“I took some time to live my life, but don’t think I’m just his little wife – Bow down bitches”. –Beyonce.
“I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may lay-bye the bride. We expect monthly installments for the next sixty years.”
I didn’t wear a white dress on my wedding day. I chose blue, in honour of the numerous beatings my labia has endured over the past 20 years. I found myself at the centre of family controversy, when my gorgeous husband and I eloped on the 22nd of April 2017.
I have a husband.
Society now deems me better than you single whores. I suggest that you hang onto my every word.
I’m a married whore now.
Since January, the majority of my telephone conversations have gone as follows:
“Hi there, is this ‘overly priced establishment from the internet’?”
“Hi. Yes”. The under-enthusiastic accent on the other end of the line responds, making me feel too poor to even be asking questions on company time.
“Uhm, I have a wedding in April… I was calling to inquire if…”
“April is booked sweety”.
This condescending ma se……
Breathe. I am a woman of the Lord. I am not ashamed of the gospel. Lord, grant me the serenity to not climb through the phone and hit this ding’s bek in.
Polite giggle, to make her believe that I have at least grown up in close proximity to white people; “Dammit. Okay, I understand. But, what is the general price for weddings?”
“Sigh. What do you mean ‘general’ price of a wedding?” chuckle.
I am not sure at this point what is tripping her up; the definition of the word ‘general’ or ‘wedding’?
She does however continue to make it obvious that the word ‘price’ is certainly a well-known part of her vocabulary.
“Well, honey.. it depends on what season you prefer, indoor or on the veranda, is it in the morning? How many people will be in attendance? Seafood menu or meat buffet? Will you be running through the town? Upstairs or downstairs? In a nightgown? ….. We usually settle at R310 per head”.
Is die Goosey-Goosey gander dan nou befok?
I guess I will have to take Sidney out of school and teach him a trade. Goodbye UCT. I guess it’s fine; his biological father was always ‘goed met sy hande’.
[Note – and I cannot stress this enough –this is not a compliment: In the coloured community, calling someone ‘good with their hands’ means ‘they are inconceivably stupid, and can’t read… but will fix your TV in 45 minutes or less’.]
I would always respond in the same enthusiastic, absolutely fake manner: “R310? Okay great. Sounds good. I’ll call back as soon as I have discussed it with my fiancé”.
Never to be heard from again.
In March, Riyaahd and I sat down with a notepad, a calculator and a bucket full of hope…
“Okay so your family is 6oo people. Mine is 400, and then we have about 30 really good friends. Plus ten people we have to have to haaave to invite, cos we were invited to their weddings…
“…. So, that’s 1020 people, at R310 per head…
Drink a glass of wine.
Calculate last time…
Make Facebook status to seek anonymous approval for living in sin.
“Erm… Come we just elope?
It’s 7pm, and I have a coconut cream pie in the oven. My children are bathed and in bed, watching ‘The BFG’, and my husband is sitting on the couch opposite me, studying.
Our cats, ridiculously named ‘Thunder and Lightning’, are in some sort of homo-erotic Capoeira –which is gross, but only because they’re siblings.
What am I doing? I am planning my next batch of samoosas and pie-tjies, Instagrammig my creations with hundreds and thousands, hundreds and thousands of times.
And then after a week of having no desire to sit down and write anything, I suddenly knew exactly what message I wanted to spread this time.
Now, before I give you the breakdown of the last few weeks, I want to make it as clear as the many diamonds on my wedding ring that marriage is in no way an achievement.
It hasn’t been the quick fix I needed to vindicate myself from my past sins, and it certainly doesn’t make me superior to anyone.
Even though I am under-qualified to make any large scale statements about marriage, with my very unimpressive track record of two weeks, I can say that marriage is beautiful. Marriage is sacred. Marriage is hard.
Holy shit is marriage really, really hard.
“Good morning Miss Genever”, Riyaahd said to me on the morning of our wedding day. Unconventionally, we woke up next to each other, in the bed we had been sharing, sans coitus for the last six months.
We bought a home in August 2016, and the children moved in a week later. Since then, we have emulated a nuclear family. And I have emulated a new, clear vagina.
Today would be a turning point in my life. Wife. Fife.
“Are you sure you want to do this, Shana?” we both asked me, simultaneously…
I knew immediately that my answer was an unequivocal, resounding “Holy shit, I dunno my bru”.
Internal dialogue 1: I don’t deserve marriage! Does this man even know all the things I did and all the men I did them with? What if he finds out about my dirty past, or sees one of the hundreds of nudes I have distributed since 2005?
