Marriage

The Language Of The Heart

 

But who needs a reason when the language of the heart speaks so loud?

I don’t mind that she leaves her underwear on the floor most of the time. It’s not because of some bullshit feminist mindset, it’s just that I do it all the time. And if she can clean up after my mess, why can’t I feel okay to clean up after her?

When I asked her to marry me, I knew she’d say yes. But it was equally important that the stakes were high. We’d come through nearly a decade of love, hate, distance, discovery, and self-examination. I knew I was never going to be enough for her dreams. I knew I’d had to work at myself. I also understood that she had her demons and would need my help. The reason why she was reading books on marriage lately. At least, she was trying- actively. Me? I still needed to recede into my cave to pull the strength to finally pop the question.

And I’m glad I did when I was most vulnerable.

I don’t think vulnerability is sexy. Neither is it the new cool- to be in touch with your emotions and all that media gender equality crap.

I like how real she is when she opens up to me. It freaks me out when she looks at me with those big brown eyes. It’s terrifying. Knowing that she could do anything for me. That she would turn her back on her family in a split second just for me.

That’s what terrified me when we knelt down in the room that evening.

She was going to say yes to my introverted mind. She was going to say yes to my years of baggage and loneliness. To all the times I had asked a girl out and either broken up or been broken. She was going to say yes to the future conversations that our families would use as a vent to pull skeletons from years ago.

Or not.

About the time when she was the cause of all my life failure. Or the time when she’d wanted me to move in with her and be her slave on the other end of the world.

God, I was so naïve.

But her kisses make sense now. Even though I wish (secretly) they’d be less- I understand. I understand her. I understand her need to be close- emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. We’d both wanted this for so long. For so many years, that having it for those first few days drained me.

But she’d wanted it more than I’d ever had.

For that, I love and respect her. I respect her need. She deserves my best. Not because she’s special and loving and cute and hardworking and prayerful and really, really kind.

But because I love her.

I don’t even know why I love her. For all these years, I’ve dated other women. I’ve kissed other women. I’ve imagined myself building a family with another. I’ve been infatuated, I’ve sprawled with desire over women more physically attractive, more sensual, more emotionally stable (include other unnecessary relationship criteria).

I’m not proud of my streak. But I’ll own it any time, any day. Because all that has made me who and what I am today- me.

I don’t know why I have chosen to spend the rest of my existence on earth with her- in my intellectual respite, I’ve computed the logic behind my decision. The answer?

Nothing.

There’s no reason why she’s the perfect fit. There’s no reason why I know I’ll have to talk about my feelings and fight and believe that we can grow and change together. There’s still no reason why I have chosen to start my family with her.

But who needs a reason when the language of the heart speaks so loud?

Originally published on our Medium Publication- Self-ish.

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Blog Title involves being single and associated emotions

From @himanivatyani's profile

I know I promised you two posts but I’d like…with your permission…to get a little selfish here to talk about…well…me. 🙂 
Also because I am lazy and still working on the other  posts.
Seriously though, I had to write this post. Yesterday evening was awful.
My original title for this post was : “I am single and it sucks”. My  friend told me I would sound like such a loser.
Maybe he was right. Maybe I sound like a loser.
Maybe I am  a loser.

 But, being single and being a loser have one thing in common:
both suck.
And in the post, I’ll explain why it sucks so much.
For me at least.

Or maybe I could discover at the end that it doesn’t and that I just want somebody to love me as much as I love her.
And that that somebody should not be my mom.
Like a best friend I can make-out with.
What beats that?
Priesthood maybe.But then again, it had never EVER crossed my mind to get into priesthood.
We’ll have this discussion another day.
I am single and it sucks.

I AM SINGLE.


