When my cousin came home pregnant one day, all her father could do was shake his head. The dream of walking his daughter down the aisle and watch her raise a conventional family is to be discarded as far as this daughter is concerned. “You should get married and have a family of your own”, was a one time advise and statement coming out of his mouth while controlling his emotions on this one visceral situation on his daughters’ life.
Almost like my second father, I used to benefit from his generosity when I was looking for a job. I took the word, look him in the eye and dared him tell us “who are we supposed to marry?” Without budging, he replied, “someone you like!”
Growing up with spinster aunts, I was doused with instructions and mentoring on the qualities of husband to look for. They have to be good, kind, highly educated, responsible, loving, caring and all other synonyms that they could think of that as I grow older no one person exist with all those traits. I was looking for an alien . Or They must be looking for saints who are all dead.
And listening now to a male perspective was opening my mind to two completely different and opposing views. It decategorized, declassed, declassify, reorient the list of criteria and guidelines i was searching for in a man.
And now I’m in midlife and I just got married. And the “right man” is just what it is, “someone you like”. Looking back with all my past relationship, they’re all “someone I like”, no qualification or condition.
Not exactly. As we go through adulthood our friends and acquaintances gets very few and scattered. Unknowingly and not realizing we’re weeding out people that is unlike us. We go out only with friends that we work and see everyday. And so with lovers. The word “like” takes a different course as we get past the different stages of our life. It gets a deeper meaning that only the heart could tell. We learn to like and love at the same time. Not just the other person, but yourself as well.
With marriage I left my independence, freedom and private space, but on the other hand I am learning more about myself, the other person and us together in another stage of our life. And there is only the going forward.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “If You Leave.”