New Vision Friday, 23rd April, 2010
BY ELIZABETH AGIRO
FIGHTING for attention comes naturally for some. They will wear ridiculous outfits and strut along the same street countless times until you notice them. They will talk at the top of their voices so everyone notices them.
Just think back on every mind-boggling thing people have gotten up to and you will realise they were actually crying out for attention. If there is more than one such person in any community, imagine how much more complicated things would get.
Enter one who is not used to that kind of life. One who did not have to do anything to draw attention to themselves. “No” was rarely in the vocabulary of those whose help they requested. Imagine how such a person would fare in a polygamous relationship. Not well, obviously.
So if I am used to having things my way, why would I want to be a half a dozen women awaiting their turn for the man in the home to visit? How often would he come visiting anyway? For how long would he be around before he moved on to number two or three or even number six? He could choose to check on me once every three months. What am I supposed to do in between visits? Who’s supposed to warm my bed? If we are trying for children, this is hardly enough time to hit the target.
This is not to say that his love and affection will be divided equally. There will always be that one woman who takes up more of his time than the rest of us. Whether this favouritism is earned through merit is much of a debate with some arguing that the favourite is resorting to charms.
Plus, you can’t rule out jealousy. Human beings are naturally jealous. So no matter how much love you shower on me, I will always wonder how much more you are bestowing on the other five women. I will always wonder how much more you are giving them.
The stress alone of trying to make everything in my home to your liking is enough to not want to be in such a situation. The absurdity lies in the fact that I would be expected to strive to pamper him for the brief duration of his visit and then let dust collect over the shelves and cobwebs on the marital bed before dusting it off for the next visit.
And if we already have children, how can I explain your absence to them? They will want to know where their father stays all that time he’s not around. Why does he visit for such a short while and then disappear? How should they address the other women they see in their dad’s company?
At the end of the day, polygamy’s not worth all the stress. He may provide all manner of material things, but as long as I don’t have his full attention and love, count me out.