So someone finds the love of their life and they decide to get married. They spend a few days making numerous calculations and conclude that the wedding budget totals to, say, a million bob. I mean, the bride has to get a custom made gown from a popular designer in Europe that costs half the entire budget. It’s alright. It’s their wedding. Let them do it their way.
They look at their pockets, go over their salaries, ponder over their bank accounts, calculate every cent that people owe them, and see that they can only afford 50k for the budget. They, truthfully, cannot afford that 1 million bob wedding. Then over chilled wine and distinct worry lines, the couple have a heart to heart discussion where they both decide to compromise. Where they both agree to do what is comfortable for both of them. They decide that since they only have 50k, other people, people whom they are not getting married to, will provide the 950k balance. They both think it’s a beautiful idea. It’s reasonable. Fantastic. And they clink glasses and kiss and make tender love.
Two afternoons later, their aunts, those aunts with atrocious weaves and unappealing eyebrows drawn thinly with an eye pencil, who always have little beads of sweat on their fat noses, their mothers, and the mouthy wife of their pastor, come together at the pastor’s house, where, over hot, watery tea and Supa Loaf, they give birth to a chubby little baby called A Wedding Committee. Through this baby, people will give their monetary contributions towards the couple’s wedding.
Then one day, you bump into the couple in a coffee shop. They are holding hands and giggling together like smitten adolescents. They announce that they are getting married soon. you tell them that you know, that you have been seeing the numerous posts about their oncoming wedding on Facebook. Then one of them digs into their bag or pocket and retrieves a small card which they hand over to you. It is a card with 3 columns. One column has names, the next column has the amounts of money contributed by each name and the last column has signatures of the contributors. You observe the generosity of the contributors and even congratulate the couple for, so far, collecting that total amount, which you have already estimated in your mind.
Then they bluntly tell you to make your contribution. You don’t have money. You are broke. You only have 2k, which you have already budgeted for. Luckily, you have an extra 200 bob. So while you reach for your wallet to fish out the 200 bob, you ask them if they have a pen, you know, so that you can also follow suit and engrave your generosity on that piece of paper. But alas, as soon as they see that it is a 200 bob note that you are giving, they click their tongue! They tell you that 200 is too little and that they cannot take it. They say that they are only taking contributions not less than 1k. They explain that theirs is not a cheap wedding.
They are talking loudly and other people are starting to turn their heads to stare at you. You don’t like public embarrassments, so to avoid further embarrassment, you grudgingly take out your wallet again and give 1k instead. And then they get kinda pissed off ati because kumbe you had money afterall. You fake a smile and wish them all the best. You promise to attend the wedding.
Me, Wanja, if I contribute that my hard-earned 1k to your wedding, then that wedding will be OURS, you bitchy, unappreciative, lazy, attitude-laden, self-aggrandising, asshat who demands to have a grand wedding at the expense of my exhausted pockets, and you don’t care.
If I contribute that my hard-earned 1k to your wedding, I will be there at the isle, and one of you will have to decide whose ring I will wear and who will slip it on my finger while reciting the vows that I will personally write. I want little puff balls and rice to be thrown at me while I walk out with each of you on either of my sides. I want to be in all the photos. Sitaki kujua. I will take photos with your parents. I will take photos with your relatives. I want to be the one being carried by the bridesmaids or the groomsmen while taking a photo. I want to sit at the centre of a green garden and have my photos taken. You will decide who, between the two of you, will be hugging me from behind and kissing my cheek while smiling at the cameraman, whose services I took part in paying for.
If I contribute that my hard-earned 1k to your wedding, I want the top layer during the reception. I want the most meat, the softest chapatis and the middle-layer pilau, because it is usually the best cooked and hot. I will also want some more food to carry home. And I want to sit at the dais, in the middle of you two. I want an entire cake. I don’t want a tiny queen cake that was badly baked in a hurry. I don’t want the leftover crumbs that I would actually be lucky to get. I want an entire cake, given to me by the bride and groom and their respective families, while posing for a myriad of photos. I want the groom to cut the cake and feed me. And he dare not playfully move the fork holding the piece of cake when my mouth is wide open and ready to recieve that delicious work of pastry that I took part in paying for. He dare not. Because I will punch him in the face and break his nose. I will expect the bride to pour some wine in a glass and hold it for me to sip. That sparkling wine that I took part in buying.
If I contribute that my hard-earned 1k to your wedding, you will take me along on that honeymoon to Dubai. I want to board that plane, whose ticket I took part in paying for. You will have to find an extra ticket for one of you. Or one of you can stay home. You will decide, between yourselves, who will go and who will stay to unwrap the gifts. I will head to the UAE with you and have fun in the desert, and ride camels, and drink champagne on a yatch at dusk, and sleep in a 7 star hotel. You will include me in every photo you take for posting on Instagram and Facebook, and you will tag me and say that you are so lucky to have me.
If I contribute that my hard-earned 1k to your wedding, I will move in with you. I will take the master bedroom, and because I am nice, I will let you choose which of the other 2 bedrooms you will sleep in. I will be part of your marriage. I will make decisions on the monthly budgets, mortgage, loans, and number of children. And their names. I will decide whether we will have DSTv or Zuku. I will demand copies of your payslips and I will file them. I will call you every 5 minutes asking where you are and who you are with. I will decide whether you will get money for the salon or whether you will go out with your boys this Friday. I will have sex with you. And when I am upset, there will be no sex until you appease me with burnt sacrifices.
Asking people to contribute to your wedding budget is one thing (and the first person who came up with this idea needs to be tortured then murdered). Rudely and disdainfully telling someone that the amount they are contributing is too little for you to take is horse shit. Take and appreciate what that someone can afford, or go screw yourself.
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