The parental matchmaking process to which most of every Pakistani person (read: GIRL) is subjected to at some point in his or her (read: HER) adult life is infuriating and I HATE it. It's degrading and confusing and exhausting. Because I'm so worn out from trying to first explain to my parents why I rejected a rishta they'd received for me from the opposite coast (read: BECAUSE I HAVE NO CAREER PURSUITS, WHICH MAY REQUIRE ME TO STAY ON THIS COAST) and later spelling out to them exactly how far I was willing to take this ridiculous process, I'm going to cut and paste here the chat conversation I had with a dear friend (read: NOT SO MUCH A CONVERSATION, IT WAS MOSTLY ME SWEARING AND VENTING AND SWEARING SOME MORE) a few hours after the showdown. Please remember that the grammatical errors that may appear below are the unfortunate results of me being in a heated way:
NERDDD: allow me to bitch for five minutes?
FRIEND: haha go right ahead
FRIEND: I am watching Meet the Press
NERDDD: just read
FRIEND: I shall
NERDDD: so, the 'rents are back on their let's-get-sabila-married kick, right?
NERDDD: and the cousins around the country have been ordered to keep an eye out for available men
NERDDD: and i'm like, whatever this blows but do what makes you happy and keeps you off my back
NERDDD: so my cousin on the west coast of all fuckin' places has a sort of friend who he thinks is perfect for me
NERDDD: and my cousin is a decent guy
NERDDD: but he wasn't brought up here etc isn't very up with the pop culture etc and I doubt he reads
NERDDD: but my mom thinks that my cousin is all that people should strive to be and secretly dreams that she was his mother
NERDDD: so of course his friend is suddenly perfect for me right
NERDDD: so the friend emails cousin brief summary of his life so far plus two pics which are then sent to my dad which i then get to see (after the bros have seen and, apparently, approved, those bastards)
NERDDD: so before amma shows me pic she declares that the bros have approved so i feel like saying then THEY should marry him but i don't
NERDDD: and i look at below average pic and i read drab and dry and uninspired email and there isn't one thing on that computer screen that does ANYTHING for me
NERDDD: i mean if i'm supposed to make initial decisions based on photo and email then i've made my decision, right? so i tell my mom that he's not attractive and he's a bloody electrical engineer for christ's sake. what do i have in common with an ELECTRICAL ENGINEER. I took ap calc in hs, but that's all we've got here
NERDDD: i told her that it's fine that he isn't my type in the looks dept. that he could've totally balanced that out with a passionate email full of verve and personality, or if he had interesting hobbies or an interesting job but he doesn't so based on all of the information available to me, I've decided that NO, I don't want to waste my time or this guy's time getting to know him.
NERDDD: and my parents get pissed at me!
NERDDD: like, oh, i reject everyone
NERDDD: and i shouldn't reject everyone
NERDDD: so like i should MARRY everyone instead? is that what they want me to do
NERDDD: so i tell them that going by what i have available before me i see no reason to pursue this. i'm trying to be all reasonable and composed and mature and junk right
NERDDD: but then they're like, in a couple of years i'm not even gonna get any rishtas and this upsets me very much
NERDDD: like, SERIOUSL
NERDDD: this system is bullshit
NERDDD: im' pissed
NERDDD: so i tell them that yah, i should pretend to be interested in this dude and then marry him because he's their favorite nephew's friend and, like them, i should base my decision solely on that fact and when in two years i'm getting a divorce they should pat themselves on the back
NERDDD: and they're like, no decent boy would divorce me
NERDDD: and i'm like, hell, just x me out of that entire equation. what the hell about me? where do you want me to fit in here?
NERDDD: i hate this shit
NERDDD: it's shit
FRIEND: how did your brothers approve?
FRIEND: thats interesting
NERDDD: finally because they just wouldn't stop talking about it, i told them that id made my decision based on the facts that were available to me but if they think that there's reason to pursue this further i would. but that they should know that if after steps two and three and four fuckin' hundred or however the fuck many steps there are in this motherfucking bullshit process, i say no, i'll mean no
NERDDD: that i'm not going to go and bloody marry someone because he's bloody friends with my bloody goody two shoes cousin who happens to be semi fobby
NERDDD: my brothers approved because they probably didn't give a rat's ass
NERDDD: this is what i've become to them? someone they just need to marry off?
NERDDD: i REFUSE to marry someone because it's the right time to do so or it's what my fuckin community or extended family expect me to do
NERDDD: and they're just goign to have to live with it
FRIEND: need a call?
NERDDD: why cant' this be easy? why can't i just find someone during my morning commute or something. It would make life so much fuckin' easier.
NERDDD: yes, I need a call.
So, now I have to exchange emails with this electrical engineer on the opposite coast simply because I didn't know that I wasn't allowed to reject anyone in the first step of this multi-step process. The steps, as I see them, are:
1) Check out biodata/photo of prospective rishta (read: ONE CANNOT REJECT A RISHTA AT THIS POINT IN THE PROCESS FOR FEAR OF APPEARING OVERCONFIDENT, ARROGANT AND VAIN AND PUTTING ONE'S PARENTS ON THE SPOT. read: I TRULY WAS NOT AWARE OF THIS CAVEAT;
2) Exchange email addresses through parents. Email one another in a totally ridiculous and nonsensical effort to get to know your (not so) potential life partner through smiley faces and LOLs! Waste several hours of your life trying to get to know someone you knew you weren't into five seconds into reading his biodata and viewing his rishta glamour shots;
3) Exchange numbers to make sure (not so) potential life partner doesn't have a nasally, grating or too high-pitched voice and asking him questions like whether or not he's into whore pants and trying to ascertain from his inflections whether or not the dude's being honest ;
4) Spend hundreds of dollars and countless more hours of your life arranging a real life oh-goodness-you're-so-much-more-(insert adjective of choice here)-than-you-appear-in-your-photos) moment;
5) Piss away more valuable hours meeting and greeting (not so) potential life partner as well as (not so) potential life partner's family;
6) NOW, after you've thoroughly wasted EVERYONE'S time and energy and toyed with their emotions, only NOW can you say, "Oh, right, like I'm not so into you anymore. Sorry."
And what happened to the ground rules that the parents were supposed to follow? They were to limit their search to men who have spent a considerable MAJORITY of their lives in the States and are LOCAL. Jeez, Louise, is it SO hard? Apparently, yes?
Serenity (as well as sleep) now!