Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The number one question

I was so happy when I saw her on facebook, I had heard or seen nothing of her in years. I sent her a message, it captured all my emotions, how great it was to finally find her, what has she been up to, life, school, family, etc. I waited with excitement for her reply. She wrote one sentence "where have u been? are you married?". I did not reply her, I have not replied all the others who after not hearing from me for more than ten years, all they want to know is "are you married?". I remember a cousin of mine telling me how obsessed all her friends became when the big 30 came calling...all they did was talk about who is married, who is not, or who was going to be. I told her my generation is different, we are all well educated, we've seen places, we know things, 70% of my class from secondary school went to universities abroad...yeah right...my girls have failed me.

The past year must have been the most I have been in contact with them. I have not seen or heard from them for ten years. Facebook gave me the opportunity to rekindle friendships long lost, but I am afraid, we are no longer the same people we used to be. The fierce competition with pictures on facebook makes me want to puke. People long married now "updating" their profile picture with their wedding photograph. They do not want to be left behind, while we write the "awwwwwwws" and "aaaaaaahs" under the newly married couples, they want to be appreciated too. It is okay, I understand, I tell them they look so happy together, the cake beautiful, the man so handsome, she must be so lucky to have him, etc. I know how to give compliments, if you are fishing for them, I have them in abundance. So it seems after all these years apart, all my friends want to know is "are you married?". Those who are, get the good old "Thank God" and then they proceed to inform you of others who now have children. If you are not, "they will be praying for you" and also proceed to inform you of those who are now married.

It never ends.... the woman with two kids will look down on the woman with one kid, the woman with one kid looks down on the woman with no kid, the woman that is married will look down on the woman that is "comitted", the woman that is comitted will look down on the woman that has a "fuck buddy", the woman that has a fuck buddy will look down on the woman that has nobody..... and so it continues. Our fight for confirmation from our peers, society, parents, friends.

My friends have failed me, now I only reply those that at least ask "how are you?" that is the basic I expect from them, and a question I ask my friends often, "how are you?", when we get past the basics, then perhaps we can talk about every other thing in our lives. I am tired of that question being the only question being asked, I am tired of that being the only concern amongst women in this day and age. I am tired of women on facebook.

35 comments:

Naijasoverwoman said...

LOL ... I thought I was the only one going through this and thinking these same thoughts.

My dear, ma worry. When I am hit with that line are you married ... I have to fight to hold back from typing No... but my family is happy, healthy and thriving, I have accomplished all those dreams that I told you about 10 years back, and me and my God are on persona terms. What about you?

LOL ... I know it is like tit for tat but seriously it just kills me that after 10 years of no communication the only thing you can think to ask is "Are you married?" What about the education we both left Naija to get? The careers we had talked about? Ask me if my dreams came through and if they are all I had thought they would be.

These days, I don't awww or whatnot anymore. I just simply look at the pictures and if I am really feeling them like that ... You will know. THe best part is when they tell me " You still haven't changed ... blunt as ever" LOL

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

seeking confirmation....yes, it is sickening.
So, how are you?

akin aworan said...

I find this quite interesting.. I rarely, if ever get that question. It's only from the Aunties, so I have to reply. But all my female friends, it's as if it's expected that they HAVE to be married or have kids.. I mean, whats up with that??!?!?!?

ababoypart2 said...

"are you married?" - like its the icing on the cake. The most important thing in life...Still...

Allied said...

I don’t need to post my story because you said it all... I don’t know why we have to be obsessed about marriage... and when you tell them you are not married the next thing that comes out of their mouth

"i hope you are not too picky"

Doja said...

Yes people always want to know if you are married 'yet'.... like if you are not, your life is probably screwed up.
I think it is better to be single than be in a screwed up marriage. And marriage should not be the bench mark of success.

Idemili said...

Leave Facebook. It is the debil.

For the love of me said...

Facebook is starting to get really annoying. If only the questions stopped at marriage but they dont, some guy I only speak to ocassionally, havent seen him since secondary school, asked me recently if I had kids, I said no,his reponse;'Ah, what are you waiting for, dont you know you are getting old?' I promptly closed the dialogue box and deleted it from my messenger. People are just crazy walai.

