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The wedding is off!

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The wedding is off!

It’s been going on for years, maybe three, maybe more or less. Everybody expects the journey to culminate at the usual final bus stop. And true to people’s expectations it looks like the normal thing will definitely happen. The invitation cards are out, the wedding trousseau complete. She has made trips and trips to the fashion designers for fittings and more fittings. The cows have been paid for and a five-tiered cake ordered. His people have chosen their own ‘aso-ebi’ and so have the bride-to-be’s friends and family. The reception take-away plates are ready and all members of the bridal train are set for rehearsal.

Then comes the morning of the DDay! The day breaks like any other day. Everybody is up at dawn, attending to the final details. Some are supervising the caterers, the bride’s brothers and uncles set up the canopies and arrange for the drinks to be iced. As early as eight o’ clock, the sun is out. The bride’s friends lay out her beautiful dress and accessories, arguing over the appropriate colour of lipstick she should wear.

The make-up artist arrives with her million-naira make-up suitcase. The photographers have two cameras each hung around their necks. More than an hour later, the bride steps out, into the gleaming white Mercedes Benz G-Wagon decorated for the occasion.

It rolls out of her parents’ compound and heads for the church. She is leaving her home of over 28 years for the last time as a spinster. When she comes back, she’ll be wearing a wedding band that binds her to her heartthrob. Behind her veil, she smiles and heaves a sigh of relief. At last, the search is over. She has a man to call her own now and is set to keep her marriage vows no matter the size or shade of thorns involved. Smiling for the cameras (both photo and video), the bride-to-be majestically walks into the church. She’s totally breathtaking as she should be.

She looks around for her groom but was told he’s yet to appear. Well, and he was the one who repeatedly told her not to be late or else he’ll marry one of the choirgirls. It was a joke they’d both laughed at. The time is already a quarter after 10 o’clock – the appointed time for the ceremony to take off. Poor bride is trying to hide her fear. Her father gets up to inquire while the chief bridesmaid fans her friend.

The officiating ministers too are getting impatient and complaining about the young men of today. 11 o’clock! The groom is yet to surface. Throwing convention to the winds, the bride lifts her veil and starts pacing up and down, her lips moving in prayer. God, where could he be? Maybe he got a large hangover from yesterday’s bachelor’s eve party.

Maybe their car broke down. God, don’t let him be ill. May be his suit or shirt got burnt when it was being ironed. 11:30! The family and friends of the next couple who are getting married at noon begin to arrive. The emissary sent to the groom’s house returns, wearing a long sad face. He calls the bride’s father aside and tells him the bad news. The groom has left town under the pretext of going to gas up the car for the day’s activities.

The old man’s face said it all. The bride slumped to the ground in all her sad glory. Half the church erupts in tears, cursing the groom. The end of a dream! There won’t be any marriage vows now. No till death do us part. Poor girl’s dream of living happily ever after with her prince is shattered – maybe forever.

The wedding is off ! It’s a tear inducing sad movie. It has happened to many women – may be more like it will still occur. Why do grooms bail out at the last minutes? Is it callousness or cowardice? Is it juju or mental problem? According to Yinka Olomola, a medical doctor, parents’ pressure sometimes causes this heart-breaking saga. “Some parents are high handed and overbearing, especially where they are rich. They are used to getting what they want and descend as low as using their own sons as pawns, as business strategy,” Olomola said. A friend of mine did the disappearing act a few years ago.

His father wanted him to marry a business associate’s daughter – a kind of business merger. The marriage would have brought huge financial gains to my friend’s father but he already had a girl he wanted to marry. The girl he loved was in America and he too is an American citizen. When his father told him his plans, he protested.

The old man started blackmailing him. Knowing he couldn’t win otherwise, Kay went on with the arrangement. He couldn’t tell the girl involved because she seemed to be in love with him and she would have messed Kay’s carefully laid out plans up. So, while his bachelor’s eve party was on, he took the midnight flight out to New York.

It’s sad for the girl but what’s the point of living with a wife you don’t want, least of all love? But many women think men who do it are callous. And I agree too. If a man has no intention of coming to say his own part of ‘I do’ then he should be brave enough to tell the girl instead of leading her on. Why let a girl order a bridal dress, cake and the lot when you have no intention of showing up on the wedding day? It’s pure meanness. A man who can do that is capable of killing. Some even go to the extent of abandoning a pregnant bride! Can you imagine the pain? Such men should have their necks tied to a moving ‘molue’ and dragged through the busiest road, so he can die slowly.

No other punishment is good enough. And I can assure you that many women won’t let a man who abandons them on their wedding day go scotfree. I can’t imagine why any woman should feel anything but hatred for a man who humiliates her in such a way, in front of family and friends and even ex-boyfriends.

Gosh, it’s the presence of ex-boyfriends at such scenes that is the worst. Imagine, the guy you’ve spurned and told off, having the last stupid laugh! Oh, I’m sure the men will come up with different reasons why they do it. Let them. I can come up with a long list of horrible consequences of such reasons. A man who is not man enough to show up on his wedding day is an animal. He deserves nothing but painful, slow death. He should be made to pay bit by bit, until he begs for mercy. Even then, does he deserve mercy? What would you do to a man who abandons you on your wedding day?

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