Reality check: Why I’m going to be the next Bachelorette.

We are officially in the month of February and the fact that this is Valentine’s Day month is not lost on me this year. In previous years, Valentine’s Day was just like the Good Friday before Easter. It was a day when I avoided wearing red and waited with bated breath for the resurrection of half price chocolate so as to indulge my fat face in all its forbidden sugary goodness. February 15th was Diabetic Coma day, a far better excuse for “a holiday” in my opinion.

This year though is different. My mother has already informed me that she’s praying for me to find a ‘good man’. This year her good man prayer surpassed my immigration prayer on her prayer list. I wondered at why this phenomenon had come about all of a sudden. And then I knew why: This year, I’m 25.

You see, 25 in regular girl years equals 35 in Indian girl years. For all my older Indian aunties, to be 35 and still single can only mean that you’re  either not “fair and b’ful” enough to find an eligible suitor or your family struck some kind of shady deal with Satan when you were born. 

There’s no pressure from my mother at all though. Just worry and anxious curiosity.

I did not have the heart to tell her that from the way my life is going right now, her good man prayer might not be answered till I’m 35 (which in Indian girl years means I’m dead). So I put on my best fairy god mother face and Meryl Streep voice and said: “Don’t worry, it will happen when the time is right.”

To which she answered, “You know, your father and I will be more than happy to help if you need. There’s no shame in it.”

She meant arranged marriage and a little piece of me died. Now, I don’t mean to be a killjoy about arranged marriage but the first images my ignorant brain conjures up when I hear those words are nasty shocks and surprises on the wedding night and having to spend the rest of your life with a balding 45-year-old teetotaler (who is some sort of engineer no less) with a penchant for dramatic Bollywood music and curry-stained wife beaters. (key word here being beater)

But long gone are those archaic days of 17 chicken and buffalo dowries and your mother-in-law picking out your wedding night trousseau. These days arranged marriages work differently. There’s Facebook stalking prior to the meet and city bylaws against hoarding chickens and buffaloes in your backyard. And if I thought I had very little true knowledge of arranged marriage in my parents’ generation, then I knew absolutely nothing about arranged marriages in this day and age.

In a nutshell, how arranged marriages work now (from what I hear) is that your parents, relatives, cousins, nosy neighbours and their dogs bring it to the attention of your parents that they may know an eligible man suitable for their daughter. The suitor is then introduced to the daughter and they are allowed to date LIKE REGULAR PEOPLE. If it doesn’t work out, no worries. It’s just a case of an unsuitable match. You subsequently move on to the next eligible suitor that Aunt Bossy throws your way.

You can expect the usual awkwardness that comes with dating someone the rest of your village knows more about than you do. But let’s be honest, when is it not awkward?

Does this sound familiar at all? No? Okay, well then let’s pretend your Aunt Bossy is Chris Harrison. And instead of the whole world being up in your business about your second one-on-one with Bachelor number 3, just your whole village is minding your business. Yes, girls. This maybe what they now call arranged marriage in India. But really, you’re on The Bachelorette.

(You'll have to click on the image to read their highlarious voice bubbles). Let's face it: the only reason this is not working out is because between her Aunt Bossy's pink dress and his polio legs, no one's climbing that bridge.

The best part about all of this is that the work is done for you. These guys (I would assume) (hopefully) are devoid of contagious diseases, pedophile tendencies and/or previous incarcerations. How terrible can it be….right?

Let’s face it. I’m 25 …err 35. In five years, I’ll be 40 …err barren, and in another five years after that I’ll be 45 …dead. There’s no escaping this. Being a single Indian girl has never looked bleaker. The novenas are honing in and pretty soon, I will have to take matters in my own hands. And by “in my own hands” I mean in my parents’, aunts, uncles, neighbours, and village stray dogs’ own hands.

