Month: October 2016

Dear Young Clueless Unmarried Female…

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Dear Young Clueless Unmarred Female,

Consider this your reality check….your marriage tutorial 101. What I am about to share, I’m sure is not covered in your weekly counseling sessions nor is it the highlight of your mother’s daily words of wisdom on how to become an excellent wife! It’s quite simple though, if you choose to live your single life as a social butterfly and enjoy one too many soirees – then carry on and depart from the notion that in your marriage, your husband will help you nurture your pastime! The beginning of your lives together could possibly mark the end of your joint social calendar!

The social calendar of a young married Ghanaian couple is an endangered item in marriages nowadays! Like a vanishing act, it gradually disintegrates as life happens. When dating, your social calendars are interlocked and well-coordinated- you naturally cannot get enough of each other – and neither can the world! However this phenomenon begins to dwindle once the idea of marriage becomes an option!

After the last bottle of champagne has been emptied, the last rose petal swept and the last drunk guest has been directed his merry way home …reality sets in … you are either looking forward to your happy ever after or after the euphoria and drunkenness wears off, the feeling of anxiety and uncertainty prompts the flashing bright red warning signs in your head…”WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST DO?”

Many cringe-worthy marriage tales from the crypt begin with horror stories involving in-laws from hell or dark family secrets that warrant a few Hail Mary’s and a lifetime chronic drinking habit!  But ladies and gentlemen (allow me to be a bit dramatic)… there lies a more sinister nemesis to marriage, an unassuming agent of doom that unfortunately has penetrated the delicate fabric of marriage in our current society!

Could it be the proverbial ball and chain that gets most couples (especially the guys) all ruffled up and scared straight? Maybe the idea of forever is what prompts today’s Ghanaian couples to practically repel each other, especially when it comes to syncing social calendars!   Okay so let’s put everything into perspective…boy meets girl…they become boyfriend and girlfriend, they literally cannot get enough of each other – they practically have synchronized social calendars – it’s a ‘get two for one’ special!  However, they get the “bright idea” to get married and just like that, the special runs out fast… never to be tried again (unless under the duress of a counselor…maybe!). Now “Boy” has the “pressing need” to hang out with his friends – ALL THE TIME!  This is the onset of the term, “BOYS-BOYS”! Ladies and gentlemen ….your marriage NEMESIS revealed!

The term “Boys-boys’ was introduced to me like any other awkward term: like a fleeting careless thought…not much to write home about until it becomes a staple in your marriage and now it’s a term you hear so constantly, you feel its imprinted on your brain and it warrants a blood curdling scream each time you hear it!  In actual fact, the term is not as menacing as what it represents!

Of course if you are; or plan to be that kind of wife who enjoys being stuck at home all the time with the kids, in rollers and stained oversized clothes, this term would sound like music to your ears because we all know you don’t want to deal with the extra whines and demands of your “FIRST child” (your darling hubby) so you thankful rush him out of the door to play with his boys-boys. POWER TO YOU!  Now if you are the type of wife after my own heart, who does enjoy getting dolled up every now and then, and walking into places on the hand of her man…then trust me, you are going to LOATHE the term boys-boys because what it simply means is that you are not invited to the party or better yet the lifetime position you thought you won fair and square as his ‘plus one’ has been revoked! Now don’t fret, the position still exists….it’s just that you are no longer worthy of it. Now guess who gets shotgun in your two for one wagon…yup…Boys-boys!

The “Mr and Mrs”. invitations will be hard to come by. Basically your position at the grown up table has been commandeered and you have been bamboozled over to the kiddies table! I mean it’s not a bad table to sit at; but discussing power puff girls and who your favorite teenage mutant turtle is cannot be progressively rewarding! Face it girl, at this point your couple social calendar becomes a practical joke!

BOYS-BOYS, as the term implies, is just all about guys being guys and just hanging out…doing what guys do! There is no need to panic or get your pastor involved in this…don’t worry your darling husband is not playing for the other team (now that’s a whole different topic for another day).  You can however bet your last pesewa that in most cases, girls will be hanging out too at these boys –boys hang out spots; but what you are forgetting here is that you traded your “girl” ticket for the “wifey” ticket – remember that day when you were all smiles and you thought you owned the world, standing tall in your beautifully made white gown! Yup, that day was the last day of being a girl to your husband or any of his boys boys!  So yes, girls are invited to these boys-boys event, unfortunately, you are not!

Does that mean you are also allowed to form your own “girls girls” faction and act like you are single again? Well technically you can – but girlfriend you have baggage and responsibilities (remember your off-springs) and so it’s not really the same situation. The most you could settle for is a “Mummy and me” package and keep scheduling those play dates with the other mommies and their mini mes.

Now in no way shape or form am I advocating for couples to be in each-others space 24/7. That would be exhausting and nerve wrecking. “Boys-boys” do serve a very important purpose every now and then; however like every other thing, too much of it is detrimental. On the flipside if “boys boys” also spent more quality time with their wives…here’s a thought…maybe we could have a “couple thing’ to look forward to! But dare I suggest that married Ghanaian men bring their wives along to clubs or parties crawling with young single desperate girls…somewhere out there I have just suggested a cardinal sin!

There seems to be some unwritten rule, that I obviously missed, that prohibits married couples from hanging out together. Once married, the woman is supposed to turn in her lifetime pass as a socialite, however not to worry she still has her fulltime pass to kiddie parties, family events, definitely school festivities and ….of course church!

Who would have thought that hanging out with my husband would cause such a spectacle so much to warrant useless comments like, “Why are you always with your husband or why don’t you let him go out by himself”. Well…duh…I married the guy, didn’t I and this is what marriage looks like – you should try it sometimes! Of course we have our separate likes and hobbies that we enjoy individually, but we both have the interest in going out as well.  I made the conscious effort to marry my best friend – who I can enjoy his company – not just any boyfriend who turned into the father of my children! Any Tom, Dick or Harry could fill that role!

Or maybe I am interpreting this all wrong…could this be the best way for couples to actually cope with a life of till death do us part? Like I said, I am not suggesting that married couples should spend every waking minute together…tied to the hip…. Married couples are supposed to enjoy their individualities, personal space and hobbies but also commit to sharing quality time together as well. For a lasting marriage it is helpful to see your spouse as a best friend you can actually hang out with to some extent.

So to you my young vibrant and enthusiastic girl waiting for your shot at this thing called marriage, by all means prepare to take a bite into that Apple but let’s cultivate realistic expectations. If you are the social butterfly and are all for keeping up appearances, there might be a very good chance you will be left to fend for yourself after the glitter and glam has settled but don’t take my word for it.