I was watching the National Geographic Channels show Taboo (http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/taboo/all/Overview) last night when they featured a show on certain “love & marriage” taboos, entitled Strange Love. The ones they showcased were situations in today’s world that I thank God I am not involved in…………. a real-life “Lars and the Real Girl” relationship, when a man in the United States falls in love with a sex doll. Australia, a couple stays faithful by having sex with strangers. In poverty-stricken Nepal, innocence is lost when a 7-year-old child is sold as a bride for $15. Then, in the United Kingdom, a man defies one of his country’s strictest taboos by marrying seven women. He was formerly a Jewish Rabbi.
It was an incredibly interesting show. If you’ve never checked it out, I highly suggest it. Especially if you’re into documentaries. You can usually find it Wednesdays on NatGeo @ 10pm.
Anyway…………. enough of my preamble. My point is not to poke fun at other peoples ways of life, or to mock or criticize. Who you love should be your own choice, made by your own free will……………
That brings me to my actual point, and what I saw in this show that disgusted me……yet at the same time made me so entirely thankful.
Arranged childhood marriages.
They showcased a young “couple” to be wed in Nepal. Both children were 7 years old. The young girl was being sold by her family to his family for a mere $15. They explained that as she aged, it would be more expensive to marry her off, so they needed to do it while she was still young. After the wedding, both children would live apart, with their own families. In ten years, they would have a 2nd wedding and at that time they would come together and unite in their marriage and start living together and starting a family. Having only met one time before, at the age of seven at their first wedding. What occurs is simple, a business transaction. One that will affect these two people for the rest of their lives.
They had no choice in anything. In being married, in having children, in spending the rest of their lives together. Viewing this made me feel so many things………… I was on an emotional roller-coaster. The most overwhelming response though was the feeling of gratitude.
I felt so grateful to be in my situation, even with a broke ass budget. To be marrying the man of my dreams, the man of my choosing, at the age of 28………… not 8. To have had my life experiences as an arsenal of knowledge to make this decision. To be able to plan my own wedding. So many little things I normally take for granted, I was now appreciating.
So my goal for now on is to notice the little things- to take them in and savor them. Moment by moment. Piece by piece. I will be aware, and grateful.