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Bobosteke: Is Your Wedding Day Truly the Happiest Day of Your Life?

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dreamstime_l_58893579I was listening to N6 on 96.9, Cool FM on a short drive this past Saturday and the topic was something along the lines of whether it was alright for a bride to twerk on her wedding day. Twittersphere was lit (according to N6) and he proceeded to read out some of the comments. I listened to about four of them and the drive terminated when some guy called from the third mainland bridge.

Now all the tweets I heard him read out said she was allowed to so dance as it was HER wedding and the happiest day of her life. While I may not venture any opinion on the particular subject, my interest was piqued at the hidden subtext of those tweets and calls that said she was allowed to do so as it was the happiest day of her life. The happiest day of her life.

I continued to muse over this a bit and discovered that in any clime, it is quite perfunctory to refer to the wedding day as the “happiest day of my life”. It seems no other experience can or should compare; that the day is bestowed with some compulsory magic happy that fails to find expression through any other event. Subconsciously, going by the tweets and calls on N6’s show, we have concluded, (and Walt Disney has emphasized, with the “happily-ever-after” addendum), that a wedding is the highest expression of happiness. Is there the danger of a single story?

I didn’t know when I thought out loud, to no one in particular, “But my wedding day is not the happiest day of my life”. The fact that I am presently not married is a very minor detail. I fully expect to be happy on the day of my wedding. But to begin to think that all the happiness in this grand, vibrant, life is simply to be cashed in on that one event which lasts for about 8/9 hours, is beyond ojoro. Emotions are very fleeting. They have a short life span. I have lived before that day and I still expect to live right after. There are, and still would be, many days to share happiest with. Imagine being born with the knowledge of when the happiest day of your life would be. For me, it removes the adventure and the unpredictability that makes life such an attractive risk.

In Beyoncé’s song “Pretty Hurts” the introductory question was asked, “What is your aspiration in life?” to which she replied, “My aspiration in life would be… to be happy”. It’s clear from the lyrics of the song that she definitely was not aspiring to a wedding as a mean of happiness. The song speaks of a fear of failure, the fatalistic sense of not being able to please everyone, and the nakedness of thought.

Some people believe that if they are not married they would never know true happiness. It is a genuine, legitimate fear and maybe we can now see where this comes from. No one should fault anyone for this. But if you can undress the wedding attire worn by this fear, beneath it, is a desire for companionship, for friendship, for loyalty, for love. These needs are far deeper than the desire for or a wedding or a marriage and are not necessarily cured through either of them. They can therefore be fulfilled over and over again with different people at different times and through different experiences.

Some of us are of the school that we are the only ones who can make ourselves happiest. This is usually interpreted in terms of what we can do (buy, achieve) to bring ourselves satisfaction. The phrase “just do you” is usually bandied about to emphasize the miolewaku (I cannot kill myself) tendencies that our generation has become known for. But nothing rewards like the gummy smile of a baby, the warmth of a hug or the kindness of a stranger.

There are also stronger emotions than happiness. It’s what you feel when you turn on the radio just as they play the last line of your favorite jamz. It’s that moment when you ask a mannequin for directions at the bus stop because you thought it was human. It’s while giving your four year old niece a bath, you ask her to hold her breathe but she clutches her breasts instead. It’s that moment when you sing out loud in church ‘cos you are trying to show off your voice only you are singing the wrong hymn – loudly. It’s queuing at the filling station for hours on end only for fuel to finish when it gets to your turn. It’s when your brother who has been dozing beside you in church suddenly jumps up and shouts Hallelujah! for no just cause. It’s that moment when Phyno’s “Connect” comes on. It’s sleeping past your alarm and dashing to the bathroom only to remember it’s Saturday with soap in your eyes and tooth paste in your mouth. It’s that moment when your phone beeps after being silent for sooooooo long, you click savagely, expectantly on the envelop icon.
It’s not a message from her/him, or the alert you have been expecting, but from “3520” which reads “text “Love” to “1320” to get the latest music downloads to thrill your callers”.

It’s when you drive through third mainland bridge at 8:00pm on a Monday evening, in a dazed fashion because there is no traffic. It’s walking out the door, just as you hear your zip, without any prior notice of malfunction, rip. It’s when you press send to an unintended recipient. It’s that moment when you floor the accelerator and you beat the traffic light just as it turns red. It’s when you buttoned your shirt unevenly and your crush points it out.

Sometimes, sometimes we live more in these moments than in our happiest.

