We all have a relative that is working abroad and excelling in his career while his mommy is bride-hunting for him here in Egypt. “We don’t want him getting us a girl that is from a different culture, or worse, a different religion” and so they say.
Mothers are always worried that having their sons oceans away would allow them to make the wrong decision; pick the wrong girl, and so to eliminate any chances for a crisis, they decide to find him the one.
The story we have witnessed belongs to 30-year-old Mr. X, a single man living abroad who preferred a hidden identity. He has gone through this matchup process several times and each time it is usually something like this:
1) The mother asks everyone she knows if they have seen any single respectable and beautiful women lying around
For days, the house turns into a call center, as the mother starts making her calls. Of course, it doesn’t get any easier when she receives pictures of candidates and starts comparing them to one another, and there is a tough choice to make. The next step really depends on the mother’s stalking skills, if she is tech-savvy then social media will be her go-to for collecting information but if that isn’t her thing, then word of mouth it is.
“Those ‘finalists’ might not even know that someone has been taking their pictures and sending them to a wanna-be groom across the ocean.”
2) Send the finalists to the son
Those ‘finalists’ who have survived the previous stage, might not even know that someone has been meddling and matching; stalking them, taking their pictures and sending them to a wanna-be groom across the ocean. In this stage, it is really just up to the son who must make his pick. If he refuses such tactics, he’ll be accused of seeing someone behind his mother’s back and if pointing fingers doesn’t bring him down, then the I want to see your kids before I die talk probably will. Based on only looks, the son makes his choice with absolutely no clue of this person’s personality.
3) And so, it begins
The mother makes the call, sets the date if the girl is interested and makes her son take a two-week vacation to meet the bride. Since everything happens too fast, each side tries to immediately test the other to form their impressions. They ask one another the important questions, they jump into conclusions about salaries, houses, and how many kids they’d like to have. Things that you discuss on date number 30 are things they discuss from day 1.
“Now, he thinks it is okay to share bills with his wife, that he doesn’t have to pay a mahr or throw a huge wedding. His mindset has been westernized, something that most certainly clashes with the Egyptian mindset of parents”
4) Problems arise when the differences appear
The son that has been living abroad for long years is certainly not the person he was before he left. Cultures have merged in his head and his thinking patterns have changed. Now, he thinks it is okay to share bills with his wife, that he doesn’t have to pay a mahr or throw a huge wedding. His mindset has been westernized, something that most certainly clashes with the Egyptian mindset of parents who want to guarantee their girl’s future and not just give her away without the traditional procedures.
5) The girl doesn’t want to leave mamma’s embrace
Once you get down to business, the girl starts asking questions like “Do you plan on coming back to Egypt? Are you going to live abroad forever?” The thought of immigrating scares her. We all say we want to travel and we all complain about Egypt but the thought of losing one’s friends and family to a foreign world definitely has us shivering. Of course, the groom has no answers to these questions, and so he starts feeling that she is close-minded and short-sighted.
“After days of talking about the weather, work and sports they run out of topics.”
6) Long-distance skype romance
You only really get to know someone when you experience some situations with them, when you monitor their behaviors and actions. Because this is a long-distance relationship that is usually through skype, you don’t really experience anything tangible, any real-life incidents and so all you are left with on skype is a number of abstract and general topics to talk about. After days of talking about the weather, work and sports they run out of topics.
“We can’t tell you your ending, but we can share a real-life experience.”
The ending of each story he went through were quite similar. He is still single, still fetching for Mrs. Right and his mother still thinks she knows the answer to his misery. Your endings however are yours. Either the ambiguity of such relationships will scare you off, or you’ll marry the man and prepare to be surprised. The surprises don’t necessarily have to be that he is a drug addict or that he snorts in his sleep, they are just surprises; things you should have known prewedding but you didn’t because of the distance.
Going from a relationship to a long-distance relationship is totally different than starting it off with a long-distance relationship. In some cases, it is forced and practical enough to seem as though you are exporting brides but in others it is more about the mind than the heart and yet it works perfectly for the couple.
We can’t tell you your ending, but we can share a real-life experience.