On one fine morning, I was sitting on my black mahogany wood chair having my pandan pancakes while sending the invitation of my little brother’s wedding to a few friends I’m feeling close with. And as the regular interaction between humans occurred or as they said the common way of showing how much you care, people started asking questions. The kind of questions I kinda hate but get used to, like ‘so when will you also get married?’ Or ‘aah so your little brother is getting married, what about you? How are you feeling being left out?’ And so on, and so on.
First of all, of course I am happy that one of my soulmates is brave enough to start his new life. Why would I feel another feeling? Second, you should know that those questions started to sound irritating in my ears. At this age, I believe that I am not the only one who hears those questions haunting every time there is some kind of family gathering, or friends reunion, or reconnecting with an old friend. The kind of questions that feel unaligned with how we set our goals. The kind of questions that lots of people think is okay to be asked but to me it’s really not okay. At all.
But of course people are asking because of their love and the way they care about us (or not?). But at some point the question doesn’t sound right. So let me tell you this; just because you care about some people, doesn’t mean you’re entitled to ask such questions about their life decisions and just because you think you know people, doesn’t mean you can ask them about this certain topic. But again, I believe some people are asking because they care and wishes for their friend to have such happiness in getting married. But do you really think that people are wishing the same goal as your life decisions? Do you really think that it’s okay to ask them about when they will get married or wishing them to also get married soon? No. To me it’s a big NO.
I am not saying that I don’t appreciate what people are trying to show when they asked those questions. I understand that people are showing that they care and I truly appreciate that. So let me get this straight.
We live in a world with society where the traditions that are shown to us make us think that asking questions to what people are going to do with their life, or what steps people are going to take is okay, but really people, it’s so inappropriate. And at some points, it’s not our fault because from years to years and generations to generations, we are exposed to certain ways of life that somehow made us tend to believe that this certain way is the only way to live our life.
Exhibit A: we think that when people finish their high school they should continue their study to college and we often feel entitled to ask some of our friends ‘what college do you go to?’ Or ‘where are you going to get that bachelor degree?’
Exhibit B: we think that when a woman got her degree, got her job, and in her late 20’s she was supposed to find a man and get married, have kids, and grow old with a bunch of grandkids in her big house with her old husband then die happily. So when we have that friend who seems single in their late 20’s we feel the need to ask them ‘so have you found the one?’ Or ‘so when will you give us the big news?’ Or (the worst) ‘I wish you find the one to marry soon’.
Exhibit C: we think that when someone who is married for a certain time and we haven’t heard their updates about the kid, we started to ask ‘have you got pregnant yet?’ Or ‘oh dear, how can you still have no kid? Your husband must’ve been not pumping enough huh?’.
Again, I get that people with these questions are not entirely wrong because I understand that questioning people’s life traditions has been shown to us from years to years, generation to generation that we internalize it as a normal way to interact with other people.
But let’s think about it this way.
For some people, such questions could put a pain in their chest because what if they do really want to find the one, connected to a person that they want to spend their life with but it’s just not their time yet? What if the person you asked really wants to have kids but it’s just not their time yet when in the meantime they’re working really hard to be given one? What if they just happened to find their road harder? Wouldn’t it be cruel to remind them of how their hard road takes place? For some other people, the marriage question is a super sensitive issue that when you mentioned anything about it could bring some trauma to the surface. You’ll never know.
When for me specifically, asking those questions really sounds ingenious because, hell, people. Why would you think I’d want to get married any sooner? Why would you think I have the same goals as you do that you feel the need to wish me to get married soon? Why?
We’ll never know of what people have gone through and what they want in life. In their life. Why can’t people just wish their relatives, friends, families, or colleagues to just have a healthy and happy life? Because I personally would love to wish a happy and healthy life for the people I care about without having the need to ask such questions. So instead of questioning people’s life, why don’t we just wishing them well?