Equal Partnership

I was browsing through the work of a has-been-under-consideration wedding photographer on Facebook, when I saw the typical shot of the Malay bride sitting on the dais while her groom is seated cross-legged on the floor, about to go through the solemnisation rite.

And I suddenly got the chills. Suddenly, a sense of dread came over me. Suddenly, I realised the moment of my upcoming wedding that I would dread the most; being seated in precisely that position, behind my husband-to-be, and having paparazzi family, friends and the hired photographer taking photographs of me seated like that.

No, it’s not because I’m camera-shy (I’m totally far from it). It’s not because I’m afraid of blinding camera lights. It’s not because I fear appearing fat in photographs when taken from so many different angles.

It’s because the whole position smacks of inequality to me.

It’s becase I would rather be seated beside him, rather than behind him, as the proceedings take place.

Because I would be his equal partner in this life journey called marriage rather than him being the shepherd and I’m just the docile sheep. (No matter how the proceeding itself may smack of inequality, at the very least its contents are not photographed for ‘eternal’ memory.)

Because I made my own damn choice to get married, because it takes two damn hands to clap, one of which is mine, MINE, and I am an active party in this whole affair of getting married, so I deserve to be right there beside him as it is not only he who is marrying me; it is also I who is marrying him.

I expect a lot of people to disagree with me on this (but since when did I care about people?). Unfortunately, my old folks would also disagree.

The mister would just say, don’t shake things up, you know I won’t be the wife-beater obey-me husband, right? Since when do you ever listen to me so willingly without giving it a good fight? Since when do you ever listen to me, if at all? (I do dear, sometimes; I just take some time to tame that blind rebel in me. And it takes a smart, confident man like you to give an obstinate woman like me that time and space to come to her own decision which happens to coincide with what you prefer me to do.)

Should I just rebel anyway? Insist that I would like to be seated beside my husband-to-be as the proceedings take place? It is, after all, me myself and I who is getting married. Perhaps I could start dropping hints to the old folks, like what I did with my other ‘crazy’ ideas on how I’d like the wedding done (and have so far been relatively successful at getting my way)? Perhaps I could mention how I’d like to ‘pay tribute’ to my Acehnese (read: Indonesian) roots, confirm with my old folks that those distant relatives got married by sitting side by side and mention I’d like to be just like them?

Perhaps, perhaps…


3 thoughts on “Equal Partnership

  1. The Acehnese argument might work. You could show them photo albums of Indonesian couples. I have an aunt who is very into this, and made all her children marry side-by-side. She uses the argument that it’s authentically Javanese 🙂

    • Yes I would have to dig up photos they took themselves; I believe they attended at least two weddings of Acehnese relatives; one in Aceh and one in Malaysia. Although I think the one held in Malaysia would have been ‘Malayanised’ and the bride would have followed typically Malay custom. Perhaps I could make that whole particular segment of the wedding Acehnese, down to the outfit! Perhaps, perhaps… ;p

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