I’ve been thinking of doing a post-mortem on my entry about dreading raya. Since we are approaching the end of Syawal, the timing is absolutely perfect to put the idea into action to wrap-up the month.
So how many dreadful remarks have I heard over raya season? Countless. Here are several worth sharing:
“So you are 26? 27? What, 29?! What are you waiting for?”
Said my second cousin who has three teenage kids. Perhaps I’m waiting for the frog that I kissed at the sawah to turn into a prince.
“Too choosy maybe.”
Said my mum. Actually she already stopped talking about this topic months ago, since I jokingly asked her “Why? Can’t wait to kick me out of the house?”. But I guess other people’s endless pestering made her rethink about it and reopen the same can of worms.
“If you get married, I’ll give you A, B, C. If you give me grandkids, I’ll give you X, Y, Z (upgraded versions of A, B, C).”
Said my dad, the ever practical one. He actually said that a long time ago and repeated it several times since. His words are the only ones that made me think seriously about grabbing any man I can find on the street, get married and have babies. I know my dad is a man of his words and yes, the stuffs he promised are very attractive. He knows the way I think and he surely knows how to get me to do things I won’t otherwise do.
During raya, I also met several people who are in the same boat as I am. Seeing cousins, aunts and uncles who are also fellow singletons made me realize that I’m not alone in this journey after all. But nothing compared to meeting Miss S, my second cousin who’s my age and eldest of six siblings. Her younger brother just got married, so her parents were excited to introduce their new daughter-in-law to everyone in the kampung. I could only imagine how Miss S must have felt when people looked at her and said “Your younger brother is already married, what about you?”. To hear the same awful remark over and over again, gosh! And if you think that’s pitiful, hear this; her younger sister (the third child) is getting engaged in a few weeks time and the wedding is planned to be at the end of this year or early next year. How about that?
Suddenly I’m thankful that I only have brothers.
Like Jeet once said, her boat is my boat. It’s also Miss S’s boat as well as other singletons like us. I don’t know how long I’m going to paddle this boat. Until and unless I find a new engine-powered boat (an F1 speedboat would be nice, or a 15-feet luxury yacht, or a cruise ship.. okay enough daydreaming), I better keep on going so I won’t find myself drowning.
Jeet, Erin, Dyanna and Farah – My friends and cousins (including those unmentioned here), if any of you ever want to jump into another boat, you better give me advance notice, okay? Don’t you dare leave me alone in this boat without warning. I have seasick you know :-p
Angah and Hz – My wonderful brothers, if either of you plan to get married soon, I better hear it before anyone else so I can start applying for transfer to Rio de Janeiro or Budapest or Timbuktu. Yes Angah, I know you’ve been checking out wedding videos recently and dad has given you a green light to marry a Nihon-jin and stay in Japan for as long as you want. So I’m preparing for the worst here!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much thankful for everything I have, but it seems like other people are determined to make me less thankful by pointing out the things that I don’t have. Why is it so hard for them to believe that I’m single AND happy?
I will always remember my dad’s advice: Count your blessings. Be thankful of what you have. If you keep looking at what other people have, there will never be an end to it.
I’m thankful and I’m happy. Will you be happy for me too?
P.S.: Check out Kak Jaja’s entry and Kak Liza’s entry on their versions of dreading raya. What about you? Have you experienced any?