To Commit or Not Commit


I am commitment phobic… There folks I said it. This psycho-analytical revelation wasn’t something I wasn’t hitherto unwary of. Of the plethora of phobic paraphernalia I suffer from, fear of commitment is the only one I never actually admitted to myself or to anyone else interested in such folly.

It wasn’t until a recent conversation with a friend in which I became somewhat epiphanic. It was then, amidst a gentle grilling from my friend where he questioned why I fail to attend the gym that it dawned on me that maybe I suffer from commitment phobia.

Of course I didn’t admit that to my friend. I saved him the heart break, the realisation that his friend prefers a life of sedentary solitude where the only commitment required is with the couch as opposed to being his gym partner-come-protégé. Though I might need to explain to him in 6 weeks’ time why his fitness plan isn’t working for my pot belly.  I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I have an aversion to anything that requires an undertaking that lasts any longer than an hour. I lose concentration and generally fall out of love with anything humanly or otherwise after 60 minutes. That’s why at 27 I don’t have a phone contract, I am semi-vegetarian, I have a gym membership that I never use and more or less freak out every time someone mentions the word marriage.

Though at 27 escaping the word marriage (and sales advisors with lucrative phone contracts) is almost inescapable. I am the Jennifer Aniston of my world minus the blonde tresses; though I am working on that. Everyone wants to know when you’ll get married. For a commitment phobic like me that’s on par with asking a vegetarian (which I also happen to be, albeit semi) let’s dive into a bit of a bone marrow stew… Someone pass me the sick bucket…

Puking aside… The marriage references, innuendos, offerings, insults; whatever the narrative, has been on the rise. For many self-appointed worriers, I am close to surpassing my sell by date and destined to a life of putrefaction; only exasperated by not having an equally elusive phone contract with the latest 4G technology. I need saving, I am told with great assiduousness.

Commitment is what turns a promise into a reality. I don’t like making promises I can’t keep and I am relatively happy with my current stream of reality. The rebel in me doesn’t want to be confined into the linear narration of a commitment. I can’t commit to commitments, I really just can’t.

I like the excitement of what nonconformist ideals may bring me…According to Warren Farren “when women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment.” As I am often told, I was probably a man in my previous life that is now incarnated as a woman. I am an independent person (note my intentional use of an abstract noun here) who has commitment issues.

Do I love you? Maybe I do maybe I don’t…

Or if we consider my 6 year old nephew’s pertinent question “am I your favourite?” to which I reply to with unabashed uncertainty “maybe you are maybe you are not”…after all there is a tribe of nieces and nephews all competing for that coveted position.

There is something in the ‘maybe’ that appeals to me. Its tentative nature is all but too comforting. For now all I can commit myself to is a mere maybe…

The uncommitted life is one truly worth living, or at the very least worth exploring!! That in itself my friend,s is an unconditional commitment.

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What Man Has Joined Together Let No Man Put Asunder


photo (7)Union or no union that is the question on many minds tonight.

Take Gabriel. We might as well give him a biblical pseudonym. I am really keen in preserving this man’s right to remain anonymous. He is going through a terrible time from the snippets I gathered from his parable; so the least I can do is afford him one of the many basic human rights that he is so convinced was taken away from him.

Gabriel is a man who is a strong advocate of the better together campaign. Better together as a family: Mum- Dad- Children. But his visions were short lived. It transpired after what he described as a minuscule marriage lifespan that his wife had other plans. She didn’t share his apparition, so she devised an evil plan to eliminate his presence and put a callous end to this union. She ignored the majority vote comprised of Dad and Child for a union. It wasn’t long before he found himself in the dog-house with the law enforcement agencies imploring him to surrender or to suffer the consequences of an alleged domestic violence case he was accused of.

