Last month we had dinner with another couple from the neighborhood. They are fun to be with and wonderful people – the kind of people you would want as family. I guess that they must feel the same way because over dinner, she said, “I can see why people arrange marriages for their kids.” I think she was only half kidding. They have triplets – two girls and a boy who are my son’s age. She told me which daughter she thought would be best for my son, noting how nice it would be to share holidays and vacations with our children and grandchildren.

“You never know what you are going to get for in-laws. They should be people you enjoy being with,” she continued. I have to agree.

My parents and in-laws have shared less than 10 events together in our 26 years of dating and marriage. Part of the reason is the fact that my in-laws were divorced and living out of state. The other part, well, is a long story.

I spoke to a woman last week whose son is getting married. She complained that she was left out of some of the wedding planning – something that wouldn’t happen with an arranged marriage.

Think of the weight that is taken off your shoulders if your parents arranged your marriage. You can skip the whole dating thing and the stress and heartache that go with it. Mr./Miss Right is a guarantee (at least for the parents).

My parents lived across the street from each other when they were in high school. My maternal grandmother owned a hair salon that she ran out of her basement. My paternal grandmother was one of her customers. One Saturday morning while she was having her hair done, my paternal grandmother was telling her hairdresser a story about her son. It seemed that the girl her son was taking to homecoming was sick and couldn’t go to the dance. My maternal grandmother suggested that her daughter might be available to go with him since she went to a different high school. The date was made and the rest is history. They have been married for 43 years.

I am sure the argument can be made about making your own choice of who you marry. I saw Fiddler on the Roof several times and always root for the girls to be allowed to marry the man of their choosing.

Recently, I thought about matches for my daughters, too. Boy/girl drama is already stirring for them. I have a match in mind for my oldest. We love his parents – friends that moved away years ago. I would love to spend holidays and birthdays with the long-legged toothpicks the two of them would produce.

My middle child may be a little harder to match. She is a little bossy and will probably want someone who is happy to sit back and let her call the shots. If you know someone, let me know. I think we might have to put together a large dowry for her.

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