The Joys and Pangs of Being a Single Parent and Black…..

Time and again, reality check strikes me that I am Black and a single parent, in a sea of Whites and Marrieds. I have felt both the joys, and pangs of being Black or a single parent, even when I am the ‘token’ in the group. It happens where I reside, in my travels, social engagements and networks, and at community events.

Not that I am blaming anybody for my “black-single parent status”; it is the story of my life! Particularly now that I am a parent of a child – a single parent. That reality set in during the recent Child of Mine (COM)’s Cub Scout Pack #85 2015 Annual Weekend Camping at Knoebels Amusement Resort and Campground in Elysburg, PA.

I love social living, I love involving my child in social activities, taking him places and engaging him in educational experiences. Joining the Cub Scout was my way of introducing him to civic responsibility and good citizenship at a young age. Moreover, as a woman and a single parent, I cannot give him all the lessons on “Becoming a Man”; so I need the help that the Boy Scouts of America can provide him. Plus, as the only child, he benefits greatly from broadening his social networks, meeting new friends and interacting with little boys his age. Plus, mommy gets a break from being the “sole playmate”.

In most cases, I do not let “being the only black family or single parent” keep us away from partaking of the many fun activities Pack#85 organizes. I take him to as many activities that his Cub Scout Pack organizes, hiking, Day Camp, baseball games, Veterans Day and Flag Day celebrations, and most recently, the annual Pack Weekend Camping Trip. I am very aware of my single parenthood at most of his Pack events, where I am visibly the only single parent. Most non-custodial parents of other cubs show up to Pack meetings, and not many single parents participate in Pack outings. At least at Pack meetings, I do not stand out alone because there are usually two or three Black families in addition to us.

This past weekend Camping at Knoebels was an “In Your Face, You’re Black Moment”. Walking through campsites to the bathroom, that strange feeling of “Blackness in a sea of Whiteness” engulfed me. I wondered whether anybody was looking over their shoulder seeing me going through their campsite. While I love to wear my hood sometimes, I could not risk being mistaken for a “dangerous trespasser” and getting shot at in “self-defense”. The simple things others may take for granted, I was self-aware and highly cautious.

Because I barely saw any full Black families on campground. The ones I saw had white spouses and mixed race children. In a sea of whiteness I wondered, where are all the Black people that love to do “white people stuff” – Don’t say you have not heard that saying before, that “Black people don’t hike, don’t camp, don’t do crazy adventures.” I wondered, is it really true? I bet there were some Black families, but there are over 500 campsites, and I was only exposed to a small section.

In my camping group, I was the only single parent among seven other families, in addition to being the only black family I saw on ground. Don’t get me wrong, I have my joys of being a single parent – that I can make decisions without the encumbrance of a disagreeing non-supportive other parent, in my case. But there are also pangs of single parenting, especially the absence of an extra helpful hand, a male figure for this male COM, or a companion for myself. I am always making these lonesome trips and activities with COM.

The pangs of single parenthood struck me for a minute over Scout Camping Weekend, among couples and their children. While I was solely responsible for COM – preparing him meals, making the bed, taking him to shower and bathroom and taking him onto weekend entertainment, none of the other parents! I watched with longing the unspoken/automated division of responsibilities between husband and wife or father and mother, as well as the children.

Time for dinner or breakfast, the women/wives/mothers in our group dived into the kitchen, prepared pancakes, eggs, sausage, toast, and all for their families/husbands/fathers of their children. Time to erect or put down tents, the men, unquestioningly took on their responsibilities like pros, ensuring everyone had a place to sleep. Yours truly benefited from the Camp organizers’ teenage son, a Boy Scout, who offered to erect and bring down our tent. Fathers and sons also worked together to carry the heavy stuff and stepped up as men should.

Note to self: Don’t believe the “equality hype” western white feminists preached, that men and women in marital relations equally share family and household chores. Equality is not Sameness. True, fathers and husbands have stepped up from the days when they did not babysit. However, the gendered division of labor still exists, even here in America, my America.

