Will You Marry Me
Screaming headline. I haven’t written in a while, so that headline is click-bait. A lot of you may have imagined I died or got married or something that sensational, but I’ve run out of excuses and a screaming headline is the only hope of retaining readers. The accompanying photo is also pure sensationalism which you should not pay attention to.
This article has something to do with the headline…
It’s more than ten days into the new year and by now, you must’ve realized most of your resolutions will not work: You have a persistent craving for cold beer; you have trouble keeping your core body temperature under control even when you remain completely stationary, as long as your eyes see anything meaty on a plate; Your mind wakes up at 3am to hit the gym, but your body hasn’t cooperated with the waking up yet; You have all the money you want to save but it’s also the only money you have for the remainder 37 days of this first month. Listen to me, I’m a clairvoyant: We will all die eventually and that’s what matters. So, don’t beat yourself about eating more than 5mg of fat per day. People die of Swine flu, and that has nothing to do with cholesterol control. In fact, most of these resolutions are made after bad holiday spending. When you take time off work and spend money to go someplace new, there’s a lot of pressure to enjoy yourself at a rate that reflects your investment. You don’t want to travel for miles and spend Ksh. 150,000 to have only a little bit of fun. Which is why people on elaborate vacations expect to have the time of their lives, and anything less is an expensive failure. Which is why they are pausing every three minutes to take a picture of all the fun they were supposed to be having and putting it up for you to see on Instagram. Those big, strained smiles are an accurate summary of many vacations. It is the only way they can look back at and convince themselves that they had a good time. If not, they make resolutions right after the holiday to commemorate the regret they carry, and promise themselves better decision making in future.
I’m not busy most times nowadays. YouTube, Facebook and 30% of time dedicated to my employment are all I have to do. In fact, most times I am busy staring at the beautiful creations of Jehovah Elohim, El-Shaddai, Yahweh, Adonai, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Creator of all things under the sun, especially those available on Instagram. 100% of them are too good for my league (Like there is a girl called Hazel Mwangemi on Instagram whom on my timeline is a living icon— the girl is so ensconced in my collective cultural consciousness that even her voice, walk and facial expressions are considered independent sentient beings by myself. But God knows that I know that he knows she is way beyond a mere me so I look and thank God that she was created, and live along. Some people will take this statement too serious but that’s why I don’t take people who don’t understand why I write any seriously).
On such Instagram tours, it hits me that almost everyone I graduated with got married, is in a stable relationship, or has a child or something close to those three variables. Maybe at my age, it is time I considered walking into one of those lifelong self-imposed miseries. However, it’s hard to keep track of annual milestones beyond the age of 21. There are no more age-based privileges to look forward to after that point, and besides, everything since then has been one big, intoxicated blur. The next noteworthy age I’ll hit is 63. I can’t wait to be a 63-year-old. Have you seen a man that age? It puts him squarely in peak-African-uncle range—when the last of your fucks have withered away like dandelion seeds blowing in the wind and your primary concerns are procuring comfortable trousers and basing your interest in an activity on the presumed volume level of said activity. At that age, your default mood exists at the intersection of bemused, annoyed and disinterested. At that age it is allowed to think a booty call means noticing a woman is in possession of a fine posterior, and letting her know. So, you will be allowed to log on to any of such females Facebook timelines and comment on their photos like ” I like to booty call all over the boulevard”, and the only people concerned will be your younger relatives and children.
So, a friend called me up, and explained that he was going to propose to his girlfriend of three years in an exotic way and he needed me to be part of his flash crowd… As I have explained, I am usually not busy and had to go for this. I know the woman very well, almost in her late thirties. My friend here is 29 (Side note: Woman, the only reason why you shouldn’t date a younger man should be if somewhere in your trophy cabinet, you have a vibrator or such self-pleasing gadgets older than him. Thank you). The lady is one of these people who keep spamming her social media timelines with inspirational posts that will solve the world’s problems if they get shared 10,000 times. I unfriended her once, not as an expression of annoyance, but just to honor her by keeping a respectful distance from her amazing powers. Given my total inability to care for other living things, it’s somewhat surprising that I accepted her friend request three weeks later when it popped up, and we have magically moved on without awkward moments since that… I meet her and we never look like “You unfriended me and I discovered it and sent you another friend request so you know I know what you did but we aren’t going to talk about it, just to make it awkward” type of friends. That’s why I approved of that proposal because I believe she’s a good woman… She still stirs two teaspoonfuls of sugar in my tea whenever we visit her with Paul without getting the urge to spit in the beverage countless times while shouting “Shetani ashindwe” (The guy is called Paul, and the lady is called Paul’s fiancée).
