I love watching the musical video of Asake’s Joha. There’s just something about it that makes me smile, cheers me up even. I still can’t place a finger on it. Maybe it’s the dance steps, the moves. But this is not a review of musical videos. It is actually about brides, today’s brides dancing as if they are auditioning for musical videos. As if it is not bad enough that they have their breasts in the faces of the wedding guests, they dance as if they are performing for a concert audience with the ‘family jewels’ jiggling so ferociously people like me fear they will pop out of their corsets and embarrass cringing decency. The groom’s men openly ogle their best friend’s private property. The lecherous old men leer and smack their lips while pretending to act fatherly. Is it their fault? Window shopping is free from here to Australia. The brides are providing it and everybody is enjoying it.
Gone are the days when weddings were weddings, solemn affairs where all parties involved knew that the ceremonies are not just happy events but turning points. The brides cried because they knew it was the beginning of a long journey on paths never trodden. Mothers of the brides cried because they knew the road ahead would be rough and the weather turbulent. Not any more. These days, weddings are about who made the loudest noise and exposed more succulence. From the moment the man pops the question, as they say, nothing is left to the imagination. No part of the path leading to the altar is sacred. It’s all a big display of entertainment. Pre-wedding photo shoots, post-wedding ones, wedding planning on credit, inflated aso-ebi and all the hassles that lay definite landmines for a new union.
How exactly are weddings supposed to become marriages when the brides are more focused on choreographed reception dance steps than the survival kits for the journey ahead? It’s exasperating. Well, let’s look at a few things Gen-Z brides should actually expend time and resources on.
Girl, thou shall not live your life on the social media. Indeed, avoid the social media. Why exactly should your marriage be an ordinary content for both friends and foe to drool over, or curse? Oh, you actually thought the girls who lost that long drawn-out battle for the rings on your finger wish you well? With all the nice education you got, you actually think the girl who had two abortions while waiting for your man to be ready is happily sitting somewhere and wishing you happy married life? If you have the sense God gave a goose you will keep your happily-ever-photoshoot to yourself. If you know the number of those clicking likes and gushing congratulations over your social media posts who want you dead, you will pull down those intimate moments photos this very minute. Or it has never occurred to you that effigies to ‘jazz’ your baby bump into miscarriage can be made from photos you posted? Don’t tell me you do not know that photos of wedding proposals can end up on evil altars in evil shrines where your man’s once passionate love can be twisted into deadly hate? How did you even make a first class and land a great job when you have not the faintest idea the elements that rule the spiritual space you live in?
Mothers, let us tell these children the truth, the whole truth. Life may have moved from iPhone6 to 14Promax but some things have not changed about the levels the scorned ex-girlfriends of their new grooms will go to ruin their unions.
‘Jazz’ and ‘juju apart,’ what exactly are the advantages of advertising your husband on Facebook? He buys you a Gucci bag, you post it. You are on vacation, you draw a map for us from the airport to the hotel resort. He surprises you on your birthday, you stuff the faces of your followers with it. If two or three girls decide to buy what you are selling, whose fault will that be? The whole point of advertising is to make sales, right? If you advertise your husband and he gets bought, just pat yourself on the back for a job well done and do not insult our intelligence with that men-are-scum hogwash.
I’m not against social media celebration but do not live there. Do not display what you don’t want to sell. And never forget that those who want you dead or ruined are also ‘following’ you.
You must also know that in-laws are part of the package and they will push all your buttons. That is a fact of life. How hard and badly they will push those buttons and how many human beings will push those buttons at the same time will vary. Do not go into marriage thinking all the smiles and naira rain at the wedding reception from your in-laws will translate into automatic friendship. Be nice, courteous and generous. Be accommodating. Do not approach them with antagonism. They love your husband. You love him too. You cannot even love your husband more than his mother. That is a fact of life. She gave him life, nurtured him. His folks have always had a space in his life and they always will. Do not attempt to alienate them. Be nice. Be understanding but set boundaries. Do not talk too much. Avoid saying anything that could be held against you.
This brings us to control of your tongue and temper. I once did a long piece titled the ‘Power of Silence.’ Any wife, any woman who has not acquired and master the power of silence cannot sustain her hold on the wheel of a marriage when storm hits.
If you had half a dozen responses to every insult, every challenge, you must tuck it somewhere when you get married. Sealed lips are a virtue every bride must take along into marriage. Have you heard the story of the wife who saw her husband’s car in a hotel parking lot after the dude told her he was going to Abuja on business? Well, Oga was obviously doing business in between a woman’s thighs. Madam could have flipped her lip, blew a fuse and maybe even dragged the other woman out into the corridor and beat her to an inch of her life. But no, she didn’t. She went back home, picked the spare key and drove the car back home. She did not call him. She did not report him to her mother or his. Unlike today’s bride, she also did not move out of the house.
I can’t believe he’s cheating on me.
He obviously no longer loves me.
I can’t share my man.
It’s over. I’m done. I’m moving on.
Blah blah blah. Gen-Z wives, they make a mountain out of every molehill. Men cheat, sadly, very sadly so. Men do not cheat because they no longer love or want their wives. They just cheat. And that a wife does not want to share her man does not mean he does not want to share his attention. They almost always return to their wives and all Gen-Z wives must know this.
Anyway, back to the story of the Power of Silence, Madam returned home with the car and when Oga discovered that his car was missing, he didn’t suspect that he’d been caught. He went home with a well-rehearsed lie only to find his ‘missing’ car nicely parked in his compound. His shock almost became a heart attack when his wife welcomed him with a smile, open arms and a warm meal. No noise. No accusation. Not even tears of how-could-you-betray me? Bros was afraid to eat or sleep because he just couldn’t tell whether his wife was just waiting for the right moment to poison him or smother him with a pillow. He, it was, who called his friends and pastor to plead his case after a full confession. Take a moment to think about how Oga treated his wife after that episode. If he cheated or lied again, he did it far away. He most importantly knew his wife was not your run-of-the-mill screaming temperamental wife. She is silent, powerful wife.
There are a dozen-and-one things a woman must learn, must do and be ready to do if she is going to marry and stay married. The wedding is not the marriage. Dance like Asake’s dancers. Wear the tightest corset wedding dress and change five time during the reception. Show off your solid rock wedding rings. Do your photo shoot on land, in the air and on water – a wedding is just a ceremony, a brief party. Enjoy it. The real deal starts the morning after and unless you wanna join the ever growing line of former brides, former wives and their sad stories of ‘Why My Marriage Failed’, girl, ask the veterans what they did, what they didn’t and what they sacrificed to remain their husbands’ wives. Because marriage is too serious to be equated with a one-day colour-themed dance party and display of all kinds of cleavages, natural or bought.
● Egbemode ([email protected])