The boy who cried ‘Wedding.’

A famous Ethiopian entertainer was once being interviewed on ETV when he was asked about his children, ahun yet dereja endederesu. The man, sitting up straight and proud, answered andu lige graduate adergo teru sera yizo eyesera new, lelagnaw demo Talian ager yedual. Eee, Talian ager….and?! Well, you see Talian ager mehed was a great accomplishment all on its own. No one asked what happened addisu ager ketegeba bewhala.

These days, after millions having left their country and having witnessed the harsh realities that can come with life as an immigrant, leaving is no longer viewed as an accomplishment, definitly a way to possible success, but not as success on its own. You know what seems to have replaced it, standing on its own as a great achievement without too much of handwork and labor? – Marriage! Yes, walking down the aisle, kulun tekula, mizew fezo, hayloga techefero…. the whole shir gud is given a rather superior status.

All this came to me a couple days ago when i got a call from a close friend telling me that he’ll be getting married in a couple weeks. I’ve received this call, from the same dear friend twice already, announcing the same news – the great wedding – the only thing different was the would be bride. The supportive friend that i am, I announced, once again, my excitement and joy to hear the news. Later that day, as i shared the news with others, i was reminded, by a witty friend, of the boy who cried wolf… in this case wedding.

This friend of mine is definitly not an exception, everyone these days seems to be getting engaged, married, planning on getting engaged or married, talking and obsessing about getting engaged or married! – that is according to Facebook and conversations i have with countless friends who are quite caught up with their relationship status. As a bit embarrassing as it is, relationships seem to dominate as the main topic of conversations… does this render us lifeless or has this been the norm for people in their 20s and 30s since decades ago?

When did marriage become a goal to achieve all on its own? Why has it become such an issue? Has this always been the case?People as young as 26 and 27 are actually worried about finding a husband/wife. I know i’m not the ideal person to discuss this issue given the fact that i am married. But, the irony is that when i did decide to get married, i thought of all my friends who were pursuing higher education or chasing after their dream jobs, while i chose to move to a state with less than ideal conditions for finding a job that i felt suited me, to be with the person i loved – i have to say, i felt a little less than. If i knew then what i know now, i would not have stressed so much about it.

Yes, being with the person you love is a beautiful thing, but it has to be because you want it, not because you feel like that’s what you’re suppose to want. Marriage is a freakishly difficult thing, being married is a lifelong road to travel through, not a destination to reach. Especially given the high rate of divorce that currently exists, please be dame certain that it’s what you want, that it’s he/she you want. Whatever the future holds, at least you’ll know it’s you and only you that made the choice . Hopefully however romantic your decision, you will have made a logical one also.

You see ‘the boy who cried wedding’ seems to be more intrigued about the idea of getting married rather than what’s to come after the marriage. He just wants to “settle down,” with whomever, however. I couldn’t blame him, since most of his friends where  getting engaged, married, planning on getting engaged or married, talking and obsessing about getting engaged or married!

If there’s one thing i’ll end with it would be – just be yourself, do what YOU want – you’re going to be stuck with yourself for quite a while.

Tena Yistelegn.