It’s sheer stupidity if anyone cares to ask me! You spend a fortune on a wedding, and then go into your little room to drink… garri. Hey, wait a minute, before you fly off your lid! I’m not saying wedding is not proper but, can’t you have a low profile one?
Remember you’re just starting life. It wouldn’t be much fun to bicker over money for non-essentials. In such quarrels, you’ll hear the guy hollering at his furious wife that she was responsible for his pauperised status with her demand for an elaborate wedding.
Too bad! This was supposed to be the honeymoon: Time to make love from kitchen to bathroom; time you discover that the dinning table sex is more earth-shattering than the bed; time you learn that the best sex, is not pre-planned but spontaneous.
Whenever I attend what I call society weddings, I never cease to marvel that people have such money to waste. Ooops, sorry! I mean spend, while orphans, widows are somewhere dying of hunger. If a guy wants a white wedding, no qualms, as long as he won’t later start whining about expenses spent and incurred within a space of few weeks into the marriage. If the choice is given to me, I will choose court wedding.
Yes, court wedding! It’s by far the cheapest and what’s more, the woman gets to safeguard her future in case the man’s phallus starts rearing its daring head to be unfaithful. Infidelity that could lead to divorce. I’ve also discovered that most ladies want a lavish wedding, be it traditional or conventional, because they witnessed their friends’. They forget that all pockets are not equal. The way I see it, any form of tying the nuptial knot is a solemnization of the union. So, why waste money when you can go to court wedding? Well, it’s a matter of opinion.
Did I just hear you say that it’s a once in a life time celebration? So, for that reason, you forget the future? I thank God that some babes are beginning to wake up to the fact that you don’t have to have an expensive wedding before you stay with the guy of your dream.
Igbo girls are equally beginning to hiss at the astronomical bride price their parents levy on prospective suitors. In Igbo land, when you talk of bride price, it encompasses the dowry and the attendant celebrations. I tell you, what the relatives of the bride ask for at times, sounds so annoying and silly. Most often, the poor suitor is ordered to buy wrapper for all the first daughters of the father-in law’s kinsmen. And believe me, it is no small feat! Then he has to buy this and that for the babe’s parents, uncles and aunts. I wonder why they forget to give him a list for the foetus! Jeez.
When my friend Rita, showed me a list of what her people wanted her would-be husband to buy as part of her wedding rites, I wondered if they had starving refugees in their village. The list was as long as my arm! All sorts of food items were demanded for. I asked her that if the guy bought all those things, what money would they have left for the feeding and house keeping after the merriment. She laughed and said her people showed a lot of clemency for the guy, that was why they didn’t ask him for much. Gawd! If that is mercy, I don’t know what they would demand from the groom that they didn’t like; they probably would demand a jet.
Must marriage be an ordeal? Come, let’s rub minds together. Don’t you think this method of spending a fortune on a wedding is scaring the guys off? Especially where Igbo ladies are concerned?
The most banal of reasons for such nonsense is the belief that it makes the guy cherish the babe, because he knows he had spent a fortune on her. What rubbish! I’ve seen a case where a guy was mercilessly pummeling his wife and when neighbours tried to intervene, he told them to buzz off and allow him to kill or maim her because he bought her. The other day, my friend Sunday, told me that he was bent on marrying a Yoruba lady and didn’t give a hoot if the whole of his family had apoplexy over his decision. Asked why? He said all he had to do was be man enough to impregnate the babe and have a naming ceremony and bingo, he has a wife! No hassles! Can’t blame him. He’s on the rough side of 30. First son of his parents and a factory worker. Where would he get the money for Igbo exorbitant wedding party?
Another thing I love about the Yoruba people is their communalism. Right from the family and friends, everyone comes with his or her food, takes away drinks for each of their guests. At the end of the day, you would have witnessed an elaborate wedding without knowing that the bride and groom didn’t spend much.
When it comes to expensive weddings and unreasonable demands, my village takes the price! Did you just say I’m washing our dirty linen outside? Well… if that is how you feel, do please tell me where I can wash them.
The day I impatiently told mother that I couldn’t abide by such nonsense and would prefer the less expensive court wedding, I saw tears trickle down her cheeks. Shit! No doubt she felt I wanted to deny her the joy of a mother’s day! Cunning old fox! She knew I had a weakness for her tears and she never ceases to use it. Mothers!
I remembered the day a suitor was dragged willy-nilly by his wife to our village to pay her dowry and carry out the necessary rites. I couldn’t understand what the heck the noise was to make, “Amaka”, his real wife after she’d dropped two kids for him. But we all know that in-laws are like rats ferreting at bones when they want something done.
So the guy and his people trudged to our village, like lambs being led to the slaughter house. They had a sorry looking goat with them which looked like it had been on hunger strike for decades, judging from its bony frame. The goat furiously kept bleating at the effrontery and indignity of being forced to trudge the uneven path of our village from its own local government.
It was obvious to any fool that Amaka’s hubby was not excited at all. When it got to the point where the groom was asked by the first daughters to part with some dough, so that they would produce his wife finally, the guy balked; he said he hadn’t any money.
When the daughters saw that dusk was fast approaching, they reduced the money from thousands to hundreds, yet the guy still refused to play ball. Amaka who was supposed to be in hiding until her husband paid up, couldn’t stand the embarrassment any longer. She jumped out, went straight for her husband’s collar and before we knew it, a fight had started. The poor guy, intent on convincing his wife that he hadn’t a farthing on him, removed one of his shoes, bit the sole that was begging to be discarded, raised the shoe to the sky and said, makachineke (for God’s sake), I swear, I don’t have any money except fifty naira!
Some shameless families use the opportunity of weddings to rip off their daughters’ suitors. Instead of asking for a goat, they will ask for a building and a cow! So you don’t believe me? Too bad!
The most important thing here about marriage is that the couples are happy. Ladies, who are determined to have an expensive wedding because their friends had one and they want to show off or compare notes, should make sure they donate part of the money required. Gone are the days when you leave everything to the hubby and expect him to perform miracles out of his little pay packet.