Can We Change the Conversation?
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better”- Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.
So this my well-meaning friend, let’s call her Mrs. Z (because Mrs. A is too mainstream). Mrs Z and I lost touch, then I restored BBM on a new device and voila, here she is. Mrs Z and I have a short catching up conversation, it was 2 years since the last time we spoke. I try to ask enough questions, but not enough to make anyone uncomfortable or cross lines that I didn’t know existed. Anyways, the next night, I get a chat notification. It’s Mrs Z. “Gbemi are you married?” “Err… Nope”. “But you promised me the last time that you would get married in 2014?” “No Ma’am! I didn’t promise, but I planned to, but the whole roadmap changed”. “So when will it be now?” “Sweetie (because, I don’t want to say Boo Boo Kitty a la Cookie Lyon), if I could buy a good husband, I would have. But I can’t. So I’ll just wait till I find someone who wants me and who I want.” It gets interesting.
“But you know you’re not getting any younger, and beauty, especially for women fades”. I rush off to the bathroom with a torch (I haven’t been able to change my bathroom bulb because I’m vertically challenged) and I stare long and hard at my face. So far I have managed to defy gravity. So far. I look 23, sometimes. I run back to my phone. “Sweetie, my own beauty doesn’t fade o. Jesus has given me beauty for ashes. Besides, beauty is way more than skin deep. It’s from somewhere deep within”. Mrs Z is unrelenting. “I understand. I just think that time is going”. “I have nothing but time”. “What if I introduce you to someone?” “Errr. Nope. Been there, done that, got a T-Shirt. I’m good. Besides, I have a peculiar taste in men” “There’s this my friend that I have given your number” “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”.
In the last couple of months, I’ve met many well-meaning people like Mrs. Z who are eternally trying to marry me off. And I have nothing but love for them, seeing as I have previously proved absolutely inept at getting my own game (Key word here is previously). However, I do have reservations about a society that teaches women that they are incomplete outside the walls of a home or marriage. I am hopelessly romantic and trying to be open to love. But I have come to learn that there’s so much more to life than a three letter prefix and children. And I think that it’s unfair to judge a woman’s success based on her inability to be yoked.
Being single is not a deficiency. There’s so much more to life for women, besides marriage and children. There’s passion and advocacy and travel and career. But if you feel marriage is God’s calling for you, it still doesn’t invalidate the choice of the other woman choosing not to marry yet. Don’t make someone else feel inadequate because they are single.
Maybe we should start asking our daughters and friends where their careers are going and start fighting for equal pay, rather than hassle them about their marital status.