“Once you get married, you will change”
“You are married now. Stop acting like a kid.”
“After marriage you will understand.”
“Don’t be so selfish. After marriage you will realise the power of sacrifice.”
Really? Does marriage change you? Does the mind recognise that now you are going to become ‘one soul in two bodies’ with someone else, and therefore you metamorphose into a different person?
No, I don’t think so. Marriage doesn’t really change you as a person. Marriage only changes the way you behave. Getting married gives you no additional information on how to be a better or a different person! I think what happens after you tie the knot is that your illusions about Mills & Boons, Bollywood and Karan Johar movies change, in that order. That may give us a false sense of maturity. We laugh at the cosy, coy couples we see on screen and think them funny. Puhleez, this is not reality, we say to other equally cynical married women.
Marriage changes your perspective
So what exactly does marriage do, if it doesn’t infuse any maturity into you? Well, it does what age does. Makes you more worldly-wise and gives you a different perspective towards people and situations than when you were unmarried. Hones you to deal with situations which never existed in your life before.
First, the kitchen becomes your home within your home. Yes, I know, it’s more because we need to get into the kitchen out of necessity. But tell a married woman not to enter the kitchen at all and that it will be fully taken care of, and she will start getting cravings. Just to go in and see that the utensils are in their correct places, the masalas are well stocked, and whether the sink is clean. The kitchen just calls out to us, we become kitchen-friendly; and vegetable vendor-friendly.
Before, I used to get annoyed every time I went out with my mother because of her habit of buying cabbages and palak in the middle of nowhere. “Look, it is so white and fresh. And the palak is so clean. And cheap.” I just couldn’t understand this obsession for clean veggies on the road. Now I do. In fact now I get it. I get it because now I see it. The vegetables on the road just pop out to you and say “Buy me, or tonight you will see me in your dreams.” I would rather buy fresh vegetables now than a fresh McD. (I know, that’s extinct anyway. If you want a fresh McD, you will have to carry your digging tools and excavate it.)
Marriage increases your patience
But one thing I guarantee you, marriage makes you more patient. The wet towel on the bed, the shoes in the middle of the hall, the newspapers strewn in every nook and corner of the house, the mobile charger under the pillow; they all teach you the one virtue which most unmarried people don’t have and that is patience. In the initial years of your wedded bliss, you aim for corrections. And then you realise that you are not the school principal and anyway the pupil (your dear husband) doesn’t care about his grades. So you develop patience and get into a state of ignorant bliss. You start ignoring the cause of all the chaos around you, and instead focus on getting it right yourself.
You start ignoring the cause of all the chaos around you, and instead focus on getting it right yourself.
It doesn’t matter why a very, very wet towel is lying on your bed. Put it up. None of the remotes are working because the batteries need to be changed. Why has anyone else not thought of changing the batteries? Never mind, Just Do It. Nike was actually inspired by millions of married women around the world. If you want something to be done, Just Do It.
Marriage gives you selective deafness
I have a wonderful husband and two wonderful kids (I will get into “does motherhood change a person” at a later time. When I am calm, preferably sipping nimbu pani at a resort). And I can tell you that I have successfully become selectively deaf and blind. If you ask your better half whether you have put on weight, what do they say? Well, mine says that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter?! What does that mean? The extra matter doesn’t matter? So I turn a deaf ear and turn to my mirror instead, which shows me exactly how many jim-jams I have eaten in the last month.
Have you ever tried telling the man of your dreams to deal with the electrician, plumber, laundry guy, school principal, the Indian army? Pat comes the reply, “Dear, you do it. You are so much better.” Initially (very, very initially, mind you) I used to believe this and get flattered and Deal With Them All (Note the capital letters); the leaking pipe, the fused bulb, the lost math paper, everything. Now I know. It is a trick.
Related reading: I set out to be Superwoman
Marriage plays a magic trick
It is a trick by a master magician to make you believe that you are Superwoman and that you the superwoman can handle all of the above with a smile and faith in her super womanly abilities. So that your dear, dear husband can read the morning newspaper in peace and take his afternoon naps with a smile on his face, knowing that the doorbells and the math homework is all getting taken care of in the super womanly world. And come Monday and off he goes to work to tackle the world, leaving behind wet towels dripping on the mattress.
So now I know. Has marriage changed me? Hmm… maybe.