Why? Entirely my fault. I complicate every conversation and I am always looking for a reason to be the smarter one. I have stringent rules( which I hardly obey) and expect everyone to. I use my brain more than my heart.
Word of advice: Don’t be an idiot. Don’t be me.
I lost the ‘idea’ of the ideal wife( yes, wife…not girlfriend) a long time ago.
 Here is what the profile of my ideal wife looked like:
A. Short in stature( to be precise…shorter than me)
B.  Fair in complexion( what is it with fair in complexion chicks? Maybe it’s my Dad’s fault…)
C. Speaks fluent English and French ( yep I am a language nerd)
D. Loves cooking( duh)
E. Loves kids and wants to have at least four( and bonus if she would ensure that the first is a girl)
F. Plays Chess.
G. Plays video games.
H. Loves books and movies.
I. Organized. Very.
J. Less lazy than I am( very important this point was)
K. Meticulous with money.
L. Other positive values.
M. More positive and ESPECIALLY unrealistic values.
N. More.
O.You get the point
P-Z. If you have not gotten the point…just…continue reading.
Yep.
I lived with this human in my head.
This image of the ‘perfect’ *scoffs* girlfriend.
Rubbish! 
Why do I keep creating humans in my head?  Maybe I take marriage too seriously.
Anyway, that is what the profile for  my ideal girlfriend  looked like.
 I still have a profile now.
Who doesn’t?
Don’t judge me! Consciously or not, if you look at the ladies or men you accost  (especially those you are dying to get romantically involved with), the character traits  become evident. For example:
1. I have hardly sustained a long relationship with a lady who spoke just French or English.
2. I love eating and am quite lazy so, I get really irritable when the hunger kicks in. I eat to live harmoniously with other humans.
This is paramount to my relationships.
Those who know me would confirm this.
3. And if a lady( or even dude) can’t sustain a conversation of more than 15 minutes with me, there is a likelihood we will not be having conversations AT ALL.
Communication =Relationships 101. Basics.
Yes,I do have a profile.
Not of the ideal woman anymore. There’s no such thing as ‘ideal’!
I think the word  was invented by a grumpy single grammar nerd who knew exactly how unfair the world was and chose to punish lots of humans after him. I am certain it was a ‘he’.
Only men get that grumpy.
Long before my crush crushed me, I had already had a change of heart concerning my principles . So, here goes nothing…
 Profile of my not-so-ideal woman:
A. Ambitious.
B. Will work honestly to achieve her goals.
C. Stubborn.
D.Likes me.
-An ambitious woman  can easily become an idea machine.
-Someone who works honestly won’t do evil or use people to achieve his or her goals.
-A stubborn person fights for her beliefs.
-Anybody who likes me deserves to be ‘liked by me’.
 Note that  I did not say ‘Loves me‘.
Now that is a complicated. It is a word that makes me grateful to be human. Just like the concept of The Holy Trinity. If you can understand those two, there’s a high probability you are not human.
You’re not supposed to understand them.
At least in my opinion.

 IT SUCKS!

I am not a slave driver. I don’t want people to work FOR me but WITH me. I believe the highest level of any human relationship is interdependence. Everyone relying on each other.
Complementarity.
Yesterday night, I returned from a long day in school and from running errands around the city.
Exhausted.
I could feel in my eye sockets the desire to have someone help take my shoes off while I laid on my back. This someone, coaxing me gently into a bath and then preparing a delicious meal for my revitalization.
And she, muttering the most awesome phrase in the world:
You’ll be alright”.
I looked at my room, the emptiness, the scattered and unwashed garments.
It sucked.Truly did.
I was hungry and tired. I stepped out, bought some food by the roadside. Ate a little and started writing. Too exhausted to finish, I slept without even my daily reading regiment.
I slept alone, in my cold but comfortable mood. Sent a couple of text messages and introspected a little.
I have not always been this way.
I won’t die of loneliness-that I’m certain.
My mother raised me well, I can cook and take care of myself.
But, some days, I just wish I had someone to look after me.
Is that so much to ask?

“I have NEVER thought of getting married to a Bamileke!”

