Thursday, December 23, 2004

the married martyrs

scribble pad.

i know of at least 5 married people who regularly – almost daily – tell me how, because of marriage, they are unable to do anything. they blame their marital status for their lack of efficiency, inability to have fun, to paint their toe nails, their foul mood in the morning,
their losing touch with school friends etc etc. the way they gripe and blame their spouses for everything, really, youd think marriage is the worst thing that could happen to anyone.

hah, cynical doesnt say it! when i say something like “maybe you can still be married and have fun, live your own life, live the way you want to...”, you know – make the kind of statement that implies that you have a mind and a life that neednt be sacrificed on the nuptial alter – they sneer and say youll learn when its your turn. (thats when they deign to respond directly. mostly they exchange knowing looks, laugh and say “we were also so fresh and enthusiastic about life no, wait till she learns” as if i am absent).

but if i ever open my mouth before them to state firmly that the prospect of marriage does not attract me, they pile on me to shut me up and tell me how essential it is. how a woman absolutely must have a man to support her. how she is incapable of doing a days worthwhile work. they are so convinced of that, each of them, that they dont seem to realise that they are working and supplementing the family income and doing at least some of the things they decided they absolutely cannot do. funny how thoroughly your convictions can blind you. “argue for your limitations and sure enough they’re yours” – richard bach. a person never said a truer thing!

i happen to have a slightly rosier take on the whole affair of marriage (though i dont want it for myself!). so, to hear these folks say at least one decent thing about their marriages i asked them the obvious question - why didnt they walk out if they were so unhappy?they promptly rolled their eyes, threw up their hands and said noooo that wasnt an option. i asked why not. (how that flummoxed ‘em!) they thought for five minutes and then said there were Things that had to be Tolerated. (so much for my rosy picture : the husbands became like pimples - to be poked and aggravated on rainy days, but to be generally disregarded or tolerated otherwise!)

you know, what really fazes me is how we keep searching for ways to make martyrs of ourselves. we cannot feel good about ourselves unless were donning some stereotypical mantle of the Virtuous Wife or the Sacrificing Mother. mad ... what a sad way to live... its a marxist dream come true! imagine never having woken up in the morning feeling good about yourself because youre competent, empowered, skilled and a complete person... awful. i think its very important to be able to say “im proud of my competence, of my ability to laugh and feel good about life and myself.... and i dont need your moral sanction for it, thanks.”



Anonymous Anonymous said...

i assume ur whole argument deals with married indians...
you talk of a "competent, empowered, skilled and a complete person"...the definition of these things varies from culture to culture...for an average indian, life is "complete" only when uve succeeded to "stand on ur on legs",get a "few more legs(i" which u can nurture with all ur might and care and later bank on,and finally die leaving behind someone who can "carry forward" ur family tree(a famous tamil way of blessing is "vaazhaiyadi vaazhaiaai valarga"...means let ur family multiply like banana trees!!)...this is the reason why ur colleagues cant answer when u say "if arent enjoying, just get out of it"...for, they feel they are in for more serious trouble when they get out of it...
i, personally dont confirm to this system..but thats the way things are, unfortunately:(

9:29 am  
Blogger b. said...

you'll probably never read this comment: it is on a post written a year back. but if you do, let me convey my congratulations and what-not. extremely sensible stuff. from a *girl* that too :-)

in general, you write good stuff as i said anonymously once before. you have substance. you'll get style too, if only you read a little more eclectically. if eclectic is the word i'm looking for, that is

7:14 pm  
Blogger m. said...

b: hey. i always keep tabs on my turf, so yes i have read your comment - and minutes after it was posted too! :D

thanks very much for the nice things said. style needs work, yes. ive simply never written stuff before this blog, so i need to knock around a lot before feeling comfortable!

we shall strive....

ps: glad you chose to comment, and non-anonymously this time. tis nice to hear what people think!

8:15 pm  
Blogger b. said...

i keep forgetting that while men evolved from monkeys, women came from bloodhounds. how you noticed or tracked my comment down, i don't know. but since you did, you'll know where to find this one.

anyway, i just wanted to say that your latest post was very moving. i wanted to comment with a link to some george orwell stuff about revenge, but the post didnt' seem appropriate for a stranger to comment about. at any rate, there's no point being intellectual about suffering, particularly someone else's.

good work and what-not.

4:53 am  
Blogger m. said...

@b. : LOL. *let me assume wise all-knowing look (i seldom get to give anyone techie gyan!)* its rocket science dude - blogger offers to deliver comments to your email address.

ah, orwell. one of my heroes. while revenge is not on my list of to-dos, please do send the link if you have it. anything orwellian is always welcome!

and yes, the noble restraint in not intellectualising is much appreciated! :))

muchos gracias.


6:43 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Visit to help prevent environmental destruction.
Creative Commons License
This blog's content is protected. Whack this and you get whacked.