DNAgging

A colleague of mine and I recently had a chat about relationships; he’s single, sort of searching, definitely out there in ‘the maze’. One of the things we talked about was nagging; he wanted me to explain what is it about Eves and their ability to nag – in his book, this is one of the greatest relationship killers and something that drives Adams up the wall. He wondered why it is that women can nag so much and in fact, he wanted to know if nagging is in women’s DNA. So I consulted a scientist friend of mine and he told me that nagging is intrinsically in women’s DNA and he sent me molecular charts to prove the same! Just kidding 😉

So my colleague and I delved into ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of nagging without coming up with any ground-breaking answers or explanations, but it was a rather animated discussion. When I think about it, it would just have been easier to say that nagging is in women’s DNA and then we would all just accept and move on….(and that would have been the end of this post) heheheheh

It got me thinking back to when we were growing up as kids and how our parents, OK! our beloved mothers, had to tell us repeatedly to finish our household chores or arrange our rooms or fetch something whilst our eyes were glued to the TV watching cartoons. Didn’t it just drive you a little bit mad? I come from a generation where rolling my eyes at something my parent said would have probably landed me singing sensations all over my body that would last for a few days (so clearly I am not the xoxo/xaxa generation) but I probably just mentally rolled my eyes at being repeatedly told to do something. What I also acknowledge is how it must have driven my mum mad (bless her) to have to tell me to do something several times without me acting. I am sure it drove her up the wall – to her, it was the epitome of disobedience!

mamamarmalade.comWhen you think about a relationship between Eve and Adam, you don’t really think of disobedience (I know some will beg to differ since they or their spouses took vows ‘to obey’), but there is certainly an issue with communication and perception. To be precise, it is a big issue. Nagging has been defined as the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes a request, the other person repeatedly ignores it and both become increasingly annoyed; it has been termed as the marriage killer. So after doing quite a bit of reading, here are some explanations that have been advanced about nagging:

  • That women are conditioned to feel more responsible about managing family life, relationships and homes and therefore are more likely to pick up on problems and try to get them fixed;
  • That men sometimes are responsible for the nagging because they do not give clear answers or do not take action (in a timely manner) on things that Eve expects them to do – men may have their reasons for this but oftentimes, Eves do not see or understand these reasons;
  • That nagging is a habit that brings resentment in a relationship and feelings of being belittled or not being trusted – that in fact, what it points to from one point of view is that Eve doesn’t really trust that Adam will get down to fixing the leaking pipe and that unless she persists about it, it will never get done;
  • That when one party in a relationship or union, let’s say Eve, asks the other to do something and it doesn’t get done, the Eve is likely to feel that Adam is ignoring her and this can bring about feelings of not being valued by Adam;www.someecards.com
  • That whilst Eve may think that becoming more verbally demanding of Adam to do something will compel him to actually do it, it generally works in the opposite direction and only infuriates Adam and makes him less likely to ‘cooperate’;
  • That sometimes it is about the personalities – take for example a relationship where one party is an organized, anxious or obsessive individual by nature and the other party is a laid back person who believes that in good time, they will get round to doing what they are supposed to do and all will be alright in the end (they say opposites attract, no?). In such a situation, the more organized individual is likely to keep reminding the other repeatedly of things that need to get done and the cycle of nagging will just come naturally as a result of their personalities.

What there is certainly consensus on is that nagging can do real harm to a relationship and therefore, the less nagging there is in a relationship or union, the more likely it is likely to thrive and survive. The big question is – how do you get nagging to end or down to a minimum? Now, if I knew the key to how to stop nagging, I would be immensely rich and writing this blog from a yacht ;-). Clearly, there is no easy answer and it seems to all boil down to the following:

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Do not talk at each other and as much as possible, avoid negative communication like telling your significant that they are lazy or that if the world depended on them, we would all be extinct;
  • As much as possible, try to look at things from your partner’s perspective – as I said before, nagging has quite a lot to do with perception and putting yourself in your partner’s shoes could make you see things differently without a word being spoken;
  • If you commit to do something or know that certain things are expected of you, then follow through and just do them. It will make both of you in the relationship breathe much easier.
  • That said, I think there are always issues about expectations in relationships; sometimes people expect too much of each other but in other cases, even what one might consider basic expectations are not met. Therefore, it is important to manage one’s expectations without losing the fundamental notion that you are a couple.
  • Sometimes, it helps to explain why you need something to be done so that the urgency (or the lack of it :-)) is understood by both of you and that way you are reading from the same page;

Or you could just get creative like this wife did:

Adam bit into the sandwich his wife had packed him for lunch and noticed something odd—a Post-it note tucked between his sandwich fillings. He pulled it out of his mouth, smoothed the crinkles and read what his wife had written: “Be in aisle 10 of Home Depot tonight at 6 p.m.”