Men are still the predominant breadwinners, and women nurture the children and take care of the household [expectedly]. Husbands do the heavy lifting, repairs and chores around the house, women produce the food out of the kitchen, feed the children, put them to sleep, prepare them for school, attend PTO meetings and chauffeur them from school to after-school programs.

Before you start claiming such couples are ’traditionalist in their marital relations’, without [advanced] formal education, plenty of the women I know, as mothers and wives, have graduate degrees. They simply quit working away from their homes, or quit paid work all together to focus on running their families and homes. Such decisions are as much a luxury, as they are a sacrifice, for the best interests of their children. After all, employers are not making it so attractive for mothers to stay at work and ably raise their young children, without offering great benefits packages for maternity leave, vacation, personal days off, child care or health insurance packages.

The kind of security and harmonious relationship I watch among Cub Scout couples gives me a kind of nostalgia for finding a good committed relationship for myself, which may not necessarily lead to marriage. I am not saying this kind of harmonious, secure relationship is only found among white couples; I am simply citing the white couples who predominate my Cub Scout’s Pack. It feels good to see couples providing unconditional and unsolicited support to each other, in the traditional way. In such moments, it is hard being the strong Black woman and single parents I have to be each day. I just wish to be loved and pampered. But the work continues!

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Perhaps there is Freedom in Suffering?

It is a given that all humans live in pursuit of happiness! We all want to be happy, with ourselves, our loved ones and our families. We want to enjoy life, and always wish the best for ourselves. None of us wishes to be bonded to pain, sadness or misery.
Our pursuit of happiness manifests itself in different forms. Self-help books, filled with “lessons on becoming/staying happy”. Shrinks in form of psychologists, psychiatrists, religious prophetesses and prophets, guidance counselors and friends, all remind us how worthy of happiness we are. Lest we forget the “Happy Singer” Pharrell Williams, whose “happy” has ‘infected’ every corner of the world, including places amidst chaos and war. Fitness and body weight loss programs restore and build our happiness, as are TV, video and radio and plenty of other entertainment disposable to make us happy. Implicitly, Happiness is the ultimate measure of personal freedom; sadness the worst form of human living, which should be avoided at all costs!
Perhaps we are all wrong! That sadness is after all not fatal, not miserable and not undesirable. Perhaps there is freedom in suffering? Freedom to liberate, to take time off the world’s absurdities into oneself. Time to reflect and rejuvenate oneself, time to ponder over one’s failures, disappointments and hurtful moments, then recreate success, satisfaction, love and happiness. Through suffering, we might find the strength to claim our space in an unfamiliar, unjust and uninviting world. We might stop being voiceless by finding our voice, or among others concerned about their plight. We might also find the creativity to rebuild our lives and reclaim economic, political and social security for ourselves and loved ones. We might create our bubble of happiness, false or real, longterm or short-lived.
Here, I am thinking of Gays and Lesbians, very often living as outlaws in many societies, but are able to find avenues for self-expression. Transforming alienation, antagonism and ostracism they face into spaces to display of themselves to the ‘unsuspecting’ public through art, spoken word, activism, performance, dressing and festivities. Through disobedience they are transforming their suffering into freedom from confinement in the ‘underground’/‘unseen’ world into outer space.
Battered and abused spouses, as well, find freedom in suffering, through silence or disobedience against demands of their abusive spouses. For some, sexual intercourse is the channel for release their suffering at the hands of abusive spouses for a ‘momentary’ moment(s) of enjoyment. Sexual intercourse transpositions them into a world away from their sadness, reconnecting with their inner most desires and blissfulness. Others find freedom in infidelity with ‘lovers’, one-off strangers or sex workers. Married men buy prostitutes to satisfy their sexual infatuation. Overtime, some of the transactions transcend mere sexual encounter, as the sex worker becomes a listening ear and shoulder to cry on about their marital woes, an avenue to release oneself freely, a source of ‘free’ marriage counseling and education in sexual intimacy. Married women also take on lovers or boyfriends for sexual satisfaction, and to feel desired, adored and youthful again.
Even the unemployed find freedom in suffering a financial loss and job insecurity. The mind is released from the daily demands of a work-life to wander off into places of sadness to imagination to creativity. The loss and pain that often comes with unemployment also avails one more time to think, invent, regain the courage to rebuild oneself, and recreate one’s freedom, through a new employment elsewhere, or by creating own employment.
Drug addicts unleash their pain and suffering through drugs, even if its a few minutes of ‘make-believe’ happiness. I have learned that crack cocaine users ultimately become addicted in a search for “that first high”, that can never be attainable again. They just want to relieve that moment of no fear, wild happy feelings and flying high in the cloud.
Ultimately, even in the most suffering comes moments of freedom for all of us. Moments when we would rather not be disturbed by any offers of love, attention or comfort from outside ourselves. When we all resort to the power within us to overcome suffering and define and recreate our freedom on our terms.

