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     Volume 4 Issue 1 | June 25, 2004 | 8th Anniversary Issue


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Straight Talk

Finding Your Mate In Heaven or Hell or in Between
Nadia Kabir Barb

Some people believe that marriages are made in heaven, others may argue that they are forged somewhere in hell; and many feel that marriages are in all probability made right here on good old terra firma. Many search for Mr or Miss Right while others wait for their soul mate. Whatever our views, when considering marriage, the majority of us carefully consider and evaluate the major pros and cons of the situation. We measure our intended against our expectations. We assess their politics, their family, their background, their ambitions, their religion and their prospects. Many of us also allow ourselves to be distracted by a series of irrelevances. Is he tall? Is she fair? Is he going to go bald? Is she pretty? We do not do this on purpose. Marriage is altogether too weighty a matter for us to indulge in frivolous judgements. When I use the word irrelevancies, it is not to belittle the views held by people but to point out that you have to take into account both the big things and the little things in life, especially if it has to do with marriage.

We sincerely believe these things to matter for all sorts of reasons. Some of them we have been taught to regard as important. Others strike us significant in the light of our own convictions. It may seem wholly inconceivable to us that we could spend the rest of our lives in a relationship with one human being who (to pick a random list) clearly has communist tendencies/ is a single child/ comes from a family of footballers/ wants nothing more than to be the world's fastest knitter/ devoutly believes in the teachings of scientology/ is likely to be promoted to head of the stationary cupboard at some point in the next 20 years as long as (s)he plays their cards right. I don't personally know anyone like this and would not hold it against them if I did. It really is just an illustration. So any scientologist, communist, single offspring of footballers nursing ambitions to conquer the world of knitting and taking over their office stationary cupboard should please consider that any similarity is purely coincidental and no similarity to any person, living or otherwise is intended and no judgement positive or negative is being passed upon them. Right--that's the diversity police dealt with. And thank you, whoever was originally responsible for the inspiration of that disclaimer.

If you were to ask a female between the ages of 16 and 26 what they would want in a partner, virtues such as "being understanding", "generous" and "having a sense of humour" would inevitably feature on their list. If you ask a man the same question, "understanding", "not too demanding" and "low maintenance" may feature heavily! However, as you get older and wiser (people like to think that they get wiser with age) our priorities change and factors far more practical and far less romantic take precedence. The little known truth is this. When considering potential partners, you should really be asking yourself additional and much more basic questions. In fact, how surreal would it be if before your impending nuptials you had to fill in a questionnaire with yes/no, true/false or multiple choice questions! They would probably have to include questions such as the following:

1) Do you remember to replace the lid on the toothpaste tube after brushing your teeth?
2) When you have a shower, does the bathroom have a shower with you?
3) When relatives of your prospective partner come to visit, would you (a) hide in a cupboard, (b) greet them with open arms, or (c) greet them with open arms but wish you were hidden inside a cupboard?
4) When you see a piece of paper on the floor, do you (a) leave it there (it's biodegradable after all), (b) pick it up, or (c) search out the culprit and make them pick it up?
5) While sitting to watch TV, do you commandeer the remote control and switch from the channel being watched to a channel of your choice?

A wise man once said that whatever irritates you about a person now, will not get better with marriage. In fact, it will probably get worse, when you consider all the hundreds of little compromises you have made and are once again confronted by the reality that your beloved still cannot remember to replace the paper in the bathroom when it's finished.

We are all put on this earth as individuals and we know that no two people are alike so it is naïve to think that the ideal partner really exists. This is in no way meant to be a deterrent for all you single people out there, on the contrary, all I am saying is that it is a given fact, sad that it might be for us to accept, that none of us are perfect, so when a person accepts the virtues of their partner along with their flaws and foibles and still finds them wonderful, you have the recipe for a great marriage. Once you have ironed out all the little wrinkles, you end up with a companion who will be there for you at the end of the day, a friend who you can talk to about anything, someone to share your day to day worries and happiness, all rolled into one package called your spouse.








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