How I Am Sabotaging My Parents’ Attempt at Finding Me a Wife

Part one in an ongoing series, I’m sure.

Our conversation the other day went something like this:

Parents: You know, all of your cousins are starting to get married…

Me: Yep.

Parents: And you’re not married.

Me: Nope.

Parents: And you haven’t shown interest in the indian girls we know…

Me: Nope.

Parents: We have a relative in India who said he’ll start looking for a potential wife for you…

Me: Tell him to stop.

Parents: We’ll just tell him to send you all the girls’ biodata.

Me: No.

Parents: Just tell us what you’re looking for in a wife.

Me: Ok… Tell him she has to be an atheist.

The parents have not brought up the topic since.

Round one goes to me.

For the record, I could care less about a girl’s atheism so long as we have shared values. But this was a quicker way to end the discussion…


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://students.washington.edu/mgamini Michael

    Ha! Nicely done.

    My parents don’t want me dating at all because they know that I will not date a Mormon girl, and if I marry outside the church, they’ll know I’m lost for good.

  • mike

    Is it just me or does it seem highly hypocritical for an atheist to get married? To do so it has to go through a church, even it isn’t a traditional one, no? I don’t intend to get married, but a civil union might prove useful for taxes and such. Why do people have to label a relationship for it to become valid? Why can’t two people in love just be together?

  • Rachel

    A woman who can provide for you in the style you have become accustomed to so you can pursue your goal of being an international man of leisure?

  • http://arkonbey.blogspot.com Arkonbey

    Ha.

    You didn’t relate the looks on their faces. Must have been priceless.

    Wait until you do get married and the ‘when are you going to have kids’ talk starts. The ‘we’ve got a cat’ argument didn’t work for us, but luckily my sister obliged…

  • Ben

    Is it just me or does it seem highly hypocritical for an atheist to get married?

    I don’t see how the one has anything whatsoever to do with the other.

    To do so it has to go through a church, even it isn’t a traditional one, no?

    Nope. My wife and I got married in a restaurant by a Justice of the Peace. No religion or church was involved at any point. Marriage is already a wholly civil institution in addition to being a religious institution – we file taxes MARRIED filing jointly, the state laws refer to marriage, etc.

    I don’t intend to get married, but a civil union might prove useful for taxes and such.

    Taxes and such are determined by your status of being married or not. The civil union IS a marriage. Religion does not own the term nor the concept.

    Why do people have to label a relationship for it to become valid? Why can’t two people in love just be together?

    It is already valid for the two individuals involved. If they wish their wider society to see them as a permanently (semi-permanently? I dunno) committed couple, they get married. Or any number of other personal reasons.

  • Matt

    I’m dating an atheist Indian (Bengali if that matters) whose parents would never allow us to marry because I am non-Indian. Maybe you could find yourself an atheist American and we could swap. She still has some superstition but she’s only been in the U.S. for a little over a year. She’s coming around though.

  • Ryan

    I stumbled upon this atheist site this morning, pretty funny stuff. Hope that works for ya! When you get bored, read the bible!

  • TXatheist

    Hemant, my heart goes out to you for that pressure about marriage. Some of my relatives did the same thing about having kid(s) and after the first one I tell them my motto is ” One and done” and they back off. Hope you find the girl of your dreams….

  • stogoe

    Why can’t two people in love just be together?

    Because of the way that society works, you get a whole bunch of free rights and tax breaks when you decide to go down to the courthouse and label yourself in their terms. And for some people the benefits outweigh ‘sticking it to the man’.

  • mike

    I had assumed that in the context marriage would be religious, and civil union would be a non religious marriage done by the state. My point is that it would be hypocritical for an atheist to get married by a church.

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    To do so it has to go through a church, even it isn’t a traditional one, no?

    Why would a wedding have to take place in a church? As long as there is a legal representative of the state a marriage can take place anywhere. I would say half the weddings I’ve attended (including my own) did not take place in a church. No religion needs to be involved.

    Why do people have to label a relationship for it to become valid? Why can’t two people in love just be together?

    People don’t need to label their relationship, of course, but in the United States it makes sense to be recognized by the government. It is much easier to handle issues such as taxes, benefits, children, hospital visits, and death is you are married than in a relationship without a label. Plus, if you love someone it is nice to have a ceremony with family and friends to acknowledge the love. Not to mention the party after the vows.

  • Vincent

    I have a friend who, like me, was raised Catholic and stopped going a long time back. Unlike me, I think he’s just apathetic about it.
    He married an Indian woman (he’s not of Indian background but went to India for the big wedding).
    Now they are raising their kids Hindu.
    I think you should be concerned about her atheism. While couples can usually work around religious differences, when kids come into the picture it’s a whole different story.