The Insecurity of Capitalism

Perhaps reality TV shows can teach us something about the insecurity of Capitalism! I want to say, insensitivity as well!

 
I know for the most part that reality TV shows do not receive the best reviews. A confession to anyone that you watch reality TV  is bound to fetch you rebuke, turn heads  and eyes rolling, in a “get real! that is so unintelligent” attitude. Yes, I will confess that I watch plenty of reality TV shows, and possibly the only thing I watch on TV. Once, I was addicted to Survivor, the Amazing Race, The Hills, The City, Laguna Beach, Surreal Life, Celebreality, and Flavor Flav. Now I joyfully partake of my daily dose of news, talk shows, weather, national geographic, TV Judges, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, to the weekly Marriage Boot Camp, Keeping up with the Kardashians, the Haves and Have Nots.  Yes, I also watch pretty much all the Real Housewives of: Atlanta(the longest I have followed), New York (tried a couple of seasons); (stumbled upon) Beverly Hills; New Jersey; and most recently of Orange County. Incidentally, RHW of Miami did not catch my fancy; too many plastic women! Well, plenty of RWO feature plastic women, but not as much as Miami, in my opinion. Most recently I stumbled upon “Married to Medicine”, a show that further stamped the need for me to pen down this overdue piece.
 
“Married to Medicine” is about a group of established couples from Atlanta, with a connection to medicine -either the husband or wife is a doctor. Typical Atlanta style, there are plenty of characters, egos and attitudes. You know too well that Atlanta is the “Black Mecca”, with all kinds of established black people with own big monies, big mansions, big cars, and most definitely big flamboyant egos. There you find all sorts of sexualities, dog-eating-dog and “no-you-didn’t” type of people. I have since learned couple of phases from watching one or many of the Atlanta reality shows on Bravo TV. Most recently “Bye Felicia” – said somebody you have no time or care for that much! 
 
This past Sunday on “Married to Medicine”, which airs after “The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi’s Wedding”, one of the doctor’s wives told her husband she wanted to go on some form of birth control, postponing her husband wish to start a family with her. She said, she wanted to take care of herself and her needs first, by gaining financial security. She said, she worried about how men use money against their wives in a marital relationship, citing her father (whom she also confessed to love dearly), used his money to hold her mother down. Instantaneously, her husband’s face got flustered with shock and disappointment, although he then promised to support her in whatever she wants to do. Mrs. Doctor’s Wife (I will call her) comes off as one of the big flamboyant ego-type of Atlanta women. You would have no difficulty guessing right off that, she is the corporate america-type of woman. And that is where she spent most of her career before branching into own business of making dog clothes, which by the way infuriated her husband, unamused that, “she is focusing on making dog clothes, when many people in the world have real problems”. He also lashed out at her for calling dogs people’s names, elevating them to human status! 
 
