A few weeks after I turned 24, and my aunt was like, ‘now you are 24, do and bring husband o. I hope there’s someone o, if there’s no one let me start praying for you.’ All the calls I received from my aunts that day went along the same bring-a-husband lines. They even ignored the birthday. Sigh.
As if it’s planned work, everyone around me is getting married or wishing their kids one year birthday anniversaries; on bbm I see ‘I said yes’ DPs, ‘God make my boo bigger’ PMs, etc and I’m just here looking like what’s all these? O_o
When I told one of my aunts that I am not thinking marriage, if you see her reaction ehn, it was almost comical. Till she entered Bible. God said fill the earth and multiply (shey the earth is not full enough?); Bible says marriage is an honourable thing . . . but shey Bible did not say when I should or if I should? At least I know Bible did not say it is by force.
Another said ‘get a man and settle down, build a life.’ Until I get a man I am not settled? I don’t have a life? Ok. ‘You will regret this thing you are doing o. Your mother got married and made her parents happy, you should do the same.’ I kept quiet; my mother is the first example, among others.
I remember being 13 or 14 and seeing my mother very sad because she had to stop school. She made the sacrifice for us, for the ‘greater good’ of everyone. My mum married early, right out of secondary school, in a time when most fathers were like ‘I can’t train a woman in school, go and marry.’ She wanted to be a nurse, but she was supposed to marry so she went to marry. Five kids later she decided to go back to school, at the time when NTI just started. Her plan was to go to NTI, then a College of Education, then maybe a university so she could teach. If she couldn’t be a nurse at least here was a chance to be a teacher. So she started school and excelled. I watched her balance house chores, five kids, her shop and school. After NTI she went to a College of Education. That’s when extended family came. Ah, she wants to kill their brother? He will be training her and her five children? She should stop and face her market. The pressure mounted, finance sef was very bad, and so she stopped.
I remember her being sad, especially when she saw her former classmates, the longing in her eyes, the ‘what could have been’ thoughts running through her mind.
That’s just one example among 1001 others.
So dear aunts, forgive me if I am not interested in marriage, forgive my being dismissive. I want to get to my dreams first, own myself, even if not totally. I want to be able to stand on my own and be responsible for myself and those around me, no matter how old I am.
The world is not fair to women; I won’t give it an added advantage. I don’t want to be sad about things I should have done or wait to do because of marriage.
Maybe I’ll meet someone that will change my mind, until then, no, don’t pressure me. But if you see a man like Obinze from Chimamanda’s Americanah, contact me, I’ll seriously consider ‘settling down’.