Isio Knows Better is an attempt to capture the shocking and highly entertaining conversation within myself. The conversations between my mind (the sharp witty one), my soul (the lover and the spiritual one) and my body (the playful one concerned with the more mundane things of life). She is the eternal referee between the caustic mind and the sensitive soul. This is Isio. So, here’s to making private conversations public.
It was a beautiful night, and I wasn’t expecting any drama. In truth, I wasn’t expecting anything, just a nice moment with another adult, where we’d converse on life issues, spirituality and other fascinating yet generic subjects.
As the spirit leads…
Exactly, as the spirit leads. And somehow, it must have been the Holy Spirit which led my companion to ask me about marriage and the reasons why I would like to be married. It would seem that to an unmarried man in his forties, such questions are sensible questions to ask on a first ‘date’, (except that it wasn’t a date, it was just tea biko). Even more, it would seem that every unmarried female of marriageable age should have an avalanche of perfect answers to this question that would either make his soul sing with ecstasy on having found his missing bone or would send him fleeing in horror at the possibility of losing his freedom to that woman, and the more horrible reality of having to be accountable to any woman for the rest of his life.
And so he asked me this question, and went even further to ask the kinds of qualities I would like my future husband to possess; and I, being of simple needs and yet of sure mind, took a moment to ponder this, and this was what I said to him.
“Happiness is everything to me. And what would make me happy in marriage would be to share my life and love with a great husband. A man who is not just a companion, but a best friend. Someone I can laugh with and ENJOY growing old with. Someone who feels the same way about me. Loyalty is important to me, so that goes without saying.
Secondly, I would love to have an exceptional father to my kids. I really mean that. Thirdly and most importantly, someone with whom our life together is stronger, better and happier than our lives apart, definitely better than our individual lives before we met and decided to cleave unto one another. I believe people have no business marrying another if they know deep in their hearts that they would make their partner a worse version of themselves. But this is just my belief anyway.”
If knowing you, will leave me in a worse state than when I met you, (and vice versa) thanks, but no thanks.
And so I asked him the same question, and he answered without hesitation. “Oh, I just want to get married because I want a baby. There is no other reason why I feel I should get married. I really want a child, and if I have to marry the mother to get to keep my child, that’s what I will do.”
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! See something!
“That is such a horrible reason to marry someone. Wow.”
Yep, I had to say it. Few things more repellent than the idea of being shackled to a man who doesn’t want you at all, but wants your body for its breeding abilities. It’s like he was saying to me, all I want are your eggs, your womb, your DNA. A safe place where I can plant my seeds. How can you be married to someone who only sees you as a means to an end? He didn’t want a wife, he wanted a breeder, a goose to lay him some golden eggs. And so what happens when the kids are all grown and have lives of their own? Who does he feel will wait some 20-30 years for him to finally see her for who she really was; a glorious human being, blessed with talents, gifts, life? The question is, is he even interested in his woman’s magnificence? And more importantly, what if God tarries in blessing the union with a child? Can you imagine the hostility, the coldness, the brokenness they would have to endure? What if he was the impotent one? Would he take responsibility or just resent her even more for it?
It is just about as distasteful as if a woman said this to a man on their first date: “Can you just mount me, so I can get pregnant and just have a baby? You don’t have to be involved in our lives. Just donate the ogi and I will take care of the rest…”
“Waow, you look kind of rich. I really don’t want to marry you either, I mean you could be a psycho for all I know. Anyways, I can be your golden-egg-bearing goose, but first you have to set us up. A will giving us all your assets when you are dead, a hefty trust-fund for our child that will shame Satan, and enough money so I never have to work again. You can do what you want, and I what pleases me”.
We can all guess how that would play out… for sure, that will be the LAST TIME you will ever see that man again.
Nah nah nah. Not for me.
Marriage is to be enjoyed, not endured.
As I sat there in the awkward silence that ensued, I had this mental vision of me drenched in sweat after many gruelling hours of labour, my legs still up in stirrups. Blood, sweat and fluids stained the sheets, but I was happy- finally I had birthed OUR masterpiece. And just as I stretched my hands out to the doctor, feebly but enthusiastically to see the life WE had created, he (Mr-I-want-a-goose) would snatch the child from the arms from the bewildered doctor, raise the child to the heavens in a triumphant Lion King pose and vamoose from the labour room (indeed the hospital) with our masterpiece – never to be seen or heard from again!
Hahahahhaaaaaaa! I had to chuckle internally. Nice one guys. I had to give it to my mind and my soul when they decided to collaborate and create a shockingly twisted, utterly appalling scenario of doom and damnation. They were lavish in their imagination, even showed me my face looking gaunt and tired under the hospital’s harsh fluorescent lights. I could feel my mind beaming proudly in their little twisted collaboration. I could hear my soul sing-song her disapproval through my consciousness. Not him, not here… he is not yours and you are not his. Not him, not here.
And so that was how that went. I spent the next few days pondering on the real reasons people have before they get married. If you are married, what were you hoping for? Are you happy with the one you chose? If not, why not? Did you marry the love of your life or did you settle? What changed? Are you happy with who you are now?
And for the unmarried ones, if God said to you, “Imagine an ideal world, and then tell me what you would like in a partner’’. What would you tell him? No shame, just truth.
And for those who don’t want to get married, that’s also fine- what would you rather have, or better still, who would you rather be?
Isio Wanogho is a top-model, TV Personality and entrepreneur. She is conversant in five languages and has 12 years of experience in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Isio, popularly known by her brand name Isio De-laVega, captivates audiences with her signature wide smile and relatable, quirky personality which endears her to many. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @isiodelavega