Today’s publication is a sequel to The Bed which remains one of the most read articles in my blog’s short history. A big thank you to the reader that chose to ask my opinion on this issue. I won’t say your name.
I will tell you two storiess. The first is heart breaking while the second is just a natural case of happenstance. We spend a whole lifetime planning and painting fantastic imagery of our future but sometimes [if not always], fate has a different plan. Some call it Murphy’s law. I call it life. One will never be experienced in matters of the heart. The script changes constantly and heartbreak is the constant threat that always lingers in the dark episodes of our existence.
My friend Lilly got married at 25 on a sunny friday morning. It had just rained the previous week and the landscape everywhere looked beautiful and colorful. Her parents were very happy and proud. By then, it was an open secret that Lilly had fought the ‘good fight’ and was now being betrothed a pure and virgin bride. To cap it all off, Sam, her boyfriend of 5 years was also ‘pure’ and free of scandal. If this marriage was a garment, the tag must have read MADE IN HEAVEN on the collar.
You see, they’d both met at church and had similar tastes in almost everything. They both believed in the sanctity of a romantic relationship. They had made a covenant with God, their parents and themselves never to engage in sex before marriage. On this morning of their wedding day, tears rolled down the cheeks of almost all that were present at the plush, well manicured gardens. It was a sweet union. When the minister pronounced them man and wife, they kissed romantically and it was evident they had ran out of breath in the tight grip their love, diligently earned. And as the young maids showered confetti and rice on the love birds, the young ladies present at the wedding fell into a swoon and could not hide their envy. It was beautiful.
It’s been 6 months now and Lilly is crying in the kitchen while making dinner. On the kitchen table lies the lovely red roses that Sam sent to her office earlier during the day. She’s crying because she doesn’t know what to do. Sam has always been a good man. He makes her feel special and Lilly is sure he loves her. But this is not the reason why she is crying. She is sad. There is something about Sam that she can’t get out of her chest. Since they got married, they’ve only had sex 3 times and they both hated it. It was short, painful and devoid of all emotion that should ideally come with making love. Sam preferred to turn of the lights while they were at it and cautioned her against making any noises. Needless to say, the sex was over in the blink of an eye and he was snoring at the far end of the bed in no time. He seemed not interested in making love and this made Lilly feel inadequate and worthless. In the morning’s after, he wouldn’t touch her or kiss her good morning and was out of the house before first light. It felt like she disgusted him after sex.
She feels wasted for all those years she kept herself pure for marriage. According to Sam, sex ‘is not everything’. He prefers to cuddle and watch a movie over a nice meal. What I’m trying to say is, Sam has never had a chance to ‘practice’ and is therefore not confident with himself. He is a proud man and will not pause at the possibility of learning the art of making love. What a classic case of marriage made in heaven and a bed made at the carpenter’s. For now, Lilly is holding on.
“It’s only been 6 months” she consoles herself. She shudders at the thought of living like this for a lifetime. Meanwhile, onlookers look at Lilly and Sam with envy wishing they too, had a marriage as blissful as this one. They look so cute together! MADE IN HEAVEN.
Meanwhile in downtown Nairobi,there’s a couple fighting at the bus stop. It’s Sharon and George. They call each other names and cuss loudly and in a short while, they are arrested by city council askaris and bundled in a waiting ‘cage van’. They’re charged with disturbing public order and fined a hefty amount each. After working together to contribute the sum, they’re let out in an hour. Once out, they kiss and make up and are laughing in no time. It’s been 10 years on and off in their relationship so they’re used to this. Marriage is an issue that none of them wishes to discuss. They both believe that once they get married, the fights will get worse and they might end up splitting for good. In their opinion, marriage just complicates things.
Sharon and George have a great sex life. They both love exploring and learning new stuff. Weather in public or private, they show their affection fearlessly and passionately. They’re also addicted to what the new world calls ‘make up sex’. So most of their fights have a happy ending and are therefore petty. They play and live as if it’s always their last day alive. At the bus stop, they were fighting because a pretty girl had said hi to George and Sharon had a hunch that the two had slept together before. Women can tell these things you know. Other than these ‘small’ misunderstandings every now and then, Sharon and George are generally a happy couple. They could live on sex alone, or so it seems. Each one of them has tried a different dish on several occasions but it seems this one still suffices at the end of the day. A wedding can wait. For now, they can love freely and work on their ‘imperfect’ relationship learning and changing. In the meantime, the bed is the least of their worries. They’re doing just fine.
These two cases are just a a few that caught my eye. I have also seen many instances where both approaches have worked and the couples have enjoyed long healthy relationships. Most of us have been brought up on rules based on morality and religion but somewhere along the way, we get to realize life is real and very practical.
And finally, there are two people somewhere in the world who feel it is time to make a bold move. Be careful what you wish for. Everything has a price. One big question though; will you shop around and test before you buy or will you buy first and test when you get home? In both cases, the shop DOES not accept returns for goods once sold. Both scenarios have advantages and disadvantages but most of all, they are real. For once I hope you will not base your decision solely on religion or hearsay. For this one, just do you. And as for the guardians of religion and doctrine, maybe it is time you engaged your flock in discussion and reason. I believe more lives can be changed positively this way.
Let it be known that there’s definitely more to a relationship than just sex. There is love, work, money and family to consider too. However I chose to talk about sex because it’s what no one wants to talk about in honesty.
Remember, as you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
Happy Valentine’s Day.