I love my culture. I say that with no apology! Independence is a celebration which encompasses all the senses. The music causes the tapping of feet as it sails past the ears, the aroma of breadfruits roasting instigates the involuntary stimulation of the salivary glands. The taste buds are never disappointed as they savour codfish simmered in coconut milk. The array of Madras clothes worn in beautiful diversity creates rainbows of colour everywhere. It is my favourite time of year. Not being a very traditional individual, I determined at a young age that I would never marry in white, but rather Madras would be my fabric of choice.
Surprisingly, Mr Impatient wasn’t adverse to this long held concept of mine. Since his aunt lived in the neighbouring island which was also reputed to have a wide range of Madras, we decided to shop there for the fabric. The plan was to buy enough to make a matching waistcoat and tie for him also. Armed with a range of pictures of Madras wedding dresses we set out to purchase the textiles needed for our big day. Now is also a good time to confess that contrary to popular opinion that females love to shop, I find it a necessary chore. After entering a few shops I was ready to return to his aunt’s home or at the very least desist from the agenda for that day.
As soon as I saw it, I adored it. It was a perfect blend of colours. I excitedly went in search of a shop assistant to find out how much fabric I would need for my chosen style. Mr Impatient asked me if I was satisfied with my choice. Sure I was! His face however was a picture of doubt.
“You don’t like it?” I asked incredulously.
“Why not? What’s wrong with it?”
“I don’t think it suits you.”
The shop assistant draped some of the cloth in front me and said it was a perfect compliment to my skin tone. He still looked sceptical. He made some other nonsensical arguments against the Madras, then ended with saying that it was too bright and that he would look ‘dull’ in comparison standing next to me. I peered into his face trying to read his motives and understand his perspective. I deduced that he was reluctant to have me, his future bride look too beautiful on the big day and that he wouldn’t get enough attention. So when I answered I deliberately made myself speak in monotone.
“Specifically speaking this is our day, and a bride is entitled to be the centre of attention even if she doesn’t mean to be. Secondly, we will both be wearing the same fabric. We’ve been in numerous shops, but this fabric right here is the only one I’ve come across that I really like.”
“What about the black and white Madras we saw earlier? I liked it. In fact you liked it too.”
“Yes, it’s just okay, nothing to get excited about. It’s not very vibrant and it’s very forgettable. I don’t want to marry in it.”
I looked up into his face and could see that he wasn’t going to change his mind. I was disappointed because “you can choose any cloth you like babes” was conditional. I turned to the shop assistant and thanked her for her help and walked out of the shop. He took my hand and said “That shop where we saw the black and white Madras is this way.”
“I’m not buying it.”
“I said I’m not buying it. You said I could choose any Madras I want. I found something I really liked and then you went back on your word.”
“So what will you do?”
“Well I’m done shopping. But I guarantee you that I won’t be caught dead in that Madras on our wedding day. Either I buy that Madras (pointing to the shop we just left) or we go back home empty handed.”
I could tell by the look on his face that he didn’t believe me, so I started walking in the opposite direction. My eyes welled up as I felt my hand being taken again. Mr Impatient saw my tears and wiped them away with his hands.
“You really like it?”
“Yes I do. It’s really beautiful”.
“Then let’s go back and buy it. I’m sorry.”
Over time I came to experience that Mr Impatient was not a man of his word. He couldn’t be taken at his word in the things that would benefit us as a couple. He wasn’t a man of integrity. In seeking a life partner it is so important that they are someone who knows how to keep their word to God and to you.
Just say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. Matthew 5:37The Message Bible
If you would like to share your experience of abuse, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!