Isi said...

all i care to be 'judged' by is my character- period!
if u are going to be looking at my finger for a ring to feel safe, then u have a big problem!

naija women.....i tire!

Sting said...

It's in the air, in the water, it's everywhere.

bumight said...

lol, its not just facebook, its everywhere. facebook just makes it easier to ask.

kuesooM said...

Wow I could have written that piece myself, then coupled with.."wow..how did you loose so much weight, last time we saw you (over 12 yrs) you were so fat!!!!"(yeah! thanks, thats why I still have a flipping body image complex)

WTH! Plus, people that only send messages for you to respond, so they can see all your pictures...

Naapali said...

Pele. I still struggle to understand our society's entanglement and fixation with marriage, then children. I met my wife in college and knew then that she was the one. when we got married the whispered word was we were too young, she must be pregnant etc. Then they counted the years until the first child and no sooner was she born and the countdown for the next one started. No sooner did my younger sister "finally" marry and the countdown for her having children started.

For a society that refuses to engage in conversations with children about life, love, sex, and practically forbids male/female interaction in youth, the push to marry and raise kids in the 20s never ceases to amaze me.

Afrobabe said...

lmao....you captured it well love...I get the same questions each time I get added as well...I remind them of those that are now divorced, compliment them on their handsome husbands and ask if their husbands still fucks them cos the baby fat hasn't dropped...lol...

And if not the annoying questions then it's a million and one applications to be added...Rubbish!!!

Errrmmm happy vals.:)

Waffarian said...

@naijasoverwoman: my sister, it is so disturbing, recently, I saw a naija group on facebook, for women, the name of the group was "I will get married by the end of this year by the grace of God" or something like that. Hehehehehe, I wanted to die...it was just too much! haba!

@catwalq: I am doing okay my sister, how are you?

@Akin: You are lucky, if I have to hear one more conversation about marraige I'll start eating my fingers.

@ababoy: no mind them, marraige is the begining and the end...my life will not begin until i marry...hisssssss

@allied: hehehehehehhe "I hope you are not too picky?" cheiiii, na true, dat one na another "regular"

@doja: Yeah...like there just has to be something wrong...

@Idemili: To say the truth, i don tire for facebook these days.

@for the love of me: My sista...no mind them, which kain question be dat?

Waffarian said...

@ Isi: character ke? I say people no even know whether i don become 419, i fit be prostitute for red light district, the important thing be say i don marry(even if na my pimp i marry, all na marraige)

@sting: My dear, i don tire.

@kuesome: heheheheheh, a friend of mine asked me, again, this was in the same sentence as "long time!" then...."hope you are not fat? so i clicked on her own pic... my sister, i could not believe she would even open mouth to talk self! hisssssssssss

@naapali: Thank you, well said! I can not understand it either, it is part of our great big "hypocrisy" in that country. Yeah, and they are never satisfied are they?


@afrobabe: hehehehe, "the baby fat hasn't dropped"? u no go kill me but i go try that tactic too!

Jaycee said...

lol @ being tired of women on facebook.

They're prob asking all these questions unconciously knowing how venomous they sound. Your story here is reminding me of somn funny (a true life story tho)...there was this lady who was always going for all her class reunions, yr after yr...till she was in her late 30s, and every yr she faced the same question "are u married now?" Her friends kept getting married and had kids, and she was just longing for even a wicked mother-in-law to boast abt (like all her friends hating on their mother-in-laws when she had none). Anyways, she finally got married and gave birth to twins as her first, and twins as her second...overtaking those of her friends who now had less kids than she did...

It didn't take her many yrs to over-take her peers...it was her time to shine now...

Uzezi said...

Such is life and no thanks to the society we were brought up in, when so and so is expected of you at a certain age, especially if you are female.

It's really sad it comes down to this. And painfully, married friends might go the extra mile and make u an outcast.
One married friend once told me that I have abandoned her because she was married. 'Is it now a crime to be married?' she asked.
i just couldn't tell her her interest in my love life and unwanted advice pushes me off.

And what about the parents? The friends are a little understandable. Wait till mum or dad keeps telling you about so and so's daughter that is getting married and 'God will do it for you and you will bring a man home. A man that drives a jeep. Or what are u waiting for? In our days, u must have dropped three if not four children.

