I didn’t want to start this with an endearment like “Dear”, I don’t know you. So, my greeting will have to do for now.
Anyway,everybody says you’re out there, wherever that is. Everybody says you’re just for me, that you’ll be my best friend. That we’ll understand each other and have this epic love story that will deserve to be immortalised within the pages of a book, or perhaps a blog post somewhere. One of those people said you’re out there, there’s that place again, on your knees, praying for me. To which I laughed and thought you must be praying for patience and God will send me as the means of cultivating that virtue. Another one of them said, you’re very special and will be able to handle me which made me think of you as a zookeeper. Then, someone who was obviously tired of my chatter said, when I meet you you’ll shut me up. The thought that you’re like that, or that you’d have that effect on me… It just made me dislike you. My father thinks that you’ll be a guy who loves gluttons,yes, he used that exact word, while my mother thinks that you’ll either be really quiet and passive or you’ll send me back to her house the first time I forget to do housework because I’m reading a book. As regards the former, I don’t have conversations with people who don’t talk back, my vocal chords ache from being the two parts of a conversation. As regards the latter, I don’t think a day will ever come when I’ll abandon a good story in the thick of the plot to go wash dishes. (I know, my priorities are childish.)
Now, everybody’s thoughts, hopes, threats and presumptions aside, I want you to know a few things:
I don’t believe in you, at least not in the way people perceive you. You sound too good to be true. The way everyone carries on and on with good things to say about you as though you cook and serve a three course dinner at their house every night. Everybody already likes you and they haven’t met you. They like you more than they like me. Some are even ready to give you gifts, read as compensation, for taking me. I even suspect my father and uncles might take half a cooked goat for my dowry for all the frustration I’ve caused him in his old age.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering why I’m being down on myself, which is what a lot of people reading this might assume. I’m not. I’m being realistic. I know who I am. I know who I’m not. This is not one of those mushy “Dear Future Husband” blog posts about how I’ll cook chapo and you’ll massage my back when I’m cramping. Where I go on and on about how I’ll love you like potatoes and call you embarrassing cute names like “pumpkin smoothie”, “honey mango”, “chocolate teddy bear”, “sweet potato heart”. This is not one of those posts about how I’ll wake you up in the morning, walk you to the mirror and reaffirm your manhood, stroking your ego with names that are more appropriate as Instagram hashtags like, “African King”, “Melanin Prince”, “Tall,Dark and Handsome”, “Brown Sugar Things”. This is definitely not one of those posts where I tell you how I’m waiting with bated breath for you to azonto and shoki your way into my life.
This is a realistic post about how I’ll cook chapo and you’ll massage my back when I’m cramping, because those are necessary things in life. However, I’m not going to lie and say I will dethrone potatoes and the place they hold in my heart for a fictional-until-proven-otherwise man. Sorry. You have to earn that spot. I might call you “Cocoa Bear” when you’ve been good and I’m feeling particularly nice that day, but mostly, I’ll use your given name, even if it’s something like Eudekia. Now, about walking you to a mirror and inciting your manliness with hashtags, we have a lot to do in the morning like, eat breakfast, so there’s no time for that. Also, feel free to azonto and shoki into my life, but just know, if you do it wrong I will laugh you right back out. Finally, there are two things I wait for with bated breath, these are: the Second Coming and my order of fries when I’m at a restaurant. So I’ll be breathing at my normal rate upon your dramatic entrance, but that’s mostly because I’ll have no idea it’s you.
Here’s the deal though: I’m crazy. You have to understand this. I will annoy you. You will want to pull out your nails and rub your exposed fingerbeds on hot concrete rather than deal with my stubbornness sometimes. You will get tired of how much I can talk. You will get frustrated on the days I stay silent. You will be baffled when I burst into tears for “no reason” and wail-talk incoherently trying to explain why I’m crying. On some days, you’ll hide from me. I can be that annoying. On other days, you will be confused at how I’m not Kikuyu but I think it’s perfectly okay to put potatoes in anything. You might want to strangle me when I wake up in the middle of the night and bring crisps to eat in bed, which I probably won’t share. However, I have a feeling this will happen when I’m carrying your offspring, doing you the honour of perpetuating your progeny. So, if you complain, I’ll cry.
At this point in your reading, you are probably rethinking your prayer, right? As you do that. I just want to remind you that you are not perfect either. You probably have OCD and have a habit of being too organized. Perhaps you’re one of those crazy people who chews gum, a habit that makes me want to grind my teeth into dust. You may be that guy who just throws dirty dishes in the sink and washes them however without arranging them first. Yes, you must arrange dirty dishes before they are washed. Yes, you will be washing dishes. You are probably that guy who irons things that aren’t meant to be ironed. God help me, but you might be the guy who feels like he hasn’t eaten until he has eaten ugali. You might be passive aggressive. You might be one of those insane people who doesn’t like avocados. You might be the person who kisses in public !! (P.S. If I sense you doing that, I will run and hide in a toilet or something. Also, no kissing when my father is in the compound, that includes our wedding.) You will probably watch a lot of sports during football season and rugby season and basketball season and you’ll pay more attention to men running after balls than me and it will make me want to put salt in your tea.I mean, the possibilities of how imperfect you will be are endless.
That’s what makes me think, I might survive in a house with you. The thought that I suck but you suck too. Don’t get me wrong, the good stuff is there too. You’re probably tall, dark and handsome. (Hear me, Lord. Hear me.) You probably have an afro and beard that are thick and luscious, so we can have wash days together. Just imagine, I detangle your afro, you detangle mine. We can share coconut oil and shea butter, and maybe, just maybe I might call you “African King” or “Melanin Prince” if you let me brush your beard whenever I want. I also know you’ll eat well and let me give you a reason to hit the gym. If God blesses us with kids, you’ll get fat with me every single time I’m pregnant.( You’re starting to see some of the crazy, huh?) I know you’re strong, you have to be, because I like being carried and I’m heavy, but I know you’ll manage. Sigh. There are days when it will be bliss. The good stuff will be there. However, I’m pointing out some of the bad, so that even as you ask God for me, you remember that He’s not giving you a finished product but a work-in-progress.
Now, don’t get hurt or anything, but, I also want you to know that I’m not waiting for you. I have to live my life. I can’t spend my days pining for something I might never have, because who knows, you might be a coward who will never take up the challenge that is everything I am and that’s okay. I also won’t give you an easy time and if you give up along the way,that’s still okay. Maybe you’re a quitter. So, I will not pine for something that will never be. But, if at all there’s a small chance that you have a backbone made of steel, the faith of Abraham, superior, refined wit and a classy, alternative sense of humour and you stick it out; I’ll love you. I can’t even lie about that one. I’ll love you. Also, I’ll know for sure that you’re probably crazier than me in some way.
So, to the future love of my life: Live your life. Spend time with God. Learn to be happy without me. Cultivate a deep and sincere appreciation for potatoes and how amazing they are. Read books, they are what conversations are made of. Oh, and if you happen to be taking someone out for Valentine’s day: LOL, it will probably be over soon.
Not with Bated Breath,
The Woman Who’ll Drive You Crazy and You’ll Probably Like It.