I am a 30-year-old unmarried girl. When I was younger, I did not get any proposals at all, because I am plain looking and not rich. People came, saw me and our house and went. I started going into depression not because I was unable to get a proposal, but because of the humiliation that is associated with the process. To go in front of women who dissect your looks and pass comments like ‘she has a long nose’ or ‘she looks older than my son’ was not easy, but to hear them ask my parents what they would give as dowry was too much for me. Finally, my father asked me to apply for a job to divert my mind. I got a job as lecturer in a private university, and have been teaching for five years now. My salary is good and since my parents never let me spend any money on household stuff, I have a good amount saved in my account. I have come out of depression and have a life. The thing is now that I am earning and have some money, I have suddenly come to the notice of a couple of aunts with sons who have average jobs. They are decent guys, but where were their moms when I was being traumatized by the rejection of women who found me unattractive and unsuitable? My family did not come through for me. Now the same aunts tell my mom they want me to become their daughter-in-law because of my ‘character’ and ‘good nature’! It’s so embarrassing for me because I know it’s not my qualities but my income that has become appealing for them. I told my parents I don’t want to get married anymore, but they say that I should consider the two proposals, especially of the cousin who is more educated. I know I am not good looking and no one will marry me because I have a beautiful heart, but this feels so degrading! Do you think I should take a firm stand, or agree to the guy who has a good degree but not a good job? He has a 19-year-old sister who is engaged, and no father. I think that is why my aunt wants me as her daughter-in-law; she has to marry her daughter off by December this year. It’s pure selfishness on her part. I would have helped her as she is my aunt, but she did not ask me. She thinks probably that if I marry her son it will be my duty to help him marry off his sister. What should I do?
Dear Disgusted Libra,
This process of inspecting girls like cattle is extremely degrading, not for the girl only but also for the women who go to a girl’s house and pass mean comments. Only if they could understand how such comments hurt them in this life and hereafter! Those who base their choice on looks and money often end up regretting their decision. But the bright side is you were saved by God from such mean and shallow people. Your reaction was completely normal, but you are a fortunate girl because you have a very good, understanding father who helped you overcome your depression into channelling your thoughts into meaningful direction. Not many girls are similarly blessed.
Having said that, my dear, you should heed your parents’ advice. I know it’s very difficult to come to term with the fact that it’s your money that has made you desirable to your aunts, but try to understand their situation; they know their sons don’t have very good jobs and it would be difficult for them to support their wives since they have to support their families also. These days, one income is seldom sufficient for a married couple. It’s not always avarice that makes a working girl desirable to moms of sons; it’s just that they are aware that after marriage the expenses are increased. So don’t think so negatively of your aunts, and consider the proposals. The advantage here is that you know both the guys and their families, which should make it easier to choose between them. Degree is important; an educated guy has more chances of landing a good job sooner or later, but since they are both your cousins, you are probably aware of their nature. So take into account who is a better person and has a better nature before you make a decision. Best of luck!