Adam was renovating the couple’s kitchen, and his wife had been urging him to pick out the floor tiles. He felt he had plenty of time to do this task. She felt unheard and resorted to what an ingenious and hysterical way to get his attention.

But I can’t guarantee you that you will get the desired results ;-).

Have your say and have a nag-free week, won’t you?

By Joyce

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Fighter!

My name is Django,”the ‘D’ is silent”. I am sure most of you have watched this movie. I did not watch it until last week, and I now know why people have been making fun when they say “he is now the president”, and then add, the ‘P’ is silent. I always laughed at that one and  now I am sure all  Kenyans reading  this are exclaiming “kuwa nyuma nayo”- something else which makes me chuckle every time I hear it – but I actually do not say it because it sounds lame. Hehehe

Anyway, I watched “Django Unchained” – great movie, well  acted and loaded with a lot of emotions; not only emotions about the  slavery – the discrimination and exploitation of  blacks – but also  emotions of  love and vivid images of endurance and commitment. I like Waltz (the dude who unchained Django), who won an award for his role, but I liked Django even more; what a fighter! ( yes Joyce, I like fighters). There was such firmness  and steadfastness in him; driven by his belief in love and marriage and I guess obviously, the  need to prove that a ‘nigger’ ain’t daft!; he walked across the United States  in  a bid to free his wife from a plantation owner. She is undoubtedly the beauty in the movie, but I do not think this is why he fought (although looks count, I guess, nay, I know so leave that “mwanamke ni tabia” cliché alone! hehehehe) but because he loved her.

As the movie wore on, I could not help but think about all stories I have heard about love and relationships, commitment or lack thereof and the inability of the parties to “fight”- mine included. Recently I saw a funny quote which said “we are so not breaking up”- and I was like ‘OK!, I think we are in the era where you do not just come and tell me we are breaking up!’ Back to Django, I wondered how a man  can endure so much, put  all that energy and thought to something that looks so insurmountable, and then compared it to most relationships where it seems as though we just give up – even when it is possible to “fight for it”. I thought about some dude I dated a while back. I wondered why he could not be like Django (I know it is a movie, so do not lecture me about it :)). By wondering why he could not be like Django, I am not saying that he should  saddle  a horse through a vast land (although that would would win him some small points) to look for me and declare undying love. OK, may be was not that into me, but hey!, a girl is allowed to wonder, no?

So this ex, I was committed to him, but I accept that yes, it was Skype, Yahoo! and G-talk kind of commitment – but heck I was! I mean, you do not endure chats over time zones if you ain’t got an ounce of commitment in you…or do you? I gave my all; I believe I did, because I believed in what I thought we shared. I also agree that communication was sometimes not easy and sometimes, it felt like “there had to be a different way”. We soldiered on but the inevitable happened: we broke up -mainly not because of distance but we were not seeing eye to eye about some issues. I think I have said it before, it helps –a lot – when two people who are in  a relationship share the same vision and goals of being in that relationship, because if you want different things, that means you are starting off on a different  footing, with varied expectations and that is already a red flag. Of course it depends on what the issues are – do not get me wrong but even Siamese twins are driven by different likes, wants and yearnings. fight3

So some days after the break up, the dude came back with those tired lines of ‘I miss you’, ‘I am in love with you‘, bla bla. ……..For some reason, I was numb; maybe it was just my stubborn self, maybe I was just exhausted from all the Skype calls and trying to make it work. I think a part of me also lost faith in us, I knew that if I accepted the advances, it would be the same drill again – enduring Skype chats which I could manage but to what end? I was kind of convinced that we were not meant to be. But also a part of me wanted him to show me that I was important, that he treasured me, but all I got were words but no actions to back those words up. So the more he talked, the more I wanted to run away, far away. In my view, he was too laid back and I was not sure what to think of all that.

