It felt like a regular Sunday afternoon. I didn’t have any plans, until I got a call: it’s from a family friend. They want to take me out for lunch and ‘talk.’ I hardly knew this family, but I couldn’t say no to a free meal.
It was pretty clear to me what this ‘lunch’ was really about. Like most Rishtas (marriage proposals) one aunty calls another, who calls another, and before you know it you’re getting a call from a family friend you haven’t seen in ages. I had an idea of how this afternoon would turn out. At this point I told myself ‘what do I have to lose?’
I meet the family at a local restaurant. There’s a young girl, her mother, brother, some aunty, and ME. I’ve been in these situations a million times. Lunch started off great. We talked about family, work, life, and more. It felt like a very casual conversation. Then suddenly the conversation took a sharp turn.
As we talked more about work, I could see where the conversation was heading. I was working as a medical biller at the time. The job paid well and it was stable. I shared my plans of becoming a Social Worker in the near future. I felt I crossed all the ‘marriage hurdles’ and was winning their approval.
And then that dreadful question came from the mother, “Have you considered a job in the medical field? It’s very lucrative I hear.” Thank you for that nugget. I had nooooo idea.
I couldn’t recall anything she said after that. My brain shut down. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t expect it to be this subtle. She could’ve just said ‘Do you plan on becoming a doctor?’ It would’ve been less insulting.
The strange thing about the whole afternoon was that the girl never spoke a word. She just sat there idle and mute. Why bring your daughter if she isn’t going to speak? Needless to say, I went home and never heard from them again. Even though this whole experience left a scar, it was another reminder that everything happens for a reason. And the only reason I can appreciate marriage today is because of times like these.