WHO LEAVES THEIR LOVER JUST BECAUSE THEY CHEATED?


Fidelity-and-infidelitySo the other day I happened to be listening to the radio and a caller to the station got me thinking. I seldom think, so the topic at hand must have been so hot as to exercise a few of my neurons.

An amorously challenged girl had called the station and wanted the entire world to help her put the shit that’s her relationship together. Her boyfriend had cheated on her with some prettier damsel and though the lass still loved him deeply, she was considering cutting her losses and calling it quits.

That sounds like the normal, banal claptrap they feed us on all FM stations day in day out. But it was the presenter’s reaction that was an absolute doozy. Instead of pretending to empathise with the caller and offering some reassuring advice as I’m sure her job description dictates, this radio queen instead burst out laughing hysterically. The ugly laugh, more bemusing than amusing, must have gone down the Guiness Book as the longest and most atrocious laugh on air. By the time she was done laughing I could feel blood trickling down my ears. Okay I exaggerate, but you get my point.

After she had comported herself over a music break, she proceeded to explain why she found the caller’s dilemma hilarious. “You mean you want to leave your boyfriend just because he cheated on you? Who does that nowadays?” She posed.

Long after I had already thrown my radio outside the window and the show was over, the female presenter’s sentiments still hang onto my brain like a brain tumour (Pardon the inappropriate simile). I mean, for all the reasons that make couples break up, cheating is at the very bottom of that list? Gosh! I thought it occupied all the top five positions in the list!

That radio show made me so much wiser; like an epiphany or something. I hadn’t realized that the world is fast changing; cheating on your partner is now something so normal that it is overlooked without even raising an eyebrow.

Later that night I happened to watch the classic movie Half of a Yellow Sun, based on the eponymous book by Nigeria’s Chimamada Ngozi Adichie.  In the movie, the main character is this hot daughter of Eve whose name escapes me. Speaking of Nigerian names, why do they have to be such tongue twisters? Can’t they just borrow simple Kenyan names like Lukorito and Wepukhulu?

Anyway, this hot damsel discovers that her fiancé just slept with this village girl and even put her in the family way. She’s distraught, of course, and runs away taking refuge at her aunt’s. Sardonically, her aunt advices her not to leave her man just because of one ‘silly mistake.’ The lady puts her matriarch’s advice to use and not only returns to her unfaithful fiancé but also takes a bite on the same cherry by sleeping with her sister’s husband as payback. Of course they all laugh about it later and go on with life as though nothing happened.

Growing up and until just recently before listening to the radio show, I used to hold fidelity at a very high pedestal. So sacrosanct was the idea of monogamy to me that although I’m light years away from tying the knot, just the mere thought of cheating on my girlfriend made me quake in the boots. If only I’d known no one can walk out on you just because you got drunk a little bit and ‘accidentally’ slept with that girl that fondly calls you “BFF”.

In my books, infidelity ranked (and still does) among the seven deadly sins, right below terrorism, necrophilia and listening to Justin Beiber’s music.  I even contemplated writing a strong-worded letter to parliament aimed at influencing them to make the sin of unfaithfulness punishable by the catapult. Punishment by the catapult is whereby you’re placed on the stretching end of a humongous catapult and flung straight into the seventh chamber of hell. Boohoo! Joke’s on me, turns out being unfaithful is pretty tame in this modern world, and can only receive as much comeuppance as a slap on the wrist.

There are better reasons to leave your partner like when they become broke, when you catch them peeing inside the kitchen sink, when they wear skinny jeans, when they forget your birthday, when they become pregnant or when you discover someone better. But somehow you shouldn’t end the relationship just because you found out they’ve been playing bedminton with your best friend for a year now.

It’s a crazy world, I tell you. Infidelity has become too mainstream. Call me a heretic, but I refuse to conform to your new order and firmly stick to faithfulness.

Lemme go down and pick my radio from the dumpster where I threw it.

jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.