Today I met up with an old friend from my university days, the dude was one of the major irritants of my life in my first year but that’s not the point of this post. I almost had fun hanging out with him (he’s very arrogant and it isn’t the pretty variety), he’s easy to talk with, we have a shared history of going to school in a war zone (the Uniben experience isn’t pretty), we’re both Anglicans from Imo state and most importantly, he thinks I’m funny (the funny thing is, I say what’s on my mind without filtering and he laughs like I’m Trevor Noah).
He told me how he’d liked me back then (considering how he pestered me day and night, I’d say it was pretty obvious) and I behaved like he was a demon who’d been sent to make me fail (very true, Igbo demon things).
“I want to settle down soon” he said as we walked to the bus stop.
“That’s nice, you’re not getting any younger” I replied even though I couldn’t care less
“You know I’ve always liked you and it even makes more sense now” I just had to roll my eyes at his words.
“What do you think about it?”
“Think about what?” I asked.
“Adaeze! You can like to annoy me, ok let me start from the top”
“Ok” I replied.
“I want to settle down very soon, you know I’ll be starting my PhD soon and would need a strong woman to manage my businesses and be my organiser.”
“Get a business manager cum PA then” he didn’t quite catch the sarcasm.
“Who knows, you might be the lucky one”
“Nna wait o, is marriage a lottery?”
Lottery how?” he seemed confused.
“Well you said I could be the lucky one, I’m assuming it’s a contest or something”
“Err no, but it would be nice if we got married.”
Normally I wouldn’t post details of a private conversation but the whole thing annoyed me enough to put it here and rant a little. The young man in question would be considered a catch in certain quarters, he is self-employed (he actually corrected me when I said he was self-employed, he says the right appellation is CEO since he has staff working for him), lives in a not so shabby apartment among other things I’m sure he has going for him. However, since I have never expressed an interest in spending the rest of my life shackled to him, why in God’s name would he refer to me as being lucky if he decides to pick me? Am I tomatoes in Mile 12 market or Grade 1 okrika at Yaba bend down?
Do I blame him? In his weak mind he’s doing me a favour for considering me worthy of the dubious honour of being his wife. After all (to quote the great Ms Adichie) have I not been trained all my life to aspire to marriage and at the grand old age of twenty eight, I have to be elated at his rickety proposal. My last birthday occurred when I was in Mbaise and it was amazing how everyone who came around that day had the same prayer for me.
“May this be your last birthday in your father’s house, may your next birthday be with your husband”.
Beautiful prayer right? Yes but it was sad that I wasn’t wished fulfilment, happiness and income in millions of naira or dollars sef and quite frankly I’m more excited about being financially solvent than about getting married at the moment. They want me to get the prestige of being a married woman and then start raising a family which is fabulous but nobody really wants to know if that’s what I want now or even ever.
Marriage is beautiful, it is a melding of two lives to form a beautiful tapestry that provides the backdrop for the hopes and dreams of their children. Marriage is also epic scary shit! Who you marry will influence the course of your life whether or not you even stay together! It shouldn’t be something you walk into just because age or parental pressure or the bobo has money or the babe set die, kind of reasons. Who you marry is perhaps the single most important determinant of your path in life, again it doesn’t even matter if you were married for 72 days like Kim K and Kris H. We’ve all seen people who were doing very well before marriage, suddenly crash and burn in less than a year of marriage. I’m not going to delve into the spiritual implications/causes of such phenomena. We also know people with the reverse situation where things get better after marriage.
I wanted to tell him to stick his “lucky one nonsense” up where the sun doesn’t shine, besides I’m not the lucky one but “the special one” *big grin*. I was able to curb my tongue (thank God) and told him instead how marriage is not a destination but the beginning of a very long journey. I wouldn’t want to pick the wrong travelling companion for any reason and neither would he, if he thought about the whole thing logically.
I’ve seen terrible marriages in my lifetime, seen women wail and weep over the wickedness of their husbands. Sadly women are much more vulnerable to the effects of a bad marriage, they bear the brunt of the brutality of the so called stronger sex (one day I’ll write about my neighbour and adored big friend who got married when I was six and started beating his wife on their first month anniversary), they are the ones whose bodies are modified by child birth and they are the ones who are left holding the bag and indeed the short end of stick when a marriage breaks down. I find it ironic and strange that we are the ones who still let ourselves be pressured into it and who still let substandard men into our lives just because we want to be married.
It isn’t all about the beautiful white dress and multi-coloured bouquet or having your love story on bella naija for people to gush over and wish for, neither is it about beautiful ceremonies at Balmoral or Dubai or in an isolated castle in Scotland/lush meadow in Ireland (Dear future hubby, can we do this? Pretty please). It’s hard work that will task your sanity among other things but the odds of making it are much better than the odds of winning a lottery.
PS: If I ever tell y’all I’m getting married to a certain Solomon, PLEASE bind me with fresh, unused ropes (like Delilah bound Samson) and take me to Dr Olukoya or Fr Mbaka for deliverance.
PPS: I just realised why I was so angry at the prospect of marrying the wrong person, I’d just read the story of a woman who brutally massacred her husband even after injuring him for having a child outside their marriage. It is pretty obvious that they both married the wrong spouse and that the marriage was a massive sham.