Saturday, June 26, 2004

[Essay] Life and Love

Two days ago, during our lunch break a friend of mine imparted words of wisdom regarding life and love specifically the answer to the question "When is the right time to get married?"

In times past, marriage is solely a means to acquire wealth (or more wealth if you're already a wealthy man), elevate your social status (if you're a lowly duchess and you caught the eye of a crowned prince, you're likely to be the next queen!), acquire a good name or bring into the
family respectability & title, and the list goes on and on. In times past, it is the man who has to do the hard work...i.e. approaching the woman, making the first move, entertaining her...in short, keeping her interested. For a woman, it's quite easy (if you're a real beauty)for all you have to do is to attend all those soirees, dances, tea parties, musicales, and various social invitations that
the haut ton throws your way. Women in those times makes themselves visibly attractive at all times: their hair & makeup are perfect, they're gracious, polite, calm, elegant, moves around the room with such perfect gracefulness & poise, a beauty inside and out with their hovering mamas and a bunch of chaperones keeping a watchful eye on with whom you should be seen with and who should be avoided at all cost.

Though we have read a lot of historical romance novels and yeah, some, if not all of those situations, were once the norm of society. If a modern woman of today were transported to the past, it would definitely be such a great tragedy for her because it's not in the place of a
woman to decide whom to marry or to say yes to a marriage proposal but such privilege is given to either the father, the first born son, the uncle, the mother, the aunt (I think it's in that order).

As time passes on, people and tradition change as do society and culture. But of course, change is but constant in this world for our own progress. And as you can see and I'm quite sure you realize by now how courting nowadays is different from let's say the 18th century or so. Ok, so let's not compare it that far...let's say to the time of our own grandparents.

I'm not 100% a traditional person and I welcome & embrace new technology but there are values & traditions on how to go about things that I envy in their time. And that's the M word. I can't bring myself to say the word yet because it scares me. You may think I'm afraid of committment - well, maybe you're right. Their time was great when it comes to relationships because they got to know each other so well, did a good background check, and there's a lot of love & respect between them. And so they have lasting marriages compared to this modern era where divorce and or annulment is done in a blink of an eye.

On the subject of marriage, my grandmama advised me to marry well (i.e. a man who is honorable, responsible, a good son, a good provider, preferably has Chinese bloodlines, and most of all, a Catholic) while my mom says, I can get married right now if I want to (since I've gotten my degree) BUT it has to be to someone who is a good man, has a stable job, responsible, a good son, a good provider, & someone you're compatible with. He doesn't have to be filthy rich because you can't buy happiness & love but at least one who has a college degree to boast & comes from a good family and of course, a Catholic.

My grandmama married at a young age and my mom at 26. My 2nd cousin at 22 and a few friends at 19. So we found ourselves back to the question: "When is the right time/age to get married?" Both my grandmama & mom answered, when you are both physically, emotionally, intellectually, financially, and spritually stable..that's when you tie the knot.

But for this friend of mine, she shares: "It's not being financially ready that decides when but really, it's being emotionally ready that decides when. If you base it on finances or a fat savings account, then, you'll never see yourself married to the one you love. Being single & available, you tend to spend on whatever you fancy and you don't have that much to drive you to save more therefore, it would take forever for you to say, have a million bucks before you tie the knot! You might find yourself alone & wrinkled! All you need for finaces is a job, & a respectable amount of savings. You don't need a million before getting married because once you're married, spending priorities shifts towards savings because now, you have a family to take care of. It's now your goal to save & invest in things that would appreciate in the future."

While it is true that we should be emotionally prepared before we take on & start a family of our own, I think we should also be prepared financially due to the high cost of living that this day & age present.

In reaction to all that has been said and/or done, this is what I would like to leave you with for you to think about: "When HUNGER comes through the door, LOVE flies out the window."