Friday Fiction: Dragon Marriages

Earlier this year, I attended a conference. Not a writing conference, but one specific to my work. A couple other members and I were talking at lunch about life in general. One started complaining about his kid and the poor choices he was making in female companionship. Then the other, an Indian-born mother of two boys, offered this advice: arrange him to meet suitable girls.

Both the father and I were taken aback, but she defended her advice by offering her own story about her arranged marriage. After her short tale, well, we both thought maybe she had a point.

We all know anyone under the age of 25 can make some stupid decisions, including with whom they may decide to mate with, so why shouldn’t parents help them out?

Regardless of my colleague’s story and her well intentions, I don’t think arranged marriages are a good idea, but it did spark an idea for a story.

If you’d like to read it, head on over to Allegory. Scroll down and click on the ‘Download as PDF’ link under my story introduction to read the entire story, titled A Suitable Match.

Also, check out the editor’s, Ty Drago, call for editors (scroll to top). I’m thinking of joining his ranks, but will have to see how my schedule shakes out in the coming weeks. I haven’t been able to keep up this blog or review, let alone read slush, but you never know.

Until next time, write well.

11 thoughts on “Friday Fiction: Dragon Marriages

  1. Some of those arranged marriages have impressive longevity. I’ve known people here in the US who are American but whose parents are originally from India, and so they’ve had arranged marriages by them. It works for them, and they’re happy with the choices their parents made. But it’s hard for our Western culture to wrap our heads around the concept, and I couldn’t ever imagine being in one. Fascinating to read about though.

    1. Exactly! We just couldn’t fathom it, but she sounded so reasonable and it also seemed she loved her (arranged) husband very much. They were life-long partners and they worked together to create something bigger than themselves. It’s fascinating.

      However, I have another (much closer) Indian friend who did *not* want an arranged marriage and fought her parents for years. In the end, she married someone she wanted, but her father more-or-less disowned her. It was terrible. After two kids, her father is coming round, but it took a long time.

      But, that’s not exactly what my story is about. It’s got a dragon in it! 😉

  2. I think the issue that is sometimes forgotten is that the people doing the arranging have the best interests of their loved one in mind when they act. Our modern sensibilities rear up at the notion of someone else controlling a critical aspect of our lives, but I wonder just how often *arranged* marriage is conflated with *forced* marriage.

    I have a friend, now married and a father, and with the very girl (word used for storytelling purposes) that was presented to him on a platter (for storytelling purposes, I say!). He is white Anglo-Saxon, by the way, and obviously very happy with the partner chosen for him…

    …by mutual friends.

    There is a knee-jerk response to the idea of arranged marriage, but not at all to the idea of friends setting friends up with someone else – yet what is this practice if not an attempt to provide a loved one with their perfect match? Chosen well, where else does such matchmaking lead?

    It may be that, nowadays, the people who know best what a person needs in a life partner are no longer the parents, at least when that person reaches independent adulthood (and the idea that we might not know what is best for ourselves is hardly controversial in any context…).

    In this case, the lucky guy and gal have been happily together for, I’m guessing now, at least sixteen years – effectively from the moment of introduction – though not actually married for all that time. The delaying or absence of official partnership is something else that is much changed from earlier times, but stable relationships still persist even if their form has altered somewhat. Maybe the same is true of well-meant arrangement.


    1. Very well put. I agree that (how ever or whom ever) arranged marriages can work sometimes. But it is important to note that loved ones sometimes do “force” an arranged marriage. As you said, if all parties have the couple’s best interest at heart, and know them well enough to know what that truly means, then yes, happy marriages all around. And I do agree that we two, the fellow and I, had a distinctly American reaction to her statement. We just couldn’t imagine ourselves accepting such an arrangement.

  3. This is an issue in historical fiction, as well. Characters may be shown protesting or defying parents over marriage, when real characters of the era would have accepted arranged marriages as a matter of course. Gotta watch out for those anachronistic attitudes.

    1. You read it? Awesome! I’m glad you liked it. It is very hard for me to write happy endings (I’m such a cynic), but I wanted to remain true to my colleague’s story (which had a happy ending).

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