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Opinions of Saturday, 4 April 2009

Columnist: Awuni, Manasseh Azure

A Letter To My Future Wife: Your Mak- Up Puts Me Off

Sweetie,

Please, don’t be surprised to read my unexpected letter on this equally unexpected topic. You needn’t be reminded that we are in this relationship for marriage and as part of my preparations for this journey of no return; I read a lot of literature on marriage. One very important message I have come across in my reading is the fact that marriage is an eternal compromise. I have learnt that what is important in marriage is to think together and not to think alike. According to Lyndon Johnson, a former president of the United States, when two people agree on everything, then it means only one of them is doing the thinking. Both of us think and are bound to differ on certain issues. This is where the compromise must come in, and since our marriage is going to be eternal (for as long as we live on this turbulent planet) we must compromise. For this reason, I agree with the saying that marriage is an eternal compromise, the most important quotation I learnt from Mariama Ba’s novel entitled So Long a Letter.

But the question I ask myself upon sober reflection is whether it is possible to compromise on every single issue, and for how long one may have to put up with certain things. My being with you has however, answered this question and I think to be able to live together let us talk some of the issues over instead of trying in vain to compromise. That is why you may find this strange letter in your inbox.

It is about your make-up. I have tried number without times to confront you on the issue but as you know, I’m not very brave on such matters and I find it very embarrassing to you. But thanks to the art of writing, I can express myself even better. I do not feel comfortable with your make up and I think it is even unnecessary. It doesn’t add anything to your beauty and to me, it makes you less beautiful. Please, don’t be angry with me. Read on! Do you know why I lost the job at the bank when it was clear that I was the most suitable applicant to secure that mouth watering offer? You may be shocked but the truth is that I didn’t attend the interview after you hugged my goodbye. Why? It is an embarrassing story, which I vowed never to tell anybody. For the purpose of this discussion, however, let me tell you and let us keep it to ourselves.

After we parted, I looked at my spotless white shirt I had meticulously ironed for the interview and saw the goriest sight in all my twenty-three years of existence on earth. You had transferred virtually all the polishing on your face onto the shoulders of my shirt. The interview was only an hour away and from your house to the venue could take at most ten minutes. Returning from East Legon to Dansoman on that hectic Monday morning traffic could take at least two hours in a taxi. What time was there to iron, dress up and go back for the interview? Even if I was pardoned, I would perform very poorly due to the anger and frustration I had gone through that morning. To avoid everything, I did not go, and that is why when you called to find out who the interview went, I sounded so cheerless after lying that I had attended. Sorry for lying to you but I can’t imagine how embarrassed you might have been to hear that. Thanks to the most powerful word on earth –love –however, we are still together. But the fact is that I cannot put up with this for the rest of my life, even though you have what it takes to turn hell into paradise for every sane man.

The polishing on your face is sometimes just too much and your artificial nails and eye lashes put me off. God has a reason for giving us the various features we have. I cannot see any match between your beautiful skin and those green, red and whitely painted finger and toe nails. The colour of your artificial and unusually long hair is also a source of worry to me. Please, I would also be extremely grateful if you could do something about the way you dress. Your beautiful eyebrows, to me, must be allowed to retain their traditional beauty without assuming any colouring.

Many are those who argue that beauty can be found in the shop. I think otherwise. True beauty, like yours, is natural. If a man meets you on the way and does not look back, then one can be sure he is either blind or stiff-necked. I have always told you how beautiful you are and how appreciative I am of you. When we first met, you had just completed the senior high school still wore you hair short. That couldn’t stop me from seeing the beauty in you. Why then do you think this long, artificially coloured hair is what will impress me? Excessive make up makes some young ladies I meet on the streets these days look like paintings and dolls at boutiques. To me, beauty is not in the shop. Beauty is natural and can be enhanced through make up. Let me tell you that it is not your physical beauty which is keeping us together. Your physical beauty attracted me to you but it is your inner beauty, which makes me not able to forget about you. It is this inner beauty of yours that still kept me to you after the failed interview. It is this inner beauty of yours that will bind us together after we have taken the irrevocable oath of “Yes, I do.” As for the physical beauty, forget it. Men are like butterflies. They will not perch on a flower for long no matter how beautiful it is. Like the flower, physical beauty has the power to attract but it also withers with time and cannot be the source of joy in marriage.

Now, knowing why I love you, I think you will tone down on your make ups. Anytime you dress, the first person you may seek to impress is your fiancé. If this becomes a worry to your partner, then you have to reconsider doing things the other way except you do not love me.

I know you may be hurt after reading this letter. I am very sorry for any offence this will bring to you but I can no longer keep this to myself. This is the very reason I cannot tell you face-face-what I have written here. I do not mean any harm. I have written this for the sake of our love. If you also have anything against me which you cannot tell me as it is, then you may also write.

Thanks a lot for reading. Always remember that when it comes to my love, you have no competitor. I have also not got any substitute for you. Let us be free to pour our hearts out to each other and move on. On this foundation shall be build our marriage and the gate of divorce shall not prevail against it. Thanks and know that I’m proud you are mine.

It’s me, Your One and only One.

Credit: Manasseh Azure Awuni [azureachebe2@yahoo.com] The writer is a Level 300 student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Accra.