Her argument was simple: not being a bamileke herself, the man’s family will always pressure him to get married to a Bamileke woman AND he would either end up sending her away to get a Bamileke bride or get a second wife, “sometimes …third…”she mouthed disgustfully.
I had nothing concrete to debunk her statement. When I look at my own family, all the women(3) on my mother’s side got married to the men from ONE village- Bafang and both their village (Badjoun) and their husbands’ fall under the Bamileke tribe. Maybe someone needs to do research on this hyphothesis if it has not yet been done.
Marriage is a very important part of the lives of those who CHOSE to get married. You can’t just marry anyone. However, I wonder if my peers (youths) actually do give a thought on this.
My friend is from the Northwest Region of the country and particularly from Mankon( Check tribe). We were discussing on the topic of marriage before she made that statement and launched her argument. My comeback was that: this doesn’t work in all instances and that in my home, for example, my parents have very simple demands as concerns the person I will marry.
For my mom it’s not very complicated. Her argument is not racist but rather one of a clash of culture. To her, if I get married to a European, American or Asian or ‘White’, if a fight comes-up, she could up and away with the kids leaving me alone ( as if I too can’t run away with the kids…duh). “Also”, she adds, “the kids will be far away!” I know she wants to be a grandmother…I understand she would want to have her grandchildren around her. So simply: “ Don’t get married to white”.
My Dad’s the best. One day I asked:
“Dad…what kind of a person would you like me to marry?”
He was very happy. It was as though he had been waiting for this day to give me the marriage version of ‘the talk’. He put down the remote, looked into my eyes like never before, beckoned me to come closer then he asked in his characteristic friendly baritone:
“Will I be in YOUR house with you? Will I raise YOUR kids? Will I live with YOUR wife? My son, it’s your life. Make the choice but know the consequences. If you are happy, I’m happy.”
That was it. He summed it all. That is the answer I gave my friend. Is it the family that lives with the man or the wife? Why would they decide to stay within the tribe or whatever?
Let’s even look at evolution: does the tribe not stand a better chance of surviving if the gene pool is increased? What if you marry you great-grandfather nephew’s daughter’s uncle’s grandchild? Is that not incest? (By the way I just made that family tree up…I have no idea if it is.)
The point is: marriage is not a joke. Young people should think about it.
When she asked me:
“Ok. So… how do you know the kind of person you would like to marry?”
I said I would like to marry someone I’d love to talk to and who would love to talk to me. I believe communication is the key and that when we can communicate, there is no trouble we won’t surmount…for there is ALWAYS trouble in a marriage. I have been at the front seat of THAT kind of trouble.
“What if after two years you don’t feel like talking to the person anymore?”
I was like: “Does it mean you would be getting a divorce every two years?!”
I have no idea what I would do if that happens to me. It is clear from Hollywood that marriages can last for a week or a year …or two sometimes depending on the pre-nuptial agreement signed. Also, people have chosen the wrong persons and after a divorce or two (or more) met the right person.
My mentor, http://www.jamesaltucher.com , is clearly extremely happy with his second wife, Claudia Altucher.My observation then is that: marriage is neither an exact science nor exact religion either because once humans are involved…nothing makes sense.
I think we should think about marriage BEFORE we get into it. We should date prospective WIVES and not just kill time with ‘chicks’, ‘Ngas’ or ‘Maa’ or (insert condescending nominal term chosen to describe female counterparts in a love relationship). The ladies are not exempted either. Some nice guys (like yours truly,) have been victims of ladies without prospects!!
Like in the http://www.TED.com video by MEG JAY, we prepare our married lives now.
I used to have a pretty long list of criteria my future wife would have. I used to seek for these qualities in girlfriends and would often feel silently disappointed when I didn’t find a few. I call that list “The List”. I had about 20 or so items on the list. Now I have just one. Now you know what my next post will be on…
How about you? What is your take on marriage and the selection of a spouse…for life?

Five Lessons I learnt from My Parents’ Union( or I want to get married too). Started on Thursday, March 14, 2013 6:21 PM

I had a dream last night. No, it was not the Martin Luther King Jr. type. I was in a hurry to have a child of my own so bad, I forced open the egg in which my kid was before it was time. My child came out with one malformed arm. I was devastated.
I have no idea why I included the above information in this post. I guess I’m just as crazy as my mates say I am.

Anyway, I have been home since Tuesday. With mom, dad and two French…”tourists”. They are here to work with my dad so I guess “Wourists” is an appropriate term . They are two young ladies. We won’t talk about them.
Marriage. I will be returning to school by Sunday the 17th. The second semester resumes on the 18th and I am not yet done with registration. Not mentioning the collection (and deposition) of copies of my internship letter. The exams took a toll on me I have to admit. I had to come home to re-vitalize .The hidden reason is to finally come to terms with a morsel of truth: My parents will be celebrating their Church wedding on the 6th of April.
Mom’s Catholic. Dad’s not. Not that I particularly care. He does. He is sometimes (always) complains about Catholics and their “customs”: “Vous les Catholiques!” as he says.
[Note to self: write a post titled : The Ultimate Worship showdown: Catholic VS Presbyterian]
The Union is thus a mixed one. Why on earth will they be called that? #Ihatelabels.
I am 23.February 8th this year did that to me. I can therefore assume confidently that my parents have been together for that amount of time. The age difference between them six(6) years give or take. I have never been curious enough to find out why. Don’t ask me. I won’t tell you. Therefore, in my short stay on the globally acclaimed unique planet capable of supporting human life in the milky way, I have learnt a thing or two concerning marriage which could be applied other relationships in general; friendships, lovers, dates, whatever.

