“When are you getting married?”
“How’s the wedding planning?”
“How’s the house?” “What’s still missing?” “Are you making progress?”
“Have you picked a dress?”
“Have you found a caterer?”
“What’s your wedding theme?” “What color of the flowers are you going to put?”
“Where did you get your furniture from?” “Did you know X is better?”
“Where are you going on your honeymoon?”
I often get attacked by these questions even before someone asks me, if they do, the all important one, “How are you?” or “How are you managing?” or even “How are you feeling about all of this?”
People assume they have an all access-pass to my life and actions just because I wear an engagement band. They want to know every single tiny detail and give their opinion about it without even considering I am my own person. They will shower me with their advice and pointers without even knowing a single thing about what makes me who I am or what I like and dislike.
My life does not revolve around my wedding and around my house.
The wedding especially was never my priority. I still think of it as a rite of passage and honoring family, but I can’t get carried away in the fantasy.
I never played house or wedding as a child, preferring to read and write. And I never dreamt of being swept off my feet by the ultimate prince charming, or the first guy who ever gave me the time of day.
I had a very hard time accepting the fact that I was in a committed relationship, and to this day I still struggle with the idea that I might lose myself in the person I am with. I fear that I can’t make a decision on my own anymore either. And sometimes I can’t see my wedding date as the beginning of a new chapter but rather the end of the person I am and everything I’ve gotten so used to.
It absolutely stings when people tell me, oh it’s so great that you work at this institution because you can cover your children’s tuition. You’re so lucky!
Did it ever occur to anyone that I may be doing this job because I enjoy it, because I knew at the age of 16 that I wanted to work in this field? Because I studied hard for it at two of the best universities in the world and earned it because of all my hard wok and efforts? And I still come into the office every single day and prove myself to the department that they hired the right person. Because I care.
But the community sees me as a wife-to-be, a Mrs. in training. I lost every right to my individuality the day I said yes, because my worth can only be defined by the man I am with. I bet people assume I am getting married because I’m afraid I’m going to end up alone. I also bet people assume I’m going to hang up my diplomas on the kitchen wall and spend the rest of my life taking care of the house, cooking, and raising children.
What if I don’t? What if this was never my goal? Do they even know that I truly, from the bottom of my heart, couldn’t care less about home decor and the so-called proper technique to washing dishes? Right now, I’m just throwing things around, trying to find what makes me comfortable and at home, but nothing else?
You know, I would kill for someone to ask me about how I am, what TV show I’m watching, what book I’m reading, what I thought about the latest Avengers movie.
I’d kill for someone to remember that long before Ahmad came along, I was my own person- and I still am.
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.