“What about this one?” The girl asked anxiously, holding up a pink and white dress with a colorful dupatta.
“It looks really nice!” her sister assured her from the bed, where she sat amid a pile of discarded clothing.
The girl held the dress up to her chin and peered at herself in the mirror, trying to ignore the waves of panic rising in her belly. If this is what it felt like to have ‘butterflies in your stomach’ then she was glad she had never felt it before.
After a few months of conversation between their families, a handful of meetings sans her and an intricate screening process conducted by her father and brother, she and the boy were finally going to see, meet and talk to each other for the first time.
So yes, no pressure.
Exasperated, the girl tossed the dress onto the growing pile on her bed, and went back to rummaging through her closet, searching for that elusive perfect outfit.
“Ok, they’re calling for you,” the girl’s sister-in-law announced, breezing into the room where the girl and her sister had been waiting tensely ever since the guests had arrived.
“No you’re not! You’re just stressed! Shake it off, come on they’re waiting!”
“Ok ok, let’s go. Wait, where exactly is he sitting? I don’t know what he looks like! How do I know which one is him and which ones are the brothers?”
“He’s sitting next to his dad at the end of the grey sofa, don’t worry, I’ll sit you down somewhere with a good view!”
“Ok stop stalling, it’s time for your big entrance!”
“Ok now I’m hyperventilating again!”
The girl’s sister-in-law laughed, giving the girl a quick hug before ushering her out and gently steering her towards the sound of laughter and voices.
The two girls paused just outside the door.
“I think so..”
Smiling nervously, self consciously clenching and unclenching her fingers, the girl followed her sister-in-law into the brightly lit room.
She could feel her heart pounding, sure that everyone could hear it. Her face flushed, she tried to remember to smile and return everyone’s greetings as she took a few awkward steps.
Her eyes darted around the room, from one new face to the next as she took in the boy’s family.
Then she saw him. There, on the far end of the room, a nervous smile on his face, was the boy.
He looked up, and their eyes met.
…to be continued!
Over the years since I’ve been blogging I’ve been asked more than once how I met my husband, how arranged marriages work. Each marriage, arranged or not, comes about differently and I can’t speak for them all, but this is my story.