Wanted: Trophy wife/millionaire husband

Published: October 22, 2010

Wedded bliss is only for the good looking and the rich

I have this strange habit of reading while sitting on the toilet. It doesn’t need to be anything in particular; as long as there are words to read, anything will do. In a hurry, I often pick up the nearest piece of newspaper on my way to the washroom. While that may sound gross to some, what I read in today’s early morning ritual is much more so.

The reading of choice today was the last page of the classified section: the page that contains the “Matrimonial” segment. In the neatly divided “Bride”, “Groom”, and “Marriage Bureau” subcategories, were entries that screamed of absolute shallowness. Here are some gems that I found:

  • One LUMS MBA boasts about “owning factories” in an attempt to lure his life partner
  • A “beautiful girl seeks well off businessman”: reinforcing every cliché in the book about the rich guy meets young gold-digger love story.
  • One bureau boasts international choice, so you can marry your dream spouse from “America, Canada, Australia, London and UAE” (Why settle for a measly Pakistani when you can have an exotic foreign national?).
  • One pair of parents thought there’s no use beating around the bush and wrote that they “live in Defence”-so that all those low-life other-side-of-the-bridge people know what they’re getting into.
  • One ‘purumeed’ (according to the email address) family knows exactly what they want for their son:

Girl should be around 23-24 years, fair, 5.4″/5.5″, smart, good looking, values religion and family, pursuing a professional degree, US Citizen, from Sunni, Urdu Speaking, highly educated respectable family.

(If you have all that, call them. If you miss on any these requirements, for example if you’re 24 years and 2 months old, or if you’re a few inches short of 5.4″, or if you’re not that smart, please don’t waste their time).

  • There’s a guy available who is only 25, but don’t worry. He’s getting a “handsome package” from his employers, so all is well. There’s a small chance he might turn out to be a murderer, but at least he’s earning well.
  • And here’s the man you’ve all been waiting for, ladies:

Tall, handsome, smart, highly educated, well travelled, well settled, drawing monthly salary in six figures, along with company maintained car and other facilities.

(Yes, this well travelled man with his company maintained car and six-figure salary, which is even more handsome than he is, can be yours if you’re lucky. The man is downright perfect; it’s just that the previous wife… well, she turned out to be a bitch. That or he’s impotent).

  • One foreign national wanted a girl who was “broad minded and with a nice personality”. If that’s you, call now! Avail our special offer for limited time only, “No dowry required!”

Before you can blame the Jewish lobby for killing our values, let me turn your attention to some ads I’ve seen in the international edition of a leading newspaper. Here too, you can see women boasting their “thrilling beauty” and “stunning castle(s)”.

So if you’re in search of a “leader-elite” or “multimillionaires”, their lines are open. Also available is this “dream darling” PhD attorney, who resides “exclusively in the most loved, famous EU city, and on his Island.” Yes, that’s right. He has his own island. And he’s not your typical crazed body-in-the-basement-freezer PhD! No, this one comes “without psychological baggage”.

We’ve come to a time when marriage is a function of perfection, rather than love (or even social support, like it was in the days of yore).

We want to have that perfect spouse with the perfect credentials so that we can have a perfect start to a perfect married life. This means trophy wives, millionaire men, and every other ingredient that goes into that perfect jet-setting lifestyle. Anything less than that just doesn’t cut it.


Umair Kazi

A strategist who blogs at www.theideaartist.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Deen Sheikh

    What can I say, the sanctity of marriage along with a lot of other values have been commoditized
    Whatever happened to good old fashioned matchmaking ( not that I an a fan of that, but hey it’s gone)Recommend

  • Anon

    I’m sorry, but who wants to know you like to read the newspaper while experiencing a bowel movement early in the morning. This little quirk of yours is better left known to your loved ones. :)Recommend

  • http://[email protected] Ghausia

    Dude, the opening paragraph was SO unnecessary. Ever heard of TMI? Recommend

  • amjad aslam

    in our society girls & their families only care about how much the guy makes,regardless of his values or personality traits,our girls are much willing to be beaten black & blue by their hubbies as long as the hubby gives them a ton of money to spend.

    our guys are shallow,superficial judging girls only on their beauty & figure regardless of her attitude or personality.OOH,but she has to be “pure”,forget having a boyfriend,all our bachelors want girls who’ve never even looked at a man,no deary me,that would make them unpure & not marriage worthy.beautiful & dumb that’s how we like our wives to be so they marvel at our every utterance as if it’s the divine truth.Recommend

