Monday, May 01, 2006

Stop the Press!

On what must have been the slowest newsday in the history of print this breaking story is featured in the Morocco Times. Our intrepid newspaper finally puts the rumours to rest, dispelling all of those marital myths, namely that:

Moroccans are in favour of marriage!

Wow! In a country where people ask your marital status before your zodiac sign who knew? And I'm sure that it has nothing to do with the fact that premarital sex is a bit of a no-no. Islam frowns on such antics. So I would be out of line to suggest that the headline should have read:

Moroccans are in favour of legal sex!

Yes, with startling scientific precision, a recent survey (money well spent, no?) points out - rather unequivocably - that marriage is "highly valued" by Moroccans. Jeez, I'm gobsmacked. This insightful and timely report goes on to say that the ground-breaking survey, conducted by researchers for the Hassan II University of Mohammedia, found that:

... more than 90% of Moroccans, men and women, favour marriage. Eighty five percent of them say it is preferable to marry before 25 (c-i-r's italics).

Yikes! Marrying before 25??! Is getting laid really worth it? Just this morning I shared in a discussion about the pitfalls of marrying young. Had I married any of the tom cats with whom this cat kept company in my 20's, I'd be divorced or in prison for 1st degree murder by now. Or probably possibly both. My first long-term relationship ended as it should - in tears; the other party checked into a mental institution shortly thereafter earning him the endearing moniker, "Crazy Scott". Had I married Crazy Scott, he probably would have sprinkled rat poison on his (or my) corn flakes long before the honeymoon was over, or taken a very long one-way walk into the woods. I waited well into my 30's before I decided that Mr. Cat in Rabat was the one for me and I still turned his hair prematurely grey (as my mother is wont to remind me). Marriage is not for the feint of heart.

It is also not for the young & stupid. And if you're under 25, odds are that you're stupid.

They found that both men and women felt that the most desirable quality in the spouse is the “Maâqoul” (seriousness) and obedience counts a lot in marital relations.

Ahhhh. Seriousness and obedience. Seriousness is something that I highly prize in a mate. God knows, a sense of humour didn't place on my Top 20 Characteristics of a Potential Good Spouse list. And obedience? - bwahahahaha ... let's just say that, for good reason, it's a word that's been removed from wedding rites in more enlightened many other parts of the world. I can't even bring myself to comment on it. Obedience is a word I associate with very small children and dogs. Enough said.

Earlier this year, Minister of Justice Mohamed Bouzoubaâ said that (the) marriage rate increased by 3.48% between 2004 and 2005.

That would suggest that 99.4% of last year's eligible Moroccans got
legally laid married rather than 95.92% the previous year. Nice to see the numbers climbing. Let's shoot for 100% in 2007! And in probably the most surprising twist of all, researchers found that

Marriage is ... very much associated with procreation, so that marriage without children is almost unthinkable.

Ya think? If I had the Vienna Boys Choir standing before me as I tippity-type this post, I wouldn't have enough fingers and toes on which to count the number of times I've been asked if I'm married (yes) which leads to how many children I have (zippo). Not do you have children but how many. This is the dreaded Getting to Know You Conversation - and it simply cannot be avoided - try as you might to sidestep or deflect the trajectory of your conversation, it always boomerangs back to marriage and kids. When I answer none (none being deemed more polite than zippo), a comment is then made that suggests that (if Allah wills it) the stork's arrival with my bundle of joy will be imminent. My co-conversationalist always sides on the odds of Allah willing it. Then, rather unnecessarily, I usually go one step further and voluntarily advise my co-conversationalist (who has, by the way, on several occasions been a taxi driver) that my husband and I do not plan on bringing forth life from our loins.

Silence.

Now the more cerebral Moroccan will raise an eyebrow, ask why, dismiss my response, and try to persuade me of the neccesity of having children. This second phase of the
Getting to Know You Conversation is really unpleasant. Usually the reasons they espouse for procreating are the very reasons why I've shunned it. I'm pretty confident that I don't want anything I've given birth to or raised taking care of me in my dotage. The less sophisticated simply gape in astonishment - then launch into a less polished version of the previous diatribe, usually punctuated with several quotations from the Qu'ran. I never win these arguments because I cannot. In truth, I don't even try. A better person than I would invent a few kids. Maybe even a dog. Or suggest that there is a medical reason underlying the lack of little ones in my life. I could lower my misting eyes and whisper, we've been trying, there have been tests .... but I'd rather not. I like to think of the truth as a penalty for asking a question that's none of one's business. I'd rather unsettle my co-conversationist. I usually succeed.

Maybe I am a nasty person. Maybe, dear reader, you're thinking, good thing she doesn't have children - what a bitch! But not too long ago, I was having The
Getting to Know You Conversation with a group of female doctors, all in their 30's and early 40's. When I said that I didn't have children and had no plans on having any, one doctor shook her head and sighed rather too wistfully, "you're so lucky."

11 Comments:

Anonymous chrisso said...

Well, I am the aforementioned "Mr. Cat in Rabat" and I can safely say that in all of our conversations together we have never used the words seriousness and obedience in the same sentence. Or even used these 2 words within eighteen or a hundred sentences of each other.

Perhaps that is why we have no children? Just kidding. Ooops, do I have to be serious and obey my wife in my posting? Or can she just delete it?

4:16 PM  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

No sweetheart, I believe it is I who should be obedient to you.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous chrisso said...

Well....
I didn't want to say anything. It is Love, Honour and OBEY after all
:)

4:23 PM  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Cat in Rabat raises an eyebrow.

4:24 PM  
Blogger knarf said...

I think I'm going to puke.

5:41 PM  
Blogger ByronB said...

Oh, come on, Knarf - you didn't fall for that, did you?
I bet they're hurling dinner plates at each other as we type!

9:32 PM  
Blogger knarf said...

They likely would be, were they not 1/2 a world apart - literally!

LOL!!

-knarf, the brother and brother-in-law

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Estee said...

we're really looking forward to him relocating to this side of the atlantic. hmmm....she's sure been buying enough plates these last few months. i hadn't realized what she had in mind!

10:21 PM  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, Estee knows me a bit too well. I'm a *little* concerned now!!

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the other party checked into a mental institution shortly thereafter"

Really?

12:46 PM  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

He was "fragile". I couldn't make this stuff up - honestly.

2:40 PM  

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