Tumbleweed

Wikipedia describes tumbleweed as “the above-ground part of a plant that, once mature and dry, disengages from the root and tumbles away in the wind. Usually, the tumbleweed is the entire plant apart from the roots, but in a few species it is a flower cluster”. Now you may wonder why Project 44 is venturing into an agricultural angle (remember when we wrote about zero-grazing? ;)), but stick with me.

There is a lot of talk about how the rate of marriage is falling like a meteorite and the rate of dissolution of marriages is rocketing; I recently thought about all the pressure that some Eves and Adams are under to settle down and I was reminded of a comment that one of our guest writers and an avid fan said a couple of weeks ago in response to one of the posts by another guest writer. He said that “we must as individuals accept that the society is changing……………………….We cannot ignore that the so called development has had an impact on the family unit and by extension, the marriage institution”. (Charles, something else you said stuck with someone ;)).

Tumbleweed

I think that this societal change has also had an impact on the choice of whether to check oneself into the institution that is marriage, or even at the least, whether or not to make the choice to enter into any union at all. There are Eves and Adams out there who, probably on a brisk and sunny day with a little breeze blowing, decided that in life, they do not want to tie any knot with anyone. Then there are a number of Eves and Adams who may have reached that decision as a result of disappointments in their relationships gone; the past, as far as love and romance is concerned, is one that is heavily overshadowed by memories of cumulonimbus (remember those clouds that are responsible for rain, lightning and thunder?). Wherever they are coming from, they have arrived at the same juncture – they do not need to find the “burning bush moment” where “the one” will be revealed to them and therefore they have no intention of settling down. This is the point at which I thought about the tumbleweed – the maturity, disengagement and flying away in the wind – the free spirited-ness of it all.

There is a school of thought out there that believes that there is someone for everyone. There is also a school of thought that says that men and women were put here on earth to come together, be one, procreate and try to fill the earth. I aver that there is a school of thought out there that believes that marriage is not for everyone; that not everyone has to be paired up as was done at the time of Noah’s ark in order to flourish and survive in this world. The reason behind the pressure to settle down or marry is so that one is accepted as being capable of ‘holding their own’ as far as societal responsibilities are concerned; it is seen as a sign of maturity, never mind the double digits that one has covered in terms of years here on earth.

Often times, society’s perception is that it is those Eves who have made it career-wise that are not keen to settle down; the view is that, now that they have made it in the boardroom, conference room or simply behind the large mahogany desk, they feel self-sufficient and do not need a man to complete them. Somehow, this perception is usually less than positive. As time goes by, Eve will be known as a spinster and much as we try, that word cannot be mentioned or used without even a trace of disparaging inclination. If one is to flip the coin and look at a man who is well-off and has made his name in his trade, he is deemed to be positively unattached. The Adam who decides to live the single life and not settle down will be viewed as the eligible bachelor sought after by women. The world is not fair.

Noah's ark

Yes, companionship is great and no one wants to spend lonely days and nights alone but if certain Eves and Adams decide to live it out by themselves, I say they should be allowed to make this choice without pressure to fit into societal norms. It doesn’t mean that they are cynical about love and romance; it is just that they don’t feel that this recipe would work out for them. For the Eves and Adams who have made this choice, living with it is usually not a problem for them; it is those around them who find it difficult to accept and live with that decision and unfortunately, the Eve or Adam in questions probably has to undergo a lot of second or third degree treatment just because they chose not to go with the norm of society. As a result, some Eves and Adams in this category might find themselves in less than ideal situations where they have to come into some sort of arrangements in order to ward off raised eyebrows and unrelenting questions from society.

Choice is a great thing. We may not always agree with other people’s choices, but it is important to respect them all the same.

Have your say.

By Joyce

“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” – Katherine Hepburn

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “Tumbleweed

  1. Well written, and I agree entirely! I think men are more reluctant to marry because marriage takes away their freedom while they are at their prime. At 35 a man will have made some money, a name, and built a house. Like you said, such a man would be sought out. And it would take either a strong resolve or an exceptional woman for him to throw away this status in favor of marriage.

