Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Find Her a Match (not)…….Altogether now…Join in…..

It started with one of my cousins advising me (last year) “this is the time you should start looking for a boy for your daughter” I said “whaat? Are you crazy? She is just eighteen”.

Seeing me nonchalant she went onto say “In SL, good guys are taken at Uni and you are left with a choice from whoever is leftover”.

Jeez, I didn’t know men fell into the category of leftover meat. It definitely can’t be wine; if so they will only get better with age. (highly debatable : ) )


Anyway, same advice was later imparted by another one in my extended family and then by a friend very recently. When I told these little tales to my conservative mother, (even) she laughed. That goes to show the absurdity of it all. How can people have this outlook in this age is incomprehensible, really. All these were shocking ground realities to me. I assumed people and their perception would have changed, a generation down the track.

A lady I met through a friend (in SL) once inquired after my daughter’s age and when told, she said “oh she is very young, isn’t she?” I found it strange as she didn’t ask my son’s age. My suspicions were later confirmed by the friend, that the said lady is on the constant prowl for a mate for her 26 year old son- the size of a Batticoloa bull ( according to my friend). BTW, this guy lives and work in the USA and he could have a girl in every state.

Why do people assume that my daughter is for sale through me? Aren’t we two different entities?

I used to think no one can influence me in any way especially in these matters. Even the slightest insinuation to the fact (finding a partner) used to irritate me no end. Yet, that is exactly where my subconscious travelled recently.

To get to the point – a friend from SL migrated recently and she landed a plum job within a matter of months. A coveted job with incredible perks, though highly performance driven. I sometimes go see her after I knock off work and just before she finishes for the day. Her second in command is a cute guy, same age as the aforementioned guy but looks 22-23 and a genuinely nice guy with a pleasant face to match. Let’s just say, from a mother’s perspective, the sort you want your daughter bring home to meet you. My friend sings his praises every time I visit her.

One day, out of the blue, a thought crossed my mind, ‘Should I take my daughter when I visit my friend at work?’ I surprised myself with the sneaky thought, flirting on the verge of unchartered territory.

Stunned…….. later at a more reflective mood I realised, how easy it is for beliefs to embed in our subconscious if we hear them ad infinitum …. get carried away with them (involuntarily) …subsequently become second nature. Though we may not believe in them at present, given time and enough pressure… ….we could.

Hell will freeze before I go down that path….

… Having said that……..the older she gets more pressure I will get from all corners.

What is wrong with letting her grow…….. let her steer her life in the direction she want it headed?….. That is my belief and I am sticking to it!


Postscript: thought of writing this after reading couple of posts about marriage at a certain age and the pressure associated with being a twenty something in SL.


16 comments so far

  1. Azrael on

    It’s a SL tradition I guess. The older they get the more envious they get of younger single people and can’t wait to get them into the same trouble that they are in… That, at least is my theory… 😛

  2. Darwin on

    You’re right about the pressure, it seems SL societies see something inherently ‘wrong’ with someone who doesn’t get into the nesting mode after 21 or so. My poor mom back in SL has to deal with the same sort of ‘questions’ regarding me, thankfully she’s not the type to tell me how to live my life 🙂

  3. Nishadha on

    well, she’s lucky to have a mom like you , but as you said pressure will get to you in the end. Its SL mentality I guess , girls arnd 25 should be happily married with children 🙂

  4. Indyana on

    Hi Mia! Would you believe me if I said my own kids(all of 16,14, and 11) were recently approached for a family for cross matching ,inter marrying , whatever! I went into shock mode for a bit when hubby told me he was asked to commit to such a future alliance! My foot….! I was shaken beyond belief and forcibly fast forwarded into the future(I assume I have another good ten years to think abt this, am I wrong?) and was put through all kinds of fears, no thanks to the whoever he was that came up with this! I can’t believe the way people think!!!

  5. Hilal on

    Sri Lanka is heavily influenced by it’s neighbour’s ways. Many detrimental elements are embedded in our society today thanks to the Indian influence. Take the dowry system amongst Sri Lankan Muslims for example? It has nothing to do with Islam and a lot to do with India. Some quarters in the western world label the way we raise our kinds as abuse. Our children should have the choice of making mistakes and learning from them. When did we as parents become a better judge of character? Parents in Sri Lanka go to great measures to break up relationships and as a result suicide rates in Sri Lanka amongst teens and young adults are high. This matchmaking and the undue pressure and the added pressure of education will cause more damage than any relationship.
    We have to realise that marriage is not the be all – end all and there is more to life than reputation and status. Regardless of whom your child chooses as his/her life partner we as parents must accept their choice with grace and wish nothing but happiness for them.

  6. mia on

    It is what I might call robotic behaviour from generation to generation.

    I can’t understand why beliefs won’t change with the changing times. Surely the age old belief of finding someone to look after the daughter when the parents are gone should be abolished now with more girls getting an education and a professional job.