Death is very final. But it’s the small deaths we die, while we yet live, that truly kill. We think that the fulfillment of the Great Expectation (whatever that means to you) will bring us the happiness we desire and we hinge everything on it; by-passing or failing to appreciate other experiences because we seek something else. It may, or may not.
A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way. They reach the summit last because they know it isn’t at the top of the mountain waiting for them, but it’s down below teaching others that the view is glorious wherever you stand. It’s the happiness we can give each other, irrespective of who they are, that is the greatest of all.

That kind of happiness that genuinely gives without seeking anything in return. It is governed by the fundamental spirit of economy which means that to be blessed, is to be a blessing to others.

Maybe then, maybe we may not have to consider if we can twerk all our happiness in just one day.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

44 Comments

  1. whocares

    June 23, 2016 at 11:08 am

    You are beautiful, and you write beautifully. You have such a thorough understanding of what it means to live and I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have written here. You live in all moments, both the big and small ones. I always thought something was wrong with me whenever people ask me to describe the “happiest day of my life”. I am only 26 and whilst I have lived long enough, done enough good, enough iranu, experienced myriad emotions, I still cant say what the happiest day of my life is and I don’t believe that is a question I will be able to answer for a while yet. One moment is as good as the next if not better if you are willing to embrace life. An example, last week i was supposed to go to dinner with a friend, and it was a miserable affair so I decided to leave them to it, gave my friend her gift and left. On the way home I decided to get dinner and at the restaurant there was this little girl of 5. She was the best thing that happened to me that day, we initially started talking about what she was eating, and she procced to inform me that her noodles was in fact worms. loool. We played hide and seek with the extra gift bag i had with me.. kids will find anything fascinating. II went into that shop all moody and disgusted and came out with a smile on my face.. it is by no means a momentous event in my life, but those types of days stick with you.. you live in the big and little moments and find happiness in everything. Bobo darling, ya head is there and I needed to read this today (I am re-reading the alchemist as well so the universe is trying to ass me a message here i believe) lol
    In other news, I heard Phyno’s connect for the first time last week.. AHHH!!! Phyno is my spirit animal. lool

    • seeker

      June 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      A thousand kisses to you and Lara…
      A few days ago, I was watching one of those short super soul sunday clips (with Alanis Morisette), about happiness being a temporary state.

      We tend to pay too much attention to this one emotion and make it seem grander than others but unfortunately, life promises us all of it – confusion, fear, anxiety, – it’s all part of the mix; we can’t pick some and leave the rest, we can only manage them. Dwelling on just one and discrediting or wishing the others away just seem like fantasy.

      Most of these ideas, such as wedding being the happiest day, are just thoughts handed to us that we don’t remember to question. Life promises us more beauty than that emotion felt on the wedding day

    • uberhaute

      June 24, 2016 at 11:31 am

      It was one of many more happy days to come. I married the man of my heart who I fell in love with, it was a perfect day and a wonderful marriage.

  2. tothinkofit

    June 23, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Hi,
    I used to think my wedding day would be the happiest day of my entire life. Becoz I have anticipated marriage from when I started puberty. Jesu!! Looooool.
    I am not married yet. But I have come to think differently . It would be great day to be married. It would be a dream come true.
    But I would endeavor to always have happy days. As one day alone doesnt really hold water if the others are morose filled.

    Gaining admission to the university just like that was one of the happiest days of my life I soon forgot it.
    Coming to victoria island and living a paid posh life while in training for a job was one of the happiest days of my life but I soon forgot it. Looooooool.

    Traveling out was one of the happiest days of my life but I soon forgot it.

    I would rather love to nourish, protect, give to my everyday self and relationship so each day is a happy day consistently.

  3. Tincan

    June 23, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Thought inducing article – thank you. I don’t think most people’s happiest day is their wedding day only, I think people, mostly girls btw, just subscribe to the sentiment. There’s happiness in many moments of ones life and personally I have only recently made the decision to enjoy moments of the ride instead of waiting on ‘my big story’. I enjoyed it when my cheeky daughter sat and started jumping on my tummy this morning and I enjoyed having my leaving do last night – I felt rather delirious. Yeah, life is good and God’s awesome.

    • Pint Sized

      June 23, 2016 at 11:53 am

      My wedding day was NOT the happiest day of my life.

      I stood there, in all my white glory with this tall, dark and handsome guy beside me, and we were saying our vows in front of a large crowd of some of the wealthiest Nigerians and politicians.

      We had the best music performers, 4 different caterers, all the wine you can imagine, the decor was amazing, Funke and her Zapphaire team do the best, the chairman of our day was Nigerian Royalty, I looked amazing, my groom looked like a dream of chocolate.

      But I wasn’t in love with him. Still not.