  2. Fridah and Joyce, thanks for a timely and apt piece as usual.

    I wish to make the following points.
    (1) There is such a thing as a Right Woman for the Right Man. And it is not about soul-mates; the concept of soul-mates does not exist in the bible, it has pagan origins. Having said that, it needs to be known that the doctrine of Right Woman-Right Man is one of the most fail-safe provisions for a long-lasting union between a man and a woman. However, you will be surprised by how many miles people miss the concept and even among professing Christians the doctrine remains an anathema. Self-willed deceit and extraneous details like beauty/wealth/status/hormonal pressures does mess up the choice for the right partner for many (even Christians) thus defeating the purpose of Right woman-Right Man doctrine. It is along treatise so I’ll stop there.

    (2) Celibacy is not in the nature of mankind. You don’t have to go far to debate this. The calumny that has enveloped the Catholic Church, the wayward conducts of some of the nuns and the pederasts in her midst is one sure way to close the subject. Where celibacy is opted for within the Christian context, God has a way of granting one the ability to manage the biological demands of sexual intimacy. Apostle Paul perhaps is the only celibate Christian who pulled it off successfully without a scandal following him.

    When a man or a woman today decides today that marriage is not his or her thing, the lingering question remains on how s/he is going to meet the raging sexual desires which par the course assails every normal, healthy and ‘functioning’ human being. And we all know that any act of sex that finds its expression outside the confines of a valid marriage between one man and a woman is an aberration (and I refuse to get into the morality battle-field this is for now). Suffice it to say that when one decides he is going against the grain nay, nature and decides marriage is not his thing s/he should be prepared for the consequences; they are almost never pretty.

    (3) Disclaimer: I am prepared for the on-coming battle on this last point.

    There is a reason why Apostle Paul says women will find salvation in childbearing (1Timothy 2:15 – this is probably the verse what cemented Paul’s position as an out-and-out misogynist, right?). When a woman decides that she wants to pursue a career to the exclusion of marriage, she is making a choice, an unwise one I might add. That choice sooner comes to haunt her.

    In the recent past, we have been treated to the spectacle of a gung-ho media personality who ‘saw the light’ as far as motherhood and acquisitive careerism is concerned. Adopting a baby long after her ovaries had expired we have now been made unwilling spectators to her very much publicized attempt at ‘second-hand motherhood’. All which harks to the pertinent issue Apostle Paul raised long go in the verse I have just quoted: motherhood is intricately tied to the basic existence of a woman!

    Modernity and advance in technology have become the convenient excuses for justifying the latitudinarian approach towards marriage that the world favours today. Granted, we can’t all transact marriage like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all ‘the bloody carbuncle’ of bible time personage did. But we can’t ignore the overriding edict to marriage which is “A man shall leave his parents home and be joined to his wife and the twain shall become one”. You can’t argue against that even if you scale the corporate ladder to the International Space Station.

    In conclusion, I will say this: follow career all to your heart’s fill, pursue passion to your utmost, live life to the fullest – but don’t do it at the expense of marriage and do not settle for substitutes. Marriage works indeed. But like anything that works, it takes the worker to make it works great – YOU.

    • I wonder why Kidikibudi is not a writer… I am an aspiring writer and that vocabulary intimidates me. Well expressed Kidi and I concur with the sentiments. ‘Celibacy is not in the nature of mankind.’ PERIOD.

      Joyce, well written. I am a curious kind of guy. The kind of guy that always wants to dig deeper and take things beyond the face value. I would really want to know why a woman would feel that the ‘recipe’ wouldn’t work out for them. I believe deep down such a woman wishes she would find companionship. I believe there are times she gets into bed and she cries herself to sleep because she feels something is amiss. She simply wishes she could stay without a man (probably because of previous disappointments), but what she wouldn’t admit is that deep down she knows she needs one.

      To some extent, I believe just like a key is specific to a lock, so should be the companionship between a man and a woman. That’s why we see inseparable 80 something year old partners. I do not mean that there’s only one suitable companion for any man/woman, but not just any two people can hit it off and go beyond the infatuation stage.

      If you know any woman that has decided to live it out by herself, I’d love to meet her for coffee or something. Just to understand her.

      • @Joeytales, Kidikibudi is a writer, we are eagerly waiting for him to let us know the space where we can be his readers.

        Sometimes companionship is confused with marriage and settling down – as the post says, no one wants to be lonely, it’s just that people use different recipes to reach that companionship. Some of us in society feel very strongly about some of the recipes used (hence why Kidikibudi has replied with 665 words ;)) and then the question on morality rears its head.

