For those that might recall, the first topic in Form 1 Home Science is “Good Grooming.” So it was that our teacher walked into the class room one hot afternoon and asked “What is Good Grooming?” My hand shot up in the air, eager to make a statement that I was the brightest kid that side of the bunduz. Because I was seated at the front, a shortsighted Mrs. Karimi had no choice but to pick my hand to which I answered “It is the art of choosing a good husband.”
So maybe I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the yard and my mom would probably have abandoned me if she had heard my answer that day. And as the class went ahead to discuss matters hygiene, I pondered on how “grooming” and “groom” had no relation whatsoever. Moving on…
I Am Not Wife Material.
Which is what I told a guy who thought we could settle down, produce a few midgets and grow old together (#marriage: so overrated). The only way to continue reading this post is if you first agree that marriage is not for everyone.
And it’s not just Mother Teresa who gets disqualified. There are just Kenyan ladies like me who have accepted the fact that they not only don’t fit the shoe but that they are also not interested in trying it. Society has come to assume that every woman is destined for marriage. Not so people. Just because women are born with a vagina doesn’t mean they come with a big “FOR MARRIAGE” sign on their forehead.
Walk with me.
Consider marriage a full time job, a lifetime commitment to which you can’t get out of. On that big wedding day when you sign that certificate and then foolishly tuck it into your husband’s breast pocket at the advise of your priest and cheering family and friends, the deal is sealed and promulgated, following implementation till death do you part. After the honey moon, five years into the marriage, three babies later, a black eye and several nights alone or lying in bed next to a dead drunk husband, regret sets in. You begin to ask yourself whether you made a mistake. You think that this is not what you had settled for and if only you had known, you wouldn’t have married that &*%#@! in the first place.
All I’m saying is, I will not sign up for what I don’t know, what possible bliss I imagine or what I’m “going to learn along the way,” as my mother likes to put it. I’m not taking chances with this one life I have. One, people; no rehearsals. I don’t want to be the one calling Maina in the morning, sharing my marital problems with the country because no one else, including my husband will listen to me. There are better things to do, like adopt Malawian orphans and protect the Mau. In the ideal situation, if the average Kenyan man didn’t manipulate me into marrying him and decided to present me with a marriage contract, you know a kind of prenuptial agreement that had little to do with his our assets as a couple but rather each person’s duties and responsibilities, and corrective measures for bad behavior, then maybe I’d look it over and weigh my options. But then it’d probably be borrowed from this:-
I think wives and especially Kenyan wives are special people with special abilities. It takes someone “special” to commit themselves to a fantasy, a possibility, a social expectation ridden with double standards. It’s like getting a specific job (called wife) with unspecified duties and responsibilities (broadly referred to as Submission), only to realize that you cannot resign or quit, no matter what. Insurance companies should have a cover for the kind of risk newly wedded wives take. They can call it Bima Ndoa or Bibi Bima. APA here is something you might want to add to your new rule book.
“You won’t know unless you try,” which is what you’re dying to tell me right now. But trust me there are things I’d rather not know, at all. What’s in it for her anyway? I asked that question at a friend’s bridal shower and everyone looked at me like I had just farted. Yeah, why get married? Why do women get married? Some genius responded “But don’t you need kids?” Actually honey, it’s the kids that will need me and as long I’m not making them, then I guess no one needs the other. In marriage, I’m sure the men benefit from having someone to cook, clean and provide a steady supply of sex. But please, can any woman in the class reading this here post care to give me 10 valid reasons why they would get married? 10 please, not 9.