Photo grid: Nairobi’s top bachelors and spinsters
By Silas Nyanchwani
MEMO FROM THE OFFICE OF WELFARE OF MEN.
Last night I went to bed angry.
A young man, who turns 28 in August is in a big dilemma. He met this girl in January. The girl is 27. The girl wants a wedding, and before Corona-19 re-arranged our calendars and lives, she wanted the wedding this August. Now, she is pushing for December.
The boy already senses trouble. He called me to ask me how he can navigate the landmine he is walking in. It is funny how these red flags fly on our faces, but lust and stupidity blinds us. From his description, I could tell, the girl is a selfish, manipulative and narcissistic woman, who only cares about the wedding and being married. He asked me what to do, and I told him, “dump the woman, immediately you hang up.”
I caught him off guard. He started stuttering, confused by my rude answer. I rarely want to give people comfortable answers. Our conversation ran into a bit of problem because of one reason, the young man is in love.
“But I love her, man, she is beautiful and everything I want in a woman,” he said, a bit on the soapy side. Oh, how we love abusive and toxic people! Toxic people are addictive. There is something darkly evil in how we love people who are manipulative. Or our jailers. You probably have some feelings for that abusive ex. Just check the politicians you elect. The horrible, the likelier to be elected.
I decided to help young man, and I am under no illusion that he will follow my advice, because sure as tomorrow is Thursday, the girl’s will provide.
Any time a man says he loves a woman; he has lost the war and battle. The biggest tragedy in life is a woman realizing that the man loves her more than she loves the man, but there is something to gain from the man.
At 27, any woman has been there, done that, and got a T-shirt. Worse if she is a Nairobian. Because Nairobian girls, man, acha tu! If some hapless guy with disposable income and sensible behaviour shows some interest, the girl will put her acting mask on, and can easily fool the man proper. Nothing wrong with that, as life is a game. You play. They play. We play each other.
A 28-year-old man cannot handle a 27-year-old woman. He is so immature, emotionally underdeveloped, and has no shock absorbers to handle the bumpy road he is about to ride with that girl. He has no emotional capacity to process and internalise the storms that will greet the marriage five years down the line.
The fact that the man can confess that he loves the girl already shows signs of bad parenting and some terrible upbringing. Love is a very flimsy ground to build a marriage or a relationship. I can easily predict that the man has never been heartbroken and has not learnt the lessons of human interactions. The less attachment a man has for a woman, the less suffering he will have in life. That is fairly straightforward. Every man should learn that the first time the college girl dumps his ass on a cold Thursday morning three days before his birthday.
Adulthood is not a soap opera. Male adulthood calls for ruthless pragmatism. Male adulthood abhors naivete. Male adulthood hates innocence. Forget western style political correctness, that is the quickest route to be short-changed by life as a man.
Consider our boy, soon to be 28. From my interrogation, he has a fairly secure job at a top IT firm, earns a modestly good salary that could start a family. In 2000. He is quite well organized. But he has not made any firm material foundation upon which he can anchor his marriage. Some women will lie that oh, men should look at themselves as ATMs or providers, but any girl who says such a thing is a witch.
“I really want to settle down and I think, she can make a good wife…” he went on narrating the good attributes he sees, while I tuned out, until I caught the tail end of his conversation, listing a list of things he is not happy with her. She is a bit pushy, especially with the wedding thing, because her parents are religious and all.
I was blunt with him.
I told him; he still has up to 6 years to marry. I told not to marry until he is at least 34.
“Live a modest life. Save as much as possible. Build a house, get a car. Have some good investments, before you can entertain the thought of marriage,” I told him, as he interrupted me to convince me why he thinks marriage is a good thing for him. And he uttered the unfortunate words that “marriage can make me focus.”
“I can’t think of a big distraction to male progress than marrying early. It is good to know that you will marry, but timing is everything,” I explained to him.
Because between 28-33, he is going to grow, toughen up and understand the female psyche, even if after a fashion.
“Date more women. That does not mean you sleep around. Just try and have meaningful relationship with women for much longer,” I advised him. But he is too in love to understand my point of view.
Most young men think of marriage upon landing their first good job or gig. This was OK up to 2005. But in 2020 and beyond, never ever marry on your first gig. That ends in golden, premium, platinum, oceanload of tears. Some say, get a woman and start life together. But if anyone tells you in 2020 and beyond that get a woman and you start from scratch together, report him to the nearest police station.
No woman wants to start from scratch with a man. Many women prefer a ready-made man. Let us not try to be smart or intellectualize this. Anyone who argues with this was born a liar, mute or run away from him or her. So, the better for my boy to take his first gig to improve himself, have some good time and grow a bit. The times are a changing.
Also, the man need not marry at all. At a philosophically level, marriage adds no value to a man’s life, once shed off the societal expectations and the social constructs that propel the idea of marriage and the nuclear family, it is a rubbish institution. There are those it has worked for. No doubt. Respect. But meet those tired with it, both men and women, and they will tell you it is a bad trap.
And the with narcissistic girlfriend, should the man insist and go ahead, I can point with laser-precision to a time in August 2025, when he will remember my piece of advice.
This applies to all unmarried men under 32. Bide your time your time bro. Don’t be in a rush. Wait. When a good girl will come along you will know. And if the push comes to shove, a Nairobi gaidi, should be about Option F. There is no deadline for marriage somewhere. Those small goals you have that you need to be married by this date, have kids by this date, retire by this time, you know what? That script never works like that. It is nonsense.