It is not as if you and I met in the wild when you were out on your hunting and gathering pursuits in your loincloth while I was out collecting firewood and innocently picking wild berries and vegetables with my kanga tired around my waist, leaving my breasts dangling freely.
It is not like we met while I was on my way to the river carrying a jerrican that I was to fill with water, and seeing me approach the riverbanks, you waited for me by that thicket over there, watched me as I filled the container to the brim, kept watching as I attempted to lift it to my head and grabbing that chance, came to my aid and offered to carry the water for me instead, then walked beside me and told me how frequently you’d seen me around and how much you liked what you’d seen so far, and unabashed by the implication of your words when you let your eyes run over my body, my bare chest and my voluptuous hips, to eventually settle back on my face again, you gave me a wicked smile, then gave me back my jerrican of water when we neared my homestead, mostly because you feared being spotted by my parents, and watched me balance the jerrican on my perfectly oval head, as I headed home and you kept watching as I swayed my hips for your benefit and you kept watching, and watching, and watching, until I took the turn and was out of your sight before you could leave.
That is not how we met. Not at all.
It is not like I was sitting the whole time, my whole adolescent life, in my mother’s house, having applied ochre to my short hair and having applied cow cream on my skin to keep it all smooth and shiny, waiting for you to court me and hopefully grant me the honor of becoming your bride as I idly counted the beads in the lovely necklace that adorned my lovely long neck.
It is not like when I agreed to marry you, I agreed to put my life on hold so that I could wake up, breath, eat and sleep you. That is not what you and I are. I am not that woman. And to be exceedingly fair, you are not that man either.
So while I don’t expect you to go to the forest and work your muscles with bows and arrows, to prove your prowess at killing game and building huts and all, while I don’t sit at home and wait for you, like our female ancestors waited for their darlings to bring home food, why do you still expect me to be that woman who sits in the kitchen waiting on you, feeding you, as if I have nothing better to do with my life?
You need to understand that though you married me, and though I might love you (to bits and pieces maybe?) it does not mean that you are my raison d’etre. You are not. I do not wake up, live, inhale, exhale, eat and sleep to please you.
So while you are out working or hanging out with the boys, I’d rather be working too or hanging out with the girls. I’d rather check out this new joint in the hood coz I’ve heard they have the illest Nyama Choma and their drink prices are quite pocket-friendly.
What. I am not allowed to enjoy the finer things in life too? To drink? Dance? Make merry? Get high? Live it up? Why? Because I happen to have a ring on my finger? Is this ring a life sentence?
While you are putting your legs up and reading that newspaper or watching that football game or that movie, while you are relaxing with your bottle of beer, what makes you think that I prefer to be bending my back and cleaning the house or cooking that meal, or ironing those clothes. Why would I prefer to do that? Are those fun things to do? I don’t think so! So why? Why should I choose to do that? And why am I supposed to enjoy doing that? Why for example, should I choose to cook up a storm, while I could pick up a book to read or catch up on the latest episode of “Being Mary Jane?”
Tell me; why?
I’ve worked my ass off all week in the office. I know you have too. So why should I not sit back and relax just like you’re doing? If both of us cannot afford help then do you know what the most logical thing to do is? The most logical thing to do, dear husband of mine, would be for you to use those muscles granted ever so generously by the almighty, and which you don’t use anymore to build shelter from scratch like they did in yonder years, to work that cooking stick and fix us some Ugali. While you do that, I will apply my expertise to cutting these vegetables ever so thinly and fix us some mean fried veges and beef stew to go with it just the way you like it. You and I can even sit down and enjoy this meal that we created together. How about that?
You are not that guy who goes to the bushes to kill animals with his bare hands. And I won’t ask you to become that guy. I am very reasonable. You don’t even have to go to the shamba and work that jembe from morning to evening, nor herd animals from village to village in search of green pasture and water. You don’t have to do any of that.
Let’s stay in the present instead. Let’s employ help if we can afford it. Let’s use that microwave to warm food. Now let’s put our feet up and relax after a hard day’s work. There is no crime in that. We’ve earned it. I have earned it.
I know you pray day and night that I could be more (just a little bit more) like that wife in your head. Guess what honey; fat chance!
This is she. This is the wife in your life. The wife you are stuck with. So how about you snap back to reality, huh?