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MARRIAGE AND A PLATE OF SPAGHETTI

I am not yet married. Not because there are no suitable women, even though I have an issue or two with the ones available, it is because of what I think of marriage. Everytime I think of marriage an image comes to my mind. The image that comes to my mind ins't that of a nagging wife, who watches endless episodes of soap operas on TV and compares me to The Rock or Denzel Washington. It isn't also an image of a woman wearing an ill-fitting weave or a hair extensions. No, it is none of the above. That is very fortunate.

The images that marriage brings to my mind are of a plate of steaming spaghetti, a galss of cold water and an avocado resting on the table waiting to be sampled. I tend to think that looking at a plate of steaming spaghetti, a cold glass of water and raw avocadoes calms the nerves of a person who wants to break up things, nag someone, shout or scream his or her heart out. Which reminds me of high school strikes. I once participated in one, when I was in Form Four.

Now, there are so many reasons why a group of high school kids can go on strike. Some of them are reasonable. Most of them are not. Our reason for going on strike was, to say the least, very reasonable. Our food, for some strange reason, was always spiked with a bucketful of kerosene, which caused us to have numerous bouts of heart burns throughout the night.That was one reason we went on strike. The other one was the kind of remedy the school authority tended to give for all kinds of ailments. It didn't matter what one complained of, all you were given was a couple of dusty and out of date Panadol tablets. If you said you suffered from stomach ache, or syphilis they just gave you those white tablets. We had a matron whose claim to being a doctor was her white dustcoat. We called her The Cateress. That was another reason we went on strike.

The last reason we went on strike was a nearby girls high school which had gotten a new water pump. This meant we could not meet them at the stream which runs through the two hills dividing Kambare and Aluor villages. We would go there in the evening to draw water, bathe and also exchange love letters, which I still have in my possession. Now the girls had a new pump, drilled by the Catholic Church. As a Catholic I used to go to church, to walk to the altar twice - first to dip my offerings in the box and secondly, to stick my tongue out as the priest deftly placed the Eucharist on my tongue. This was done so the girls could know we were around. Now you think that would have given us an avenue to meet the girls, since after mass we would walk the three hundred meters before the imposing gates swallowed them. We prefered meeting them at the river. It is little wonder that most of us, those who went to Kambare High School have this special attachment to MOrgan Heritage's DOWN BY THE RIVER.

We left the school deep in the night shouting all kinds of slogans that ranged from AWAY WITH THE PANADOL MATRON to SAY NO TO WATER PUMPS AT ALUOR GIRLS! We also chanted most of Bob Marley's songs like REDEMPTION SONGS. We did this as we went to the school and uprooted the newly installed water pump. The next day the girls were allowed to come to the river so we could meet and exchange love letters. Our headteacher didn't do anything drastic. What he did was order the kitchen to feed us on endless plates of spaghetti, glasses of cold water and green avocadoes. That got the desired results. We never got the urge to be rebelious again. If you are a wife and you have a nagging husband, don't worry. Just put a plate of steaming spaghetti, a glass of cold water and an avocado before him and let him eat it without a fork. It will calm his rebellious nerves.

Now that is the image that comes to my mind everytime I think of marriage. What calmed us was figuring out how to eat the spaghetti without a folk. I am telling you, it is a humbling experience. That is what I think about marriage. It is something two people, constantly work at for it to succeed. Marriage goes beyond the wedding day. Marriage is an eye opener. You think you know someone and everything (simply because you have gone through numerous relationship workshops) there is to know until you reliaze marriage is a flower that needs constant watering. It is mind boggling. Just like eating spaghetti with your fingers. Try it and tell me what you think.

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