My panic was short-lived though, when I realised he has read every entry of ‘Just a Hoe with babies’, from the threesome, to super-gluing my labia shut with ‘lube’ from Adult World in Sea Point. He is well aware of what he has gotten himself into.
Internal dialogue 2: This man knows I am capable of accidentally sealing my vaginal lips shut. Why is he into me? With both my illegitimate kids, from two legitimate assholes… What the hell is wrong with him? Oh god, he’s a serial killer. He wants to sell my family into human trafficking.
I guess it’s nice that he’s business minded. I’ve never had a man with a job before. I suppose travelling the globe for free would be a lovely outing for the kids.
In all honesty I knew Riyaahd was asking if I was okay with foregoing the massive wedding-day bonanza that most women [apparently] fantasize about from their first Disney movie/self pleasuring experience.
Every cartoon we watch and every fairytale we have been read ends in the same happy ending; other women watching jealously as you walk down the aisle to your prince charming. Because, if other women aren’t angered by your life, then are you really happy?
I won’t lie, I wanted a wedding.
I wanted my father to walk me down the aisle. I wanted a Vera Wang Gown.
I wanted to Facebook Live stream it, so that all my surviving ex-boyfriends and Riyaahd’s past mistakes could have a front row seat to the immaculate 180 that my life has taken.
I even wanted to release doves as I exited the church as ‘Mrs. Riyaahd Fife’.
But my bank account said ‘Bitch, where?’
Buying a house had financially bent us over and sodomised us. Our menage au trios with Standard Bank was painfully pleasurable. But we will be fifty shades of grey by the time we pay off our home loan.
One night I fell to my knees and asked God to show me the way.
And oh my, did he speak to me.
In all sincerity, I placed my two choices in front of the Lord; 1) have an embarrassingly small wedding, and invite only certain people, hurting literally hundreds of people who have been pillars in my life, or option two: postpone getting married for three years and save up, ultimately living in sin, with the ever-looming temptation of just reaching over and grabbing my fiancé’s penis – which I would imagine is the gateway to hell.
I opened my bible.
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”
I went to Riyaahd, who was busy in his studio, and the look of revelation on my face made him switch off Ableton. That’s how you know a producer really loves you.
“Speak to me baby, what’s going on?”
And for the first time, I felt God speak through me.
“We don’t need a wedding. We need a marriage”.
Riyaahd immediately understood.
“I love you, Riyaahd. I would sleep next to you outside in the rain, as long as we had each other. I don’t need a wedding to prove anything to anyone. Let’s just get married.”
And then, for the first time, I saw my fiance cry.
Not ugly cry. Not even physical cry. But his eyes and his smile told me everything I needed to know, to confirm that the burden of giving me a fairy tale wedding on a Brothers Grimm budget had left.
We walked in to our final Christian marriage class one Tuesday night, to prepare for our nuptials on 6 May.
Father Basil raised his eyebrows, and asked me to repeat my request.
“We don’t want a wedding, Father. It’s just gonna be us and our witnesses”.
“Well”, he said… “Then why not just do it on Saturday?”.
And now, for the anti-fairytale [in 60 seconds].
We told my parents. They said okay.
We told his parents. Response pending.
We told our friends. They said; We need to have a braai.
Riyaahd said: “Well, you are going to be my ‘braaid’, I can’t wait to marinade you’.
I contemplated cancelling right there, but stayed with him anyway.
We realised we don’t have clothes; Truworths Canal Walk fixed that.
I chose a blue dress.
Riyaahd didn’t have a ring.
For everything else, there’s ma se card.
We drove home from canal walk, and our car broke.
Fast forward to us driving together to our wedding, with a gearbox scraping against the road.
A horse and carriage would have been ideal at this point.
But when we got there, and my parents and children, and Riyaahd’s close boy friends stood with us as we said ‘I do’, it didn’t matter how much my dress cost, or what people would say about our budget, or lack thereof…
All that mattered was that this man, this amazing, loving, gorgeous man was now my husband…
And his penis has forever been deemed, the gateway to heaven.
The sanctity of marriage has been tainted.
What is supposed to be a holy covenant, is instead seen as an industry.
People live together for years, because it is ‘too expensive’ to get married… when in actuality, going to the church and making that vow is free.
I won’t preach; this time.
If you want the whole shebang, by all means, live your life to the fullest… but don’t financially cripple yourself, just so that Aunty Gairoo can skinner about just how kak the breyani was.
We all know the only thing that was too salty was that bitch.
PS: The name’s Fife.