Most times I look around and I am tempted to give all women around me a standing ovation regardless of what it is they did to deserve it. I mean, the society has a way of piling unnecessary pressure on women; especially the unmarried and over 30; the married ones and those in relationships.
As if being a mother or a wife is not enough, women are expected to go an extra mile when visiting their in-laws, and woe unto you if your pockets aren’t as deep as they are expected to be.
There’s nothing as humiliating as making an appearance before in-laws who already have attached a price on you. From my little research, I have realised that ‘well monied’ wives will always get special treatment at the in-laws. The fatter the bank account, the more the respect. These ones will always have the homestead’s most treasured jogoo meet its death as soon as they arrive.
On the other hand, if you are jobless and broke, the ball game is different. The latest you can wake up is 5 am. Your day is planned from the moment your dear hubby calls home saying you guys will be visiting since schools are closed. You are instantly transformed into a domestic worker and expected to be at everyone’s beck and call.
As all this goes on, the ‘well monied’ wives sleep till whatever time they want and once they wake up, they start calling shots. These wives will even ask for a soda and piece of cake for breakfast while the ‘broke’ ones will be directed to the farm to harvest bananas for breakfast!
If and when the ‘loaded’ wives complain of a headache, the home comes to a standstill as every other person who might have the village nurse’s contacts is summoned to call him/her to come over and attend to the patient.
Your children will also not be at peace as they will always be on standby to go fetch her a cup of water or her cell phone which she never remembers where she kept it the last time she had it.
If God forbid the broke one gets a headache, some weird weed has to be dried and ground to cure it. Sometimes you are better off finding a cure on your own.
During family functions, the rich wife gets to eat the first layer as the rest of you wait until she eats to her fill. She will even have a chance to decide which flavour of soda she likes while the rest of you are given whatever is available.
On the day of departure, the in-laws will be willing to take a loan and hire a cab to take the rich wife to the bus stop. On the day the broke wife departs, it will be via a motorbike ridden by the village drunkard who shall have been ‘begged’ to maintain stability while with you on board.
I have been praying and trusting God to either bless me with money or a husband who will not allow his people to bully me just because I am not as rich as they want. Power to you women who go through all this and do it all over again the following year. And you men, yes you, who watch as your women go through this in your mother’s home, you have a special place in hell!
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