Avoiding Bride Shopping

So mom is here.

And like all Syrian moms (and ultimately all moms from the this region), the topic of marriage opened up within minutes of arriving.

“So Kinan do you love someone now?” she said as I was still struggling with her one small bag of 700 kilograms.

“No mom,” I said, “and I am horny,” I added just to please her ears.

It was then that I discovered how to fight off the menace of being coaxed into arranged marriages and be frowned upon by your friends and other people who think you are too much of a loser to not be able to get a girl for yourself. I don’t believe it is the case always, some people really have no choice but to marry this way, and others just willingly choose to. Each to his own, and I don’t hold it against anyone.

I would rather though pick a girl of my choosing. I don’t want to marry my mom (since all moms pick someone who is a replica of them).

“OK,” she said, “we will talk about this later.”


No more than 5 hours later, in the comfort of our home, mom opened the topic.

“So I saw Rummanah in the summer, they told me they are living here in Sharjah!” my mom said in uttermost pleasure. I was nibbling on kibbeh at that time. Moms know when to strike. But, I now have my secret weapon.

It is funny though, mom’s family. It consists almost exclusively of females. Most of the men die at a very young age in mom’s family (not exceeding 50 years of age), so the whole family primarily consists of widows and unmarried girls/teens/young women/spinsters. As a method of survival, of some sorts, I have discovered, through observation, that these women reproduce on their own. As if the now-widowed women store their late husbands’ semen for future use. They seem to be infinitely multiplying and every time we visit them, there are just so many more of them. All the men are called by their first names because they are so few, whereas the women have to be called by their entire family tree to know which girl we are talking about.

So as you would have guessed, I had no idea which Rummanah my mom was refering to. Her cousin? Her aunt? Her second, third, fourth, twentieth cousin of some obscure named woman? Who knows.

“Wow that is great,” I told mom and she knows I don’t mean it. I always run away from those oestrogenous family gatherings.

But I can understand my mom. If I got the early death gene from her side of the family, I more or less lived half of my life by now, and I would be struggling the final 5 years with some absolutely unique kind of disease, and then be alright for a year or two and then pass away suddenly while attending a party or sleeping.

So technically, now is the best time to get married.

“Yes I know,” she said.

“Well how about you find me a good wife?” I suggested. This is the secret weapon all of us men-running-away-from-arranged-marriages should have. The key though is to appear serious.

You should wait for her reply.

Here it is! “Oh really? Great! I will do that as soon as I go back to Syria!” she said happily.

This buys me one year before the topic is opened again or before I will be rejecting some bride-shopping sprees next year (assuming of course I do get a holiday next summer).

So here it is folks. Don’t resist. Just entertain your parents’ thoughts for a while and the fuss will be over in no time.