Are you married ladies? Have you found your Mr Perfect? Are you still looking? Maybe you found him and he didn’t turn out so perfect after all?
If you can not find him, or you did and he was a donkey, why is this so? Are you the problem? Was he the problem? Maybe your interests/hobbies/age/IQ all combine to make the search a difficult task? And the certainty of a good result is no more than a lottery?
Will he look after you? Will he help you when you need? Will he share the burdens? Will he make you smile? Even occasionally? Would be nice to find the man who makes you smile ladies. After all, girls just want to have fun, said Cindy. Who would be a woman?! But if someone could offer to help you find him ladies, would you accept? That is my real question ladies.
It’s interesting to see the process at work out here. The girl has help with her search, and the success rate is neither better nor worse than other societies from what I have read. Yes they have divorce here, probably at lesser rates than many Western countries like Britain, which has very high rate. So ladies, when you sit back and really think about it, would you accept or reject the idea of an arranged marriage?
Your family will do the scouting for you, talking to friends near & far. Friends of friends will receive word of you, what you are like, what you do, your education, your interests, you are a happy type, sad type, full of chat, quiet. And so the oldies are put to work using their lifetime experience to come up with a match, a suitable match. Nice.
In the part of the world MB comes from there is much misconception about AMs. There is prevailing idea that vast majority of girls are forced into a marriage regardless of what they may think of the man partner. And we read the occasional horror story which reinforces the view. The phrase used out here to describe the opposite of an AM also helps the prejudice – a Love Marriage. Who wouldn’t want a love marriage? But it’s just the phrase they use, for want of a better phrase. Generally speaking the prevailing attitude mentioned is not an accurate one, and is far removed from the truth.
When a boy is looking for a wife his family will contact the family of a suitable girl. The local culture dictates that the father of the girl will have the big say. If he is not comfortable with the approach, the invitation may never even reach the girls ears. But the father/daughter thing is no different in Havana, Helsinki or HX. Or Dublin or Dubai. Or Rome or Riyadh. (How did you think of all that alliteration MB? Because I am awesome lads). What father would want his daughter to end up unhappy all her days? None that I know. None at all actually.
But a picture paints a thousand words lads (or an MB photo a million!). In recent weeks MB happened upon 2 cases that will give you idea of what can happen. Of how a Dad is human and fallible, can make a mistake, but at end of the day gets it right, putting angel daughter before all else.
Both Dads are friends of mine, both of this region and of the local prevailing religion. Both daughters are also known to MB (totally platonic Cla, may God forgive you your filthy mind), both with great personalities, intelligent, in careers, and of an age when marriage is on the cards, or at stage when the arrangements might start. Both girls, in many many ways, are very attractive ‘catch’ for local ‘fishermen’. So the calls are coming, and Dads must decide.
Dad Nr 1
Dad Nr 1 received call from distant long term family friends who had met daughter at some occasion in recent past and were very taken with her. Early 2012. A suitable boy was available. Introductions followed. Both boy & girl had initial attraction so all good. Engagement party soon followed. All mumtaz (‘excellent’ in the Arabic lads).
Dad actually knew boy as a young child many years back, but had moved to new country so had fallen out of contact with boy and family in more recent years. Dad, not being the strict religious type, invited future son-in-law on family holiday out of the region, so daughter and suitable boy could get to know each other better. Daughter and suitable boy were allowed whole days together, more or less unsupervised to give them good chance to talk and get comfortable (Dad speaks French, which might explain an attitude that would be uncommon out these parts!).
But as daughter fell more & more under spell of new boy, Dad started to notice things he did not like. Even though boy had very good well paid job, he was stingy with money. He might arrange a night out for a meal, but would always expect Dad to pay. He did not seem to be in any any way affectionate or warm towards his daughter, as much as local custom might allow. F**k – could this guy even be gay thought Dad, just getting married for appearance sake, to keep his own family off his back. Double f**k! But daughter seemed happy. Under all the circumstances, what was a Dad to do?
