Life

The Marriage

When I published my posts about the preparation of my wedding, questions came at the drop of a hat.

“WHY? HOW? ARE YOU SERIOUS, THIS IS NO JOKE?”

I was nervous at the first time I got the questions. It made me think twice, confused about how to explain about my decision, and my crazy side that needs external validation started to panic. I know that marriage is a serious matter, that it needs to be well thought out, and I know why people feel like having the urge to ask those questions (I’m relatively younger than everyone else in my circle), but knowing these doesn’t help me overcome my anxiety.

I trailed back and compiled some answers for the question.

“Why do I get married?”

Why don’t I? That’s my first answer to a friend who asked me this. This is the kind of question that I need to understand comprehensively before answering, it depends on what kind of person who asks me this. A religious one? (Easy, just answer that it is to complete half of the religion). A romantic? (I fall in love. Deep, deep, deep, deeply in love. And this is my actual answer!). A philosopher? (Man, this one is hard). A feminist? (I need to carefully pick my words so that it does not make him/her think I surrender to a form of women’s oppression).

So why do I get married?

Because I want to. I’ve always wanted to. I know that this seems weird because I look like an independent woman (*cough*) and marriage seems like a thing that society uses to cut freedom (for both sides), even a symbolic institution signifying the subordination of women to men. Moreover, if we mention about the correlation between marriage and commitment, about how marriage does not necessarily increase the commitment between two lovers, why bother taking a hellish surf in the marriage tide while you can just relax on the girlfriend-boyfriend beach? (Let’s put the religion aside on this argument). Logically there is no good reason to say yes to marriage, so why do I keep doing that? To avoid the Satpol PP sweeping?

It may be half true. The reason about why I think marriage is necessary is because I feel like I put the same amount of effort in the means of committing myself in a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship as in marriage. For example, I don’t mind switching priorities. I put my lover first, always first, if I want to, or if he asks, or if he deserves it. My current lover, the one I am about to marry, meets the three categories. So I put him first. You know what happens when I put my relationship and my lover as my priority? I ditch almost everything else other than him. My friends, my organizations, my colleagues, my leisure time, everything. I become dependent. I cut my own freedom. It is not that extreme, but it can be perceived easily by people who interact with me. It seems like I withdraw myself from the crowd.

The problem with (my) society is sacrificing that much for a lover is considered too much if that is not a marriage relationship. They will say that it’s a careless move, done by a silly lover drunk in love who can’t think clearly about the disadvantage that may come. What if we break up? What if we don’t get married while I already put that much effort, letting go almost everything that defines me, only for a pseudo-relationship? It is different with marriage. If it’s for a marriage, what I do is normal, it is even encouraged. You indeed have to put your lover (and family) first.

To be fair, the judgements probably only happen in my head. But the problem with me is that I care too much about what my society may say about me. My constant need of external validation is just too strong to ignore. I, who love to put that much effort in a relationship, want an external validation. I want people to think that it is normal for me to refuse to go out because I want to be with my boyfriend, sitting in silence doing nothing, rather than spending the night sipping coffee with my friends and talking endlessly about how funny life is. But, no. People react differently to the word “boyfriend” and “husband”.

And after all the effort I do willingly, I want the husband effect. Society may change, but for the time being I am the one who needs to adapt. If I want the husband effect, I need to get married. With this person, I would love to.

Speaking of which, another question that also comes often is: “Are you sure?”

You mean, getting married? With this person? 100 percent sure. This person is always kind to me. I can tell him everything, he can tell me everything, and I never have any desire to hide anything for him. Any. Being with the one who knows your flaws, even the biggest ones, really helps. I started to accept my own self because of him. And perhaps because of that, I am willing to adapt to him. Me, the idealist, the perfectionist. I even feel amazed. Also, this person is the first person who never makes me doubt my efforts, I know he is willing to do the same for me.

I may be wrong. Things may change, I may change, he may change. I know there can be inherent risks that make our marriage be very hard to handle.

