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I’m marrying an older man whom I love. 8 years older. It is going to be an unusual marriage. But does that justify what I’m being told?
I’m getting married. In less than a month. And I can’t contain my excitement. Amidst all the excitement, there have been moments of melodrama, thanks to the kind of judgements people have made about me.
I’m 24, and I will be 24 when I get married. Initially, when the wedding talks with my boyfriend’s family began, I wanted to push the wedding by a few months, just so that I’d have turned 25 by the time I became a bride. Somehow, it was a psychologically important mark – the number 25. But on deeper introspection, I realized I was being foolish. It didn’t matter whether I was 24 or 25 when I get married. All that matters is that I am marrying the person I love, who loves me back.
And then there are women who are subject to judgement at the other end of the spectrum – thirty and unmarried. It almost seems to me that a woman will be judged at every age and that’s such a pity.
I’m 24. He’s 32. I’m willingly marrying a man eight years older than me. Why? Because I fell in love with him. Isn’t that reason enough? How does it matter that he was doing algebra when I was learning the alphabets (exact words of people who have mocked us)?
What matters is that he and I are here and now and happy at that. Sure, we have taken our time to understand and accept each other. And what that has taught us is patience and kindness – patience while the other person does what he/she wishes, and kindness to respect and appreciate it. But hey, isn’t that the case with every couple out there.
Let me share some context. I recently graduated from B-school, 3 months ago to be precise. What people mean is that I got an undergraduate degree, worked for a couple of years, got my MBA degree, got a well-paying job, and now I’m getting married. Essentially, I’ve gotten it all figured out while people my age are still wondering what to eat for dinner (taking inspiration from memes doing rounds on social media). Hey, it’s not my fault I managed to ‘settle down’ at age 24 (linking back to point 1).
In my opinion, ‘settling down’ has got nothing to do with marriage. For the record, if I hadn’t gotten admission into the only B-school I applied for, I would have gotten married immediately and tried again the next year. And getting married now does not mean I would stop chasing my pursuits. Marriage is just a milestone – neither a means to an end or an end in itself.
He and I are in two different cities. If any of us had to visit the other person, it would take at least 7 hours (including time to reach the airport from the city, waiting at the airport, a 3 hour flight, and a ride back home). Yes, it’s tiring. But he’s worth it. And I’m sure he thinks the same of me (he spent 8 hours driving one way just to spend a day with me, and he did that thrice in a span of 6 months).
He and I don’t like it this way. But we are in no hurry to start living together, not at the cost of our careers. We’ve set a comfortable deadline by which we’d decide who is going to move and have resolved that whoever moves will only do so after having found a good enough job. In essence, no, we’re not going to be screwed. We’re going to work really hard to make this work and I’m sure we will. Also, who’s moving to which city, and whether we get to have sex or not everyday after marriage is none of anyone’s business.
I don’t know to cook. Or may be I can manage to cook, but I’m not particularly fond of it. I’m not proud of this fact, and I definitely want to learn. No, not to cook for my husband, but for myself. So that I can be independent, and save on expenses (ordering in and/or hiring a cook don’t come cheap).
On the other hand, he is truly a masterchef. He can whip up a sumptuous meal in a jiffy (yes, I got very lucky with him, he’s a keeper). The point is, that he’s not going to starve. Not because he can cook, but because he is a strong, independent man who can take care of his own needs and doesn’t need me to do it.
At the end of it all: Yes, I’m a 24 year old bride-to-be, marrying an wise old man full of life, eager to ‘settle down’, who’s going to discover the charm of long-distance marriage, and voluntarily train under her husband as his sous-chef. And that’s my story.
Image source: pixabay
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