Monday, August 10, 2009

What Is This Thing Called Marriage? Part 1

Summer is that time of the year when you get all your dresses out, make all the 'make-ables', like a friend would say. And of course work on your dance moves. If you are the bride and groom, great! All attention will be on you on your big day. If you are a bridesmaid or groomsman, you will have to learn to smile form one side of your chin to the other in order to keep looking pretty.

I have always wanted to get married and still do. I know for a fact that I was not called to be celibate. But I hear and see it all the time, those who want to get married but can't meet the right person and those who are married but have moments when they wish they were single again. You can never please man. I wonder what the big man upstairs thinks about our indecisiveness when it comes down to what we really want.

I have never been a bridesmaid and quite honestly, I don't think I want to be one. My chin hurts when I smile a lot. Okay, before you throw stones at me, that was a joke but I happen to be someone who is very conscious of her surronding and people staring at me. So, I prefer being a guest and helping out than being on display.

That aside and back to what this whole drama of marriage is all about. I have had moments when I wanted to cry and indeed I cried because I thought there was something wrong with me and that's why no one has shown interest in that area and by no one, I mean a 'MAN'. Don't get it twisted, I am as heterosexual and straight as you can get. These days, one has to spell things out word for word and after getting a few nasties on a few social newtworking sites I belong to... I want to make it crystal clear, this lady is not interested in other women. Thank you!

So, I am in the middle of a conversation with my friend and the issue of marriage comes up. My friend of course is almost the same age as myself. She has just been to Nigeria and back. So, I teased and asked her if she got herself a man? Her response was no. I told her that was not good enough because these days people go home to get a man or a woman to play the role of husband or wife. Of course we laughed about it and then I proceeded to tell her that my father told me a few weeks ago that he would not mind if I married a man from Pakistan, which we both laughed about. You see, my father's logic is based on the fact that a few years back, a Pakistani doctor was one of the people who saved my life when I was between life and death. That made think and of course I told him that if saving my life is the pre-requisite for marrige, then I will be very nervous and of course my father being himself laughed and I laughed with him. Bless him!

To crown the comedy I was having with this whole issue of marriage, I get this in an email...

"Hello all,

Hope you're well.

I just wanted to gauge interest in a get together I'm thinking of doing...

Thought it would be great to have a ladies' night to get the lowdown on how to find and attract a good man.


I met Des O Connor recently, who's a dating coach and pitched as the female Hitch, and found him to be very funny, charming, and brimming with ideas. He does home parties where he can give tips, but they cost £10/head and he needs a minimum of 10 people there.

So, I thought he could share his insight and offer us tips. I have a friend who is a MAC make up artist so she can do a makeover for you for £10 if you're interested and if you want to buff your body for that prospective date, then I'll have great offers on Body Shop products. You know then that you can hit a venue immediately afterwards looking too damn good.


So, what do you think? Would you be interested in attending a dating party at mine? Unfortunately I can't offer you the fine mans afterwards, but at least we'll have the advice and tools to find him!"

I laughed so hard, my neighbours must have thought I had lost the plot. This made me think about how the tables have changed in the 21st century where marriage and relationships are concerned. In my mother's days, the man did all the work and the ladies had to sit pretty and wait to be taken. Now we have dating coach and you name it, every book under the sun about relationship has been written to enable us with the tools for attracting 'The One.'

The game has changed and it is still have to take into account that men have choices...a lot of them in addition to the very fact that some or white are gay. And you have those who are in prison which will most likely make you not want to give him a chance. Then you look at the facts before you, his education level, how much money he makes and if he can afford to take care of you and the 2.5 kids you are going to have with him. Of course, you will look at the physique stats of tall, dark and handsome and if he is white, tall, tanned and handsome. A friend once that she would not mind buying the guy the shoes and teeth if he had none. And I bet this situation is the same for some men.

But if we are honest with ourselves, all of these requirements are fantasies...that's not to say you will not get what you want but most of the time, I know people who got what they needed where relationships and marriage is concerned and not what they wanted. I can tell you they are happy too. So, we do have to work on our expectations but by no means lower your standards or play anything down. And by that, I mean do not deny who you are, so someone will marry you. If you are more educated than he is, as long as he can handle it and be proud of you, why not? So what if you make more money than he does? Bottomline, you might be the boss at work but at home, you are his lady and like I have heard in the past, 'at home she is my girl.' And of course all of these points are vice versa for the men too. I know men are always supposed to the bread winners of the home and like Steve Harvey said, men like to know that they can provide and protect. Don't ever take away his ability to do that or you are going to have a docile brethen and then start wondering what happened.

The jokes aside, I am finally beginning to understand why a few friends I know used to complain about their parents once they hit 25 heading to the big 30. Now if you are African like me, you know the fact that we put a prize and price tag on marriage. If you are not married by a certain age, you might as well be a leper. Don't get me wrong, attitudes are changing and people are beginning to realise that marriage is not the be all and end all of a man or a woman's life.

There is so much to do, there are people whose lives you can make a difference to, dreams to pursue, visions to accomplish, purpose to fulfill...I could go on and on. But I also know that the desire to share all of your success with someone is just as strong if not stronger. Goodness, there is no need having a mansion for yourself alone. I mean, how many rooms are you going to sleep in? It is annoying eating on your own honest, if you enjoy cooking like I do...there are moments after cooking when I wish there was someone to dish a spoon or two for.

When I started writing this blog entry, it was because I was looking to find answers to the title of my entry. I believe I will find out as I grow and learn more about the subject of marriage. I wish I had all the answers but that would be boring.

To cut a long story short, the key is to keep discovering yourself, get yourself to do things you normally don't do. Doing interesting things make you interesting and every now and gain, reposition yourself in life by taking on a new challenge.

The key to joy does not belong to a man or a woman but belongs to you and it all comes down to what you want out of life. There will be life lessons along the way, some very painful ones, some joyful but if you stay in there and don't give up on life. It will happen. In the mean time, don't put your life on hold. Get up and start living.