So if it absolutely has to be and fate deals me a cruel hand by not opening up the heavens and throwing down the perfect man at my doorstep, then I will (very reluctantly) let you guys watch my season of The Bachelorette. I might even let the audience vote on who should stay and who should go. After all, this might be the only dating instance where I would know the assholes in the running.

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31 thoughts on “Reality check: Why I’m going to be the next Bachelorette.

  1. That illustration is fantastic! If you ever release a dating guide with pictures like that, put me down for 23 copies.

    I’ll send you a “Happy Diabetic Coma Day” card if you send me one. Oh, and chocolate. I definitely want chocolate.

    Thank you for sharing this piece with us.

  2. Phew!!!

    I’m 51, single, and loving it! 🙂

    The pressure to conform must be enormous for you, but if you prefer to be single why should anyone worry???

    We each choose our lives and how we lead them – nobody, no matter how well intentioned, should be allowed to lead them for us…

    Love and hugs! 🙂

    Prenin.

  3. Reblogged this on Coffee and Chaos and commented:
    The familiarity of this story to me is both at once depressing (as in lonely Saturday night with Bridget
    Jones’ Diary and a bottle of vodka depressing) and oddly comforting. apparently the Italians have a rival in the match-making business.

    I’d just like to add that for anyone resorting to desperate measures to find the perfect partner, daily devotionals to St. Anthony don’t work. Trust me on this. If, however, you remain unconvinced and wish to test the theory yourself, recite the following before bed each night, as quoted from my Sicilian grandmother: “Tony, Tony, find me a man. Find me a man as fast as you can”. Either Tony is taking his sweet time, or “suitable life partners” doesn’t appear on the list of items he has been contracted to search for by the almighty.

    But I take comfort. IF a verbally incontinent spinster who drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney and dresses like her mother can score a lifetime with Mark Darcy, there must be a match out there for the Victorianist feminist scholar who quotes the Brontes in casual conversation, reads 800 page novels for fun, and names pets after literary characters. (also: I can cook.

  4. I feel your pain. I’m the same age and my family is not religious by any means but my mother was engaged at 23 and married at 24 so whenever I tell her a relationship just “didn’t work out” she looks at me with that look. A look that I know deep inside she’s wondering what is wrong with me and trying to see if she was responsible for any of it.

    BrookeandMckenzie

  5. Hi girls! 🙂
    Yeh, I think this issue between mother and daughter transcends all race and religion. Whenever I go out with friends, my mother always gives me a questioning look as if to say “well? didn’t you meet anybody? why don’t you tell your friends to bring their friends?”

    My mother met my dad when she was 19. I’m pretty sure if our mothers had met our dads later on in life, they would be a little less worried about us at this age now.

  6. Reblogged on janesbooks.

    An Indian friend of mine is several-years happy into her arranged marriage, but before she even contemplated meeting her beloved-to-be, she so totally checked him out first. A private detective with a specialism in digging-up-backgrounds couldn’t have made a better job of it. Even down to requesting his bank statements and copies of his qualifications!!!

    • Yeh, I think if my parents were to ever get involved and actually find someone for me, they would be just as thorough. Maybe even get a blood sample. Although, none of this will ever happen. Because the sky WILL open, and the perfect guy WILL fall right at my doorstep lol.

      Thanks a lot for the reblog! 🙂

  7. Best blog post. I hear ya…Let’s chuck it all and for the Goan style Bachelorette. What could possible go wrong? That was a rhetorical question…I am getting a little antsy too though.

    How the mighty have fallen?

  8. LMAO. I so love this post. Actually, I read it awhile ago but I guess didn’t leave a comment then. It’s still good the second time around 😉

    You need to make a sitcom about your life.

  9. I just read your post written today. It’s very interesting how these things happen on the same date, Feb 2nd 🙂
    Congratulations to you and Allister. We went to high school together and I remember him as a sweet guy. 🙂

  10. Pingback: The Girlfriend Zone | The Chronicles of a Skinny Jeans-Wearing Toronto girl

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