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Monday, 13 September 2010

Not married yet?! It's because you don't spend enough time in the kitchen! (Obviously!)

Last weekend my sister answered what will probably be the second most important question she will ever be asked:  “Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband…?”.  She did!  (In case you were wondering, the most important question she will ever be asked will probably be “Would you like an epidural?” to which she will undoubtedly answer, “Yes! NOW!”). 

Weddings, though wonderful things are hardest on the unmarried women who are forced to attend because of family loyalty or friendship or the ridiculous notion that catching a bunch of flowers means they’ll be next down the aisle.  We get to spend the day answering one question over and over from all the married guests:

“So, when are you getting married?”

Did they want an exact date? Or just an assurance that it would happen in their lifetime?  Skilled as I am in the art of dodging difficult/annoying questions, the sheer volume of people at this wedding made it impossible.  So I’d answer:



“Why? Are you asking?”


“I’m sorry, who are you?”

In Ghana, an unmarried woman in her 30s is a cause of concern or suspicion, while an unmarried man in his 30s is still sowing his wild oats – sometimes going back to Ghana is like time travelling to the 1950s…without all the hats and cigarettes. 

I’ve lost count of the number of times my father has ordered me into the kitchen – “As a woman you should be in the kitchen. Know what is being prepared.  Get more involved!”.  First of all, my father should know by now that starting any sentence with “as a woman” is the best way to get me to ignore anything that comes after.  Having said that, being the dutiful Ghanaian daughter that I am, I did pass through the kitchen on my way out and noted that the cook was doing something with a chicken.

Actually, I have no particular objection to kitchens (in fact I quite enjoy cooking) and I might get more involved if my father’s wife wasn’t quite so territorial.

And while marriage isn’t currently high on my to-do list, I’m sure that if I was ever to meet the “right” person, it might be something I would want to do – in a very quiet understated way.  Unfortunately when I do get married, I have a sneaking suspicion that my father will still not approve, but that’s a subject for another post & possibly a therapist.

In the mean time I will continue to sabotage my brother’s relationships (he manages this perfectly well by himself) so I won’t have to go to any large family weddings for a while.

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