“What do you have against that man? He’s been nothing but kind to you Mensima. He’s handsome, probably rich or will soon be rich, and he’s a Doctor!”
Karley paused and turned to look at Mensima, who was in the driving seat, waiting for a reaction but Mensima’s eyes were fixed the road, her hands firmly gripping the steering wheel. When it was clear to Karley that she wasn’t going to get any response, she continued her argument.
“He’s a doctor o? Doctor! Do you know how difficult it is to find good men these days?”
Mensima who couldn’t resist a chuckle retorted, “Karley, how many times do I have to tell you that the profession of a man or his appearance is not an indicator of his true character?”
She immediately regretted speaking because she knew she had just fuelled Karley’s argument. Karley just doesn’t know when to stop Mensima thought to herself; Actually, she does, only when she’s convinced herself that the other party is also convinced that she is right.
As Mensima’s old Nissan Pickup screeched slowly to a stop at the Kwashieman traffic light she turned to eye her friend, wondering for the umpteenth time why her friend was a pediatric nurse instead of a lawyer.
“Madam, when I say “good” I don’t mean character only. I mean He’s an Adam- He has all you need for you to comfortably slip into the position of Eve. He can take care of you. You don’t have to worry too much.” Karley defended and begun fidgeting with the window roller of the front seat, trying to get some air in.
Mensima had gone to pick up Karley from the 37 Military Hospital where she worked. She was already regretting the act of kindness because she could tell Karley would not stop talking till they got to Tetegu, which was still over an hour away thanks to Friday traffic in Accra, so she threw in something she knew Karley liked talking about more than other people’s issues- Herself.
“How the wedding plans coming along?”
“You don’t get to be smart with me young lady; I know what you’re doing.” Karley had caught Mensima’s move, but she answered anyway “Hmm.. at this rate, I don’t know if I will get to be Mrs. Nutsukpui by June!” Do you know that Fui’s parents insist that I attend their EP church for the marriage counseling? I mean how? I am already sacrificing so much, I am trading my beautiful surname Arden- Clarke for their Nutsukpui, I am wearing Ewe Kente for the traditional marriage, I am even agreeing to only three bridesmaids instead of six, and a simple trumpet gown instead of my intended dreamy princess ball gown. As if all these aren’t enough, they want me to do six months of counseling, when we have already done three months at my church! Why, do they want us to get PhDs in marriage counseling before we marry? I can’t deal with their pettiness!
Mensima tried to hide the smile that was beginning to form at the corners of her mouth; it was just like Karley to see the pettiness in everyone but herself. “That must be really frustrating. What does Fui think of all this?” she asked again, determined to let her friend go on about her wedding plans for the rest of their journey home.
“Oh! that one! He doesn’t seem to care about anything o- very typical.” Karley stressed her words in a way only she knew how. “I am planning this wedding by myself; I may as well marry myself for all he cares!” she added throwing her hands up in irritation. This time Mensima laughed, her friend could be such a drama queen when she wanted to.
“I’d love to see you marry yourself. Oh boy, what a spectacle it would be!” Mensima said, between fits of laughter.
“Maame Efua Mensima Dadson!” Karley playfully scolded. “You’re supposed to be on my side here. What sort of Maid of Honour are you?”
“Sorry Ma’am” Mensima managed to say between giggles.
“But people have done worse you know?” I recently read of a woman who married a train station! A freaking train station!” Karley exclaimed
“No oo- wait. So how did she- I mean they- consummate the marriage?”
“ooooh, that’s the best part. She said she has mind sex with it!”
“Ei! Asem o. I am still puzzled my sister. Doesn’t the state have to pay her? They are using her husband for profit right? And how will they have kids? New train stations maybe? Did she change her surname? Ah but what if she divorces the train station- oh well maybe she signed a prenup with it!”
Karley was by this time convulsing with laughter on the reclined front seat and had tears rolling down her cheeks. “Miss Analyst! Abeg marry Kaneshie Station as research and let me know your findings!”
“Tweaa, why Kaneshie station? I will marry Dubai, That’s the coolest dude in town at the moment!
“Aaah at least I know why you’re not interested in the doctor. What’s his name again?”
Trust Karley to circle back to the issue she really wants to discuss. “This conversation is not about me Madam, let’s think of how to handle your in-laws tactfully.”
“As for them, I don’t know what to say or do about them. They really don’t like the fact that I am Ga. That’s the root cause of everything. And since I can’t do anything about that, I guess we will have to manage this sweet and sour relationship for a while.”
“You really think it’s about that? Come on Karley, I mean reducing the number of bridesmaids sounds more like economics than tribalism to me.”
“They are not the ones paying for the wedding, Fui and I are. And we are fine with what I want.”
“Of course he is. He is marrying you. I think his parents, and yours to be fair, are just not used to this kind of pageantry where a wedding is concerned. I can understand their logic”
“Sometimes I wonder if you’re on my side or theirs. I am seriously reconsidering my choice of Maid of Honour. Candace would do a better job.”
“I am sorry love. You should have added a JD or at least given me some orientation when you offered me the position, you know this my first time. I have no idea what my job is besides trying to keep your overpriced makeup from melting off your face on the day.”
“Oh Goodness! It’s bad enough that I may be marrying myself come June, now I have to be my own Maid of Honour as well!” Karley exclaimed, faking exasperation.
Don’t worry. You’ll survive, if you don’t you should be assured that I can at least write a bad ass tribute.”
“God forbid! Stupid girl!”