When a girl is told a suitor is coming (aka suitoring), something extraordinary happens to her.
When the word 'suitor' slides in her ears, her mind makes a general announcement to the body: "Attention Please. Attention Please. We are experiencing a slight security breach that requires our defenses to gear up. We will execute emergency protocol Suitor 101 immediately".
If the girl doesn't know what she's doing, or doesn't know what the process is about, really - other than herself, her needs, herself, her feelings, herself and the sweet power to say No to somebody -- then most likely she'll play it by ear, because she simply wasn't told how this works. In fact I sometimes suspect some parents weren't told about it by their own parents either.
Anyway, Suitor 101 protocol is something like the body of an expecting mother. When the baby is about to come out, her body is 'ordered' by the mind to literally change shape, so she can go into delivery mode.
But suitoring is somewhere between beautiful and scary. Especially in that moment when Mr. Lucky comes to 'check out the goods'.
Anyway, how to know if protocol Suitor 101 is installed in you? Here are three symptoms to check for. If they're not in you, I'm afraid you are Suitor 101 free.
You Step Up
Your body automatically knows or remembers what to do. Which shoes. which skirt. which concealer. which powder. How to go down the stairs. How to walk. How to say your salams. When to shake the mother's hands. When to smile. For how long. Where to sit. Across from whom.You Talk
In some cultures, the 'couple' (or not) break off from the rest of the family so they can talk. They sit a few feet away from the rest of the crowd (read: mothers) who pretend not to see, hear or sense the couple's presence.
If this is about the tenth time you're suitoring in your life, it takes about five minutes to know if you're not interested, that it's a "thanks you're nice, but not thanks". In this case, you find yourself not ... thinking too hard. You start talking to him with ... nothing specific in mind, really.
Meanwhile, you retreat into your mind and wonder if you should have used the cheaper concealer and if someone facebooked you.
But, if your impression of the man is "I think there's something here" - a maybe category, then you start doing something quiet extraordinary. You start thinking. Of questions to ask him.
Finally, if your impression of the man is "Lord have Mercy!" just five minutes in the conversation, and you're rushing towards a yes, you do something you've heard people talk about plenty of times, or read in a book somewhere. It appears to go by the name of "bonding". You both start talking with a purpose in mind -- marriage.
You Grow Up
For some of us with biological brothers, post-suitoring night can look like this:
Brother: "Hey, you can't say no to him! he came aaaalll the way to your home. With his dad that's like huuuge! you're such a snap".
Sister: You pull a school-girl attitude and you say: "em. like. so just cuz he comes to my house I have to marry him? to not hurt his feelings? Maybe I should marry the post-man then or the pizza delivery guy you door knob".
Then, one day in the future, you put two and two together. You undergo something that can be described as an awakening. A spiritual awakening.
You walk to the kitchen, as if you're floating on thin blissful air. You sit at the table across from your mother - who by now thinks you're sleepwalking. You look at her with a loving smile and you say something ... very real to you:
"You know mama, all you had to do that first time is tell me that it's hard on the guy too. I would have understood".
... To be continued ...
FYI: In Sacramento, a new muslim matrimonial program has been launched.