It is okay. He is worth the trouble.

 

Super smitten,

Aulia

 

 

*Satpol PP (Civil Service Police Unit) is a unit in Department of Home Affairs that assists the local regional head of the government affairs to enforce regulations of the region. In this case, Satpol PP duty is to look for the couples who live together without being married (normally this is not allowed in Indonesia). The question “to avoid Satpol PP sweeping” is actually asked by a friend. Hahaha.

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Life, review

The Cloth Heaven: Pasar Mayestik

For the first time in my life, I went to the well-known cloth market, Pasar Mayestik. Again, in Blok M. What is it with Blok M and wedding preparation?

The first time I and my partner arrived at the market, I was stunned. I thought it would be like Tanah Abang or Thamrin City, a building full of stalls. It was not. It consisted of many shops, individual ones, and they were not inside a building. This is the kind of market that I like. I don’t really like being in a crowded place, I easily feel suffocated, so this open space market with people walking, car honking, sun shining, really makes me happy.

My partner parked the vehicle and asked, “Which shop?”. I answered with hesitation, but I finally said “Fancy,”. Yes, Fancy was one of the most talked shop in the forum each time I searched about where to buy cloth for wedding costumes. One of the blogger said it was the cheapest shop around.

Unfortunately, the Fancy shop we saw from the market entrance was closed that day. The shop was on renovation. Luckily we asked one of the men there and he said that another Fancy shop was still opened on another side of the market. Alhamdulillah. But since we had to walk a little, we decided to stop by the shops we passed.

The first shop we stopped by was Mumbay. The shop was not crowded, only a few people in it, and there were many shopkeepers. One of them asked me what I was looking for, and showed me the clothes that were usually used to make the kebaya I want. It’s been a long time since the last time I shopped for clothes, so I haven’t had any standard for the price in this shop. They offered me beautiful sequined lace in nude-ish gold, the color I’m looking for, for almost half a million per meter. I asked for a bonus, “Can I have it with free lining?”. The Indian that the shopkeeper asked said yes.

mumbay2

(I already knew from past experiences in Pasar Baru that most of cloth shops are owned by Indians (if not all), but still I wondered about how it always happened).

Anyway, I knew it sounded cheap, but I was glued to the doctrine that Fancy was the cheapest. I walked on. I stopped by another store, and asked for a few clothes, but the clothes were not so good and the price was not too low.

So I walked again, straight to Fancy. Along the way, I saw why Pasar Mayestik was really more than just clothes shops center. There were a lot of street vendors selling food (kue ape, my favorite!), ceramics, and also a shop full of sewing materials. I may talk about this later in next post after my next visit. *so many conditions applied*

When I finally stepped on Fancy, I was overwhelmed. So many people! So many signs of discount! So many rolls of cloth! So messy! I felt like walking into a warehouse, a fun one, and got ready to get lost. Then an Indian man approached me and my partner, asking what we’re looking for. I answered in Bahasa Indonesia, not absolutely sure what language to speak because he still had a strong accent, but he then spoke in Bahasa Indonesia clearly. Fuh.

fancy2

He brought us to the third floor, where the rolls of lace cloth located, and there I saw girls and their moms–and some were accompanied by their fiance, busy trying and choosing lace clothes in various beautiful colors. One woman was assigned to help me shopping, and I directly told her what I searched. I told her I was looking for clothes for my mom and my mother-in-law’s kebayas. After a while she gave one last piece of cloth, full of sequins and swarovski, 3.35 meters, for only Rp1.260.000,00. Now, that’s what I called cheap.

fancy4

Then I searched for cloth for my midodareni kebaya, and she gave me the lace in the color I wanted, costed only around Rp100.000,00 per meter, which I was sure costed thirty percents more in Mumbay, which I took immediately. And for my mom and my mother-in-law’s kebayas for midodareni, she offered me a roll of sequined lace, not even twice the price of my cloth per meter, which I was pretty sure cheaper than Mumbay or any other shops around.

