~ birthday resolution problems ~

30 June 2003

(taken from one of my protected entries in livejournal)

when i turned 28 about a month ago, as usual, plans and goals in life hit me. i never do new years resolution, so i guess, i’m doing it on my birthday instead. each year, i review my plans and goals in life. and each time, there are three action to make on each plan.

  1. plan is completed.
  2. plan need to move to next year’s plan
  3. plan has turned obsolete. isn’t completed but don’t need to go to next year. trash can.
one of the plans that has been getting action #2 lately is marriage. i’ve been wanting to get married since two or three years ago. the reason for the delay is not because ari isn’t ready or anything. it involves third party (maybe i shouldn’t call parents third party… what i mean is, the problem doesn’t necessarily come from ari and i).

we have overcome many problems within that two-three years, and this last one remains: religion.

my dad is a muslim, thus i’m also a muslim. ari’s parents are catholic, and ari is also a catholic. in indonesia, if you want to get married legally, you and your partner must have the same religion. so, legally, our case sucks.

but people in indonesia can get away with legal easily. so, in my mind, it’s not a big problem. the bigger problem is that my dad wants ari to turn muslim, and ari’s parents want me to turn catholic — they sorta agree with the law. ari and i just don’t want to change religion.

i don’t know how pushy ari’s parents are, but so far, they are very nice to me. they welcomed me at their house, takes me to dinner and such. i can easily join their family conversations. in my opinion, it’s all good.

but my dad is a different story. before i go into the dad problem, i’ll just tell you that my mom is not a problem at all. she married my dad as a christian, and she kept her religion until a few years ago. so, she doesn’t see this religion difference thing to be a show-stopper.

my dad, on the other hand, is pretty bummed for the fact that i am planning to marry a guy who are not a muslim. if you think that he’s unfair because he married my mom who are not a muslim either, i did think so too at first. but the thing is, islam has this rule that my dad believes: men can marry non-muslim women, but women (since they are going to follow their husband — islam is a patriarchal religion) aren’t allowed to marry non-muslim. if they do, they’re considered going against the religion.

so, i am going against my religion — in my dad’s believe.

as for my believe, i think it’s ridiculous make someone change their religion against their wishes. it’s also ridiculous to define love and dedication based on religion. i don’t mean to be irrational and emotional here, but i think there are more important aspects to consider in building family than just religion. if ari and i have agreed on many things in the family matter (we have talked about kids, education, financial, etc etc — i don’t want to get into details here), why the fact that we have different religion stops us from reaching our goals? we have discussed nights and days regarding the hurdles and solutions to those hurdles if we have dual religion family. i am ready to present the solution on anyone.

so, dad and i have different belive, even though both of us agreed to call ourselves as muslims.

bottom line is, my dad aren’t happy that i dated ari, much less planning on get married with him. he gives ari a cold shoulder. he told my relatives not to help ari out. in conversations, he turns silent everytime ari’s name is mentioned. i even had a huge fight with him regarding that… my dad came to a point of telling me that if i want to get married with ari, i could just assume that he’s already put into an old people home or he’s dead. that way, i don’t need to consider his opinion. he said that he cannot go against his belief and let his daughter commit a sin and be happy with it. well, what can i say? i could cry, but it won’t do shit.

it was not pretty and it ended up making my parents fight with each other. mom thinks that dad is preventing me to be happy (after all, i’m happy with ari). mom thinks dad is being selfish. i could say that he’s selfish, but at the same time, i don’t have rights to alter his belief for the sake of my happiness. he’s asking ari to change religion, and i told him he can’t do that as much as ari’s parents can’t force me to change religion based on the same argument: no one has rights to force their belief to another human being. i do believe in that argument.

it reached a point where my mom requested a seperation to my dad. gosh, really, i didn’t want my family falls apart because of this. so dad and i made up without solving this whole marriage problem. we sorta just stopped talking about that all together.

now it’s all just up in the air. i really want to get married as soon as possible, but whenever i want to talk about it with dad, i chickened out and afraid to ruin the “mood”. maybe it’s more than a mood. i’m afraid to risk the relationship i have with my father.

i can easily avoid the marriage conversation with my dad. but not with my other relatives. my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncle, even my mom and my brother has been pestering me about this. and i just laugh it off.

but how long i can remain laughing about that? this thing is killing me. it really is. i want to get over it, but i have no guts. i have no solution. a good solution that will make everyone happy. at this point, i really want to come up with something that makes everyone involved satisfied. i’m talking about a problem that involves people i love. i don’t want to dissapoint any of them.

the other day, as i went over my plans, i was terrified to think that someday, if i’m fed up with it, i might consider this plan to be on action #3.