Thursday, April 28, 2011

Uganda 2011, a case of the subservient, and, the unfaithful spouse

Everybody around her, but her, says it is wrong. She walks into her bedroom one day, and finds him warmly wrapped in between the thighs of another woman. But at that moment, a different sense of self takes over. She is in shock but quickly moves out of the room, not to pack her bags and leave, but to rest on the couch at the balcony, and wait till her husband is wasted, and the girl has left.

A few hours later, after she has humbly submitted her request for an explanation over the incident that she witnessed earlier in the morning, she is patted down with such excuses as, “Come on, it just happened,” “That will never happen again. I promise,” “Let’s not worry about the past.” And as if she is joking, she lets it all go unabated. She does not even manage to extract an “I am sorry” from the man.

But this event did not come as a surprise. She has now lost count of the number of friends who have told her that her man is up to no good, but she always waved them aside as people who just do not understand how to love such a man, and hence, the strength of their relationship. She has even seen a few suspicious texts in his phone, accidentally picked suspicious calls from women claiming to be workmates, and always smelt unfamiliar colognes on his dress every so often, but treated all that as vicious distractions that could spoil the good relationship she had with her man.

For lack of a name, we will call her Girl, and him, Boy. Girl is a pretty, curvy, plumb and round girl that many men would have loved to date. She defines your typical African belle. She is not the slimy, skinny, bonny structures that many girls dream to achieve today. But that does not cheat her beauty none. And Boy, a vicious, philandering, womanising, skirt-chasing, ungrateful man, now thinks Girl is fat. Way too fat. And he is not keeping it a secret. “Look at yourself. You did not used to look like that. Look at all the other girls. None of them is as flabby as you are,” he tells her. In truth, it is Boy who has grown not only fat, but a potbelly too. Girl has largely remained her size since.

She strives to make him happy. She comes home early and does the supper, hoping the mohine will come home early too and catch supper with her. But alas! He returns after midnight, after she’s dozed off in the seat and given up on both the supper and the husband, and after he has drunk himself wasted at whichever brothel he could have gone to.

He never takes her out. Actually, he never goes out of the house with her anymore. Girl used to have a magnanimous social life while she had just met Boy. But she can hardly recall the sight of the inner walls of a Nightclub anymore. Her life has been reduced to a dull humdrumness, but she just doesn’t seem to notice, and if she does, she just does not want to do anything about it.

Once in a while she meets up with old friends. And you can stand in disbelief as Girl’s friends struggle to make Girl realise just how poor her state is. One friend tells her of how she and her husband often go out for candlelit dinners in the evenings. Another tells her of how her husband informs her of every single place he is going to. Another tells Girl of how she raised a storm in the house one day when she noticed her husband was coming home late and that since then, he has always been home by 8.00pm.

But every time Girl is told this, she sulks, and gets upset at her friends’ inability to understand her situation. She is different, she keeps telling herself. Her relationship with Boy is different, even special. She believes it is her duty to show her man love, and that if that is done, then may be one day, Boy will turn back to her with love too. She hardly feels entitled to anything. Some of the issues her friends raise sound like luxuries that she can comfortably afford to leave without. In fact, she thinks her friends mistreat their men and are very disrespectful. They sound like city-born spoiled brats. She reminds you of a country not very far away from here.

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