      Because I loved someone else. Still do.

      🙁

    • AwkwardFromBirth

      June 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      You say you weren’t in love with him, still don’t and you love someone else, i beg to ask, were you forced into the marriage?

    • FasholasLover

      June 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Jeeezus @pint size. I am not criticising you but, why sentence yourself to prison?

      Waking up everyday in itself is a gift and there are too many reasons to be grateful. One day can never be the happiest in the journey of life. Life is to be enjoyed. Do good, – education, friendships, marriage, falling in and out of love, child bearing, nurturing and do some iranu like @whocares said and keep trudging on till the owner of life decides to call you home.

    • nunulicious

      June 23, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      @pint size.
      what is love sef? Love is mind over matter. Love in marriage is over-rated. Ask those who have been married for long. Our parents and even our generations have arranged marriages that thrive. Since you chose to marry him, the pro’s must have outweighed the cons. Focus on those. As per the other person you are in love with, the grass always APPEARS greener on the other side.

    • michy

      June 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Can relate to this oooo,u just shared my story….”happiest day” mean different things to different, most of my happiest times is when am venturingz/launching into something new.

  4. @edDREAMZ

    June 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    All you said is based on ur opinion alone.. Nice write though no doubt…
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  5. Married woman

    June 23, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Excellent write up Bobo! Excellent!
    Like @Tincan said, some people just subscribe to the sentiment without really giving thought to how they truly feel. I was anxious, uncomfortable in my false lashes and eye makeup, hot because the AC wasn’t cooling adequately and just flat out tired from all the running around that led up to that day. All i wanted to do was make sure everyone got food, drinks and souvenirs, dance well enough to get sprayed enough to pay off our outstanding debts and go home with my new husband to our honeymoon suite! My wedding day was a very happy day of my life but I can’t honestly say it was THE happiest day of my life.
    And yes, happiness is found in the more mundane and unexpected things -like your nephew peeing straight into your open mouth while youre giving him a diaper change! Happy times! 🙂

    • aj

      June 24, 2016 at 2:10 am

      ummm actually the last line is disgusting! lol

  6. Iceicebaby

    June 23, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I love you Bobosteke and I have missed you on BN. This article has given me one of the moments you’ve just written about. The sun is shinning brighter all of a sudden. ? This is for you my new virtual friend.

  7. Angie

    June 23, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I totally agree with you. For me, everyday is the happiest day of my life. I look at both the big things and small things. Finding a parking spot in this congested city makes me happy, talking to new people. I also volunteer a lot with homeless people and in feeding, outreach drives. That gives me a whole new perspective in life. I just started volunteering at a hospice and my oh my, everything we have now is a miracle.
    So when people ask me, when are you getting married, when will you upgrade your car, etc, I smile inside, for I know where true happiness lies, for me.

  8. Bleed Blue

    June 23, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Bobosteke,

    You know all this time, I was so sure I knew who you were? I have this “Instagram friend” who’s as deep as you and seems to vibrate me higher with all her captions. Y’all are so similar in your writing that in my head, you were her.

    Except, she’s married. With kids. And you’re not. So you’re not her.

    #DisappointedDotCom

  9. MamaD

    June 23, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    While my wedding was approaching, I kept saying to myself, let me see the fuss about one’s wedding and while many say it’s the happiest day of their lives. I wasn’t feeling over the top as the prep was on. Lol
    On the night to the wedding, I didn’t get enough sleep. While the service was on I wished the day could run faster so the ceremony ends. When the church aspect ended, I was already wishing reception never exist, I was terrified at the thought of first time sex as well. I needed sleep and I don’t crave attention one bit. The attention was on me and my husband and I wish it could cease. My wedding day was not the happiest day of my life. I thankfully live through whatever good moment be it birthing a baby, acquiring material possessions etc.

  10. Engoz

    June 23, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I believe people-mostly women just follow the bandwagon without any reflection. It’s like you are expected to live a script when it comes to your wedding. There are somethings that genuinely gets me to go awwwwwwwww (there is just something about babies after a bath and in a towel) but weddings I don’t get that feeling. I’m too much of a realist to get the whole flurry feeling. It can be bad and When I was younger I had to pretend and follow the tide and go aww, lol. Nowadays I just smile and clap without exaggerating my feelings before they call me a witch, lol. That was how my friend was showing me her ring finger to show that she was getting married. I swear I did not see that ring on her finger. I was like what, what is it for w couple of seconds. She had to point to the finger and say she was getting married before I could get it, lmao. I consider my wedding as a rites of passage, a formality. I’m cutting out all the bridesmaids, groomsmen, little bride, page boy or what are they called these days? Ain’t nobody got time for that! It surely ain’t the happiest day of my life…cos I’m already reflecting on the marriage aspect.