My first reaction after I hearing Mrs. Doctor’s Wife “assert her independence, make her own, big monies, and secure financial security” was, “Why then did you get married?” I thought people get married to become one, to convert “my” to “our” dreams, to start a family, to have children? Why is she talking about “me my own, my needs, my financial security”? Why is the “paper-chase” being given too much power, privilege and precedence among married couples? What happened to the “traditional marriage”, when wives expected their husbands to look after them and their children? When husbands provided for their homes, their children, their wives and gave spending money to their wives? When wives did not necessarily need to make stashes of cash or big financial empires on their own to feel secure in marriage? Where marriage was a kind of retirement and ‘reward’ to women for all the pre-marital years of their lives when they depended on their fathers and mothers for upkeep and strive to achieve till their coming of age and getting married to men (we did not necessarily talk about women marrying women, then) to give them full care, protection and satisfaction in exchange for offering their time, dedication and wit to running the brood and securing husbands financial success outside the home? Or perhaps I am living in fantasyland, with misguided nostalgia and romanticism for the “traditional marriage”?
 
But I do not think so! I know plenty of these “traditional marriages” still prevalent in various parts of the world, including my country of origin Uganda. Many men still feel a responsibility, embracing family and societal expectation that they have to take care of their wives, children and entire household, even when their wives make money outside their home. Cross the Big Pond to the west, and the same “traditional marriages” are still envogue though mostly a privilege of the wealthy and among white couples. I have plenty of white mama friends who have traded in careers in high corporate America for low-earning professions teaching at elementary schools, babysitting, working at thrift stores or community grocery stores, that allow them more time as wives, mothers, and homemakers. They have taken their MBA, law and engineering degrees out of serving and building private companies, to avail themselves as “stay-at-home mothers and CEOs of home affairs. This ensures that they are available for their children when they leave for school, and at the end of the school day, while their husbands are out making money in the corporate careers. True, there are some couples where the wife works out of the house more than the husband, but the same arrangement applies. For example, a Professor friend who teaches Political Science at a University in the midwest, and travels several times during the year around the world for research and academic exchange, while her husband runs a home-based business. That has ensured that at least one parent (daddy) is home taking care of the children while mommy is around the world. Another female friend in Virginia works with an international organization that includes travel requirements to grantees and overseas offices, while her husband a college professor is available at home with the kids. Of course, dad gets hours off  when the kids are at school or a crèche. Still, the compromises they have made in their careers as a couple and family ensure that, if a child needs to be picked up from school sick, dropped off late or picked up from the bus after school, one parent is available. 
 
These couples are perhaps telling us that relationships and marriage are not all about money, (as Mrs. Doctor Wife opines) but building a family and relationship. I wonder what happened to “building a relationship through marriage”!  When a male “Married to Medicine” Doctor said, “when we got married, my money ceased to be *mine* but *ours*”, all the women in the group nodded in the affirmative. When he said, “her uterus ceased to be *hers*, but *ours*”, they burst out in laughter and contestation. Why is that? What is the purpose of marriage, if you are still going to live an “individualistic marriages”? Could it be that I am failing to recognize that capitalism has disenfranchised the “institution of marriage” and intensified the fright and plight of women in marital relations? Is capitalization of marriage the problem, introducing a monetary tag into marital relation, where a big house, big car, big closet, big shoe rack and big parties are worshiped more than time spent with family and children? 
 
