Back to my favourite subject, love and romance. I’m almost 42 now and although there is still that part of me that would love to get married and have a baby. It’s a good to have at this point. I can’t dwell on what I could have had or what I don’t have, I just have to live my best life with what I do have. Looking back at where I have been in the last 5 to 10 years, I’m in a good place, of course it could be better, but I have good people in my life and after hitting rock bottom a number of times, I know that the only way is up.
So, I was talking to my sisters and smother the other day and they were talking about marriage, and I said, I don’t think that I want a white wedding. It’s something that I wanted in my 20s and 30s but for me right now it’s just a load of added expense that I would rather use to build a loft extension on my house or take a trip to the Cayman Islands or something.
What I did say however, is that I would do the traditional marriage. To me, that is not an engagement, it is what is says on the tin. In addition, it is also bringing the two families together and I am really big on family.
Smother’s argument was that once that “contract” is signed with a white wedding, it is difficult to leave the marriage and if he does the law entitles you to half of what he has. I don’t blame Smother, it’s not just her view, there are a lot of auntie’s that think the same way, especially the generation above me. While, yes, I have spent my whole life avoiding being someone’s “baby mama”, at the end of the day, even with that contract, if a man is going to leave. He will leave. If he is going to leave you with nothing, he is going to do that too. If he is going to be a cheating whore, he will do that also, that piece of paper just means that you’re entitled to a long drawn out court case if worse comes to worse.
Now I am not completely dead inside. No if the time came, I would go for the traditional wedding. Nowadays they call it an engagement but back in the day it was the traditional ceremony, so I am going to call it just that.
The traditional ceremony is not just about the couple but the two families coming together. The ceremony is usually held at the woman’s parents house (although these days the more lavish ones are done in a hall). The gentleman arrives with his family, while the woman is awaiting to be summoned from another location. He provides the woman’s family with a dowry, money for the bride’s father and presents for the mother (usually cloth and some other bits and pieces). Normally 2 bottles of schnapps are accompanied by other drinks, he also gives a present for the bride, ring and a bible. He also has to pay “Akunta Sika”, which translates to “brother-in-law money” because you can’t take their sister for free like that. Each family appoints an “Abusa kyeame” or family linguist to speak on the family’s behalf. He (normally a he) introduces the two families, the man’s side first as they are the “visitors”. The linguist on behalf of the female asks for their mission and the male’s family in turn state that they seek the bride’s hand in marriage.
After all the pleasantry’s the female is then presented where she is told that this guy has turned up with all these gifts requesting her hand in marriage, should they accept them or not, and she says “yes, please go ahead and take it”. Job done, you’re married.
Now in the case of issues in the marriage later on, you can’t simply sign a piece of paper and walk away. Families will have to get involved, items will have to be returned, it’s a long drawn out process. Unless you’re in the worst relationship in the world, you would really have to think twice before coming out of the marriage. To me, unless abuse is involved, it would be easier to stick it out and work it out.
So, in conclusion, if/when the time came, a wedding to me is like meh, but I am a traditional girl and love what a traditional ceremony represents. So that to me is what counts.
I’m not a complete lost soul.
Nice story. I’m all for tradition.
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