Thursday, January 10, 2008

Of priorities and choices and the right age

I wonder all the time as to why we Indians are so age-centric.Everything that we do has to be at the right age.One has to get married at the right age,one has to have children at the right age.Even the little ones are not spared.There is constant scrutiny about whether the child started walking/talking at the right age?Was the child weened off at the right age?What is with this age fixation?

My brother-in-law is 8 years older than M and I and he got married a couple of years after we did.He was 36 then.My mother-in-law used to obsess so much about his not getting married at the right age that one had to see it to believe it!It had reached a point wherein all one had to do was mention the word marriage to push my BIL's buttons.He was utterly disgusted with the whole process and since thats all my in-laws(and their nosy relatives) would ever talk about,he just stopped calling home for months together.My BIL felt he was ready to get married when he was 36.So what?That was his bloody choice.He was a mature adult who knew what he wanted from life.There ends the matter.I could not believe how all the relatives took it upon themselves to get him married by hook or crook!And the funny thing is when M and I got married,we were both 25 years old and these very relatives wondered if 25 was the right age for M to be entering wedlock.Wasn't he way too young,they asked.Go figure!

The other day my friend R and I were having a nice long chat over Margaritas.Now R,her husband A,M and I are all of the same age.So our conversation veered towards the inevitable topic of babies which is when she revealed that she and A have been trying for quite sometime now but with no luck.She went to add that she got a nice big lecture from her MIL about how they were already past the right age to have a baby so now they better hurry and get done with it!It seemed like they not really ready for a baby but they have to go ahead and try to conceive one nevertheless because the in-laws think the right time has come.

Earlier it was the older folks....the ones that belonged to our parents and their parents' generations..that did all the poking and prodding.But looks like there is a change in trend.Atleast in my case most of the starting-a-family queries comes from cousins and friends who are in the same age group as us!When I told my friend R that we plan to have a baby after a while,she went ballistic!She enlightened me as to how all babies conceived after the age of 30 turn out to be retards and how it is always either twins or triplets.Thats the curse.Now take Farah Khan's case,she exclaimed!Errr...isn't Ms.Khan close to 42 years old?And since when is having twins or triplets restricted to older women only?All this coming from a seemingly rational and intelligent girl!I was appalled at how illogical and stupid all her arguments were.I mean, I probably would have paid attention to what she was saying if her reasoning was plausible and rational.But all I could sense was desperation and frustration on her part.I kinda felt sorry for them for the ridiculous amount of pressure that they allowed themselves be subjected to.From what I have heard,as it is conceiving a baby is not always a roll in the hay!

I cannot bring myself to judge people about the choices they make and the priorities they choose.I have unmarried female friends who are way past 30 and living it up.I have friends who are in their 20s and have 2 kids and are eagerly planning for their third.One of my friends is a PhD who has chosen to be a SAHM and is extremely happy and content.It is after all their life and their choice.And no one has the right to butt in.

Does everyone think so too?Or is it that there is always the right age for everything?I would love to know...


La vida Loca said...

oh my parents say the same thing..apparently if u are married at the right time, u have babies at the right time, and by the time u retire, ur son can support u.

or the world will come to an end

Renovatio said...

Bah, no such thing. You do things when you're good and ready. You. Not them, you. A lot of the things I've seen people in my life do, and tried to do myself, if done any earlier or later, would result in a very different, far less successful them/me.

whatever said...

well the way to look at it is - there is a suggested age with exceptions allowed..and I guess that suggested age is what people are trying to tell is not a question of the world coming to an end or something but I am sure some of the reasons they give for the suggested age seem strong while some of the counter reasons seem ok as well (career etc...)

I love Lucy said...

@Loca : Sheesh! Its kinda hard to fathom such logic alla!

@Reno : And you are 20 years old you say? :-) Well said my young friend,very well said!

@Whatever : I am YET to come across "Strong" or "logical" reasoning. Suggested age with exceptions allowed?Now that is a new one to me!!An example would be good to atleast try and figure what it is that you are trying to say.
The right or wrong age is what you perceive it to be and how it works it for you.No body else can force decisions down your throat just because you reach a certain age.Be it any kind of decision.

Renovatio said...

Eighteen, actually :p

Gauri said...

"The right age" indeed !!
I remember when I was about 3 3 1/2 years into my marriage - and was in India on a holiday - I had been to a function there and quite a few ladies there took it upon themselves to tell me that it was "high time" we had a baby.
Best part of the whole thing was that I did not even know some of these ladies.
Some things, like certain attitudes, just don't change, I guess !!

Bikerdude said...

Aha what a post I say. Story of my life only.

'Cept now I've bitten off enough heads at home so they all shut up. It's people at work, secondary aquanitances, and believe it or not, random people on the road, bus etc, that I need to learn to cope with without blowing my single and happy fuse at.

Thanks for saying all those things ma Lucy.

I love Lucy said...

@Reno : Oh,my bad :-P

@Gauri : You bet!And leave alone advising me,some of these "ladies" call up my parents and advise my mom about how she is being irresponsible by "letting" us postpone having kids till we think the time is right!

@Bikerdude : It is random people just dish out advice at will,most of the times,unwarranted! You just enjaay your single life as long as you wish to, I say!

Silvara said...

meh. never believed in doing things at the 'right' time which is why it took me 6.5 years to graduate (i transferred courses after 2 years to my parent's horror) and then recently got married despite me not having started my job yet - and I STILL get advice from all angles to have kids at the 'right time' or otherwise i am apparently going to shrivel up lol.

I love Lucy said...

@silvara : oh this is just the beginning!just wait and see the varieties of "advice" that will be doled out to you.It is "The Desi Curse" :-)

Anonymous said...

Arrghh parents (and nosy same-age cousins)! My MIL tells me that when her family doc asked her my age she deliberately reduced a yr, despite which she got a shocked 'So she's still not planning one?' from the grand ol' dame (who appretnly delivered the husband). They might soon just start paed ki pooja!

lal said...

Well, am not much for any traditions, advice etc. But if having a child is indeed part of your plan then here is another data point.

We did not even try to have a child for 7 years post marriage - thinking we don't want to have any regrets about having missed out on any partying, late nights, travel, indulging in anything/everything of interest. Finally, we both felt the time was right and were surprised that two really healthy, regularly exercising, eating right individuals, with not an iota of health problems would have difficulty conceiving. Turned out this was one of those unexplained thing. Everything was perfect from both sides but the little spermies and ovies just didn't want to get together.

It all worked out well after an emotionally draining/turbulent ride of 3 years. But when we think about our child we feel that we would advise her to keep this in mind when planning.