These same parents whom, years ago never allowed a male friend in the house. Why are they now interested in packing the daughter out? People will soon start talking and maybe something is wrong with her.
Shame, shame, shame. When did people stop believing that each persons time is different from another?

There's so much to life and should the marriage thing bug anyone too much, read Ps: 39: 4. abi is it Ps 37. 'Desire urself in the Lord and he will give you ur heart desire'.

My Pen My Paper said...

Ure not the only one Waffarian, the question just keeps hitting me from all sides. Now, its like, thats the only thing everyone wants to know about.....

honestly, I think Marriage is overrated.

misspumping said...

i am not married yet but i dont let it bother me when i get asked i simply say no and move on .

Anonymous said...

why do i get the feeling that all the ladies that have said that marriage is overrated will do anything to get the wedding ring on that finger.But are using this medium to justify their lack of marriage status by calling the institution overrated yeah right . i aint married but trust me wish i was.

Waffarian said...

@jaycee: I guess it was the case of he who laughs last, laughs best.

@Uzezi, you have said it all. It is not only friends, but siblings, parents, neighbours etc.

@my pen, my paper: my sista, na wa, it is a disease...

@misspumping: Thats the right attitude oh.

@anonymous:"justify their lack of marriage status"? heheheheh, that was too funny, I don't think anybody needs to "justify" ANYTHING to ANYBODY. The women here have said their opinions on the matter, not all the women who replied to this thread are single. Some are married, some engaged and some single. One can not assume what one does not know. Anyway, good luck!

The Last King Of Scotland said...

great post, clapping my hands right now, really! the continuous comparisons can be sickening especially if its from all quarters, family, friends, acquantances and nobodies. i mean what ever happened to one waiting on the Lord. i dont get it. and i dont blame you for being irked by all this. missed u. great post

Ms. Catwalq said...

okay so where is the update?

Ifeomaadiagwuagwu said...

Well... marriage is a good institution, if you ask me. And it is not just meant for everyone.

Hard as it may sound.

Some people are better off single and some are better off married.

It is all by choice; i guess. To rush into marriage 'cause of society's ignorance and insecurity not to talk of foolishness (lol!) is to rush out of it or be in misery for the rest of one's life - God forbid.

For people that can't mind their business or have nothing else to say by asking the question "are u married, when are you getting married, don't you know know that you're getting any younger and so on" should, pls, get a life.

There is so much to life aside from marriage, i mean so much like, travel, visiting art galleries, reading, attending seminars and workshops, being involved in charity work, helping the aged, children in need, looking after disabled people in homes, volunteering, teaching, mentoring, learning a trade, writing, keeping busy, reading (pls, help me out here); i mean so many things one can do even being married.

'Cause sometimes after a while in the marriage, for some, boredom sets in - that's when one finds some females becoming the biggest busybodies and gossips.

At the end i believe that one should get married when they know & feel in their spirit that it is high time they got married and they are ready for the commitment of "for better and for worse" not because of age concerns, or maybe fertility concerns, so on and so forth.

Then again fear drives a lot of people into the marriage thing that is why there are lots of problems in the marriage institutions. There are lots of "if's" questions.

"What if i don't get married, age is no longer on my side, this, that." It is a whole lot; i tell ya. Anyway... for those that are married good for them, for those that are not married yet, good for them as well.

Thanks, The waffarin.

Jaja said...

Let me take the other side and say, that perhaps it's some basic instint ..Something about the survival of our race...

Having said that. people who ask that marriage question should just be ignored. Especially if they aren't your parents.

As or face book, I haven't even joined the something yet and all this talk..

Nice one as always Waffy. Keep shinning your light!

guerreiranigeriana said...

a friend once told me: 'no matter how many degrees you get, the one that matters most is the mrs one'...

...i went to a lecture in ghana by the minister of women affairs, i believe...she was a woman, obviously, and they made sure to write and introduce her as [don't quote me because i don't remember the exact order] dr. mrs. so and so or mrs. dr so and so...one of the two...the point was, it was important that we know she was married...