At times, during his narration he seemed so close to welling up that I had to call a time out and excuse myself to the toilet so as to avoid witnessing a nervous breakdown. Such scenes are too disturbing for someone who is emotionally unstable these days to witness. I either cry in solidarity with the person (bogies and all) or I lend a sound track of intermittent nervous laughter to an already awkward situation. I am never quite sure which way the hormonal wind will blow. And frankly, I don’t get paid enough to provide my new boss with a shoulder to cry on nor am I professionally equipped to deal with such cases. Is there organisational training for such things because I sure as heck didn’t get any..?!

By the time I visited the toilet for what was the dozenth time in the space of an hour and this time Gabriel being at a real breaking point, closer than ever to a point of no return… I decided to save us both from the imminent. To borrow the local vernacular save him face, and of course protract my sanity!

So I resorted to the only thing I know when placed in such discomfiture – verbal diarrhoea! This time it took an unintended, unexpected religious turn. Gabriel and I were both taken aback

I went on a self-inflicted sermonette on how God knows best, and how Gabriel should put his trust in Him and that everything will work itself out, with the help of God that is!

His pupils retracted those tears faster than I could have anticipated. They were now widening and awestruck. Relieved of their heavy watery task they were now beginning to dance in joy given the gospel I just dropped.

He spoke of marriage idealisms that I haven’t encountered since Sudan was one country. “My son needs his dad”, he would contest. “It is not good for him to grow up in this world fatherless”. “I can’t even see him”, he said dejectedly; those tears threatening to do a comeback. I quickly reasumed my sermonette.

“God is on your side Gabriel” I reassured him. “He won’t leave you to face this alone. Put your trust in him and He won’t disappoint you”.

I was more than happy to continue with this theological monologue, to avoid witnessing this man cry or until the clock indicated home time. God seemed to have answered my prayers because my escapade was nearing. Ten minutes to home time.

He spoke with the fervour of a new convert. “My wife should obey me” he would contest. “She shouldn’t have done what she did and gave me the respect that I deserve as head of the family”. His conviction was infectious I almost believed him too. Thanks to my caffeinated beverage of choice at the time, my sound judgement was somewhat still intact.

The last time such levels of subservience was being practised anywhere; Scotland and England were embarking on a not so holy matrimony of their own…Heck the last time anyone really practised such nonsense the world was one big fat country!

“I still love her though despite everything”, he eventually declared. “I just want us to be united”. I don’t know why the preacher in me turned devil’s advocate. “Maybe she doesn’t want unity, maybe she wants to move on with her life, maybe this union you so desire isn’t a healthy solution for all parties concerned, maybe it is better to part ways. You know how the saying goes if you love something you should set it free. Self-determination and all that jazz”!

I can wholeheartedly attest that this wasn’t the best thing I ever said. He looked troubled. This was troubling. Can I possibly get sacked over this? Shall I just resign now?

“I want to punish her”, he finally said after few moments. “I am going to marry a second wife, then she’ll realise my worth”. Nothing like being part of a concubine to make you realise your husband’s worth, eh.

I felt obliged to reiterate the position of the English legal system on polygamy given that this man was already on bail. Lock yourself up and throw away the keys while you are at it, why don’t you?!

He saw some sense, i think. I saw a man that needed professional help. I could also foresee an ugly divorce battle ensuing.

But it wasn’t long before he started questioning me on how one can acquire a second wife. This was now worrying. I wasn’t sure at which point in this conversation did I indicate that I had a spreadsheet priming with details of women wanting to take the leap into concubine-hood! This was messed up. I was insulted. I acted like I didn’t hear his question.

My Casio watch starting beeping indicating my release. I did my time and I was more than ready for my freedom. “Gabriel I would love to continue this talk with you but I have got to go now”, I said. God doesn’t like liars I reminded myself. He apologised fervently for keeping me behind and offloading his problems on me. Will my services be rewarded with a promotion, I wanted to add?!

“Do you have any children?” he asked just as I was leaving. “No”, I replied. “Ohhh so you won’t possibly know the feeling of parenthood”, he conquered.

 

MIAOW…Gabriel … MIAOW

 

I didn’t think you had such cattiness in you!

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