On second reflection, I developed a little appreciation for the plight of “Mrs. Doctor Wife”, who privileges making money now over starting a family with husband. I have heard several people saying they cannot have children until they have enough money to afford them. Most of these people are or live in the west, where money is the language that has come to dictate what one can have or do with their life. In many ways, our experiences and understandings of life shape the actions and decisions we make. Perhaps Mrs. Doctor Wife was reflecting on her mother’s predicament, her life choices dictated by living at the financial mercy of her father. Mrs. Doctor Wife is afraid of becoming her mother, unable to fulfill her needs and desires, in case her husband decides to withdraw financial support from her or use his financial muscle to control her choices. That is possible, as well, especially in a society that is all about the money. Where couples, particularly women married to financially rich men are name-called “trophy wives” because they choose to become homemakers, or “gold digger” when they assert their justified entitlement in divorce proceedings. So, while capitalism can buy you a yacht, family vacations and travel overseas, an elite education, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Louboutin shoes and a mansion in the Hamptons, it seems incapable of providing marital satisfaction, security for married women, the confidence to start a family, and enjoy the “highly coveted” role of becoming mothers. 

America the Beautiful!

It’s been a while, since I sat down to write something thoughtful. Forget about the daily email traffic, and posts on social media. WordPress is where I share my self-inspired “non-chatty” thoughts.

