On this occasion I didn’t buy food for two. The only occasion I didn’t buy for two in the last one year. I bought for myself alone and destroyed all the evidence from the house so my wife won’t know I had eaten. I’m currently covering my face. ?? And besides, she’s hearing this story for the first time, just like you. I’m prepared for my punishment. ??
Anytime I remember this event since then though, I do laugh at myself regarding the drama of cleaning the table and destroying all the evidence. Thou Man of God, how could you do that? When you’re not a Nollywood actor.
The focus of all we’ve been sharing from the beginning of the episodes has been conflicts. It has been about helping those coming behind us to identify usual points of tension in matrimony and how to handle it without scars.
It then means these writings are not about eulogies or I would have told you about the twenty-five out of thirty days that food didn’t fail. I would have told you about how she rises as early as 4:30am to cook for the house before leaving for work; everyday without interruption for months. But that’s not the focus of our study.
The focus is on those five days out of thirty days a month when there was no food. Or when things didn’t go fine. This focus runs through all the episodes we’ve shared so far. Those few days of failure are enough landmines for our marriages; and we’ll do well to master the mines in order to scale them unhurt.
It then happened that this period under review, the breakdown followed in quick succession. I wouldn’t know what the issue was. Maybe she just lost interest at the time. But I wish she told me. I would surely have found a way around it.
On my part, I would have returned home with much expectation for good food only to meet an empty kitchen. It then happened that I was having to go out for some consecutive nights to buy food for two without prior notice.
On this particular night therefore, as I returned home and found her sleeping and no food (it was still the period when she wasn’t working yet and so she was home all through the day), I began to feel I was being taken for granted because I wouldn’t quarrel.
The question in my head was, “me apart, isn’t she going to eat at all? Doesn’t she feel hungry too?” So I wanted to watch what her plans for herself was, why she had a lot of confidence to sleep and not bother about food. This was my goal. It wasn’t about a desire to punish or retaliate.
That night, upon discovering there wasn’t food, I didn’t say a word. Who would I even say a word to? She was deeply back to sleep after the faint pleasantries we exchanged. Only God knows what exhausted her energy so much on this occasion. So I slipped out silently to buy food. When I returned, I ate the food but didn’t put the waste in the dustbin so that it won’t be easily discovered; I went to throw it outside the house; cleaned every trace and then I went to sleep beside her. ??
In the midnight, say around 1am, I noticed that she rose up and went to the kitchen to fix some food to eat.
In the morning, I told her I noticed she went to the kitchen in the midnight. She confirmed she went to eat some food. That she had been so tired to rise up in the night. That was the end of the matter.
But I took a few lessons away:
1. Sincerely, cooking is not easy to do back to back without interruptions. When she was single (just like me), there are days when she was tired and she could decide to choose rest ahead of food. She could decide to rest and eat much later. The reason marriage can be so demanding is that suddenly she’s expected to always cook at specific time all month long without fail regardless of her feelings. It’s possible to do this but we must admit that it’s not easy.
2. I was an active cook in my single days. I did very little of eating out. The practice of cooking for the whole month started even when I was still single. I do that for myself. I know from experience that cooking is a lot of work. A lot of stress! I confess that I do sometimes lose interest – maybe after a few months of back to back cooking, I may just totally lose interest; and then eat out for a week or two before getting back my drive to return to the kitchen. Why then would I expect my wife to be a robot who never gets tired?
Men who have never been active cook may be able to say, “what is the big deal in cooking for five people? Is it not just to pour this into that?” You know as they normally say, it is very easy to use the mouth to cook vegetable soup. Give that man the pot to fix it in real life and you’ll see him sweating like Christmas goat.
We need to show a lot of understanding to our beloved wives who slave so hard to drive the kitchen. It’s not an easy job. Sometimes we both return from an event exhausted and as you are finding your way to the room to rest, she’s off to the kitchen to cook even in that tired state.
I will never finish any meal without saying thank you to my wife for the meal. I know by experience the stress that goes into cooking. “Thank you for the meal dear,” is the smallest thing I can give in return. Never finish a meal without saying thank you to your wife.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| email@example.com