It’s easy to go down on one knee and say “I love you woman, will you marry me?”
19th April 2013 was the day I said mine. I had planned to do it on my birthday, April 28th, but I couldn’t wait anymore. I said to her, “Please marry me. Look for a place in your heart to want to marry me.”
Brethren, that is the easy part. That is what you do for love, for selfless reasons or ‘for the vine’.
She picks up the ring. If you were lying down flat on your stomach like me, she’d ask you to stand up, maybe hug you then take a quick ring finger selfie for the mere mortals of BBM and Whatsapp.
This is my simple story.
You wake up one day after lying down like your mates to beg woman to marry you and tell her to send a breakdown of everything you guys will need to get married. Brothers, sometimes this is the wrong move if you do not have complete control over your blood pressure and over all the principalities and powers. I got the list, looked at the estimated cost and breakdown and for days, I couldn’t want woman, I couldn’t sleep well, I couldn’t lust after woman. Brothers and sisters, woman did not hungry me anymore; I looked away from women on billboards. I just wanted to go back to school and get a PhD in one of these mean courses with plenty money.
When I begged my woman to marry me with a ring, she gave me a Spartan look and asked me exactly when I planned to marry her, “not all this play I am playing here”. I looked down and gave her that look of “I don’t recall ma, bullet no be groundnut” and ended my speech with something along the lines of using tongue to count teeth. I will share the lessons from this story some other day.
When things start to get serious, you get a long list of all her Umunna to visit and you also get a list of all your Ijaw uncles in Lagos. Everybody has to do this, even Bola with his abroad masters and PhD had to visit Umunna. You are not particularly a fan of travelling but you pack your bag, tell your babe to pack hers and you guys go to see the Umunna. You move.
I remember the first time I had to tell people “I am here to marry this lady. I am the person who wants to marry her.” My voice wasn’t strong. You know the Nigerian elders and our ancestors and how they can decide to be angry that you are speaking with confidence or that you are not speaking with enough confidence. I told myself much later that I had never tried to marry any woman before, and that the elders would have to deal with a novice. True story.
You get a call much later from your woman, she tells you “Timi, you can start sleeping well again and breathing well. Looks like my estimates were too big the other time”. But you know that you cannot trust anybody in this Port Harcourt city, so you tell her to bite Kolanut and swear that she is sure you can now afford the wedding of her properly managed dreams. People should not be dreaming anyhow.
Close to the wedding, you start noticing some reasons why you should not marry this girl. Chief of which is her attitude towards Ruzzle. She bites her lips when she plays, she always wins with 1000 more points and the number of meat she gives you is not consistent. You don’t want to remind her that you are not here for tea party but she will continue to make those mistakes if you don’t. You sneak behind her one evening and find that there is the possibility that she is a card carrying member of PDP Umuahia zone, but your fears are allayed after her old friend takes the time to assure you that she is not.
Then brothers, if you are marrying a church girl in Nigeria, there will be marriage interview and counselling. The answer to “do you visit each other?” is “No, man of God”; the answer to “do you people speak with each other?” is “No, man of God”. The answer to “how have you guys become so close if you don’t visit each other?” is “By his grace, man of God”. The answer to “have you people sexed before?” is “Aaaaaaah man of great God Aaaah!” Let every man be guided.
Things get better, her family no longer see you as the sharp Spartan young man that you are. They give you food and you all can spend hours discussing after dinner. They listen to how you think. They want to hear your views on Politics, religion, relationships. This is where you can undo two years of work with one useless statement.
True story, good people.
Today, I marry the woman of my dreams, how I dreamed, where I dreamed. I realize this is not usually the case. I realize how privileged I am. I realize she could have walked away many times but she’s stayed. I realize that she’s a gift, my gift that I couldn’t possibly deserve, that I don’t know how to deserve, that I couldn’t learn how to deserve.
My darling, this is where I want to be, this is what I want to do. I want to learn from all the beautiful examples before us to love you with every strand of soul I’ve got. To respect from the depth of my heart who you are, how you think and what we share. To give everything I’ve got to make this work.
I understand that we see life differently and I respect how you see life. I know that even though we perceive life differently, your views about life have brought you this much success. I’m not going to try to change you.
Our mighty Lord will see us through on days when Arsenal play and you have to watch Scandal or these other very important shows. They are very important to me now. I make a commitment to allow you take charge of the remote because marriage and woman first before mere football.
I’m totally thankful to everyone who knows us and has supported us.
We always win!
My name is Timi.
Timi my good friend is getting married today and he sent this account of his experiences for our education and enjoyment. Congratulations Timi! May the Lord grant you both happiness in your home. Bless.