Life, Arranged: Better Luck Next Time

By Anonymous

Part Two

Continued from Part One: The Visit

woman in burqa

It took us almost an hour to reach their house.

I walked in and had no idea what to expect.

A million thoughts rushed through my mind. Is he cute? What if he’s ugly? What if I like him? What if I don’t? What if he likes me? What if he doesn’t?

As much as I didn’t want to do this, meet this person and his family, “You’re not what I want” was not something I was ready to hear. I wanted to turn him down before he could do the same to me. I wasn’t even in the door yet and going crazy thinking about him.

“Assalam-o-alaikum,” said the woman who answered the door.

She looked my mother’s age, this mother of this potential husband I was about to meet.

She said her Salaam to my mom, my aunt, and me, as a cat passed and my potential mate rushed over to pick it up. He took it away from us, but I really didn’t mind the cat. I actually would have preferred the animal was there; its purrs would’ve been a welcome distraction.

We were seated in the living room. Ornaments and fake flower arrangements crowded the tacky colored walls as if kitsch personified stopped by and threw up before saying a quick farewell. I sat on the couch next to my aunt, and my mother sat on a couch with this potential mother-in-law. My father, my uncle, and the young man’s father sat on another couch.

He entered the already overbearing atmosphere, wearing a button down shirt and dark navy jeans like he’d just walked out of the GAP. His hair, the color of night, was slicked back. He sat down on a chair diagonally from me.

I had no idea where to look. I stared at my own hands. My fingers couldn’t stop playing twiddle thumbs.

“What is your name dear?” the woman asked me.

I answered.

“And what are you doing, studying, working?” she persisted.

I answered.

For once in my life, I actually stayed mute. I only answered what I was asked. But the voices inside my head screamed: THIS IS SO AWKWARD! WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO?

She kept probing, trying to engage me. I tried to explain to her what I wanted to do with my life and she asked more questions. To her credit, she was kind, reminiscent of Mrs. Weasley from Harry Potter; she was round like her too.

After a little chit-chat and interrogation, my family and I were escorted to the dining room where we were served some tea and snacks. I imagine Mrs. Weasley is a better cook .

But her loving son lapped up the dessert, leading me to believe his taste in food sucked. Strike one. I sat across the table from my uncle, thanking god he was there. I kept a smile on my face as he whispered jokes to me about the unappetizing food, and how this potential husband was too short, even for me. I turned around and almost mistook him for one of his mother’s knick-knacks. (No mother, that won’t fly, thank you.) Strike two.

Soon enough it was time for us to leave. I looked at my phone, only two hours had passed but it was close to 1 am as we said good-bye. I scurried out the door as fast as I could without appearing as if I wanted to get the fuck out.

Truth be told, he was a decent guy: capable, well-mannered, an apt speaker. Truth be told, I was upset. After that day the family never called back.

This is the second installment of “Life, Arranged,” a series of true stories about a young Muslim student unwittingly in the process of finding a husband. New stories will be posted every other Friday and you can follow us on twitter @jerkmagazine to check for updates.