I am glad though, that I am breaking this writing block with something dear and exciting. About America the Beautiful! There are so many reasons I have come to love America. Obviously, there is an ounce of sad news and sad people that shape this nation. But there is so much beauty in and about this country, its peoples and societal norms.
Especially today on this snowy day, I am reminded of the generosity and uniqueness of the American spirit. The huge snowstorm that started last night, with sleet and frozen ice, left some places in the North East without power. I live in The Independence State of Pennsylvania, which is among the areas caught up in these snowstorms. Exactly as I thought out loud the night before the storm, “I hope these indefatigable snowstorms do not leave us without power. It’s freezing up here!” But Lancaster, PA folks are not that fortunate;  left without power! Trees fell and damaged cars! Some colleges have asked students to return home until the weekend, when hopefully the power cuts will be sorted out. Terrible!
Yet, the American spirit is already alive and kicking. True, the State government is up and about, reassuring its peoples that help will come through as fast as possible. Good job and comforting! But the American social spirit of good neighborhoodliness is rolled out already, too! A good friend, in Lancaster posted on her public profile, an offer to any Lancastarians who need a place to warm up or charge their phone. The America Red Cross has set up soup kitchens and places to warm up and charge phones. And many more folks are coming through. This is America! This is the collective spirit that defines America, transcending individual(s) sentiments of bitterness, xenophobia, discrimination and hate. Those negative spirits do not define America!
Personally, I take moments like this to reflect on and ponder over the American Spirit of giving, reaching out, sharing and positive healthy living, both in my neighborhood and my American family. I live in a suburb in the Poconos. My neighborhood has plenty of “stay-at-home moms”, who I have met and interacted with, while waiting at the school bus stop. They are pretty much of mixed identity: Latina, Black, White and Arab. They are wonderful people. If I got to the bus stop late, after my son came back from school, I would trust that one of them would not leave him on his own. At times, I get a call from any one of them, in case were are late to the bus stop in the mornings. Plus, they usually help out anyone with kids who need a ride to the bus stop, for instance, if there is a 2-hour delay and mommy has to go off to work before the bus comes around, or when kids get off the bus and need a ride. They are sweet people.
Then, there is my American family. With all the drama of each family, there is a beautiful spirit among  my [son’s] American. We laugh, we share, and we party together. There is an openness among them that is beautiful and welcoming. They do not make me feel like “a foreigner”, typical of plenty of folks with whom I have interacted. Perhaps because, they are well traveled, or because they lived in New York for-ever, the most multicultural US city. They have met and interacted with folks from all walks of life, I assume. Of course the “open secret that, Grand dad – my son’s father’s step-dad, who raised him, is Puerto Rican.
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Perhaps a better illustration of  “America the Beautiful” is its diversity in food, clothing, languages, culture, origins, beliefs, recreation activities, tastes, fashion, interest, power, knowledge -endless list! I have endless experiences of things  deemed “archaic” by some in this country and other “modernizing geographical spaces”, making their way “back to the future” as trendsetters and ‘PC fads’. Goes to prove that, it is often the innocence of limited knowledge or the individual(s) dogmas that make that make people shun any experiences alien to them and/or pass judgement. For instance, the mothers at my son’s bus stop and I were talking about women stuff, when one recalled ‘the olden days’, when mothers delivered at home or on the road before they got to the health center. I told them, those ‘olden days’ are ‘now’  in my country of origin, Uganda. Indeed true as well, here in the United States, where “young trendy mothers and couples” now choose home births with Doula or midwives. Another friend in Georgia told me about ‘the olden days’ when people used kerosene lamps for light. I let her know that those “olden days” are still “present days” in Uganda, and I bet in rural America. Yes! Some parts of this country, folks use boreholes as a source of water, and wash their clothes from the barks of trees without access to a washer!
It is amazing that plenty of stuff often deemed traditional, archaic or rudimentary are now en-vogue! Picture this, folks are paying more money for membership to co-ops instead of shopping in large chain stores, for the love of easier access to more“farm fresh” or local farmers produce. Others are spending extra monies for organic produce at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Earthlight, and other large chain store that have an “organic foods section”. Ironically,  American food producers, large funders and their intellectuals activists are pushing GMO into countries of Africa in the name of “creating food security”, without issuing the same caution to consumers that is availed to the American public.  While more Americans are embracing “small [eating or shopping] is beautiful [from organic section or co-ops], plenty of Africa is moving toward mass quick production and large chain stores, including in Uganda.  Some of us have taken trouble to concern and inform ourselves of “what we eat or where we shop, and are carefully and consciously picking what we eat, so we can live longer cleaner lives, sans health disasters that have befell America, especially, high obesity and high heart diseases. Though, it is still a challenge to communicate the dangers of fast food eating and colored juices to many in Uganda. Last year, 2013, Kentucky Fried Chicken open its first franchise in Uganda to divided opinions: screams of “hell no” from plenty of Ugandans in the Diaspora vis-a-vis “bring it on” by plenty in Uganda. In South Africa, I noticed a huge consumption of deep friend fast food and colored and sugary goods, especially in the “most affordable” Shoprite supermarket, which has also set up shop in Uganda. While McDonalds and Coca Cola, two of the largest brands of quick and fast food/beverage addiction are losing market share in America, they are reaping huge sales outside the United States.
Fortunately, America the Beautiful, one can get a wide net of fresh, health, conscious and fairly-traded products. Almond, hemp or flax milk is available, so is Tofurky in place of real Turkey meat. We have access to gluten free pizza, meatless anything for the meat lovers with real meat problems. It is possible to eat food not fried in oil, but if one wants to, there are plenty of options of non-animal oil – canola, coconut, olive, sunflower, vegetable and more. We can fill our refrigerators with a variety of fruits and vegetables, and our shelves with plenty of nuts – almond, cashew, pistachios, walnuts, groundnuts, to feast on daily. We can stay gluten-free forever, and feed on raw food effortlessly!
And if you heard that “traditional marriage and family is out of vogue” in America the Beautiful, don’t believe the hype! No! Marriage is not about two people coming together, making a decision to love one another through sickness and health! Marriage is a family affair, and family as a community and clan affair. I recently witnessed a beautiful moment of two families of their soon-to-be married children coming together to review the marital contract that their two children were about to enter. The families went over what is expected of children to each other as a married couple, and to their families;  how to conduct each other once married, and what each owes to the other and to their families.  It was beautiful! It reminded me of what marriage was always about in Uganda, where I am from. Not about “blissful everyday moments”; in fact plenty of folks found themselves and found love after they were married, and stayed together as lovers not for convenience till death separated them. It was about, the meanings of marriage to the family the newly-wed were to form, and to their families of origin. It was also about their belonging in society, not “behind self-gazetted closed doors”.
At heart, I am a traditionalist, when it comes to culture and community. But then again, I am only human after all. We all pick and choose what appeals to us, and how to make it work for us….And, that’s what defines America the Beautiful!

