Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Arranged marriages?

When I was about Leif’s age I was playing in my backyard with two of the neighbor girls, Dani and Jennifer, and the neighbor boy, Brandon. Brandon declared a rule:

“Whoever says me first, gets to marry me.”

I have never been terribly quick with my tongue and suffice to say I came in last. I stormed in crying and went to my dad explaining the situation. His reply was, “well why would you want to marry Brandon, he’s just a goofy kid from down the street?”

Brandon moved away or didn’t come around much after that, not sure which. I don’t remember what happened to him he just quit coming around shortly after that.

And I survived.

Leif seems to have a bit of a crush.

He is bound and determined that he is going to marry Niranjana, our good friends’ daughter. Trouble is that Niranjana has other plans.

“I am going to marry Ken,” she announces routinely.

At 6 years old I never thought I would see my son aiming to “break up” other kids!

“What does it mean to ‘break them up’?” I asked. He couldn’t possibly understand dating and boyfriend and girlfriend, could he?

“It means I don’t want them to get married, I want to break them up so they don’t get married,” he replied.

I have listed off all the reasons in the world why we just don’t need to worry about this right now.

… “but Niranjana’s mom says she can’t get married until she goes to college and I think that is a good idea too”…

… “there are so many other people out there, you will meet other people, other girls you might want to marry”…

… “it is a long time till you need to worry about who you will marry”…

(Leif replied the other day that this past year has gone by faster than the others he remembers, so he is going to need to worry about it sooner than we all thought… he has no idea how right he is.)

Nothing helps.

I went and picked Leif up the other day and the kids were all in the same room. Niranjana and Ken were coloring and Niranjana was leading the conversation.

“See Ken is from China and I am from India and so that makes us a perfect match!” (Chuckled to myself at this line of reasoning.)

Leif asked me the other day if he colored his hair black if I thought Niranjana might want to marry him.

Maybe I was getting a bit tired of this obsession. I broke loose and started on the long conversation about why would you want to marry a person who doesn’t want to marry you? Everyone deserves to marry someone who thinks that they are their perfect match regardless of hair color or anything else. Then I added – because I know that what a mom thinks bears heavily on her son’s mind (ha ha ha) – “Leif, I love your strawberry blonde hair and if you ever color it black it would make me so sad.”

He gave up the obsession for a day.

Finally yesterday a line of reasoning that might make sense to Leif entered. And it came from Niranjana.

“Niranjana says that we CAN’T marry each other because we are cousins!” he announced.

I could try and clarify… then I thought wiser of this and decided I would just take this for now.


Andy Perdue said...

FWIW, I'm rooting for Leif.

/not that I have a say in the matter.

Jay said...

this is toooooo funny!
Young Niranjana is a smart miss- Can't marry a cousin - I love it!