Saturday, June 21, 2008
Most of last week I have repeatedly explained to insistent parties why "I'm sure you are very nice person but I'm not ready for marriage. thankyouverymuch."
I have to give it to the matrimonial websites for enthusiasm at least. These days I get more calls from them than my own parents.
Apparently, its web etiquette to personally write out polite acceptance or refusals to guys who have sent you 'express interest requests' on the websites. On an average its 17 daily so I can rattle off from memory the "thank you for your interest in my profile, but since...." messages.
I suspect I have spent at least 6 months of my average life time discussing personal details with strangers on matrimonial sites. A guy based in Singapore wanted a "neat and clean girl with no major history of illness." Not understanding if its a pet dog he wants rather than a wife, I naturally turned him down. I can imagine he thought the reason for me doing so is basically because I don't fit either of his criteria.
There are many who turned me down, sometimes ruthlessly. "You are very nice and bubbly. But my family needs a quiet, homely sort who would be willing to encourage me in all of life's endeavours and not work herself."
My grinning friend of many years asks often if I've started yet on a paste of besan and milk to whiten my heathen skin. I started that two years ago at a time when a family wrote back "thanks you for your reply. But we are looking for a very fair girl because our son is white skinned." Ouch.
In vengeance I had written back "are you sure you are not neglecting your son? He might have albinism, a fairly common skin problem in India and can be treated with proper medical attention." My dad of course dressed me down for that childish insult.
But over time I have realised that its next to impossible in India to get a match if you are a fiercely independent woman. Three things work against me. A) I'm independent B) I'm not much to look at C) I'm a journalist. Even if I trap a software engineer or a "gorment servant" who can overlook A and B, C is a bummer.
Female journalists are creatures from hell.
They smoke, drink, curse unashamedly, wear "indecent" clothes, rub shoulders with men and unfortunately get paid as much as them. My septuagenarian uncle put his finger on the problem. "When females draw over five figure salaries, naturally their humility disappears. They are proud of themselves as hell and thereby difficult to live with. Probably why you are not married yet."
Then last week a guy called up after seeing my profile at one of the matrimonial websites. "Why is it that you are rejecting me? No I want an answer. Am I not good enough for you?"
I told Mr Whatshisname that I'm not answerable to him. You cant directly tell a guy that you didn't like his profile. He might not ever recover from the shock. But I told him I didn't like his belligerence. "Are YOU calling ME belligerent?? ARE YOU? You know how many times Ive sent you 'express interests' and you have declined?" I know exactly because I had in the end begun to simply copy paste the response in his message box.
Why is it so difficult for people to understand that you might actually LIKE living single. Enjoying your solitude and nursing your depressions at a time and place convenient to you.
What is so scary about 28 that makes parents panic, I mean lets see the bigger picture here. If I live till 80, whats 28?
I'm still a little rattled at the telephonic yelling match with this guy. (The reason I rejected him seems flimsy to my parents but is life and death to me. He had 39 spelling mistakes and grammatical errors on his profile text.) I mean, when you are trying to sell your merchandise, at least make sure the window dressing is perfect.
I have been told on several face-to-face first coffee dates with prospective grooms that I talk too much, am too 'in-your-face' for comfort, fighting a weight problem and in general am not wife material. I can proudly say that I enthusiastically agreed with everything as is my custom, ate the food of three men (come on, I'm fighting a weight problem) and let him pick up the bill.