The advert below appeared in the March 2017 edition of Al Qalam, a community newspaper. Shubnum Khan took it upon herself to write a response.
Dear perfect future-husband,
I saw your advert in The Al Qalam (March 2017) and I would love to respond to it as I too am seeking a partner for life and you sound like the perfect man.
I must apologise for my forwardness but the way you describe yourself is so captivating I had to write immediately. You are truly a man of the world who knows what a woman needs.
I know as a woman I should not be asking questions but please forgive my impertinence as you mention nothing about yourself except that you are a man with a job – while this impressive feat blows me away and makes me tremble to my very toes – I yearn to know more about you so that I can try to serve you as best I can.
Firstly I am interested in knowing how fair you are. This is very important to me. With this vital information I can understand exactly the kind of person you really are and I can serve you more efficiently. Please also specify the exact shade in your reply (colour swatches are preferable). In my book the difference between a golden-wheat and a toasted-almond shade is the difference between a good or bad marriage. To not compare colour is to not know love itself.
Secondly, exactly how much money do you make? You say you are ‘secure’ – I would like to know figures. I only humbly request this information because my flair to help the needy often takes me down many charitable paths and it would be wise to know exactly the amount of money you would let me have at my disposal for my charitable contributions.
I would like to know your age. I know this is a very inconsiderate question to ask and I am flooded with shame but I only ask so that I may be better equipped to prepare your food. As I have no idea of your age it would be helpful to know what types of food to cook. You see, younger men may enjoy big or spicy meals while older men may eat small and mild portions. If you have no teeth I will have to learn how to make soups and boiled vegetables. But don’t worry because I am young and virile I will be good at whatever work I have to do in the kitchen (and wherever else you require but I fear I am getting ahead of myself).
I also need to stress to you that even though I am very attractive and easy-going I am not a loose woman because I have my Islamic conscious that keeps me in check. I know that since I am an easy going and friendly person you will fear for my piety and I am lucky you think this is your business (you are after all, a businessman). My moral compass comes from the way I was raised by a good family – in fact everyone in my family is so good, we won an award last year for Most Good Family (with Islamic Conscious). I don’t tell everyone that because I am humble but with you I find that I am so overwhelmed with wild attraction (forgive my haraam [impermissible] language it is but shaytaan‘s [the devil’s] trappings and my Islamic conscious will overcome it) that I am sharing things I have never shared before. I am a friendly person but you make me feel even more friendly and even as I write this I find that I am perspiring with excitement and this is so disgusting to me because I am usually such a well-groomed woman. But no fear, I have composed myself and dabbed my upper lip and I am a well-groomed woman of the world once again.
I hope I hear from you as soon as possible – I am now going into the kitchen to cook and clean. It gives me the greatest pleasure of life to do this. That and my flair to help the needy. But I will talk of these things no more because my humbleness prevents me from doing so.
Your perfect future-wife
PS. Oh the horror! I just remembered I am not younger than 30 and I wont make your esteemed list! Alas my wrinkled and drooping skin have lost their light of youth and have robbed me of the golden opportunity to be with someone like you. Ah me! What a wretch I am! Robbed of the love of my life by a year. Life is so unfair! How lucky the woman that will serve a mighty man like you one day. I have no reason to live anymore. My life is over! I shall grow old and lonely forever dreaming of the man I could never have.
Shubnum Khan is a South African author, artist and freelance writer. She hates expectations, except Great Expectations, which is her favorite book.