Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Too idealistic......Do I ask for too much?

My dad told me last night that I shouldn't get married. Sounds like FINALLY my parents have realised that it's ok to not get married and have kids before you can blink, right?!! But no, what he meant was, I shouldn't get married. Ever. Because I'm too idealistic. I ask for too much. A marriage is all about compromise and I won't be able to do that. Thus making both, myself and my partner unhappy. So, I shouldn't get married at all.


The whole discussion began from where, you know? From my PhD topic. Can you believe it?!! I was telling them about how I want to do post-feminism and popular fiction etc. And my dad said that he thinks all the feminist type people are a bit too much. I totally lost it and of course, I retaliated. *rant alert* Of course they are a bit too much. They have to be. Because of people like you. And people who think like you. If and when I marry someone, I intend to always be treated as an equal. Does that mean I'm asking for too much from my partner?

I will not dissolve my entire personality and go to live in his house, with his parents and adapt to their way of life. He doesn't have to do that. Why should I? I want to set up my own household, where both of us will together make new rules. [To my dad: Us making new rules WILL involve making compromises for me as well as him. So, I'm not scared of compromising or adjusting. I just have a problem with it if I'll be the only one doing it or I'll be the one changing 75-80% of my way of life while he only has to make some extra room in his drawers. That is what I mean by equality.]  I will expect my partner to share the household responsibilities. And mind you, I don't mean that he'll "help" me in household work. Because you help someone in THEIR work. If he lives in the house, it's his house as well. So, it's his duty as well to cook and clean. So, it's not "helping" me. It's doing his own fucking duty. If both of us work. If both of us earn money and stay out of the house to work, why would it be only me who cooks and cleans? My dad said: Relationships are not contracts. No, but they come quite close to being like contracts. I'm not going to make my partner sign an agreement about how he should cook on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and clean on the rest of the days or anything. But, if he expects me to do all the things all the time, he'll probably stop getting food until he realises I'm not the type. (Though, of course, these things will be pretty clear even before that stage comes. So, there'd be no question of that.) My dad totally told me off for thinking this way because things are not like that anymore. Doesn't he work and "help" mum in her household work? Of course he does. He makes tea for all of us and puts away the utensils and stuff. But, there are many times when we have a lot of relatives over at our place. And almost everyone knows how Indian system works. Guests are treated like royalty. So, they won't do anything. But, in out family, ALWAYS, all my aunts and female cousins will gather in the kitchen and start doing stuff along with my mum while the men all sit out and chat. So, the women will make food, serve the men first, then eat and then, clean the whole fucking thing up. While men sit, chat and eat. Why? What have the men done so much that they need to be treated like that? Have they just come back from ploughing 15 acres of farmland? Or from cutting down logs and logs of wood? Or have they all just had some kind of an accident? No. That's just how things work. And, my dad will never touch a thing in such situations. Because then, his (and my mum's) "reputation" will be ruined in front of all the family members and they'll gossip for years and years to come, all implicating that my mum is a bad, bad influence on my dad and she has totally wrapped him around her little finger. Coz you know, that's what women can do. Either be Virgin Marys or be the evil Komolikas. No grey shades allowed for them at all. And, believe it or not, this is 21st century Mumbai!

How can the "feminist types" not be too much? They have to be if they want to assert their individuality! But the moment they want to do that, they are told that they are too inflexible. They can't compromise and so, shouldn't get married at all! How about this father? I like my romance and sex. So, if I don't get married, I'll not just get it like I do now, but also flaunt it (because I don't like having a secret life that I have to hide from you to save your emotions and your precious "reputation"). Suits me. You tell me if it's alright with you.


  1. None of that is too much to ask.:) but what is too much would be expecting them to understand what you are saying. i have learned the hard way and to be fair to them i have decided that they are getting old and its too late to change set ways fr them. what sucks is when cousins who are my age tell me things like "oh your husband is so wonderful,he lets you do..blah"
    it takes lot of effort to not scream that no one has to "let" me or allow me to do anything.
    what you can do is show by eg. my parents still cringe when i say ;oh boi, he is making dinner. but they dont question it anymore because they have gotten used to it. i dont know, i guess everything is just a matter of time..

  2. Long post... So you deserve long comments :)
    1. I pray that your Dad does not read your blog ;)
    2. Er, you are having marriage talks ? Er, what abt 'Hugh Grant' ( atom / R ? ) ?
    3. If you ever plan on getting married, then just ask for one thing - a beautiful boy. I am sure you would drop all the feminist principles for a Kunal Kapoor look alike and slave for him ;)
    4. If you like romance and sex, make sure that the guy that u marry is also into it. How you are gonna accomplish that in an arranged marriage is baffling..
    5. If you get into an arranged marriage, delete the blog. Your poor hubby will have a massive heart attack after reading this blog.