    When the pressure gets to me I will do what my older sister did with her daughter, lie that she has a BF. Then again it is also an invitation to get deeper into more lies with the inevitable questions that will follow as to who’s who about the BF.

    To promise a child to someone at such a tender age is inhumane imo. Your children are lucky they have an intelligent mother who can see past tradition. Power to you Indyana. When we (mothers) push them to the world we do so an entirely independent individual/another human being who will develop their own dreams, likes/dislikes, not a puppet. We (mother and father) don’t have automatic rights to hold their life like a pendulum and sway the way we want it swayed. It is just plain wrong.

  7. Indyana on

    Hehe…yes! this blogging thing made me open my mouth on certain things I’d kept in the folds of my heart for an endless amt of time…a release for all that presssure isn’t it? Anyway, thanks, and yes pls do delete it!

  8. Darwin on

    Mia & Indyana: I feel quite voyeuristic for reading the exchange between you two, which is clearly only available on a temporary basis and quite personal. Can I just say that I think it’s wonderful how despite the hardships you both went through, it has not in turn made you want to inflict the same treatment upon your own children? Too often you see this sort of ‘mistake’ (a harsher person would call it abuse) being propogated through the generations simply because individuals cave into social pressure and go along with the things that they themselves were subject to. It’s nice to know that not everyone is like that, and some people have the individuality and the courage not to conform. Well done:)

  9. Agni on

    Agree with Darwin: Cannot explain what i felt when i read them.

    Mia: I am glad to not have parents put pressure or rather even mention the work marriage: but i have relations who ask :'(. Then, there are friends who want to set me up etc.

    One of the best parents to have, is a parent who allows the “child” to grow up. I think i and you daughter are lucky…

  10. The Jester on

    I agree. Writing let’s out a lot of steam. And yes, as Darwin stated, it does feel quite voyeuristic.

    I would have thought you would escape all these pressures when you moved Down Under.

    By the way, this post is the 4th most popular post on Kottu today.

  11. John on

    How big is a batticoloa bull then?

    I suppose some habbits are hard to let go of no matter where or what you are.

  12. mia on

    I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy let alone my daughter. : )
    I have to keep an upbeat attitude about me all the time, otherwise I could go into depression with the snap of a finger.

    I think for some parents matchmaking is almost like a game/hobby, you know. A thing to do in their idleness- Find a partner for their offspring or someone else’s offspring. I know my mother thoroughly enjoyed seeking proposals for me just the way her parents did for her. She thought that was her duty, her belief ‘a girl should be married otherwise she’ll be alone in life’. (Of course upholding family status goes without saying) It is far worse being alone in a marriage than being alone by yourself, if you can understand what I mean : )
    Marriage is not the be all and end all. One could be very lonely in a marriage.

    I think Hilal’s “Parents in Sri Lanka go to great measures to break up relationships” precipitated my reaction because when I look back I see the idiocy of my parents’ behaviour not that I didn’t see it back then but now I see it clearly on many levels.
    Pressure comes when we visit SL because people don’t want my daughter to marry a Caucasian so they think I should find her a good SL boy before it’s too late. Pressure is not that bad because we don’t live in SL nevertheless it is something that irritates me because I never ask such questions from others, all I ask is how my cousins’ children are doing and what they are studying etc. I believe in live and let live to the full extent.

    Here I was, responding seriously to other comments, came across your comment and I burst out laughing. Honestly, I don’t know how big a Batticoloa bull is, have to ask my friend, she is the one who made the comparison 🙂

  13. Damith on

    This is a huge problem in SL right now. I know two in-laws who are now nearing their late 20s and are desperate to get married etc.

    But for the people who are nearing their 20s its even worse because its their time to enter the “market” so to speak. Im 24 right now and I felt the pressure for a year. Not from my parents but my wives parents. And her, to some extend. The passing down of the baton was in full swing in her family.I managed to hold off the pressure to get “married young” for sometime and eventually did so at a time I thought, “What could go wrong, seems like a fun thing to do”. Not the best approach to marriage but it worked for me :).

    Im glad my parents never brought all this up and put the pressure on me.

    I think its up to people like you or me to make sure that our kids,(if and when I have them) dont feel the pressure that some of the others do in SL. SL lacks progressive thinkers and most parents are still stuck in traditions that really dont hold up in the world we live in.

    Ps-My sister in law is gonna be up for sale at the end of this year. If anyone is interested LOL

  14. pissu perera on

    just came across this because i was off the internet for a few days. as far as i know, it doens’t start at 18 here (or maybe that’s just my experience) but it certainly starts by the time a girl reaches 21-22 or her friends start getting married, whichever comes first :-s i hope your daughter knows how lucky she is to have a mother like you. thankfully, my parents think that i’m too young for marriage. i hope they wont surprise me in a few years.. *fingers crossed*

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