Monday, 5 December 2011

Marriage in the Year 2011

Marriage in the Year 2011

2 weddings, 0 babies, 1 close call,

1 new mindset ...

So, this year has been a learning one, I have been schooled and come full circle.

2 weddings…

There are times in our lives when marriage hits our friendship groups like dominoes, one by one, each one topples over under it’s overwhelming pulling gravity. That’s the season, I’ve been in – the wedding one, where the air is electrified with sizzles of bells cracking. From the ones that loved so much it warmed the heart to watch, to those whose love seemed as natural as breathing… I’ve seen it all this year. And in those quiet special moments; when the beloveds are making their vows, that’s when I start to reflect on what love is, what it has been and what the future holds.
Much is said about the future at weddings. There are wishes, hopes, dreams and prayers, painting a glorious lifetime ahead, framing the couple cooing in love accented with their children laughing. The groom speaks of the love that brought them to that point, laced with funny anecdotes. Countless extended relatives speak of the offspring they want to carry. And the bride…she sits in all her beauty soaking it all in, sometimes brought to tears by the beauty of the picture she is seeing. The future is bright as the shine in her eyes and she just can’t wait to get started…

0 babies…

I have been a size 6/8 for all of my life now… ok slight exaggeration (I have been a size 12 before – Uni stress soon stripped me of that). I’ve always been quietly proud of my non ‘body magic’ needing, non ‘girdle’ wearing, non ‘dieting’, speed of light rate of metabolism self. I have always been able to quietly smile at the Big Mac, Super Large Fries, Apple Pie and Strawberry Sundae. Diet Coke? A full fat carbonated drink, please. I’ve not suffered the ‘honeymoon hips and flabby bits’, jeans fit the same way, pre wedding wardrobe still fits post 3rd honeymoon. Even though this would bring joy to many, if I’m completely honest, I’ve never pitied my slightly spaghetti shaped body more.
I’ve stared at pregnant women, longing for the roundness of their tummys. Picturing myself a little puffier in the cheeks, rounder faced, fuller hips. I’ve subjected my duck feather filled pillows to forming the shape of my bump and then soaked it with my angry tears.

I started my marriage full of prayers and expectations, without a doubt I’ll be round soon. This year though, I struggled to keep my hope alive when month after month resulted in nothing a Coke Zero. It’s more difficult when any slight illness, yawn, ‘glow’, ‘food baby’ is greeted with excited questions ‘could it be?’

‘You tell me!’ is what I want to say but, I smile it off with a tactical change of subject or prayer request. Why is it that such babymongers only prey on the women, as if an egg fertilises itself! Aren’t they aware that as a Nigerian woman – an African woman at that, it is constantly wavering over my head. Like Ally McBeal, it’s like little children are taunting me, only these ones do the Dbanj Oliver dance, begging me to be born. And I know that to many I sound like a perfect candidate for a petrol doused deliverance service but, to many I am saying the thoughts that they dare not say but their at times force them to feel.

1 close call…

Sprinklings of ‘it will come in time’, lightly laced with ‘you just need to relax’, from people whose hearts care but minds revert to the standard Christianese answer. Negative medical experiences, monthly disappointments, hopeless diagnoses, marital strain; all simply a recipe for deepest darkness. That was me at some point this year; so low that I knew if I slipped a little further, I would lose the core of who I was.
A melting pot of questions; what happens when the picture you have for your marriage – darkens and disappears into nothing? What happens when what you want no longer mirrors what you desired? Fear - a very scary place to be. A complete contrast to that day of ivory, this picture frame was not bright like Orange. I thought we’d come to the end of our contract, talktime was running low and neither one of us were willing to stick to the price plan, too proud to bend.

Things weren’t the same, we both knew it. One night, red eyed, with nothing left to criticise; no more insults to throw, no more resentful sarcastic comebacks, no more energy to deliver silent treatments. We had nothing left but a drop of strength enough to utter a few words of prayer. Hate to sound cliché but we literally got through the turbulence on those desperate prayers. It was Christ who brought us together – literally. We realised that we’d strayed so far from the core of what brought us together, so far, that we no longer made sense.

1 full circle…

For some reading what I am saying won’t make any sense. Maybe for you, it’s not Christ; it’s your common interests, shared hobby, similar personalities, same thinking or sense of humour. The truth is that it doesn’t matter what it is; if you lose that core that brought you both together, you lose each other and yourself in the process. The key is to be honest – recognise it and work through it. No one knows the truth better than you and your beloved. Life is too precious to spend a lifetime in a make believe world, Avatar is a film – not a reality. The only thing that is blue in this life is the sky.

To all those who have been on this baby making journey and are on this journey – I salute you. I know that my journey doesn’t equate to even half of what some of you have been through. I look forward to exchanging play dates with you. To my darling family and friends with expanding families, I look forward to my babysitting shifts.

Here’s to 2012: too many babies for our arms to contain, no divorces, one goodbye to a forever newlywed in waiting and too many reasons to love and thank God.