What women can't say

I could still say no.

Couple from behind at their wedding

No, I do NOT.

Impossible. This is the best day of my life. The whole family is reunited. The sun is shining, after weeks of rain. Even the gods are happy to see me off. Not as happy as Ma and Pa. They have never been as excited as today, the day they are rid of the 20-something, still-unmarried problem. For once, because of me, they’ll have something good to say: How splendid the ceremony was, how delicious the food, how elegant the groom, how blessed they are for having him. She’s been lucky, they’ll say; so hard to find a good man these days. She had better know how lucky she is. What was she thinking, waiting this long? Who did she think she was, turning down No. 1 then no. 2? (Well, maybe he wasn’t much, but hey.) Oh well, all is good now — she was lucky. Yes, she managed to look quite pretty today (she should, considering all the money we spent for that dress). Indeed the tailor did a great job, the focus on the neckline hiding those stumps she has for legs. Ahhhh, our last daughter married off and we can finally relax, eh? Happy? Of course she was happy; how could she not be? Anyway, what does happy have to do with it? She had better know how lucky she is. I could still say, No I do not.

I do not care if the family is reunited. I do not care if it rains or shines. I do not care how much the dress cost. I’ll pay you back. I’ll work, OK? I’ll work in a factory. I’ll work, I’ll save. I’ll hitchhike my way to India, I’ll have one-night-stands, I’ll adopt a blind girl from China, I’ll grow plants on my balcony, I’ll dance under the stars, I’ll have a cat, and kittens. I’ll do the impossible: I’ll say no, I do not. I can’t, I won’t.

The impossible. There’s a reason why it’s called “impossible”.

“I do.”