‘Will you marry me? I can provide for you, I have sheep that can pay off the land and you can settle here in this beautiful country. You can get a piano in the house. I can make you happy.’ – Mr. Gabriel Oak, Far from the Madding Crowd.
I was watching this movie(Far from the Madding Crowd) a few days ago, after failing to find the book and something in it struck me. Men, in a time long gone as shown in the movie, used to marry women because they could provide for them, the men were hard workers. A man with work was looked at as a responsible man. He could take care of his family affairs.
It worked then and well, that if a woman turned down such a man she was considered stupid and childish. In the movie, Miss. Bathsheba Everdene declined to marry Mr. Gabriel Oak who she was fond of and liked because she was so valued her independence so much; she loved her life of freedom and was not looking for a man to tie her down because he has property.
She wanted a friend, a partner and romance in a husband not riches. She could provide for herself the little she needed and admired. Even when she came into her wealth and owned her own farm, Miss. Everdene declined her neighbor a rich single handsome and gentle man who asked for her hand in marriage. He came with property and riches and how he would retire her from working and make her a queen of two farms with lots of beautiful gowns and jewelry. She already had what he was offering her and needed more than the normal.
I suppose, the point I am driving to is, many ladies don’t know who they are and what they want and how to get they want and they end up rushing into marriage or settling down with any man because he is handsome, rich, perfect, and all the other little things that only ‘the-now’ can provide and not the later.
I have been proposed to, not once but twice. Once, I was fresh out of university. I had been dating him for the whole time I was there and to everyone else and him marriage was the next thing. But, I was not ready. I had not lived. I had not experienced life to my own advantage to settle down. I had a lot of things I wanted to do. My enterprising mind had many ideas to try out; and even if he would let me be what I wanted to be, I was unsure of who I was and what I wanted in the future to settle down then. He understood and waited but the wait became long, he had to move on.
Twice, when I had started to figure out what made me whole. Unfortunately for him, I had only just embarked on my journey and it proved to be interesting and ambiguous, that adding him on it was going to be either a drag or a competition, or even a burden. I liked him, and could see a future with him, but that was not enough considering why I saw myself.
I loved them but I knew I would resent them for letting me accept their proposals before I experienced what life was. Before I found out who I was and what made me whole. Before I figured out what my destiny was and what purpose am I on earth.
You see… money fades, beauty fades, today ends, love gets painful, life becomes bitter but I believe through a great understanding of self; your needs and wants, one can have a meaningful marriage. A marriage where friendship and companionship are mixed together for a better tomorrow and a great adventure. Having personal hobbies and experiences, friendships only built in knowing one self and the other can anchor great marriages. Understanding that no matter the weather, this one person will weather it with you.
But, what do I know? I am just an observer of systems, and a rebel ready to break each and everyone of them to build my own kind of happily-ever-after in marriage.
So as Miss Bathsheba Everdene, I will get married for friendships and not money nor beauty. I will marry for tomorrow not now. I will marry for myself and not for the sake of others. I will marry for improvement not “improvisation.” Above all, I will marry for who I am and who I want to be. I will get married to my own Mr. Gabriel Oak who will weather the weather with me.