When the Man of God said to Datiliva and I that marriage is about continual repairs to a relationship, I thought he was saying it for dramatic effect like those priests who change their voices and the way they speak; elongating some words and making others sound like they are from a poor music teacher.
Well, he was right only he did not emphasize it well enough. My dearest and I have argued over big and small, important and non-important and anything that she and I intend to do. She would balloon simple things and turn them into serious sources of complaints.
Imagine the kitchen door; she demanded that it is closed all the time. Why would someone lose her temper because the door was not closed?
She would demand and demand again that the door is closed but sincerely I would not have taken note that the thing was there, let alone know whether it was closed. She complained about the spots on the bathroom mirror and would wipe it every time I left the bathroom.
I would say the mirror should serve us and not the other way round but my dearest would tell me the thing must be spotless.
I would say the mirror is for our convenience in our home and therefore should not make life miserable for her but every time I left the bath she would go into tantrums whose source I could not imagine.
We would argue about where to sit in church; she wanted to sit in the front next to “high profile” churchgoers, I preferred somewhere else where humble worshippers sat.
The trouble with the former is the colour of legal tender notes they brandished.
They seemed to compete in terms of colour of notes and size of bundles of notes and of course the pledges they made which made people in pews make deep sighs.
My dearest wanted us to sit among that lot and do what they did.
There is the problem with colours; I prefer blue, she says pink and yellow is the real thing. She ordered the house painted in the most “shouting” of colours and every time I reach home I feel as if I am entering a plastic formation.
She says I am colour “blurred” and cannot appreciate colour schemes. She dictates and insists on choosing the colour of everything to the extent that the rags are red, the cups are green and the plates metallic silver.
The rag is multi coloured just as well as the curtains and the walls are emblazoned with colours which make me think that I have shrunk in size and I am walled up in a multi-coloured plastic container.
Then there are the days: the birthdays, the Valentines’, the Mothers’ days and all days. I am so busy trying to better our lives and my dearest thinks about days as if our lives depend on that.
I ask her what she would like me to buy her on her birthday and she says the trick is in surprise; “surprise me she tells me”.
When I bought her a necklace she said she wished I had bought earrings and when I bought her a wristwatch she said she would have preferred a bracelet.
On such a one day my employer assigned me all the work that I should have worked on for the last six months and by the time I left my workplace all I wanted was a cold beer. I reached home to find my Datiliva in bed.
I was glad her temperature was not high but her speak was gone. It is when I called the taxi-man that she told me to shut up because I had not remembered to bring her a gift and celebrate with her her birthday even when her friends had taken all the care to call, send gifts and came to wish a happy birthday.
Does she fear she may not be born again in the afterlife? Why this fixation with birth and other days?
My dearest complains about my arguments by arguing about my arguments. Arguments may not be a problem especially when time and place are right.
My dearest starts at the moment dinner is set, before going to bed and immediately visitors make the first bend from our abode.
It starts by a simple question, “are we going to start those arguments?” and before we know we are arguing about arguments.
“But you are the one arguing” I used to chip in before I learned to keep quiet. “Who is arguing?” my dearest would ask, “It is you who started it.
No, I am not arguing; I am just saying that you start arguments that are not called for. I was not arguing; do I not have a right to say what I think is right? No, I am not arguing my God!” she would go on and on.
Datiliva has made our life resemble tiny human beings who must live and travel inside tiny metallic pipes with her strict lifestyle.
I must leave my shoes at the entrance to our house, must play gospel or inspiring music in the house, there is a place for everything and hell breaks loose when something is misplaced.
It is living in a straight jacket here. The only thing that keeps us together are the words of the Preacher; we always talk and patch up our differences and our relationship.