Musings of a Bachelor…

by Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku

I don’t take this as a response to all of the well-wishers and sympathizers who think that one of the reasons why I was very sickly last year was because of my unmarried status quo. They’d taken a vigil at my bedside and looked at me with sorry, omni-knowing eyes and nod their heads in a manner that seemed as though they had the formula for all of the misfortunes that befell me. And they said so quite plainly that I must get married pronto and stop falling ill.

Well, let us attend to those whose positions I understand perfectly. They tell me the time is now, the time is ripe and I know they mean that if a full grown man didn’t have a good or bad woman by his side in a time of travail, travails last longer. They mean that a woman’s special flavour in a man’s life is something that could ward off some of the unnecessary problems a lot of men encounter daily. For instance, I know very well that sex with your wife on a regular basis stabilizes the body chemistry and keeps the mind toned and much more refreshed. I also know that there are times that a woman’s food, that is, a meal lovingly prepared by a woman who loves you goes beyond the stomach and enters the heart and makes you feel very bouncy. I know all of that. And from a certain perspective, some who ask me to go get married are not asking me to go get married because having sex can save you from further complications of surgery. They do not persuade me to get married just because they want me to eat good food and up my temperature on a cold lonely night. These people just mean well and they translate their well-meaningness into urging me to get married so that I could begin to enjoy, like any other man, the sex, the food and the full compliments of frustrations and problems that sometimes are the by-products of matrimony.

They believe that a man is hardly complete if he has no woman by his side, who would love and hold, despite the circumstances of problems that every marriage experiences. I know this is why these people urge me on and in most cases, because I appreciate their deep concern I merely hang my head in shame, not wanting to frighten them with the kind of responses you would read about below.

Some of these responses being the following, and they are mostly for those who assert that marriage will save me from diseases and sicknesses: first, that you cannot hop onto the street, or go to church, or visit the sports centre, a club or any of those places where you could meet women and grab one of them and get married to her. Marriage, I long to assure my sympathizers is a waiting game. It is not something you rush into even if the tintinnabulation of the social clock ceaselessly harasses you into thinking its time to take the plunge. I long to let these sympathizers mine that I should like to be a little ok in the area of my finances before committing myself. I said, ‘a little ok’ and not as if I want all the money in the world before settling down. I want to be able to tell them; tell them that one or two of those egging me on now without a dime to my name are the ones who may eventually upbraid me for foolishly getting married when I knew I had no money to provide some of the best things I’d programmed to give my family. I want to be able to tell them the most important gist – that I see myself as a crazy fella and I’m yet to meet that lady as crazy as me to complement the crazy circle.

Well then, what is my inner speech to those who believe that if I got married right now, all of my problems would evaporate? To them, I say thanks but no thanks. I want to tell them that getting hitched has never solved anybody’s problems. In fact, marriage increases a man’s troubles and problems and frustrations and responsibilities. But I don’t want to tell them that they are not even an encouragement either. My neighbour has a menial job, lives in a one-room ‘apart-ment‘ with her husband and three grown kids and they live from hand to mouth. The other one close by is a single mother who lives close by. She’d been ‘married’ but rushed out of that matrimony with alimony. The other has a husband who jumps from one skirt to the other and expectedly, is hardly alive to his responsibilities as a father. I could go on but what’s the use? So I let them yap on all the time.

But truly, marriage is a good, good thing. The good book says that he who finds a wifey finds a good thing and is a lucky guy indeed. Being married to someone who shares your dreams and aspirations and frustrations and failures and you share hers too is a wonderful thing. I guess this is what they mean when they urge us unhitched to get hitchy. Perhaps we should listen more, what do you think?

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