"If you don't study, I'll get you married off". A threat from a parent to a child. I heard this mentioned in one of the stand up comedies I was watching recently. It took my mind back to my childhood. "If you don't listen, I'll put you in boarding school." "If you don't study, if you fail, I will take you out of school and get you married off". Another parent to his son: If you don't study, I'll buy you two cows to take grazing. This kid was smart enough to turn around and ask his father, 'where are the cows? When are you buying me the cows?" My bil threatened my niece who used to bawl and throw up everyday when it was time to go to school: "If you don't want to go to school, I shall throw you in the kachada peti (dustbin)." The joy on my niece's face was to be seen to be believed. "You'll throw me in the dustbin?" Even that was a better fate than having to go to school!!! My reaction to my mom's threat was different. I shall not get married for that would be tantamount to accepting defeat. So I had to keep studying something or the other. If I finished my education, I had to find work and something else to study. I once asked my mom (when they despaired of my ever getting married) why they wanted to shame me by getting me 'married off'. My mom's logic was wonderful! She said it was not meant as a threat. When one finishes studying, the next step in life is to get married. So if I did not want to study, they'd get me married. "So if I don't have my dinner, you will reward me with ice-cream or chocolate as the next step in my gastronomic routine?" I asked her. These were moments when my sister and I would team up. Naturally, there was no logical answer to the question. It took long for me (talks of my sutpidity/immaturity) to get over this bit of illogic and to decide to get married. Of course, it ensured that I lived life to the fullest, did all I wanted to do before I eventually 'settled down'. Thank you mom. It just made me wonder, how illogical and irrational parents can be when they want to bring back erring kids to line! I wish I had forced my parents to send me off to boarding school then. I would have, if I had an inkling of how much fun that could be. At least I need never have worried about that threat being executed or worried about the consequences if it were. P.S. I hopped from here to FB to see the following cartoon: Mother threatening kids "Eat those veggies or I'll change the wifi password!