So as I watched this movie, I could not help but wonder if I should have “fought”, but I also wondered why most men are not like Django – fighters. Why don’t they go out of their way even if it does not  seem ‘Adam like’. Now, you may be wondering  what wanting and fighting for someone would look like: Django has a strategy, a horse, there were some light weapons and I think something like a AK47 involved ( I would not have minded if my ex had wielded those as well ( kidding!), but you have to define what fighting to you is and if it is worth it ( all things considered).

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Talking of fighters,who watched the match between Andy Murray and Djokovic last night? That was superb tennis and Murray ended  Britain’s 77 year drought! You have to give it to andy-murray-wins-wimbledon-2013-1373217224-large-article-0a man who wins a title  in three consecutive straight sets – he sent Britain into “collective delirium”, said the BBC. That was sublime tennis, tantalizing! What a FIGHTER!

Have good week!

By Fridah

The C Word

“We have to recognise that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is love, patience, persistence.”- Cornel West

Most of us understand that relationships grow through different stages and with time, the dynamics within a given relationship may also evolve. The stages are defined by the flow of feelings, challenges and opportunities that come with the relationship over time. In an ideal situation, a relationship should grow from one of mutual attraction and excitement, to one of mutual love, respect, trust and intimacy. However, many Eves and Adams (mostly Eves) get lost somewhere along these evolving stages of the relationship. Sometimes I think it mostly boils down to what Eve and Adam think commitment means and what they expect of each other when it comes to commitment.

What does it mean when people say or think they are in a committed relationship after all? I was reading an article once about whether “exclusively dating” means the same as committing to someone. I found an analogy that the writer used quite interesting; he said that “if I’m in an exclusive relationship, I can lie on the couch while she does stuff with her familyIf I’m committed, I’m doing that stuff with her family.”  According to him, a committed relationship is where Eve and Adam have been going out for a significant amount of time (may be 6 months or more), they have met each other’s family members and best friends, they have unspoken expectations which they fulfil for each other and they’re living together in some one form or another, even if they have not necessarily moved in together. Well, if only it would so easy as to tick those four boxes…………..and I wondered whether the Eve he would be dating would have the same idea of what commitment is.

Commitment is about making a relationship healthy and strong. It is about acknowledging that you like the relationship that you have and that you have the willingness to do what it takes to make it work. It means being able to recognize that relationships are not always a smooth ride: as individuals, we have different personalities, needs, emotional maturity, lifestyles, thinking processes and expectations. Commitment is about knowing that when we come together with all these different things, we will have to make compromises and adjustments in order to make the relationship work.

Commitment is about being able to communicate what we want in a relationship. Many challenges relating to commitment often arise when Eve and Adam have been seeing each other for some time without having communicated about what they expect from the relationship; sometimes because we are so busy enjoying ourselves especially during the nimbus or romance stage, we are often too willing to let things just flow and sometimes, this can lead to dilemmas later on when Eve and Adam find out that they are not necessarily headed in the same direction.

Commitment

Commitment is about action. When we start off on relationships, many of us usually have our heads up in the clouds, building castles and having day dreams about what the relationship is actually like and what it will be like in the future. Whether or not we are in a committed relationship forces us to realize that we cannot entirely rely on the endorphins pumping through our bodies but that we need look at what actions are actually being taken in the relationship – either to make it work or to take it to that next level. When those instances of differences and disappointment arise, commitment is about how you learn how to communicate and resolve conflict with the other person effectively, which is an important skill if you want your relationship to survive and thrive and for which a couple has to make time for.

Commitment is about mutuality – mutual love, respect, trust and happiness. It also means mutuality of understanding – to many Eves and Adams, commitment in relationship is usually considered to be synonymous with fidelity, marriage/settling down and monogamy but for some Eves and Adams, that may not necessarily be the case so it is important to understand that what Eve and Adam want from each other and more importantly, that this has been communicated.

Commitment is not about fear of the unknown. It is about knowing yourself, getting to know the person that you are with, accepting them with all their virtues and shortcomings and coming to the decision that you and your significant other want to take into the long haul.

