Dear Future Husband,
Whatever happened to the days of arranged marriages? When exactly did that concept go out of style? (That is a hypothetical question, I really don’t need to hear the spiels about “freedom of choice” and “true love” and “Oh, I don’t know, Ima…prob around the same time that fathers stopped selling their daughters for cows.”)
But seriously. Take a chill pill and PAUSE. And hear me out. As I think back upon my life, my parents have actually arranged some of my best friendships EVER.
I’m trying to make a point, so a trip down memory lane is inevitable.
My parents and I decided that I should switch schools for high school. I was super excited, but the “lack of friends” issue threatened to pose some serious problems for this new kid on the first day of ninth grade in a Pre-K through 12 school where most of the students had known each other for at least eight years. So, my dad took matters into his own hands and played matchmaker.
He gave me the phone number of a popular, well-liked, established 10th grade girl at this new school and instructed me to call her and ask her to be my friend. I’m not even kidding. Or exaggerating. So…because he said I had to…I called her, and literally said, “Hi. My name is Ima. I’m new at your school next year. Will you be my friend?”
Under normal circumstances, any other girl would have hung up the phone and gone to extraordinary efforts to completely avoid this weirdo stranger. BUT, her mom was friends with my dad, so she was already instructed to say yes. BINGO! Instant friend.
I then proceeded to ask her the MOST important questions about my new school. Do I wear tennis shoes or Doc Martins? Ankle socks or tube socks? Jansport or Gap booksack? Bag lunch or school lunch? She very politely answered my questions and even talked to me on the first day of school! And the day after that. And the day after that. And she has now been one of my very best friends for 17 years.
Since I did just fine being the new kid at high school, I decided to pack my bags and go to a college 10 hours away from home…where I knew NO ONE. On move-in day, my mom and dad did all the usual “mom and dad stuff.” My dad went to every Home Depot, Walmart, Target and Lowes within a 30-mile radius, while my mother directed the unpacking and decorating frenzy.
Little did we know, the EXACT SAME scenario was taking place in the dorm room directly across from mine.
But, alas, fate was soon realized as the dads serendipitously bumped into each other at EVERY SINGLE retail location, and the mothers – exasperated with their soon-to-be-independant teenage daughters, no doubt – began talking to each other. After a day of parental bonding, my mother informed me that I WOULD be best friends with the girl across the hall. Since I was still “soon-to-be-independant” and therefore “not-quite-independant,” I said OK. And the girl across the hall has now been one of my very best friends for 13 years.
So, you see…an arranged marriage COULD possibly work. The only problem is, I asked my parents their thoughts on the matter. My mother emphatically said, “HECK NO,” and my dad said he didn’t need any cows. I guess we’re back to you finding me yourself.
PS. If I called you and said, “Hi, my name is Ima. Will you be my husband?” what are my chances that would work?