Why was everything so cheap?!

I got clothes for 5 kebaya, only one of them that didn’t have sequins on it, for less than I expected. I even spent almost half of what I paid only for the lace for my engagement kebaya when I shopped in Pasar Baru. Is this the real life or is this fantasy~

Well, to be fair, perhaps the quality of the product was different from Mumbay or other shops around or shops in Pasar Baru. I am not a picky costumer. If it has the color I want, it feels good on my skin, and it is proper for the costume I want to make, it is good enough for me.

Long live Fancy!

 

Busy grinning,

Aulia

 

*kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination, national costume of Indonesia that is originated from Java

*midodareni is a Javanese ceremony held at the night before the wedding

*kue ape is a soft and fluffy center pancake surrounded with thin and crispy crepes

 

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The Search of The Ring in Jakarta: Kaliem

The first thing we bought when the wedding date was set was the ring.

In the middle of a hot day, my partner took me to the most reviewed jewelry store in the city (based on my own research): Kaliem. It is located in Blok M, inside of Blok M Square, South Jakarta. When I arrived, I saw a lot–really, a loooot–of rings that I was sure Gollum won’t bother about Frodo and just left his ring and chose another from this store. It surprised me to see how crowded that place was. There were plenty other jewelry stores in that place and only Kaliem that had a lot of people in it, looking at the rings one by one and chose and talked and bargained and sighed.

That’s exactly what I did. I looked at the rings, chose, talked, bargained, and then sighed because it was too expensive. The first ring I tried on had six diamonds on it, costed me 27 millions rupiah. That’s why I sighed, and then gave the ring back to the woman that was assigned to help me to choose my ring–err, our rings. The woman kindly explained to me that, “Well, I don’t recommend you to choose that ring to be your wedding ring. You’re going to wear it everyday. Diamonds have tendency to fall off, it’s an inherent risk. I don’t think you want it to happen. They’re expensive. Well, unless you only stay at home all day and do nothing with your hands, though. It’ll be fine then,”.

I laughed. Thank you, Mbak. Such a kind consolation. I then moved on and began to search for another.

The problem was I knew exactly what kind of ring I wanted to wear as my wedding ring. Compromise, I whispered to myself. Compromise. Compromise. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t wear the many-stoned ring in your finger. Compromise. But they are so beautiful, I want them. Compromise. Geez, they’re so out of my budget. Compromise. I don’t want to take the risk of losing the diamonds either. Compromise.

Then I came to a decision–after like more than an hour. Hahaha. My partner is the most patient person in the world, really. We actually spent an hour only to find my ring, since we already chose his ring since the very first time we arrived. Easy. He will only wear simple designed ring, no diamond needed, and he can’t wear jewelry made of gold (it is restricted in our religion). We decided to have palladium ring for him, a silver-colored metal, which narrowed my choice because we want to have same-colored rings. Kaliem had wonderful rose-gold rings, they looked really good in my tanned skin. If you don’t have a fair skin like those pretty girls in Korean drama, go for rose-gold ones, I swear it is good, like real good! I couldn’t choose them though. Compromise, I whispered to myself again, you don’t want to wear a different ring from your husband (for a sentimental reason). Then I decided to choose a beautiful simple white gold ring that looked normal to be worn everyday.

I actually a little bit hesitated to buy rings in Kaliem because I heard that another store had lower price than it. But when this hesitation came, I already found the ring that I wanted (the last one, not the six-stoned ring), and my partner didn’t mind paying for the price the store gave us. It was not really expensive though. Perhaps I could find another store that could give us lower price, perhaps Rp500.000,00 lower, but I didn’t think I had energy left to find another rings just like what I chose. What made the price a little bit higher in Kaliem was because they counted the cost for the making of the ring for each gram of it, while another store usually just gave an additional cost without counting it per gram. The cost of the making is the only thing that you can bargain with the jewelry stores. So if you only wanted ordinary rings, a plain rings perhaps, not a custom-made one, I suggested you to think twice and bargain hard or leave to another store.