Commitment is about recognizing that we must be committed to the process of making a relationship thrive, survive and stabilize – often times we are more committed to the idea of the outcome of what a committed relationship can bring into our lives and not enough about the process of how all that comes to be.

What does the C word mean to you?

Have a good week.

By Joyce

Be Thankful

Lately, I have been reflecting a lot about being thankful. Thankfulness means ‘awareness or appreciative of a benefit’, it also means being grateful. I thought about the number of times I have found myself or that we all sometimes find ourselves in surrounded by pessimism or ‘mountains of life’ such that we forget to be thankful, grateful or appreciative of where we are, who we are or even where we are not. I mean, think about it: life with all its high and low moments – and it has the capacity to dish these out in haphazard fashion – is beautiful. There are so many things around us that remind us that there are many things that we ought to be grateful about. I think about trials, and tribulations and temptations (yes, these are many! :)),but when I think about all the positives: my friends, my family, my circumstances, I realize (even more now) that the negatives pale in ‘weight/ strength’ and I should make conscious effort to be thankful.

So right now, I will tell you that I am thankful, for I have just come out of a bad, bad winter in my location; I am so thankful that it is over and I survived! Actually, when I was coming here, I was mentally prepared (maybe over prepared) for the weather because everyone talked about it; I ended up buying so many winter clothes, way more than I needed. I got here and winter was harsh; in fact, this was my first time to see the ground, trees, cars in the parking lot, all covered with snow and the inside of a building so cold that your fingers freeze! And I am thankful that I did not fall sick, I took everything in stride and now, winter is gone, the flowers have blossomed, and the roses especially look great!

I think about relationships – of course!- how we are all excited when we get into one, and then when weather elements are unleashed on us, we tend to forget that this is life, it will shore on us in dramatic fashions and other times; it will pleasantly surprise us, and with all these moments of joy, punctuated by moments of gloom, we will live it. This now reminds me of how lastGratitude-always-something-to-be-grateful-for-300x212 week, Joyce moved us with Saccharine, so good, full of emotion, human feeling and hope, even @Mahegoat obliged! hahahha. This is the point where I exclaim, “Life is beautiful!” By the way, this is the same Joyce who wrote about ‘the Ode’, after going through a completely opposite experience – this same life showed her that there is a lot to be thankful about. I think at this point, she needs to tell us what she is thankful for! But I guess this ‘saccharine phase’ has proved that she can be SWEPT off her feet – both feet :), so we might need her to get back to earth, before we get an answer!

So today, I will try and reflect on some not so high moments in relationships, which normally happen (not to all of us of course!) and we should actually be thankful about. OK, now you are frowning wondering why you should be thankful that an Adam (who you should by now know is a loser) left you without an explanation, and never contacted you again, because now you know for sure, it was not meant to be; if he left you then, he would have left you in future anyway. The best predictor of future behavior is relevant past behavior. I did not say it, it is Dr. Phil who said that, and I believe him. Be thankful for that Eve who refused to pick up your call, because at least if nothing else, you did not invest your emotions and even finances (maybe you would have taken her to Shompole’s hehehe). Yes, you were hurt, but you moved on, and hopefully, now you are more focused, you have a pretty good idea about how a good Eve should treat you – hopefully you learnt something from that.

Be thankful for that shocking discovery that you made about your significant other, because it made you realize that you have different values and priorities. OK,now you are wondering what I am talking about. Well, it can be something as small as a conversation he/she had with a confidant and you somehow “stumbled” on some incriminating EVIDENCE that they were not what they claimed to be, you hurt like hell, but I imagine that that discovery helped you to make a decision based on facts and not on intuition, right?

Be thankful for that incident that happened when you were together, when you needed someone to be there for you, but you supposed significant other was not, and although it may have shocked you or maybe hurt you so deeply, you at least were able to decide that, maybe after all, the person does not represent “your rock” (isn’t that what your other half is supposed to be?). I know you think this one is far-fetched  but haven’t you heard of Eves who desert Adam as soon as he loses his job and hence can’t finance those getaways anymore?

