I went visiting a friend some time ago in the western hemisphere of the most populous black nation. My friend is married with two lovely daughters. He has been married for 4 years. Benjamin (not real name) and I have been friends for long years and haven’t seen each other for about 8 years.
We spent some good days catching up on old times. Benjamin is the last born in a family of eight, six sisters and a brother. He was quite a spoiled child who practically did no chores while growing up. Benjamin cannot find his way around the kitchen department. The best he could do was boil water.
Benjamin’s sole responsibility is financial providence. He doesn’t lift a finger. His wife runs a business and does all the house chores alone. She wants a maid but Benjamin wouldn’t hear any of that. Benjamin detests housemaids. According to him, they are evil and he wouldn’t risk his family’s safety for any reason. His wife would complain and nag whenever she is at it, I mean doing house chores with two babies to look after. Benjamin always says to her “honey do what you can and leave the rest, I your husband will never complain that the house is unkempt or that food wasn’t prepared on time”. Though, this doesn’t make any sense to her, what can she do? Her husband is the boss of the house, he has spoken and so shall it be.
The most annoying part of the whole situation lamented Benjamin’s wife was that even when there is food in the kitchen, Benjamin cannot go to the kitchen and dish his food. He would call his wife whether she is at home or not to come and serve him. King of kings! Poor woman.
Personally, i am an early riser and being idle is not part of my orientation. Whenever I woke up, I swept and mopped the sitting room, move to the kitchen, do the dishes and clean up. Sometimes I cooked, depending on what was available. Benjamin’s wife was grateful and never failed to show gratitude in ways she deemed possible. She was spending more time with me, sharing lots and lots of stories. Whenever she cooked, she served me first. I usually asked her if her husband won’t eat but she would reply that he would beckon on her to serve him when he is ready. If Benjamin meets us eating, he would say: mesef I get mouth ooo. Benjamin didn’t like the way his wife was close to me. He had complained to her but she ignored him. I never knew this until one Saturday afternoon. His wife returned from the market, she was gonna make stew but was knackered. I helped her unpack, blended the tomato, fried the chicken and made the stew. I was cleaning the kitchen when she came to kitchen, she was so excited. Covertly or overtly, she uttered “God why didn’t you give me this kind of man as a husband”. Unfortunately, Benjamin heard, and the kingdom of heaven came down. Benjamin uttered all sorts of diatribe to his wife. His wife in return didn’t play the underdog in her abusive career, she matched him word for word, strength to strength and power to power. All my attempts to pour ice on the burning flames met no reversal of misfortune.
Later I summoned my friend and his wife to talk about what happened. I didn’t want to be the cause of their fight and I made this known to them. I didn’t see any reason for the hullabaloo. Besides, young couples shouldn’t be shouting at the rooftop of their voices, disturbing the peace of the neighborhood, whatever the issue, it can be settled amicably. Benjamin’s wife didn’t let me finish, she stated that it was mission impossible because Benjamin gets jealous on everything. She said if we’re seeing a movie and I say a guy is hot, my husband will take offence. If I am not in the house and my husband calls and heard a male voice he will question me till thy kingdom come. If another man makes me laugh he becomes mad at me. If I am chatting with someone, he wants to know who I am chatting with. Okay I have to say this, Benjamin has complained that he doesn’t like the way you and I get along, that it makes him jealous. He prefers I don’t say good morning to another man. Saying hi to another man makes him jealous. With this kind of attitude, how is fighting and raising voices inevitable?
I was shocked by her revelations, I just told my guy to take it easy. I refused to show my disappointment. Two days later I packed and left.