Yesterday was an example of unexpected things happening and me not having enough time to write my post. And since it was only Tuesday, I hadn't gotten around to writing my spare post yet. Anyway....
We know an 18 year old girl here. She is working and studying part time to complete high school.
A couple of weeks ago, she is summoned home because some people wanted to meet her. Those people were the parents of a boy that her father has arranged for her to marry. Of course, she doesn't want to do this. She already has a boyfriend. And she has been discussing with me the courses that she could take after she graduates high school. She wants a different life to that of all the other women in her village.
You've probably guessed that her father is of the opinion that women don't need an education, they only need a husband. Why do they need to know so much when they will be taken care of at home? She just needs to keep house, have kids and serve her man.
Yesterday, her dad rang again to lay down more guilt on her.
"How can she be such an ungrateful child?"
"How can she embarrass him this way?"
"Don't ever come home again if you don't marry this guy."
You get the picture.
So yesterday, I spent all my time discussing alternatives with her. I really wanted to help her but didn't want to step over the boundary and become an interference in her family's affairs.
Guess what happens today?
Her boyfriend takes the plunge and goes to her father to announce that he wants to marry her. She is then called home.
It turns out that her father was so far in discussions with the other family that a date had already been set - March 15. He absolutely would not back down from having a wedding on that day. He initially wouldn't accept the boyfriend but in the end, reluctantly agreed to it as long as the wedding date was kept. Supposedly, he had already told everybody about it and he would lose face if it didn't happen. Oh yeah, he also said that he will not be providing any monetary or organizational assistance for the wedding. Just wants to show up on the 15th and see that she is properly married. Imagine that!
The girl is relieved that she doesn't have to marry somebody she doesn't like but at the same time, she knows that getting married to this other guy is not really the solution.
Just thinking of the type of father she has is so infuriating. Initially, I tried to believe that he had her best interests in mind (in line with his own ancient beliefs). He found her a decent husband that will give her a comfortable life. But now, it really appears that he just doesn't want to lose face with his friends by saying that his daughter isn't getting married after all. Part of the ceremony for the formal proposal will include the boyfriend giving some money to the father so, it also sounds like he just needs some cash!