    I support your Dad in this... Do not get married :)

  3. Ofcourse we deserve decent, co-operative men!
    new ways and ideas just bounce off of ppl's skulls after a certain age. Same at my place, n possibly at 50 am gna luk bck at dis comment n sigh.
    also, perhaps older generation-men feel excused from equally partnering d housework bcos dey bring in more income, which is fair enuff.

  4. Not too much to ask at all! Of course we need to remember that in today's age there are thankfully a few men who are open to the idea that they need to pool in at the house work!

  5. Thank you all so much! It feels nice to know that SOME people understand!

    @ HG: Thanks, I guess, I'll just have to grow up and show them that I have really grown up. Which I totally don't when I scream the way I do. :P But, I know what you mean. Some of my cousins are in the same league and find my opinions impractical. I just tell them to please do the world a favour and not raise their children the way they have been raised.

    @ Kannan: Heh, he doesn't. :P But, we've been having marriage talks ever since I was born. So, it's nothing unusual. Atom is doing fine! ;)
    I don't quite know about slaving for Kunal Kapoor types. After all, they will grow old and wrinkly at some point, no? Arranged marriage is not really on the cards unless I'm 40 and single and dying to be with someone steady. But about agreeing with my dad, WHY do you think I shouldn't get married? Coz that's the more important question.

    @ Pj: I don't have a complain about my dad not working coz he works and my mum's a housewife. Besides, between the three of us there's not much to do really. So, it's sort of alright. But his attitude is not acceptable either. That's what annoys me.

    @ Dishy: Definitely! I'm a lot less cynical now a days than I was 3 years ago, if you remember. ;) x

  6. Somehow. I do not believe marriage is about men or women doing any work. Its all about being together. Together with trust and understanding.

    The question of you should marry or not depends on the guy! Since you are not into arrange marriages, its better to wait until you find someone who thinks suit you. But, what if the guy is a bit too bad in the kitchen? What if the you liked the guy a bit too much but understands its better you do the household chores than letting him?
    I do not believe man is 'bigger' than women, nor do I think women is 'bigger'. But they aint equal either. They aint equal, because they are different in emotional build,they are different in physical build and they are different in sexual build.

    You just dont have to worry if the guy will treat you equal. Because, when you find the right guy, many things will vanish out of the equation. You, and him, will adjust. thats why they are always called good for each other.

    You should marry, if you believe in marriages and if you think the guy is good for you, and if the guy think you are the girl. The rest, is NOT in your hands or his hands or in your or his parents hands.

    In fact, nothing is in anybody s hands.

  7. @ survivngbrain: Thanks a lot! That's a lovely comment! :)

    Didn't ever think about what if I HAD to let go of some things. I suppose, so long as I'm treated equally, with respect and love, I might be willing to overlook some things that I might not find acceptable. (As I'm sure he will as well.) And I do hope for that kind of ideal love, trust and understanding. :) Thanks again! :) I feel a bit silly about the whole outburst now. :P

  8. It's not silly! It's thinking about what's important to you, even if the 'what's important' shifts and changes over time!

    All relationships will involve compromises and negotiations. The question here is, if as survivingbrain suggests, he's 'not very good at the household chores', you decide to do it because you're better at it, or you decide that he washes the dishes *completely* incorrectly (in your opinion), but the fact that he does it is reason enough to beat down your inner cringing at watching him. There are arguments either way, but both can end up resulting in a relationship of mutual respect and support, as long as it's not a mentality of either person 'having to do' something or 'letting' the other do something.

  9. Esther!! You read!! :D Wonder what you thought of my brilliant Friends quiz. :P hee.

  10. My dad's away most of the time, and my mum is a housewife. But when he is at home, he makes it a point to cook and clean and do whatever it is that she does around the house. And it's not just helping out. Sometimes she sits in front of the tv and doesn't enter the kitchen at all. And even for dinners and parties, they do the cooking together. One person watches the pot on the stove, while the other goes and pours out the wine. Then they switch. And it's not like they come from really intellectual, ultra-modern families. In fact, their families are quite conservative. Even my cousins have really twisted ideas about "gender roles" (oh we've had long, painful discussions about this).
    So I'm quite proud of my parents that way. But thanks to them, I have impossible expectations like you. :)

  11. Kyra: Well, at least stories like that can give us some kind of hope! :D