“Being with an insanely jealous person is like being in the room with a dead mammoth.” ~ Mike Nichols
A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to The Imposter from My Life As Imposter. She talked about her life as a British Asian, and how she struggles with the Muslim Guilt Monster over matters of love and sex. Now she’s back to tell us about how her older cousins and other family members reacted to her impending nuptials.
No no.. by all means, step over my cold, dead body and save yourself you HARPY.
It sounds crazy but this sort of underlying resentment is actually quite common in Asian/Pakistani culture.
The cousins who featured in last night’s dream escapade are 34, 35 and 37 and all unmarried. To me, this really doesn’t matter at all, in fact, I really couldn’t give a shit when or if anyone chooses to marry or not.
But what you have to consider is that culturally, and particularly when it comes to marriage, Pakistanis are old-school and traditional. Not in a cave man sort of way, more in a wafting fans, blushing brides, lovely Jane Austen sort of way.
Everyone is very proper about the whole thing and the engagement is a very formal step one takes when at the appropriate age and generally involves families at a much earlier stage than western courtships. Like the Jews, we tend to marry young (early 20s) and anyone left over after the age 30 is looked upon lovingly and with a great deal of sympathy.
Things aren’t quite as extreme as this in my family as my generation were all born in the UK. Everyone expects them to figure their own shit out and bring home their boyfriend/girlfriend when they want to tie the knot.
But what I find interesting is that some of the old ideology seems to have rubbed off on the women in my family. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m one of the youngest of all my cousins; so apparently this means everyone needs to get depressed and hate me if I marry before them. They have just become so goddamn bitter about it, as though I am robbing them of something. I am therefore avoiding all family events at the moment because I just get the stoniest glares and icy receptions.
One of my aunts (mother to the 34 and 35 year olds) actually grabbed me by the elbow and shoved me out of her way at the last family function. I turned to look at her, horrified, and she immediately started yelling, “I NEVER TOUCHED YOU… WHAT DO YOU MEAN??!!” (bearing in mind I hadn’t spoken yet) until one of her horrible henchman daughters sidled up to her asking what was going on, staring at me surreptitiously ready to pounce. I quickly had to smile and say, “Oh, nothing, I’m sure it was an accident!” and carried on making small talk with everyone while they secretly plotted my demise.
What the actual fuck? Who does that to their niece? She was fine with me before I was engaged, now it’s like I murdered her puppy then stole her daughters’ ovaries.
What is wrong with these people?? These girls are very attractive women. I’m sure they would have no trouble finding boyfriends……. So why haven’t they ever found boyfriends?? And why do they actively begrudge other people happiness? I have never understood this, “let’s compete and break each other down” mean girl mentality. And it’s an accepted thing to do… be scathing and difficult and outright bitchy and I’m expected to smile and glide through it all like a social ballerina.
Apparently the latest news is that my female cousins refuse to adhere to the dress code at my wedding because they “don’t want to do black tie” and were giving my mum shit about it over dinner one night at my aunt’s house.
Honestly… you can show up in a monkey suit for all I care. Even if you show up in a white dress I doubt I would notice you and your pathetic attempts at being obtuse and trying to get a rise out my family; because I’ll be marrying Bob not thinking about you at all.
Why on earth do they feel the need to actively bate my family with this crap? It’s such bad manners. Keep it to yourself people! Sometimes I just want to stand up and yell this, in true “Bridesmaids” style, at the top of my lungs:
I wonder whether, as progressive as they are, their families are just different to mine. I think my aunts and uncles are very concerned with their children marrying a Muslim person and, perhaps, enforce this fervently. Whereas my mother just wanted us to marry someone that was raised the same way we were. Obviously she would have preferred me to marry a Muslim man for simplicity’s sake, but she couldn’t have been happier about my relationship with Bob and the fact that he’s Jewish. It really doesn’t matter to her, as long as I don’t lose my identity.
I celebrate who I am and where I’m from and Bob does too; and that’s how we want to live our life together.
I am not sure that the girls who drowned me last night would be able to say the same and I therefore think it has bred a great deal of resentment towards my mum’s family.
I honestly think this wedding is going to make things a lot worse in terms of my relationship with my female cousins.
But, in the end, that’s just something I’m going to have to accept…
And smile through….
And gracefully pull the daggers from my back….
Whilst singing a little song.
Like Mary Fucking Poppins.