Lesson I Learned This Summer – Part 3: Marriage

Marriage is not a relationship that you can easily break. There are a lot of variables involved: families, law, kids… Whoever is chosen to be my husband is going to be a part of my big family, the person that is going to be my identity or whose last name I will bear, the father of my children, and the partner I’ll spend my lifetime with. Years before now, I didn’t think about these when I met someone, fell in love, and enjoyed the whole process of being in a relationship. I’ll stay as long as we, the two of us, are happy. Those good old days.

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Today’s September 1, 2012. Summer has ended, and so has holiday. I’m now going back to campus life which I dearly miss ever since I realized that I’d leave this campus one year again.

During summer, the thought about serious relationship haunted me as much as career and homesick did.

Tonight seems to be the perfect time for me to write about this. I’ve just got back from a wedding. My twin brother knows well both the bride and the groom (groom: batch 2005, bride: batch 2006), and he asked me to go with him. Uh, to introduce me to some prospective young doctors as well…

As I glanced in fear to the dress my mom was preparing for me (luckily I didn’t wear that) and let the make up polished my face (I hate make up), my thought wandered everywhere, everywhen.

I saw my mother getting old, those wrinkles on her face, saw my pinkish lips and reddish cheek and dad said something about “my little girl is growing up”, saw my twin in tux, and saw the me I was wondering when I attended a daughter of papa’s friends’ wedding…years ago, in a Balloon blue dress with lots of ribbons. I didn’t have to wear make up; I saw my mom and those useless hours she spent in front of the mirror and swore I wouldn’t do that, ever.

You know you’re getting old when the weddings you attend change from your parents’ friends’/relatives’, to your own friends.

Once I arrived at the wedding venue, that sentence arouse in my head. I was greeted instantly by someone I knew from a competition, several steps away and there stood my twin’s friends, his fellow young doctors. I smiled to everyone and I realized that this time, it was only me and my twin. No more dad, no more mom greeting their old colleagues and me eating ice cream holding mom’s hands.

The bride and groom looked magnificent, blissful, and happy. Meanwhile I queued on the red carpet, my face was blank and aghast… I’m going to be a bride in the next 4 or 6 years, according to normal Indonesian norms.

What the fuck is happening to time?

Don’t get me wrong, I want to marry. It’s unbearable to picture myself living alone for my whole life. No kids, no husband, just me…it’s scary. But what creeps into my mind is the thought that my marriage needs to be planned from now on. As early as now.

Marriage is not a relationship that you can easily break. There are a lot of variables involved: families, law, kids… Whoever is chosen to be my husband is going to be a part of my big family, the person that is going to be my identity or whose last name I will bear, the father of my children, and the partner I’ll spend my lifetime with.

Now the question is how can I be sure that he is the right man for me? How can love stay forever? How can marriage last forever, ’till death do us apart’? How can I live with someone that long without taking a break that’ll be likely categorized as affair and end up in divorce? Why are we considered complete only when we’ve found our so-called ‘soulmate’? What about people who live alone?

I perfectly know that I’ve never been good in love. I’ve had serious problems when it comes to relationship. My heart has been bruised, bashed, and broken so many times. So painful until the shattered pieces, when it was healed, decided that it’d set up a strong security fence and its own defense mechanism. I fell, I fell, I fell. Into the same trap and into the typical nasty jerks. How can I find someone who loves me truly, who loves me for who I am, and accepts me without condition?

The thing about love when it comes to marriage is that it’s not the same type of love that I’ve known in my whole teenage years, because…

Marriage is institutionalizing love.

Now, in my 20th years of life, I can’t think shallow when it comes to choosing someone. Mom perfectly sounded this to me. “Kuliahnya dimana? Jurusan apa? Islam? Sehat? Pinter? Orang mana? Adeknya banyak nggak? Kira-kira masa depannya gimana terjamin nggak?’. And I was like, “Why, I don’t bother. It’s difficult enough to find someone, now when he’s supposedly there he also has to fulfill this checklist? Are you seriously wanting me to be perawan tua or something?”

I know every parents want the best spouse for their children. They impose this set of criteria because they don’t want their children to suffer and live a miserable life. But hey, who the hell knows what’s going on in the future?

Years before now, I didn’t think about these when I met someone, fell in love, and enjoyed the whole process of being in a relationship. I’ll stay as long as we, the two of us, are happy. Those good old days.

Not only mom and dad but also grandma, yes, my 71 years old grandma, is taking part on my ‘serious relationship’ now. They are worried more than me. It’s time for you to date someone, they say. It’s time for you to have a serious relationship, they say. It’s time for you to soar high while having a gandengan, they say. Grandma even said that I should consider to stop achieving things, “because it makes men drift away from you, they are afraid”. And I was like, “I won’t. No matter what you say, I won’t slow down my pace. No one should interfere with my pursuit of happiness”. Days later, until now, these people say that they seriously pray for me in shalat tahajud, shalat Duha, and shalat wajib. I rolled my eyes.

I’ve had enough burden on my shoulder already

but the thought of having serious relationship, and the thought of marriage, they linger still like toxic. Being unable to get closer to these things makes me weak. It makes me feel bad. It makes me feel unworthy.

Anyone please save me. I’m still a child trapped in the realm of adulthood.

Author: mfaradina

An Indonesian. A reliable realist outside yet a romantic dreamer at heart.

5 thoughts on “Lesson I Learned This Summer – Part 3: Marriage”

  1. but the thought of having serious relationship, and the thought of marriage, they linger still like toxic. Being unable to get closer to these things makes me weak. It makes me feel bad. It makes me feel unworthy. -> bener banget

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