One ofthe things that irritate me to no end is the increasing age difference betweenme and the young married women wishing me the good luck of being in ‘my ownhouse’ next Eid; me being much, much older. I see the look of pity on theirfaces as they take in my ring-less fingers and henna-less feet, and myirritation doubles. And what irritates me the most is that, when I was theirage, I used to feel the same pity towards women who were my age now. It doesn’tmatter how much I’ve accomplished, how many exams I’ve passed, how much money I get paid, what car I drive, the price of my handbag and high-heels; until theday some man steps up and marries me I will always be considered unfortunateand unsuccessful in life. My parents will still be considered burdened by meand my sisters’ un-married presence in their house. I am the unfortunate byrex.
At thisage, I would be considered lucky if ANY guy offered to take me off my father’sshoulders. And God forbid I should refuse, or even think of refusing any suchgenerous offer, regardless of the quality! Ana lagya? At my age? How could I? Whocares what he does for a living, how much or how little he gets paid, whetheror not he has any kind of education? Who cares if he smokes, drinks or hasn’t prayeda day in his life? Who cares what kind of background he comes from? No onecares, and I certainly shouldn’t. Katar kheiro alja, tajeho alkisha. And if hehappens to be family, then God be with me. Then the wrath of the heavens wouldbe double, triple what it usually would be for rejecting such an offer. And thepeople who tell you that it doesn’t matter that you can’t stand this person, itdoesn’t matter that you have nothing in common, nothing matters because ‘marriageis about so much more and all these things don’t matter in the end,’ all thesepeople had perfectly normal, long term relationships and took all the time inthe world to choose their spouses and actually have no idea what it’s like. Youjust need to get married! To who is secondary. Never mind that this is theperson you’ll be cooking for forever, picking up the laundry for forever,waking up and going to sleep with him in your face forever, and the only wayyou can take a break from him is if you run away from home or die, because he’llbe there every morning, noon and night, ordering stuff and not letting you dostuff and whatnot. And if he’s the typical Sudanese man, he won’t lift a fingerwhile you scrub and wash and hang and wipe, and change and feed and burp, andfrankly, doing all that crap while managing your own job and studies forsomeone you don’t even like is quite difficult. Which is one of the many reasonswhy so many people get divorced so early. Or kill themselves.
The wholeSudanese culture actually revolves around one thing: MARRIAGE. Marriage foreveryone, against all odds, the answer to all problems and the cure to allillnesses: too many visits to the doctor? Get him a wife. Depressed and tired? Onceshe gets married she’ll be tip top. Psychotic? Schizophrenic? Psychopathic? Marryhim off! Everything will be alright then! For men, it’s like the icing on thecake: finish your education, get a fancy job (preferably in the Gulf orAmreeka), build a house or an apartment or even a room and THEN find a suitablewife, white of colour, big eyes, long hair, family with a popular last name,and then go to Hajj and die in peace. As for women, do what you might! You arenothing until you belong to someone else! No matter what you accomplish inlife, you aint going nowhere with those certificates. But stay home without aneducation and get married to whoever it may be, you’re worth 20 girls. Who caresif he insults and beats you? Who cares if his mother and sisters are like anest of scorpions that sting you day and night? Bas al3iris al3iris al3iris! Yi3aris rakabenkom inshallah. Bari yakhti, bora majayyyyyaha wala 3iris majahjah!