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Read Letter

Danfo Girlfriend

Dear Jil,

A good relationship begins with a good choice of partner. So does a good marriage. Partner choice determines outcomes, flavours and progressions. Just think of the bonding of various chemicals. Some are toxic, some obnoxious, some volatile, some wonderful. If he’s not right for you or you’re not right for each other, the relationship has taken on issues before commencement. A bad partnership combination filled with hope is an anger fuelling bitter memory in the making. And that’s how the strange philosophy of “the reality of marriage” comes to being.

That philosophy propounds that the dream of happiness and romantic bliss in marriage is a fantasy of the unrealistic. That the “reality of marriage” is in actuality full of misery, difficulties, fights and unhappiness. Those who propound this theory are often those seeking accommodation with the consequences of wrong-headed choices. The “reality of marriage” philosophy comes from bad experience, frustrated dreams, difficult hope, sadness. We’ve come to accept this philosophy by default. It’s why some say it doesn’t matter who you marry, just marry!

I see that “reality” being incubated on social media through acrimonious mutualisation of hatred by the sexes. Men hating women, women hating men – through social media. Isn’t it ironic we call it social media? How can we be social when there are shouting matches across digital balconies? There’s going to be a clash of wills when relationships are forged under such acridity.

Marriage is not something to be endured. It was instituted by God. God is not a sadist. He didn’t institute misery. We did! There are many loving, tender, kind and wonderful marriages. They are filled with romance because the partners dreamt of tenderness and protected their dreams. The partners vouchsafe – they’re gracious, grant each other favours and privileges; giving is default mode.

Romance is virtual isolation of goodwill and loving tenderness. If your boyfriend is the abusive type there will be no loving tenderness and sex cannot make up for it. There are things sex can’t cure despite the overly misguided belief in the promise of the remedies of physicalities. You won’t remember the sex in a depressive and hurtful relationship. All you’ll be concerned about is the exit door! No matter how wonderful his sexual prowess is, if he’s hurtful and abusive you’ll rue your misguidedness.

We’ve been talking about choice and I know the notion of choice has a lot of assumption behind it. Choice is a picture of at least two options. For some women it is indeed a picture of men lined up on supermarket shelves. Not all women are that lucky. When there are hardly any prospects, loneliness can drive one into desperation as we latch on to whatever is available. Loneliness creates desperation.

Sometimes we just want to have a man we can call our own. But a relationship is a potential marriage. And marriage is a bigger deal than many people realise. Marriage will determine many outcomes in your life, and to such level of minutae as is unimaginable. It will determine your friends and social circle. It will determine your economic fortune. It will determine your emotional health, and will definitely determine whether you end up a bitter woman or a happy woman.

A good marriage is heavenly. A bad marriage gives insight into the horrors of hell. A potentially bad marriage is sometimes so merciful in identifying itself well in advance. What I don’t get is you trying to force through a relationship you know will not work. If you can see danger ahead why muscle your way into a matrimonial conclusion? Why devote such entrepreneurial talent to the making of heartache and the creation of despair? I liken such mentality to that of mini bus drivers in Lagos. They do available space driving (ASD). The legend of Lagos mini bus drivers is only rivaled by that of their professional counterparts in Jo’burg. Such talent! The locals call these Lagos mini buses “Danfo”. The drivers are thus Danfo drivers.

Danfo in forward translation is a unique individual who’s not bothered by much. He’s like a Greek god! Were Solomon alive today and were he to visit the city of Lagos he would have written, “As a man driveth so is he!”

Lagos mini bus drivers operate by only one philosophy: As long as there’s space! Even if that space is a curb! I have sometimes suspected that the stunt drivers in action movies are recruited from Lagos. Jason Statham has nothing on Lagos Danfo drivers! These are the original transporters!

Now the mechanics of available space driving is quite simple: it’s “When we get there!” Let me explain. A Lagos Danfo driver never bothers to look or think ahead. If traffic is choked, he’ll drive up to the very limit of the space physically feasible, including wrong lanes. The point at which he’s physically estopped from going further is when he begins to rough his way out of the jam. It’s a crude and strange form of possibility thinking. He seeks to get out of the jam with the threat of doing damage to other people’s cars if they don’t create space for him. And not a few scrapes are recorded daily. (He never panel-beats his vehicle by the way). He believes he’s smarter than everyone else. He’s an opportunist who’s driven by muscling mentality – a traffic thug!

I have often wondered why some ladies apply the Danfo driver mentality to relationship. They see trouble ahead but doggedly pursue the relationship, trying to muscle their way into marriage. “When we get there we’ll solve whatever problems arise!” is a common refrain. Danfo girlfriend?

Why fight to marry a man who is cavalier with your feelings and emotions, and who’s disdainful of you? Why want to marry a man who goes after your closest friends and colleagues? Why walk into life transforming unhappiness – what will surely hurt you in secret places. You’re complaining he dumped you. Shouldn’t you be thanking God?! Isn’t the reason you’re crying more because he started dating your friend right after dumping you? Should winning him back become an objective? What are you winning? Aren’t you just trying to “show” your friend? And haven’t you entered into a wrong competition? You can only win a fake bronze medal.

Is he really worth it?

Your mentor, LA.

©Leke Alder 2013


Tags : Marriage, Friend, Choice

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