  • Marium Shirazee

    loved it!!! Recommend

  • Shahbaz

    Agreed with you dearRecommend

  • Samreen

    lol ….. hilarious but a true snapshot of our senseless society….(though I’m too a part of it! :-P)Recommend

  • http://ahandfulofdust.wordpress.com/ Mariam

    LOL – it is interesting to read matrimonial pages in a newspaper. But accept this fact that EVERYBODY is calculative when getting married. Recommend

  • parvez

    According to you the people who place such ads are pathetic. Obviously there are people who respond to such ads – what does that make them ?Recommend

  • IZ

    I have this strange habit of reading while sitting on the toilet.

    I would definitely be interested in a matrimonial ad which included this line…Recommend

  • http://www.TheIdeaArtist.com Umair Kazi

    Hi Ghuasia/Shahbaz/Anon
    That little intro para was to ward off “Oh yeah if the matrimonial section is so unholy then why are you reading it” type responses.
    @Parvez, I didn’t write pathetic, I wrote shallow. And I’m not saying I’m above this.. I’m part of the same society that has this mindset. And as I’ve tried to explain, this isn’t something wrong with JUST our region, the ‘perfect on paper soulmate’ trend is visible internationally.Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Its the same story everywhere…even relationships have become money-oriented and the only way of thinking is how to get max monetary benefit out of the other…thats what its all about nwRecommend

  • Hamza A. Khan

    Lets have the name of the paper and the edition/date of publishing. I don’t believe a word of this.Recommend

  • Jahanzeb Afzal

    Umair Kazi Sb!

    Please let us know if your thoughts are not less than you depicted here. Its natural on every individual to seek the best and sadly while doing so, the time flies away and then people are ready for make compromises which they have never though of. One thing which I know and believe that the THINGS get marketed only when seller wants best PRICE. Good THINGS are reserved much before their time. Moreover this Matrimonial business is a business just like any other business in market. Once you call, you have to pay in the form of REGISTRATION to get through the concerned family. From my childhood when I learned to read and understand newspaper, I have been reading the names of Mrs. MALIK and one Col. R. XYZ. I dont know whats the percentage of their success but one thing I’m sure that these people and many other so called WELWISHERS of society, might have earned large sums of Money by exploiting needy and really worried parents.

    But after all, thats the part of our culture and society and we all are responsible for this. Recommend

  • sajid jb

    This simply shows how sophisticated our society is…………….Recommend

  • http://www.TheIdeaArtist.com Umair Kazi

    Hamza, some of these words are taken quote by quote from the matrimonial section in last sunday’s Dawn, others are from IHT.
    Jahanzaib, I admit it.. WE are responsible for this. In our desperate hunt for the best of of best, we all fall into the same myopic goal-setting trap.Recommend

  • http://sarahrehman.blogspot.com Sarah Rahman

    Don’t you think it is similar to a business deal or a contract where you need to think about the WIN/WIN situation :)Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    I have been writing blogs on it,,,,,,what should I comment? all nonsense values………we are moving towards……….materialism………and money…………in words of a very senior humor writer of pakistan, “shadi biah ke ishtehaar parh key humain har larki, qabool surat, saleeqamand aur parhi liky maloom hoti hey……aur larka khata peeta nazar aata hey, aur har kumba khushhal dikhai deta hey……..” very nice article but the opening para…..I have to agree with Ghausia….Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    I actually liked this. The opening paragraph was more an attention grabber than anything else, though there was a TMI aspect to it too :P I liked the ads too, particularly the one with very precise dimensions delineated for the future daughter-in-law XD what a strange dysfunctional sort of society must we have for such things to exist, seriously.Recommend

  • Sanaa Khalid

    The shallowness of people continues to amaze me. Their philosophy is “It is this or either that or nothing at all”. The strategies and the wild will of people who wish to get the best possible match according to societal pressures for their ardent adult-children is beyond my understanding. Gone are the simple days when people thought marriages were made in heaven so they strove less and their appetites still got replenished. Now the greed and the mayhem of materialism continues to put lives of countless unmarried men and women into misery. “We need to fill the tea to the brim so it never gets finished”. This is their answer and sadly this situation will only get worse for all of the parties including the ones making demands will just keep on wishing, waiting and hoping for a match from all the right parts of their heaven. Understand people, that a match even after a long entailment and series and events still doesn’t guarantee a successful marriage. Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/265/haris-masood-zubairi/ Haris Masood Zuberi

