Just when I wanted to share this story, my friend has cracked a joke when I asked her what name to call the woman I want to write about. She has said that writers search for names more often than pregnant women; to hide the identity of their source. So, let’s call this woman Angie.
I have not personally met Angie but a friend narrated to me her story; Angie met a man that she dated for five months. She was in love and decided to tie the knot with him. Not the official knot-tying but the one that my tribesmen call the maize stalks wedding (a wedding that has not been legally officiated). We can also call it the come we stay and see if we like it kind of arrangement.
Before the Stinking, or was it there?
Angie’s husband was everything that she imagined a husband could be. The first thing that he told her was that he did not want her to work. He asked her to quit her job because, he, Tom, the husband was capable of catering for her needs. Angie wanted the relationship to work and so she obeyed her husband Tom. The next thing that Tom did was make sure that Angie lacked nothing.
According to the friend that narrated the story to me, Angie did not even go to shop. Tom would do the shopping and bring it home (am coughing and seeing how red flags look maroon to a girl in love.) Tom would make sure that his fridge was fully stocked with food and they would even go out to eat when Angie did not feel like cooking, which was often.
After two months of living together, Angie conceived. This is any man’s dream, to have a child with the woman of his dreams. The sweet treatment climaxed; of course, it would. Tom would come from work, take his wife then they would go out to shop together. The man was a gentleman in every sense. Angie was getting comfortable and was she the luckiest girl or what?
As the pregnancy continued to grow. Tom started noticing some tendencies with his wife. He brushed these tendencies off and comforted himself that they would soon end when she delivers. He had heard some rumors from men at the bar of how women changed during their pregnancies. He tried all he could to make his wife as comfortable as he could during the nine months.
Angie was a strong woman; she delivered a bouncing baby boy who looked like his father in every way. The man, Tom was over the moon; when fathers would be asked to stand, he would be among the number. He promised himself that he would be a loyal husband and would do everything in his ability to make the marriage work. This was too little too early.
In denial of the Stink
Remember the tendencies I had told you earlier and how Tom wished them away with the excuse that they would go away. They were still there, amplified, bucketful. He slowly started concluding that it was not the pregnancy that made those tendencies. He realized that his wife was slothful, dirty and was not keen on her appearance, I mean kujiachilia (am narrating as told, girls don’t throw stones at me.)
When his friend, the one that narrated to me asked Tom why he would use such harsh phrases on his wife, he said because they were true. He explained to his friend that he had gathered a lot of courage to even tell him because he did not want to seem petty.
Tom asked his friend for advice because he did not want to lose his young family. He was willing to stay committed to his marriage but he feared that his wife’s habits were becoming a stumbling block.
“Tom Bwana, be candid with me and tell me everything that has happened.’
“My friend, Angie has become very irritating. “ Tom stated. “She is very dirty I tell you. All she does is stay in the house and stay glued on Netflix the whole day. She doesn’t shower daily even imagine. “
“Wewe wacha, you mean she doesn’t…”asked the friend, now concerned.
Finally, acknowledging the stink
“I am telling you, she simply says that she is not going anywhere thus doesn’t see the need to shower. Now with the current condition and state, you would expect her to shower hata kama it’s twice a day in the least. The woman hates water. “ Tom continued.
“As if that is not enough, Angie would stay with the dishes we had for breakfast on the table, dirty, stinking and not feel a thing. She walks around with my T-shirts braless with the T-shirts all wet because of the breast milk. Now imagine such a person not showering for even a day. Now before you judge me, I am not complaining about her staying with the t-shirt, I know she needs them for easy access when feeding the baby. My issue is her stench. Bwana, my wife has a stench.”
“What?… I” the friend tried to interrupt but Tom would not let him, he did not know if he would speak again if he did not let everything out at that moment. “Please, allow me to finish, that is not even enough.” Tom continued.
The wife Never changed the sheets
You see with the breastfeeding and everything that comes with it, our bedsheets are always wet with milk. Every morning there is patch of breast milk on the sheets. She does not change them. She is still of the philosophy of changing the sheets once in a blue moon. Man, you know me, I am not the guy you would call clean, can you now imagine the amount of dirt and stench that has to be in my house for me to complain.” Tom complained
“I know this last one will sound petty, but it is in my head and you are my friend, so I don’t care if you judge me. Angie has inflated; she is too big. I mean, when I married her, she was 68kgs; right now, she is at 117kgs. I kid you not. Don’t look at me like that, I am a man. I married a petite girl, I know she would add weight, but this is too much when you top it with her sloppiness.” Tom said. “I think I had not thought this marriage thing straight, I want a divorce, I want to leave her.”
Ai bwana, imefika hapo kweli?” asked the friend.
“Imagine it has gotten to this point, I will not neglect my child but I don’t want the mother near me. “
“Have you talked to her about your concern?”
“Well, how can even start telling her that she is dirty? You know I hear they have these Post-Partum depression thing and it could be the case.” Tom stated, looking concerned.
“So, a divorce would make her depression end, or what are you telling me?” the friend asked laughing his lungs out.
“Not, really. My mind is not thinking straight at the moment. That is why am sharing this with you. You have been in this thing longer than me and your house seems to be in order. What do I do?”
“I would suggest to you that if it is something to do with weight, just wait for sometime for her to finish weaning the baby then you can suggest to her that you workout together. About the stench, well, that could be a sensitive issue to discuss with her because she will interpret it the wrong way, you know women have their own mind; you say one thing, harmlessly and it is interpreted in a totally different way.”
“So, tread carefully. Marriage is about having a space that is secure enough to have uncomfortable discussions and for someone to know that they are totally respected, regardless. I have a skewed formula for such discussions…” continued the friend as Tom listened intently.
“I wait for the kids to sleep, drink myself silly and tell my wife anything that I think she needs to work on. If it hurts her too much the following day, I will blame the alcohol, but if she wants to take up the discussion soberly the following day, we then discuss it. Like, I said, tread carefully.”said the friend with a cunning grin.
“In addition, I think you should encourage her to go back to work. Don’t be stupid. We are in a different world altogether; how do you install WiFi, fill the fridge with junk, subscribe for Netflix and complain that your wife sits in the house the whole day. What do you want her to do, stand?”
“This is what you showed her when you started courting, I would actually blame you for the double weight she gained, not even the baby fat. It feels like you were preparing her for some slaughter house.
In addition, you cannot compare her with my wife, my wife is a decade older and she too had her tendencies when she was that young. You brought the weight, work with her to make sure that she loses it.”
“I am not supporting either of you. But each has some work to do if you are serious about this marriage thing. This marriage thing is not for boys. Go home, talk to your wife. Because even the next woman you bring home will have her tendencies.”
“Otherwise, if you cannot talk to her about your concern, then send her home, let her mother train her on how to become a wife. “Suggested the friend.
The two men asked for a bottle of Whiskey and talked about other things, you know those things that interest men like football, politics and such like stuff. And the fate of a 26-year-old mother of a bouncing baby boy was sealed.
Part 2 to be continued