Is any fear rational?

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Someone I know very peripherally is getting married and due my actual proximity to her, I’ve inevitably gotten pulled along into conversations about her preparation to her “big day”. To give her credit, she is paying for her own wedding which is fantastic. Not too many women I know do that.

We got talking about age (and after her carefully disguised “but your parents must be looking and must be worried” )and she mentioned hers.. and then she added how at 25 she got truly frightened about “not finding anyone” and “was worried there would be no one left”. While that statement didn’t really stump me, I kept wondering why didn’t I feel such irrational fear? What’s to fear..? In a world of 6 billion can there ever be a time when there is “no one left” and would I actually be the lucky one to experience the planet all to myself.

The thought hovered… I mentioned it to a few people and not too many smiled back when I expressed the fact that why was it that I felt no fear? I still don’t know why. Yes I’d want to share my life with someone, but with anyone? Because am afraid no will have me now that am in my thirties? No go. I’ve always had a lot going against me in the arranged marriage market so age would just be adding to that list.. maybe that’s why there is no fear..because I would be looking in the wrong marketplace anyway. And like everything else, you’ve got to let the experience come to you, not go searching for it. Those are the best, in my experience.

Fear perhaps stems from the school of thought that makes marriage for a girl  an inescapable destiny or even destination. Hence “do it fast or no one else will remain” or  “now you will only get divorcees” is constantly thrown at you –  like a deterrent. Do I only see the insult there? Divorcees came even after no else remains?

Then I read this and I got the fear, to an extent. And realised why I fought so much with parents because they are still afraid while I have moved on.

Some more opinions here and here.

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8 responses »

  1. No way. Better to be scared about marrying someone completely wrong just because time is running out, or because it must be so, or some such reason. Whether married or single, you need to be happy, and in control of your own life. I think that’s all that matters.

  2. Thanks for linking me Blue Sprite, I have been meaning to write a post about what is the right age for a girl to marry. I feel there is no right or wrong age – I know of a woman of 50 who married a man of around 55 and they make a charming couple and are very happy together. I know of too many women who are married for the sake of being married… 😦 They are not even secure, because one of them had asthma and it was her neighbours not her husband who took her to hospital when she needed emergency care once, I asked her why she lived with him – she said she liked being a wife. 😦

    I think women are conditioned to feel safer in a marriage …thankfully this is changing. My favorite example is that of Neena Gupta and Sushmita Sen, both are successful, both have children and lead ‘safe and secure’ lives. We will see a lot more of such women.
    Have you read Chocolat? The book is much better than the movie, do read it.
    And then there’s an awesome movie called ‘Mammamia’ – about a single mother and her daughter – do watch it – I felt the movie was delightful, in India it can shock and horrify our P Muthalik – because the movie is about premarital sex and an illegitimate child, lots of ABBA songs and a subtle message… do watch it.

  3. Banno: true but control is hard won I am discovering. Economic independence is only one aspect.
    Indian Homemaker: What age to get married would be an interesting post to read. Yes read (Chocolat) and seen (Mammamia) and I love the former and enjoyed the latter but never quite looked at it from a single woman’s perspective. I guess because one is accustomed to seeing such strong examples in popular media in the west. I will revisit them to read them from this new perspective.
    Anil: Are you referring to general fear or the fear of being single (or alone since here it is interchangeable)

  4. Not sure if that fear (emanating from social pressure) exists only for women. I remember the stuff I went through up until I met Shireen (which again was one of the unlikeliest events possible). I remember that at 31/32 I was seriously considering adopting a child (which I found was impossible for a single guy) and giving marriage a wide berth.

    Fear of conforming (is that the right word?) to some social diktat is something that happens at any stage of one’s life, if you are unmoved by it, then thats awesome. When it’s time, it’s time, why let someone else decide?

    (to be filed under the category of ‘advice being a form of nostalgia’ like in the song)

  5. But then is there such a thing as someone right?
    i agree with you about choosing someone you really want to with it- but i just wonder how and if and when we will ever know- that this will be right

  6. Shesturningblue: True.. the concept of right changes at different times in our lives but as long he or she feels right then.. it should be enough I guess… but again all guesswork.

  7. the divorcees, the widowers (+/- issues), the ones you rejected upon a time but who are back in the market and willing to give you a second chance… 😛

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