I thought I would never know the horror and beauty of an arranged marriage,now that we are living the “modern” life. However, I am realising that deciding to please my parents by taking Construction Studies is very similar to an arranged marriage, so in a way i think I am discovering the beauty and horror of it. It is sweet and painful at the same time.
The horror is worse when you happen to have fallen in love before your arranged marriage. The agony from being forced to leave your former lover is something you must learn to nurse for the rest of your time with this new partner. This pain increases especially when you see other people who were lucky enough to marry by choice and just happened to marry partners very much like your former lover. The pain does not leave you and pain demands to be felt so it is a perfect “we have holes but we carry on” scenario. My former lover was Gender, Politics and philosophy. I fell in love with this bad girls during my African Studies and poetry/creativity sessions while in high school. I was going to infuse some Economics and chocolate into these bad girls and my lover would have been complete. I could see myself in some UN conference somewhere or poetry slam somewhere or at some book reading somewhere or some policy-making platform somewhere…it was going to be fun. I would also be a teacher, spreading my gospel just as Bell Hooks does. I had this picture of Chebet unhindered: wild locs, red lipstick and the most free soul with no inhibitions at all, but now I am here thinking of the model I should be building instead of writing my soul away in the death of night. Oh yes, that is the other horrifying thing. The temptation to cheat on your forced/arranged marriage partner. I have found myself in Poetry club meetings or pouring out all my writing in Communication skills class, trying to experience my former lover. The guilt at not gravitating towards the ‘Engineers without borders’ club is there but didn’t mama say that I could always do poetry and gender studies on the side? At least adultery is allowed in this my arranged marriage.
The joy is that the arranged partner is a good stable man. My arranged marriage partner happens to be Construction Studies. He was supposed to be Civil Engineering but eh! there I spoke out. He is okay, I mean like I am comfortable with Physics and Mathematics and discovering and learning new things like how building are constructed, is fascinating. Like every arranged marriage there is the possibility of falling in love and I think am learning to love this good stable man that my parents chose for me. To some extent, I think falling in love is the smarter thing to do because at the end of the day, I am stuck with this guy for the next three years, in the least and I have my already paid school fees as the glue that just keeps us together plus the fear and my parents’ hope, so “We are in it for the long haul, baby and we will finish this as we started it-well”.The good thing is that at least the stable man allows for my “cheating” but the best part is when there are intersections between him and my former lover, like sometimes we are investigating the similarities of poetry and a building, in those moments I am my happiest. Happy is a nice place to be so I am constantly looking and anticipating those beautiful intersections, they call it Medici effect! Ah, I thrive on those.
The tragedy of this arrangement of mine that offers stability and allows for just enough adultery is that I fear that when it gets tough, I will remember that I did not even choose him in the first place and hence it shall be easier to let go.However, I trust that all will go well.For now I am just a bit allergic to all that “Listen and follow your heart” and Alchemist and selling all his sheep manenos. Me, I am at the crystal shop 🙂