        I know such a woman, she is a blogger, I hope she visits Project 44 this week and has her say. Let’s wait and see 😉

      • I actually know of such a lady and 02 gentlemen (all in their forties)…here’s the thing I’ve come to realize about people; regardless of what the bible or self help gurus say, everyone has their own different way of seeing, feeling & dealing with things. Just because a certain way is seen as ‘right’ or ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean everyone will find THAT way comfortable to live with. And no, you’ll never fully understand why some people choose solitude over companionship…’cause we experience pain & fear differently.

  3. I have a sneaky suspicion I shall come to regret this, but here goes…

    I’m 30 something, unmarried and in no hurry to walk down the aisle. It’s not that I’m chasing the corner office or the seat in the boardroom, because I’m not. I have a career, no, a vocation that I truly enjoy, but its not all I do, so throw out the career woman stereotype you’ve just painted me with. Its not that I’m scared to get married because of some painful past, I’ve been heartbroken a couple of times, but such is life no? I’m still standing, still trying, so uncheck the bitter woman box as well. Actually, just stop trying to put me in a box. Ha! The way I figure, perhaps one day I shall find someone to spend the rest of my life with, perhaps. Until then, however, I’m not going to be wasting time ‘crying myself to sleep’, I have things to do, places to go, books to read, such like gainful activities. And as for motherhood, that too shall come if and when it comes, in whatever shape or form. Either way, it’s not the end of the world.

    These are my personal choices, for my personal journey, I don’t try to force them on anyone else, just as I don’t allow anyone else to force theirs on me.

    Its like you say Joyce, choice is a great thing, but its not an easy thing, or at least it shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, the way the story is told, a spinster is a selfish, defective, workaholic, soulless (or is it godless?) husk of a woman, unworthy and unwanted, an aberration. She will have the likes of Kidikibudi condemning her, in 665 words no less, to a lonely future, but its still her, my, choice.

    How many words are these? 🙂

    • Alex, a few things:
      (1) I am not the new thought/moral police in these here shores

      (2)You are ‘un-boxable’ unless u want to be.

      (3) You have made choices, lets hope they serve as some yielding resolve that gets your life on an even keel.

      (4) No one should get into marriage because of pressure – time, parental, peer, friends, whatever. Just get into shape ever ready to meet the Right fellow for you. Apathy kills romance always, just put purpose into the ‘pursuit’.

      I condemn nobody. But I will not hesitate to articulate out my convictions, on those I stand to be corrected with valid reasons.

      • Bwana Kidi, I’ve read you enough times to know not to pick a fight with you, especially when you come armed with a bible and all I’m carrying is a used toothpick from lunch. Its hard to come up with valid reasons to contest a view derived from faith without maligning that same faith, that’s how wars are started no? We shall agree to disagree, live and let live and what not, that was the point to this post if I’m not wrong.

        Ms Joyce, in all the dust that’s been kicked up I believe I forgot my manners. Excellent post madam.

        Now if only I could coax you into putting a bit more of yourself into your writing, belly fire remember… 🙂

      • @Alex, thanks! And yes, that was the point of the post, live and let live.

        Now this business of belly fire, I feel challenged but I have to tell you that watching the relationship expert on that day set me on fire. Let’s keep the fingers crossed for another moment like that 😉

    • There’s this friend of mine who believes that conformity is the biggest impediment to self actualization and self fulfillment. Well I believe it’s all about consequences and how our decisions affect us later on in our lives. Some people know what they are doing while most think they know what they are doing. If you belong to the former category, just do your thing without giving two hoots about us.

      I still believe there’s more to it than what meets the eye though. But I will leave that for another day. Hmm.. I could even do it in my blog…

      • @ Alex, next time carry many toothpicks ndo tukipita hapo Kenchick to get kamfuko ka viazi-funga tutatumia hiyo tooth-pick to pick it clean.

        Cheers.

  4. Ok Ok Kidikibudi needs a blog like now !!!

    And i agree,celibacy is not to mankind ……and dare i say that even the Eves who claim that they do not need a man end up with someone or many somebodies to satisfy their desires….whatever those desires maybe? Who are they kidding ?

