It Would be Easy to Rebel With That Was Then, This Is Now

January 24, 2013
By SmileSmile BRONZE, Beacon Falls, Connecticut
SmileSmile BRONZE, Beacon Falls, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. -Gerry Spence


Who knows what could have been? He was married that December, as he wished, but not to her.

If the first “blind date” had gone any differently; if he hadn’t ordered the fruit plate for brunch and she hadn’t dubbed him boring, she could be walking down the aisle to meet him once again. It was too much to handle. She was heading to graduate school in the fall; how could she try to start a relationship with someone while things were so hectic? She couldn’t picture a future with him even if their first “blind date” had gone any differently.

All I want is a large omelet for brunch, she thought to herself as she gazed out the window at the dazzling Singapore city lights pulsing reflections off the water. She turned back to him. A part of me wants something to work out between us, she thought, to make everyone happy. Her parents had urged her to start meeting with potential mates. All they want for me is security, she thought. He had a stable job and was well-educated. She felt like she had to be a different person around him, dressed in her Saturday best, pretending to live by the same traditional ideals as him. She was career-orientated; she knew what she wanted and she was passionate about it. She was a world-traveling woman, tasting cultures from every corner of the world with sheer delight; a food lover who only wanted a large omelet for brunch.

He was respectful and all, recommended by family and friends, but all they had between each other was a common heritage. She was born and raised in America. She thought to herself, it would be easy to rebel and use the “that was then, this is now” excuse. Am I being to hypercritical of him? At the end of the date, he asked if they’d be getting married in December. She didn’t even know if she wanted to have dessert with him! He was respectful and all, recommended by family and friends, but all they had between each other was a common heritage!


What they wanted most was for her to be happy. Her parents had taught her to be the person she is today. She discussed her decision with them and surprisingly they understood. They trusted her judgment and accepted that they had raised her differently from the way her cousins had been brought up. They dropped the subject of arranging a marriage for her. Giving their way a chance was enough for them; what they wanted most was for her to be happy.

She knew she would probably never be put in the situation again. Since her parents ceased their search for her ideal husband, she was seemingly free to go about her life. Maybe she would fall into love or nonchalantly walk into it. Whichever way it was bound to happen, she knew the path that love would take her down was no longer determined by her parents’ choice. It was slightly unsettling. She had turned down her chance at immediate security, looking across the table at a man she could end up spending the rest of her life with. Maybe, placed by the hands of some fate, she would be put in that situation again.

Now, her mother drops unsubtle hints when they are together and exclaims how the best gift for any upcoming holiday would be to see her daughter married. Right now, however, she can’t imagine keeping up with a relationship- smiling at a man and dropping unsubtle hints that they should be together.

How could she be meeting him for the first time and married to him for the rest of her life? She had nothing against him but nothing for him either. As they talked after brunch that day she thought, a romance between us isn’t in the cards. Her fingers danced along the keyboard in a spark of enthusiastic relief as she emailed her decision to him. He politely responded. He understood. They never spoke again. It was settling to know that another, more traditional woman would be meeting him for the first time and happily married to him for the rest of her life.

Who knows what could have been? He was married that December, as he wished, but not to her.


The author's comments:
My piece is dripping with controversy. I raise the theme (and the question) of arranged marriage and its place in modern society. Anyone befuddled by love, rushed by life, or guided by parental figures will relate to my nonfictional main character whose name I refrain from mentioning throughout the piece due to personal concern.
I am open to the most ripping criticism I can receive and I would highly appreciate your consideration of my work.

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