On the material day, we were in an exotic hotel somewhere in Kajiado. It was a quiet place, with very good food. Everything looked good to me. It was a friend’s lunch treat and we were like 5 people. The place had awesome trees, great ambience and actual wild animals roaming freely within. They had tamarind juice which they were selling at 800 shillings a glass. One of Paul’s friends was complaining about it and I respect him for that. Complaining is a valuable survival technique. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the guy crying about his paper cut gets the medic before the soldier silently dying in a foxhole. Brave men die young, while cowardly whiners live long enough to pass on their genes to their cowardly, whiny babies. He was given a complimentary glass of tamarind juice for his troubles. Paul’s fiancée was seated next to me, which I really didn’t like because I don’t like being next to drama. It’s like that moment in church where you are seated next to a visitor and then the visitor stands up when they ask for visitors to stand up, and you have to contain yourself so hard from feigning epilepsy in God’s house, because you know the pastor will ask you to ‘Karibisha mgeni’… Whenever a visitor stands up next to me in church I also stand with them as a visitor and I win always.
Paul’s fiancée is next to me a bowl of thick Bergen fish soup on the fiancée’s table, bullying me off the seat with discussions about her hairdresser’s husband. I wanted to talk about what ‘Bergen’ is and how she knew there was something in the world called Bergen but women are completely uninterested in democracy and its weak, representative power. There are no Disney movies about girls who grow up to be prime ministers or presidents. I also had to listen because it was her day and I did not want to be engraved in her memory as the guy who delayed her marriage proposal by seven minutes… Paul was giving me eye contact as if trying to send a telepathic message but I am very strong at ignoring such signs. I could almost see the tears and the angry red tan in his eyes but then it was also hilarious knowing how frustrated he was, knowing I was ignoring. Then she looked at her almost empty bowl and froze… On the other side of the table, Paul was now smiling… I had no idea what was happening. Then she started shedding tears and smiling. Pause. I don’t know what movies you watch, but I am shrill scared of a woman who cries and laughs at the same time. Anyway… She was smiling and Paul stood up, and walked to her and pulled out a ring from his breast pocket… Apparently inside the white bowl of soup, there was a black engraving reading “Maria, will you marry me.” Still can’t believe Paul paid for that, but she said yes. Paul didn’t’ even have to kneel, because she jumped right into his arms when he walked over, which is very unprofessional Maria. You can’t say yes, and cripple a man. What will you tell your children when their father with a lopsided walk can’t run and kick the ball with them?
There was an ‘awwww’ moment and a teary hugging episode from her two girlfriends and the other guy we came with (I still don’t understand why he was crying. I just assumed it was the price of tamarind) … Then Maria (Now y’all know her) hugged me and said….
“Thank you, Irvin, for being here… Love is so beautiful…. You should do this too and call me.”
Paul, I’d like to tell you this is why I will not attend your wedding. Also, I’m the least qualified person in the world to give you advice on matrimony, which is why I’ll now explain something about marriage Paul: In marriage, the world is never that simple. You may be a grown man, but you’re also a married man. Those two things cancel each other out. As part of a couple, my money is now “our” money, which really means it’s your wife’s money. It doesn’t matter that you’re the one who pays the bills and has all the passwords to your bank accounts. You can’t share a cup in your own apartment Paul, and you should mitigate early on how you will handle this. Those are semantics, but it hit me there will be more people in your wedding telling me it’s about time I did what you’ve done and I won’t handle it Paul. I know you’re about to pick me as a groomsman but please consider that some of us are still commemorating heartbreaks from 9 years ago: The first broken heart you experience is worth commemorating because it helps you develop the crippling insecurities that define the life of a normal adult. In a perfect world, kids going through puberty would commemorate their first failed love with a regrettable tattoo, but the constitution’s rigid majority age continues to infringe upon the freedom of minors to make permanent mistakes. In this state, I will slice flesh from anyone who suggests or looks at me like they are suggesting it’s my turn next. If you are willing to carry this burden onto your wedding, it is well. Otherwise consider me a workplace hazard.
Happy new year everyone. I clearly had nothing to write and this is the mushiest we will get on this blog for another seventeen years when Ian will finally propose to his in existent girlfriend. Get anything Ian, even a cat.
Also, anyone who mentions in the comment section that I should marry should do so with a solid rock heart as they anticipate insulting comments from myself. Comments such as “Your sister?” and “Send your CV for approval” will not be spared from my ugly comments armoury either. Others like “Is that your only talent, you talent less butthole-wall swine” and “Ile ugonjwa yako ulipona?” may also be thrown in. Thank you.
Enjoy your week.