But I think if you’ve already been there, if you already tried on many beautiful shiny rings on your fingers there (because you can, and they suggest you to, and they’re just so kind, giving you any rings that you want–but you can’t bring them home because you can’t afford them *cry), I don’t think you want to visit another store. Especially if you’re fasting. Choosing rings in one place for an hour and a half is exhausting already.

Anyway, one box ticked. Yay!

 

Been practicing to say “my precious”,

Aulia

 

*Mbak literally means big sister in Javanese. It is a common word to call/greet young women in Indonesia.

*the picture is taken from my friend’s blog, Esti’s.

 

 

 

 

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Life

Wedding Galore

There are times in your life when everybody seems like getting married at the same time. For me it is the year 2011-2013, since I am part of the class 2010 for my associate degree, and year 2016, one year after I graduated from my bachelor’s degree. The tendency to get married after graduating college is so high.

And I will be one of them.

My partner and I started our relationship with the intention for marriage–he never asked me to be his girlfriend. The idea of getting married has always been around, and after few discussions with families we finally have our D-day. Hurray!

We do the preparation by ourselves since our families are not in town, and mostly because I looooove to do wedding preparation. On the day we figured out the date of our wedding, I already knew what color that would be the wedding theme (peach and white with a shade of gold and nude), what tradition we would use (Solo for sure), what kind of invitation, what kind of souvenir, what kind of wedding we would have.

But along the journey, preparing for a wedding is a real handful. Everything needs to be adjusted.

One thing that I couldn’t decide easily was the most important point in a wedding preparation: the venue. The wedding will be held in my place, for sure, because in Indonesia we have a “ngunduh mantu” tradition, an opportunity for in-laws to hold a celebration for their son’s wedding in their place if they want to. The problem is, where is exactly “my place”? My family lives in two cities. My parent lives in Sumatra and every Eid they will go to the capital for “mudik” for my grandmother and families live there. Me? I live in the capital, and so do my close friends that most likely will be invited to the wedding.

That’s the reason why at first we decided to hold the wedding in the capital. Big city, easy to access, lots of vendors, many friends live here, many members of big family live here, and so on and so on. My parents accepted this idea so I began to search for wedding venue. I found a wedding hall in one of the buildings near my grandmother’s house, Gedung Film. The hall is beautiful with a carpet covered floor and it already has all-in wedding package, it even has its own organizer team. A package like this is perfect for a couple who prepare their wedding on their own.

We signed for the hall. But then discussions went on, numbers in my spreadsheets changed (yes I put everything on spreadsheets and folders), minds changed, ideas spoken, et cetera et cetera, then BAM!–we changed the location and the date of the wedding. I needed to replan, I needed to get back my down payment (by selling it in forums since it is impossible to get it back from the organizer), I needed to do another survey for vendors in that city, I needed to readjust almost everything. Stressful.

The wedding then would be held in the place where my parent lives. The good thing is, if it is held in that city, my parent will have many friends to help. The bad thing is, it is hard to find recommendation online for the vendors in that city while we are in a condition where I live in another city. I then scrolled too many Instagram accounts, texted some of them, read all of their offers, and chose the ones I liked. What makes me thankful in this stressful moment is how my partner trusts me (and my taste) in everything about the wedding. I just need to ask for his agreement in everything that I choose, and most of the time I don’t need to adjust anything.

So now I already have the date, the venue, the timeline, some vendors in confirmation, and list of tons of things to do.

Seriously, preparing for wedding needs a lot of Bismillah.

 

Stressed out but super excited,

Aulia

 

*ngunduh mantu is a tradition to hold a ceremony/celebration in the groom’s place, inviting the bride and the bride’s parents, to show the groom’s parents’ gratitude to have a daughter in-law as how they wish

*mudik is a tradition to go back to one’s hometown and  gather with big families for celebrating Eid al-Fitr

*Bismillah is the name of an Islamic phrase meaning “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful”

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