Be thankful for that miscarriage, OK, for that master plan which aborted; you made a plan, you clearly seemed to articulate what you both wanted or needed from the relationship, he or she checked out of your life and although at first it was hard to fathom, it made you to appreciate the fact that you need consistent people around you. Be thankful for the mistakes. There are certain things in life where you know it is a mistake only after you have made it. I think we can be thankful, if we make that mistake, accept that it was a mistake, learn from it and in future, recognize it and not repeat it by learning from experience. So we can be thankful for those as well!

Finally, I conclude by quoting someone unknown: “life is like a camera, just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things do not work out, take another shot.”

What are you thankful about?

Have a good week!

By Fridah.

Saccharine

I had always dreamt of having an encounter like this. In almost every woman’s head (men I am told have two heads so I can only speak to one-headedness ;)), there is a dream, reverie or fantasy of an encounter that she would like to have – with a man. Of course in that reverie, there is always the idea of how the man she will have the encounter with will be like: how he looks, how he carries himself, how he speaks and especially how he speaks to her, how he treats her, when they are alone and in the company of others, what he knows, what his interests are,  his sense of humor, what attributes of his character will draw her to him and so on…..you get the drift – basically Eve has this down to the molecular formula because the levels of chemistry that are expected to rise and be sustained are no algebraic child’s play.

So when I met him, nothing could have prepared me for the encounter. For when I met him, this reverie of mine had been stacked away in the zones in my mind that would probably fall under the final laps of the alphabet which would have taken a very patient librarian to retrieve. Luckily, I didn’t need the librarian because my encounter with him slowly registered with the mental retrieval that was taking place in my head. It was like I knew him from somewhere but it was only because I had met this present as a feature of my future in my mental past.

In my mind, I dreamt that I would be deeply attracted by his intellect; I would be intrigued by our shared intellectual interests and by the diversity of those interests so that we could learn from each other and also agree to disagree when that needed to be the case. And when I encountered him I was not disappointed – I was particularly enchanted by the fact that we both had an appreciation for the poetic word that we could find expressed in various media; here was the man I could go with to a slam poetry night, a play, a concert or have conversations about books that led to exchange of thoughts on different subjects, to comparisons of opinions and symbiotic enlightenment. This was a Matrix connection for me.

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I loved the way he carried himself, with quiet dignity and confidence that gave off not even an iota of arrogance. In fact, his presence was almost unassuming – he didn’t speak to prove himself in the presence of others but was like a jewel revealed when we were in each other’s company. I loved the way he spoke to me, the way he looked at me when he spoke to me. The way to a woman’s heart is much about the way a man treats her – and oh boy! did I not wholeheartedly embrace the way he treated me – with care, respect and dignity. He left very little window to doubt how immensely he cared for me – in fact, I think this man had mastered the art of caring so much that he knew not to allow seeds of doubt to even sow the idea of germinating.

That he fitted the bill of my reverie leaves me to feel a lot of things – to feel a contentedness that is just whole; to feel the beautiful queasiness that comes with butterflies filling your stomach, the lightheadedness that comes with emotions welling from deep within you and you wonder if your blood has suddenly thinned or whether all your red and white blood cells are busy jumping hoops. Most of all, I love the feeling that he’s brought along and sustained – that there is such a thing as meeting someone with whom you have a mental and physical connection that blows your mind. That what can be seemingly appear to be elusive or a falsehood is actually possible – falling in love.

And I don’t want to let this feeling go.

By Joyce

Random Musings, Second Edition.

For sure these are random musings again, so Mahegoat, sit down! I am borrowing from Biko – a celebrated writer and the king of blogging – when he knows he is up to a post which might not make a section of high school (a name he uses to fondly refer to his blog) happy, he tells them to “sit down”. You know a couple of times, I have experienced the wrath of Mahegoat; he has near rioted, telling me that the post does not meet the threshold. One time he said that he reads Project 44 because it makes him miss being in relationship sometimes. And we all now know that even if he tries to appear all ‘macho’, he has not ruled out the possibility of being a relationship. Then there is Wangari, our other avid reader, who when I blogged about my beloved animals, asked “What is it with Fridah and goats?” So, Wangari, sit down as well! This is about a cow, a goat and a kid.

