A couple of weeks ago, someone I know called me in the evening, “Guess who got married?” she asked.
Well, clearly, I hadn’t been invited for the said wedding, so I knew I would not fair well in the guessing game. I told her as much.
It turns out that the person who had got married, or remarried to be more specific, was a neighbour back home in shags, a man in his late sixties if I am not wrong.
Less than a year ago, this man, one that could be described as a pillar of the community, a well-respected, well-to-do man who was also generous with his wealth and knowledge, lost his wife.
She had been his childhood sweetheart, and seeing them together even at their advanced age, they had seemed very much in love, and it was obvious, even to the casual eye, that even after many decades together, they still enjoyed each other’s company.
When his wife died, like most men, he put on a brave face, stoically welcoming the steady stream of visitors who came to commiserate with him. He was a well-liked man.
Beneath the brave mask though, one could tell he was crushed, especially since he kept repeating how he would wake up every morning expecting to find his wife in the kitchen fixing them breakfast as was the norm, only to be met by deathly silence and a cold kitchen.
And then he remarried, “Less than a year after burying his wife,” as my caller has emphasised.
“Who will believe this woman had not been his mpango wa kando?” she went on to wonder, sounding scandalised.
“There’s no way he met this woman after his wife’s death. I mean, not even a year has gone by — men...” she added, concluding that by remarrying too soon, he had “disrespected” his late wife’s memory.
To be sincere, I was perturbed, especially by her last statement. Like most people, I have lost people who had been dear to me, and it hurts. One thing that I know for sure though, is that the only people that go through a hard time when death comes calling are the mourners left behind.
The person you bury is gone and has no inkling of what happens thereafter. That person is oblivious of your grief, or other feelings you may be battling with.
In other words, if you remarried the next day, your spouse wouldn’t know. Those that are bothered by what you do or don’t do are those left behind, those that are not privy to the loneliness that grips you when they, the day-time mourners, leave you in the evening to cope with your grief alone as they go on with their normal lives.
What am I getting at? What I am saying is that life is too short to worry about “offending the memory” of the dead, whatever that means. I also believe that there is no appropriate or respectable time to remarry after a spouse’s death.
If one feels that getting another wife or husband is what will help them cope with their loss one month down the line, that’s their business, not ours, and so we shouldn’t jump into conclusions. Or condemn them.
And yes, it is possible to meet someone within a year and make the decision to get married that same year. I am pretty sure of this because I know someone, and this is a true story, who moved in with the father of her three children within just two weeks of meeting each other. They have been married for over 15 years now.
Online shopping is risky, but it can also save time
Sorry for the wrong water glasses (last week’s column). The piece was wonderful, but I think you overkilled the bad side of online shopping. Online shopping works.
Jumia is reliable enough. You get exactly what you ordered. OLX was fine until it was invaded by crooked River Roaders. I think it’s down nowadays.
It failed because it dealt in secondhand goods, which opened doors for thieves.
These days, I prefer purchasing online. I am in a WhatsApp group whose members include a mitumba clothes dealer. He is based at Nakumatt Mall, Lunga Lunga Square. He posts his best products of the day on the group platform and their prices. I buy very decent jeans trousers there. He delivers without failure and you get your money back if the product isn’t as impressive as the photo showed. I bought a laptop bag online. I have also bought vitamin supplements online. These days, old men prefer online pharmacists for sexual products as they feel quite embarrassed buying them over the counter.
Of course there are crooks selling online. I once tried to buy items from an online hawker on Facebook. Some 4GB data bundle for only Sh300. Expiry one month. Once I sent the money, she blocked me in Facebook and WhatsApp and never sent the data bundle.
You have to be alert and make sure you deal with a seller with a good reputation. Even in the traditional (offline) buying, you can be conned if you are not careful. Just visit Gikomba, River Road or Muthurwa and try buying absent-mindedly. Crooks are everywhere. But don’t give up on buying online. It saves time and energy. Clement Amolo
I am a serial online shopper. I even buy maize flour online, together with my monthly shopping, and have it delivered to my doorstep. Maybe you missed several crucial steps. 1. Background of the guys selling; anyone can sell anything online. (Personally, I stick to Jumia and Masoko).
2. Cash on delivery, you normally check the product then pay, don’t pay then check. Also, buy from a vendor who has a return policy.
Don’t buy at the spur of the moment. I remember you writing some time ago about somebody who bought shirts which could not fit. Good day.
I have never bought anything online. With the experience you went through, I’m not ready to try it. What they show when advertising, should be what they deliver.
You never disappoint when it comes to your articles. The description you’ve given is so clear that I have “seen and touched those “weapons” (glasses)”. If I was your fellow Nairobberyian, I would have given you two cool glasses from my mama’s collection. For now, tell your children to tell their friends to visit your house and drink porridge from those glasses. That way, the glasses will have some use.