By Catherine Isaboke
(not me - I'm Sandra A. Mushi - just to set the record straight!!)
Young women beware, you will soon get into the trap many girls have found themselves in - single, senior and disillusioned. Do not go far, look at yourself in the mirror. There is no way that beauty, that grace, could have been created to be admired only on the mirror.
Life is better when shared, try it! The myth that you can be single, senior and satisfied has been spreading faster than even the gospel itself. Incidentally, those who spread it have never been married and may never marry. There is no denying that there are lots of unhappy marriages. There are also very many happy marriages. There are a lot of women who would do anything to remain married.
In marriage, they have found meaning, satisfaction, happiness and a purpose for life. I wonder where the myth came from. It could be we are victims of our own success. We got education and we are now in the Cabinet. What next? We have forgotten that material things, jobs, status never satisfy. It is other people who satisfy.
As we go up the academic or career ladder, we burn too many bridges because of the myth that men are brutes, will mistreat you, will leave you for a younger woman and cannot be trusted. We rarely blame ourselves.
I know many women who are reckless and their husbands regret marrying them. Many women will agree with me that we are actually better cheaters than men, except that men are foolish enough to be caught!
This myth that life is better without a man has found a very fertile ground among young girls after they read novels, follow soppy soaps and movies where actors are paid to say anything. These and other lobbies have made young women see marriage as a plague to avoid, leading to disillusionment and emotional misery.
As teenagers we are attractive. Every man, from the youngest to the oldest, is after us. This attraction goes on till we get into campus. Unfortunately, by the end of third year, the cheerleading crowd made of speculators, all after sex, has diminished significantly. We think at this age that we are ideal.
Suddenly in our mid-20s, we realise that all the men who hovered around us like flies were opportunists and are gone. We become very hostile to men. We spend hours talking about our ex, never exes! We love embarrassing men and talking about it.
Once bitten twice shy. After getting booted a number of times, we now start analysing any man who tries to approach us. But since men behave almost the same way in wooing us or seducing us, we find it hard to differentiate a serious man from a joker.
Time passes as we do our naive analysis. Unfortunately, as we become more experienced in analysis, fewer men come by, meaning the few we get, the more we scrutinise them and the more faults we find in them.
Those of us who do not marry in our 20s will go past 30 into the age of reality. We will realise that men are not that bad. They can be tamed and a bird at hand is worth many in the bush.
The reality is that at this age, there are younger and more attractive competitors. We find security in numbers, "I am not the only single woman." We also find refuge in new churches that do not demand too much from us except tithe. Many single women above 30 have a curious attraction to the church.
The reality has another side. By 30s we have travelled to wherever our hearts desired. We have a house and other earthly dreams. We realise that our life is still empty, meaningless. We realise it is the small things that matter, a hug in the moonlight, cuddling a baby, and nothing can replace trust in man for life.
The hardest reality is seeing our younger sisters, former classmates and friends, all married. We realise that our new friends are those who "missed the boat". We have nothing in common with these friends except moaning and pretending that men are not oxygen. But deep inside, we would wish we are no longer called by our father's name. We realise the numbers of visitors have reduced, we prefer being at work or church than home.
At this age, when 40s is knocking, we would go for any man. But even that "any" man is not there. Men at that age are married or "going down" to younger girls. At this age we realise that the men we claimed were not serious were actually very serious. They have grown rich, got beautiful wives who never age because they are taken care of by kind men.
We hope a miracle will happen, before the window of opportunity is permanently closed, and the biological clock stops. At this age all the excuses are gone.
Young women, think for yourself. Do not believe that grapes are sour. There are very many good men out there, waiting to be loved and love in return. Do not live a lonely life like a buffalo and pretend that is an achievement.
* The writer is a student at Kenyatta University
(to set the record straight again - not me!!)