Last month I was in the village and I am happy to announce (like anyone cares) that the animals have reproduced! A kid has been born, ‘cuddle lover’ – my beautiful goat which I blogged about a while ago – is a mother. The kid is black, and was named Kamwana’- long before I arrived in the village. Then there is the ‘grade’ cow which has a very healthy and nice looking calf who has been named ‘Zawadi’ and although there are other cows in the shed, this one is particularly loved because it produces and is generally a cow of good temperament. The brown goat (has remained nameless) which loved to eat and we all thought it was pregnant turned out not to be carrying anything! – I felt deceived after feeding all the supplem???????????????????????????????ents meant to build the kid’s (which I thought she was carrying) bones.

The ‘Kienyeji’ (free range) chickens too have increased! I am amazed, they surprised me for they have withstood the squirrels, illnesses and disease and keep reproducing. Joyce came to the village and I fed her, not one, but two of those chickens :). By the time I was leaving, one had hatched 8 chicks. I can only hope that they will all survive. Anyway, so I went home, very excited at the new developments, excitedly lifted Kamwana and lo! , the poor kid was full of fleas! I was devastated; the following day, I went to the vet store and bought some powder, which I was advised to dust the shed and animals with. I did exactly that and soon enough, the kid was happier, definitely more relieved from the itching; as evidenced by how she leaped all over the compound. Kamwana is strange; unlike its mum who loved cuddles when she was young, Kamwana does not care for cuddles; although the mum is also now all grown up, and all she wants these days is illicit feed – flour (I am told goats should not eat flour) – and to let her kid suckle.

Of course taking care of these animals is fun but demanding – they need animal feed and supplements to keep them healthy and productive etc. I miss them when I am away, and when I am near them, realize how demanding they are; they sometimes disappoint me by eating my flowers, and refusing to get pregnant like the brown goat hehhehe. They also fail to meet expectations like the ‘grade cow’ which looked very happy and healthy while pregnant and I thought the production would be super high, but she did not meet those expectations – although the level is acceptable.

So my love for my animals has taught me many things, hence my musings. They taught me that whilst you might put in quite a lot, it doesn’t mean you will always get your efforts’ worth. They have taught me that sometimes, I need to temper my expectations – more realistically to say “you will get a raw deal sometimes”. They have also taught me that, it is not always about me, I have them around me, I must take care of Calfthem and factor them in my plans. For example, sometimes, I tether the goats (yes, Wangari, the goats) in the compound, and it starts to rain and we are all far from home, and I think about them and how they will be drenched by the time we get home. But with all these highs and lows, they have taught me that you never give up, you keep trying, and you hope and have faith that somehow, it is worth it and continue to be devoted. They have also taught me that you cannot invest for ever – case in point is that at some point we decided to dispose of one cow, because after all the efforts, it was not going to meet the expectations and in the long run, it was a liability and the decision to dispose it, even though we all loved it, was unanimous.

Don’t our relationships mirror the farmer–animal relationship at times? Whether with our families, friends or to matters closer to this blog – relationships between Adam and Eve. I mean, we get into relationships with expectations, and we hope that our significant other will meet those expectations, or at least make effort to. Like the farmer, with the feed and minerals, the dusting powder, the jabs from the vet, we give and nurture and ensure that our end of the bargain is met. Even when production fails, the farmer keeps hope alive, just the way we do when our relationships seem to falter – we keep hope alive and hope that we will weather the storms. We do not let them go or give up at the first instant of a fight or misunderstanding; we do not judge them or should not judge them too quickly because they have failed to meet our expectations or seem to not have a grasp of their end of the bargain. And no, we do not brandish in their (our significant others) faces how they have faltered or how they are scoring zero on our wall. Stop raising eyes brows now, I know this actually take a conscious effort. In equal measure, don’t our significant others take us by surprise sometimes, surpassing our expectations and just amazing us?

I have also been reminded of something equally import, just liStop worryingke the farmer, that there is need to gauge between input and output. I know this is controversial when it comes to relationships, but actually it shouldn’t be – because this is the nature of man (and woman) – to expect – so truth be told, one can only put so much effort, but if the other party is not reciprocating, and the only constant is that expectations are not met (it is up to the person to decide what is realistic in their relationship and what isn’t), then surely, it does not make sense to keep going especially if all avenues have been exhausted and all pointers are that you will always be left feeling that you have the short end of the stick.

