Friday, September 23, 2011

Pag-aasawa... Ang Tanong?

It’s time to address the elephant in the room. And I am not talking about impotence or PE (figure that out ok.. since my readers include teenagers so I have to tone down the terms)

I’m talking about marriage.

As people of Asian descent, we are extolled to get married. If we don’t, we are looked upon with a mixture of pity and regret as we go by the street. So we push each other to that path. Women, in particular, or should I say girls... have it on their mindset that they have to get married someday. If they get to their late twenties and they are not married yet, they start to panic…

If they reach their thirties, that becomes a crisis…

And that becomes a trap because most of them will latch on to the first available man that comes knocking. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t…

Granted that not marrying would give rise to a higher probability of having ovarian cysts/cancer in time. And that the unreleased estrogen and hormones in a female will wreak havoc on their bodies as the years pile up. They would become tart old spinsters who drip venom from their mouths and minds (it's both a phsyiological and psychological reaction.) And that having no children to dote on and raise up will make one grapple with the spectre of solitary existence far down in the road as one ages. We will become that spinster aunt or uncle that grows embittered with the passage of time which will take its toll on our psyche… would point out the benefits of marriage.

If we are to avoid these, then using this logic, we need to get married.

Children, though are the main reason we ultimately get hitched… without them, life is simply a hollow, often directionless existence. And the prospect of going home to an empty condo or house for the better part of your life watching the seasons go by is not something for the faint of heart.

So going back to marriage..

Is it an answer to life’s loneliness?

Most marriages have problems hidden away from prying eyes. Even if they would deny it, many men and women have at one time or another wondered if they can go back in time and made another decision at that crucial point. More often than not, the concept of romance is a single one's delusion… it exists probably in the courtship stage and that month after the marriage but afterwards it’s really not that romantic as reality and routine settles in.

Work and finances will weigh heavily on the minds of married couples once the honeymoon period is over. I’m not saying that they would lose all the sparks of love… some will still keep it burning despite the odds… but reality and fairy tale endings are two vastly different things…

I will take slack about my observations on the romantic side dying off. After all, you would say, what would I know, right? I’m still a bachelor who’s never had a real relationship with someone (NGSB ba, kamo?) so I shouldn’t be able to say anything about it.

But I am an observant kind of guy and I’ve seen enough of life I think to make this generalizations.

So if our culture and our own minds extol us to get married, how then do we go about it?

Do we search for that man or woman (or boy/girl) that would make us fall heads over heels in love? Or do we use our minds and choose that one who has a better chance of making us contented in life? Would we choose a fiery lover that will make our bodies tingle with every touch or that friend who would be a rock that will protect us from life’s many tribulations?

Will we trade arguments and make-up sessions with a volatile soulmate instead of enduring a normal domestic life with a man who is safe but who doesn’t give us that edge that will keep us on our toes? Which is better: the logical choice or the ‘Choice’? the heart or the mind?

I have no answer. The poet in me will push you towards love – with all its sacrifices and its peaks and valleys that will give you mind boggling orgasms.  The pragmatist in me will steer you towards the greater picture – about stability in this life and a solid foundation.

It will ultimately be your choice, however. It is your life to live when you get right down to it.

I fell in love four times in my life – and I mean that in that hormonal wild ride of a rollercoaster. And right now, I think I am still in love. Ironically, I would choose that love over a mental relationship anytime. But I also know right now that I am on a one way street and it is sobering to realize that you can never really have everything you desire. It is painful to say the least seeing the one you love, love someone else… but it is also liberating in a way.

IS love learned, though? That is the question. If we give in to our minds and go into a marriage with someone who has all the qualities that makes a good husband/wife who unfortunately does not give us that jolt of electricity when we touch hands, can we learn to love him/her on a level that is the same as that love we seek?

Is common sense the better judge than hormonal imbalance (for that is what mad love is when it is broken down to its most basic level)?

As I’ve said, it is our choice to make.

It will always be a personal choice.

It is rather poignant to see posts on Facebook on the walls of those who are single about their pursuit of love and sometimes we do laugh and pity them for their public rants and comments about the ones they love while secretly cheering them on to find that one thing that eludes us completely.

We all want to see at least one couple have that fairy tale ending, do we not?

It is the sign of maturity when you accept that and let your dreams go for someone else to have.

So always remember this, when dealing with this stuff called marriage….

…. It is and will always be your own personal choice to make… not someone’s or the people around you or the world’s…

It is yours…

(PS. If you reach your forties and you're not married yet, can I ask you to marry me? I'll promise that I'll make the twilight of our years quite fulfilling. We'd ride roller coasters and go on long walks on the beach and the mountains and enjoy afternoon tea and sunsets together - maybe not as lovers but as good friends... It would be nice to read each other stories by the firelight and to provide each other as escorts in those rare occasions that ask for it. We'll share stories and laughter then...

I'm gonna promise you this, when you reach your forties and you're not married, I'm gonna knock on your door, no matter where you are in this world and ask you to marry me. You can laugh then and give me a big smile...  Excerpt from the Novel Letters of Mashouud )


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