Tuesday, March 28, 2023 | Ramadan 5, 1444 H
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A case of a marriage proposal...

Marriages are not made in heaven. It is very much on earth. The reality is a bit harsh. It starts with family orientation to personal traits

Marriages are made in heaven, they say, but not for my friend.

Each proposal that comes to her through her family is scrutinised by her. All just to analyse the potential bride groom’s personality and character. Now I have been waiting to see the occasion of marriage, but when it comes to her I just wait for the minute she will give reasons for rejecting the proposal.

It tickles me in a way because she should be an inspiration for girls who worry about never being proposed or worry about being left behind.

She said she is getting engaged this weekend. She has a great sense of humour and jokes a lot so the instant response was, “Don’t believe you,” (secretly hoping it’s true).

She laughed, and said, “Right, had to reject.”

So what happened?

She asked for the potential groom’s ID card and sure enough he sent a copy. If only he had told me, I would have said no, please don’t.

She checked his traffic fines and he had nine of them for over speeding.

He lost his first point there in her checklist.

She got a chance to look at his shoes. “Why is that important?” I asked.

“The shoes tell everything about a man,” she replied.

For sure, all men are looking down at their shoes. Are shoes well maintained, practical, cheap or classy or expensive? Didn’t have time to gather myself because she gave the third reason for not thinking of accepting the proposal - “I didn’t like his name.”

His name?


Now what do you say to that?

How about nicknames? And in Omani culture woman does not change to husband’s name as last name after marriage. So we could work around that.

She had one more point of concern - weight. Now we should not sound like discriminating or body shaming and there are ways to control and change life style.

I did not ask her for any more specifications as I was dazed at the criteria of being selected and accepted as a groom or bride or rather husband or wife.

Bet the list would be long for the men too when they look for their ideal wife. Expectations can be high, then again the reality could be different. Or could this be the reality check in arranged marriage situation? As in the case of love marriage the elders would say, “Love is blind.”

Others in the family would be able to say what are the reasons there could be a mismatch, but the Cupid struck couple would never be able to spot the problems. Some say the honeymoon period is short lived when the imbalances emerge. But then that is life they say the art is to adjust and accept. On the other hand, the person who knows what they want in life would not be compromising their life or the other person’s life. After all, as they say, it is a life time decision.

A few years ago, it was in a sociology class called 'Marriage and Family', our professor had asked who all think marriages are made in heaven? Almost all of us except a couple of them did not raise their hands. The professor just said you are wrong

Marriages are not made in heaven. It is very much on earth. The reality is a bit harsh, she had pointed out. It starts with family orientation to personal traits.

“A marriage is between two families and not two individuals," she had noted. Individuals carry their genetic setting and characteristics from their parents so it might be a good idea to see the parents too. And much before the actual wedding one must be able to accept each other’s families too. Because each person is part of their family. Then what about personal likes and dislikes?

Would there be enough opportunity to grow as an individual?

As they say life is a gift, and a secret of good marriage is the ability to adjust and compromise, but could it go overboard so much so that one loses the ability to comprehend life?

But the reality is maybe today we give up easily, on the other hand we also see flourishing marriages going on to celebrate golden jubilees and beyond. Today it is not a taboo to come out of a failed marriage nor is it wrong to try save a marriage. So in many ways it is better to know your mind than to go through the hassle later.

As for my friend, we will go through more interviews and screening and one day it will just happen!

But now you know what happens if someone asks for the ID card.

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