Ismail Lutta



`Marriage is the best foundation for personal intimacy, economic stability, and child rearing.’

`Regardless, the best time to work on your marriage is before you have one.’

`Our grandmother began a campaign of counsel and advice about men—how to catch them, how to keep them, and how she believed we should make them happy.’

`She asked me out of the blue if our family was rich. I told her that we weren’t really rich, but we had a lot more than most people.’

For the married students, they were in a different league. They seemed to possess a kind of wisdom which the rest of us had not acquired and which seemed to only come with marriage. Wisdom in its simplest definition was an accumulation of mistakes repeated over time and since part of their mistake-spectrum included those that were being experienced in the marriage institution it was understandable why this wisdom was not accessible to us.

If love was ideal then marriage was a reality. A Kenyan married a Kenyan though this was rare, I’m told due to our capitalistic heritage from the British colonial masters. But what was even more interesting was the clique who had married a partner from a different country; these automatically entered the International Marriage League. They were my favorite. It was the highest game in town. These were the citizens of the world. To go back with a wife in addition to the degree seemed a big plus for me. You had a Ugandan marrying a Kenyan in fact lots of Ugandans had taken our girls that in the beginning one chap would whine as we dismissed him. But when we saw the third Kenyan being taken I was tempted to think Ugandans had a conspiracy to pick all our beautiful girls. We needed to counterattack and the first years would be on the fore front to defend the nation ha! ha! ha! This is crap. It’s all about two people. What was planned in heaven come to pass and no man can put them asunder. A Tanzania married an Ethiopian and much more of that type.

I had attended some of the weddings. Several were in neighbourhood. What was beautiful about them was their simplicity. As men, we are not so much excited by weddings for the simple fact that we are the ones who foot the costs. So the simpler it is, the happier we are. Simplicity is a virtue. For the females because John Gray said Men are from Mars, Women from Venus, it is a totally different case. Venusians compared to Martians are very excited about weddings and the more expensive it is the happier they are. I thought if people were to do things in a simple prophetic way the world would be a better place. As the Venusians demanded expensive weddings and more bride price-more especially outside the campus in town-it came back to haunt them. Martians could not afford and so would postpone the issue to the detriment of the Venusians as more and more it seemed, were reaching menopause before being married. These were considered to be old maids. Even though some were alpha females with full-fledged carriers still deep inside them there were those little girls who wanted to be told how beautiful they were. Otherwise they were lonely and would remain so till old age. Then they would fill our heads with talk of death, superstition and the curses of menopause. Some would resort to living with cats. In the event of the cats dying we would be expected to offer our condolences for the loss of cats.

By the way being single too was economically expensive as in one of the relatives would just come in and stay as long as he want and then demand money before leaving. They would confidently do this since you did not have a family to take care of. We had the Martians who postponed marriage too as they thought they had to build an empire first but they got it wrong. Time would later not favor them. If one was to marry at forty and the next generation still marries at forty then somewhere along, one would have an octogenarian parent and toddlers to support. The initiator of that game would have less time to spend with grandchildren at eighty an age most of this generation would not reach since our age is between sixty and seventy. And what a sad sight, seeing octogenarians coming to the hospital to meet their granddaughter and wonder how long they might be there for her at least to participate in the joys of her upbringing. Maybe we should stop wasting time in the pursuit of things that may not matter on our death bed. Most rich men usually state on dying that they would have loved to spend more time with their families rather than create more wealth.