Are we all “the marriage-type”?

Doreen-LwangaWhen you live in a “wedding country” like Uganda, you begin to wonder whether, contrary to your clueless head, you in fact did not know that you are a “bride in waiting”! Sometimes your cold feet drop, and you catch “cold fevers”. You worry if you are the only person who is going to stay single for the rest of your life. After all, even your single friends love to talk about marriage, attend weddings, date married men and believe that “to be a part of ‘normal’ society, you have to get married”.

In the past three days, the subject of marriage has hit me into discomfort, with the impending wedding of Prince David Kintu Wasajja, brother to Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II and last born child of the late Kabaka Muteesa II. I am a self-confessed, “I am not the marriage-type”! In fact, I hate weddings and do not do weddings –as a bride or guest-please do not invite me. I also believe that I cannot star as a cast or extra in a wedding film. I sort of have this fear that a wedding is the ultimate speedway to losing an intimate relationship.

And being among married couples in Uganda fortifies my belief. I wonder why they go to church or mosque, make vows of in sickness and health –you are the only one for me –then pile onto that relationship another two or three girl/boyfriends with barefaced shame! A married man with girlfriends or mistresses or “side dishes” as they are referred to here in Uganda seems socially sanctioned, as much as a single woman dating a married man. Barely any friends or relatives throw a fit over it, except when the “First Wives Club” folds its fist to move a law regulating Marriage & Divorce, through Uganda Parliament (but that is a story I will tell you soon).

I love commitment relationships though, till death doeth us apart. Though, I wonder if my self-confessed “I am not the marriage-type” stands in my way of a perfect commitment intimate relationship. I once read somewhere [not in the bible] that, whatever you confess or wish for yourself comes to haunt you and shape your life. But I often try not to think about it as an explanation to why I am still single in my adult life.

Then, why I am even bothered by the marriage of Prince Wasajja? No! I was not expecting him to ask for my hand in marriage. Matter of fact, I have never looked at him “twice”, with all the opportunities I have to see him every week. You see, we belong to the same running group – the Kampala Hash House Harriers (KH3), which meets every Monday at a different location in and around Kampala to run socially. I know some may cringe at the association of a Prince with The Hash. We are the self-ascribe Drinkers with a running problem, but who also go on to run 42 km in competitive marathons, 7 “hard knock” Hills of Kampala February, and Kampala-Jinja Relay every July. We do all competitive and charity runs around Kampala, some of which we have won. We just believe that beer is a better hydrant and energy boost for running than waterJ

Being in the middle of my “social group wedding”, since Prince Wasajja belongs to us -hashers, I have had the honor of being privy to all wedding preparations right from the first wedding back in December 2012, which some would like to conveniently refer to as “Introduction Ceremony” or “Traditional wedding”, when the bride Marion Nankya officially revealed her groom to her family. Plus, I am the communication guru for my running group, which puts me at the center of receiving and disseminating information about KH3 activities. I have had to communicate back and forth KH3 invitations to the many Bachelor parties and church wedding for Prince Wasajja. I have also gained access to plenty of “behind the scene gossip” on wedding preparations. Moreover, Rubaga Cathedral in my hometown is where Prince Wasajja gets married on Saturday, April 27, 2013. So, as I sneaked away at seven O’clock in the morning to go to work, I caught a glimpse of what looked like wedding preparations in the neighborhood. There, reality hit me real hard.

If a happy, jovial, carefree, meek and happy bachelor Prince Wasajja can bow to societal pressure to get married, do I need to conform to societal pressure and “make myself marriage material”, whatever that means? Should I throw away my favorite Tyler Perry DVD of Why did I get married and Glen Campbell’s A Case Against Marriage? Does this mean there is a Mr. Right for me and for all the Single girls out there? I went ahead and asked http://www.brainmeasures.com/calculator.aspx?calcid=76&catid=7 Are we all “the marriage-type”?