July 15, 2008
Want to know what the 7 steps (or 7 rounds for the ‘phere’-centrics) of a marriage actually refer to?
Stage 1- Realization
To start with, people in their mid-twenties kinda experience this. This slowly builds up- it is like hot coffee brewing, to be consumed at the right time- too hot and the taste dies.. and too early, taste falls flat. Void for a female companion arises from various angles- be it societal pressure or someone to help you maintain composure and have coherent thoughts, etc etc. Whatever the reason is, the phase (and end result) is the same.
Stage 2- Denial.. [pause] then Confession
Denial of the above realization. Denial comes in because the above leads to a change, which the system is not accustomed to. The horrid tales of married people along with thoughts of losing “freedom” make it scarier. Slowly, time and patience give in, the denial fades out and confession is made- not just to self but also to parents with the “please put me in the market” plea.
Stage 3- Canvassing
This is the pre-market round, before one is formally put in the market. Canvassing is done, similar to how politicians do before getting votes- in this case, to get better “exposure”. Visits to relatives (even the never-met kind) and friends (who are married or hooked up) increase drastically, to out send signals that you are “available” or on-the-prowl (in the arranged-marriage sense).
Sage 4- Round table discussions
Unless it is a fictitious post, there are several rounds of discussion to check the “compatibility”. Email/Chat/phone leading to meetups- no one wants to discount the possibility of “falling in love” with the girl one is set up with.. Aajkal saying “it was arranged-cum-love marriage” seems to be common (as if until now, the arranged marriages were devoid of love).
Stage 5- Filtering (2-way): Just like guys used to filter girls based on education/job, complexion, physical location, girls are filtering guys based on greencard processing stages, company, annual salaries (and/or benefits, 401k), etc. And yeah, the above mentioned compatibility (#4) is also factored in..
Stage 6- Rethinking (mentally, financially, sanity check) – this is the stage with the finger on the emergency “Eject button”, just in case. Gone are the days when having cold feet was restricted to brides; in this age of gender equality and EOE-esque society, even grooms have those last-minute doubts (esp. during Bachelor parties). This is the last chance to tell mom about Samantha, Nancy or Oliver, whichever the case is..
Stage 7- Marriage!
PS: I am in the denial stage