    This is not to say weddings shouldn’t be the happiest day of your life. We are all different. Enjoy yourselves as you please.

  11. ItsSusan

    June 23, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    So deep…nice write up

  12. Ada Nnewi

    June 23, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I make sure I have a few “happiest moment in my life” moments everyday… it is a personal goal and it keeps me grateful, thankful, smiling and youthful.

  13. Naijatalk

    June 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    My wedding day was not the happiest day of my life and I’m never shy to vocalize that. It was more akin to ‘the most relief’ I’ve ever experienced because of all the stress prior. The happiest day of my life is yet to come. It’s the day I meet with my Lord, my number one lover, my best friend.

  14. Naijatalk

    June 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Beautiful piece Bobosteke

  15. Ola_Dee

    June 23, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Fabulous write-up and those memories you shared were incredible, as others have said its enjoying the moment for what it is that is most important…the who’s, the where’s, the when’s….a treasure clove of memories…and then at odd times you can always reminisce and be happy yet in another moment all by yourself…to place that expectation on a single day…would be injustice to yourself and those memories you have shared with others .

  16. AANUOLUWAPO OYEDELE

    June 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    i was actually happy on my wedding day but i’m sure the day i will be confirmed pregnant will be the happiest

  17. mz_daniels

    June 23, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Today is the best day of my life. I have a funny situation happening right now in the office and people are talking and taking sides. The funny thing is that I am still and I am at peace. One kind of peace that is surprising even me. In all, I will stay beautiful and I will be still. Today is the best day of my life because I have learnt that I can actually be calm and not think negative thoughts. That’s a good thing to know about myself

  18. Jojo

    June 23, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    @pint sized I feel ur pain but my best advice for you is that if you cant be with the person you love,love who you are with and be happy.

  19. Oluchi

    June 23, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I hate attention, worse still if it’s all on me and it’s not like I’m preaching or making a presentation.
    Most certainly my wedding day won’t be the happiest day of my life.
    I often fantasise about kidnapping the groom to an exotic island and coming back telling family we got married.
    If wishes were horses…. (my very ibotic family will never survive it).

    My happy is in the mundane things…
    Watching a baby feed,
    Making a baby smile,
    Turning a frown into a smile,
    Making a heartbroken person find happiness,
    Leading people to experiencing GOD,
    Getting lost in music,
    Getting lost in an intense worship experience,
    Sharing in the joy of people,
    Believing in people…

    That’s my happy.

  20. Iris

    June 23, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    I think the concept of your wedding being the happiest day of your life is a marketing gimmick sold by the wedding industry. A lot of people who came before us in and outside Nigeria simply consented to marry, and even the ones who chose to marry probably weren’t giddy and falling over.
    Another reason you know it is a gimmick is that it is an expression used mainly for women and not for both parties getting married – the gender more involved in planning the wedding.

  21. jayz

    June 23, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Nice write up

  22. amebo

    June 23, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    @mamad your experience was exactly mine, no difference whatsoever

  23. Tobby Francis

    June 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Well it all depends on the individual
    My own happiest day was the day God spared my life which I remain grateful to him till this day
    I had an accident trailer hit my car and then took me to other side of the road
    Car was completely damaged but I came out with no scratch no nothing
    That was and is my happiest day.
    For others e fit be their happiest day as Dey don Dey wait to walk down the aisle since
    That Na why some Dey cry etc. so happiness doesn’t just lie on the marriage thing
    There are other things in life that can bring you happiness

  24. AA

    June 23, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Dear Bella Naija, please I think there should be a like or better still Love button on each post cos all I want to do is love this write up, I didn’t have to write this. Please consider it. Thanks

  25. tamy

    June 23, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Nys article,tho I tend to disagree. There seems to be a misunderstanding btwn happiest day of your life and happy days of ur life. The fact that one/more days were d happiest days doesn’t mean u weren’t happy in the other days. Everyday cannot be the happiest day of your life,that’s y it’s called ‘happIEST’ day. So yes my wedding day can be the happiest day of my life (I don’t knw yet as am not yet married), the day I graduate from school can be the happiest day of my life, the day I get engaged/ask my loved one to marry me and I get a positive reply can be the happiest day of my life, the day I buy my dream shoe/car/house can be the happiest day of my life,heck the day I eat that food i’v only seen in ‘classy’ magazines can be the happiest day of my life…usually it remains the happiest day until something greater happens after that making the new thing the happiest day (or one of the happiest days of my life whyl the former happiest day remains as one of the happiest days or changes to just a ‘happy day’ in comparison to the new occurrence). Your happiest day doesn’t necessarily mean ur stress-free day, I guess d reason y most pple have their wedding day as their happiest day is cos dey loook bck at d obstacles they overcame,the pain n joy shared n realize dt finally they would get to live d rest of their lives with the person dey love n vice versa (d issue of living happily ever aftr does nt arise at dis point) eventho dey r tired n cnt wait for d ‘ceremony’ to b over wit.

