Unlike some parts in the world where a couple can get secretly married and then inform their families, the story is totally different on the African side of the globe, particularly Ghana. Parents have a huge role to play in who their wards get married to; their consent or otherwise can make or unmake a potential union. Although some people are able to stand up to their parents and marry their chosen partners against their wishes, it sometimes ends up in strained relationships between parents and their wards.
Some parents and most especially mothers are known for disapproving any potential suitor that enters her home to ask for her daughter in marriage. It’s always one reason or the other; he’s too short; she has a painful history with his surname, her spirit doesn’t respond well to the aura surrounding the man; hey, it could even be the thought that he’s not good looking enough and so would affect the looks of the grandchildren. Mostly sons can fight this and win, but unfortunately, it’s not the same with daughters.
The fear of entering into a marriage without the parents’ blessing can push people from spending life together with people they really love. This is not to imply that the objections of our parents should be defied outrightly; sometimes they do make valid points. But when this happens over and over again and the biological clock of the daughter is ticking away into the point of no return, with the mother providing no alternative solution, what happens?
Well, it turned out to be a total nightmare for one mother.
Agnes was one of the leaders of the women’s fellowship in her church. She was very outspoken and principled. Her daughter Susie began dating when she became of age but she broke up with each one of them because of her mother’s disapproval of her choices. When Susie complained about she not growing any younger, Agnes would dismiss it saying, marriage was no rush and that the right one would come.
This went on for a while and after some time, Susie gave up. No one was ever going to be right enough for her mother. Agnes noticed she wasn’t bringing anyone home anymore. A part of her was happy because she’d continue living with her since she was a widow and her daughter leaving meant she’d be alone.
Soon after, Susie started coming home with a lady whom she introduced as her friend. Agnes noticed her new friend was tomboyish but she paid little attention to it. They were in the kitchen together one day when she noticed her daughter was wearing a ring on her index finger. At first, she wanted to dismiss it as one of those fashion rings that has been trending these days but the alarm in her head wouldn’t stop going off.
She casually asked Susie about the ring to which Susie in turn replied in same manner that she was engaged.
“Engaged? To whom? I haven’t seen you bring any man home lately,” she asked, bewildered.
“Well, it’s because it’s not a man.” Agnes couldn’t believe her ears. What was she insinuating? She told Susie to stop the joke as it wasn’t funny.
“I’m getting married, mum and that is no joke.” “Engaged to who exactly?” “To the only person you’ve been seeing around here.” “Joan?” “Actually, she likes to be called Joey.” Agnes felt her head spinning.
“That’s not possible. It’s not legal here, you know that!” “Regardless, I’m moving out of here and moving in with her.” “Over my dead body. I forbid you.” “I’m hitting 35 without a husband and you don’t seem to find anything wrong with that. I’m tired of everyone in church asking me when my wedding bells would ring. It’s embarrassing.” “Oh so you’re not gay but you’re marrying her out of desperation?” “I don’t know, at first, maybe; but Joey is totally gay. And it’s fun; I’m enjoying it.” Oh, that explains the tomboy features. Why didn’t she pay attention to it? She figured that gay movement revolution was many oceans away. How could she let things escalate to this?
Now she’s scared of what her church folks would say about her if they were to hear about her daughter’s decision. She had counseled a lot of couples who were having wonderful marriages; why did this have to happen to her? Was this her fault? How could she win her daughter back? Was there any hope of her changing her daughter’s mind as she has already moved out?
What advice would you have to give to such a mother? Kindly share your thoughts.
© Josephine Amoako 2016