1. It sometimes (really) does get better with time.
No matter how happy ,excited ,pissed or mad you are at the beginning of any relationship, we can all agree ,(some people never do…of course…),that a previous inside joke could one day spur heated arguments or/and lead to bloodshed. The reverse too is as plausible.
When I was a kid,7 or so, they used to fight. Verbally…mostly…LOL! My father has never raised his finger at any female, especially not the woman he loves. Trust me, If I were him I would probably have raised bodies. My mother is a woman, you see, and women possess the queer ability to know when, how and what pushes her man’s buttons. I thinks it’s a “Swuper Power”.

Right now ,when I try to recall, I don’t remember the last time they ever raised their voices (apart from when in unison to reprimand me or one of my clones).They operate in a symbiosis that one can achieve when one gains both pleasure and happiness,(yes, there is a major difference), from knowing someone way back. It is very similar to(but far more earnest) to the feeling that pushes one to smile when saying something like:
“Oh! James? I know that fellow!!We went to high school together! He was such a nerd at the time. He works at….now. We used to….”
It’s a really nice feeling. I hope to earn it someday.

2. Some things will never change. Deal with it(or You can’t teach an old dog new tricks).
My mom ,like almost every other regular lady, owns a “mobile phone”. I personally think she understands only the latter half of the term. It always rings at least 50 Meters from her! I justify her action with a likely desire to avoid brain cancer. But she constantly debunks my argument by NEVER KNOWING WHERE SHE KEPT IT!
My dad doesn’t cook. I mean every word in the previous sentence in its basic sense. He has never and would never. He loves eating(good food only) but that is where his culinary practice ends. He is a wonderful food critic too. In all honesty, he has never needed to and he probably never will. After all, what is a kid’s job if not take care of those who took care of him/her? My dad has worked too hard his whole life. He still is. He deserves the best(food).
I have known them all my life and there are definitely many habits and attributes they have that have stood the test of time. Old habits truly die hard.

3. Your Children(products, exudes of your relationship)must be smarter that you If you want to survive the changing times.
Till date, I still type my mom’s emails. If her phone acts up…I am her guy! A bug on any PC it’s us before they even think of a maintenance guy. The only thing I know my mom is really good at is make-up!(I’m kidding, she is the best cook ever. This is NOT a perfunctory statement. She probably will never read my blog anyway…)
When any appliance has issues, we the kids are the momentary parents-passing out commands, instructions-“Turn of the switch….give my the nail…hand me the tape….”I get not to say please all the time…yay! There is this feeling of pride on both ends: as the son ,you are very enthusiastic about showing off your skills your parents (…to the neighbor’s daughter even more…hehehe…cool me!) AND you parents feel really glad to know you know…you know?!
Time waits for no one. I heard from a report on the BBC that the human mind is like plastic and can be molded. It’s not fixed. I also do extrapolate that a child’s mind must be more malleable. We clearly learn more when we are younger. Kids learn faster. Parent can’t do something!?…Kid help parent. Everyone happy…”Now who’s your Daddy? :D”

4. Do not Expect too much.
Hope is good. It is the perfect fuel. But if you set your expectations too high, the outcome could be heart wrenching if not alienating. This is probably a regular maxim for some people but I will hone it toward marriage.
Parents: Your kids are individually unique constructs of nature. You cannot mold them into your image. You may succeed (or think you have)but if they are not happy ..you have failed completely in parenting…IMAO.
Kids: Parents will(under human circumstances) always seek to satisfy your varied needs but in a world where the global economy creeps, where capitalism and communism clash and where Nigerian Movies are the new African Standard (I really REALLY do not like Nigerian movies…seriously…I will write a post on why to justify my stance…not that I need to justify anything…),nothing had ever seemed so gloomy. They will try. Trust me. They will promise you. But keep this in mind…OTHER FACTORS BEYOND THEIR CONTROL WILL CRUSH you.
5. This post is getting way to long and I am getting out of hand…let me go to school!!

Thanks for reading 😉 !
P.S: My next post is “Why My Parents Killed me!”