A lot of people get married when they are not ready, its as simple as that! Dating for two or three years does not mean that you are ready for marriage as dynamics often change when you adopt your respective new families officially. Its like a noose that comes standard with marriage and how you handle that change is the difference between how the noose tightens or loosens with time. In all honesty people should not be so quick to shun vat n sat because at least you get to know all the habits of your partner before you sign up for life to being with them. Some people will shock you by how disgusting or inconsiderate they are once you start full leaving with them. I was not always a pessimist about marriage and relationships. Goodness no. That’s a misconception people have on men. Not all of us are like that. I grew up in church and believe me its a myth that women come to look for men in church. In all my years in church I was brother-zoned as all of the women that mattered thought I was their brother. If you think getting out of a friend zone mode with a girl is hard try getting out of being brother zoned. Dating for me before I got my car was always awkward. I know I sound useless as though am a coward but having a beautiful girl meant once all the vultures with their cars started hunting her down you never stood a chance. You can be as romantic as possible but if you don’t have money to take her out and a vehicle to take her places then you might as well be punishing the poor child. I like to flatter myself and say Asthandile fell for me for my charm and good looks but I know that having a job helped. She was actually a very soft spoken person and not so much the mean fierce girl she portrayed in high school. In high school she was the bane of my existence and I loved her with all my heart. I think I got to know her true self towards our wedding as I got to see how she handled things and people. I love people, I love laughter and I have no problem with talking to people. She on the other hand has a bit of pride in her and very selective of who gets close to her. No one is perfect so I didn’t mind that at all. That’s what love does I guess.
I am not blind to the fact that exposing what men do is not the wisest thing to do for guys have a strict guy code. We don’t kiss and tell but seeing that no one ever wants to talk about it there is so much to tell. Our wedding day well, there are always two perspectives to it depending on whether you are the bride or the groom. Have you ever looked up the podium and seen how happy the blushing bride looks. Its etched in her face like izingcabo zamaZulu (cultural markings Zulus cut into their face on either cheek). Asthandile made sure that everyone who is anyone knew she was getting married. I even had to take a loan to make sure that we could accommodate all. Good thing about leaving in Mdantsane is that most of her friends and family stayed close enough so we did not have to arrange accommodation as well. Her side of things alone we had about 200 guests and most of them unnecessary people whom she just wanted to show off to! When you look at the podium and at the groom in particular, you can always see there is a seriousness in his face. I was told by one of my uncles that if I smiled too much I would look weak and over excited meaning my wife’s family would take advantage of me. These are merely superstitions and stereotypes I told my educated self but much as I tried to smile that wedding was pure torture. Nothing went right! She was late for one as I tried to do the white thing and arrive first at the church and wait for my bride. It was bound to happen there were already too many people involved in her preparations. Don’t worry I never thought for one moment I was being stood up at the alter because its not part of our psyche! Imagine, where would she run too if she pulled a runaway bride! Her family would most certainly never accept her back that’s for sure! My 45 guests, mostly family but a few friends from school where on time.
If there is one thing that young marriage teaches you is that the honeymoon period you see on TV doesn’t actually exist. I feel sorry for her because she had hopes of going to many places for the honeymoon itself but with all the friends and relatives that she had invited to the wedding the money simply was not there. Yeah, showing off has consequences! That joyous bliss that makes the first five years of your marriage speed past is just a myth. You get down to reality and start building your family. Having a willing partner is half the battle to be honest for the rest is keeping each other happy in the midst of bills and work. As soon as we got married the problems started. They were not big things to be honest. Firstly was, who ran the household and then who ran the bills? I might be the one working but in my eyes I thought she needed to be part of the decision making process but she was not interested. She wanted a nanny to help her with the house and cook. Like what the fuck!? She said it was job creation and she did not get married to slave away. She said every house here had a nanny so she could not be seen as though she can’t afford it. I indulged her.
Coming from Mdantsane meant that when she came to Cape Town she wanted to visit all the fancy places, live in Rondebosch and then call home for all her relatives to come and see where she stays. There is no Xhosa person who does not have a relative or a friend who is a refugee in Cape Town as madam Zille called it so we actually were not isolated even here. Our wedding was far from modest because she wanted to emphasize that she had found a Xhosa man with money who was not a politician. In my area politicians are notorious for their love for women and the drama they bring so girls are fast learning its not necessary. At first impressing her tastes were simple because she did not know half the things about the middle class to upper class lifestyle. She did not really go out with her cousins much here because they lived in Gugulethu and Khayelitsha something which I think embarrassed her. She kept on saying there was so much crime there hence did not want us to visit them. That was fine by me to be honest because it meant that I did not have to drive.
One evening I was sitting at home when she came home with a new friend of hers. She said I was too uptight and we needed to start going out more often. I think marriage dies the moment you cut off that having fun route but lately I was always tired. I promised her that we would. At that stage I never denied my wife anything but me working and her not meant that I was often so tired and today was no exception. I was exhausted. She said another of her new friends would be coming over. She worked in the army and lived in Milnerton at the base. If there is something women are good at its make friends. Married women much as people say they are conservative are actually more open to new friendships as they are increasingly isolated if they don’t work. Her new friend, Bulelwa, was also from the Eastern Cape. When the third friend arrived she was introduced as Khanyi. She was actually a Zulu girl but from the Eastern Cape. Xhosa girls tend to stick together. For some reason she hit it off more with her than Bulelwa. I declined to offer to go out with them but instead allowed my wife to go. Yes I said allow. When you are married you need permission for everything. I have moments when I act unilaterally true but usually I consulted her first. My wife had an allowance from me for miscellaneous things which were not part of the household budget. I never asked what she did with it because it was none of my business and fortunately being in a new city meant she did not really go out much. I wanted her to have as much freedom as possible and because she could drive I had got her a small Japanese car as it was reliable and fuel savvy. We had the good life all in all. We live on lower Alma Road meaning it was a walk away from Rondebosch shops and ten minutes from Cavendish Square.
They decided to go to Cubana in Clermont. I jokingly asked for one of their phone numbers in case my wife got too drunk to answer her phone. I actually didn’t think she would get drunk. Bulelwa said she had left her phone so it was left to Khanyi.
I was a meeting her for the first time so when she walked over to get to her bag which she had left on the table I couldn’t help but look at her. I have no excuse its instinct in most men. We can’t help but look and doesn’t matter if its your friend or sister we will look. She was an attractive woman. Dark skinned unlike my wife and with a body that just made me stare. Lust has to be one of the greatest weakness in man. I looked away as best I could and because my wife was too busy getting ready she did not see it. Khanyi gave me her number but for a moment when we were talking our eyes met. Nothing was said just an awkward smile.
Looking back that was a defining moment.
My wife had brought temptation home.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)