Ah, let’s be done with the political hullabaloo in our land. Let’s have something soothing; something to ponder upon tonight as cloudless sky paves way for million of stars to sparkle down at us. Yesterday, I received a letter from a friend – a dear, dear friend if I may add – about love and marriage. A correspondence of which, left me positively dumbfounded and none-the-wiser.
I dedicate this post to my girlfriends – far as they may be from my eyes but always close in my heart – Aryati, Yanti, Noren, Kak Long, Ren, Nurul, Ijan, Masleena, Basyirah, Norli, Oyern, Raja Riza, Leeya, Harita and last but not not least Liza Rasool Khan. To those names I have left out, please understand that I am older and hence the memory loss!
Excerpts of my dear friend’s letter or parts thereof are as follows:
Someone told me once that if I ever wanted to read about love and marriage, I ought to try reading two separate books. At first, I thought that he was perhaps being too cynical, or that he wasn’t actually playing with a full set of marbles. But now, as I get older (and hopefully wiser), I find myself agreeing with him more and more every day.
I am not saying that love and marriage can never intersect: They do. But alas, because of the nature of both beasts, this happens only in very rare and special cases. Love and marriage colliding in the same relationship does not happen nearly as often as we think or hope that it does. Trying to look for love in marriage is a tragedy that has beset mankind since Hollywood invented the movies and Mills and Boone started the romance genre.
I have long since stopped looking at marriage for the things that love brings. I have also stopped looking at love for the things that marriage brings. Asking for oranges from an apple tree is sure to bring about despair – as I have found out countless times. It is best to look at marriage only for the things that marriage can offer. Similarly, it is best to look at love only for the things that love can offer. Though some lucky couple may (occasionally) find love in marriage and vice versa, this is the exception rather than the rule. Even then, it is likely that this will only happen after years and years of devotion to the marriage.
This is my take on marriage, Mish. People look at their precious orchid plant and lament that there are no flowers. They often fail to see that the bud the orchid has just sprouted may someday turn into a beautiful flower, perhaps the most beautiful thing they will ever see. But this may happen (if it happens at all) only if that fledgling plant is lovingly nurtured and cared for. Immediately expecting beautiful flowers from that fledgling plant is a sure-fire recipe for setting ourselves up for disappointment. Instead, appreciate the bud for what it is, and care for the plant with all our might, knowing that it is only a bud and not a flower. Find joy and a sense of belonging in the bud. Who knows, some day it might just turn into a flower.
My dear friend’s statement shook my ground to the core. Have I misconstrued marriage so royally that I still expect the sparks and fireworks to come my way? Or have I, like many millions of women out there, fatally equate love to marriage in our own detriment? I can hardly blame Mas for completely giving up on love. I have seen enough suffering love have caused her. How can I make her understand that love and marriage is as far-fetched as an apple and an orange can be?
For love, as long as I understand it to be, is “to cherish and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part“. Sadly, in this cynical world, those words sound hollow in definition; its spirit trampled upon as we chase everything else in life. Have we become so jaded with selfishness that we forget what love is all about?
Just like Othello, I wear my heart upon my sleeve and more often than not, I make a complete fool out of myself being in love. I am sure, my friends named above, are nodding their heads vigorously agreeing to this statement. For I am still a raging lunatic believing in those ridiculous fire and sparks that love can bring. And this letter shines the light of truth onto my naive belief. Love and marriage is apparently an exception to the general rule. To those married people out there, let’s just hope that yours is just like the orchid – seldom in giving its bloom but strong in the roots.
Tell me friends, how come we are so wrong for so long? A thousand times good nights.
(A very dear friend – if you are tuning in – you know who you are, right?)