Therefore, there should be some kind of bench mark; the minimum that should be met  and this varies from person to person. If this is not happening, then one is left with one option: to ‘dispose’ and chart a new path. Although I am not sure what he was referring to, I agree with Stephen R. Donaldson who said that “It is wrong to ask for more than you give freely. In this way, we come to resemble what we hate.”

 By Fridah

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On matters blogging, some of you have read Biko’s amazing blog. Finally, (I do not know why it took so long), he has been nominated in this year’s Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) awards in the best creative writing blog category. So, if you like his creativity, go there and vote for him and let’s celebrate the writer!

 Have a good week ahead.

Project 44

How Well Do You Know Him/Her?

I attended a bridal shower of a friend, a respectable one ;). No male strippers or anything like that, just a bunch of young women having fun and sending off their dear one to the matrimonial land. As it happens in many of these parties, we played the game where the bride had to answer questions about the groom, to test how well she really knows him. Of course, for every question she got right, we cheered her on and for every question she got wrong, she had to take a shot of something quite strong that would eventually go to her head and make her knees all wobbly and her speech slurred. Now, the trick in this case was that the groom had actually provided quite a number of ‘wrong’ answers so that the bride got so many of them wrong even though she was right. She was cross but took it all in good humor – it was a lot of fun and that was the point of it all.

Well, outside of this fun part, if one is asked questions about their partner, especially a few days before getting married and one gets them wrong, then this can rattle some nerves and raise some eyebrows. It is said that how well you know your partner is a testament to how good your relationship. If you have a good relationship then it means that each partner feels free in the company of the other and they will share things about themselves and also be themselves in the presence of each other because they feel accepted – virtues, insecurities and all.

It is not uncommon to hear of relationships where partners do not seem to know each other or instances where you may hear something about your partner from someone else whereas you feel you should be in a position to have had knowledge of this. Of course, this depends a lot on the stage of the relationship or union that you are in. If you have only just began dating, then you will excuse yourself (and you will be excused) if you do not know about some habits or characteristics of your partner – after all, you are only getting to know each other. However, if you have been married for some years, then it is expected that you will know a lot including the snoring pattern of your spouse (yes, how many heaves and grunts). I have heard stories about people who wake up sometimes and look at partner and wonder, not why they are married to him/her but who this person next to them really is: bad breath, overnight drool at the side of the mouth and farting under the blankets. I guess these are a lot of things that couples have to put up with……

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It does happen that sometimes people date for a period of time and it is only when they are making nuptial plans or when they move in together that they seem to discover a whole other side to their partner. Often times, this whole other side comes as a surprise because tendencies or habits or beliefs that you did not know about your partner are inevitably displayed. Few are pleasant surprises; many are usually off-putting and can lead to questions or doubts about compatibility and long term plans with the said partner. A friend of mine married a fine girl and when I went to visit their home the first time, I asked him how he was taking married life. He told me that married life requires a lot of patience because even the littlest of things that you discover about your partner when you start living together can drive you up the wall. Believe it or not, he was put off by the fact that she did not press the toothpaste tube from the base and would press it from the top and she was always left her toothbrush lying on the top of the sink instead of placing it in the holder. I looked at him amusedly and he knew I was giving him that ‘really?’ look and then told me that sometimes these small things can make a big difference. I concluded that he was the pedantic sort and she wasn’t – they say opposites attract, right? heheheh

I think that sometimes when we are in relationships, people tend to assume things about their partner. This is especially when you are getting along so well; there is a tendency for people to assume at times that their partner likes the same things or has the same habits as them and forget to give enough time to really getting to know each other. It is true that in some instances, you may never know your partner 100% but if you are married to and/or living with them, then a score of 90% should be the least one would expect should they be woken up at midnight with a pop-quiz ;).This includes knowing even silly things about them, because at the end of the day, these supposedly ‘small things’ can tear you apart; things like squeezing the toothpaste tube or not having a clear plan about where to place various items and of course the really irritating stuff such as brushing his teeth early in the morning whilst making sounds which make you wonder if he is at war with his throat.

At the least, Eve should know Adam’s shoe size ;).

How well do you know him/her?

By Joyce