talk me into meeting this dude. Even when I'm writing this I'm mad. At this point, it dawned on me that my parents have no idea what I want in a husband. And that made me sad. And for those of you who are thinking "why don't you just tell them what you want?" - it's not that simple you jerks.

Anyways, can I just give up on this? My heart hurts and I'm so tired. Can someone just tell me I'm allowed to give up?

20 comments:

sara said...

this is the truest and saddest post ever. don't give up, because then i will be forced to do the same.

7 years old with attitude(s) says said...

"To give up or not to give up, that is the questions"

Well, i say, not to give up and don't just live in despair, and i thanks Allah on your behalf for you going into situations like these, it will build a wonderful experience and inshaa Allah you will endup find out who you want to marry, and build you own Criteria, and he will show up one day. just wait,

so, yes, Don't give up.

Marry me, but i do not have a beard?!!

that was one nice song in the previous post, it did really touch me, i did not know that you into music.

Yes, don't, ok, never give up.

Anonymous said...

same situation here, Sister.
take heart.
continue to make du'a- you'll find the perfect fit for you inshAllah.

Anonymous said...

What we can expect from you to suit our taste? You have only stated your taste here! Don't you think the same is the case for opposite sex?

Asmaa said...

Sara, I'll take you into consideration when I decide whether or not to give up.

7 year old, in the words of Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice: "accept my thanks for the compliment you are paying me, I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals, but it is impossible for me to do otherwise than decline them."

Anon, inshaAllah. Thanks for the comment.

Anon #2, "what can we expect from you to suit our taste" - huh? I don't know which "we" you are referring to in your comment. As though the entire world of males is suddenly grouped together...regardless, I am aware that I may not suit the tastes of a male living abroad either. But I choose to write only about my own experiences because that is all I know.

I'm not sure why you sound so offended, as though you're the guy I met that day or something. Are you? My my that would definitely be an interesting turn of events!

Rizwan said...

Regarding your reply to the 7 year old's marriage proposal:
Did you pull P&P off the shelf and type it out or did you memorize that response from having used it? Lizzy's response to Mr. Collins is probably my favourite rejection of a marriage proposal. The silver medal probably goes to Fanny's rejection of Crawford in Mansfield Park.

As for giving up:
Give up. Do it. Seriously, in some counter-intuitive way, it helps. Don't try anything. See what happens. I've been trying for years--like from senior year of highschool and now I'm like super old. I tried everything basically and nothing works. Everytime I thought I was learning something, I learned that I learned nothing. In the past I suspected that I might not know what I'm doing, but if the events of the past year are any indication, I'm now convinced I have no idea what I'm doing.

Furthermore, don't think that I'm now offering you any good advice. Remember that I don't know what I'm doing =P

On the flipside:
Welcome back! (If you're back, that is). If not, welcome back later!

Anonymous said...

Marrying a female may be a good choice for you instead of giving up ;)no?

7 years old with attitude(s) says said...

No worries,

I get this a lot,i mean the rejection letter, I become a collector

here is another one for you

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us"

Helen Keller

Just keep the faith, and hang in there.
That all what you need to do.

Have a good day/evening

Salaam

Abdul said...

hang in there Asmaa :-)

InshaAllah Khair!

Asmaa said...

Rizwan, oddly enough, I memorized the gist of Elizabeth's phrasing. I've watched P & P one too many times. Re: giving up; it's the only thing I'm physically capable of doing right now.

Anon, if it was halal, I know a plethora of worthy females that I could marry, yes.

7 year old, join the club. But I liked the quote, thanks.

Abdul, thank you.

adnan said...

hmmm, were you to give up, what is it exactly that you would give up trying?

but with regards to the questions you asked, would these things not be "negotiable" were you to meet the "right" person?:

Do you ever want to move out of Egypt?Would you /never/ live in Egypt if you and the dude decide together to do so?

What do you think of niqab?My line of questioning doesn't apply to this question.


What do you think of your wife working?Again, would you never consider not working if you and the dude decide together to do so?

mind you, these questions apply both ways (to guys and girls). say a dude doesn't want to live in egypt and the dudette does.

so it's not as if each question has a weight and when the scale tips you'll accept a proposal. is it?

if you were to meet the awesomest guy and he wanted to live in egypt, you'd walk away?

also, i find your three questions interesting, mine would be:

1. are you a mass murderer?

2. are you racist?

3. what tv shows/movies do you watch?

(maybe not in that order, or maybe in that order, would you want to know which tv shows a mass murderer likes to watch?)

Asmaa said...

