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Kumbe the rich and poor have same bedroom problems!

By Cosmas Butunyi | July 27th 2021

If one thing has echoed loudly in our ears in recent days, it is how imperfect human relationships perceived to be the close and intimate are in the actual sense.

In this social media-powered information age, it is often easy to imagine that other people are living the dream life. The carefully picked and posted moments in the lives of both celebrities and ordinary folk can delude you into beating yourself too much for playing below par.

It can drive you up the wall, thinking that you probably are the only one who has not yet figured out how to wing it in this life. It can have you brooding on end, praying and wishing for other people’s seemingly more desirable lives.

Then a hugely celebrated musician, best known for crooning love ballads, gets mired in an embarrassingly public bout with his harem. Screenshots of private messages that were exchanged in the past do the rounds furiously on social media; and intimate moments from rosier times get recounted to the gossip-loving nation that we have become. Of course, this is heavily spiced with rumours and, mostly made-up, stories by the know-it-alls, claiming to be part of the inner circle of the three.

Then, a public apology lands out of the blue and catapults the drama to the very top of the news agenda, vying for space on prime-time television and newspaper headlines. This, in the same season that the nation is engulfed in messy by-elections, anticipation is high over a just-landed Covid-19 vaccine, premature election campaigns and a sustained vigorous push for constitutional review.

Then, further afield, trouble rocks the Royal Family. This, in a household that is considered the ultimate in a world full of monarchies. In our minds, we often assume that things are held together, tightly in this household. Probably, this is a hangover from our colonial days, but so romanticised is the world of the royalty that many grow up wishing that they could marry into the family. Then, boom — senior members of the family take on one another publicly, in a no-holds-barred media moment that is closely watched by the entire world. It gradually spirals, becomes a staple on social media; gives vloggers and talking heads tonnes of fodder and even makes it to the news on global TV and newspapers.

Of course, such relationships and family dramas are always followed closely across the world for their huge entertainment value. Besides, the huge interest is also because of good old human nature: misery loves company, especially when it is esteemed.

This is yet another source of reassurance that after all, humans are all the same at the core. That we all struggle with these interpersonal relations things, and often stumble, sometimes messily.

It is this desire to reassure ourselves that we are just normal humans with the usual frailties, which has us scouring the web for scandals that we share assiduously and chat about unceasingly. It is all for pleasure of being reassured by the love drama, leaked raunchy WhatsApp group chats, sex-tapes and all sorts of issues.

Of course, when a scandal breaks, we will go all gung-ho on the subjects, generously dishing criticism, conveniently forgetting that our own predicaments that may just be eerily similar. Unfortunately for the high and mighty, it is just that having been on a pedestal by society, their matters are a lot more magnified. Ultimately, the supposed racism we shout about on the rooftops about is just as bad as families that have a problem with inter-ethnic relationships and marriages. It is just another shade of discrimination.

Grass may seem greener across the fence; but it could just be flourishing on sewage. You do not want to find yourself in that mix. It may just be a lot more complicated than we are made to think.

At the end of day, it helps to remember that we are all just flesh and blood, irrespective of our station in life. There is no need struggling to live up to the painstakingly curated ideal that is presented on social media, with the rough edges curved out.

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