On my way into church to the benches, I am always greeted by older ladies who stand near the entry and the back, who always talk to me about marriage on a weekly basis. They point to my ring finger and start making facial expressions and saying things like "when will this happen?". It is seriously slowing me down on the way to the benches in church.
There is a context around this. My friend, who happens to be younger than me by a little less than a year got engaged a few weeks ago. And I have another friend who got married at the age of 17. There is a peculiar mentality that is shared among some people which I personally frown at- "Settle down by the age of 22, after that a woman becomes too old". I frankly don't care what the world thinks, I want to wait.
I have tried the following things:
-I have tried praying about it so I don't get approached.
-I have tried talking to my FOC about it, he says that because they are older ladies (older than him) he would feel that he is not in the position to bring up issues with them because its a matter of culture rather than religion, (and thats perfectly understandable).
-I have put on my sharb outside covering the sides of my face so they don't notice me when I make my way inside. But they did.
-I have come earlier to church but they are always some of the first people who turn up.
-I have tried terminating their words by telling them that I will talk to them later, but they still persist.
-I even tried the "enshalla, enshalla, enshalla" approach, and then they start with the "I have the best man for you, my son's son... blah blah blah ebn nas, tayyeb...".
-I have tried telling them in all honesty, "I want to wait", they point at their watch as if my biological clock is running out.
-I held the Agpia in front of my face and prayed on my way in so they don't disturb me, it worked for a few months actually and I was so happy until my friend got engaged and they started disturbing me again.
I can suffer this when church is finished, I don't mind, but when I am making my way in church I expect not to be disturbed by useless talk. This has really become an obstacle to my spirituality in the church especially since the engagement of my friend, where I have never heard so many people say "you're next" over and over again, it still rings in my ear and gives me a headache thinking about it.
Because they are older, I don't want to disrespect them by telling them to stop, they are lovely ladies and I know they care (maybe a bit too much) but they really slow me down as I make my way to the benches of the church, sometimes even ask me to take a walk with them to the church kitchen to do a "favor" for them before I have a chance to step foot in the church in order to talk to me about marriage. What to do?
I would really appreciate answers from people who have experienced this.