Everyone is so happy when you get married. Regardless of how you get married, ultimately there’s that implicit “PHEW”. It’s almost a sigh of relief especially when you are of marriageable age.
“She dodged THAT bullet” - the bullet of your expiration date.
I need to go back and look at the exact moment that I started to subscribe to that school of thought. Does living in Nigeria change that for you? Where pretty much all of a woman’s value is placed on her being married.
As a woman you could climb the highest mountain, find the cure for cancer, help the dying and impoverished in remote areas where souls have been forgotten, rule the most powerful nation on Earth and somehow, at some point everyone is looking over your shoulders and accomplishments for the man behind you, the man whose last name you bear. The customary questions will haunt you; “soooo… you don’t have a husband?”, “Is she married?”.
It’s bad enough you get it from everyone else but when you get to the haven that is your home and your family. “Look Daddy! I just discovered a new planet in outer space that will sustain human life as we know it”.
DAD: “That’s great, WHERE ARE MY GRANDCHILDREN???” “Look at you! Your mates are in their husband’s houses, on their third child, what’s wrong with you? Sha mu ikan wale!” (Translated: Just bring one home! (If only it were that easy to just pick them and bring them home).
Our society inundates girls with mixed messages. Read your books, study hard, face your work, don’t let a boy touch you, you will get pregnant, boys only want you to destroy your life (another Yoruba saying- “okunrin ma ba aiye je”) and then all of a sudden it’s “where is your husband?” Where are your children?
We ask why women are desperate and seeking love at any and all cost when we reinforce the narrative that all boys are bad but bring one when we say it’s ok? Where are the lessons about loving yourself and valuing yourself? Why didn’t anybody teach us WHY we should stay away from boys as opposed to telling us to stay away because the only consequence is bringing utter shame and disgrace to the family name in form of an unwanted pregnancy? How do we reconcile that the things you tell us to fear the most in our formative years are what we are supposed to magically conjure when we haven’t been prepared to navigate the twists and turns that falling in love and being in a relationship bring?
Why aren’t we told that having sex forms soul-ties that have lasting consequences? That giving your body to the wrong man puts you and your precious heart in jeopardy. Why does no one tell a girl how devastating heartbreak is?
Our society touts the mantra “a man is a man” but is unwilling to accept that not all male are men, some male are monsters, and monsters are not just mythical creatures in fairy tales. They exist and we marry them because no one cares if he makes you laugh or even smile, no one bothers to ask if you have peace, they’re mostly just concerned with picking complimentary colors for the aso-ebi and how quickly can we club him over the head and drag him down the aisle willingly or not.
The very same dogmatic society that regards divorced women as pariahs labels single women as desperate when we succumb to the pressure and do as we are told- FIND a husband
So in the end, when all the small chops have been eaten and Dom P. has been popped and you drive away in your RR Phantom, the envy of every single girl tapping into the anointing of your 3 carat, ascher cut ring from Van Cleef & Arpels, no one knows that while you were busy dodging the bullet you ended up in front of a one man firing squad and no one is there when the trigger is pulled.
“God is Love, not a closed fist or controlling actions”