Every time I think of relationships and convention or is it unconvention, I think of my mother. Because of her physical, education, beauty and hardworking nature she had several suitors. Somehow she defied convention and got married by my dad who came from a very poor and small family background. You know in Africa the strength and influence of a family is determined by material wealth and numbers.
If you do the math you will also realise that Mummy was indeed three years older than Daddy. My paternal grandfather was intimidated by mum’s background, and advised my Dad to reconsider, fearing that “This girl from a rich and populous family would not really accept to come and live with poor them.”
Indeed it took a while for some of her family to accept Dad as husband, even defying attending the wedding ceremony. Too broke, too poor, too young Daddy. Today, they love Dad so much and count him as family too. My late paternal grandfather too also adored my mum, and all his life called her “daughter”. What they shared was similar values and men those two were seriously into each other. We used to stumble across their love letters as kids. He called her, “Lilly”.
And really what I saw in the early formative years at home was how my dad treated her like a trophy: when mitumba came to Kenya, sometime in the mid 80s he categorically told her that she should never wear second hand clothes as long as he was alive and he could provide because of the connotation of second hand clothes at the time. Many a time he used to say, “I married a Chief’s daughter and I must maintain the standards.” I think this in a sense propelled Dad to break away from the shackles of poverty in his own family.
This has really impacted my own perception of romantic relationships, screw convention (pardon my French this morning). People, if your sweetheart is too young, too old, too whatever, from the “wrong” tribe or community, from a poor family, according to society but indeed you share the same values, enthusiasm for life and you are genuinely into each other then for goodness sake give love a chance. Only the wearer of the shoe knows how well it fits. Please do not be the one caught serving guests water at your Beloved’s wedding because of conforming to convention.
Some of us our lives would not have seen the light today if a woman had decided to follow convention and disobey her heart. My parents’ marriage was not perfect, but show me which marriage is? But they were perfect for each other. Today, they rest side by side for eternity!
May 2020 – Living a life of no regret ©