Sunday, April 24, 2011

Love or convenience?

I just don't understand people! Why do they do what they do?In the past few days, I've come across two very interesting examples of intriguing behavior. One is of the boy who convinced a girl to marry him after she got cold feet and the other example is of a girl who won't marry the boy she loves but can't seem to love nay boy she could potentially marry. Lets start with the first.
Its not an uncommon story I suppose. Some might even call it romantic because the boy was sensitive, and gentle, and managed to convince the girl to marry him even though she decided against it. However, in my opinion, it is nothing more than the passion of the desperate. He did not love her (he told me so himself). In all fairness, how CAN you love someone you only met for a few days with the sole intent of assessing her for wedding purposes. can't. The most you can feel is perhaps a sense of satisfaction at not having to look anymore, coupled with the relief of knowing you'll never have to be alone for the rest of your life. While I understand that the sense of relief is immense, it is not love. So here is my issue- why be so intent on marrying a person AFTER he/she has rejected you? If you love the person, things are different- you would want to convince the love of your life to give your relationship another chance but with someone picked out exclusively for the purpose of getting married to, why bother? There are plenty of other marriageable fish in the nuptial sea!
It intrigues me to see this boy try so hard to fight for the affection of someone who was a stranger to him a mere few days ago. Why would you WANT to marry someone you don't love after she has already backed out of it once? I suppose the story could become a glamorized one in a few decades- "Ahh your grandma almost didn't marry me but I convinced her otherwise and here we are, 50 years later..." But what about the story in-between the lines? "Ahh your grandma was wise enough to not want to marry a person she hardly knew but I convinced her in my wildly passionate desperation to get hitched before I turned into a withered, old man." Not to undermine the wild passionate need to get married before a certain age, but why can't the person instead just find someone else to marry? I wonder if people become emotionally vested in a person they have chosen to commit to irregardless of where they love the person or not, and if so, are they aware of it or do they live the rest of their life blissfully unaware that they married/live with the idea of the person instead of the person herself? I suppose eventually my friend and his bride-to-be will fall in love the way traditional couples (Indian or not) do and forget about any glitches from the past but I will always wonder whether their lives are based around love or convenience.
Lack of convenience versus lack of love. I suppose if one must choose to live without one or the other, the decision must be made and then be made peace with. But what happens when people cannot make peace with their decisions? Take, for example, the girl I mentioned at the beginning- the one tied between the man she loves and the type of man she wants to marry. While the man she loves adores her (in her words "worships" the ground she walks on), she doesn't want to pursue a relationship with him because although Indian (like her), he doesn't satisfy the intra-cultural demands of her family. Consequently, she decides to 'un-love' him and date other "suitable men."
The only problem with this other than perpetual heartbreak? She continues to live with this man (share a room) as "just good friends." Yikes!! Talk about being sadistic! In my opinion, not only is she making it impossible for herself to open up to another guy, she is also prolonging the heartache she will experience when this ends since it can only end in one of two ways- she marries another man but always loves the first, or she marries this boy against her family's wishes and feels guilty about it for life. While I threw in a third (more cheerful) option that perhaps she'll marry this boy and her parents will learn to love him too (since he really is a fab guy who adores her), my friend was quick to throw it out the window because it sounded implausible to her. In her defense, she knows her family and herself best so maybe this scenario isn't possible after all. However, I question how well she knows herself based on just one statement she made that rings in my ears everytime I think of them. She told me, in a crowded city bar early in the morning as she watched him leave to get her a drink, "He is the only boy I can dance in front of sober." Hot Damn! Seriously?? You find a guy you can be yourself with after some 20 odd years of (actively) looking and you let that stagnate? And then she complains that none of the other guys she meets are good enough. Well no shit! You are comparing each and every one of them to the one you live, laugh and dance with!
I cringe with frustration and feel sorry for her for being in such a sticky situation but I also wonder if she realizes all that she is subjecting herself to. You can have your cake and eat it too, but only if you bake and eat it with the same guy. You can't bake it with one and eat it with another! Makes me wonder how many of us do the same to ourselves- torture ourselves unnecessarily by putting undue pressure on ourselves based on expected pressure from our families, friends, or society. Maybe its in our culture or our roots to tame ourselves before someone else does? Whether it involves marrying for the heck of marrying, or loving for the heck of not loving the wrong one, we sure subjugate ourselves to some bizarre, seemingly logical, behaviors.
What about you? What are some such seemingly logical decisions you have made that still make you wonder?

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