    Awesome writing Umair!Recommend

  • http://www.TheIdeaArtist.com Umair Kazi

    Good guess Shumaila!
    And yes, Sarah, it’s not much different from that!
    @Sadaf, @Sanaa: Agreed, the problem exists. The question is: how can we make a difference here?Recommend

  • Murtaza Hussain

    good one umair! i remember reading the matrimonial ads in the IHT the same ones you mentioned and could not stop laughing at their stupidity … Recommend

  • kashf shah

    opening was so so but rest was shughalia;pRecommend

  • http://grsalam.wordpress.com Ghausia

    Okay, I totally forgive you for the TMI now lol. I discovered these ads trying to find a baking class, but hey whatever works for you. :DRecommend


    Dear Umair K.

    After reading the blog and vetting all the comments from the proponents and opponents of the issue found that every one has thier view that is quite logical as well as we all belongs to different classes that has different opinions but one thing is missing from all of you is the cure of this curse. I am sorry to say here that often girls are found so keen of guys earning then thier norms, attitude, care and love etc

  • Farhad

    Solid article. You absolutely nailed it. You missed out a favorite of mine, which is where individuals describe complexion by using the word ‘wheatish’ (spelled just that way too). We weren’t all born in Scandinavia so that much should be understood or is being brown in brown town suddenly a sin?Recommend

  • Sanaa Khalid

    Here we can make tall claims and dance around saying we have been saved by your article and we promise to practice and preach against the evils of matrimonial advertisements (pun intended).
    Yes, we can start off from our humble abode, asking for an average guy or girl as life partners. But like Farhad pointed out as we expats from Scandinavia live in the part of the world where even TV commercials have a cream defining beauty related to matrimonial bliss, there is sadly nothing we can do in this generation. Sure we can hope, but we might need a rude awakening and although I hope the “perfect” match find bliss, I haven’t seen much happiness in the balance of credentials but I have though in the balance of mind and heart when it comes to a perfect equations’ marriage. Get the prettiest of wife and the richest of husband and you might not find “the happily ever after” ending. That being said I will conclude my answer by praying that May Allah’s blessings be with all sorts of marriages.Recommend

  • parvez

    @Umair Kazi: Hey! I liked your article. Shallow or pathetic just a difference of dergree.
    Answer I was looking for was : doulble pathetic.Recommend

  • uzma

    ..so true.. it seems people nowadays want to have a custom-designed spouse, as if they are coming out from some factory.Recommend

  • aysha

    Although I’m glad someone wrote a funny piece on something I’ve noticed for a long time.

    However, it was very hard to focus after reading a paragraph about how you prefer to have your bowel movements in the morning next to a photograph of your face. Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/1979/what-we-dont-know-will-hurt-us/ Syed Nadir El-Edroos
  • Assev

    @Anon: Ha ha ha! I second this opinion!Recommend

  • Qadir Khan

    To start with, reading while on the toilet is nothing to scoff at.
    Secondly, whilst searching for a car in the Sunday classifieds I too saw the matrimonial section and came to the realization that we are about the most racist people on the face of the earth. And I mean Nazi level! There were no less that 6 proposals demanding that the concerned applicants be from the ‘Aryan’ race. and I think to myself, Hail Hitler, the Third Reich lives! and then proceeded to do a Nazi salute in my mind…Recommend

  • Zainab

    HAHAHAHAHAHA….. good going. completely agree with Qadir here. And yes the ever pertinent question.. what do we do.. deliberate as EVERYONE above might.. you wont find a solution.. there is a massive generation gap between our parents and us; hence they cant/wont understand that most of us (some still endorse it) think differently from them when it comes to this problem…. wage a silent war within yourself to not “settle” for the “best one on paper” maybe ? thats what i’d do..
    and you know what to be honest we the so called young ones..are actually cowards.. we dont take chances.. we dont go out there and try and find that one person who makes sense to us.. we are the generation that has subconciously accepted defeat, so we party it up,have fun,have random flings, and tell our parents…”shaadi aap ki marzi seh karain geyy… promise!” so start looking.. hence!! such ads.. Recommend

  • Shehryar

    Hun, you see to be rather very interesting individual. Id like to see you for coffee if you are based in Islamabad.Recommend