This is a non-feminist post so hol-it!
About a month ago, one of my best friends was telling me how uncomfortable his girlfriend is whenever she comes to see him at his place and his elder brother is around. She doesn’t like to sleep over.
Long after our conversation, I kept thinking about it. Ladies, we know the drill. As a single lady out there trying to change your status, there is the silent pressure to “behave” when anyone who might “influence judgement” in your matter is around.
That alone is enough to make you uncomfortable. I do not know whether it is the ladies or their male partners that are giving these “third parties” the upper hand. I lean towards blaming the society (still us). So even if your partner says it is okay to wear a short dress, order take out, or sleep till 9am when his family member or friend is around, as a lady you are just compelled to do certain things. You don’t want the one that someone will go and pour sand into your chilled gaari.
You have to cook and clean and get up early to make breakfast. I know some people are going to come at me with “it depends on the dynamics of your relationship” but we still cannot deny the pressure to make a good impression. And this is very different from pretense.
Say on a regular day, you are what they call “take home to mama” or “wife material 100 yards” (one day, I will embark on a feminist post to dissect the meaning of these phrases). You are usually up on time, on your “grind”, you like a neat environment so you clean, and you cook. And then on the Saturday that you are too tired and want to chill, your future “in-law” (in-law here to cover friends too) decides to sleep over or visit. All your hard work of days and years past will just wither away at the elders table. It’s that one day that those “in-laws” will always refer to. “That one that can sleep!” For the sake of practicality, there is no “do not mind what the in-laws say” in this marriage race.
No one sets these “rules” for the guys. They only have to behave when they reach our father’s gate. Nobody is judging them on their ability to cook or clean except us. Some men have tried to transcend this mentality and actually stand up for their women and set the in-laws straight. Some others are simply blind to the issue. Truly, we should all be feminists. OK so maybe it is a feminist post.
That being said, marriage should not be the ultimate goal in life. One’s life should matter. There is no rule in this family courtship thing. You cannot please everybody. If they will love you, they will love you. Just do what works for you in your situation and pray. After all, whatever is yours…