Monday, October 17, 2016

Rolling The Dice

An interesting story in The Star about a man that stabbed his brother-in-law-to-be to death, because the latter had discovered that the former, despite claiming that he's a bachelor, was actually already married since 6 years ago.

The article says "about to get wed", but it's unclear if that meant about to get wed as in a couple of days, or was it on the wedding day itself? If it's the wedding day, I'm dying of curiosity—why would a groom-to-be bring a knife to his wedding? I mean, that knife is not really important as far as this post is concerned, but I'm just a curious animal, you see.

Anyway, I posted an article in this blog entitled "The Art of Proposal & The Dying Fire" some years ago. A long time ago, when I was still a bachelor, I used to have a bit of a phobia about being married. A friend had told me that the divorce rate in Malaysia was roughly about 30%. I'm not sure where he got that figure from, but I was, like, "Wow! 70% of marriages will last forever! scary!"

Now there are many reasons why a marriage would fail, of course; and one of them is what my brother had experienced in the article that I quoted in the preceding paragraph above. But I think the other common reason is that people don't really know the people that they want to marry. They are, like, seated in the grandstand at a horse race. They get to see the horses from afar when they're paraded to the audience, and then they place their bets on the horse that looks the most promising to them. They get a glimpse of those horses, but they don't really know very much about them. The horse that they pick eventually just seems like it's a winner, but that may turn out to be a wrong judgment!

Many people choose their life partners the same way that they'd bet on horses too. They know some things about their future spouses, and then they're convinced that whatever that they don't know yet will be something that they can sort out after the wedding. Well, let me just say that if a woman is unaware that the man she's gonna marry is already married, then she knows nothing about him!

When I first got to know my wife many years ago, there was a time when I wondered if she was a transvestite! It had something to do with her manly voice; and I used to cringe in pain whenever she tried to sing, because it's just too awful—she's always way out of tune! It's fast approaching 30 years since the very first time I got to know her, and I sometimes still cringe in pain whenever she sings! At times, she'd try too hard to be funny, and she'd sing P. Ramlee's song, "Tidurlah wahai permaisuri; Tidurlah...pejam mata..."; and I would imagine that P.Ramlee is turning in his grave!

People can fall in love with a total stranger, i.e. without knowing anything about him. And love is, of course, an important ingredient for a successful marriage. In the good old days, many people had their parents choosing their spouses for them. Their parents were the ones seated in the grandstand, observing the horses, so to speak, and then placing their bets on the best horse. The bride and groom, if they're lucky, would then hope to fall in love after the wedding. And if they're not lucky, then they will just endure the crappy deal for the rest of their lives. Those were the affairs of things in the good old days. These days, it doesn't really work that way anymore. Women, especially, are aware of their rights; they won't just suffer in silence. They are prepared to give their husbands the "24-hour notice" if that becomes necessary!

In the end, I think it's almost impossible to know everything there is to know about one's future spouse. Getting married is still in most cases a gamble—it's a lot like rolling the dice and hoping for the best outcome. Sometimes, you get pleasantly surprised with something good from your spouse that you didn't expect. But at other times, you get surprised by something that annoys you a great deal. Whether or not you will end up making it work depends on which is more. If there is more good than bad, then it's much easier to keep it going, and hope that at least some of the bad ones could be changed into good eventually. But if you get substantially more bad than good, it's usually a matter of time before the marriage would fail, and the parties start rolling the dice again.

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