Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cookie bags and much more!!!

It was on a flight, that the person next to me asked me about how I met my husband and how was it that we married so young. That is when I told her that we had known each other since school. And of course, she had questions like, "How long did you date?", "Did you date a lot of other people before you got committed?". To all of which, I tried explaining the dating scene in India. A little while back, there was no such thing as dating. Most of the marriages were arranged by the family. And even if it was a love marriage, so to say, you could not dilly-dally, you would pick one person and when you ask them out, it generally would be for long term. And even before you knew, parents, cousins, siblings, aunts, uncles and everybody you knew would be in the picture. So, you would be left with no choice but to start planning your wedding. Also, the courtship period would preferably be kept as short as possible, because parents would be worried about the fact that either of the partners would lose interest. After listening to all of this, with a bit of shock, my neighbor, if I can call her that, said "Sometimes, it is good not to have choices".

Such a simple statement, but it was like all of sudden, a bell rang in my head. It is so true. If you come to think of it, our parents made sense. When you start off in the courtship period, everything is rosy. Who doesn't love the attention, romance and sweet-nothings! And of course, everybody showcases the best in them. It is only when you are with each other long enough to get comfortable and  to be who you really are, the real problem begins. It is close to impossible that you like everything in every person and you get a perfect person built out of the mould you have imagined. Then what do you do? Do you keep running away, bouncing from one person to another until you realize that there is no such thing as perfect? And it is possible that it is too late by then. That is where I think, our parents use their experience for us. And I am in complete favor of them being involved in everything, so that couples are answerable to someone. The fact that courtships are short curtail the straying eye, and tie you down before you can explore more choices.

I do not say that there should be no options at all. I would prefer it if all the options were weighed out, before the decision was made. And some may disagree to this. But try looking at it this way, you are in a grocery store. And you want to get cookies, some may even know which specific flavor to get. But once you are in the cookie section, and you are swamped with hundreds of options. Now, most of us would even forget what we came for. And some of us might have a change of flavor and get something completely different!!! When you get back home, and calm down from the excitement of so many options, you might notice how much unnecessary stuff was bought. Somethings that you really don't like, but you just got excited and got them. Now isn't that wrong???

Also, look at this scenario. Next time you reach the cookie isle, you don't want to have your regular coconut, but some exotic flavor like hazelnut or something. You bring it home, by the evening no longer in the mood for hazelnut. What is one supposed to do, return the half-opened bag? I don't think that is possible. So why can't we look at relationships like cookie bags? It is human to want different things at different times, but how you work best around what you already know is working for you, is the trick.

Me and my husband had so many disagreements the first year, that it almost seemed impossible to even look at each other. But, once we realized that the choices were made by us, knowing that those would work well for us, things were easier. We waited for our sudden impulsive want of something irregular to pass, and worked past our disagreements, to realize that most of the times, our original choice was really what we wanted and what made us happy.

I try to look at life with the same attitude, the fewer the options the better it is. Does brand A really give you exceptionally better results than brand B? Once you know what your basic requirement is and if that purpose is being met, you can walk by it, enjoy the view and not stress over what could be, rather focus on what is great about what you have!


Would love to hear your thoughts!

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