  5. Friday and Joyce- Nice one… really nice.

    @ Kidikibudi .’ When a woman decides that she wants to pursue a career to the exclusion of marriage, she is making a choice, an unwise one I might add. That choice sooner comes to haunt her.’ You are on the outside looking in, unless she tells you, you do not know for sure that it is haunting her. This is your opinion, which you are entitled to.
    It for sure boils down to a choice, making a well informed choice. And it is not always that we do this, and after a few rounds of being in the desert we get it and do our best to be wise with it. Every decision has a consequence, you might not know this while you are making it, or going through it but there are consequences. Many are the times we will throw pity parties, in denial of the reasons why we are in that place….eventually one has to wake up and smell the coffee. Know thy self for sure, know what it is that you want and what you do not want and then decide.
    I personally believe that not every woman has to be a mother. We might all as women have the equipment necessary to have and carry a child but it does not mean we all have to. This is just me. Same way not every man is meant to be a father… just because you think you are man enough to lay down with a woman does not mean you will be man enough to bear the consequences. Again this is just me.

    • Hi Ihuoma,
      I trust your beauty is as breadth-taking as your Elechi Amadi’s namesake. But I also trust that her femme fatale bejeysuses that hounded Ekweme’s soul are not to be found in you.

      Choices, choices, choices …. aahh! choices. If only we could get them right all the time I guess the world will be a long stretch of heaven.

      See, back in the day, (my college days actually) I fancied myself a dyed-in-the-wool atheist. In that world reason is supreme. One branch of reason I embraced with gusto was the post-modernist outlook/philosophy. If you care to know, post-modernism has pretty much run it’s course in the intellectual arena but it has left has with a dangerous legacy – the idea that life can be lived whichever way we choose. The brains behind the post-modern philosophy lived large and died fast, I am here speaking of Focault. As an openly gay lecturer, he pushed forth the ‘deconstructionism’ narrative with the sole aim of breaking the barriers of traditionalism, religion, patriarchy and pretty much every other what-nots of anachronistic thought system held sway in the pre- postmodern era. Women-lib movement found a space in this rampaging train and the ‘new’ awakening that would inspire women to abandon the traditional role of being wives and being defined largely by their marriages.

      Consequently, the standard narrative on the coming-to-birth stories of women finding space in the hitherto male-dominated arena has become the usual spiel about women not needing marriage and the rise of girl-power.So, what would make you not to opt for marriage is to some extent a post-script to the ‘intellectual’ battle waged earlier on and whose victory you are currently enjoying.

      However, since they say to each his/her own, I would add that one need to know him/herself well before deciding marriage is not his/her thing. I would very much be interested in knowing the thought train which progressively leads one to decide s/he not into the family thing. Believe, the few I am privy of are as petty as they come.

      That’s why I urge us all to look at the marriage institution with a critical eye to the end-game scenario that we are faced with in the quest to redefine marriage as is being today. And may I also remind you that the fall of many civilizations across ages were preceded by failure in the workings of the family unit to which which women play a critical last vanguard role.

  6. Hehehehe…very interesting post and discussion going on here. lemmie start by saying that i am a self declared brooding type – I want the family, kids, the whole shebang. however, i respect those who decide that is not for them. there are those who accept that of others and there are those who want to understand how people come to those decisions – i feel like not matter the amount of explanation and elaboration given, there are some of us who will never accept or understand the reasoning behind such decision. But that’s just it. It’s about my choice, your choice. I live my life and they live theirs. Peace!

    @Kidi, wapi blog jameni?

  7. Marriage is highly overated. Companionship/Ffriendship (Noahs Ark thingy up there hehehe…) brings up memories of something I read about friendship.

    That friendShip is a Ship with room for many in times of good fortune, and room for only one in worse times…

    Even the married amongst us know that we still have to live our lives. You cannot experience your life fully unless you are living for yourself.
    A mate is not the commonly peddled lie….your other half. You are a F@kin whole human being, and so is your mate. The married are just as much on their own as the single. But they lie and put up facades…

  8. Maybe we suffer a disease called Conformity, where many abhor the the unpopular choices of a few. But whatever you choose to be, your priority should be unto yourself, for others will never understand why you are making that choice in the first place.

    Great read and the comments are very interesting.

