I literally just finished washing the remnants of my kenkey, shito and sardine dinner from my fingers and decided that instead of learning how to wine (my latest goal) I will crank out a blog post. I have been on the road for 12 days and just arrived back in my apartment. I went from…
Would his wife be willing to meet me? Find a baby-sitter for the kids and join us for dinner? The two bigger issues that remained undiscussed were the fact that 1) I could go out and stay out late because I was single and had no children and 2) our Ghanaian society makes it pretty darn clear on who stays home. It’s lenient such that married men can stay out late if they like and rarely have to answer to anyone. And no one thinks ill of them for socializing with other women while their wives stay home. My “going-dutch on everything” feminist self went out the door as I graciously accepted the spread before me and ate my way through a 150 cedi meal with my ex and his best friend, a fellow classmate, also married I should add. Throughout the meal, I wondered whether he splurge like this on his wife? Whether he would he still ask to hang out with me if I was married? Was it easy because I had no one to answer to? Would this change if I did?
To restore her usual confident self, she returned to her habitual shopping spree and sampling of men. She went on dates. She had men doing her bidding yet, she felt empty. She broke off engagements. She lived her life this way attempting to forget that she could be, and was attracted to women. She still found herself plagued by memories of what could have been with Veya. She knew she needed to let that go and move on with her life, and she knew just the cure for that! A vacation! She would go to Giselle’s in Madagascar! Giselle had been inviting her since they both graduated from college and Giselle left the US to return to her island. She called Giselle up and arranged a visit.
I put the key in the door. All these thoughts vanished as I quietly pushed open the door. She lay curled up on the 3-cushion, well-loved, black leather couch I had inherited from Craigslist. Her spindle-curled locs lay scattered around her head, slightly concealing her face and caressing her cheeks. Both arms were folded at the elbow in a prayer pose, supporting her sleeping head. I had only seen pictures and images from our Skype conversations. I wished she would stir so I could see her beautiful face. Two suitcases stood guard over her sleeping body. Despite all admonitions to pack light, here she was with luggage to last her for a couple months instead of the one-week trial we had agreed upon.
Earlier on today I wrote My usual attempt To order my world Make sense of chaos As I wrote I thought This relationship of ours has Grown Progressed Morphed **** From the days We just said “Hello” And went on campus ministry trips To spending time at that “Dominican Connection” retreat with mutual friend, KR…
There are lots of theories why women like me exist. Smart, highly-educated, beautiful, sexy, great cook. Also, Type A, neat-freak, no-nonsense, impatient, brutally honest. Unmarried and childless. By choice! They say we had strong female figures in our lives who over shadowed the male figures (if they were around). They say we are jaded because some guy in our past duped us. They say we are ‘apuskeleke.’ They say we hate men. They say we are lesbians. The list goes on. It never occurs to anyone that perhaps marriage is not meant for everyone, nor does it have to have a timeline, nor does the same timeline have to apply to everyone.
A place I hadn’t lived in for 16 years. I am taking a big leap of faith dragging myself off to another continent and especially to a country where sexism and homophobia have lunch together every day. A place where any sense of progressiveness is sometimes seen as an adoption of Western ideals and a booting of the traditional homegrown ones. Homophobia and sexism are preached in the pulpit on Sundays at most churches, discussed and prayed about at Bible Study on weekdays, and argued about over Star beer in the local chop bars where men retreat to instead of going home to their toiling wives.