Dad decided to express thoughts to daughter. Took her to the local beach on his day off for a chat. Told her the final decision was hers to make. Absolutely. But explained his concerns and just told her he did not want her to end up married to a donkey and unhappy with life, and maybe ending in divorce after some miserable years. Daughter, he discovered, was also having second thoughts, and considered all that Dad had to say. And after the chat was over, decided to call boy to inform him he was history! The plan was hatched to make the call at 4pm that afternoon.
But as luck would have it, boy was also having reservations, and at 2pm he made call to Dad to apologise profusely, as he had changed his mind about the marriage and did not want to proceed. Dad & daughter were now, also, his history! Dad thanked him for his honesty & candour, wished him well for the future, clicked off the phone, and smiled the broadest smile in the entire Middle East!
Dad Nr 2
Similar to Dad Nr 1, Dad Nr 2 also received call from long time family friends who were now living in different country. The following may not be 100% accurate lads, and the words are my own, but they convey the general gist of what happened:
“We think our boy would be suitable partner for your daughter, and would love them to get introduction”, said family friends. “Great” said Dad chuffed that good friends had a male offspring that would probably be like them, nice decent people, and great match for daughter. “Yes, mumtaz, we will arrange and your lad can arrive on Wednesday, to meet daughter on her coming home from work”. “TVM” said family friends, pleased that boy would probably end up marrying daughter of good friends. All would be good with life and happiness would prevail. Babies would follow. “And we are emailing you pic of our little Tom (Abdullah) Cruise, so your daughter can be impressed, and does not meet total stranger on Wednesday evening”.
Dad breaks the ‘great news’ to daughter and forwards the pic, assuming she will fawn over it all day, thinking of nothing but the beautiful/suitable boy, be in high spirits when she gets home from work, and will dazzle suitable boy with her intelligence, wit and charm. This one is not a shy flower type, I can assure you lads. She does not know how to look at the floor, and occasionally lift her head to flicker her eye lashes. No siree.
Anyway, daughter takes one look at the pic and calls Dad. She informs him accordingly:
“If that Jackass is in our house tonight when I finish work, I will not be going home. I will go to my Uncle’s house instead”.
Poor Dad nearly has heart attack. He worships the ground daughter walks upon, but he has already invited suitable boy to house. He has hours of extreme discomfort wondering what the hell to do. Is daughter just having bad hair day, and making poor judgement? Could ‘apple of his eye’ daughter be totally and utterly wrong? To him, the boy in the pic had potential on a number of fronts. And boy should at least get the chance to present himself and his case. And at this stage boy is on the way. Hells bells!
Dad decided to consult the Homer Simpson Book Of Child Psychology, and went for chat with some man friends. The pic was displayed for second opinion, and the reaction was immediately negative. Upon getting the ‘No’ opinion, MB has never seen a happier man. Dad immediately called ‘treasure’ daughter to inform her that of course she was correct in her judgement, and Dad would right his wrong immediately. Dad immediately calls
donkey suitable boy to inform him that he is history even before he starts. Not sure what reaction was from boy, but I would suggest he tell Mom & Dad to stop emailing pics for start, and just let nature (or nurture) take its course.
And did you see the pic MB? Yes I did lads. And what was he like MB? Well lads, if you know the look of young Dublin drug dealers, who have spent a few terms inside, with shaved head and open neck shirt, displaying some orangutan type chest hair (giving indication of IQ level), then lads you have general idea of what daughter was expected to make pleasant polite conversation to on Wednesday evening after hard day at the office. But of course lads, I could be very wrong. So could daughter. But I doubt it!
What more can I say lads. The world and it’s cultures are fascinating. There is good and bad in all and nobody’s got life off to perfection. Dads (& Moms) do their best for their kids, sometimes with great skill, and sometimes make a mess of it. That’s life. Meanwhile the sun still rises every morning and the world keeps on spinning. The girl out here still hopes for the suitable boy, and the boy for a suitable girl.
So ladies, anyone for an arranged marriage?