...i don't even let that question bother me...i enjoy my freedom right now...i'll get married when i get married...i tell them no and ask if they'd like to join me in traveling to wherever...they usually can't because-you guessed it...husband or child obligations...i don't have that 'issue' at this point, so i press on and make sure to tell them about the adventures, hot men and funtimes...of course in exchange for their marital adventures...

...for family queries, the last paragraph of naapali's comment is what i use to point out the ridiculousness of their expectations...as soon as i start, they shut up...

Ifeomaadiagwuagwu said...

.... I am sorry it is actually, Thanks, The waffarian and not Thanks, The waffarin.

My mistake....

Waffarian said...

@lastkingofscotland, bros! where u dey since? u dey scarce around this area oh! how na?

@catwalq: I don update oh!

@Ifeomaadiagwuagwu(dis ur name take style long oh): You are very right. There are so many things to do in life, so many things waiting....I sometimes think I will never have enough time to do them all! So glad to see there's someone else that thinks that way!

Also, I think a lot of marraiges are very "isolated" if you know what I mean,(here, somewhere in Europe) people just keep to themselves and their family, doing the same things day in and day out.

Thanks for stopping by!

@jaja: survival instinct? hmmmmmmmm, something to think about, as in human race or survival in the society? I agree with survival in the society cos dem fit kill person with stress! Thanks, my brother!

Waffarian said...

@gn: This reminds me of two of my friends, a guy and a girl. I've known them both for years and was there throught out the courtship and then marraige....damn....i was there the day they met.

Anyway, so they get married and all of a sudden she now addresses him as "my husband", not his actual name when telling me stuff...for more than ten years we both called him by his name...now i had to say "your husband" hehehehehehehehe....could not stop laughing.

Nijawife said...

Though iam married but i will never use marital status to judge my friends and whats the big deal anyway.Our culture have condition us to belief that we must be married and have kids before we can be considered successful in life which makes no sense to me.Being married or not married makes you less of a human being and please dont take that bullshit from anybody bcos at the end of the day,nobody will live your life for you.
A friend and an old school mate saw me in Jand last Dec and the first thing she said was"eeeee na ur face be this,long time,are you married,any kid and what of our other friends,se gbogbo won ti di grand ma" and i was just looking at her like lucozade and wonder why women always want to define/relate to you based on those stupid,inqusitive questions and this is a girl i have not seen for almost 20 years.

Kiibaati said...

Funny, a few weeks ago I met an old friend on facebook, after 8 yrs. We were both so excited, we started to play catch up. Then I asked the wrong question....

Tolantino said...

Waffarian,

You have sooo hit the nail on the head with this post. I can't believe that even me, at the age of 23 get this sh%t from my so called friends in Naija. I mean.. Give me a break! I'm only 23. I haven't seen you in like 7 years and the first thing you ask me on facebook is "who is the special someone" meanwhile.. even the person asking me does not have a "special" someone. This sh%t really pisses me off.

The next one I get goes like.."aww.. you seem to be doing really well for yourself o! so this means that you are going to be settling down soon?" (if I whoze you slap.. na whose future you dey conclude?..tchiew!) I know its important to get married but awon babes should at least show discretion. Babes are definitely competing and I'm glad I don't feel the need to join the race! My time will come but I will NEVER bluntly put someone on the spot like that. JESUS..I am going to najia again very soon.. these people will not gree me rest. I will have to come back at them with very sharp comments that will keep their tongues in their pockets

In my head and around me said...

You should just fill in the Status part. It has helped me field those annoying questions.

I thought I was the only one that noticed the profile picture thing. Insecure people.

omidanbellafricaine said...

lmao it is not facebook women that are your problem waffy it is nigerian women but who can blame them now a nigerian woman's psyche scratch that a woman's psyche is built around which man she is with and she uses that standard to judge and compare herself plus nigerians are just especially obsessed with marriage and relationships it's evident in their movies (point out one that has no romantic plot in it), music and church sef 4 the church i dey go every sunday school na snoozeville but on the days they talk about relationships/marriage it is that day that we will spend 2 hours as opposed to 30 mins discussing that topic .... hehe one nigerian father tried to justify his prejudice against his daughter marrying a non nigeria with the bible...see accepted racism in church any way i got carried away...