Masood and I didn’t just tie the knot without first making sure that our personal interests were secured after marriage. Days before our elders decided on a wedding date, we were constantly speaking on the phone and chatting the night away on Yahoo Messenger. We discussed about what we want and didn’t want to be changed after marriage. Our prenuptial agreement, as I call it, was made verbally between us with no witnesses.
1. He would allow me to have six pillows in bed. Although I’ve never fallen off a bed before, but the possibility worries me; it always has.
2. He would buy me moisturizers, lotions, and creams (and any other related products of that sort), allowing me to choose the brand, while not taking into consideration the price tag.
3. We would maintain our current weight and would take measures to shed any excess weight gained after marriage.
4. He would not bring work home.
5. He would bring me to annual trips abroad.
1. I would learn how to cook.
2. I would love his family like my own.
3. I would discuss any problems with him first, before consulting anyone else, including my parents.
Twenty one months into our marriage:
I have finally learned how to cook. Not only that, I can now accurately identify each ingredient in both Urdu and English. I have even prepared meals that I had never heard of before. I have always thought Upma, a South Indian breakfast dish, was Ukma, and have been pronouncing it that way for several months. In a desperate attempt by my family to teach me culinary skills a few months before my wedding, to save face from embarrassment and humiliation least my in-laws discovered I didn’t know how to cook anything, bought several boxes of Shan and National ready-made masalas for me to practice on. Fortunately, my Mother-in-law took charge of the kitchen and I had the chance to learn a great deal from her. Now, I can cook on my own.
Loving Masood’s family was easy, specially his Mother. She is the sweetest soul I have ever met, and I don’t think she’s qualified to be called a “Saasu Ma”. She only deserves to be called “Ammi”.
I have made up my mind before marriage that whenever Masood is mean to me, or perhaps whenever I think that I’m being oppressed, I would pack my bags and return to my parent’s home, where I would not answer any phone calls from him, but would wait for him to come and fetch me. That hasn’t happened. He was never mean nor was I ever oppressed. So I never got the chance to pack up and leave. Of course, I’m grateful for that, alhumdulillah. And we did discuss our problems between ourselves and have managed to sort things out without having anyone else know. That has helped us respect each other a great deal.
As promised, Masood took me on our first annual trip abroad during our first year anniversary; we went to Karachi and had dinner at The Pearl Continental (I would highly recommend their dinner buffet to everyone). Five months later, he took me to India (I would highly recommend Taj Mahal to everyone).
He also made sure not to bring work home from the office, but there are times when it becomes necessary to finish a task before a certain deadline. That’s fine with me.
Both of us have gained weight a year after marriage, although he insists that it’s all in my mind. When he got tired of my “do you think I look fat in this?’ or “we won’t be having desserts for the next six months” or “my clothes don’t fit me anymore, I need to buy new ones”, he finally bought an elliptical trainer. It’s sitting in our bedroom, giving a good impression to anyone who visits us (specially the ladies who always insist to see the bedroom).
I get to buy any girly product that I fancied. I bought huge bottles of lotions, creams, scents, and bubble bath soaps. I use some of those on him too, to which he objected at first, but is now grateful for his moisturized and floral-scented skin.
BUT, I never got my six pillows; I got one and a half: a regular-sized pillow and a smaller throw pillow. I complain about it often, but Masood doesn’t see the point on being surrounded with six pillows in bed. “Where would I be sleeping then?” he would ask.
Now that I think of it, both of us have kept our words after all. Despite all the differences and problems that comes our way, marriage is still beautiful.