  9. I am been watching this from a far and I find myself agreeing with Kidikibudi (never mind I had to Google some of the words) and @Joeytales on many of the points that they bring to the fore. I do not know of any Adams who have made the choice not to get into any union ( I will call it marriage).However, I have heard a number of Eves rubbishing long term relationships/unions/ marriages, yet wanting/enjoying the benefits and pleasure that come with these unions
    Kidikibudi puts a spiritual angle to it and talks about marriage the way God sees it and the way God planned it. He also reminds us about the scandals that afflict the Catholic Church, more specific, a number of priests have failed to keep the oath to be celibate. I think what we need to remember is that, if you are looking at it from a biblical point of view; it is hard to validate the choice to be single. This is because the bible exalts marriage. It is an institution ordained by the Almighty. Therefore one needs to be in Christ to appreciate marriage- God’s design.
    However, if you remove the biblical angle from it, they you open the door for all manner of choices to come into play. Unfortunatley, more often than not, it is Eves who encourage and stimulate the talk about not needing a man in their lives. Rarely will you hear Adams encouraging this discourse. This is why I agree that many of these people( I did not say all people) who assert that they do not want to be in kind of union often end up looking for some kind of arrangement to satisfy their sexual desires and other desires. A number of them will also fall in the mistress category, others will hook up a man (it does not matter if he is single or married) to father a child and off they go, denying a child the opportunity to have a father (in the real sense). For me, this is what I find pretentious. It is a charade.
    Like @Joytale says, I would like to be around these people just to get an idea about what informs some of these decisions. I am afraid what I am likely to find is what kidikibudi calls ‘petty’. Stuff like, “I can’t stand a man”,”I want my freedom”, “I can eat ‘ugali’ everyday”, “I can cater for myself so why need a man?”, and all that trivial jazz.
    As for @ Alex,I see that she is not single by choice, as she says that she is “still standing and still trying”meaning that yes, she is hoping that it will happen otherwise she would not be trying. Au sio Alex? And there goes your sneaky suspicion !!!

    How many words are those? Thanks Joyce for the read!

    • Mimi, thank you for confirming my suspicions, I knew this would come back to bite me… Ha!

      You’re right, I’m still trying and therefore hoping, but I am single by choice, in the sense that I’ve rejected options that I deemed (perhaps foolishly in some instances) unsuitable, thereby remaining single this long, and possibly longer still. As a friend pointed out yesterday, maybe I just don’t want to marry and I’m just dithering long enough for it to no longer be a viable option (expiry date iko karibu, no?), who knows?

      By the way, thanks for not lumping me in with the ‘petty’ offenders, I feel much better. 🙂

  10. A friend of mine has shared this with me….very interesting post.

    I am in my 30s, single and most probably not going to get married. It is by choice. I find it interesting that some of the readers above find it in their place to pontificate about decisions that other people make in their lives that have absolutely nothing to do with them. I agree with Alex about not engaging in arguments derived from faith without maligning the same faith.

    What I also find of interest is how the comments have been about women – there’s very little mention about men, and it just goes to prove what the writer asserted. Somehow the sword of judgment is sharpened more towards women as compared to men. And no, I am no feminist.

    I would not want to sit and have coffee with anyone in order for them to understand me and my choice of a single life – of what purpose or use is it to me, I ask? Hold your convictions and I will hold mine. Let’s agree to disagree.

    Kidikibudi (I hope I spelled that right), you seem to be a man of passion, especially when it comes to faith (it’s comforting – for lack of a better word – to know that you once walked the atheist path). I am not one to read a lot of blogs but if you write one, let me give you a piece of unsolicited advice – be sure to let your readers share their opinions without letting your replies seem like you are imposing your opinion on them (from your takes above, it seems that your opinion comes off quite strongly the first time).

    Joyce, you have given space to an interesting discourse. Kudos to you. I hope I shall visit again sometime.
    ps. My God is Great

  11. Thanks for another interesting post from a blog-house that we have to come to admire. I felt that either by accident or design the comments that followed avoided the main thrust of the post. I regret to say that It was very unfair to portray this as a simple “marriage is ordained in the Bible” argument. I have my own doubts too about the “celibacy is unnatural to man” argument. Is monogamy natural to man? The original post was inviting us to explore the concept of flying solo, the hows and the whys and I am grateful for the entries from Butterscotch and the Anonymous spinster for restoring some balance.

    My grandpa was a widower for all the many years that I knew him as his wife had died before I checked in. He lived on his own and that was his life. Was he happy? Was he sad? I am not qualified to say.

  12. This blog should not have a ‘reply’ section; it should have a blog section coz enyewe some replies are almost longer than the post itself! Also include a dictionary and Bible widget for those times kidikibudi feels exceptionally eloquent and religious:) All in all, I’m really enjoying the debate. Going to refill my bowl of popcorn:)

Comments are closed.