Arranged Love Marriage
When people ask me how I met my husband, I usually say we were set up by mutual friends. And by mutual friends, I mean our parents.
Ours started off as most arranged marriages do. Our parents spoke, our respective single statuses confirmed, astrological compatibility checked and a date was set. For our first date. Except it was with our whole family. The date was February 5, 2017. The day that would change my life forever. It went by just as any other day would. My dad had asked me a few weeks prior whether he could introduce me to someone. I was skeptical but I figured, what do I have to lose? I was a perpetually single hopeless romantic. Maybe I needed a little help. After that I had pretty much forgotten about our conversation when my dad comes up to me and says, "Hey, are you free this evening? Can we meet the boy's family?" My heart stopped!
Side note here, I'm not usually someone who steps out of my comfort zone easily. I don't really do outside-the box; at most I can give you right-up-against-the-box. So why I agreed despite my pounding heart will always remain a mystery to me. What is a girl to do when she's set up by her parents on a blind date with very little notice? Use any little bit of information she has of said blind date and Facebook stalk him, of course!
So that's what I decided to do with my brother and sister-in-law. But all I found was an extremely outdated group shot as a profile picture and no access to any other pictures in his private albums. ERGHHHHHHHH! Since Facebook stalking turned to be a dead-end, I just winged it and hoped for the best.
We met at Malgudi, an Indian restaurant in PJ. The families ordered and chatted. We were both very nervous and asked each other basic personal questions awkwardly. Until we stumbled upon some common ground that is; M. Night Shyamalan and Harry Potter. This was right around the time Split was released and when the topic of movies came up, I asked him whether he's watched it. He hadn't and I picked up on some anti-Shyamalan vibes. And as a Shyamalan fan, I wasn't gonna have that! That led to a friendly debate and we somehow got onto the topic of books and discovered, we both love Harry Potter! The night was just a blur of trying to force down food amidst all the butterflies in my tummy, trying even harder not to look like an idiot (which for some reason is a natural talent of mine) and that light-headedness of speaking to someone you like. At the end of the night, we exchanged numbers and for some reason, I found myself smiling all throughout the ride home.
So you've got a guy's number. What's your next move? People usually say to wait for the guy to make his move. Play hard to get a little. Which isn't bad advice, but it isn't me. I'm always an eager beaver, I've never patiently waited for anything! In eager beaver spirit, I sent him a what's app in the evening. Oh no, have I acted too soon? Should I have waited? Does the early bird not catch the worm in this context? My mind raced as I nervously waited for a reply.
Finally, he replied and guess what. He had just watched Split! And we texted all night. And the next night. And the next. The following weekend, we went on a date, alone this time. We had lunch, watched a movie, played archery, visited a dessert place and finally, sat in the car just talking. Thereafter, we went for loads of makan and mamak sessions. We would talk about all kinds of stuff; life, family, religion, our childhood, our dreams.
I can't pinpoint when exactly it happened, but slowly G became my best friend. We would talk every day and I shared everything with him. When I laughed, it was most likely to his jokes. And when I cried, he was always there for me.
As we hung out more and more, I started to realise how much G cared for me. A lot of people come and go in life, but there are few people who love and care for you unconditionally, who put your happiness above theirs. For most of my life, it was my amma and appa. And soon, I learnt that G was one of those people too.
It's hard to explain why you love a person. Mostly because there are so many things that make a person who he or she is. But I think it's mostly how they make you feel. You know how I Facebook stalked G before we met? Well, he did the same thing and the first picture of me that he saw was:
Yep, and he still agreed to come and meet me. In fact, he said that picture made him want to meet me even more, that I looked cute and interesting. The thing about that picture is it's embarrassing as hell! I'm chubby and I have a teapot on my head! But beyond all that, it's one of my most treasured memories. Playing Mrs Potts during my university days was truly one of the highlights of my life in Monash. I even had a promotional poster of myself. Imagine the above picture but life-sized. YIKES! Not one of my best moments. I always joked with G that I wanted to burn that thing. He would freak out and say, "No way! Keep it safe, we can decorate our place with the poster." In fear that I would resort to arson, he took the poster and kept it safe at his place.
There are sides of me that define me as a person that I fear others will judge or think is lame. But everything I was insecure about or embarrassed about, G embraced and he made me feel awesome.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is...most of us have negative opinions about arranged marriage or being set up by our parents. I know I did. When I was younger, I couldn't fathom the idea. I was convinced that I was going to meet my Mr Right in college or on a plane, just like in the rom-coms. But when my dad asked me if he could set me up, there was a faint whisper inside me, "Why not?"
And I'm forever grateful for that whisper because it led me to my partner in crime, G. You can find love in the most unexpected of places, so don't knock it until you've tried it. And if they celebrate your dorkiest pictures on Facebook, then you've got yourself a winner my friend! :)