Imaginary Tea with 300 Sandwiches – In Pursuit of a Wedding Ring

300 Sandwiches
300 Sandwiches

So…

*I have been having some technical issues so this post is slightly late but enjoy!*

First up: Often I can hold multiple opinions about something at the same time, my mind is fluid like that.

Second: No one but the people within the relationship know what’s REALLY going on and even then, chances are just one person knows and the other is winging it.

 He Likes his Food
He Likes his Food

Now, originally I wanted to ignore the story, I saw a comment about it somewhere, thought “Yeah…there’s nothing positive I can add here” and I walked away from it, then I found this video by The Young Turks and I thought, “Wait… what?” So went over to the 300 Sandwiches site here (I love bread and potatoes but may have a slight intolerance for them but that doesn’t stop me eating them because my intolerance wont kill me). I like the look of the blog and the sandwiches actually generally look good so on a food front alone, its gorge and I like me my yums.

But I am struggling with the idea that this was tongue in cheek humour and yet the pursuit of the wedding band is still on…Or maybe I am having a translation problem. Here’s why, (sadly) it doesn’t matter how successful you become as a woman, you are still judged “harshly” if you haven’t chosen to get married and have babies. And its unfair that that is the case, but it is. And when a woman chooses to do that there are even more things she must now give up in order to still be viewed as successful, cut her working hours, be there for the children. I don’t follow “Giuliana and Bill” but I saw the hate that Guiliana garnered for not being as visibly involved with her son (Duke) as Bill was and putting her appearance ahead of her health. As I didn’t actually follow that particular story I wont put up any links for that. But other than celebs, in my “real life” women set targets for themselves to be married by, date for not more than five years, if he hasn’t proposed by then, “make him”. This can come from having a “my eggs are shriveling and I want to know if your swimmers are going to be available soon” kind of conversations or “trap” him by making sure you are negligent enough for his swimmers to actually do some “damage”.

Thing is, all relationships are about give and take, the knee jerk reaction to this is: “You mean that’s what I have to do to get a ring?” I have been told on numerous occasions that women cannot feel for something without personalising it, that it is wired into our heads. I need to be “in” whatever it is that I am liking or see myself being “hurt” by what offends me. The person may have been referring to me alone because I have basket case tendencies on occasion and it may be “safe” to generalise but he had a point (of course it was a guy who said it).

On principle, this idea that women need to convince a guy that she is worth marrying and he is in a way doing her a favour of providing marriage is disturbing. I am in a long term relationship and have been for a while and my mind sometimes chaffs against the idea that doing certain things makes me more “marry-able”, because I think, if you want to marry me, you will. If my single sandwich makes you think you could eat 300 more (or 299 more), that’s awesome, but I shouldn’t need to prove I can supply those 300 for you to ACTUALLY decide you want to marry me. Plus I make lunches for us almost everyday, mostly because I am an awful person when I am hungry (no seriously, I don’t get PMS or mood swings, I get hunger pangs that go to my brain and drain me of all rational thought. Its terrible!) and I need to eat and he’s generally free at the same time so we eat together. Then Saturday is his day to cook or we cook together, as long as that “exchange” happens, I don’t feel like I am being taken advantage of. So what is she getting out of the exchange to not feel taken advantage of? He cooks regularly according to her and I think that’s grand! You cant just turn your relationship to a chore pursuit for that ring, its about the journey and I really hope they get that.

So while this may have been tongue in cheek, I really do hope that she enjoys the process, and this guy is worth it if it isn’t in her to naturally make sandwiches three times a week for someone else. But at the end of the day, they know what goes on behind closed doors and if the two of them are both on the same page, great! We all want to be happy after all, and if this is her choice then there is no problem here.

We live in an age of choice and people should be allowed to do what they want to do to meet whatever goals they aim to achieve. Marriage by 300 Sammies! Do it! If he proposes before 300, I hope she enjoys the process enough to keep going!

Over and Out!

Surviving Marriage with a Chance of a Happy Ending

 

 Love!
Love!

 

So…

The part of the world I am from family is a big deal and I mean knowing your cousin’s cousins and their neighbour’s nephews, which wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’t so many siblings to begin with. For example, my Dad is the middle child of five children and my Mum is the eldest of eight, most of their siblings married at least once and had children… I tried to make a family tree when I was about twelve but ran out of motivation when I realised I didn’t actually know as many members of my family as I thought I did and asking my grandmother for information filled me with fear.

I am 28 years old, not married and don’t have any children. My parents line has no fresh blood in it and my Dad is getting antsy for some young ‘uns to fold into the Muchindu fabric. Being the oldest child alive it is up to me set an example (not sure I want or need to be setting examples on making babies but let’s not dwell on that). My older sister died a few years ago without any children of her own. None of my younger siblings have children and aren’t rushing towards the altar.

During my last visit to my parents farm, the subject of marriage came up (as it is prone to when your parents think you are wilting your eggs on purpose to spurn them their rightfully earned joy), and I got to really thinking about what marriage means for me. I know what I would like it to be: a partnership, a team moving in one direction towards a common goal (whatever that is, is up to the two people in the relationship because people get married for different reasons and it isn’t our place to judge them, even though judgements are a reflex reaction and will happen anyway). But I digress… Very rarely do I see examples of couples getting married because they are on the same page on what they want out of their future together. Sidenote: I attended a lovely wedding this past weekend with a bride who actually cried with joy and I have never seen that before but the couple seemed united before the wedding day and the wedding day itself didnt seem like the end of grueling planning but rather a beginning of a life together which is what I think weddings should be.I would like to wish them a long and full life ahead together.

