As a young girl, I’ve always dreamt of the fairytale wedding and being married to the man of my dreams by 25. The man would have green eyes, nothing below 6’1 and look like a walking Ken doll. The wedding would be filled with gardenias and loved ones, taking place in a castle (yes, Kensington style) and my dress would be straight off the Vera Wang runway. I would be engaged for 1 year and have a ring that PERFECTLY matched me; a petite ring to match my tiny hand but included a beautiful intricate diamond. My future husband was just supposed to know the exact ring for me and know to book Venice + Bora Bora for the honeymoon. Exactly two years after traveling and settling down with him in a condo in N.Y.C., we would decide we wanted to start a family. Nonetheless, one boy and one girl (two years apart and the boy would be older). We would move into a 5 bedroom modern home on the west coast, somewhere family-friendly like Orange County, ha. My kids would obviously be enrolled in private school and I’d be working as an editor for Vogue (remotely because that’s possible) and my husband would either be a doctor, lawyer or entrepreneur. We’d be a power couple and raise beautiful kids and live a perfect life. My 12-year-old persona was convinced it was going to happen and if it didn’t, I was settling for less.
Of course, I dream of all of those things still but reality has kicked in. When we’re younger we think of strict imagery and how everything is supposed to be pictured. As I aged, I learned how silly all of it is. There’s a saying in the Arab community that if you’re not married by a certain age, you’re “expired” which basically means
- After a certain age (28+), nobody is going to marry you
- There is obviously something wrong with you if you’re not married yet
- There are younger women out there that would be a better fit
- It’s only applied to women
It is the most outrageous, most sexist thing I have ever heard. It’s literally like our lives revolve around the 1940s. If I was born to marry a guy, why should I even bother getting an education? Who needs a voice, might as well take back my voting rights and ship me to Saudi. Thankfully, my mom doesn’t force me to think of marriage like typical Arab moms. This has carved me into focusing more on my own future rather than one with my future husband. I want to time travel back in time and tell my little self to stop daydreaming about my wedding and more about my goals. Don’t get me wrong, being in love is a beautiful thing but it’s not everything. Especially, not to me. My future husband needs to be my equal, not the reason I’m not “expired.” I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard feminist but I do believe in what’s right, women are not cartons of milk.