I could remember the day my mother audaciously exercised her influence over me and asked me to join her in the kitchen. I was about thirteen then. I said audaciously because I wouldn’t predict how my father could react to seeing his son in the kitchen learning stuff that is seen as the exclusive preserve of girls and their mothers.
She was preparing a pot of onugbu soup – bitter leaf soup – on this fateful Saturday when I couldn’t have come up with excuses of working on an assignment from school. I was caught being a lazybones in the sitting room watching the television while she was busy slaving for the entire family. My older sister wasn’t home and therefore, the responsibility of giving my mother a helping hand fell on me or so I thought.
My mother had just finished pounding the cocoayam we from Eastern part of Nigeria use in thickening the soup when I grudgingly joined her from upstairs.
“Oya, help me fetch water with this pot from the sink.” She demanded of me while pushing a sizable pot my way.
I obliged her. Then she moved out of the way and I saw quite a lot of condiments in a medium sized tray which consisted of crayfish, stockfish, dry fish, seasonings of different hues and sophistry among others. I had started salivating already. Then there was a bowel with water containing well-stringed bitter leaf.
Let me not inundate you with how and when each of these condiments got into the pot and made the family have such a swell time at lunchtime.
But in a pot of soup, so many things are bae! How do I mean by that?!
In life and in every relationship, people come in with so many expectations, some of which are ethereal and unreal, while some still fall within the ambit of reality. Two different persons who happened to share a few things in common accepted to deceive themselves that they have actually become same and one when it is actually love that has beclouded their finer sense of reasoning. Reality check – when you sit down and analyze the character flaws of your spouse, you’ll realize that there are certain things you’d want him/her not to ever repeat again around you, but thank God you guys have signed the dotted lines and have decided to either sink with each other or keep on floating “until death do us part”. And that is how God wants it. No two persons will ever be the same. What really happens to happy marriages is this, the two persons involved have accepted to love themselves and one another with the warts and all alongside the good virtues as found in them. Just like in a pot of onugbu soup, the bitter leaf is always bitter, that is your spouse’ weakness, which you have accepted as yours. Then this same spouse of yours has certain believably good virtues in her which I see here as the seasonings, which also, you have lapped unto and wouldn’t stop salivating for more. Then the stockfish and other kinds of meat are the rewards for loving and accepting your spouse the way he or she is. Do you know what happens at the depth of a pot of soup? You get to meet with the most sweetness in the soup. This is your sex life becoming sweeter and appreciated by your better-half.
So, in life, and in a relationship, I want you to make up your mind to accept both the good and the bad in your intentioned life partner and have it at the back of your heart that with time, good always comes tops. Same should be applicable to our relationships believing that a day shall come and our effort and hardwork in bringing the good and the bad together in a pot of soup gives an appetizing aroma and taste.
One last thing, just factor the virtue of patience into your hardwork in making your marriage work for you and you’ll get to the point of being envied and seen as a good spot in the corridors of marital bliss worthy of everyone’ emulation.