Marriage usually happens because it is “the right time” more often than not. Either through a child that wasn’t entirely planned or the couple have been dating so long they may as well be married and decide to officiate it. Both of those scenarios don’t often have happy endings.

I realise my definition isnt romantic and makes marriage sound like work but the truth is, it is, work. It is work you choose to get into with a tag team partner you will be “stuck with” for the rest of your life, and sadly we are so focused on the wedding day we forget about what happens afterwards.  The problem with that is on a balance of equations there are too many unhappily married people giving the institution of marriage a terrible name. Random question of the day: Why do women in the movies when proposed to not react until they have seen the ring? There is rarely any evidence that the poor fellow proposing gets on his knees (in public) yet there will be zero “joy” till that box opens or is produced.

One day, I hope to get married and build plans around and with another person (as different as his opinions of those plans sometimes are), I believe in the weight of vows and the promise of eternal fidelity but its become almost “too easy” to leave a marriage than to work at making it what you want it to be.What I disagree with is the expectation that who I am needs to change because I am now a wife. I fight with that idea very strongly. Pretending to be something else shouldn’t happen with your life partner because they have more of you than anyone else. Its easy to pretend with parents because you need to keep them proud of you, or with your siblings because you want them happy or with colleagues because you dont want to get fired but with the person you want to spend forever with? Everyone else has a shift schedule with you, they really don’t.

I hate confrontation and will avoid it like its an STD infested keyboard (let that fester a minute) but when you share your life with someone, confrontation is bound to happen. Apparently, the trick is not to let it evolve into something else. Let the conversation about discarded socks in the kitchen floor be about that and ONLY THAT not about his desire to spend less time with you or his new “odd” bedroom requests (although I can see how one thing could lead to the other). You need to “nip things in the bud”, is what I am constantly advised but sadly its easy to let little things slide, because why should you sweat the small stuff or worse, nag? Unfortunately, if you wait till patterns have developed, switching out of those patterns appears like a rejection of the person you are with.

What I hope to remember the day after my wedding is, I picked the person I am now waking up next to and as wonderful as he is most of the time, there will be moments I would prefer to club him on the back of his head than talk. That’s not a problem, it makes me normal, I should just talk to him about it and not actually club him, no matter how tempting that would be. Maybe that will be my chance of a happy ending, I will still be me, he will still be him and we will now just live together and make babies.

Over and Out!

Nikaah – Underneath the Veil

The Veil by AP1708
The Veil by AP1708

 

Nikaah

by Claudie Muchindu

I haven’t stopped loving you. That isn’t even possible. You are, will always be the one… No, not the one: My one. The undeniable and absolute key to myself.

As we lie here in this cold and frigid room with just each other to keep ourselves warm. We both know it is over. Endless? It will never be. Our hearts burn strong and true but they cannot beat side by side. This isn’t a sad farewell, merely a necessary parting of two lovers that shared their souls but shall not be able to share them anymore.

You hold me closer, why? You know I will have to go. There is no pain now. There shouldn’t, this is what must be and I will not have you mar this for me. I turn to face you. Face to face, heart to heart. Bare.

My secrets you hold and I trust you to never share. I am not sad, I am not happy. This is what must be. I reach for you. I shouldn’t. Must not. I can’t linger here. We will not share these silent moments anymore. Yours, I am and always will be, yet with you I am destined not to be.

A tear is shed, it carries no sadness. Longing fills the room with words we know we cannot say. I can never call your name, you shall never sigh mine. From hereon you shall be a memory and I shall carry you within.

You part your lips. I cannot allow you to speak, I have to leave and if you ask me
to stay I shall. My eyes tell you what only your ears can hear. No more whispers, your tongue shall never map a course over my body. We cannot feel the cold anymore, there is nothing but us, for one last time.

I give you my hand, the hand that will soon belong to another. You take it, the way you took my heart. Softly and gently but firmly yet.

My chador lays strewn across the floor, a sign of my disheveled heart. I cannot allow you to embrace me again, but your arms call to me. I can only answer.

One last dance I shall give, one last song will I sing, one last duet shall we play. Yours
mingles with mine and neither knows where the other begins nor ends. Within and
without: I am yours, undeniably and absolutely. Sweat upon sweat, sigh upon
sigh. One last chorus shall we play, I am your instrument and you, my
conductor.

I cannot lay beside you. My heart can take no more. With heavy breaths but a light heart. I depart. My hijab covers the crown you ran your fingers though, my chador tells no one of how you conquered my body and staked it as your own.

My nikaah is tomorrow. I shall leave
you here, in our den of madness and not return. Tomorrow I belong to another,
chosen for me but you shall always know that I chose you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So…..

I originally wrote this story in 2007 . We usually believe our own set of values and choices are best  and this belief clouds us to the opportunities other choice sets provide.

Simply because someone else’s choices do not reflect our own does not mean theirs are any “less” than ours.

I wrote this story to show that Islam isn’t an ugly religion, and you can be devout in your faith but still make mistakes but you can choose within those parameters to fight or to accept certain situations. This is about how a marriage isn’t forced on a girl but arranged and she accepts it.

Oh, I am Catholic but I have sporadic attendance (at best). But faith fascinates me.

Over and Out.

P.S. Certain phrases that most might not know:

Chador – traditional outergarment for Islamic women
Hijab – traditional head scarf worm by Muslim women
Nikaah – traditional Muslim wedding ceremony