The age of weddings and the maleness of being macho

I’m in that age group where many of my friends are either already married or about to get married. Last count, I’ve been to five weddings in the last two years and, by the looks of the way a few more of my friends are going, I’m probably looking at another couple more in the next 18 months. I do like going to weddings. Specially now when all of my friends are busy with their careers and their own families, weddings are usually the only times when I see the barkada in full force.

The only damper on weddings and, maybe in general, this whole age group scene I currently find myself in, is the way some single girls see these as occasions to take stock of their romantic life. I have to admit, seeing a friend off to tie the knot and, at the reception, sitting at a table filled with couples can be really confronting. But then I do have these mental conversations with myself where I assure myself that getting married in your mid to late 20’s is not necessarily something everyone has to do.

By the way, I have Edsa traffic to thank for the ample opportunity it offers me every day to have such self-conversations. Then again, I think of how all those hours stuck in traffic talking to myself could’ve been spent hanging out in places where I could potentially meet Mr Right. Sorry, I digress…

Anyway, such self-assurance would have made for an easy closure to such insecurity attacks if it weren’t for all the people who ask pokey questions like “Any wedding bells in the horizon?” or, worse, do the customary — and very pushy — looking-and-motioning the single ladies at the table to join the fray at that dreaded point during the reception when the bride throws her bouquet before making her exit. And here’s what’s really bad: On one or two occasions, I ended up having to pick up the bouquet off the floor after all the supposedly eligible bachelorettes thought this whole throwing-the-bouquet ritual is a game of dodgeball. Hello, ladies? You’re supposed to climb all over one another to catch the the thing — like they do in the movies!

Ladies, sayang naman that Western cosmpolitan look you took the trouble to put on if you all still act like a bunch of probinsyanas.

At the reception of a wedding I attended late last year, I happened to be standing in line to the buffet table next to Tita, the mother of one of my friends (not her real name). Chit chat, chit chat, then the zinger of a question: “Why don’t you get together sometime with Jun-Jun [my friend’s younger brother, who’s taking up medicine at UE, or whatever — not his real name by the way]? He’s going to be a doctor, you know.”

Okay, firstly, do I really look that desperate?? I mean a younger man — and the brother of a friend of mine at that! Well, sure, he’s gonna be a doctor. But what about me? I’ve got targets too… like making my first million before I’m thirty…

Then there’s the more obvious question? What does Jun-Jun think? Does he even know his mother is staking out wedding receptions, stalking single ladies that she could pimp him out to?

On that occasion, the latter question was quickly resolved. From the corner of my eye, perhaps after a split second gazing wide-eyed at Tita frantically cobbling together a witty response to her question, I spied the familiar form of Jun-Jun’s pale round face from the corner of my eye. Upon glancing briefly in the direction of that blurry image in the periphery, and catching Jun-Jun looking away even more quickly, I realized he was all the while watching us from afar with a smile on his face.

Jees… what’s up with guys who involve their mothers in their dating games? I do know in lion prides, it is the females that do all the hunting while the male lounges around in the sun. Goes to show, maybe our society hasn’t really evolved much.

Hopefully Jun-Jun is not representative of the typical Filipino male. I based that hope on the Philippines being purported to be a “macho” society — macho, as I understand the term, implying an above-average maleness.

I need to get a place closer to the office…

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10 Comments on “The age of weddings and the maleness of being macho”

  1. No kidding. Everytime I do anything to a girl out of politeness or propriety in any wedding, the assumption is that I’m scoping for a mate. Then follows the rotten affair of being dragged to that contest of those flowers and garters being thrown around at hicks who pretend demureness.

    Hence my tendency to avoid wedding receptions, or if they cannot be avoided, I’d veer off with the familiar uncles and cousins and finish off the brandy.

  2. I visited one church wedding in the Philippines, but even that is different to European customs. If and when my mother would start the negotiations for an “arranged marriage” that can only mean one or two things: Either I am (too) shy to approach any woman of my liking or I am a muslim where “arranged marriages” is the norm.

    But no one will aproach you here in the west to see if you are still a bacholerette, single and eligible. We dont interfere in your privacy. You are one of the guests. I would even consider it rude (to approach you), so I guess that mom was joking.

  3. Yes, what I really don’t get is how people here see others’ plans to marry or not as being part of their business…

  4. married people want the singles to get married to they feel they made the right choice. if a single person is happy, a married one sees that and is miserable

  5. nice article you got there 1st of all. everytime i’m into that exact situation you stated, madalas na gusto ko itanong “why a big fuss?” di ba? not to make a give a snobbish impression but more of bakit kelangan pakialaman ang personal na buhay?

    1. Maybe there are just a lot of people whose lives aren’t interesting enough that they have to poke their noses into other people’s business all the time.

  6. Marriage is a vocation, it is a CHOICE, much like being single for the rest of our lives is a choice. Marriage and the opposite takes equal amount of courage, however, getting married is normally tied to “age” This applies more to women than men. In our culture, we are taught or led to believe that when a woman ages beyond acceptable standards, they become ineligible to marry. This is the common belief to this day, and sad to say that it is what men adhere to, both for tradition and for more practical and biological reasons.

    My take? The age where one can or should marry has nothing to do with what other people’s opinion. I believe that as long as two people love each other and want to take their relationship to a higher and more legally binding level, go, even if there is no more hope of bearing children. Love will fuel this anyway. Other people’s opinions about age, regardless of being a man or a woman? Take them as suggestions and their personal opinion, nothing to be perplexed about since everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Annoying as it may seem, they’re just merely suggesting that you might be left behind, and for what it’s worth It’s still our choice to or not to marry. They don’t have the right to impose.

    As for male machismo in the form of a slacking hunter is concerned. Trust me when I say to you that the majority of males eligible enough to pursue a Manileña woman (i.e., home-owning, race-car driving, rich or stable dudes out there) are pretty much are a choice between introverted (Jun-Jun), not interested in women or are the abusive playboy types. The lower classes will have much of the same, but have a bigger majority of ballsy types that would hunt for themselves.

    1. Wow, that’s not a very promising view of the male prospect out there. 🙂 But I do like your take on how to regard the all the opinion surrounding us on how to live our lives…

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