January is tough [Photo: Shutterstock]

You have heard of the Twelve Days of X-Mas? If you have mentally answered ‘yes,’ you need to look up the ‘rhetorical question’ section in the Google. Well, Christmas is over, and I came across the strange statistic that more couples split up on the first twelve days following the New Year than at any other time of the year.

In other words, the days between January 2, and the Black Tuesday of January 13, are the days where one is most likely to split from their man, partner, and married folks get a divorce decree nisi. (you are hereby instructed to marvel at the cleverness of my title). The question is - ‘why?’ First of all, the start of the year is when most people make their New Year resolutions – about health, wealth, and how about dumping that deadbeat fellow in the New Year, so he can be cleaned out with last year’s rubbish?

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New Year is a great time for fresh starts. And then there is what we will call the X-Mas factor that churns out ‘exes’ like confetti. Christmas is supposed to bring families together. Often, it succeeds in that mission. But then like the ‘onion’ in Sossion, sometimes things go from sassy, to saucy, to sour.

Beryl Itindi drags a chap up to ‘ushago’ to meet her Wanga ancestors. After a bit of X-Mas ‘busaa’, everybody has ‘itindid’ (Kisii for being intoxicated) and, suddenly, from X-Mas, it is ‘Boxing Day’ in the land of the Wanga. Just because you didn’t believe Beryl’s older brother when he said they are direct descendants of the Nabongo of the Wanga, and her younger brother told you – ‘wewe hauna bongo. Unakuja hapa bila kuku ya dowry. Bure wewe!’

By the time you land in Nairobi, after a stony silent six-hour drive from Wanga-land to the city, on Kachmega Express (their motto - sasa ume-catch feelings?) you are both single and she has even unfriended, unfollowed and even deleted those naughty photos you took trysting at Muliro Green Gardens (and Lodgings) in December. With the caption: Our love will see the lights of the day like Vision 2030.

Then there are the holiday mad ‘clandestines’ who give guys ultimatums - next year it is either me or the mum of your kids. And a few men think of yet another year with the complaining wench in the house, and throw in the towel as they trade in the old model.

January also comes with more than its fair share of monetary stress - school fees for those with ‘tois’, and general brokeness is in charge of everyone else. With the landlord at the door, no food in the fridge, debts everywhere (that’s why few folks die in January, because you’ll be buried after at least three weeks as people wait for money for your funeral) and the envelope at the corner of your Pay TV, January is stress.

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The Blame (and hunger) games begin, and soon, someone walks out the door. If you are planning to move to a new house at the start of the year, sometimes it is simply easier to leave old sorrows (like boyfriends) in the other residence. So, welcome to the Tenth of Nisi. For everyone else, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Happy New Year! Valentine’s Day is exactly five Sundays away.