Adnan, regardless of how shallow you might believe my questions or conditions are, I will always retain a right to accept or reject whom I please, on whatever grounds I see fit. I don't mean this in an offensive way, but if these three questions are relevant to me, and can make or break my opinion, then that's just how it is, and I see nothing wrong with that. I don't need to justify them.

Another point to make - it's clearly different for a male than a female when evaluating a potential spouse. A woman has to ask questions like these, because typically a man has more "authority" and sway in a marital relationship (and anyone who denies this is living in a dream-world). Therefore, isn't it my right to choose according to my own criteria who this person of influence in my life will be?

Furthermore, these three questions were carefully chosen because I'm acquainted with the general mentality of religious males in Egypt. I know that these three questions are things they think about, so I went to it directly. No beating around the bush.

Lastly, re: "what if you meet the awesomest guy and he wanted to live in Egypt." Of course, no one can claim to find a spouse who is perfect and meets every single requirement we have. However, I believe life is bigger than marriage. And we all have a certain general plan for our lives - I can't see myself meeting a guy and then just getting up and leaving everything I've been planning to move to a foreign country, not work, and wear niqab (just as an example). Sorry, but I have important things in my life, too. It's not only men who have a say in these things. And if I didn't have a say in the way I wanted to live my life with this person...well, he wouldn't be the "awesomest guy" would he?

Re: giving up and what it would look like; it would look like nothing at all. Except maybe bags under my eyes.

That's the end of my rant. It sounds a lot angrier than I meant it to, but oh well. My points still stand.

adnan said...

regardless of how shallow you might believe my questions or conditions are, I will always retain a right to accept or reject whom I please, on whatever grounds I see fit.I don't think the questions are shallow at all. And the questions you put forth are your prerogative.

I was just trying to understand the nature of the questions. For instance, after marriage, say the dude wants to move to Egypt. Now what?

Effectively, even acceptable responses to those questions don't really guarantee a "match".

I was wondering whether these questions (minus the niqab one) were non-negotiable under any conditions, is all.

Furthermore, these three questions were carefully chosen because I'm acquainted with the general mentality of religious males in Egypt.Of course.

And if I didn't have a say in the way I wanted to live my life with this person...Yes, not having a say would definitely be a deal-breaker.

But also, the question said "he wanted to live in Egypt.", not "he said you must live in Egypt.".

Asmaa said...

"after marriage, say the dude wants to move to Egypt. Now what?"

I would discuss it with him and come to an answer that was acceptable for the both of us. But also, that's different. See, that's a part of life that is out of your hands. We wouldn't have started the relationship off knowing that - it's just life circumstances. But the concept of suddenly uprooting everything about myself for a man is unnerving & an unfair expectation. That's the point I was trying to make.

I'm just bitter because there are certain sections of our community who have the idea that a woman just gets up and goes, just leaves everything to get married. As though her previous life has no bearing on her future one. But the same is definitely not expected of the male.

Anyways, I'm going to stop being so angry and go eat some chocolate or something.

Anonymous said...

you said:

"I'm just bitter because there are certain sections of our community who have the idea that a woman just gets up and goes, just leaves everything to get married. As though her previous life has no bearing on her future one. But the same is definitely not expected of the male."

This is completely normal. Because Allah has chosen the man to be the support of the family. So he cannot really leave everything behind. He stays in the place that will help him with supporting his family.
So, if the brother has good religion and character, there is nothing wrong with a sister accepting him, for the sake of Allah.
Allah will not put her down. He will open doors for her in a place where she might have never thought that she would have had opportunities.
Only Allah knows where the Khair for us is.

Asmaa said...

I was TOLD by anonymous :)

Elizabeth said...

Oh Asmaa, my heart hurts for you. It is truly a difficult situation you are in. I hope you never, ever, ever lose the spunk you have now, and you never, ever, ever compromise that for the sake of pleasing some man. And I hope that when you are ready, and when you are least expecting it, you find love.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buhdtXAgMNE

I know it's a song, but the message is good. Don't be afraid sister. Have taqwa in Allah and He will guide you, as is mentioned in the second ayah of surah baqara: "hudan lil muttaqeen".

May Allah help you. Ameen

Asmaa said...

Elizabeth, don't worry, I don't think I could lose my spunk even if I tried. It's in the genes. Thank you for your comment, and I hope I find what I'm looking for, too.

Anon, I am scared of lions, tigers and bears :( and I'm not scared of love. It's scared of me.

7 years old with attitude(s) says said...

I did not know that Necab=Niqap is required??

I though Necab only has a certain circumstances and certain rules, not really required??


This dude, How long his beard is??