In the series of incidents around my journey along the arranged marriage highway, my second gem:
Mr. I-have-chalked-out-your-life-for-you: This one is almost too good to be true. I definitely remember how and when I met this guy. In fact, thanks to the person who had arranged this, my entire family and family's family also knew about this guy. His family credentials had been checked and while I was all of 25 (over the hill for most Indian women, right?) my cousin's uncle even pulled me aside at a family function and said to me, "Why don't you just say yes to this guy and put an end to your parents' misery?" I was angry... and as the Martian in Looney Tunes would say to Bugs Bunny, I wanted to say, "You have made me very angry... very angry indeed." But then "good upbringing" always seems to prevail. One is taught not to talk back and all that.
Finally, the 'boy' and his mother came to meet us. (I find it amusing that even when they cross 50, men are always referred to as boys when they are looking for a bride.) And everyone went to the dining area to have coffee, leaving the two of us to talk and 'get to know each other'. I have never understood how people decide, in an hour, or much less, who they will wake up with for the rest of their lives!
I was preparing to take the GMAT and I told him as much. He said, "So, you're a career minded woman. That's OK." (Oops... last heard that wasn't a crime. But will you,oh will you forgive me?) You can work for the next 3 years. After that we will have our first child. And after that I won't entertain any requests from you to go back to work again... ever! We had moved to the balcony by then and I almost fell from the 3rd floor to the children's play area below. I was so utterly shocked. I told him, "You haven't asked me to marry you. I haven't said yes. You haven't asked me if I want to have children at all. You have assumed that I'll give up my job when I have the baby. And, finally, you've taken it that my career decisions will rest in your hands. Isn't that a little too much?"
He said, "My mother always stayed home when we were kids. So my sister and I decided that a mother should always stay home. My sister also worked for 3 years after her marriage and had her first child then. And she's ket her part of the agreement and not gone back to work after that." (I love the logic. Can't beat this, can you?) I argued with him a bit and at the end he said, "Look, if you have 10 points for, I will have 10 points against, but this is not about who wins the argument. This is how I have planed my life and yours. That's it!"
Needless to say, when the cups of coffee were empty... pleasant goodbyes were exchanged and we never heard from them again!