Reflections

Do we really “need” to relate?

By Brian Bwesigye:

I am torn between two worlds. I no longer know which world says the truth and where the lies come from. I can't tell the victims from their oppressors; the wronged from the 'wrong-ers'!

Kyefaamu has for the last three years moaned and moaned about the wickedness of men. You may think that her legs have received all tribes of men for her to boast of a record of all shapes of wickedness. Feel free to indulge your imagination; I can't put my hand on the guillotine to prove that she has not.

The first time she came to complain to me about men, I did not bother to ask for the number of men whose nakedness she had seen. The tale she was telling was too heavy to permit such questions. See, this man did more than cheat on her. He told her all sizes of lies, used all generations of tricks to fly her into his bed, several times, majority of them after fights erupting from evidence of promiscuity. It was the tenth time, if she had bothered to count, that she decided to never find her legs in his car, or anywhere near his house.

Listening to her, I was convinced that it was all over between her and men. See, she did not complain of only him. She also talked of another man who had kept silent about a child he had sired in an earlier relationship until she found out for herself, from the mother of the said child, who claimed that in fact she was still relating with the father of the child. That was the blow that broke the camel's back. There were other blows that her back had survived, ranging from being treated like a decoration than a human being whenever she went out with him to being told that she was too short to make a proper wife.

I had thought that Kyefaamu's issues with men all centered on infidelity and disrespect but that was until she told me of another 'in the past' relationship where the man was nothing but a parasite that only smiled when her purse smiled. The man, she said was good at preserving his hands, so good had they been flowers, they would fetch the highest price. She was so sure that were they to be attacked in the house, the one whose rent she was paying, this man would be hiding in her skirts instead of protecting her against the intruders.

I cannot re-tell all there has been to Kyefaamu's experience with men. We would stay here for the entire day. But in the face of all this, Kyefaamu has not given men a break. She does not spend a month after a relationship before jumping into a fresh one, only for the fresh one to lose freshness and end like the past before three months pass. I do not mind listening to her tales of sadness and failure when it comes to men. I am glad she trusts me to the extent of updating me re: her relationships and pouring her heart to me, but this is becoming tiring.

Maybe I would not be as tired, were I not receiving the same trash from another world, the world of a male friend I have known since childhood. Kabande has not been exactly unsuccessful when it comes to relating with females. He is in fact very successful, if we are to factor in the number of girls he has known intimately in his twenty-five year old life. But my problem with Kabande is exactly the same I have with Kyefaamu. He seems focused on finding out and experiencing every fault there is with relating with the opposite sex. Now, I am not saying that he should intimately relate with the male sex instead, but is there any reason that would keep pushing a bull to the same stream where it meets a new family of thorns every time it tries to water its thirst? Today, they are taking his money and 'dis-loving' him in return. Tomorrow, they are loving someone more than him, behind his back. The third day, they are not opening up to him, after him standing naked before them. The day after, promises are broken before they are made. He complains that they are unpredictable, unreliable, greedy, spineless and other words that are in reality epithets. But Kabande does not get enough; he is in a relationship as you read this, going through a family of thorns he had not yet met.

I do not know what it is. Okay, I sometimes pretend not to know what it is, but I think Kabande and Kyefaamu should first relax and question, can they live without relating? I have sometimes thought of doing some short-circuit connections, I mean, both seem tired of the same poison that they keep swallowing, so how about poison meeting poison? I see 50/50 chances of bliss and disaster.

But to put myself in the mix, would I date Kyefaamu? I think not. I see lots of signs of relationship addiction and a severe lack of self esteem that makes it hard for her to remain unencumbered as my friends would say. Would I advise a friend I care about to date Kabande? No, because if you can't stand yourself, if you can't be content with yourself, unattached to anyone, then you must not be healthy for a relationship. So, I am beginning to think that those many people who are out there saying men are difficult, that women are complicated, yet they can't spend a minute after breaking up and before hooking up another difficult and complicated man and woman, are the really difficult and complicated people. Relationships are great, they are the surest way to grow as a person, as a community and as a society, but if without relating we are nothing, then we do not in reality grow while relating.

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