We are women, borne of the blunt, brute strength of men. This is a blessing, this a curse. she paused to adjust her head wrap. My aunt Simi is em, em, how do I put it – eccentric? I swallowed as I pondered the “brute strength part”.
‘But thank God we were made from that 7th rib. How else would we have survived! ehn?’ She kicks off her shoes.
‘Thankfully there is a lot of strength in this weakness, because you can’t break whats been broken, can you?’
‘Well It depends;, I responded, ‘you can smash it’. ‘You can also grind it to dust?’
She ignored my response. ‘I gave up everything’, she muttered under her breath, ‘my job, my career because Banji wanted it all and for what; so he can decide to toss me aside for another woman’? I looked at her like I was seeing her for the first time. This is not the usual angry out burst, she was in real pain. A deep gut wrenching agony that words cant express.
‘Dont ever fall in love’, she instructed. I shrugged, ‘love was for the faint heart anyway’. I decided a while go to avoid all matters of the heart. But don’t get me wrong – I plan to settle down someday. I just will be doing it with my mind intact. So all that mushy, mushy thing is just not for me.
But I always thought my Aunt had it all though. That magical connection with Uncle Banji, it was like they were one. How can they be so perfect and so broken?
‘Let me get you some tea’, I said to ease the awkward silence. ‘Tea’, she echoed. ‘Ah why not- there is after all nothing a good cup of tea cant fix’. Well maybe, except a broken marriage.
‘Are you going to get a divorce’ I asked in alarm. I actually really liked uncle Banji. He had a lot of swag. He was exactly the kind of guy that would turn heads when he walked into the room with his lithe frame and dark good looks. He was also very funny! He always had that air of mischief that my Auntie unfortunately seem to compliment well. They were a very striking couple.
‘None can replace you Auntie’, I reassured her. I mean you guys have been married for 18 yrs? that’s a long time. She smiled at me. Yeah I guess, 18 yrs is a long time.
Let me give you one advice, ‘don’t ever lose yourself’.
Ok this is the exact opposite of the advise I got last week when Uncle Banji upgraded her car to the latest Mercedes c-300 4matic. Infact her words were clearly, ‘find someone you can lose yourself to and give them all of you and in turn they will love you completely’. Now I am really confused? I stated flatly.
Love if you must but always keep a bit of yourself. Never stop being that girl your husband married. Let him chase you, miss, uncover you sometimes. The moment a man has conquered all of you, he moves on ( that is their nature). Some men can move on to jobs, hobbies, projects, kids- so somehow you are still in the picture. Others will move on to other women, taking you completely out of the picture.
Well I guess that part is right, I definitely don’t want to be conquered. Especially since being conquered in love, sounds very pathetic
‘No I am not getting a divorce’, I just need to remind Banji that I am the best thing that has ever happened to him. So starting from tonight I am withholding all favors. ‘No more those made from scratch meals that he loved so much’. Oh, Oh, this means war, as a typical African man, Uncle Banji never eats out. “And then I think I will finally start that fashion consulting business that he forbade me from doing”.
Smh, in disbelief seriously? It takes infidelity on Uncle Banji’s part for her to pursue her dreams after 18 yrs of marriage and as payback at that. What happens if he changes and comes crawling back, you will abandon the cart again? I asked incredulously.
Well he is not really gone, she retorted.
For the first time I realized how seriously flawed my Aunty was. The greatest validation we can give ourselves as women is ‘self validation’. To be strong and wear our pumps no matter how much they hurt. To stand tall. March boldly armed with our dreams and expectations and not to settle for less than we deserve. But then you can call me the modern woman!
I like the fact that you aren’t getting a divorce, I think you have invested way too much into this marriage to just let it go. However you are going to have change somethings. We can start by you starting to live for yourself and supporting Uncle Banji more as a partner not as a servant… Now that is what we need to work on. We need to reestablish those values that will enable him recognize you as his partner not some trophy wife at his beck and call… She nodded absentmindedly and I sigh!
Oh boy! This is going to be harder than I thought…Time to take a commercial break- I flicked to the YouTube app on my phone and clicked on Hello By Adele where is my mum anyway?