  • http://www.cognitivedissident.org cognitive dissident

    “I could care less about a girl’s atheism so long as we have shared values.”

    Don’t you think that atheism and values are related, at least to the extent that atheism (at least a considered, thought-out arrival at a non-theist position) necessitates a greater-than-usual reliance on rationality and empiricism?

  • Ron in Houston

    Parents! The best thing about parents is that they are true tests of our wisdom and maturity.

    It is always interesting to look at how our parents respond to cultural conditioning. The advantage is that it helps us reject those part of our culture that have long ago outlived their usefulness.

  • http://limadean.wordpress.com Nadine

    Good work!

  • http://www.rekounas.org rekounas

    Have you seen Russell Peters on arranged marriages?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kaNHO1mvCiE

    This is funny too.

  • K

    You MUST go rent The Wedding Banquet!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wedding_Banquet
    Such a good movie! His parents (Chinese) do the exact same thing. At one point, he lies and makes up what he wants in a woman so they’ll leave him alone (tall, opera singer) and they actually find him a girl who is tall and an opera singer, LOL, so be careful or you WILL get set up!

  • http://www.mindonfire.com John Remy

    “I could care less about a girl’s atheism so long as we have shared values.”

    I like that you made this distinction. I have friends with beautiful marriages where a common value is mutual respect for each others’ religion/unbelief. In my own marriage, my wife has transitioned from staunch theism to a light atheism, and her respect for my beliefs has been more important to me than her specific doctrinal stance at any given point.

  • Karen

    Hemant, my heart goes out to you for that pressure about marriage.

    Mine too. I hope you find your soul mate – with or without parental “help.”

  • Edwin

    I don’t quite understand how any atheist could have shared values with someone who believes in supernatural woo of one sort or another. People who lack a naturalistic worldview make very different decisions about life than people who have.

  • Josha

    This weekend my mom was asking me if I was dating anybody.
    I said no but that I had met a few nice guys at a freethinkers meeting.
    She responds, “So, I guess they are atheists too?”
    “Yes”
    And a disappointed “Oh” from her.

  • TXatheist

    Edwin,
    With regards to most values it’s about the science. My wife who believes in some type of god has no problem with me teaching science or values. One of the values I have learned from my believing wife is not to ridicule theistic beliefs while around my son. Example of me talking to my son : Jesus is a man who came to help the poor and tried to make very good moral precepts while on earth. Christians believe he is the messiah and part of the Trinity(less a few sects). Example of me talking among other atheists or when my son is old enough to debate/discuss : Jesus is a fictional character conjured up by ancient men from earlier messiah ideas and who was supposedly noble. Some people think he died on a cross and then later somehow floated off after being dead 3 days. My wife is not the type to say god created the world and man but will reinforce science. She can distinguish between religion and science.

  • Kathryn

    Oh, I can’t wait to have these types of convos with my parents. On the other hand, I would definitely want to marry an atheist or at least an agnostic. Religious people on their own are fine, but their families… ugh.

  • Susan

    My Shakespeare prof and his wife are from India, and they don’t attend church. or anything. They’re good people. Have find babies.

  • Julie

    Kathryn, you said it!!!! The families are the issue.

    Hemant, just do what I did and wait until your late 30s to get married. By that time your parents will be so overjoyed and relieved they’ll accept ANYone!

  • Jen

    My parents could care less about me getting married. They are after me to save, save, save and pay back my student loans

  • Robin

    I don’t quite understand how any atheist could have shared values with someone who believes in supernatural woo of one sort or another. People who lack a naturalistic worldview make very different decisions about life than people who have.

    Well, one of the values both atheistic ol’ me and my theistic Significant Other share is the respect for those who believe differently from ourselves. He’s told me that my atheism has made him a better Catholic, and I know his Catholicism has made me a better atheist. We keep each other honest.

    He’s convinced me that all Christians aren’t fundamentalist loons (I’ve had my doubts about that), and I’ve convinced him that Mother Theresa was a wretched excuse for a human being. He’s convinced me that there are some atheists who really are unrealistically bigoted against Christians, and I’ve gotten both him and his family to loosen up and accept the fact that athiests don’t want (or need) what their Saviour offers.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Hemant,

    You are young. Good for you in standing up to your parents. Try it (love) the American way. If that doesn’t work, who knows, your parents might find you a good atheist Indian girl!!!

  • AnonyMouse

    Hey, I’m single… and an atheist. Not Indian, though. LOL

    Seriously, good luck! It’d be nice if we could please our parents with our spouses, but I doubt that I’m going to fare very well in this regard.


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