Saturday, 6 September 2014

Tall, dark, and handy

I got back from a trip a few weeks ago and stood outside the airport, waiting for my favorite cabbie to pick me up. He pulled up a few minutes later. In my car.

I got in, slightly puzzled, slightly amused.

‘Sorry,’ he said, laughing at my expression. ‘My car developed a problem at the last minute, so I decided not to risk using it to pick you up.’


I sat in the passenger’s seat in the front. It felt really odd because whenever I’m in my car, I’m in the driver’s seat. So this is what it feels like to sit on this side of my car, I thought to myself. It felt uncomfortable and horrible. To me, anyway. I suddenly began noticing all my car’s faults. They just seemed more visible sitting on the other side.

‘This car is really beginning to irritate me,’ I said out loud.

Poor thing. It turns 16 this year (like my son), and I bought it ‘gently-used’ a decade ago. How can it be 10 years ago, though? Where has the time gone?

It never lets me down. Then again, I hardly ever drive. I hate driving. I tell myself that my cab rides are my one luxury. (And my gym membership. Oh, yeah.). I hardly ever need to get it fixed. It’s solid. But old. And this year, it’s begun to look really old on the inside. It hardly cost anything and has more than served out its time, given what I paid for it. I thank God for it. Some of my friends have lovingly yabbed me over the years about my holding on to it, and I’ve always laughed it off, saying it was serving me well. But the wear and tear of age has taken its toll. One of my friends refers to it as ‘Grandma.’

I heaved a world-weary sigh.

I need a husband.

I sat with this thought for a while on my way home, suddenly intrigued by it.

Now, that’s an interesting thought. I don’t see the correlation, though. I think what you actually need right now is a new car.

Yeah, but if I had a husband, I wouldn’t need to bother having to think about one more thing. I don’t have any more room in my mind for anything new. He could just handle it and I could focus on a million other things.

My mind went back to how my car became my car in the first place. Back when we were married, my ex-husband made importing the car his personal project (much to my relief). He spent weeks doing his research and finally settled on a BMW. With all the car-jackings in this capital city, he figured I would need a reliable car that no one would want to steal. He was hardly ever around and wanted to be sure we’d be safe. ‘No one would want to steal a BMW in Nairobi,’ he explained. Apparently, car-jackers are only interested in Toyotas and Hondas (or at least they were in 2004). That sounded great to me. I think my involvement in this process (apart from footing the bill) boiled down to approving the color, and I was quite satisfied with that tiny role. How the car got from Japan to Kenya is beyond me, although I have all the paperwork in my possession.

Okay, so do you need a husband, or do you need a car broker?

Well, what’s wrong with having both?

Nothing! I’m just asking you what you ‘need’ right now.

Oh. … Well, in that case, the truth is, I know what to do in order to import a car. I may not know all the little details, but I know lots of people that would be happy to give me pointers and help me find a good deal. I guess I was just fatigued because I just got off a plane and so I started making mountains out of molehills.

Okay, good. So, back to the husband thing. If you ‘need’ a husband, then why have you been dodging your friends who’ve been trying to hook you up with eligible, ‘forty-something’ bachelors?

‘Dodging’ is a strong word. I haven’t exactly been dodging. I’m just being cautious and trying to make up my mind about what I want and what’s best before taking on any new responsibilities. A relationship is a huge responsibility.

Okay, so stop deceiving yourself, then. You need a new car and you’re not a two-year old. You know how to get one. No one ever said a husband was a pre-requisite. So, do what you need to do.

You’re SO annoying. Hush!

That settles it. Next year, God willing, I’m upgrading my car.


  1. RMJ, I could have sworn that you already always had a husband in Oga Jeso. No be so?


    1. Hmm ... this 'Jesus-is-my-husband' thing - I'm not really down with that, Ichie. I've always found the idea a bit suspect. God definitely has my back, but I see no reason to pretend that He's a 'physical' husband. My point, though, was that sometimes when I get overwhelmed, I have the tendency to start confusing my needs. It always helps to talk to myself and iron things out. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. You'll upgrade your car for sure & it won't be bad to upgrade with an husband. A friend going through a "messy" divorce just upgraded his car & and on to a pretty nice babe as well. And we are all glad he's moving ahead.


    1. Demashi, where have you been? (Then again, where have I been [lol]?). I think a car's much less complicated, so I'll start with that. I feel like I've moved ahead in very many ways - just not in that particular sphere. Glad for your friend, though!

  3. Ha! Amen, sister! And some days, I need a wife. :)

  4. RMJ, reading this and laughing in between tears. The recent move and being all alone (feels really lonely now), trying to start over everything afresh here has had me praying for both the car and a husband. Not sure which one first. My heart's desire is for a responsible man who would take off of me the hustle of the car details while also showering me with lots of affection. At times when I look around and see such seemingly okay (with a caveat) couples I can't help asking why not me. This far my life has been a painful and steep climb on the relationship front. Anyway, this is a journey so I'm staying at it with an open mind. Keep sharing sister - my personal person. I will email soon.

    1. Aww. Thanks for writing, Anonymous (my personal person). As trite as it might seem right now, GOD HAS A GOOD PLAN FOR YOU. Just don't give up so you'll have the chance to see the plan unfold - and to look back and marvel. Keep climbing (as I see you're determined to do). It gets better and easier. Don't let one bad day (or several bad days back-to-back) make you lose focus. Bad days are nothing compared to the good days that'll eventually emerge. We need to 'imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what was promised' (note to self). Looking forward to your email.

  5. RMJ, do you not blog anymore? It's been so long. I keep checking back for updates, and nothing :-(. I hope you are well.

    1. Hi, Ife. It really has been a while since I blogged, but I don't consider myself to have 'retired.' I'm just 'transitioning,' I guess. Thanks for coming back. I haven't felt led to write for some months now, but I suspect this will change eventually. I am extremely well - thank you - and hope you are, too. Some of the rmj blog posts will be featured on a really interesting platform very soon, and I should be able provide an update about that by next month. Do take care!

  6. funny... I hope you find a good man too. You sound like a very happy person.

    1. LOL - aww, thanks. That was just one of those days. 2015 has actually been quite a 'happy' year.