on marriage

Posted: June 25, 2007 in All and Sundry, Musings, Rants

My sympathy lies with those who try
To cage you in and love you more and more.
– Leona Naess


on my way back to davao city after two nights of celebrating douglas’s birthday in digos over the weekend, i received a text message from a friend who’s based in dumaguete who i haven’t talked to since 1995. she told me she got my number from my brother and then asked me how i am. in times like this, requisite answers are required and so, i replied: “nice to hear from you. im okay. and you?” talk about small-talk. i honestly didn’t know how to respond to this woman since it took me about an hour to figure out who she was until she explained how we met and became friends. i remembered then that she was a nice person, very calm and collected yet fun at the same time. lukaret minsan. but being sometimes socially inept, i couldn’t think of a single response to make it appear as though i was happy to hear from her. besides, i often feel uncomfortable chatting through text messages with a long-lost “friend.”

she answered back: “im okay. still based in dumaguete.” and then que horror dropped the bomb on me: “musta na? are you married already?”

if this friend really knew me at all, the last question is the last thing she’d decide to ask me. but then again, it became amusing as i read the entire message while the bus to davao was going through a bumpy road. bus rides like last night’s usually makes me feel nauseated. all the time, i was trying to control myself from belching as my head was spinning, and bile was slowly coming up my throat. so to receive a question like that through text made me feel both annoyed and amused.

“hahahaha. why is it that that is the first thing people from dumaguete asks me? is it that important to be married? is it a badge of some sort? no. i am not married. and have no plans of getting married soon,” i replied. then added a smiley.

to which my friend answered: “hahaha. pareho nata ani. i’m not married yet.”

it is understandable to be asked questions like that from dumaguetenos, i now realized. most of the people my age who decided to stay there until now are married. it’s the IN thing. no value judgment from me. but sometimes, it’s annoying that i am often subjected to such social impositions. i wish one of these days someone would ask me if i had already written a book, or if i had done a solo exhibit. more often i would just prefer plain “how are you? where are you based now?”

because come to think of it, we are no longer in the victorian era. god knows how i could survive in those times when beatrix potter (the creator of peter rabbit) struggled against these impositions. her mother didn’t even approve of her vocation as a children’s book author and illustrator because she wanted beatrix to marry. she often belittled beatrix’s works as pure drivel, the imaginings of a delusional adult. being women of their time, i can understand beatrix’s mother and other mothers in that era because they were products of a society whose codes drew women inside this box of domesticity. choices were fewer then.

but to be subjected to such codes today is amusing and sometimes, appalling, considering the options/choices laid out for you as products of historical change.

i envy beatrix potter. i envy her for the will power. because of her strength she was able to push through with her life and her art despite admonitions from her parents and judgment from society in general. she earned from her books and was able to chart a life of her own through her art. and when she realized it was time for her to marry, she eventually did. that was her choice.

today, beatrix potter is referred to as  beatrix potter the creator of peter rabbit.  rather than  beatrix the wife of _____.

hopefully, despite that i have no peter rabbit attached to my name, nor other farm animals to transform as fictional heroes, i would still end up as someone like beatrix potter. married or not.

  1. itsmeela says:

    haha..yeah..i kinda share the same sentiment..everytime i meet with old friends, they ask me the same thing, “may bf ka na?”…gosh! next question pls… hehehe

  2. thet says:

    hahahaha….same thing here. once i bumped into an ex asking me if I already married. guess he was curious to know since he’s my first bf and after him, it took me years before having one.And so I told him, “I’m engaged. I’m getting married next year.” He got married six months after that incident. LOL

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