Nairobi News

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I’m single and grandmother isn’t amused

Dear Michael,

I am 26 years old and with a good job in an international company. My grandmother has become very anxious lately about my single status and has taken it upon herself to find me a wife.

She has settled on a young girl from our village who is educated up to Form Four.

Recently, she took this young girl home to introduce her to my parents, who did not mind. I don’t know how to respond to this.

How do I tell granny and my ‘betrothed’ that I am not interested in their matchmaking efforts?

Jeremiah

Do not despise the wisdom of age. Between the judgment and evaluation of your grandmother and your parents, there might be great value in their input concerning a future wife.

Your parents and grandparents have a unique knowledge of who you are and of what it takes to be in a marriage that can overcome the test of time.

Bear in mind that some men will jump at such an opportunity after several attempts of getting a wife.

Your age and job suggest that you’re ready to conquer the world. Professionally, you seem to be making great strides; physically, you’ve never felt better, your body does exactly what you want it to do and you probably look your best so far in life.

Financially, you have the good old ‘disposable’ income; In terms of relations, you no longer suffer rejection, I presume, and you want the ‘right’ person.

 

If those are the circumstances, then it is easy to despise words of wisdom, and even the selection of a grandmother, who has the approval of your parents.

 

We should not forget that she is ‘only’ a rural form four leaver? Surely you can do better!

 

You don’t mention whether you have met this lady. Evaluate her, honourably, as much as possible, for who she is and how the two of you relate, irrespective of the fact that she has been selected for you.

It would also be worth your while to understand why your grandmother is eager for you to get married. She seems to have persuaded your parents about it too.

Ultimately, the decision to or not to marry is yours. You will live with the consequence of your choice and decision, whether or not the woman has been pre-selected on your behalf.

Trusted people

As you make the decision you will live with, give respectful consideration to the opinions, views and thoughts of trusted people around you.

In response to your question: be as respectful and gentle as you can.

 

Do your best to explain your decision to your granny though it would seem that she would only accept your rejection of her efforts if you introduce the woman you do intend to marry.

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How do I cope with the horror of getting old?

Dear Michael,

I am a graphic designer aged 30. My fear is that one day I will be old and unattractive after which people will avoid me.

You might think I’m trivial but nothing can be further from the truth. I’ve seen old people being shunned by friends and offspring who think they are not cool. How does one deal with the spectre of ageing?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for sharing your concern. Your fears are not unjustified and cannot be belittled yet life, thankfully, presents us with options regarding our fears.

You may choose to live in fear, run away from your fears or face and live beyond them.. Each has its own consequence, but I believe what you want is a fulfilled and content life not necessarily easy.

You have shared several fears you seem to be contending with.. A fear of ageing, of perceived unattractiveness in old age, a fear of the loneliness and shunning you have seen other people suffer, and a fear of not being cool in old age.

This describes your present fear and thankfully, you are seeking a way out. Soon, as you approach mid-life, you could end up running away from your fear of ageing – mid-life crisis. Anonymous, ageing is inevitable … since Adam and Eve!

Accept the journey of life because we are born and grow from being a baby, to a child, a teenager, an adolescent and finally an elder. Each phase has its highlights and challenges and one builds on to the next.

Turning to your concern on unattractiveness in old age, there are things you could do now to preclude the likelihood of being unattractive later. The same applies to loneliness, being shunned and the perception of not being cool.

What is cool?

• Shunning: Foster healthy relationships and don’t restrict that to your age mates only.

• Cool: The definition of what is cool has to change as you age: ‘cool’ at 30 cannot be cool at 60. Embrace and adapt to the ‘cool’ you would want to be seen as when older

• Loneliness: Seek meaningful companionship with a spouse, friends and family. Invest your time in them now, in the hope that they will invest in you too.

The efforts toward building companionship should nurture a deeper level of relationship that is not always possible when all interactions are centred around activities.

Unattractiveness. do what is within your control to ensure that you age gracefully for example exercise, deal with stress, eat properly, laugh, do what you have to do and leave what is not yours to do.