I know people who have spent their whole lives dreaming of their wedding. To them, marriage was always the ultimate goal: their way of saying they made it in the world and that they became a grown-up. They would spend hours talking about nothing other than landing the perfect man to take them away from the lives they were living in their parents’ homes.
And once they did in fact get married, it was like they got a complete personality transplant. Sadly, some of these super bright young women became muted, and their once vibrant personalities, secondary to those of their husbands.
Seeing that happen in front of my eyes has indeed made me fearful that society will only look at me as Ahmad’s wife, not as my own person with a skill set and capabilities.
But my fears have already been too well-documented and I have spent too much time going over them in my head, it actually hurts.
This is about something I’ve been hearing a lot lately, mostly from the aforementioned married people: that I’m not letting anyone celebrate my upcoming marriage.
First of all, not letting is a very strong word. I’m not saying don’t be happy for me but I am asking you nicely not to share my wedding invitation on WhatsApp when I haven’t finished distributing the cards. You didn’t even ask me if you could do that- and anyway, doing that is just weird no matter how happy you may be.
Second, must I be that kind of bride that changes all her social media presence to a countdown reminding everyone of the date and flooding people’s timelines with cartoon figures and silly statements on how my life is going to change? Or should all my conversations be about my wedding so you can believe it’s actually happening?
But the most important point I want to raise is why should other people be the ones celebrating? I’m not talking about immediate family and close friends who are naturally happy because I’m happy, but rather acquaintances and random strangers.
Our society places too much emphasis on women getting married, so when they finally do take the step, it is met with a lot of fanfare.
Oh how I wish that could change and we would pay more attention to women making strides in industries and businesses and their careers and education. How I wish that parents would teach their daughters that their success is not hinged on finding a husband but on being well-educated and an active member of society?
Marriage is not an accomplishment. Marriage is a natural process of life, for those who wish to go through it if they believe it will enrich their lives and make them happy. It is the bringing together of two individuals (and their families) because of love. But it cannot be considered as what makes or breaks a person. Stop telling people they will die alone and unhappy if they’re unmarried by a certain age. And stop making it seem like this the only thing that ever matters.
So to those who are complaining that I’m not acting bridal or not sharing my excitement, let us all take a deep breath and try to remember what’s important here.