Age is catching up fast, too fast. How else do you explain the constant need for people to ask “Do you have children?” or “are you married?“, or just by looking at a picture you took a year ago they go “hapa ulikua na baby face.” You want to tell them you have lost a bit of weight since then and it’s not just old age. But the streets never take your word for it.
Looking at the mirror you try to find the wrinkles on your face. Maybe you should smile less. Wrinkles will come later this way. Damn it, you are in your twenties, why are you worried about old age?
Old age comes in many forms. When you start getting informal proposals, You are old. You remember the informal proposal you got that week? There was no big rock in a small black box. The guy is not even on bended knees when he is asking. You have wondered if there is an agreed time a guy should stay on bended knees. Two seconds, three..? What if you glued his knees to the ground? Your thoughts usually travel to a dark place.
You just met said guy a week ago. The proposal went something like “I want to marry in three months.” Then he insinuated this was a test drive for you.
It is probably presumptuous of you. To assume that this was a proposal is perhaps too forward. Only excuse is that you are a bit rusty in this particular sector. The dating scene does not know you, at all. And he was talking about marrying someone in three months. You don’t see anything wrong with that? You don’t see that as a proposal?
For the purposes of this post, we will go with this was a proposal of sorts.
So with the presumption that said dude had proposed. You had like ninety days to move from acquaintance to wife. Of course, some people would let out a sigh, those ones of “finally she has found a husband.” ( What is wrong with people? )
So say Mr. Man is expecting a docile ‘yes sir’ kind of bride. Two weeks in and I’m sure he will be pulling his hair. Wait, You are not a terrible person. You can just be eccentric at times. You have certain preferences that are not typical for an African wife . First off, You hate constant company. You would definitely hang out with people for a few hours but never for long periods of time. So say Mr. Man is a complete African man who likes to entertain and maybe show off his wife a bit. (Come on now, every guy should be able to do this.). There will be times when he would need me to show up but you would be in a dark little room with pen and paper and rock music softly playing from your iPad, the guests forgotten. It has happened on occasion already. You would have guests at your place and would literally fight yourself from retreating to a corner.
Mr. Man has never heard of something this insane, though. “A woman’s place is to entertain guests.” So you would force yourself to entertain every other weekend. Forgetting the huge toll it has on you. How to keep a man lesson one – always put his wants first.
A Few weeks later, you would inform him that you don’t believe in love. That your cynical ways have not just been a recent discovery but something you have struggled with for as long as you can remember. “Love is just something we say to control each other.” You would say on one of those rare occasions you decide to debate on things love. It would probably be after attending the wedding of one of his friends. He would look at you, shocked. Maybe you would give him an example. You would talk of Njeri and Tosh and how their supposed great love was restrictive. “Look at how unhappy they are now,” you would point out. They have been living apart for half their marriage. Both have cheated and everyone knows it. He will argue his case and say something like, “I love you enough to never let you go”, and this would be even more proof on your part. Because he had used the word to end and argument.
Wonder at the sincerity of your union he would ask, “If Love is not the foundation then what is?”
“Trust, you would say. Trust Loyalty and partnership”. It is a union after all- Lesson two.
By now your behaviour is getting under his skin. He hates how you are never willing to go see Sally and Morris on the weekend or how you hide away to paint or to just meditate. Or how you refuse to conform to the idea that marriage is all for love. Small nuances that he points out at first then tries to control as you stay together more and more.
The other issue that would get to him is your huge family unconventional that will hustle him. The people who never taught you manners. How did your parents let you develop these anti-social behaviours? Did they not understand the concept of sparing the rod? The fact that you would run to them every time you fought would irk him to no end. You would have a problem with his mother. The woman is the devil incarnate. He would do the same thing with his parent, run to her with every single thing you did wrong. Nothing ever stays between you- lesson three.
He will start staying out late.
The pressure of married life is hitting like a tonne of bricks.
This is not what you signed up for. Maybe it’s not too late to let go. You would have become a shadow of your former self. No writing, no locking yourself up in a room to meditate. He would have stopped seeing his friends with you. Living two separate lives, both of you would wonder if you should give up on the sinking boat or stay and fight-lesson four.
“According to statistics, 50 percent of new marriages in the modern world end within the first year.” Read the article here. What if you took the time to know each other before marriage? What if you took each other as is? What if you met each other halfway? Is marriage that terrible, though? Or maybe Marriage isn’t for all of us.
First appeared StoryMoja