Sweet Talk

My first ten years of life were spent in a small townhouse community which had a small playground in the middle. This neighborhood became increasingly Pakistani during our time there. The mother of one of my best friends would babysit most of the smallest kids in the neighborhood. She and my father would often sit and watch as the neighborhood kids played in the playground.

The subject of many of their conversations was arranged marriage. Hers had been, and she favored it. She argued that people in arranged marriages were more happy than people who married by choice. She pointed to a lower divorce rate among arranged marriages who ended up in countries where divorce was a feasible option. Interestingly, however, she was not going to push this on her own children. They were Muslim of course, but they also grew up to be thoroughly American kids, and even their…

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