Except with an Indian twist, that is.
The unattached ones find their love lives open to public scrutiny. Family, friends, etc are all invested in finding a match (a thought at which intensely private me recoils in revulsion). None are set for arranged marriages, as such, but finding a partner is definitely a collective rather than an individual effort. It’s not quite carriages and balls and waiting for the gentlemen to call by in the afternoon, but more speakerphone calls while family members listen with bated breath.
I find the matchmaking process endlessly fascinating. Parents talking up their children to other parents. Blatantly pushing the kids together and hoping they hit it off. The subtle (and not-so-subtle) allusions on the part of grandparents and elder relatives.
And most of all, the compressed timeline. We’re still so young, but marriage is serious business. And when it comes to nuptials, time is short. We’re looking at a year – maybe – from meeting to marriage. That means where you or I might give things a try and see if they work out with someone, for my friends that means doing some serious forecasting and projecting, deciding straight off the bat based on the scant information hand whether potential hurdles are surmountable, or whether they mean that prospect is not worth pursuing. Risk is scorned, as it can be when you have the luxury of choice before emotions enter the equation.
I listen to the lively conversations, and participate as best as I can. But I simply can’t fathom their reality. I’ve been with T… seven years? I still feel barely ready to tie the knot. (And yes, I can hear you already. What if we’d met at the age we are now? Maybe things would be different. And maybe you’re right, but I am almost positive a year would still be far too short. I’m indecisive; a second-guesser; a slow mover and heel-dragger.)