  26. July

    June 23, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    My wedding wasn’t the happiest day of my life, I don’t like attention, I’m a very shy person, I just wanted it over and done, but watching my baby grow and attain new milestones makes me happy, and when i’m angry and he smiles and laughs, my face brightens….daily I experience happiness with my baby, so no day in particular gets the ‘award’ it’s a daily thing and I love it that way

  27. Cynical

    June 23, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks Bobosteke,for this piece. I really needed this. I am at the point in my career where I just feel lost,hoping for a sense of direction,that wonderful job,everything falling into place and it has really been making me feel low. But I have been having a one on one with my self…….till I get my ‘jumoke’ moment like I like to call it,I better enjoy the process,find happiness in my present job,find happiness in my kids and husband,find happiness in the little mundane everyday things.
    As for that wedding day happiness,though I was very happy,my topmost emotion was relief that everything was over.And I was much happier when I became a mom for the first time. As human beings,we have goals that we think when we achieve will make us happy,but when you eventually achieve it,it’s like bleh…..then on to the next one.

  28. Atoke

    Atoke

    June 23, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    The happiest day of my life was the day I got my Cambridge A-Level results, and I passed. Lol. I had EEO the first time I sat for the exams yo… That BBC was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    I’ve tried to think of any emotion that trumps that one, but nah! Lol Not even knowing that I passed Bar Finals and won’t have to return to dreaded Bwari trumps that feeling yo.

    • Mo

      June 23, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Ah for it to trump bar finals then it must be something! Me I will never forget one entrance exam I wrote to a new primary sch that wasn’t ready to admit students in primary 6.
      I cried in the exam hall thinking of how my parents would be disappointed in me and the shame of not being in the same class with my mates because I felt I didn’t do well. Fast forward result day, I came third overall. I’m telling you to this day when praying for anything, especially exams (I’m about to write bar finals o) I say something along these lines ‘Lord I know you will do wonders just like that time…’ I will even pray my wedding day is as surprising as that result because me I expect to be terribly nervous under such attention.

    • The special one

      June 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

      I can totally relate with the Cambridge A-level result, having written the exam twice.

  29. nunulicious

    June 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    “It’s while giving your four year old niece a bath, you ask her to hold her breathe but she clutches her breasts instead”

    This is really funny! hahahahaha. now anytime i tell a child hold your breath, i’ll recollect this!

  30. Nonamespls

    June 23, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I think i have lived many happiest days of my life, checking that board for final results, response to applications, news from a loved one healed of a terminal disease, day i had my son was just exhausting lol i had imagined would be the happiest, i agree there a little happiest moments we live through.

  31. Miss Anonymous

    June 23, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Very nice write up. Subtly reminds me of Alanis Morisette’s Song, “Ironic”.

  32. call me dr jizzle

    June 24, 2016 at 9:54 am

    This is arguably one of the best pieces I have ever read!!!!! Oh wow!!!!! Just wow!!!!!! I arise to go enjoy life’s journey! Thanks so much for this piece.

  33. "changing moniker"

    June 24, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Bobosteke ahn ahn…..
    you make me think anytime i read your writeup.
    why don’t you comment as often anymore?
    My boyfriend recently accused me of being too hung up on wedding celebrations. i was stunned ehn… i was thinking is it the same me that can’t even be bothered about serenre. i was just telling him that we needed to plan things early enough so there’s no rush ……..nawa….don’t mind my side gist jarey.
    My point is the wedding day itself might just be a normal day to me, but marrying him (the wahala boyfriend), my bestfriend; Sweats would make me extraordinarily happy.
    The day i remember as being most happy was when i got the offer letter for my first job, after waiting for awhile….i was happy, I was!!.
    I guess the next “happiest” day will come when Sweats is able to pull off a surprise proposal. i don’t even see how that will be possible, seeing as i know that guy in and out….

    Can someone explain if Lara Bian is an alter ego or a bestfriend, or even a puppy?

  34. Chinenye

    July 27, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Bobsteke,
    You are wise.

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