Sunday, January 7, 2018

Just tell her the truth that you are married


By Jackson Biko

The Bible says married men shouldn’t admire other girls because they might fall flat into temptation and then possibly break the eighth commandment. Then God will not be happy with them, and nobody wants to let down God, even though we all end up really disappointing Him throughout the day in some way or the other when we say things like “I swear to God,” or when we drive past a beautiful house and go, “My goodness, that’s a great house. Where do people get money to buy such digs?” And just like that you have coveted a neighbour’s house.

So anyway, so you are married man and you are going about your business, keeping your nose clean, staying out of trouble, not admiring your neighbour’s garden or car, and then boom, you see this girl one day and you think goddamn! So you remember your teachings and your vows and you remember how this can go horribly wrong if you act on it. So you don’t act on it. The devil goes away.

By the way, are you married?

But then one day you are getting into a bus or an ATM and guess who you see again? That girl who made you break one of the 10 commandments! She’s waiting to get into the ATM booth. You see how the devil follows you everywhere? You see how God allows good men to succumb in the face of great temptation? Anyway, so this time you say hello and then somehow you end up with her phone number and you call her up one day and you meet her at a cafe where you sit at the window and she orders a kettle of mixed English tea and you proceed to make her laugh so hard she chokes on her tea. Finally she asks you the big question of the evening “By the way, are you are married?”

OK, gentlemen. Let’s hold that date right there for a minute, shall we? There is a fork in the road here, where two types of men are distinguished. The first type is the man who answers this question by saying with a straight face, “Uhm, no. Not married.” The second guy is the kind of guy who will say, “Yeah, I’m married with five fantastic kids.” So this guy will probably not see this girl again because she will block him. (“I keep meeting this creepy married men!” she will moan to her pals later.) Our story is with the first guy who lied.

I have a theory about this first guy. He’s not on Facebook. If he is, he doesn’t post anything and he hasn’t been told “Kwani how come you don’t put your relationship status?” He isn’t on any social media platform. There is no picture of him or his wife or his kids anywhere. He doesn’t have a mobile phone. He’s a ghost. He doesn’t exist. He could as well be living in the 80’s when you could only be reached on landline or via telegram or snail mail. Or maybe he gave her a fake name and she will search for him on FB and not find him. Or if she does find someone who has his names they will not have his face.

Otherwise if he is on social media and he has a phone, how does he plan to navigate? Are these the guys who say their houses have no network? (Haha.) Or the guys who, when they are called and the girl asks, “Kwani what child is that crying in the background?” say, “Oh, that’s a cat.” The guys who have to keep two phone lines – one which they leave in the car when they get home? The same chaps who now have to play hide and seek and stress about keeping a whole wife and kids a big secret? Then you wonder why some of us grow old so fast – because we can’t sleep well knowing what big cover up to hatch.

Our fathers could get away with lying about their marital status because back then if you didn’t have a landline, you could step out of a cafe and disappear! You could be anywhere! You could be on the moon. Now it takes just one of her girlfriends digging for about two hours for your marital records to be retrieved. They will even throw in a picture of you in high school when you were skinny and dark to show how dedicated they can be with the task of investigations. So it’s pointless to lie, really. Just say you are married, boss. You aren’t the first married man to fancy a girl who isn’t their wife. You won’t be the last.