My life to date has been governed, and in fact continues to be, by the ambitions of my family. My father is an ambitious man who has dreams that he works diligently toward achieving. He has raised us with the same vigour and passion for goal setting and dreaming. Yes, all dreams form the backdrop of what becomes a materialised ambition. I’ve been raised to excel, accomplish and to never be complacent about my place in life. Its an upbringing I am very proud of. I cherish my place in life, the values that help me excel in this world and the never ending zeal to achieve even greater things. Alhamdulillah.
Why is it then that when it comes time to marriage, I am expected to comply with what would otherwise be considered sub standard proposals? Hear something and hear it well, I harbour no prejudice toward people finding their way in this world. Whether you’re a newly arrived migrant here on a hospitality visa or a hopeful awaiting his ticket out of Pakistan. I wish you all of the best in this life. I do however view said cases with an ethos that disallows pity. If you’re 30 and still haven’t made for yourself a life that is fit to see the entry of someone you need to take care of, then I’m afraid your paths and mine won’t be crossing any time soon.
The peculiarity of these proposals is this. Loved ones see me as a great catch, I’m humbled. They also, unfortunately see me as the hot air balloon they can pin the hopes of any man looking to enter the country. My consolation? He comes from a good family. Maybe he’s here on his own merit and now is looking to make a life for himself in this country. Well, at what stage in your life do you consider a man with no career and no money? I’ll tell you. When you’re too young to really understand the demands of a cruel world OR when you’re desperately in love. I fit none of these categories.
My curiosity and frustration come from the conflicting nature of what I was raised to believe and what I am now expected to compromise. My father came from humble beginnings, and I mean, humble. Being the sole earner for a large family, he worked two jobs to make ends meet and never relied for money or support from his own family. He worked hard and worked long to make a life not just for himself and his family but his future wife and kids. Starting out with obscure beginnings my father has now built a reputation for himself in employment circles, in the cultural sphere and amongst friends of friends of friends. Its a reputation that precedes him where ever he goes. Its the kind of zeal that I have noticed in men of his generation and that is sadly lacking in the men of my generation. I believe a lot of it has to do with the relative comfort that we grew up in. This apparent lethargy, in my opinion also comes from a life made easier than necessary.
Men of marriageable age no longer seem to be in possession of a good job or a secure future. They can get it for free by marrying a woman who can provide those things. May sound harsh, but the number of prospects I’ve come across (not just for me, but for others) where the boy in question doesn’t have a strong working background or a visa or an education… just baffle me! And I am but a product of my experiences.
My other issues with the entire operation are the lack of faith in Good men! I know they exist! They are out there. I know this to be true because I’ve met them! I know them! Ok, they’re taken, but… Still!
All that being said, I also know of women who have married men with no real job or education and are happy! Their kids are happy, they have a prosperous life and they’re content. And its not even women who come from a similar background. They come from a well to do family where their fathers have always held high positions and enjoyed the privilege of high society. At what stage i your juvenile years do you learn to adjust to such a huge disparity between married and unmarried life? When do you learn to make these changes in yourself and your own ambitions? How well does it work? Does it affect the rest of your life? What if you have ambition for yourself and your family but your husband doesn’t?
I guess you can’t have it all. A prosperous marriage that encourages the fulfillment of your life’s ambitions. A loving husband with a good head on his shoulders and an eye for the future. But then again, I do want it all and I’m willing to put in the hard yards to get it. I just feel that a good beginning is a half end and that men are the most difficult, temperamental beings to try and “mould”. So I would like one who comes pre-moulded.
Good luck to me and my ambition. Complacency is just not part of who I am.